Us vs. them (or a blog retrospective)

I cut down on my blogging a lot this past year. It was due to a combination of a different factors. It is harder to tell stories about clinical experiences without discussing my patients or attending physicians in a possibly sensitive way than it was to tell stories about studying or research. Also, I became a single mother, and blogging time is more negotiable than cooking dinner. Or cleaning muddy footprints up from the entire. fricking. house last night. After shower muddy trampolining and wooden sword fighting? Great idea!

But, another reason I stopped blogging has to do with the polarization and vilification that is so common in internet discussions of topics I find dear. Give me a nuanced discussion about breastfeeding, birth, contraception or abortion, please? Please?

I keep ending up writing posts like this one about the rhetoric surrounding “natural” birth, the how to present risks surrounding birth without freaking out post, the one about a death threat I got over a post about vaccination, abortion, fetal monitoring for chrissakes or posts one, two, three, four, five, six (OK that’s enough!) posts about polarizing breastfeeding if-you-can-call-it-conversation. I’m not going to start searching for my posts on race.

Let’s not forget Mommy Wars Bingo.

After one and two disappointing posts and comment sections on Skepchick about breastfeeding, I was tempted to post another plea on here. I want to like Skepchick because of posts like this about female genitalia self image, and a post about female body hair shaving that seems to have disappeared. I was going to beg, again, to please, please let a discussion of breastfeeding science go by without the “GUILT!!” hammer coming down, but I am starting to feel like I will be rating level five on the Professor Internet dick meter if I keep covering the same territory. Even though I’d rather fancy myself more like Jon Stewart preachin’ it on Crossfire.

Hell, I know I have “rant” as a tag on my blog, and I think I coined the term reply-turned-post, even though I hardly invented it. I replied on both Skepchick posts, but I didn’t even bother reposting it here. I am just tired of it. And, I have a sandwich, or a rank list, to get to.

By the way, this is apparently post #665. My next post will be from hell.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Us vs. them (or a blog retrospective)

  1. bizzle

    I used to love Skepchick but stopped reading some time last year because I couldn’t take their bizarro “‘natural childbirth’/breastfeeding is just about people trying to make me feel bad about myself” schtick.

    A bit unusual to have a bunch of skeptics shaping their views based on how they feel.

    • MomTFH

      It depends on the topic. Some topics they cover well. Some topics I think are off the charts in the other direction, such as this article on schizophrenia. While I agree that the original article is irresponsible and homeopathic dilutions are ineffective, I also have worked in inpatient acute psychiatric care, and compliance with medication is not enough to give people living with schizophrenia “a normal, happy life.” Pharmaceutical treatments for schizophrenia have variable effectiveness rates and really high discontinuation rates. Some of the side effects can be permanent. I think they are a valuable class of drugs and agree that they can be “very important”, but let’s not call them happy normal pills.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I’ve been having similar thoughts myself around how the extreme language on both ends of the birth spectrum tends to leave a lot of moms isolated and without the good information they need in order to make the choices that are best for them and their families. So much of the work I do as a Labor Doula and LCCE is to push the rhetoric back on both sides so that my students and clients have a clear space in the middle to learn and think and discern on their own.

  3. One of the things I have appreciated about finding the birth blogging community is finding people with whom I don’t have to have the racism/sexism 101 conversation and THEN don’t have to have the not-all-c-sections-are-necessary/not-all-breastfeeding-advocates-think-formula-is-evil 101 conversations TOO! I am dismayed, and tired out, by the number of feminists (particularly young feminists) who seem to think that the way to support women during birth/breastfeeding is by loudly proclaiming they “don’t judge anyone’s choices”, but then treating anything that people to do support women actually being able to fulfill their choices as at best guilt-inducing or at worst itself a judgment (see: Baby-Friendly Debate of 2010). It gets so tedious to try to discuss things like systematic healthcare reform, race & class privilege, evidence bases, etc. and just get back “I was formula fed and I’m fine/I had all my babies by c-section and that doesn’t make me a bad mother”. I hope that at least when I write stuff on the internetz or have these conversations with my friends, other people are reading/hearing and absorbing that there are more nuanced ways to look at these issues. So please don’t give up the good fight! (Although totally understand you dialing it back a little in the face of sandwiches, mud, and rank lists.)

    (And then some judgy lactitroll shows up and throws in how she breastfed her 11 children without an ounce of help and women who don’t breastfeed are just selfish and lazy. Thanks, trolls.)

    • MomTFH

      Hope this post stays troll free!

      Thanks for the great comment and your great blog. Skepchick actually just added a doula to their team, so I’m hopeful their supposedly pro-breast feeding site may actually has some pro-breast feeding posts and comments sometime.

  4. Thanks for sharing the “So You’re MAD About Something on the Internet” chart!

  5. Pingback: Apology accepted…I guess? | Mom's Tinfoil Hat

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