ANOTHER friend of mine was tweeting that she was getting a hard time from a family member about her upcoming (any day now squeeeeee!)homebirth. It got me all pissed off again.
Women are trained (most of us) from an early age to conform, to not make a fuss, rock the boat or draw attention to ourselves. We must look and act a certain way. Heaven forbid we question something or point out that things can be done differently.
This is done to a lot of people from birth. You cry, no one comes. You are loved one moment and ignored the next. You are not trusted to know when you are hungry or tired or not tired. You are called manipulative and controlling because you seek out comfort in human touch. Then you are praised for giving up and being compliant. .
Then comes school where you are just a number and the aim of the game is compliance and being average. Ask too many questions and you may be labeled as disruptive. You need permission to use the toilet and there are time restraints on what you can learn. A bell rings and it's time to move on. In most cases you must even dress the same.
Children are controlled with praise and punishment. You are constantly seeking approval in the form of a gold star or looking to avoid being punished. You are encouraged to "be good" at all times-which means compliant.
We are led to believe that without help we are setting ourselves-and our children- up for failure. Failure to birth, to breastfeed, failure to create healthy adults Even failure to live. We need drugs, schedules, routines, teachers, artificial milk, cesareans and star charts if we are to succeed. We need to be compliant and not ask why we need these things. We are not to ask fro help. We are taught to fear our own bodies and that to be successful we need to look a certain way as well as act it.
Is it any wonder that when we question being told what to do that we make other people twitchy? That they are offended by choosing something different because then you are accusing them of being wrong. Stepping outside of the "norm" is too far out of people's comfort zone to imagine.
Here is what I wish we were taught.
Trust your own intuition and how to live your life. Trust your body to birth, breastfeed and nurture you child. Trust your own knowledge of your own children and choosing to send them to school or not. Trust your body to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Trust in your ability and motivation. Trust that eating well and moving your body will mean health regardless of size. Ask for help when you need it. Ask questions if you need to know things. Going against the tide is not always a bad thing. Nurture yourself and the rest will follow.
In the words of Rage Against The Machine "we gotta take the power back!"
(Oh yeah 90's rock wooooooo)