Guggie and her Gaggle
I know that this is off the usual topics of autism, Pwd, quackery and, most recently builders but certain people who spout utter nonsense about vaccines and autism also mislead and misinform their followers and fans on a host of other topics too. I am amazed and disappointed so few people have taken Guggie to task over the lies, misinformation and misogyny she heaps out on a regular basis. She has a huge following and a very obedient one. Her spewings are dangerous. My good friend, Vaximom, doesn’t have a blog of her own so I’m lending her Autismum for another post…
Guggie Daly has a cover photo on her Facebook timeline of women picketing what appears to be a hospital with maternity facilities, holding placards that say “question your induction,” “know your options,” and “lower the c-section rate.” The photo is an advertisement for Improving Birth: National Rally for Change. By their own description, it will be “the biggest women’s rights event in decades!!!!”
Funny. Where are the rights of the women arriving at the hospital to give birth? Do they not have the right to enter the building without a loud mob of women pushing their own natural birth agenda?
Time and place are everything.
Is it a bad thing to know your birth options? Are c-section rates too high? Is it okay to ask your caregiver why an induction is necessary?
foetus in transverse position
Of course these questions are valid and worth asking. But is a picket line, accosting women on their way in to have a baby, for crying out loud, an effective way to get a message across? I can imagine heavily pregnant women, exhausted and vulnerable, faced with this as they begin one of the hardest, but most important days of their life. Imagine the woman with a baby in the transverse position, walking past women shouting at her to “know her options.” Yep. Options for transverse position are caesarean or death. Or the woman, arriving for an induction, who has the knowledge that her baby inside has already died and will be stillborn that day. She sees signs saying “question your induction!” Should she imperiously question it and walk around with a deceased baby inside her until her body begins spontaneous labour?
Of course, these are examples that would not be common, but my point is: no one knows anyone else’s situation. It is personal. Stuff might be going down that they have no idea about, but these women still deem it acceptable to get up on their sanctimonious, judgemental high horses and demand that pregnant women question everything. Empower themselves. Get edjumacated!
When the commenters on that photo asked Guggie if this particular method employed was effective, or just hostile and misogynist, she redirected and evaded the question. She rallied back with the natural childbirth party line:
“Generally, I imagine if someone is truly confident in her decision, she isn’t apt to feel ruffled by a photo like this. If you aren’t questioning your induction, then you aren’t on here rambling away about it. You feel good about it and aren’t threatened or shocked by others.”
Uh, no. I have no idea why these fanatics, especially ones that call themselves feminists, can’t understand how some of us, no matter how confident and satisfied we are with our experiences, feel a responsibility to call this behavior what it is: Alienating. Antagonistic. Cruel. Lacking understanding and compassion. Why can’t they see that you don’t have to have some deep guilt or dissatisfaction trigger in order to have a reaction to this photo? Why do they insist on playing armchair psychiatrist with anyone who dares to confront their method? I sit here, typing this, and yes, the picture invoked feelings of anger and disgust when I looked at it. The feelings came from a place of being aware of the deep injustice and inappropriateness of the photo. Of sympathy for women who had to endure the mob that day. My own experiences didn’t even come into it. My births were years ago now and how I felt about them was totally irrelevant to how I feel about this picture.
One very smart and astute woman points out:
“’If you are ok with your birth choice then this photo should not bother you.’ This is not true. Repeat after me, this is not true. This is something you all pull out when you don’t have anything else to say. I am happy with every choice I have made in that area. More than happy. I gave birth to my children on a cloud with a unicorn for a doula, and this still bothers me.”
But, you know, why address the real issue here, which is appropriate ways of delivering a message, when you can project in order to make the other party seem like they have the problem?
Guggie wants women to be informed and educated about birth. Look, so do I. The difference between me and Guggie is that:
1. I respect women who have made a different choice to what I might think is the right one.
2. I recognise what at birth choice is all about. It’s NOT about choosing certain options that the natural birth extremists push so hard for (no pun intended). It’s about having knowledge of the range of choices available and making the right choice for YOU.
3. I am not so narcissistic that I expect everyone to take what I say as gospel.
Questions on the thread appeared:
If I educate myself and know my options, and choose a caesarean delivery over a vaginal delivery, what happens? Do I get supported in my choice?
Who am I to judge who is educated on the matter? How do you know who is ‘educated’ and who isn’t?
According to Guggie, you are not educated if you agree to a caesarean or induction. Even if you are 48 weeks pregnant. Education and empowerment are only synonymous with a birf pewl, and no one else but a midwife present.
Instead of answering, she replied cagily with:
“I’m so glad to hear all of you women feel confident and empowered by your educated decisions or justifiable reasons. What ways could you use that confidence and happiness to ensure women who feel hurt/lied to/pressured/violated or downright abused find healing, education and empowering feelings, too?”
Well, call me clueless, but how exactly does an angry picket line accomplish that either? I’ll say it. They are no better than memebers of the Westboro Baptist Church protesting at military funerals. Funnily, natural birth advocates have a catchphrase: “My Body, My Baby, My Choice.” They don’t want anyone taking away their rights or choices.
However, It is perfectly acceptable to stand outside a hospital and involve themselves in the lives of the women entering, and the birth day of their baby. If they truly believe in the saying “My Body My Baby, My Choice”, then they should get out of there and let that poor pregnant woman order her epidural in peace.
If only their minds were as open as their vaginas.
If you liked that you might want to read Vaximom’s post Guggie You Make me Gaggie
*Vaximom is is a mother to two beautiful boys who has taught countless other beautiful children the value of critical thinking and the scientific method. She spends her free time debunking sloppy thought and scientific denialism in order to make the world a safer, smarter place.
For much more on the dangers of home birth visit Hurt by Home birth and the Skeptical OB