Imperial Venality Defends Itself: Day Two of Julian…

On February 21, the Royal Courts of Justice hosted a second day…

I'm Not A Racist Butt...

It's interesting how quickly things change! I mean wasn't it just yesterday when…

Desperation grows in Ukraine war, two years on

Australia for UNHCR Media Release Australia for UNHCR is appealing for renewed support…

Peak housing bodies and unions urge end to…

Leading homelessness advocates and unions have united in a joint push for…

Israel/oPt: UN experts appalled by reported human rights…

United Nations Media Release UN experts* today expressed alarm over credible allegations of…

Identifying Imperial Venality: Day One of Julian Assange’s…

On February 20, it was clear that things were not going to…

Urgent call for Australian Centre for Disease Control…

Public Health Association of Australia Media Release Public health experts are calling for…

The Hero Haunted World

By James Moore I do not understand. Perhaps, I never will. Does anyone? As…


Enough with the judging, Clementine

My favourite feminist, Clementine Ford, wrote this week about her experiences giving birth to her first child. I’m sorry to have to admit I was deeply disappointed with the way she framed her birthing decisions, and the sanctimonious judgement and culture of expert-doctor-mistrust which makes these decisions for all women, more difficult.

It’s worth describing my own experiences in this area. I am a twin and was born via caesarean, which is the safest way to deliver twins. When I gave birth to my daughter just over a year ago, I went into labour two and a half weeks early and, with the help of the blessed relief of an epidural, delivered my daughter after 16 hours of labour. My twin sister had her first baby 10 weeks before I gave birth. She was induced two days after her due date, and after 12 hours in labour, her obstetrician judged that the labour wasn’t progressing because her son’s head was too big to pass through her birth canal. So she was rushed into the operating suite and had an emergency caesarean. It did occur to us all that my sister and her baby would likely have contributed to the huge statistics of maternal and infant mortality had they been in the same circumstances 100 years ago. But of course, my twin sister and I might not have been alive ourselves had we not been born via caesarean 35 years ago. So all in all, the wonders of modern medicine get a big round of applause in our family.

What really upset me about Clementine’s description of her decision to reject an obstetrician’s advice to be induced soon after her due date, and instead to go into hospital on her own terms 36 hours after her water broke at 43 weeks, is that she is upholding a cultural expectation through her public telling of this story, that there is something wrong with ‘giving in’ to the advice of doctors. And that anything other than a natural birth is a failure.

To put it frankly, it is incredibly dangerous to have a child at 43 weeks. As an obstetrician commented below Clementine’s post, much more calmly than I feel able, the statistics, the science, is clear about this risk. One in 300 babies born at 43 weeks (3 weeks after their due date) are stillborn. So when a doctor advises that a woman who has seen her due date come and go consider an induction, it’s not because the doctor is trying to take away the woman’s right to choose the circumstances of her birth, it’s not because the doctor is trying to dictate the terms of the birth in order to advantage the doctor in some way, it’s not because they want to bully the woman by using words like ‘stillborn’ or force the woman to not have the natural birth experience they dreamed of having. The doctor advises an induction to minimise the risk of the baby not surviving. The doctor is doing their job to deliver a baby safely. This job, to again be blunt, is far more important than looking after the feelings of the mother. Full stop.

I find it hard to believe women in modern society, where we have so much scientific advantage over previous generations, who played Russian roulette during childbirth, aren’t more grateful for the advice and assistance they get from doctors. In fact, rather than be grateful, many women seem to instead mistrust the doctor’s advice and claim they, as the intuitive mother, know best. The anti-vax movement is caused by this exact same phenomena. Mother knows best. Intuition and ‘feels’, and an obsession with exerting full control over every medical decision, ahead of expert provided medical fact.

So back to cultural expectations. Why did Clementine choose not to be induced? Is it because she judges a natural birth as superior? Is it because she judges a woman who gives birth naturally to have done a better job of the birthing process? I find it hard to see anything else in her words, which are imbued with a sense of self-righteous post-justification of her decisions, and martyrdom in claiming to have waited for things to occur naturally, even if that made her difficult wait longer and harder.

The thing is, I’ve seen this attitude so many times before. I’ve seen the way society looks disappointed when mothers tell the story of ‘giving in’ to an emergency caesarean, or being embarrassed to admit they elected to have a caesarean because it was the safest way for them to give birth. I’ve heard about the birth plans that women make, to do it all naturally, to be at home, in water, and to not take drugs, which, whether they mean to or not, are automatic judgements of ‘weak’ women who have gone before them and had every drug the hospital offered to get rid of that god-damn-pain thank you very much. I remember the women in my pregnancy aqua-aerobics class who proudly announced they’d achieved their goal of a VBAC – a vaginal birth after caesarean. So they had to ‘give in’ the first time, but the second time, they did it naturally, and that apparently earns them even more bragging points than a natural attempt first time round.

This behaviour by mothers is the Mobius-loop of society judging mothers. Clementine’s piece surely wasn’t meant to judge, but it backs up the judgement, a judgement which in turn makes it hard for women to make smart, expert-informed decisions about the safest way to deliver their child.

The thing is, this judgement around childbirth is just the start of a judging journey for mothers which continues into every facet of parenthood. This judgement, the expectations of perfection in all things parenting, the ‘right’ way to do things, has a negative impact on a new mother’s confidence, security, faith in her own decisions, and her overall mental health at a time in her life when she is particularly vulnerable. From the breast-is-best breastfeeding brigade, to the organic foods only army, to cloth nappies versus disposable, to unpasteurized milk, to whether you choose childcare and a job over mother-of-earth stay-at-home sanctimonious ‘mamma bear’. Choose the wrong decision and the judgers’ judge you to have failed.

There is already enough judgement out there, thanks Clementine, and I’m so disappointed you’ve added to it from your privileged position of popular feminist commentator. I wish you the best of luck with motherhood, which, as I’m finding after a year is so much more than the challenges of labour. All I ask of society is to celebrate childbirth, however it happens, and to minimise the risk of things going horribly wrong. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, is it?


Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.

You can donate through PayPal or credit card via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969

Donate Button


Login here Register here
  1. cowper133

    Great response Victoria. You are so right about the pressure brought to bear on mothers and instead of the sisterhood being supportive of new mums look for any “fault” that puts them in a “superior” position. Time to bring up the old saying “It takes a village to raise a child” and add “and supports mothers in their efforts”.

  2. helvityni

    Why can’t women have their babies in any which fashion they prefer, after consultations with their own doctor or midwife.

    Why listen to what any judgemental young feminist has to say about it.

    Clementines of this world choose their way, you do it your way. The only one I ever listened to was my doctor.

  3. Trish Corry

    I’ve had four children. Two 4 weeks early, one week over and one on the day she was due.

    I kept fit with all of my pregnancies by walking a lot every day.
    I listened to my doctors advice on everything
    and the advice from my mother for the birth – Be a brave girl, don’t carry on like a drama queen and scare all the other ladies and do everything the nurses tell you to do.

    That was it in a nutshell. We don’t plan our tonsillectomy experience, or our appendicitis experience, or our dental work experience. I really can’t get my head around why it is different for childbirth. It is a medical procedure and anything can go wrong.

  4. paulwalter

    It seems something akin to the anti-vaccination or organic/ homeopathic versus orthodox medical thing, or home schooling, a bit “Ämerican” contrarian, sort of.

    So, the issue is that Kay Rollinson finds the opinionated Ford as been someone who might be inadvertently promoting processes dangerous or inefficient, without sufficiently thinking through her take on the subject of optimum conditions for safe childbirth?

    I have memories of the Clem from uni tutes…dour, intense, earnest and I belatedly realise you must not look for malice in her work, but accept this is a person who is going have an opinion, invariably deeply held, on just about anything and the impetus to push it.

    Good luck, Clem, for you and your kid. You haven’t always been my cuppa, but accept that if there is a place for me in the vast universe, there can be no denying one for you.

  5. Carol Taylor

    It seems to me that it’s about a society where nothing but perfection will suffice. Perhaps the indication of a society that is yet to mature enough to have something called gratitude, gratitude for medical advancements that enable women not to die in vast numbers in childbirth. Quite right Victoria in the ‘good old days’ of ‘natural’ childbirth, twins could almost be seen as a death sentence. As a family historian, whenever I saw the birth records of twins, the next thing to look for was the death certificate of the mother, the babies or both.

  6. Harry Cohen

    Another brilliant article by Victoria.Have you thought of putting your articles into book form– I want to keep referring to things you have written! Im a retired obstetrician and agree 100 percent with your comments.Ive always been sympathetic to making childbirth as joyful as possible.In my early days,I spent hours teaching my patients about “natural childbirth” I talked about Grantly Dick Reid,the Leboyer technique,Sheila Kitzingers philosophy and others.Sheila in her book supporting natural chidbirth , exclaimed that many women had an orgasm during birth! I never met any.
    I also believe our Caesarian section rates are too high;the World Health Organisation believes it should be between 15 to 20 percent.Its double that in most private hospitals here.Nature is a cruel midwife and women need to be made aware well in advance about the need for intervention.The birth experience is important but the welfare of the baby is moreso
    Harry Cohen

  7. Freethinker

    Why it is that trend that science is wrong, that it is almost an evil conspiracy ?
    Was like this before and we was not aware?
    IMHO reflect pure ignorance by the people that act like that.

  8. @RosemaryJ36

    My first baby was due on 1 January and actually arrived, without intervention, on 16 January. He only weighed 6 lbs (< 3 kg).
    My next child was due on 17 March and arrived on 25 March after a sudden movement (catching falling apples) broke the membrane! She weighed in at 7 lbs.
    My third child was (I think) due in late April and arrived on 6 May, again, without intervention. He topped the weights at 8 lbs.
    All babies were born at home (in the UK this was standard practice in the 1960s if no problems were anticipated) under the supervision of a visiting midwife and the local GP.
    I think every woman's cycle is different and expected gestation period clearly has a range to it.

  9. king1394

    The details of a birth seem dreadfully important at the time, and even for some years after, but time passes, the trauma or disappointment of a less than happy birth experience do fade away. Yes, it is important for bonding, and breastfeeding, and a happy mother-baby period that things go as well as possible, but in a few years, none of it matters. I could not claim that any aspect of my relationships with my five children, all adult now, have been permanently affected by the birth experiences, even though some were dramatic at the time.

  10. Glenn K

    as a mere male who witnessed the birth of our two children from a front row seat, absolutely agree society should celebrate childbirth however it happens. My respect and admiration for women was expanded to include awe and amazement when I witnessed the birth of our children. My wife was planning to have an epidural with the first birth, but she waited until it was too late to request it. So it was “all natural”. Her response – it f*cking hurt. Our second child she had an epidural. Her response – ah, that was better. No matter. Both babies and mother were healthy. That’s the important part. We both celebrate the beauty of our babies, and my wife didn’t go through any extra “spiritual” experience from a natural childbirth – just extra pain and 28 stitches.
    The right decision is the one to protect the health of mother and child. Oh, and by the time they’re in primary school – no-one talks or cares about that anymore. There is SO MUCH MORE to be concerned about with your babies as they grow up.

  11. Sheila Moffatt

    I’m disappointed in Clementine. I thought she was on the side of women’s right to choose. I had 2 caesareans. I probably would have been dead if I hadn’t have had them. Maternal and child deaths from birth are no longer acceptable in the 21st century. For goodness sake listen to the medical experts not some crank who wears a tin foil hat. Why glorify pain after a century of trying to minimise it. Good response Victoria.

  12. cornlegend

    re other post now closed.

    Freethinker, apologies for the comment at September 2, 2016 at 8:10 pm
    I misunderstood the question

  13. Freethinker

    It is Ok cornlegend, it is my spanglish the problem. All good mate with this old grumpy man.

  14. stove_pipe

    I feel like this is being spat out of your mouth with frothy zeal; I hope your future articles, should there be any, are written with a bit more circumspect. Doctors ought to amend their thinking to include accepting a patient is first a client, no matter what they think.

  15. wam

    ‘1:300(0.3%) is incredibly dangerous’???
    “For the period 1991–2009, the stillbirth rate ranged from 6.4–7.8 per 1,000 births”.

    Sounds like some of you women, and your men, have never heard of zero population growth?
    Why have 3 or more children? Greed or good old fashioned animal requirements????

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Victoria. My niece has just had her first baby by caesarian because the doctors advised that the baby was big.

    It’s important to give full support to expectant mothers and young mothers that the best result is a safe and healthy birth for the mother and the baby.

  17. Alison White

    Doctors are sometimes very wrong. But, one has to be aware of the consequences if you choose to ignore medical advice, and they were right. Maybe Clem is just reacting to the ‘oh I don’t want to ruin my vagina so schedule the Caesarian now’ crowd?

  18. Deanna Jones

    Victoria, thank you but I think this is not the way this conversation should look and I know it’s easy to fall back on universalising from our own personal experiences of childbirth, but the under-pinning ideology of Clementine’s commentary is legitimate. All expectant mothers feel some pressure to approach labour in the ‘right’ way and that pressure comes from a context in which men have power and control over women and women’s bodies. We should be pushing back against that force rather than attacking each other. Centuries of western, male-dominated ‘medicine’ has undermined women’s wisdom and expertise around reproductive functioning under the guise of ‘protection’. Midwives were actively excluded from medical learning institutions for a reason. We have been taught not to trust our instincts but to succumb to male ‘expertise’. It is all part of the broader political aim of maintaining control of the means or reproduction and we are right to question it. We get sold the ‘For you own good’ narrative when in reality around half a million women each year still die in child birth. The men who waggle their finger, admonishing the naughty girl who trusted her instincts and gave birth to a healthy baby anyway, without their ‘expertise’ are the same men who will happily send those babies off to war in a few years. It’s not about risk it is about control. Of all the risks that infants and children are vulnerable to, for example sexual abuse, child marriage, sex trafficking, child pornographers and paedophiles, detention etc. (none of which are perpetuated my mothers btw), women’s decisions around the few hours they are in labour are the least of their worries!

    I am deliberately keeping my own personal experiences of childbirth out of this argument but a lot of the commentary here is based on personal experience so is hardly objective. It’s also contradictory. Women should be supported in their choices, but not this woman because she’s a feminist? As to Clementine; she is hardly a popular feminist commentator: holy crap, she receives rape-death threats on an almost DAILY basis and puts up with an horrendous level of online abuse for speaking out against family violence and other forms of sexual violence and oppression. She is a courageous human rights champion who has my support 100% and it really disappoints me to see you chiming in with her abusers. Women should support each other in our struggle for freedom. Of all the people you could have criticised this week, you decide to pick on a new mother because of your perception that by speaking about her experiences she is in fact judging you personally. I really don’t think it’s about you at all. It may have touched a nerve in you but it’s nothing to do with you. There is a much bigger picture here and a broader context to be considered.

  19. trishcorry

    I’ve had a read of Clem’s article now and the comments. Not all inducements are for late term. I was induced at 36 week twice, due to going into early labour at 32 weeks (which they stopped both times with a drip) but then my amniotic fluid started slowly breaking a few weeks later. This is dangerous for the baby.

    Imagine if there was some Mummy trend on the internet that said this was ‘a necessary loss and it was natural for the body to reject this fluid.” and I believed it? I would have risked the health of my children (or worse! I don’t know I’m not a doctor!)

    I still can’t get my head around how women think they know more than the doctor. I had two pregnancies that had problems and two that were no problem at all. You can not listen to the doctor – but it is pot luck how it could turn out.

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree Deanna Jones,

    Clementine Ford is a great social commentator and feminist.

    I read her article in SMH and I judge it to be a lovely account of her own personal experience and how precious the birth of the ‘universal’ child is.

    I did not detect any adverse judgement against other women’s and their medical advisors’ decisions of what is best for them, if circumstances are different for them.

  21. Deanna Jones

    trish, if your amniotic fluid started slowly leaking this just means that your hind waters had broken and labour had already started. When labour starts in this way, as opposed to the dramatic fore waters which hardly ever happens outside of Hollywood, it is usually a sign of an easyish labour to follow.

    Women often do know better than doctors and women do die because they knew better but the doctors refused to listen.

    Jennifer, yes! I have read it twice now and it is not only beautiful, completely devoid of judgement even if you’re looking for it, but it refers to credible sources as well. Very well-written piece. I suggest some of the commenters here actually read it before hopping on the mother-bashing bandwagon.

  22. Trish Corry

    Yes, I know that, but when water is leaking for more than a week – it can cause infections and other problems for the baby.

    “All expectant mothers feel some pressure to approach labour in the ‘right’ way and that pressure comes from a context in which men have power and control over women and women’s bodies.”

    Hi Deanna. I’m 46. I’m not sure if this is because of my age, but I don’t understand what this even means? For as long as I can remember women had babies all sorts of ways, it happens how it happens. In my young mum years, I had friends who had caesers, SVD, some brought on, some had forceps, one breech, gestational diabetes, one friend, the baby died at 38 weeks and she had to still have the baby. But we had no judgement or shame.

    Has there been a trend of shaming or judgement or something? and Why?

    *the only time a remember women shaming someone was when a friend elected a caesarean because her hubby was worried about “her size” after the birth, if you know what I’m saying.

    I’ve had some mean nurses and some beautiful ones during delivery. The doctor isn’t there the whole time. It’s mainly women and I trusted them completely every time. Even if one did yell at me and slap my arse!

    I”m also not following the control by men.

    I have girls yet to have babies, so if someone can clue me in on what is going on here, that would be great!

  23. Trish Corry

    I”m certainly not bashing Clem Ford. I would never do that.

    I have nothing but respect for her and when times are tough – do you know what I think? I think “What would Clem Ford do”

    It is actually because of her I have persisted with my own writing.

    She is a strength to so many women, but I’m not looking at this, just as her perspective, but more about a ‘trend” that may be dangerous. I’m trying to understand it that is all.

  24. Deanna Jones

    Trish, I’m using feminist analysis here. You can find loads of scholarly sources around the appropriation of childbirth under patriarchy, medicalisation of childbirth, history of women’s health etc. online or in the library. Marilyn French’s War on Women for example or Ann Oakley’s Women Confined. Also, Jonathon Scourfield’s Gender & Child Protection analyses the patterns of “mother-blaming” in child welfare discourse as do lots of feminist authors. I don’t understand what you mean about age. I’m 50 if that helps!

  25. Trish Corry

    What I mean about age, is I’m putting it down to how we reacted to each other when I was in my child bearing years. My question is – has something changed in the past 20 years?

    Maybe it is geographic. Maybe its just because I come from a regional town in QLD and everywhere else women shame each other? I don’t know.

    I just want to know if anyone is considering that ignoring a doctor could be dangerous.

    Mother-blaming is certainly not something I’ve come across.

    My concern is there are so many trends on social media that people just believe, do we just build the notion that “we know our bodies best” or do we come to some respect for the medical profession?

    Where does the bit about our responsibility to seeking medical advice with any concerns come in?

    Will this result in shaming if mothers have concerns, if they go to a doctor and follow their advice? Will that be seen as weak or shameful?

    All actions have consequences and so does narrative, trends and patterns of behaviour.

    I’m not sure doctors are misogynists or even sexist. I don’t think they are well known for that. They seem to just look at facts.

    This just is to me, very confusing.

  26. townsvilleblog

    I have never given birth, strangely enough, however common sense tells me that if my car is misfiring I consult a mechanic and if I were going to have a baby, I would consult the occupation who knew most about the subject, and had experience to boot. I would consult a doctor.

  27. diannaart

    Spare a thought for those women who have allergies to all kinds of modern drugs. An epidural being out of the question, my sister managed 13+ hours to give birth to her first born, a little boy, who, to my undying amusement had a conehead for the first few weeks of life. His sister, in contrast arrived at the doors of the hospital – much to my sister’s relief.

    I don’t get the types who feel they can just dictate to others about what “should be” be they feminists, men rights groups, politicians, atheists or religious.

    More than ever, we need to step back from the “my way or the highway” platitude that dominates the zeitgeist these days.

  28. Carol Taylor

    It seems to me a revisit of the 70’s and 80’s (when I had children) where ‘natural’ meant a goal one should aspire to. Women proudly announced that their birth was ‘natural’ meaning drug-free. This would occur during a discussion where one woman would be describing the ‘difficult time’ she had – the response being, ‘Oh really (smug look), my birth was all natural. Subtext being that the woman who ‘failed’ was too lazy to prepare ‘properly’ for the birth eg lamaze techniques/attend ‘the right’ classes or was just a whinger who couldn’t hack the pace nor had the character traits to take ‘a bit of pain’.

    Unfortunately there are still a lot of doctors who think that the pain of childbirth is nothing more than a whinging woman. But then if you look at many of the types who get into medicine (smug private school bullies*), it doesn’t surprise me that some women look for alternatives.

    *Disclaimer: youngest daughter is studying medicine as a post-graduate student following PhD studies – her opinion.

  29. paulwalter

    A day is a long time in politics. I think, against Deanna Jones and her justifiable anger at men and the system, that Trish Corry is only trying to be constructive..

  30. Trish Corry

    I think Deanna is fine Paul, but thank you. Its kind of like we are looking through two different windows if that makes sense, and I’m not across the information she has in her window. I’ve never known Clem Ford to say stuff for the fun of it; so there must be some legitimate shaming going on. Which is awful.

    I do always try to think about the extremes of situations, so my main concern is that the opposition to shaming goes to the extreme, women may deny accessing medical help when they do need it.

  31. paulwalter

    Ta for that. For my part, as a bachelor I’m just blown away by the intensity of the experiences related here, it is really a substantial, epic part of life someone me can only wonder at. While we (males) have been sleeping, it appears women have been hard- VERY hard- at work.

    The ambience from this thread reminds me of what you see in the change rooms after a GF footy win. Lots of reassurance, encouragement and the sense of having survived something very, very hard…this was the BIG one and we did it (elation).

    It is true that Infant and maternal mortality are historically ginormous, as you realise just from a walk round a grave yard in an old town.

    The message I take away is to take women seriously when they become alarmed at cuts to obstetric services, post natal care etc. I must not underestimate the magnitude and significance of the projects women set themselves any more than I should ignore the person who aims to find a cure for cancer, say.

    Deanna wears her heart on her sleeve, you appear to adopt an detached objective approach..passion and intellect combine here, important that yours and her comments were so close.

    Clem is nothing if not earnest. I wish her and her child well, have observed her journey for some time; it is a typical young person’s epic with jolts, ups and downs and it surprises me not that she would have taken on this, given the robust nature of the challenges she has already set herself. As Victoria Rollinson says early, there is just a touch of paranoia with Ford, though. In a decade she will probably be like yourself, survived raising kids and likely surer of her self.

    Young people know everything but life has other ideas. It all settles down in the thirties, when you begin the repairs for the mischiefs done in the first part of a life.

  32. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So paulwalter,

    how would you as part of the village that raises the child perceive your role in her/his upbringing? I’d like to know coz you are generally a good person in my estimation.

  33. paulwalter

    Thanks JMS. The question meta text tells me all I want to know, that you understand and love the concept of community and the delicious currency of human interchange.

    Actually I am a drone and fence-sitter. In a way, this is why the thread is an education, I had to remind myself to be fair minded and read the thread with an open mind. I am better off for looking in, but what my responsibilities as a member of my community are exactly, I don’t quite know, but think it would start with helping someone up rather than kicking them when down, certainly not valorising bullying and violence, which of course I, like every kid underwent is undergoing or will undergo, somewhere along the line.

    I am not sure where my responsibilities would begin or even exactly what they are, but they would not include inflicting sarcasm on a kid, but giving him or her a nod of encouragement and it grows out from there. Same if a short person asks me hand down a tine of beans from the top shelf at a supermarket or waiting a few moments to hold a door open for a housewife burdened with bags from a big grocery shop.

    Ive travelled light through life and what I could do more substantial at my age to put some thing back into a system that has been more kindly than unkindly tome, I cant say, it is getting late in the day and I blew chances for more vocational means earlier.

  34. diannaart

    Just keeping porn away from minors and encouraging others to do the same would be a good start. Actual involvement in educating children about sexual mores would also help, although it may appear a bit hypocritical if they’ve found your stash.

    Far better than getting defensive about porn, right?


  35. abbienoiraude

    Read Victoria’s post, then the comments and then Clementine’s piece.

    Silly me.

    Wrong way around.

    I’m afraid I did not see (looking/re reading) both pieces what was ‘wrong’ with Clementine’s relaying of her personal observation and experience.

    I agree with everything Clementine said and most of what Victoria said…except, Victoria, for this;

    “From the breast-is-best breastfeeding brigade, to the organic foods only army, to cloth nappies versus disposable, to unpasteurized milk, to whether you choose childcare and a job over mother-of-earth stay-at-home sanctimonious ‘mamma bear’.”

    I was calmly reading ( admittedly through the glasses of a woman who has had three children and 2 miscarriages) Victoria’s heartfelt writing, when coming across that sentence I felt a sharp slap across my curious face. So sudden and vicious was this sentence in referring to other women’s choices, passions, beliefs and wish to do ‘their best’ that I almost stopped reading totally out of the shock it induced in me.

    You unwittingly did exactly what you accused Clementine of doing; You judged me with words so cutting I felt small again like I did for 20 years raising my children, breastfeeding them and was a (as you so harshly judged it);
    ….”mother-of-earth stay-at-home sanctimonious ‘mamma bear’.”
    Except it was not like that.

    I was castigated, hated, judged, ignored, dismissed, laughed at, called ( like) names, and denounced as a pathetic woman who could never call herself a ‘feminist’ because we had made the decision I should raise our very wanted children. I thought it simply a matter of choice. I was then ( 1977-1986) fighting for the right for all women to choose whatever way, with any and everything in their lives…babies or no, job or no, breast or no, childcare or no…on and on and on.

    As others have intimated…whatever you choose, whatever you decide, whatever you do, CHOICE is the right and supported aim for all women.
    Let’s come together to support each other no matter our ‘choice’, in the name of feminism and the amazing ability women have to produce life ( even if they choose not to).

    “Vive la difference!”

    (I too stayed away from retelling my own birthing experiences.
    I am just about to turn 63, if that helps anyone.)

  36. AES

    A feminist judging others ?! Who would’ve thought it. I’m shocked … not!

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So AES,

    what else have you got to say?

  38. Jemma

    Hilarious! An article completely judging someone for being judgemental!!! Hahaha. Gold!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page