The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Baby-making machines.

Or not.

Really good post from Redneck Mother, via Twisty, about a fundamental misconception that seems to underlie an awful lot of patriarchal thinking about women, babies, and pregnancy.
This requirement [from a version of the stupid VA law that required state involvement in miscarriages], my friends, is a flashing red light signaling ignorance. It's based on the notion that pregnant women are simple machines that pop out babies. If the pregnancy ends, the machine must surely just spit out the failed product, right? Won't you smell a fan belt burning or something? You're up in your hot-air balloon, your pregnancy fails, it'll be over in a matter of minutes, all nice and neat and ready for the police report?
This gives a sense of the overall thrust of the piece, but what's great about it is the mixture of personal detail and political insight. As they say, read the whole thing.

PS - Link-gathering for this post, I see that RM's added another post on the topic, in response to the traffic generated by Twisty's link, and a couple others. The gist is two-fold, partly about the dearth of pregnancy/birth celebration/respect in our culture (as contrasted with war celebration/respect) and partly about the loss of what I would term folk-knowledge about pregnancy/birth, so that far too many American women go into the whole thing with little more than vague notions and some limited medical info. I know the latter aspect formed a backdrop to my wife's pregancy a couple years ago - this sense that, while medical knowledge had greatly increased, there was a lot that she didn't know that her female ancestors had. We were blessed with an amazing family doctor to do the delivery and a (relatively) easy pregnancy/birth, so it was OK, but the lingering sense remains....


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