Random links to start the week. Carla Fran on working as a doula (h/t zunguzungu):
My work as a doula has convinced me that what goes on in labor rooms is one of the most potent places for activism in this country. Women of every race and class are often mistreated, enough for me to have witnessed it several times, at a moment when they are extremely vulnerable…
Until my work as a doula, I assumed that sexism was actually a bit of a ghost. I was fucking wrong. Why does pregnancy matter? Every time I see a doctor talk down to a woman, to complain about his or her weekend schedule and insist on a Cesarean, to threaten a woman through fear to deliver quickly, to tell her that she has no idea about what she is talking about, to take her husband aside and tell him what will be easier, to disregard her history of abuse and aggressively examine her, to rant about missed phone calls and fussy patients next door while she is trying to focus and calm herself, to pull the trump card of a healthy baby as if that is something she didn’t want, to mention insurance during labor, to describe her genitals in a way that frightens her, to use fear as a trick of the trade, I understand that things are not okay, and that there is an immense amount of work to be done.
A close friend who may be reading this is currently fighting breast cancer, and she’s been lucky with the doctors she has gotten. But from what I’m learning in real time, these issue plays out there as well.
Once again, we have someone bravely standing up and telling the people on their own side to stop being dicks, while being vague on the names and specifics…So I’m at a loss about what we’re supposed to do in the world according to Jon Stewart. Hey, all you people working for gay and lesbian equality, all you women asking for equal pay, all you workers trying to unionize, all you peaceniks trying to end the war in Afghanistan, all you nurses and doctors and clinic workers trying to maintain reproductive freedom and keep women alive, all you teachers trying to teach science and history without censorship, all you citizens trying to build a rational health care policy, all you scientists and doctors who want our country to progress in medical research, all you damned secularists who want to keep religion out of our schools and government, hey, hey, HEY, you! Tone it down. Quit making such a fuss. You’re too loud. Shush. You’re as crazy as the teabaggers if you think your principles are worth fighting for.
And Gerry Canavan on the organizing event:
From my place in the crowd it seemed to me that what many people in the crowd wanted was recognition that they too are a collective, that they too constitute a “movement,” that there are other people who think like they do and want what they want and that all such people might get together and work together to make things happen. They’re people who believe alternatives are possible and necessary and want someone to show them where to go to get it. But Stewart’s supposed call for civility and “reasonableness” is completely orthogonal to that drive, if not actively destructive of it—and the Rally to Restore Sanity a pointless, poorly executed exercise in self-promotion that is already completely forgotten.