[Content note: pregnancy, nonconsensual medical treatment]
Recap: an Italian woman in Britain had a mental health issue. She was pregnant. The state, for reasons so far unknown, performed a C-section on her without her consent and put her child in care. This is approximately every level of fucked up.
But now, because more details have become clear, it sounds like a lot of progressive people think it’s not as big a deal, because it was doctors who made the decision to perform the C-section which has now led to this woman’s child potentially being permanently adopted without her consent.
I have a question.
What the fuck are you even doing?
Even the most able-bodied in-full-health no-medical-issues-ever progressive should be able to comprehend that doctors are not gods, and are not infallible, and are certainly capable of making fucked up decisions for fucked up reasons.
Like Dr Joseph Lee who refused to prescribe contraception to a young woman because “his conscience” told him to lecture her about The Duties Of Women instead.
Like the numerous doctors who refuse to perform basic diagnosis on patients who are fat. (Degenerative spine condition?
Like the doctors who performed the Unfortunate Experiment on New Zealand women.
[EXTREME TRIGGER WARNING for abusive medical practice, genital mutilation] Or Dr Graeme Reeves who deliberately mutilated women’s genitals while performing surgery on them.
How about the amount of research which shows doctors are more likely to label people of colour as “non-compliant”? Or prison medical staff coercing incarcerated women to be sterilised?
This isn’t an argument that all doctors are evil and none are to be trusted. Just as pointing out the utterly shitty culture the NZ Police have towards victims of sexual violence, especially sexual violence committed by members of the NZ Police, isn’t an argument that all police officers are rapists.
But frankly, enough of them are that you should not feel comfortable just assuming that doctors – or police officers – are acting with integrity. Especially when the person on the receiving end of their treatment has the black marks of mental illness, migrant status, and gender against her.
Is Doctor Who a lefty? at New Statesman.
A new Kiwi blog to add to your reading list: Two Arab Girls.
Laura Bates on how online abuse and trolling targeted at women keeps them out of political discussion [WARNING: discussion of rape and death threats]:
of course it is right and proper that the freedom of speech and freedom of the press should be protected within a democratic society. But it is also right that women should be allowed the same platforms and opportunities as men to contribute to that democratic society, and that is not the case when their voices are being silenced—their freedom of speech affected—by online abuse and an enormously unequal media portrayal. Somehow the freedom of their speech is something we rarely hear spoken about.
annalee on conscientious objection.
As a Quaker, I believe in Conscience Protection. I believe people should have the right to refuse work that violates their principles. If a draft were called tomorrow, I would wholeheartedly support people’s right not to serve.
But if someone serving in the military came to me and said they wanted me to defend their right to refuse military service, but that they also wanted to keep their job and be paid as if they were actually serving in combat, I would laugh in their face.
A great Storify from Trudy of Gradient Lair recapping the #FastTailedGirls hashtag.
Sex toy safety is important, from Bitch.
Speaking of this fortnight, Giovanni completely nails the bullshit around people’s cries of “freedom of speech”.
Morgan Godfery on racism without racists at TVNZ.
Trigger warning for sincere victim-blaming and sarcastic discussion of rape.
I’m glad you have identified the cause of the sexual abuse epidemic because you’re so right – if more women were just honest about how much they enjoyed sex with their fathers/brothers/uncles/cousins/abusive-partners and how much they LOVED being forced to have it – then the horrifying rape statistics would virtually, magically disappear.
The lies Crisis Pregnancy Centers will tell - including “college will be free when you have a baby”, because what we really want is to shit on the future prospects of young pregnant people.
A fascinating US-focused history of abortion and contraception. Gosh, the antichoice movement will just lie about everything, won’t they?
Your weekly brain cleanser: this poly-lesbian wedding in Massachusetts. The slippery slope is here and it’s eating rainbow wedding cake. H/T Coleytangerina
Like I said in a previous post, there has been a lot of good discussion about our rape culture and the NZ Police’s responses to sexual violence over the past couple of weeks. Here are some more posts you might want to read and share.
A note about using the RBs label: I know a lot of people are refusing to using the name this gang of rapists gave themselves, because they’re disgusted by it, or they don’t want to give it oxygen, or any other number of reasons.
I’m using it for practicality, and because of what that practicality tells us. The problem is, you can’t find this story by googling “teen gang rape” or “teen rape cover up police mismanagement rape culture” because there are so many incidents of this kind of shit.
An open letter to Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia from TK Lewis
Rape is rape; end of story. If JT and Willy can get away with basically vilifying a rape victim, it not only shows their support for male bigotry but inaction on your behalf shows your support for the same tikanga.
Roast Busters and Rape Culture by Gayaathri
This did not happen in a vacuum.
These people are not unnatural monsters. The more we talk about rape and sexual violence as though it is perpetrated by inhuman, or subhuman individuals who are disgusting and wrong the easier it is for we as a society to deny that rape and sexual violence is a structural problem, not an individual one. These were young men who as human beings chose to do horrible things to young women and girls.
Rape culture. My culture by Goodeye McWooWoo
When I was 8, and had to walk home alone from Brownies (a reasonably short distance, I have to say) – and this was in 1972 – my mother told me that if anyone were to ever follow me, I should swear loudly at them and go to the nearest lit house, as if it were my own. She didn’t say who that person would be, but I assumed it was a man. Why would I assume that? Because the only people, up until that point, that I had found at all vaguely scary were always men.
Roast Busters questions scream for answers by Toby Manhire [note: Herald link]
The police, who knew about it two years ago, have this week insisted, over and over, that their hands are tied. A policeman (presumably no women were available) on Sunday night explained the problem was a lack of complaint. “None of the girls have been brave enough to make formal statements to us so we can take it to a prosecution stage or even consider a prosecution stage.”
Except that they had. Four of them had come forward in 2011 and 2012. Four of them. Three were 13, one 15. One had made a full and formal complaint.
The clear impression is not of a police force with tied hands, but sitting on them. Or worse.
And related reading, from Huffington Post: The conversation you must have with your sons
“It’s unfair and it’s horrifying,” one mother admitted to me, “but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s true. I can’t change the fact that there are creepy men out there behaving badly. I have to help my daughter protect herself.”
So let’s take a quick look at these “creepy men.” Who are they, really? Who are the creepy men that are making it unsafe for your daughter to go solo to a party on campus? Who are the creepy men that are catcalling her or slut-shaming her or intimidating her with their words? Who are the creepy men that are stalking her? Harassing her? Attacking her?
Who are these “creepy men” and where did they come from AND who in the hell raised them?
The answer, unfortunately, is YOU.
Andrea Vance nails what’s wrong with our rape laws
In other words, society has a role to play. Recently Bob Jones, Willie Jackson and John Tamihere have provided a platform to basically assert: her clothes, her drinking – she was asking for it.
That those opinions are carried by the mainstream media is not freedom of speech. It’s perpetrating an attitude that it’s OK to treat women like a piece of meat if they don’t conform to your conservative standards of behaviour.
Even Judith bloody Collins has got in on the righteousness.
What’s the scantily-dressed girl trying to say, they ask.
Well, for a start, John and Willie, they’re not dressing for you.
Feel free to share any other good articles you’ve seen in the comments.
Revelations which didn’t fit into Sunday’s post: John Tamihere has multiple connections to members of the Roast Busters. Because of course he does.
The UN Population Fund shouldn’t have to spell out that shaming teens about sex doesn’t actually help to reduce teen pregnancies. Think Bob McCoskrie will copy-paste that one on to his blog?
“The reality is that adolescent pregnancy is most often not the result of a deliberate choice, but rather the absence of choices, and of circumstances beyond a girl’s control. It is a consequence of little or no access to school, employment, quality information and health care.”
Soraya Chemaly writes about what witches have to do with women’s health at Salon.
… the peak period of witch hunting was the 17th century, when both the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution posed great challenges to religion’s dominance. Women healers whose powers and successes were based on empirical study presented many layers of threat. …
Older, assertive, knowledgeable, authoritative and respected women were not welcomed in a fast-changing world in which many forces were aligned against them. They were a constant challenge to men’s power. This appears, still, to be a problem for some.
Harris O’Malley at ThinkProgress talks about how Sons of Anarchy reveals masculinity to be a trap. I haven’t even watched Sons of Anarchy and I think this is fantastic.
Miri at Freethought Blogs asks you to Stop Telling Harassment and Assault Survivors to go to the Police.
Should abusers get help? Absolutely. Can they heal? Again, absolutely. I certainly think that the cycle can be broken. But their healing can’t be a priority that trumps the safety of others in any community. In progressive organizations, the health of the whole community hinges on the safety of every member, not just the most popular ones.
bell hooks writes a definitive takedown of that fucking Lean In monstrosity:
It almost seems as if Sandberg sees women’s lack of perseverance as more the problem than systemic inequality. Sandberg effectively uses her race and class power and privilege to promote a narrow definition of feminism that obscures and undermines visionary feminist concerns.
thewayoftheid (aka the fucking amazing @thewayoftheid) on The Performance Feminist – a piece I find good and challenging, as a white middle class varsity-educated feminist with a Twitter account and a WordPress blog.
Happy Labour Day, filthy splitters.
Serious trigger warning for every kind of sex-related badness: Cliff at Pervocracy is reviewing 50 Shades of Grey chapter-by-chapter. And it is so much worse than you think.
Interesting developments are happening in HIV research. I’m a little side-eye at the phrase “the baby’s caretakers” though.
Thoughts on Arrow fandom and racism in ‘shipping. For the record, I don’t usually ship … but I would totally ship Delicity.
This week’s Steubenville is Marryville, Missouri, where a 14-year-old rape survivor’s house has been “mysteriously” burned down in a community which can’t abide any criticism of its sports heroes.
The Wasp takes on the privilege involved in moderating “personal attacks” in comments:
But even when the policy is adhered to carefully and with consistency, in any given conversation where inequality comes into play, the privileged are still able to attack personally, to cut to the bone without even trying, but privilege combined with the “no personal attacks” policy shields them from retribution in kind.
H/T Hoyden About Town.
Renee at latinamericavisualized questions why we would critique the colonial awfulness of Columbus Day … but “solve” it by venerating another imperialist white dude. (The answer is – shock – that we still view history as being about Things White Dudes Did.)
A researcher looking into the history of modern management practices has rediscovered The Messy Link Between Slave Owners and Modern Management.
Burnt Out Teacher asks why our Minister of Women’s Affairs doesn’t seem to give a fuck about violence against women. [TW for sexual assault, harassment]
Let’s consider The Radical Notion that Children are People, shall we?
This week’s brain cleanser: Destiny’s Child GIFs. With Destiny’s Child Mini-Mes!