This was and is the absolute last straw. I have been writing health and medical-related content on this blog for almost 2 years now and I have deliberately avoided this topic because I knew how it would be received. Mothers have been criticized and punished for their choices (and their femaleness) forever and now that we are all enlightened and feminist and shit, mothers and motherhood are beyond reproach. I know because the internet said so! Mom-shaming is right out, no one is allowed to criticize women who conceive, gestate, birth and/or raise children for anything because liberal feminism and besides, under patriarchy, women’s and mothers’ choices are artificially limited and (therefore) coerced so the fucked up things women “choose” for themselves and their children are not women’s fault. Radical feminism supposes that the things women choose are not even choices at all.
First as a liberal feminist and later as a radical, I accepted one or the other of these rationalizations for a long time and refused to criticize women and mothers on feminist grounds, where women as oppressed people previously and/or currently lack the social and political power to be fully actualized, engaged human beings and the central agents in their own lives. Between feminist arguments centering agency and non-agency (liberal and radical viewpoints respectively) women and mothers have secured a free pass to do and choose anything, absolutely anything, regardless of the consequences to themselves or to other people, or to animals, or to the living planet. Rather than examining cause and effect — meaning the intended and unintended consequences of our action and inaction — somehow “shame” has become the focus and women are not to be shamed, and by shamed we apparently mean held accountable for their own actions.
For one reason and then another, cause and effect have been deemed irrelevant to women and women’s choices and women’s interactions with our world — well, with mensworld as it were. Before feminism, women were simply expected to do what they were told and they usually did. But cause and effect are always relevant so long as we are alive on this planet because cause and effect is consistent with natural law. Get it? There are laws that have existed longer than humans, longer than civilization, longer than patriarchy, and which sure as hell predate feminism, and for a long, long time we have acted as if these natural laws were unimportant, or less important than other things. Less important than men’s laws. More recently, less important than not-shaming women. This has been our mindset for thousands of years by now — at least 10,000 years by my estimation, which was approximately the beginning of agriculture where humans sought to overcome or tame nature to our own ends.
We did this, we chose this, and we have been doing it and choosing it for a long time. Where we are now could be said to be the result of 10,000 years of that unnatural/patriarchal policy and practice of eschewing natural law. And where are we? I don’t think it would be exaggerating to say that we are in hell, utter hell, and if the above-linked article isn’t the perfect illustration of that type and degree of hell then I don’t know what is.
This woman gave birth to a child who was born with no anus, a missing kidney, a neurologically dysfunctional colon and bladder and a tethered spine. He was therefore temporarily stomatized for fecal collection as an infant and would later require laxatives and enemas daily for life to eliminate waste through a surgically-constructed “anus” and would likewise need to be catheterized every 3-4 hours for life in order to pee. The child was in pain every moment of every day and night even though his doctors were certain his conditions weren’t painful, and their negligence including misdiagnoses and complications from his spinal surgeries caused his bowel and bladder conditions to become even more debilitating and more painful than they would’ve been without their help. And that’s saying something isn’t it.
Continue reading “The Post In Which I Mom-Shame. Sorry Not Sorry.”