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  1. #41
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    I'm not gonna get into a debate about the right terminology and victim-blaming etc, just wanted to say, I think when Lonni said education is important, she meant that women need to know that what is happening is not 'part of birth', and 'normal' and a doctor's right. Lonni, correct me if I am wrong, but I understood it to mean that until society recognises and treats birth rape for what it is, it won't be recognised by individuals as such. As she and many others have explained, many women know that something is not right, they feel violated and traumatised, but are not sure why, because the dr is just doing his/her job, and I 'got a healthy baby at the end of it', right? If we educate women on their rights as a patient to say 'NO', and to be properly informed, and to give (or not give) consent, then perhaps birth rape will be recognised for what it is. Many victims don't even recognise it as such until they read something about it (and very few are really privileged enough to access this info).

    I also believe that *most* carers have good intentions, which the same can't be said for rapists. Again, I don't know enough, and have not experienced either rape, or birth rape, and don't feel qualified to comment on the right terminology for either. I also recognise that 'good intentions' on behalf of the perpetrator don't make the experience any less traumatic for the vicim, I'm not suggesting that at all. But I guess i'm just saying that I can see where Lonni is differentiating between the two.

    Its so sad to hear so many women have had such awful experiences at such a profound, life changing time in their lives

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    Quote Originally Posted by SassyMummy View Post
    It's really scary that simply because a woman is pregnant and seeing people because of that, that they are allowed to do whatever they want to her. If I went into hospital at any other time and someone shoved things up me, did things inside me that I did not agree to, or had told them to stop doing, they would be in trouble. Why does a full uterus make things any different?
    Exactly. It sickens me, it is so upsetting. A close friend of mine was birth raped and has been too scared to fall pregnant again, as her first birth was so traumatic She said that her Ob pretty much (**trigger warning**) "raped her with his fist, wristwatch on and everything" (he was checking dilation or something, and failed to ask permission, he just waltzed in and ordered her legs up).. She was bleeding from the entire ordeal...and that wasn't even the half of it She is mentally and physically scarred from her birth

    Many hugs to those who have experienced assault at the hands of their 'care provider'
    Last edited by Witwicky; 17-01-2012 at 23:46.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annabella View Post
    I'm not gonna get into a debate about the right terminology and victim-blaming etc, just wanted to say, I think when Lonni said education is important, she meant that women need to know that what is happening is not 'part of birth', and 'normal' and a doctor's right. Lonni, correct me if I am wrong, but I understood it to mean that until society recognises and treats birth rape for what it is, it won't be recognised by individuals as such. As she and many others have explained, many women know that something is not right, they feel violated and traumatised, but are not sure why, because the dr is just doing his/her job, and I 'got a healthy baby at the end of it', right? If we educate women on their rights as a patient to say 'NO', and to be properly informed, and to give (or not give) consent, then perhaps birth rape will be recognised for what it is. Many victims don't even recognise it as such until they read something about it (and very few are really privileged enough to access this info).
    I did understand where she was coming from, which is why I'm not offended, angry, or defensive. I guess where I'm coming from on it is that, even though we're educated about what rape is(as in, the definition of rape that is currently used by law), and even though women and society know it's a crime, and even though women are educated in all of the ways that they can supposedly protect themselves from it - it still happens. And that's because rapists are still raping.

    Telling women that they have to change something about themselves or the way that they're doing things so that they don't get birth raped is just not based in reality. The reality is that until birth rapists stop birthraping, then birthrape won't stop (that sounds like a really disgusting tongue twister. Say it 10 times fast).

    Quote Originally Posted by Annabella View Post
    I also believe that *most* carers have good intentions, which the same can't be said for rapists. Again, I don't know enough, and have not experienced either rape, or birth rape, and don't feel qualified to comment on the right terminology for either. I also recognise that 'good intentions' on behalf of the perpetrator don't make the experience any less traumatic for the vicim, I'm not suggesting that at all. But I guess i'm just saying that I can see where Lonni is differentiating between the two.
    Without a hint of snark - I think those are sweeping generalisations (about obs not intending harm, and rapists do). To give you an example, the 'stirrup the *****' ob - or the Butcher of Bega - certainly weren't benign or caring. They intended to harm, humiliate, and degrade their victims. Much like a rapist. And this guy? (**Trigger Warning**) (LINK) didn't realise that he'd raped that woman until many years later. I realise that these are only anecdotes, but I don't think they're uncommon. I think framing all rapists as evil and all carers (or even most rapists and most carers) is polarising and not necessarily helpful...given that there is as much individual variance in either group as there is in the general population!)

    And at the end of the day, you're right, this is all immaterial. If a woman *feels* like she has been raped then we need to honour her experience - not sit around debating whether it was 'RAPE rape' because of the rapist's intentions - because at the end of the day, the woman's experience is probably going to be pretty similar, whether the rapist had ill-intentions, or whether he just didn't realise that what he was doing was harmful. If she's experiencing trauma, she's experiencing trauma.

    (and, BTW, everybody has a right to an opinion. If only those who had experienced rape or birthrape were the ones discussing it, there wouldn't be nearly the level of public awareness about the issues as is needed. I'm not posting what I am to make anybody feel bad or to argue - in fact, I'm really appreciative of the high level of mature and thoughtful responses in this thread ).

    Quote Originally Posted by Annabella View Post
    Its so sad to hear so many women have had such awful experiences at such a profound, life changing time in their lives
    Yeah, it is, absolutely

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    I'm not willing to get into my first birth but it's similar to a couple of stories in the OP.

    Like a PP, I decided to have a CS the second time around to avoid the sort of trauma/nightmare I experienced during my first birth and I have to say I'm very glad I made that choice. The beauty, wonder and magic of my 2nd birth has been a MASSIVE point of my healing from the first birth I experienced.

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    Until tonight, I don't think I really *knew* that I was allowed to feel poorly about my first birth.

    It was long and bumpy and complicated, but in the end I came out of it having only had gas as planned, and with a beautiful boy, so I was grateful because I have seen a lot of others births go south.

    My doctor put her entire hand past my cervix and around the baby's head to try and turn him. I have never experienced anything like it, I had no idea she was about to do it, and it was the only thing in 2 drug free labours to make me scream. I still feel nauseous thinking about it. She also tried the ventouse a second time when I was not really comfortable with it, she had attached it to his head, but her foot up on the bed and PUUULLLEED. I was terrified when it came flying out. I honestly thought she had pulled his head off.
    They put a drip in at the beginning for AB (Strep B) and later put me on pintocin without my knowledge.

    An until I read sassys post, I had forgotten about the catheter they inserted because they thought my bladder might be full. Why didn't they let me off the bed to go to the toilet.

    This has made be want to find the middy from my second labour and hug her. She was amazing and healed me of my fear. She was so supportive, and when I said I needed her to tell me how far I was, she was so hesitant, she tried so hard to get me to listen to my body.

    Thanks for this thread. I *dont* feel I was birthraped, personally, but I do feel that the doctor has A LOT to answer for, and I feel completely disrespected in hindsight.

    I also haven't really talked about these parts of the birth before, just with hubby, as he witnessed it all. I guess I just assumed this must be the 'nitty gritty' part.

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  9. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annabella View Post
    I'm not gonna get into a debate about the right terminology and victim-blaming etc, just wanted to say, I think when Lonni said education is important, she meant that women need to know that what is happening is not 'part of birth', and 'normal' and a doctor's right. Lonni, correct me if I am wrong, but I understood it to mean that until society recognises and treats birth rape for what it is, it won't be recognised by individuals as such. As she and many others have explained, many women know that something is not right, they feel violated and traumatised, but are not sure why, because the dr is just doing his/her job, and I 'got a healthy baby at the end of it', right? If we educate women on their rights as a patient to say 'NO', and to be properly informed, and to give (or not give) consent, then perhaps birth rape will be recognised for what it is. Many victims don't even recognise it as such until they read something about it (and very few are really privileged enough to access this info).

    I also believe that *most* carers have good intentions, which the same can't be said for rapists. Again, I don't know enough, and have not experienced either rape, or birth rape, and don't feel qualified to comment on the right terminology for either. I also recognise that 'good intentions' on behalf of the perpetrator don't make the experience any less traumatic for the vicim, I'm not suggesting that at all. But I guess i'm just saying that I can see where Lonni is differentiating between the two.

    Its so sad to hear so many women have had such awful experiences at such a profound, life changing time in their lives
    YES!!!!

    That is exactly what i meant.

    As a victim my self i would never blame the victim. EVER!

    Its semantics, people are nitpicking at small details instead of taking the whole argument.

  10. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonni View Post
    YES!!!!

    That is exactly what i meant.

    As a victim my self i would never blame the victim. EVER!

    Its semantics, people are nitpicking at small details instead of taking the whole argument.
    It's semantics to you. To women who have finally found a term that describes what it is that they feel happened, telling them they can't use that term is silencing them. You're not the only person in the world who has been both raped and birthraped (or had obstetric violence done to them if you care to define your experience that way). Every woman has the right to define their experience the way that *they* feel it.

    I'm really disappointed that after having read the "It's not RAPE rape" article (as I hope you have), that this is your response.

    I understand that you didn't post what you did in malice - but can you imagine if somebody came along and told you that you couldn't call your sexual assault a sexual assault because it didn't meet some arbitrary criteria? Not only that but by calling it by that name, you diminished other women's experiences? Wouldn't you feel silenced by that? Shut down, unable to discuss your experiences, unable to gain support, unable to make people understand what happened to you? That's something far more than semantics. It'd be totally unjust.

    And I'm not nitpicking at small details. You argued that women a) have a responsibility to change their own behaviour (ie become more educated) in order to not be birthraped, b) that the term birthrape was 'silly' and 'should not be used' because c) the intention of the doctor performing the birthrape should be taken into consideration more than the woman's feelings on what was done to her.

    I understand very well what your arguments were and I've disputed and disagreed and given clear, sound, logical reasons why I don't agree - which are essentially that a) women are not responsible for being birthraped, birth rapists are responsible for birth raping b) women have the right to label their experiences what it feels like to them and c) regardless of intent, if a woman is traumatised by having something done to her genitals against her will in labour, by the very definition of the word rape, she has been raped, in birth, thus birthraped.

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    We need to stop compareing rape with obstetric assult. They are two completely dofferent things. Lumping them both in together belittles victims of both and confuses the comunity.

    What did you think of the first time you heard the term birth rape? I imagined getting raped while giving birth, someone getting off while a woman is unwilling and giving birth.

    Obstetric assult to me is assult or violence done to a woman while under obsetric care.

    Rape is done with intention, obstetric assult is often carelessness, calousness and a good dose of i know best or cant be bothered.

    It is a much better definition, less polarising and inflamatry. The more you inflame a subject the more the public is willing to write it off as nonsense, which works against the cause.

    I was a victim of both. I also have counselling training and have worked with sexual abuse survivors and victims of crime, all sorts of crime, on and off for 10 years.

    Im not saying im an expert, but i do have a different perspective, and my argument looks fairly logical to me.

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    But my birth rape is real to me, lonni. These are the terms I choose to use. Who are you to tell me that I'm nitpicking or wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonni View Post
    We need to stop compareing rape with obstetric assult. They are two completely dofferent things. Lumping them both in together belittles victims of both and confuses the comunity.
    I totally disagree. I don't think they're different things. I think that they're the same thing dressed up as being different. I think in each case there is a person in a dominant role who has more power than a person in a submissive role, and that the person in the more powerful role does something to the person in the submissive role, to her genitals in specific, against her will and without her consent.

    Tell me, what would you call it if a man shoved his hand up a woman's vagina whilst she screamed, cried, kicked and told him to take it out, now, while he didn't listen and kept doing what he wanted?

    I'd call that rape. Would you?

    Why does your definition change if we put her in a hospital bed with a uterus full of baby and him at the end of the bed in a medical coat? Will she be less traumatised? Will her genitals be less assaulted? This is not hyperbolic, BTW. It's the actual lived examples of some women - some who have been brave enough to share their experiences with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by lonni View Post
    What did you think of the first time you heard the term birth rape?
    I thought 'FINALLY! A term that explains what happened to me.' Ie when an obstetrician reached his entire hand and half his forearm into my uterus to forcibly remove my placenta, rendering me with a uterine infection and post-partum bleed that lasted 18 weeks until a D&C and resulting in 3 miscarriages in the following years.

    Quote Originally Posted by lonni View Post
    I imagined getting raped while giving birth, someone getting off while a woman is unwilling and giving birth.
    Do you really, seriously think that rape is about 'getting off'? If so, your understanding of rape seems pretty limited...If it's about 'getting off' (which I assume you mean orgasming by), how do you explain digital rape? Or rape with an object that's not a penis? Rape with a dildo? Rape by a bloke who can't get an erection?

    Quote Originally Posted by lonni View Post
    Obstetric assult to me is assult or violence done to a woman while under obsetric care.
    And again, that's fine for you to define your experiences that way - but not for you to prevent other women defining *their* experiences in the way that best helps THEM heal.

    Quote Originally Posted by lonni View Post
    Rape is done with intention, obstetric assult is often carelessness, calousness and a good dose of i know best or cant be bothered.

    It is a much better definition, less polarising and inflamatry. The more you inflame a subject the more the public is willing to write it off as nonsense, which works against the cause.
    Or out of an inflated sense of one's own power and a desire to punish, humiliate, degrade, or otherwise enjoy domination over a much more helpless person. (Again, I refer to the obstetrician who, when he stitched began a woman with no anaesthesia after she had torn giving birth, she kicked him in the face after she had screamed at him to stop and he refused to listen. He instructed the attending midwives to "stirrup the b!tch" and then proceeded to stitch her anaesthetised whilst she screamed 'no' repeatedly, cried, and begged him to stop and she attempted to claw her way up the bed to get away from him. He said to her as he was leaving the room "Who's the boss now?". This sounds like it was intentional to me. And it's not nearly the only case like this. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/rogue-obst...212-1orkv.html

    Quote Originally Posted by lonni View Post
    I was a victim of both. I also have counselling training and have worked with sexual abuse survivors and victims of crime, all sorts of crime, on and off for 10 years.
    And I'm a psychologist who specialises in women's health issues - including BIRTHRAPE and post-traumatic birth counselling. Are we finished waving credentials in each other's faces now?

    In all seriousness, if you've had counselling training then surely you understand the utmost importance of NOT DEFINING ANOTHER PERSON'S EXPERIENCE - and of allowing them to speak about their experiences in the terms that THEY feel comfortable, even if they make you uncomfortable.

    I GET why you're uncomfortable, I really do. Birthrape SHOULD be uncomfortable. It should bloody make us squirm in our seats to hear it. I get it. But it doesn't take one iota of your experience away from you for other women to be able to FINALLY identify theirs in terms that helps them heal. Trying to take that away from them is just so far beyond okay.
    Last edited by Tam-I-Am; 18-01-2012 at 00:51.

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