Outlaw Midwives, Transgressive Mothers, & A Rebel With A Cause

I’m short on time this week, so here’s a round-up of links, including follow-ups on some of the stories I talked about in my last post.

Outlaw Midwives, a Manifesta.

Mostly pregnant middle and upper class educated white women have the economic and racial privilege and choices to have a ‘natural/normal’ birth. These women, a small segment of the global birthing world, create their natural experiences by exoticising, fetishizing, imitating and co-opting the practices and images of 3rd world brown women childbearing cultures. Natural/normal concept is really code for ‘preferred’, it is the elite white women who have the preferred childbirth and normal body. Their body, lifestyle, childbearing, mothering, and inevitably, their children set the standard through their privilege and access for what is normal and natural.

It’s not about ‘natural’ birth, vs. medical interventions vs. Cesarean. It is about empowerment.

At Salon: Bristol Palin stammers the truth.

Bristol told Van Susteren that telling her parents she was pregnant “was, like, harder than labor,” and described sitting on the couch with Johnston and a best friend there for support, so petrified about making her announcement that she was “just sick to my stomach,” so much so that finally, her best friend had to blurt it out for her. Bristol continued, “I don’t even remember it, because it was just like something I don’t want to remember.”

Amanda Palmer talks more about her controversial song, “Oasis”, and her personal experience of abortion.

I would have to say the worst part about getting an abortion wasn’t the surgery itself, it was having to deal with people screaming at me outside of the clinic, and literally shoving up against me, and shoving pictures of mutilated fetuses in my face. I think, if anything else, when it comes down to it, writing that song was my way of processing that kind of assault, and just making it into a joke, which is how I process it, and that’s got to be fair.

More on Nadya Suleman and the “octuplet debate”:

From RH Reality Check: Missing the Point on Large Families— “Instead of focusing on those who make questionable choices, why not focus on those who have no choice?”

From Lisa at My Ecdysis: Mother of Fourteen, Nadya Suleman— “What I find interesting, though, is that throughout history and the world, there are women exactly like Suleman who raise their multitude of children with much less media and attention than Nadya Suleman. There are women who are neither scorned or criticized for the number of children they have. They are ignored. The reaction our country has had to Nadya Suleman confounds me.”

From Alas, a Blog: Nadya Suleman Receives Death Threats and Return of the Revenge of the Daughter of the Welfare Queen.

Julie writes: this is about “the worship of motherhood and the hatred of mothers.” And I don’t think you can have one without the other.

Nojojo writes: I can’t help wondering how much of the rage I’m seeing — not merely outrage, but murderous incandescent fury — is because the Welfare Queen specter has been raised in Americans’ minds, perhaps conflated in some weird-ass way with The Arab Threat and maybe even The Brown Conspiracy To Outbreed White People? (Suleman’s fertility doctor appears to be Indian, see. We’re all in on it!)

This issue, by the way, is something I didn’t talk about in my last post, and should have–the fact that Nadya Suleman is a woman of color. I think it has everything to do with the way people have responded to this story.

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