Oh, strange, it's disappeared on my phone. Sorry to derail an important thread.
Oh, strange, it's disappeared on my phone. Sorry to derail an important thread.
While education and awareness of women is important, it is blaming the victim to say that is their fault for not knowing.
It is the responsibility of the medical staff to not assault the patient, to inform the patient and seek consent for procedured before they are performed, accept their right to autonomy and to stop if the patient changes their mind.
Then after the birth of that child, another ob who was standing in for my ob on her weekend off tried to give me stitches without an anaesthetic. The second time he told me to "just look at your baby" as he jabbed me with a needle I realised he was trying to distract me. I told him I wanted an anaesthetic. He argued that the injection of anaesthetic would be as painful as the stitches. I said "I want it anyway, then I will be numb for a while after". He attempted to argue again at which point mild mannered dh stepped forward, gave him the don't f**k with me look and growled "Just give her the anaesthetic..NOW".
It's not nice arguing with someone as they sit between your stirruped legs. If I see him again, I'll kick him in the nuts.
This is exactly why I chose a c section, I did not want anybody touching my cervix, after being raped and molested, a bad birth experience would have tipped me over the edge
Is horrible hearing what some people have been through.
I was given a stretch and sweep without consent too. I got told I was just being examined and it hurt like hell.
In 25 hours of labour I had countless internal exams, I was unconscious from the pain for a lot of them. Nobody ever told me what was going on, when they told me they were going to speed things along I had no idea it meant shoving a drip in my arm...
I actually had no idea I had the right to say "no" to anything.
Every women has the right to be able to trust their care provider especially while they are pregnant and giving birth, it's a joke at how badly so many are treated labour itself is bloody painful it's not a time for a midwife or dr to have any right to violate a woman, I had so many things happen while I was in labour with DD1 that I didn't consent to they were pretty rude I was told numerous times to just deal with it while they were checking me I had so many issues after her birth because of the way I was treated a dr also ended up ripping a huge chunk of bubs scalp because he wanted her out quicker because his shift was over! I had en epidural and he wasn't even waiting for my contractions my partner came so close to hitting him.
Education would also make it more acceptable in the community. At the moment people who have not experienced it think that only hippy people are whinging about their treatment. Education would correct that assumption and may even force doctors and midwives to do something about it.
Lots of women have stuff done to them and think it is ok cause its a doctor. I only just, in the last week, found out that most things the doctors and midwives did during my last labour was cansidered assult and they had no right to and i was right to feel annoyed and upset that they did it. I felt i was in teh wrong for feeling that way.
What you're saying is actually quite victim-blaming. Essentially that argument follows that if a woman educated herself more, then she wouldn't have been birthraped. That's not necessarily true - a woman in labour (or in pregnancy, as WCM demonstrated) is in a very vulnerable position. She doesn't always have the ability to say no. She doesn't always react as the media teaches us people who are being assaulted react. She might freeze. She might be thrown into flashbacks of previous assaults. She might not realise that what is being done to her is outside of the realm of acceptable medical treatment. There might be 1000 reasons why a woman might not be able to prevent her own birthrape - and at the end of the day, she shouldn't have to.
The responsibility always lies with the one committing the assault. Not with the one whom is being assaulted.
The intention, of course, might also not be there to birthrape a woman - but it's actually the woman's experience that is the important factor here, NOT the obstetrician's intentions. This was one of the tenents of the 2nd wave of feminism, BTW - it's not a new concept...that a rapist might rape without realising that he has.
At the end of the day, calling it birthrape takes nothing away from other women's experiences of other kinds of sexual assault - but gives a voice to women who HAVE been birthraped. (Again, trigger warning: http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/...ts_not_rape_ra )
I'm so very very sorry for the fact that you were both sexually assaulted, and had obstetric violence done to you. Neither is right, and I hope you're getting the help and support you need to recover and heal
Actually, I'm going to post The-F-Word post in full entitled "It's not RAPE rape" in full, because it explains the whole thing so much better than I feel like I'm doing.
Again, please read with caution because **TRIGGER WARNING** ahead
http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/...ts_not_rape_ra'It's not RAPE rape'
A flurry of reports on birth rape have prompted a backlash against women who use the term to describe their assault experiences. Amity Reed responds
Amity Reed, 30 September 2010
Birth rape is not rape because: the intent was not likely malicious; you solicited the services of the midwife or doctor willingly; it is not sexual; it denigrates 'real' rape; you got a healthy baby at the end of it; you should have said 'No' more clearly; you should have been more educated; be glad you're alive -- women used to die in childbirth all the time, you know!; if you didn't want hands or instruments up your vagina, you shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place; it's for the well being of your baby; it was for your own good.
Those are just some of the claims made about birth rape in the last few days, by many of these articles' authors and readers alike. The consensus appears to be: you are making too big a deal of this and, p.s., stop whining. In some quarters, allusions to natural birth fanatics with unrealistic expectations, hell-bent on smearing the name of good doctors and midwives across the land, are rife with derision. There seems to be a popular idea that a fringe group of radicals who despise medicine and technology and think women should give birth alone in clover fields, with only the moon and stars to guide them, are working to further their birth rape 'movement' and inappropriately co-opt a word that is already taken and means something completely different.
Were these same arguments used when we first started hearing women say they were date raped or raped by their spouse or partner?
The crux of the argument against 'allowing' women to use this term is that while, of course, instances where mothers are abused or assaulted during birth are horrible and unacceptable, it was not 'RAPE rape' (thanks Whoopi!) and needs to have a less provocative name. Common suggestions for more suitable, society-approved names include 'medical assault', 'medical battery' and 'maternal abuse'. The message here seems to be: 'Call it anything you want, just don't call it rape, okay? Because it's not, even if it fits the definition and you, as the victim, have chosen to express what happened to you in these terms. WE will decide what is rape and what isn't.'
Perhaps this attitude is prevalent because there seems to be some confusion about what constitutes birth rape and what is just an unpleasant or uncomfortable birth. To reiterate a point made in my original article for The F-Word, birth rape is when an instrument or hand is inserted into a woman's vagina without permission, after which the woman feels violated. Discounting birth rape is discounting the possibility of being raped with an object or non-genital body part and in a context that is not sexual. As we all know, non-consensual penetration is most often not a quest for sexual pleasure but actually an effort to control, terrorise, humiliate, punish or oppress the victim(s).
In cases where the intent was not to punish or control the birthing woman in some way (which can and does happen) and the forced vaginal penetration was done out of what the perpetrator believed to be medical necessity or professional obligation, this still leaves us with the disturbing idea that a woman's bodily autonomy ceases to exist once she is carrying another life within her.
What a woman does or doesn't do with her body and what medical care she chooses to receive or not receive while in labour is still her business. She can and should make decisions for herself. The paternalism of the 'lie back and let the doctor do his job, now there's a good girl' mentality can be not only nauseatingly infantalising but a first tumble down the slippery slope of disempowerment and trauma that so many women experience during their births. Sticking something in a woman's vagina without her consent is no one's right, no matter their opinion on why it was necessary.
Our experiences and our voices cannot and should not be defined or silenced by those who think they know better, or more
Even where intent was not necessarily malicious (for example, when a man doesn't stop intercourse after a woman has objected, even if she initially consented), the resulting mental distress is virtually the same as rapes perpetrated with intent to harm. It does make me wonder: were these same arguments used when we first started hearing women say they were date raped or raped by their spouse or partner? What about when rape was extended to include penetration with an object or non-genital body part? Because I'm pretty sure that, then too, there were scores of people (even some anti-rape campaigners) rolling their eyes and stamping their feet when we first moved beyond the basic 'penis in vagina by stranger with force' definition of rape. There were undoubtedly some against calling these types of assault 'rape' because it diminished what they felt was The Most True And Horrific Rape Of All.
The thing is, It is not anyone's responsibility to make sure that people who have experienced a violation focused on their genitals for which they did not give consent use the term that other people are most comfortable with. There are, of course, women who use the term birth rape to describe traumatic labours that did not involve any abuse or unwanted vaginal penetration but where their wishes were ignored, they felt powerless and perhaps even duped into accepting certain interventions. Whilst one may not consider this birth rape in the strictest sense, that scores of women could have such horrendous births as to feel like rape victims speaks volumes about the state of maternity care in the UK, the US and other parts of the developed world. When a woman feels she wasn't given choices, wasn't in control of her own body and had little say in her care, she is more likely to consider her birth traumatic and reach for words to suitably express her suffering.
Claiming that birth rape is an inappropriate term and ridiculing or dismissing women who choose to use it is incredibly insulting to those who identify with it. Much like you wouldn't tell a woman who says she was raped while on a date with a guy she liked that she is exaggerating, that he probably didn't mean it, that it isn't 'real' rape if she went with him willingly or flirted with him, nor should women who feel they were raped while giving birth be disbelieved or discredited. Insisting that birth rape does not exist because it does not fit into one's culturally-ingrained notions about what defines rape shows an enormous disrespect for women's lives and how they choose to define the moments that shape them. If a woman says she was raped, listen to what she is saying and feeling instead of dissecting her experience, looking for ways in which she can be proved wrong. Her rape does not somehow lessen anyone else's, it only broadens what we previously believed to fall under that unfortunate, ugly umbrella of misogyny.
What I find nearly as tragic as birth rape itself is that so many feminists could ignore, dismiss or outright refute it. It is quite astonishing to see those who fight tooth and nail for a woman's right to choose abortion and who argue passionately for full bodily autonomy then turn around and say that a woman who chooses to carry a pregnancy to term should hand over the rights to her body for the sake of the baby. Mothers already often feel sidelined and marginalised by the mainstream feminist movement; when it ignores institutionalised violence against them at such a vulnerable and pivotal moment in their lives, the sting of discord is sharp.
To minimise birth rape is to minimise the profoundness of birth for many mothers and, in turn, to minimise women themselves. Our experiences and our voices cannot and should not be defined or silenced by those who think they know better, or more.
Telling women that birth rape is all in their heads is just another violation.
Pregnant for the first-time?
Not sure where to start? We can help!
Our Insider Programs for pregnancy first-timers will lead you step-by-step through the 14 Pregnancy Must Dos!