Highlights of the week—birth, intactivism
The film “Cut” is now available to watch on the internet and this is a breakthrough for communicating with Jewish families to keep their sons intact. I posted it to my Facebook page and have had such positive feedback.
This a.m., someone posted to the email list that I am on for “Restoring Men“. Yes, I’m one of the few women on an email list, busy one at that, that discusses how to stretch the skin of the penis in order to cover the glans again and restore some of the moistness and sensitivity that was lost with circumcision. I get an education by reading and participating on that list that I could not have gained in any other way. My eyes have been opened to the secret suffering that permeates the lives of many men due to an irreversible decision that their parents made for them.
There was a post on the list this a.m. which was entitled “Intactivism=Ineffectiveness“. It prompted me to reply with this post:
I was intrigued by your post title. I think that it never hurts to see where we are being ineffective and can do better in this (intactivist) movement. We have a tremendous momentum going.
If you look objectively, the rate is coming down each year and the momentum is building. More and more people have an opinion on the matter.
One of the things that I observe is that there is a new breed of digital native and we are not being effective at reaching that group. Recently I took a course with a web expert from Sun Systems on how to have an online presence for my business (childbirth education). I noticed how “stuck” I was in resisting things like “Facebook”, “Twitter”, “LinkedIn” and other networking possibilities. I thought the FBI would be breaking down my door if I put my name out on the “net” that way. I’m 61 yrs old and I get a lot of mileage out of telling people that I’m not computer savvy. I saw from that course that I just have to give up that nonsense because I can learn the technology and I do have to be more effective at getting my messages out there. Otherwise, the corporate folks will win the day.
So, I joined Facebook. . . I now have 700 “friends”. . . mostly childbirth workers who read about ending MGM at least once a week because of me. Of course, I don’t know very many of my “friends” but that doesn’t seem to be a problem on Facebook. I joined LinkedIn which I still am not utilizing much. I haven’t started “Twitter” although I’m inspired by Gary’s sharing about that to get over myself and start tweeting away. From the course I took, I surrendered to having a BLOG. That is linked up to my Facebook page so that every time I blog, it is posted on Facebook immediately. Others can then “share” my blog with their networks of friends. It’s unbelievable how many people use that resource. If you care to read my posts on Intactivism on my blog, go to www.glorialemay.com/blog It helps move me up in the ratings of blogs if you make a comment on my blog so please feel free to comment. Thanks to lots of help from my compatriots on these lists, I’m quite high up in the “expert” ranking now.
If any of you have any interest in taking the course that I took, you can access a recording of it for $17 (it’s a 90 min Powerpoint webinar where you’ll hear the students interacting with the Teacher, Laureen Hudson). You can have more than one person sit at your computer and learn if you have a speaker phone to call the toll free number. I took it “live” when it was $50 for the class and it made me the money back right away. Go to www.consciouswoman.org and look for classes by Laureen Hudson. You’ll notice that the website is very foreskin friendly.
It’s probably very inefficient that we all spend so much time on our lists preaching to the converted. We need to open out our lines of communication and take the info to the uninitiated. Just a last example. I teach a group of 6 midwifery students. They are all dedicated to ending circumcision and they know my stand so we don’t talk about the subject much. Last night, one of my students mentioned that she had watched the film “Cut” because I had posted it on my Facebook page. She started crying and said she had been in so much pain when she watched it. We had a long talk about not only the cruelty of male genital mutilation but also the way that spanking and other forms of violence keep getting replayed by those who have been abused. It got very intimate and, at the end of the discussion, I felt that all the women had taken a big step forward in their intactivism.
Gloria Lemay, Vancouver BC Canada
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On the subject of birth and midwifery
A great source of pleasure, since I returned from the Midwifery Today conference a few weeks ago, is reading the biography of Carol Leonard, Midwife. It’s called “Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart” and I highly recommend it.
However, everyone be forewarned. Once you start reading this book, you can’t put it down!
I thought it was just me because I started attending births about the same time as Carol but, when I mentioned it in Friday night class, one of my young students was just as crazy about it. Carol is so funny and the book is full of info for new midwives about birth complications that is presented in an easy, flowing style. It’s a treasure. I took it with me on a road trip yesterday and couldn’t find it in my bag– I went into a panic thinking I’d lost it but it had just slipped down by the passenger seat. Phew! I’m going to order a whole box of the book because I want to give it as a gift to every birth worker I know. It’s that good. If you want to read a funny story by Carol to get a sense of her writing style, check out this page on her website at Bad Beaver Farm.
And, finally, to round up the week, here’s something that every midwife or midwifery student needs to read to realize how sneaky and underhanded birth court cases can be. This doctor recounts a story of a woman who died because of hospital errors and the ensuing fraud and coverup. I think midwives are far too naïve about how the court system works and the lengths that lawyers will go to in order to “win” a case. We need to wake up and stop being so trusting (stupid).