41 years ago, more than 90% of Icelandic women went on strike. For a day, they didn’t cook, work or take care of their children. They protested, demonstrated and rallied for equal rights with men. Today, in 2016, Polish conservative government voted on the most restrictive anti-women law in modern history. The place I’ve been living in all my life wants to take away my dignity, my health, my sense of safety and my basic human rights. Today, any raped woman in Poland will have to carry out the pregnancy. Any underage girl will still have to give birth (last week, a 12-year old gave birth in Kielce http://www.echodnia.eu/…/12-latka-zostala-matka-szok-w-kie…/).
The same will happen to a victim of incest or a woman ora girl whose life is endangered by the pregnancy.Ectopian pregnancies will no longer be a simple procedure. Our government is hereby convinced that a fertilised egg is a person, but they want us to die like animals. Therefore, they want miscarriages to be criminally prosecuted. A woman who just suffered a miscarriage will have to defend herself in court. Like a criminal. Any form of abortion, pharmacological or procedural, is hereby banned in Poland but they went even further. Prenatal care is also no longer allowed. No screenings. No tests. No in-vitro. We will not even be able to choose our own gynaecologist because someone will chose them for us.In the 21st century. In an EU member state. So we are going on strike.Monday, October the 3rd, is our day. Our Black Monday. “Czarny protest”. Polish women all over the world are going out on the streets because we will not stand for it. We need to you spread the word because our rights are in danger. Our basic sense of safety and the right to live is in danger. Send your troops.
GUYS I’M LITERALLY IN TEARS WHILE WRITING THIS! ICELANDIC WOMEN, WHO STAND BEHIND THIS WHOLE IDEA, ARE IN TOTAL SOLIDARITY WITH POLISH WOMEN! REMEMBER: TOMORROW POLISH WOMEN ARE GOING ON STRIKE! WEAR SOMETHING BLACK. #BLACKPROTEST #CZARNYPROTEST
I don’t think it ever occurred to me before how much and how often women are praised for displaying traits that basically render them invisible. When I really think about it, I realize the culprit is the language generally used to praise women. Especially mothers.
“She sacrificed everything for her children… She never thought about herself… She gave up everything for us… She worked tirelessly to make sure we had what we needed. She stood in the shadows, she was the wind beneath our wings.”
Greeting card companies are build on that idea.
“Tell her how much all the little things she does all year long that seem to go unnoticed really mean to you.”
With a $2.59 card.
Mother’s Day is build on that idea.
This is good, we’re told. It’s good how Mom diminishes and martyrs herself. The message is: mothers, you are such wonderful and good people because you make yourselves smaller, because you deny your own needs, because you toil tirelessly in the shadows and no one ever thanks or notices you… this all makes you AMAZING.
Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes
Can we talk about how Shonda is just fearlessly laying down the truth and not censoring the awful truth? And before anyone stupid jumps in, Shonda is not saying Motherhood shouldn’t be praised, she’s saying we shouldn’t be praising women for erasing themselves.
“No one should have to win the boss lottery to gain access to paid family leave,” says Kate Black, executive director of American women. But you have to watch the video to believe the persuasive strategy they come up with.
Traditionally, after a mother gives birth her baby is placed in a nursery with all of the other newborn babies, in a room separate from mom, or they are placed in a bassinet too far from mom’s hospital bed for her to reach her baby without help from a nurse. That’s just the way it’s always been, but if you stop to think about it it’s totally weird.
No baby wants to be far from mom right after being delivered into this bright, scary and unfamiliar world, and mom wants constant contact too. Dutch hospital Gelderse Vallei is striving to change the ways moms interact with newborns by implementing new clip-on baby bassinets that attach to hospital beds.
The invention is game changing for mothers and babies, especially moms that must stay in the hospital a few days post-delivery. Even though mom is still stuck in a hospital bed at least she has her baby tucked up right beside her, as opposed to down the hall or across the room.
Gelderse Vallei Hospital writes on their website, “Mother and child are thus close together and can touch each other without the intervention of a nurse…Breastfeeding is easier because the baby is nearby. Especially after a cesarean delivery, if the mother is not very mobile for a few days, the manger has great advantages."
While preparing for my next patient I read in her previous note that she “..is a Vietnamese immigrant who works at a nail salon.” I stifled a laugh as I recalled Dat Phan’s comedy bit on the Vietnamese taking over the U.S. one foot at a time. I mentally scolded myself as I tried to dismiss my racist stereotype. Yet, you cannot deny that this is one stereotype that frequently plays true.
She smiled as I entered the room, remaining patient as I fumbled with the pronunciation of her name. After exchanging pleasantries we discussed her reasons for coming in: a lingering cold and a skin lesion. I noted that she had missed multiple appointments prior to this, failing to get follow up labs from over a year ago. She blamed this on her busy schedule, caring for two children and working full-time. For providers the chronically busy patient can seem as frustrating as the chronically sick patient.
Next we proceeded into her exam. The stigmata for bacterial infection were conspicuously absent. I described my findings to her, watching her mood deflate slightly when I explained that antibiotics would not help. I continued to work my way down her body in a systematic exam, explaining as I went. As I came to her hands I winced. The skin was thickened, dried, and cracked. My hands began to hurt in sympathy.
“Tell me about your hands,” I said.
She responded in deeply accented English that her hands became like this after working with the nail chemicals all day.
“And do you like this job?” I asked.
“I hate it,” she responded. I continued to inquire why, if she hated her job and it hurt her skin in such a terrible way, she did not seek other employment.
“In my country I was a nurse. But here I would have to start schooling over. It would take twice as long because I would first have to take English classes.” She continued to explain that when coming over, many Vietnamese people worked in nail salons because that is where other Vietnamese people worked. In other words, it was one of the few places they could get a foot in the door as untrained workers who barely spoke discernible English. Suddenly the Dat Phan comedy bit seemed a lot less funny.
“Why come to the U.S.?” I asked. “If you were a nurse in Vietnam, why immigrate to a place with few job opportunities.”
Her answer? She makes more here as a nail technician than a nurse in Vietnam, meaning she can send money to her family at home. And being here gives her two teenage children a better opportunity for employment as they grow up. In short, this woman gave up a job she enjoyed, to work in conditions she hates, in order for her family to have opportunities she never could.
Long after I wrote her note and sent her on her way, my Vietnamese patient lingered in my mind. Interestingly, the more I thought the more I realized she did fit into a stereotype, although I had placed her in the wrong one. Perhaps it is partially true to think that many Vietnamese immigrants are nail technicians. But I think the better way to look at immigrants, in all flavors, is with the lens of selfless hope they often bring with them, rather than the employment circumstances they often find themselves in. She, like the most tremendous among us, gave up her life goals in order to propel her family into a new socioeconomic class. That to me doesn’t fit the image the media promotes for immigrants, but rather the image I think of when I see working class mothers struggling for their family’s sake. And I think that stereotype, an example of the best that people have to offer, is a stereotype I can live with.
4 Types of Unhealthy Mother-Daughter Relationships
1. Bosom Buddies: This is where the mother wants to be her daughter’s best friend. The relationship is usually warm and close, and the mother prides herself on always being there to emotionally support and advise her daughter. Communication is open, honest and real – which can start to feel threatening as the daughter gets older and wants to erect appropriate boundaries. In this type of mother-daughter bond, the mothers lives vicariously through her daughter and find it hard to discipline appropriately (as she’s too enmeshed with her daughter’s life).
2. Boss and Subordinate: This is where the mother wants to dominate and control every aspect of her daughter’s life. She’s always giving her opinion, making demands, and requiring her daughter to follow her rules, or live up to the expectations she has set. She’s also rigid, harsh and may lack empathy. Although the daughter may comply in her younger years, she is quietly resentful and will likely rebel – either strongly and loudly, or in a more passive way. She may feel she must be “perfect”, have low self-esteem and fear rejection and judgement by others.
3. Rivals: This is where the mother sees her daughter as a rival or threat so she’s always in competition with her. Thus, instead of seeing each other as completely separate people, and allowing each other to simply be themselves, the mother and daughter are constantly comparing themselves to see which one is thinner, smarter, prettier or more successful in life. This is usually done in a fun-loving way, and the bond they share is understanding and strong. However, it can lead to a feeling of not being seen, valued and accepted as they are – and unconditionally.
4. The Role-Reversal Relationship: This is where the mother expects her daughter to be there to support and bolster her. She has no concern for her daughter’s needs as her focus is ensuring her daughter nurtures her. This is clearly unhealthy as the daughter feels abandoned, and grows up feeling neglected and used. As a child, the daughter’s learned she must sacrifice herself and only think others, and their needs and preferences. This can lead to being a doormat, and to low self-esteem.
Do not let your sons forget where their essence was just formed, when their bodies were most vulnerable, they were protected by the womb of a woman. If they ever call all women weak, remind them of the strength of their mother who pulled her whole body apart to give theirs a home.
Nikita Gill, Fathers Do Not Let Your Sons Forget
It’s a little narrow-minded to root the majority of important parental relationships in one place. Mothers are too often relegated to the role of nurturer, or are killed off as part of a tragic origin story. They may serve as a moral center or a mentor to some extent like Aunt May, but they virtually never serve as the figure of heroic inspiration.
Remember how Peter Quill’s mother died in Guardians of the Galaxy? Yeah, that was a sad moment…and it was also the entirety of her character’s purpose, while Peter’s yet to be seen dad is implied to be some ancient being of great importance. Probably Adam Warlock, Marvel’s glowing-space-Jesus.
Through most of her history, Wonder Woman has been the exception. Her two greatest mentors were her mother Hippolyta and the Oracle of Delphi, and her formative years were completely free of male influence, with her first encounters with men taking place after she left Themyscira for the outside world.
However, recent versions of the characters, in an attempt to simplify Diana for mainstream audiences, rewrote her origin to make her the demigod daughter of Zeus….as if fiction wasn’t already crawling with his spawn.
Enter Steven Universe.
Superheroes, Steven Universe, and the Maternal Narrative (x)