Sing it, sister

Helen Balcony responds to the study showing that some scheduled births (i.e. caesarians and inductions) were pushed back by a week or so in order to take advantage of the latest baby bribe bonus, noting that the analysis (which bemoans the disruption to the hospitals planning that results as a huge problem) misses the elephant in the room regarding current hospital birthing practices.

Two points.

One, the voices raised in opposition to the over-medicalisation of birth – especially the scheduling of births with elective caesars and inductions – have often been women. Their charge that such scheduling was often done with the convenience of medical professionals in mind has never captured the public imagination, so we have continued with the elective caesars and the rest of it. Now someone has come up with a report showing that some women may have turned that very system to their – the mothers’ – advantage, and suddenly it’s time for a blamefest. Oh the irony.

Two: it was depressing to read the outpouring of hatred and bile against a hypothetical population of mothers who are all in the eighth grade, selfish, TV-buying harlots. The AGE and news.com.au articles highlighted the misogynist and vicious streak in our population – women commenters as well as men – which still survives and thrives, and which the internet brings out, blinking, from under its usual rock. (The ire is directed as much at poor people in general as it is against women.) It would have been great if Gans and Leigh had made some reference to the inappropriateness of their response, and distanced themselves from it, rather than just whistling and talking amongst themselves with arms folded while the Two-Minute Hate went on around them. After all, they must have known that “Baby Bonus a Health risk, say doctors” was not an accurate description of the conclusions of their report.

Read the whole thing at Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony.



Categories: medicine

Tags: , , ,

3 replies

  1. Nobody said a word when the caesars were rescheduled for the APEC conference. I actually wondered how many babies came naturally in APEc week from mothers booked for inductions or caesars, but there was no follow up reporting.

  2. Rescheduled for the Apec conference Mindy- Really??!?!

    Where are the gang at news.com.au? I want severe denunciation, now!

  3. Yes, I meant to mention what an excellent point that was, Mindy.
    It’s a blatant double standard, isn’t it? When the gummint wants something then rescheduling birth interventions is a sensible allocation of hospital resources, when women (and their partners) want something then rescheduling birth interventions is dangerous and a wasteful interruption of hospital resource planning.

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