Phil Plait, supporting Mayim Bialik to promote science is like supporting Bill Cosby to promote education

I love, love, love Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy. I’m especially fond of his full throated condemnation of anti-vaxx pseudoscience. And I’m deeply sympathetic to the position he’s found himself ...

What’s an ethical response to homebirth, Dr. Burcher? Start by telling the truth.

Homebirth advocates have been praising and sharing a recent piece by obstetrician Paul Burcher entitled What’s an Ethical Response to Home Birth? Unfortunately, in offering an answer to the question, ...

How natural childbirth advocates justify shaming other mothers

Shame is integral to contemporary natural childbirth advocacy. It’s based on an entirely arbitrary standard devised by racist, sexist old white men, and perpetuated by well off Western, white women ...

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Dear New York Times, since when is treating women’s pain an “intervention”?

Proving yet again that newspapers should not opine on medical issues, The ...

Monetizing fear: Food Babe shows how it’s done

PT Barnum famously said that you can’t go broke underestimating the intelligence ...

Homebirth is a selfish, unsustainable use of resources

Homebirth advocates, help me out here. I’m having a problem understanding your ...

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Phil Plait, supporting Mayim Bialik to promote science is like supporting Bill Cosby to promote education

I love, love, love Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy. I’m especially fond of his full throated condemnation of anti-vaxx pseudoscience. And I’m deeply sympathetic to the position he’s found himself in. I, too, have written about specific issues and found myself attacked for a tangent that had little to do with the main point. Unfortunately, […]

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What’s an ethical response to homebirth, Dr. Burcher? Start by telling the truth.

Homebirth advocates have been praising and sharing a recent piece by obstetrician Paul Burcher entitled What’s an Ethical Response to Home Birth? Unfortunately, in offering an answer to the question, Dr. Burcher fails in his most important ethical responsibility. He hasn’t told the whole truth. Since he has held back (or, less likely, is unaware […]

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How natural childbirth advocates justify shaming other mothers

Shame is integral to contemporary natural childbirth advocacy. It’s based on an entirely arbitrary standard devised by racist, sexist old white men, and perpetuated by well off Western, white women who have enshrined their privilege by making their personal preferences normative. I’ve often satirized the passive-aggressive shaming that is so beloved of natural childbirth advocates […]

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Guest post: A lactation consultant on breastfeeding and shaming

A guest post from frequent commenter NoLongerCrunching: I am a lactation consultant (IBCLC) with 13 years of experience helping breastfeeding mothers, from initiation to weaning. I did not put my name on this article because I do not want to be ostracized by my colleagues by writing for “she who must not be named.” I […]

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Dear New York Times, since when is treating women’s pain an “intervention”?

Proving yet again that newspapers should not opine on medical issues, The New York Times tackles the safety of midwifery in Are Midwives Safer than Doctors? Let’s leave aside for the moment the fact that the Editors don’t really understand the new UK recommendations and their back story, and let’s focus the misogyny directly regurgitated […]

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Monetizing fear: Food Babe shows how it’s done

PT Barnum famously said that you can’t go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public and blogger Vani Hari (Food Babe) is demonstrating the truth of that adage. Her artful manipulation of her Food Babe Army would warm Barnum’s heart. Like Barnum, Hari depends for her money on the gullibility and lack of sophistication […]

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Homebirth is a selfish, unsustainable use of resources

Homebirth advocates, help me out here. I’m having a problem understanding your math. It’s just arithmetic, so it really shouldn’t be so hard, but I can’t figure it out. It s widely claimed that there is a midwife shortage in the UK. There aren’t enough midwives to safely care for the women giving birth in […]

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Toxins, motherhood and “shopping your way to safety”

Regular readers of this blog know of my ongoing interest in natural parenting as both a function of privilege and a marker highlighting privileged status. It seems that many people have a need to signal their privileged status to others by adopting lifestyles and routines that require substantial steady incomes to support. It’s pretty obvious […]

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In praise of princesses

Warning, warning, warning: personal opinion ahead! A recent piece in Slate by David Auerbach made me very angry: When my 4-year-old told me the other day that she was “ready for princesses,” part of me died. Not just because the day had finally arrived when that virulent meme had infected her, but also because of […]

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Skeptics take note: natural childbirth is the gateway to woo

Why don’t skeptics confront childbirth woo? The same people who vociferously defend the efficacy and safety of vaccines, who fight against climate deniers, who battle valiantly against creationists, generally give childbirth pseudoscience a big, fat pass. Google the words skeptic and vaccines and you’ll find tens of thousands of sites and articles. Google skeptic and […]

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