links for thought, June 2012

I haven’t been online a ton during the first couple months of parenting two children (whyever not?!?), but I do want to share these three pieces:

at Stand and Deliver, “What Are the Basic Needs of Women in Labor?” Here’s what Rixa’s discussion group at the Human Rights in Childbirth came up with:

First, a right to autonomy.

Second, a right to informed consent and refusal and the necessary information to make those decisions.

Third, real options to choose from. Autonomy and informed consent/refusal cannot exist without choice.

Fourth, being treated with respect & dignity.

[or, more simply:]

Was there love in the room?

at Blue Milk, “Light Drinking during Pregnancy

The ‘no alcohol while pregnant’ thing annoys me, not because I think pregnant women should be drinking heaps but because, as I’ve noted before, it is such a classic example of how we infantalise and control pregnant women.

and also at Blue Milk, “The Real Reason Why You Should Be Careful in Your Discussions about Mothers

You have some of the most inflexible workplaces in the Western world, with or without children, you have it tough in the US. But workplaces can change. We can focus feminist efforts on changing institutions of power to be less exploitative of unpaid caring work instead of just saying women must somehow ignore the realities of their lives. (Because how much real ‘choice’ about work does a mother get who has a severely disabled child? How much real ‘choice’ is there for a mother when the only job is a full-time job with long hours? Why are mothers supposed to thinkanything apart from raising their children is a worthy pursuit of their lives? And anyway, how many women are actually stay-at-home mothers for their entire lives? It is surprisingly low, so, do we need to suggest stay-at-home mothers are behaving like ‘indulged children’? Could we instead talk about how and when they return to paid work and what are the vulnerabilities involved? And, stay-at-home parents are not homogenous either, some of them are even fathers).

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