Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't mess with women...especially women who blog

I know how pregnant women are…

Now you just need to calm down, miss/ma’am.

What, are you PMSing or something?

How many more degrading comments like these have you heard from men, and even other women? My guess is that there are thousands – thousands of ways to reduce a woman to some ancient definition of “femaleness” that insane male philosophers/writers/doctors have pulled out of their ass in past centuries.

Hysterical, unstable, irrational, emotional….let me count the ways.

And news flash to those of you who don’t believe me that we’re still fighting this form of oppression – when push comes to shove, women are still be shoved into these boxes.

The Twitter world was abuzz today when one of our fellow bloggers posted these tweets on her feed:

Omg. Shaking I’m so angry. Was woken up by an MD who told me basically I’m an idiot taking up an expensive hospital bed and need to go home.

I can’t believe they want to send me home like this. Or they can’t fathom why we want to try. And have to continually tell me.

The MD just told DH, “I know how pregnant ladies are. I don’t know who told her those babies will make it.” I WANT TO KILL HIM.

Still arguing. About our beliefs now. Perfect. Let’s mock our religious choices and call me hysterical.

Diana Stone, author of the blog Hormonal Imbalances and blogger at Babble Pregnancy, was basically in the fight of her life – not to save her own life, but the lives of her twin boys. At 18.5 weeks, Diana’s water broke, and doctors recommended an induction – her babies would die if this were the case.

Despite a risk of infection, Diana and her husband opted to hold on, hoping that the amniotic sack may repair itself (entirely possible), or that they would make it to 23-24 weeks, the date at which most babies are deemed “viable.”

Only, as you can see from the above, Diana was met with an unsupportive hospital staff, who not only disagreed with her choice of action, but pegged her as a hysterical pregnant woman who was wasting hospital bed space.

Diana’s story was retweeted, and then retweeted again, and soon supporters were phoning the hospital on her behalf. Babble grabbed hold of the story and wrote a post about Diana’s fight. Since this fire storm, Diana has been allowed to stay in the hospital and doctors have agreed to continue to monitor her for infection. She has been overwhelmed by the support she’s received, which has come mostly from women she’s never even met – fellow bloggers, facebook followers and Twitterites.

Sometimes I wonder why I spend so much time on social media – I wonder what benefit I’m receiving from the time I take to blog, read and tweet.

Now I know. I know that in any crisis where I needed support from a community, it would be heard and received. No, this isn’t the traditional community we’ve known in past years – I don’t have neighbours down the road willing to jump in and take over for me at a moment’s notice. And I don’t often walk across the street to ask to borrow a cup of sugar.

And although I feel some sadness at this loss of “close” community, I marvel at how I’ve found what I need through a different kind of community – virtual, but still steadfast in its strength, power and love.

I want to continue working towards a world where women do have neighbours they can rely on, with shared parenting, resources and emotional support at our finger tips. But this kind of system has been broken for so long that it’s going to take a long time to repair. And until that time, I need my “fix.” I need to be able to reach out, even if it’s through my Blackberry, and not by feet or by phone.

So until I can figure out a life where my community is working for me, I’ll be working to build my own community – through the amazing, incredible and strong women I’ve met as a blogger and small business owner.

Diana’s story has taught me a lot. We still have a long ways to go in building a healthy, compassionate maternity care system (both here and in the US). Women are still being mistreated and bullied, mostly by men who inherently believe that we are somehow flawed in our ways.

Hysterical? Irrational? No, no….far from it. Who else could organize themselves in a matter of hours, and have a hospital backtracking and quaking in their boots? By the swiftness of our thumbs, and the wit of our words, we can make a difference.

Maybe it’s true what they say….mamas can change the world.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting story. Social media can certainly be beneficial, it's sad when it's misused. I hope her boys stay in there for a few more weeks!


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