If quoting homebirth advocates makes them look like fools, perhaps they should reconsider what they say

Fool Rubber Stamp

I’ve done it again. I’ve quoted someone word for word and exposed her as (choose one or more) selfish, ignorant, narcissistic, immature, willing to risk the life of her own baby, or all of the above. According to Kelly Winder of BellyBelly Australia, that makes The Skeptical OB a hate site.

As she wrote in the letter that accompanied her almost certainly frivolous filing of a DMCA notice:

I sincerely hope you can put an end to her site. She has caused so much stress, grief and negativity, this is not about informing people. This is a HATE website.

Really? I presume that a hate website is filled with hate speech, so it makes sense to define hate speech. According to Wikipedia:

Hate speech is, outside the law, communication that vilifies a person or a group on the basis of one or more characteristics such as color, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

Notice that the definition does not include stupidity, selfishness or related characteristics. It is not hate speech to point out ignorance or narcissism. In fact, in cases such as homebirth, pointing out the ignorance and/or narcissism of its purveyors could be considered a public service. Consider what is in the balance: lives of babies vs. self-esteem of homebirth advocates. No contest, if you ask me.

Here’s a newsflash for Kelly and other homebirth advocates: exposing you as a fool is not hate speech no matter how much you wish it were.

So Kelly and other homebirth advocates are as uneducated about hate speech as they are about birth, but there’s an even deeper issue that they fail to address.

I am scrupulous about quoting people accurately as opposed to paraphrasing them, and about linking to the original articles so my readers will have every opportunity to make their own judgments, whether that is on the validity of scientific papers or the impact of women’s birth stories.

The deeper issue that homebirth advocates fail to address is this:

If quoting you word for word, and linking back to everything you have written makes you look selfish or ignorant, perhaps you should reconsider what you are writing.

I’m not making you look like a fool, you are!

Sure I call attention to it, but as I’ve mentioned many times in the past, this website practically writes itself. Every day I wake up to a plethora of selfish, ignorant, narcissistic, immature statements made by homebirth advocates willing to risk the lives of their babies; all I have to do is choose which one to highlight. Unfortunately, some days I wake up to stories of babies who died preventable deaths all because their mothers believed that selfish, ignorant, narcissistic, immature claims of other homebirth advocates. I don’t flinch from exposing those, either. Frankly I think it is the least I can do for those poor babies, so their suffering (and many do suffer terribly) may prevent the senseless homebirth deaths of other babies.

If you publish something on the internet, it is PUBLIC. Therefore, anyone is entitled to read it and comment on it. There is no law that says that everyone has to view you as you view yourself. There is no law that says that hurting your feelings is illegal.

Let’s face, the NCB and homebirth advocates who post their birth experiences on the web are doing so in a deliberate attempt to garner support, and some people will support them. But just because they sought validation does not mean they are entitled to it or that anyone who doesn’t validate them is peddling “hate.”

I don’t hate any NCB or homebirth advocates. Frankly, they are simply not important enough to me. I don’t maintain this site for monetary gain; I lose money on it. I certainly don’t maintain the site because it makes me widely beloved. Writing for the site attracts a fair amount of abuse.

I don’t need anyone on the Web to like me or validate me. I have actual friends in real life to whom I can turn. I do this to educate people and my efforts seem to be pretty successful. Lots of NCB and homebirth advocates are afraid of me, refuse to debate me and try to convince others not to read me. What I write must be pretty compelling to engender such strong reactions from strangers.

NCB and homebirth advocates need to think about why they are condemning me. I quote you. If you seem foolish or ignorant or selfish it is because of what you write, not because of what I write. Maybe you should give some thought to whether you are foolish, ignorant or selfish instead of blaming me for pointing it out.

In the meantime I’ll continue speaking out on behalf of babies who don’t have to die. Someone has to since NCB and homebirth advocates apparently couldn’t care less.