I went in curious and left amazed. GO SEE THIS IF YOU CAN!

“The Business of Being Born” & Its Effect on Audiences

by Barbara E. Herrera, LM, CPM

I’ve watched fourteen audiences walk into and then out of Ricki Lake’s childbirth advocacy movie “The Business of Being Born,” and the word that stands out is transformed.

Natural birth advocates leave natural birth fanatics.

Pregnant women walk into the movie as patients at local hospitals and walk out with resolute plans to leave their doctors and find a midwife for a birth they know will be safe and respectful.

I’ve role played with women who want out-of-hospital births (or out of unsupportive doctors) after seeing the film, but whose partners (who wouldn’t attend the screening) are fearful – helping them with ideas to get their loved ones to the movie.

And families who were initially hesitant to support a midwifery-attended birth have become ardent supporters intent on converting their misunderstanding friends.

I’m finding it challenging to get the press to either view the movie or to cover the importance of it in our community. It seems some people find natural birth not newsworthy… a big ol’ yawn.

But, how can any thinking person who cares about the effects of hormonal attachment/detachment that occurs during birth in our culture find this unimportant? How could someone yawn about the economics of slicing a person open for convenience’s sake (the convenience of the clock, the wallet and the courtroom)? I would think that someone with any semblance of a heart would “get” that birth as it stands today is abhorrent and a complete overhaul is needed.

This movie explains why it goes far, far beyond having or having not medication at birth… it is an entire mindset of respect for a woman’s autonomy and the understanding that choices in birth create the most amazing human beings that walk in our neighborhoods. Damaged women and babies do nothing but hurt the world… why foster the continuation of such cruelty?

If the right people saw the movie, the word would get out. That is what is so challenging about the publicity surrounding this movie. It has amazing amounts of well-documented –and jaw-dropping – information that relatively few know about. The people seeing the movie could quote the statistics chapter and verse! It’s those that haven’t seen the movie that need to plop their butts in the seats and then they need to tell others about it from their points of view.

If you’re reading this, you can do your part by either attending the movie yourself if it is in your area (check www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com) or sponsoring a viewing.

If you are so inclined to educate the public about the movie, write letters and send fliers to whomever you can – the press, letters to the editor, your email lists, friends, family, support groups, children’s pre-schools, middle and high school health and sex education teachers, women’s studies programs, child development programs, psychology classes, childbirth education teachers, local midwives (including Nurse-Midwives), La Leche League leaders, head nurses on Labor & Delivery floors, friendly obstetricians, chapter leaders of the International Cesarean Awareness Network, local leaders of midwifery organizations, natural clothing stores, cloth diaper suppliers, childbirth educators and lactation educators as well as putting fliers on bulletin boards at natural food stores and attachment parenting baby stores, Babies R Us and other kid-friendly stores and locations.

Together, we can bring more people to know what we’ve known for far too long. Birth can – and should be – an honored and cherished experience, no matter where, or how, it occurs. It is in the knowledge of options and in the light of respect and humanity that birth becomes perfection.

Perfection is rightfully ours.

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On Hooking Up

It seems like I’ve done nothing but sift through links  about Laura Sessions Stepp as I’m reading blogs recently. The short of it is she has a book on “the hookup culture” that is ruining today’s youth.  or something. 

I pretty much agree with what everyone else is saying.  So I don’t want to blog about that.  But it has got me thinking about my views about me “hooking up” as I haven’t really done it much.   (so much for the “hooking-up culture”)

In theory I think it could be great.  In practice I have turned it down several times.   Why? (this is as much a question to myself and the following is unorganised introspection)

 Well in college I was completely shut down physically.  I was in emotional upheaval for the better part of it.  I was not in a place I could emotionally or physically connect with other people very well.  But I got my degree!  So yay? 

Reasons for being so disconnected from my physical needs:

  1. poor sleep habits
  2. drinking alcohol
  3. eating fried foods
  4. paranoia

 This is college life right?  Never again.  But let’s look at #4.  when I was in highschool my sister got pregnant.  She was 19.  She is now a stay at home mom with a highschool diploma.  my first (and only at the time) experience with sex was so emotional that I couldn’t imaging seperating the act from the emotion. 

I was afraid if i had sex I wouldn’t get my degree.  I was afraid i wouldn’t get my degree anyway.  (My dad almost finished colleged but dropped out in the end.  (but I did get my degree.. at a detriment to my health and well being, but I did it!))

But it was more than that.  I was chronically depressed and stressed out.  None of the situations I found myself in felt “right.”  In fact some of them were really ‘wrong’ feeling.  Like the time I dated the guy who laughed at my body and was so broke that he could not afford to call me. 

 See I’m really glad I didn’t have PIV with him.  or ever even sucked him off.  And while he was the worst, I never really connected with anyone I actually dated during college.  nothing lasted more than a couple months, and I always wanted to take it slowly.  It was never quite right.  I ended up fooling around and having some amount of Sexual relations, but PIV seemed too invasive and personal with any of the opportunities presented

Skip to my life after college.  There’s only been a year and a bit of it so far. May 18 my life began again!  Well, everything else was going well at the time as well.. but the big moment had it’s seed.  The 18th I met a nice young man who I was having a great time flirting with.  on the 20th he was leaving the state to back to school.  The 18th itself we were both covered in muck and really tired… (there was some college event i crashed at ucsd involving a water slide while in my clothes.)  So the 19th I stole him from the friend he was visiting and for the first time in four years and 10 months (exactly) I had PIV.

It was so much fun.  I was in a place where I could connect with another person even if it was ephemeral.  I knew what I was getting into.  He was studying in Pennsylvania, and I was planning on leaving the country at the end of the year.  There was no way it was turning into anything long distance.  Just one day.  Yes I was sad when it ended, but dammit I took what I could get and thoroughly enjoyed myself. 

The next week I started dating someone else, but it didn’t feel right.  So we didn’t do anything and I broke up with him and that nice young man passed through town for 6 days.  That was a fun week.  it sucked when he left.  but I’m so grateful that i was in a place to take advantage of what was offered.

so my in my limitted experience, hooking up can be very good.  I don’t think I’d hook up with people I’d see on a regular basis afterwards.  I mean what’s the point?  If you have great sex with them, then why not just keep doing it? Then you’re either fuck buddies or in a relationship both of which aren’t really just hooking up.  and who wants to hook up if it’s going to  be bad sex?

so Yeah.. In the past two weeks I found myself a boyfriend.  I’ve actually known him about 2 or three months, but I wasn’t paying much attention at the time as I was proccupied with boys from far away.  we didn’t wait long.  My body has been awakened.  I don’t think I could have waited long.  but again.  it feels right.  it might not feel so right in the near future or when I leave the country, but I’ll worry about that then.

College boys can’t “keep up”

I followed a link from Feministing to this article. 

In response to some guys who may have genuine “problems” 

We need to (say it with me) deconstruct gender stereotypes. Not all women are like those described in the article, likewise not all men thrive on casual sexual encounters.

However men are expected to thrive in such an environment, so they have a hard time saying no, or admiting that they are not up to it.  Now when a woman is pressured into having sex, you can just use extra lube if her body is not responding.  they can be pressured into sex even when their body is saying no.  Men don’t have that option.

The big issue is respect.  It is a human thing.  We should respect eachother and if we do not find someone who’s boundries we are comfortable with, move on. 

 No one should be put into a situation where they feel they must do something sexual.  It should be a giving and pleasurable experience for both people.  (or “all people” if you are into that sort of thing.)

The problem is not that women are become more assertive sexual beings, it’s that men are not allowed to not be assertive sexual beings.  If a woman’s sex drive diminishes for a year or two that’s “normal female behavior” so why should anyone get so uptight about it happening to a guy?

 My issues with the rest of them. 

These guys with problems are complaining that women all want sex on the first date.  Well I’ve only recently emerged from academia and there are lots of women who like to wait.  (in college I was definitely one of them) Where are they meeting these people?  Maybe they need to find different types of people instead of just chasing a skirt that their body is telling them they don’t really want. 

 In terms of Conquest.  Ew.  I do believe there are some guys who get off on it.  if that’s what they are getting off on, and it’s lack of conquest causing their impotence, good riddance.  Who wants that anyway?  I’m supposed to feel sorry for a guy because he can no longer assert his power over me physically since i actually want to have sex?  that’s gross.  Impotence is not the problem in this situation.  

If a guy get’s off because he is able to pleasure his partner.  that’s cool, but because he tricked her into sex at all?  give me a break.  I concede pressure is different than force, but for someone to want to have to pressure me?  that seems dangerously close to them wanting to force me.