International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
Because, like it or not (and I mean, obviously NOT), the patriarchy is REAL, even in 2018. Where is it devastatingly apparent? In pregnancy, birth and motherhood. If you call yourself a feminist (and if you don’t, you might as well leave now…), you’ve gotta take note of the casual undermining of women as we grow, deliver and raise humans.
‘Deliver’. There was an article in a mainstream newspaper the other day about a birth that occurred without medical caregivers present, and the whole thing was about how this amazing Dad had delivered the baby. The woman, who had actually birthed the baby, was given a brief mention a few paragraphs in, and referred to as ‘the hero’s wife’ or similar, I think I’ve partly blocked it out.
So ok, we will turn a bunch of cells into a human being with organs and a personality, that will come out of our bodies, but forget all that- HOW BRILLIANT IS THE MAN WHO WAS THERE TO CATCH IT?!
This ridiculous write up is a far reflection of the lack of regard our society has for the efforts and emotions of a pregnant woman.
When is it that we cease to matter? As soon as we pee on the stick? After all, ‘all that matters is a healthy baby’, right?! WRONG. Time and time again the importance of the woman is eroded, her physical and emotional wellbeing disregarded. It’s estimated that up to 20,000 women each year develop PTSD following birth.
Society tells her to give up her dignity, the medical system tells her to give up her autonomy, her heart tells her it should be better than this.
That it should feel like the greatest demonstration of her capacity, her most breathtaking feat- growing a human and bringing it into the world. She senses this ought to be recognised somehow- that she is newly capable, expanded, wiser to the world.
Instead, she is left dealing with a gender pay gap that won’t close for another 100 years.
And so we #PressForProgress here at Do It Like A Mother. We seek to reveal to women their own innate brilliance- through education, through experience, through community. We press for a greater number of women who know their physical and mental power. We press for a growing support network and transparency to beat the isolation of new motherhood. We press for the eradication of limiting beliefs amongst fantastic females about the amount of success they are entitled to.
It is on us ALL ladies, and our partners, our fathers, our sons, to push for parity. We are different, but equal. I am raising my sons to KNOW IT. When they are having their own children, I hope they shake their heads in disbelief when I recount the above status quo. There is a long way to go.