Monday, March 23, 2009

the new age of feminisim

A couple of weeks ago I watched a very inspiring movie, Milk. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to. This is a story about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to office in the United States. It chronicles his struggles and triumphs and celebrates his passion for change.

In 1997 while I was working on my degree at SFU, I took a class that was all about birth politics. Everything from breastfeeding to midwives to episiotomies. It was in this class at the passionate age of 22 that I was first introduced to the other side of feminism, the one that looked at mothers and how they were treated and honoured in our culture, not just by the medical community, but the community as a whole. This was the beginning of the path that I now feel so privileged to walk.

After watching this film, I got to thinking about my own passions, how I am a part of the birth revolution, making a difference in the lives of not only women, but also in the lives of their children and their partners. I haven't inspired 30,000 people to march on city hall demanding better breastfeeding support, but with each client, each woman, I aim to make a difference. Sometimes it is in big noticeable ways and others are more subtle. However that looks, doesn't matter.

What does matter is that as a Women's Studies graduate, now 12 years later, I am a part of the new age of feminism. It's not a fight for equal pay or the right to work at any job we want, it is a cause that focuses on women and their passage into motherhood. It is a cause that is working tirelessly to preserve the birth experience as one which is respectful, trusting and honouring of women's innate wisdom to do what they need to do in labour, birth and as mothers. This new age of feminism is also supporting the whole family, honoring the baby's experience and supporting the birth partner in their transformation as well as their invaluable role as the guardian of the space.

All those years ago, sitting in that class at SFU, I never dreamed that I would be here. Living the dream, being a part of women's history and having the unbelievable privilege to work with birthing and postpartum families. I'm no Harvey Milk, but our passion for respect and a seat at the table is all the same. And people thought I couldn't do anything with a Women's Studies degree...Here I Am!

Photo courtesy of Tall Tree Photography

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