The striking parallels between the birth world and Trumpworld

Truth and Lies Road Sign

I’ve been blogging for over a decade now, but it’s only been in recent months that I’ve started writing political posts.

Not surprisingly regular readers who are Trump fans are wondering why.

Homebirth midwives are buffoons. Donald Trump is King of Buffoons.

First and foremost, it’s because I love my country. America has made terrible mistakes in its past, but I still view it as a shining city on the hill, a beacon of hope to lovers of freedom everywhere. Trump threatens my beloved country and it seems to me that patriotism obliges me to speak out.

Second, I am profoundly distressed by what I am witnessing and I seek the solace and counsel of people I respect a great deal: my readers. I have the greatest group of commentors on the internet, smart, passionate, and articulate. Sure I offer my view on my blog, but I learn from my readers and modify my views accordingly.

Ultimately, though, I’ve started writing about politics because I’m a skeptic. My self-appointed task is to debunk harmful lies designed to mislead people and profit from their distress, and Trumpworld, like the natural parenting world, is nothing if not a philosophy built on harmful lies designed to mislead people and profit from their distress.

1. Both the birth world and Trumpworld rest on a foundation of lies.

Contrary to Grantly Dick-Read’s claim, primitive women don’t have painless labors and labor pain is not caused by fear. Contrary to lactivist claims, breast is not best for every baby. Contrary to attachment parenting advocates’ claims, infant attachment requires only the “good enough mother” not the always physically proximate mother. Contrary to anti-vax claims, vaccines don’t cause autism and are one of the greatest public health advancements of all time.

Similarly, contrary to Trump’s claims, the disappearance of blue collar jobs has nothing to do with Mexicans and Muslims, and everything to do with global forces and technological advancement. Contrary to Trump’s claims, the problems we face in 2016 are complicated not simple, so simple solutions that can be encapsulated in a tweet will not work. Contrary to Trump’s claims that liberal elites have broken our country, the truth is conservative elites have broken our country in order to create chaos. The world as portrayed by Fox News and Breitbart is no more accurate than the world as portrayed by health conspiracy theorists.

2. Both the birth world and Trump world are built on regressive philosophies.

The natural parenting world reflects the effort, both open and clandestine, to force women back into the home. Natural parenting advocates speak to mothering anxieties, offer rigid prescriptions and not coincidentally enjoin women from engaging in the wider world of intellectual, economic and political pursuits. Trumpworld reflects the effort on the part of conservatives to hoard power for their own benefit, not for the benefits of voters. If you didn’t believe that before, you have to be figuratively blind not to realize it now.

The transition to Trumpworld is barely over a week old and it is already debasing the presidency. As Republican security expert Elliot A. Cohen writes in today’s Washington Post:

The president-elect is surrounding himself with mediocrities whose chief qualification seems to be unquestioning loyalty. He gets credit for becoming a statesman when he says something any newly elected president might say (“I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future”) — and then reverts to tweeting against demonstrators and the New York Times. By all accounts, his ignorance, and that of his entourage, about the executive branch is fathomless. It’s not even clear that he accepts that he should live in the White House rather than in his gilt-smeared penthouse in New York.

Trump promised to drain the swamp, instead he is already wallowing in it.

3. Both the birth world and Trumpworld are built on ignorance.

Just as American homebirth midwives are the least educated, least trained midwives in the world, Trump has no education or training in government. In both cases, their followers don’t seem to mind since the entire purpose of hiring them is to spit in the face of traditional authority. Precisely because of their ignorance and lack of training, homebirth midwives have appalling rates of neonatal death and injury. Precisely because of his ignorance, Trump is likely to have appalling political, social and economic outcomes. Homebirth midwives are buffoons. Donald Trump is King of Buffoons.

4. Both the birth world and Trumpworld exploit distress without relieving it.

Natural parenting and anti-vax are, in part, reactions to the coldness of contemporary medical practice. People are seeking providers who listen to them and comfort them even if that means offering delusions instead of science. Blue collar workers are reacting to economic dislocation. Traditional Republican politicians have ignored that distress while putting the needs of lobbyists above their needs. Trump listens to them and comforts them by providing delusions instead of reality.

5. Both the birth world and Trumpworld offer faux “empowerment.”

In the world of natural parenting, empowerment has nothing to do with power and everything to do with defiance. In Trump world, empowerment of his supporters has nothing to do with economic relief and everything to do with unrestricted expressions of hate toward minorities, immigrants and women.

6. Both the birth world and Trumpworld are hoaxes that redound to the economic benefit of the purveyors.

The natural parenting world has created an army of providers — homebirth midwives, doulas, lactation consultants, bloggers with supplement stores — who profit most when they exaggerate and mislead. Trumpworld is just the latest iteration of Republican strategy to arrogate power by offering constituents social crumbs like pandering on religion and permission to hate, while impoverishing their voters and scooping up financial benefits for themselves and their industry friends.

Trump is preparing to take economic betrayal to even greater heights. His administration promises to be a cesspit of corruption led by the avaricious Trump and his avaricious family. They are already debasing the presidency by advertising their businesses on transition websites. They will turn this country into a banana republic where loyalty to Trump is the only qualification for inclusion in the government and Trump enrichment will be the ultimate metric for government policy.

The bottom line is that Trumpworld has a lot in common with the birth world, and as someone who spends my time debunking the mistruths, half-truths and outright lies of the natural parenting industry, it’s only logical that I would want to debunk the mistruths, half-truths and outright lies of Trumpworld.

  • RudyTooty

    Dr Tuteur,

    I’ll admit to not liking your blog when I first read your blog, because at the time I was fully enmeshed in the natural birth world. This was 2009ish. 2010ish.. somewhere in there. I was, at the time, enrolled in a MEAC program, fully on my way to becoming a pretend midwife. I was a champion for homebirth and women’s ’empowerment’ in birth and birth ‘choices’ and right to autonomy and the *right* to a midwife!

    And today, I read this post and I am nodding in complete agreement.

    (My husband says I was always a skeptic, which makes me feel a little bit better, because what I remember was that I was full-on drinking the kool-aid back then.)

    So maybe I always had a skeptical seed that was going to grow. Maybe I the truth was always going to become apparent to me, one way or another. I did not seek out your blog. I had decided I was offended by what you were writing here without even reading it (gee, sound familiar?).

    Your readers and commenters are wonderful, witty people, and I enjoy their commentary and perspectives.

    I don’t really know what I’m writing here, or why I’m writing, but I think I want to say if a home birth pretend midwife kool-aid drinker like me can come around to reality, maybe a few misguided Americans who voted for Trump have it in them, too.

    • AA

      At what point did you say “I’ve had enough” with NCB? Just curious

      • RudyTooty

        It was a slow process, and I ask myself often what triggered a shift. There were multiple things.

        CPMs say they only take on low-risk, uncomplicated pregnancies, but during my apprenticeship, the midwife took on multiple high-risk patients, and did not risk out women when their labors became abnormal. But she keep *saying* she only did low-risk, healthy birth. The double-speak was getting to me.

        Midwives couldn’t back up their practices with real evidence. (I’m lucky, I have a degree in science which I earned prior to wading into NCB-land – TAKE NOTE: education does not mean we’re not susceptible to fake news, fake truths, and made-up nonsense.

        When H1N1 hit, midwives were first to spread their fear and ignorance about the vaccine “It causes more Swine Flu than actually getting the flu!” But I knew from reputable sources that pregnant women were more susceptible to complications from it. They seemed completely ignorant and thoughtlessly reactionary – I’d known they didn’t like the MMR vaccine, but I’d had the impression that they were being discerning about certain vaccines (that’s how they presented it). When they went all nuts on the flu vaccine, I realized that they had no scientific leg to stand on – that they fully embrace myth, not facts.

        Reading stories about women suffering the deaths or injuries of their babies during a homebirth with CPMs had a pretty big impact me as well. I could see how the CPMs were not acting appropriately, and how their dogma and shoddy practice contributed to, if not outright caused, these deaths and injuries. I had witnessed CPM incompetence 1st hand as an apprentice, so these stories were not so far-fetched.

        But all these things came slowly – I had many more individual realizations about a lot of things. This all unfolded over years.

        I still work with birth as a nurse and a student nurse-midwife. I’m not against natural childbirth, and I am happy to support a woman’s desire for a natural birth. I will also support her choice to have an epidural. And I will support her choice of an elective cesarean. So I’m not against it at all, just against magical thinking, faulty ‘facts’ and general BS.

  • Moonya

    Is anyone else suffering from panic attacks and MDD due to the election outcome? I’m thinking about taking an anti-depressant for the next few months just so I can cope. Anyone?

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      sort of, but then i’m dealing with ppd. Talking to my perfectly nice neighbor sometimes freaks me out

    • MaineJen

      The more appointments he makes, the worse it gets. :/

      Taking action helps.

    • An Actual Attorney

      Yep, can’t sleep, can’t concentrate. Horrible. Total freaking out.

    • LibrarianSarah

      You are not alone. I had to take a Valium on election night and I know a few people who spent the 9th crying.

  • Gatita

    So I just read that there are rumors that Trump’s son Barron is on the autism spectrum and that is why Trump has been so vocally anti-vaccine. Poor kid. I hope it’s not true for his sake because can you imagine a parent with less empathy for his disabled child?

    • AA

      See, these types of rumors eventually find their way into “truth.” If there’s something floating around that’s completely unsubstantiated, it’s better to not bring it up at all because eventually it’ll gain credence. Example “I read that there are rumors that the HPV vaccine can disabled young girls, I hope it’s not true”

      AFAIK, all the public knows for certain about Barron is that

      1) he is a 10 year old child

      2) his parents are Melania and Donald Trump

      3) He lives in NYC

      • MaineJen

        And 4) He is pretty much doomed. I feel really bad for the kid.

      • Gatita

        Settle down. I mentioned it here because a lot of the regular posters have kids on the spectrum or are on the spectrum themselves and it’s been an ongoing topic of interest.

    • LibrarianSarah

      The rumors that Barron is autistic have been unsubstantiated. To be honest, I think these rumors are less likely to be based on anything really going on with Barron and more likely a case of people using autism and an insult or a punchline. Proof positive that not everyone on the left is a good ally especially when it comes to disability.

      Honestly, if Barron is autistic it would be the least of his problems. The first of them would be that his parents thought it was a good idea to name their son “Barron.”

  • Ayr

    Honestly I think this country is broken because the politicians in both parties are incapable of putting their personal desire for power and biased opinions aside to do the job they have been elected to do. The people are also to blame as many people are willing to sit around and complain but not do anything to bring about change. That’s my two cents worth, I don’t expect anyone to agree with me.

  • Jinx

    Thank you for the posts. The connection to your postings about birth and parenting is women’s rights. I get it why many people are against abortion. I don’t get why most of the same people are against birth control. I also don’t get how people can vote for a candidate who incites violence against actually living people in the here and now.
    (Dad are you listening? Oh, wait you prefer to listen to Fox instead and to tell me that the violence actually was caused by Democratic operatives!)

    • Brix

      Yeah. And then they wanna rail against the welfare and foodstamps that many women forced to have children they can’t support would need to feed them.

  • MaineJen

    Watching/reading/listening to the news is giving me literal panic attacks. This cannot be my country.

    • Daleth

      I hear you. Are you in Pantsuit Nation?

      • MaineJen

        Yes. And I’m hooking up with the local Dem. Socialists of America soon. And I’m writing/calling my reps compulsively. And I may well do the march in Washington in January. I am ALL IN.

        • LaMont

          Come to DC! I’ll be there!
          Maybe let’s figure out a way to find each other? I’m still thinking of what to put on my sign (can’t beat “this is very bad” and “not usually a sign guy, but geez,” but I will try!)

          • MaineJen

            I was thinking of good old “Not My President”
            My parents actually live in the area. We should put together a SOB group!! I wish there was a way to private message on here.

          • MaineJen

            I am probably going to the Boston march instead, easier for me since it’s the middle of the week. My sign will say “Not This Time”

  • Sarah

    I wonder if any of you are familiar with the writings of Judgy Bitch? She’s a ‘manosphere’ writer and, latterly, a huge Trump fan. Made a post a few years back about how having had unmedicated homebirths with midwives in attendance made her a better mother. Possibly linked to this and possibly not, she also had a fourth degree uterine prolapse

    • Sean Jungian

      Ah, Janet Bloomfield, aka “Judgy Bitch”, real name Andrea Hardie of Canada. It just FIGURES she was a NCB practitioner, too.

      She is VILE.

      She has done blackface. She has posted anti-Semitic slurs. She regularly terrorizes other women online. She has called repeatedly for women’s right to vote to be rescinded.

      She is an MRA Apologist (MRA = “Men’s Right’s Activists”, loose on the “Activists” part since they mainly write disgusting things about women online and post hours-long videos of themselves saying disgusting things about women.

      These people are definitely part of the so-called “alt-right”, more accurately called “Neo-nazism”, white supremacy, male supremacy fringe.

      • Sarah

        She did a post about breastfeeding that bore an uncanny similarity to TAP also.

    • Heidi

      Wow. She makes Ann Coulter and Dr. Laura look almost like real humans worthy of empathy.

      • Cody

        Holy shit! I didn’t believe what you wrote so I looked her up. I wish I had not.

        • Heidi

          I really don’t get it. Seems like she has destined herself to a life of never leaving her house. And for what?

    • nomofear

      I was just about to write a comment that there are also strange (scary) religious connections in both worlds https://theintercept.com/2016/11/15/mike-pence-will-be-the-most-powerful-christian-supremacist-in-us-history/?comments=1#comments

      • Sarah

        Oh yeah I’d seen that. Although Judgy Bitch isn’t pro-religion at all, refers to God as an imaginary friend, so I presume she thinks her homebirth stance is based on the science. Snort.

  • Anna D

    In addition to his personal detestability, I believe that his business interests are already impacting his government decisions. This article highlights how easy it would be for DJT to corrupt our system in a relatively short amount of time. Considering his personality and track record I am not optimistic about chances of impartial governance. http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/17/13626514/trump-systemic-corruption

  • AirPlant

    In my opinion the election of Trump is nothing short of an international catastrophe. Every waking moment since the race was called has been utterly filled with an unrelenting horror and he doesn’t even have the nuclear codes yet.
    .
    So yeah, I am actually pretty cool with reading about it here?

  • KeeperOfTheBooks

    Speaking as someone who disagrees with you politically, Trump fan though I most assuredly am *not*: keep writing!
    One, it’s your blog, and it’s no one’s business but yours what you write here.
    Second, your posts, be they political or medical, are well-written and insightful. I still often come to different conclusions than you do in the political sphere, but reading what you have to say helps me refine my own thinking, and I very much appreciate that. One doesn’t really learn much in an echo chamber.

  • mostlyclueless
  • Amy

    I’ll actually go completely opposite from the complainers. Here’s why.

    In my case, it was precisely BECAUSE of your political posts, even when they were just the odd comment here and there about something bad the Republicans had done, that made me question how feminist all the woo was after all. A lot of those earth-goddess types sold the NCB stuff as this feminist, empowering lifestyle, and here you were, debunking all of it while steadfastly supporting and promoting progressive politics.

    At the same time, many (though certainly not all) of the NCB mommies I had connected with, who’d started off politically moderate-to-liberal, started to drift rightward, first into libertarianism but eventually toward the Alex Jones, chemtrail end of the spectrum. I realized that we had absolutely nothing in common, but I *did* connect with your values, and it made me more receptive to your pro-science message.

    • Yes, this. And i’d also argue that the more political posts are directly relevant to Dr. Amy’s core issues. These people want to overturn Roe v. Wade. They want to make it harder to get contraception and accurate education – thus increasing the likelihood that someone will need an abortion. Then they want to cut social services and benefits like WIC, Medicaid and SNAP that help women with young children. So, to review: no abortions. Less access to pregnancy prevention. Less access to assistance for born babies. It’s a recipe for misery, and it’s rooted in misogyny. Getting “political” is the only option – if you remember that it’s about people’s actual lives, and not just an intellectual exercise.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        In the same vein, how about trying to shut down Planned Parenthood? That’s a completely political issue for the right. Why wouldn’t someone focused on women’s health not have an interest in it?

        These people want to overturn Roe v. Wade.

        See my comment last night. That process is already starting.

        • Exactly. And I note that the case you mention is in Indiana- the home of Governor Fetal Funeral (I guess it’s VP-Elect Fetal Funeral now).

      • Heidi

        There’s a documentary about homeless Romanian children who live in a subway station. It’s called Children Underground. It’s a real life glimpse of what our future holds if we keep going down this road.

        • I will have to check that out. Like you said, I fear that Romania is our future.

          • Heidi

            It was on Netflix when I saw it. Not sure if it remains so.

      • carovee

        Not to mention taking away “head of household” tax status for

        single parents.

        • Sean Jungian

          DISLIKE!!!

  • Zornorph

    Sigh. I’m kind of a politics junkie and I actually come here to take a break from it, but I would never tell anybody what to write on their own blog. I will say that if the goal is to get everybody onto a consensus to move against unsafe birthing practices and pushing back against natural parenting nonsense, alienating a significant portion of your readership probably isn’t all that helpful.
    I’m not any real fan of Trump – I encouraged all of my friends to support Gary Johnson. I will say that I saw a fair amount of similar shallow thinking eight years ago with the election of Barack Obama. Also, for me personally, the creepy cult of personality that developed around him was very unsettling because it was all too similar to something that had happened in the country I’m from which turned out badly. Fortunately, Obama proved utterly incapable of governing by consensus and his cult of personality dissipated fairly quickly (something I expect to happen with Trump too, fwiw).
    For me it was a case of two really lousy candidates, both of whom were being even less honest than usual with the voters which is why I found Johnson the best choice.

    • Kerlyssa

      /facepalm

    • You … you do realize that Clinton is objectively one of the most honest politicians in the US, right? Like, fact-checkers check these things. She’s head and shoulders above most people, even other Democrats, in honesty and accuracy.

      Addendum: I don’t think you’re a bad person to vote for Johnson, if you don’t like either main-party candidate. I’m just constantly surprised when people call Clinton dishonest, when objectively, she isn’t.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        She’s head and shoulders above most people, even other Democrats, in honesty and accuracy.

        Oh, she lies all the time. Like when she denies any wrongdoing in Benghazi. Obviously, she is guilty of [something] there, despite those 8 congressional hearings that found nothing, and so her continued denial of responsibility (which she actually hasn’t made) must be total lies.

        Similarly, with the email stuff, given all her statements that she made, some must be lies, because no one can make that many statements and not lie. Despite the fact that the FBI director concluded that there was nothing criminal there, it’s obvious she lied about something.

        See? She is a serial liar!

        Meanwhile, with Donald Trump, I wouldn’t trust him if he told me had pancakes for breakfast. He is so fast and loose with the truth that his lawyers don’t trust him, and will only go to see him in pairs because he is so prone to lie to THEM. You know, HIS OWN COUNSEL!

        And he lies about stupid things, that are trivial in their assertion and trivial in their exposure. He just makes it up. He had something like 30 lies exposed in a friggin legal deposition, so not some partisan/media conspiracy.

        But hey, they are both dishonest, right?

    • lily

      And so you’d rather leave us with a sexually assaulting, white supremacist supported, Cheeto in Chief by voting third party? You are what is wrong with this country.

      And seriously, what rock are you living under to slander President Obama supporters as “shallow”? Have you not bothered to see what the President has done for this country in eight years while being fought against constantly by everyone? Oh that’s right, that would require you to expand your thinking.

      • Sean Jungian

        And let us not forget for an instant that Mr. Trump actually said, with a straight face during a nationally televised debate that women routinely rip babies from their wombs via late-term abortions, even up to the very date the baby is due.

        I mean, that kind of naked misogyny and hate and stupidity – how can you ever overlook that or think it doesn’t apply to womens’ reproductive concerns?

        • LaMont

          That’s the sort of thing that makes me feel like my odds of dying in my thirties just tripled.

        • Madtowngirl

          It’s also concerning that what is basically a c-section was described as a late term abortion. While I doubt that idea will gain a lot of traction, I can see some of the nuttier NCB people attaching onto that idea.

          Hey Trump, I don’t like abortion as a means of birth control, either. But I also believe it should be safe and legal, and that ultimately, when armed with education, choices, and easy access to birth control, women will make the decisions that are best for them and their families.

        • Heidi

          My mom said she knew many people who were voting for Trump for only the “pro-life” reason and quoted his BS about the abortions as proof that’s really what happens. They refused to not believe it because Trump said it…so it’s true. You know the ol’ circular logic.

          I know a lot of people aren’t necessarily staunchly “pro-life” but are against late-term abortions because they believe any woman can walk in and attain one and have no clue why they are performed. I wish no one ever had to deal with the pain that is Patau or Edwards syndrome or any of the other beyond tragic and beyond heartbreaking events that do really occur but it happens. No one wins and we should have nothing but an outpour of sympathy and love for parents who have to make these awful decisions but make them with their child’s best interest in mind. Instead they are greeted with I *hope* ignorant protesters as opposed to hate-filled, apathetic doodooheads. So enraging.

          • Sean Jungian

            It just boggles my mind that abortion is so blown out of proportion in this country.

            If it can’t live outside my body, it isn’t a baby.

            The policies of restricting/preventing abortion and birth control, yet also NOT supporting those children and parents when the children are born (through WIC, Head Star, TANF, etc.) just seems like the kind of “logical loop” you’d have in a Star Trek episode to shut down a malevolent computer.

          • Anna D

            It would be too logical if people who oppose abortion as “birth control”, trope that I feel has no basis in reality, would support all forms of birth control and real sex ed as a way to prevent them. But no, we are against abortion as birth control but we will not provide birth control either. By the way once you had the baby you are on your own and better not require any form of public assistance as we wont tolerate lazy, single mothers who use their kids to become “welfare queens”.

          • Sean Jungian

            They are going to enforce their own Puritanical personal moral code by hook or by crook.

          • Amy

            And…..let’s be honest…..does anyone really think that Trump could get to age 70, cheat on his wives, sleep around during the times he wasn’t married…….and NOT have to pay for an abortion or two on the sly? Really? Simple probability would lead us to conclude otherwise.

          • Heidi

            One of my friend’s had a college roommate her freshman year who upon finding out my friend was Democrat, would ask her how she could be so because of abortion. It wasn’t a one time thing either. She’d have these emotional fits and proclaim my friend supported killing her nephew. Her three year old nephew mind you. Anyway, one drunken sexual encounter where BF doesn’t pull out in time resulted in a pregnancy for this roommate. She was on her way to Atlanta’s Planned Parenthood for some RU486. Never so much as apology to my friend and I think she still stood on her anti-abortion platform. The cognitive dissonance was unreal.

          • Sarah

            But not that uncommon, I believe. Lots of people who think their abortions are different!

          • N

            Yes, because THEY have a valid reason. And all the other women aborting their babies, just do it because it is fun. And also, THEY do it just once, as all the other women do it all the time.

          • Heidi

            Unfortunately, the same attitude is taken with government assistance. I don’t know that I can tell you one person I’ve known that needs services such as food stamps who wasn’t working and working really hard for a wage that should be illegal. I’ve worked those same minimum wage jobs with them but I was able to live with my parents and didn’t have children so I just used the money to pay the minimum payments on my student loans and other debts. Then I was broke at the end of the month, too. There’s still this idea out there that almost everyone else, though, was on assistance because it’s just so easy and lucrative!

          • Tokyobelle

            Yup. A cousin of mine whose had at least two abortions (that I’m aware of) was one of the most vocal Trump supporters on my FB feed. And no, these were not the result of rape, but just good old fashioned “I got drunk and fucked up” affairs. She still refuses to take birth control because “it’ll make her fat”, and just relies on not being too drunk to insist upon a condom. I really want to ask why she thinks her abortions are somehow different from those of heartless mothers she maligns.

          • Anna D

            Single issue pro lifer voters enrage me. By virtue of having a uterus I am not treated as a person but as a criminal if I decide to end an unwanted pregnancy or end a pregnancy that will result in a child with severe deformities. On the other hands its ok for kids and adults to be gunned down on a daily basis because guns are sacrosanct.

          • N

            Upvoted.
            I could never imagine keeping a gun in the same house my children live. I just don’t get that “only free with a gun”-thingy that Cowboy named Verboten tried to explain between his insults. 🙂

          • Heidi

            The gun thing is so enraging. Who is even threatening to take away their guns? It’s not even possible to raid everyone in the States household to seize the guns. You can be a gun owner and not belong to the NRA! No guns in my household and probably never will be. However, my dad had a couple growing up safely put up, one I think gifted to him from his dad, and he never voted Republican. He managed to keep his guns through Clinton and Obama and crazily enough supports gun control! He votes Democrat, he is a Union member, and because of the Union was able to put food on the table and give us comfortable lives with blue collar work and no college degree.

          • LaMont

            They think the govt is coming for their BIBLES ffs. I grant that the govt will come for your guns before THAT and they still believe it! Nonsensical.

    • N

      In other countries of this world, Obama is seen as a very good american president….

      • Azuran

        Yea, if anything, it’s mostly the republican who kept stopping him from actually doing most of the good stuff he wanted to do.

        • Empress of the Iguana People

          like the shutdown.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    An Indiana lawmaker is ready to introduce the bill to criminalize abortions, to test Roe v Wade.

    Still claim this isn’t a women’s issue?

    Criminalize abortion, people.

    Arresting doctors for sure. Women are next?

    • N

      Back in the 50s my granny tried to abort my mother illegally. An old women was known to do it. She tried to do the abortion on my granny with a knitting needle. Fortunately it didn’t work nor harm my granny or unborn mother. But hey, that must be really cool to go back to “illegal abortion by knitting needle” again. Hurray!

      • My great-grandmother tried to abort my grandmother by drinking a lot of alcohol and taking a very hot bath. It didn’t work (obviously), but the two of them had a very rocky relationship for a long time because my grandmother knew very well she was unwanted.

        See, my great-grandmother had 5 kids, 3 of which lived to adulthood. The first four, two died young, and my great-grandmother couldn’t stand having another one die on her. She couldn’t lose another child. And even though I very much love my grandmother, my dad and his siblings, and myself and my siblings existing, I mourn that she didn’t have the chance to make that choice for herself.

        • N

          “I mourn that she didn’t have the chance to make that choice for herself.” Yes. I’m happy that I exist! And my siblings and my kids and my sister’s daughter.
          And yet, it makes me sad, that my granny had to try that abortion with a knitting needle. My mother new too that she was not wanted. And she did not have a very good childhood. Bottlefed with Maïzena, as there was not always money left for formula, a cup of water from the tap as breakfast before school, a couple of years in a home with nuns, as my granny divorced, and in the 50s that led into absolut poverty around here,… not allowed to finish school, as girls “are mend to marry, cook and make babies”,…
          Even though I’m happy to be here, my granny wanted that abortion, why could she not have it?

          A friend of my sister had an abortion because her boyfriend left her as soon as he found out that she was pregnant, even though he was ok with working on that baby. Yes, she could have known before getting pregnant, that this boy was crap, as everyone told her so. She should not have wanted a baby with that one in the first place. And yes again, why should she suffer of that mistake her whole life, if she knows it means poverty to her to be a single mum? It’s her body and her life after all. It is not up to me or anyone else to judge her. And it is in my opinion never an easy choice.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yes. I’m happy that I exist!

            Bah. It’s not possible to compare existence with non-existence. I am alive and happy, but that doesn’t mean that it is better than non-existence. As far as I can remember, I was perfectly content with not existing.

            This is one place where I have a very fundamental disagreement with most religion, especially when they talk about “the gift of life.” Nah. Life isn’t a gift. It just is.

            Once alive, the only alternative is death, so we deal with what we have. But never having been born? Hey, if I never had been born, I wouldn’t be here to worry about it.

          • N

            In fact that is what I mend. I’m happy that I exist. And if I didn’t exist I wouldn’t know and it wouldn’t matter. So why could my grandmother not have a save abortion.

          • nomofear

            You might enjoy the blog The Boeskool, if you haven’t seen it already. https://theboeskool.com/2016/10/07/christians-should-be-rooting-for-as-many-abortions-as-possible/

    • Sean Jungian

      I had an abortion in 2005. Like a lot of women, I don’t regret having an abortion; I am sorry that I had to make that choice, but not sorry for the choice I made. For me, it was still legal but still difficult to obtain.

      At the time I was in the deep South – Lousiana – and there was only ONE provider in the entire state (I believe now you have to travel to Texas). He was a retired, obviously alcoholic doctor. We were required to make 2 cross-state trips, first to be “counseled” and the second for the procedure. All of this had to be done before the 12-week mark, and I didn’t find out I was pregnant until 8 weeks. I had a 2 1/2 year old that needed looking after, in a state where I knew almost no one.

      I had to cross lines of do-gooders condemning me for murder. Most of the protesters were white; most of the women at the clinic were black and very young.

      The one bright spot was the nurses, they sure gave me strength and comfort. During the procedure, one held my hand, and she told me, “Don’t you worry about what God thinks, He knows you and He doesn’t care about this. Your doctor won’t be able to tell unless you choose to tell him. You will be okay honey.” I’m an atheist but I found that comforting nonetheless.

      Now women in Louisiana, AFAIK, don’t even that that safe choice. It’s such a basic health issue. I will never understand the attitude toward abortion in this country.

      • Heidi

        I had a very early miscarriage back in 2011. It was an initial contraception then Plan B failure (which was honestly very scary to buy in NE TN) so very much unintentional. I thought I was having a heavier period, not unheard of for me, until I got these shooting pains in my abdomen that sent me to the ER. They ran a pregnancy test, told me I was pregnant and I wasn’t even the slightest bit happy but I was also pretty sure I had miscarried. I got blown off when I brought up my concerns with the pregnancy. For some reason, it was too taboo to even acknowledge maybe this pregnancy wasn’t viable. It was very strange. I had to go back to the ER later that same day before I got a physician’s assistant to take me seriously and do an actual U/S to make sure I wasn’t having a tubal pregnancy! The only reason I even got taken seriously was because I stopped by a quick care clinic and got a female physician who advocated for me and called the ER up before I arrived. Fortunately I wasn’t having a tubal pregnancy, but I was 100% right about having had a miscarriage. Anyway, I got a lot of people telling me how sorry they were and remarking how devastated I must be. Well, the physical part of the miscarriage kinda sucked, but I was honestly very happy that nature ended it for me. I don’t know what my ultimate decision would have been if I had a viable pregnancy, but I never had to think too hard about it. I’d tell people thanks for thinking of me but not to worry, I was mentally absolutely fine and explained I wasn’t trying to have a baby. I got some death stares from a few and one lady even implied that God was and would continue to punish me down the line for not being “grateful.” The bulk of the miscarriage happened before I even knew I was pregnant but God had punished me for my future thoughts on it?

        • Sean Jungian

          There has been a concerted effort and spreading propaganda that terminating a pregnancy has devastating consequences on a woman’s mental health.

          As far as I can tell, that is all bullshit made up by the religious right to further attack a woman’s right to a legal, safe abortion.

          I have talked to many other women who have terminated a pregnancy, and I was surprised to learn that most felt the same way I did – above all, grateful that we were able to terminate our pregnancies.

          Make no mistake, it is a tough decision, but it’s not at all true that it is a hard one to live with. I imagine that if you are not certain you want to terminate, are being compelled to do so, or are particularly deep into a religion that is against it, then you would probably have difficulty coping with it afterward.

          No one other than my partner knew that I was pregnant, and he agreed with my decision and accompanied me.

  • Melissa Wickersham

    What are we going to do about the alt-right banana republic that Trump and his supporters will turn America into? What can we possibly do about this?

    • Daleth

      The first thing is to please stop saying “alt-right.” That moniker actually sounds kind of cool. What it really means, though, is white supremacist and neo-Nazi. So as a first step, let’s use proper terminology:
      A vagina is not a hoo-ha
      A white supremacist is not alt-right
      A Neo-Nazi is not alt-right
      etc.

      • Heidi

        I was telling my husband the other day, when I hear alt-right, I assumed it was more along the lines of a libertarian. It doesn’t sound like what it actually is.

      • Melissa Wickersham

        Ok, but what are we going to do about the Neo-Nazi banana republic that Trump, the Republicans, and Trump supporters will turn America into?

  • Brix

    Thank you. I’m so sick of people scolding you like an errant child for posting political articles and comments. First of all, eff them for their whole, “I’m so disappointed in you..blah, blah, blah…insert condescending paternalistic attempt at manipulation here…” comments. They make me feel SO ragey. You have the right to post whatever the hell you want on the blog YOU created so that you could post whatever the hell you wanted. Screw ANYONE who tries to censor you to speak only words that they feel are appropriate.

    • nomofear

      Ooh boils my blood when anyone tries to argue that thing x is separate from “politics.” Or, even worse, that they just don’t follow politics – they don’t get it, it’s boring, whatever. I guess having staunchly Democrat, pro-choice, union-supporting family helped, and my parents raised us in a majority-black city and were not racist. They were the ‘colorblind’ type, which I’ve learned isn’t the best way to address race, but it’s better than, you know, fear and hatred! So politics was always central for us, whether at home when parents were railing about conservatives, or at school, when we were learning from teachers who had marched during the children’s marches against bull connor. You’re getting to choose the people who will decide major parts of our lives for the near future. And politics has a hand in everything. For goodness sakes, this is a blog on medicine! They don’t think that is relevant to political discussions?!?

      Of course, it’s really that they just don’t like what she is saying. But click an ad on the way out, y’all! Let’s get Amy a bigger share of that sweet Adsense money!

  • attitude devant

    Will you all help me out here? Breitbart is burbling about how Steve Bannon is NOT an anti-Semite, and is in fact a friend of Israel. And they managed to track down Alan Dershowitz in Tel Aviv to tell them so? What?? I can’t make any sense of this.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      He’s not an anti-Semite unless you’re talking about the Rothchild Zionist Illuminati again

    • Amy

      Alan “I’d defend Hitler, and I’d win” Dershowitz?

    • nomofear

      So there are a wing of Xtians who believe in the book of Revelations as absolute prophecy, and they are far more Zionist than even the vast majority of American Jews, because Israel needs to exist for Revelations to come to pass. Kinda like ISIL are trying to bait a fight in a particular spot, because their wing of Islam says that their end times begins with a skirmish there.

      So, you love Israel (the state) because you?/your friends want to trigger end times = you’re not racist. God, who even reads the part of the Bible that commands us to feed, clothe, house, and generally care for one another? Lame.

  • Squirrelly

    Dr. Amy, please keep these posts going! I love your insights, both about obstetrics and politics. Also your blog is one of the few spaces where I can find consistently rational comments that don’t (usually) devolve into insults.

    That said, I have been trying very hard not to call Trump supporters stupid, but it’s not easy. I’m sure half the voters picked him for reasons that made very rational sense to them. One thing, though, that I see among both the natural parenting movement and Trump supporters is a lack of critical thinking skills and a desire to simplify complex problems. Both movements talk a lot about what they want and offer some ideas to achieve those goals, but offer very little details on the mechanisms by which their ideas are supposed to work.

    Take one of my natural parenting pet peeves, for example: teething necklaces. Absorption of pain relievers through the skin? Well first of all, if my kid is absorbing something through the skin how do I know it’s safe? What is the rate of absorption and what’s the safe limit? Side effects? This is before we even discuss efficacy..

    On the Trump side I had a pro-Trump relative send me an article that stated Trump wants to build up our Navy with new carriers. The comments under the article were all “yay Mr. Trump!” “let’s employ our welders!” This is of course forgetting Trump wants to cut taxes so how will we pay for an increase in defense spending?

    This is all to say that educating people in critical thinking and complex systems is so important. In my opinion half of America just voted for an INFOMERCIAL. “We’re going to make America great again! How you ask? With a great plan! A terrific plan! The best plan!”

    • Mel

      Not to mention not all welding is created equal. Are they looking for stick, TIG, or MIG welders or are they looking for the more specialized welding types? Do we have cash available for training people for the right welding types? Do the out-of-work welders have the cash to move to where the jobs are?

      The devil is always in the details.

      • nomofear

        THE BEST ONES, duh

  • Sean Jungian

    Dr. Amy, I enjoy your writing and your insights a great deal and I would probably read your blog no matter what you chose to write about. I try to restrict my commenting to times when I actually have something I feel is worthwhile to say, and I’ve been pretty prolific over the comments here the past several days in coming to terms with this unmitigated disaster that is a Trump Presidency.

    I see this election as a kind of convergence of the “backlash” threads that have been unraveling in the U.S. for the past 30 years: the elevation of anti-intellectualism, the resurgence of sexist practices such as restriction of abortion and birth control, as well as the NCB and lactivism campaigns, all designed to restrict the autonomy of women; the surge toward a theocratic society based on anti-science beliefs of a fringe “Christian” sect, the backlash against “political correctness”, the embrace of Flat Earth and Creationist theories, the denial of science, the denial of global warming, the acceptance of rape culture, the rise of white supremacist and male-supremacist groups entering the mainstream and striving to bring back patriarchy in all it’s disgusting glory.

    To me it almost feels like this is the crowning event, the culmination of years of backward de-volution. I’ve read that this might be an “extinction burst”, a last terrifying tantrum of reactionaries before ceasing. I don’t know if we can hope for that much.

    What I am hoping for is that this will begin a backlash against all of that reactionary bs we’ve been tolerating and tolerating for years.

    • attitude devant

      And I think it’s the worst form of backlash to tell her she has to stay in her sphere of ‘women’s issues’ as some others have done. Keep writing, Amy!

      • Brix

        YES! You said it in a nutshell!

      • momofone

        Don’t be silly–issues related to how the country is run don’t affect women at all!

      • This is so insightful. I’m seeing so much denial of the sexism that was at play during the election, and now with all of the calls to empathize with and understand the people who voted against my human rights it feels like the overriding message has been “You ladies had your turn and couldn’t get it done, now get back to Pinterest and leave the important stuff to the men.”

    • J.B.

      Let’s lash away! Anyone thinking of joining the womens march on Washington? I think I could actually do it and take older kiddo.

      ETA: even force hubby to come and bring both kiddos? We could have a coffee meetup.

      • Sean Jungian

        I did think about it but there’s no way I could afford that trip this year (currently having to put a new furnace in my domicile after JUST replacing the water heater) but I am looking for local supportive events to join in and help out with.

      • MaineJen

        I want to so badly.

    • nomofear

      A few liberal groups took like wildfire here in n.AL right after the election, and we’re gearing up like I’ve never seen libs before. The danger is losing the momentum, but I suspect that we’re going to see an endless supply of things that will enrage us, sadly.

      • Sean Jungian

        Heartening to hear that! The danger is always in losing the momentum, but as you said, the outrages don’t seem to be waiting for him to even take office, so I think we’re covered.

  • mostlyclueless

    Thanks for the post, I’ve been mulling over similar thoughts. It seems that a necessary precondition for aligning yourself with Donal Trump and with pseudoscience is the inability to distinguish between facts and lies — or a belief in the false equivalence that everything put forth as a fact is equally likely to be one.

    • Sean Jungian

      I don’t think the necessary precondition is an inability to distinguish between facts and lies, so much as the presence of fear so great that it undermines your ability to question anything.

  • I just want to thank-you for the work you do, for be willing to think out loud and to stand up for the things you believe. Ultimately – these are big ideas, its not about birth mode or political stripe. It never has been. It still isn’t.

  • Heidi

    http://www.knoxmercury.com/2016/11/16/r-e-s-p-e-c-t-past-time-respect-facts-fellow-human-beings/ An article that just came out today from our city’s free, indie paper. It’s a breath of fresh air quite frankly! I want to quote the whole thing, but this part especially is pretty relevant to this post:

    “Scientific American recently listed five settled facts that even “in the constantly growing and devolving world of science,” are no longer disputable, and these include evolution and climate change. Denying either lands you in the-world-is-flat territory. By all means, feel free to say you don’t “believe” in evolution, but do not expect to be taken seriously. Same for saying you “know” more than scientists who’ve spent entire careers studying climate change, or screaming you want the government to “keep its hands off your Medicare,” or claiming vaccines are a government conspiracy. What if someone tried to sell you on some guy riding a chariot with the sun in it across the sky from east to west every day? Same thing. You can’t have it both ways. There’s a lot of stupid that’s just plain stubborn, and you don’t get a pass because you’re quaint, scrappy, country folk.

    And don’t even think about calling this elitism. It’s not a cultural thing to know some basic facts about how the world works.”

  • Mel

    I’m having….I don’t know what to call it….a teacher’s nightmare moment?

    See, I’m doing my best to explain why certain memes on FB are not true – like the one where people protesting against Trump are acting like sports fans whose team lost.

    But I’m finding that some of the “working class” Republicans who are rejoicing over this are a) not working class (no surprise there) b)unaware of the fact that they are not members of the working class (big surprise for me), and c) unable to differentiate between right-wing spin and basic reality.

    What does this look like?
    *I spent way too much time arguing with a Trump supporter who could not conceptualize the difference between a campaign’s position papers – which I read – and “liberal party lies” spread by CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and CBS – which I don’t read.

    * I’m a bleeding heart liberal because I condemn torture, murder of accused (or convicted) terrorists’ families and because I think legal representation of the defendant is very, very important in terrorism/treason trials. Since when are these even a point of discussion?!?!

    *Also, illegal immigrants from Central America are in the same category as terrorists; they both broke laws.

    *Trump, on the other hand, is not in the same category because he apologized about treating women badly. (Never got an answer back about what happens if illegal immigrants and terrorists say that they are sorry very nicely…..)

    Look, I’m willing to work with people – but I can’t work with bat-shit crazy!

    I feel like telling people to go ahead and shoot themselves in the legs repeatedly – but don’t come whining to me when you realize you can’t walk any more. I’m going to be too busy trying to help the bystanders you shot while aiming at your own legs…..

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

      Do they know that Trump hired illegal Polish immigrants to demo the old BonWit building to make way for Trump Tower?:

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/08/trump-tower-was-built-on-undocumented-immigrants-backs.html

      “According to testimony in a protracted civil suit in federal court, the
      laborers were paid $5 an hour or less when they were paid at all. Some
      went unpaid after the contractor had financial troubles. A few never
      received even the paltry sum that was owed them for their dirty and
      hazardous efforts preceding the construction of Trump’s monument to his
      own wealth.”

      Or used models on short term Tourist visas to work in his modeling agency:

      http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/donald-trump-allegedly-worked-illegal-immigrant-models-like-slaves-say-former-employees-1578823

      • Mel

        Probably a more pertinent question: Do they care?

        I can send them all the links from actual news sources that exist – but once a person has decided that Trump is “the best thing that ever happened to America” – in spite of treating women like shit, having issues with at least 4 of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights, actively pushing economic policies that are going to kick working class people in the teeth, and treating all non-white, not Christians as trash – I question how deeply one or two new facts will even penetrate.

        • Heidi

          Most likely they won’t care. We’ve witnessed here with anti-vaxxers and lactivists. No amount of facts or lack of facts seems to matter.

          However, I had a Facebook friend, she was a former co-worker of mine in the emergency room who was always posting crap from The Blaze and Breitbart. I have no idea what flipped the switch for her, but she shockingly supported Hillary this year. Not just support Hillary, but as far as I can tell no longer holds her conspiracy theory conservative beliefs (not trying to throw all conservatives under the bus here) and supports the Democratic party now. Maybe I should ask her what caused the shift?

          • Daleth

            Wonder if she was with a conspiracy theorist boyfriend who drew her in, and now she’s not?

          • Heidi

            She got remarried a year or so ago. If I recall correctly, he was conservative, too. He was supporting Hillary this year also. Maybe after reading all the unbelievable headlines from Breitbart, they just had an aha moment? But just now wiki-ing her new town, she’s moved to a town with over a 60% black population and 30-something% white population. I wonder if that had anything to do with it? I think segregation is one key way conservatism survives. So easy to pretend problems don’t exist when you surround yourself with other white conservatives.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            The moment that took me from “Trump’s an idiot and a clown, but not dangerous per se” to “holy shit, don’t let this guy have the launch codes” was when his campaign manager assaulted the Breitbart reporter and then said–I paraphrase closely–“well, we thought she was from a different news organization,” as though that made it acceptable, before denying it even happened in the first place. It’s possible your friend felt similarly.

          • Heidi

            Possibly. I do remember she used to post a lot of stuff along the lines of, “Why can black people say the N word in rap songs all the time but Paula Deen cant?!” Now, I’ve noticed she doesn’t post stuff like that at all and many of her posts actually acknowledge racism exists. (Where I live, Paula Deen being dropped by Food Network and A&E threatening to drop Duck Dynasty were treated like major 1st amendment issues when in reality no one was threatening anyone’s constitutional rights. Two employers simply decided to fire their employees. The biggest concern they had about the Charleston SC shootings was that people might not approve of them flying their Confederate flag.)

          • LaMont

            But if a Muslim dares to wear a headscarf or eat halal food, it’s “Sharia Law” (actually saw a Facebook post to this effect. Apparently the US is *riddled* with Sharia law. I asked if my religious Jewish family members should be barred from preparing or purchasing kosher food)

          • Rose Magdalene

            I had an old HS friend I had to unfriend on FB. Over the years she decided that she was a proud Southern Country girl. The thing is she grew in a Maryland/DC suburb. She lived in a subdevelopment with a small yard, and houses that all look the same, not country at all. Maryland is technically the “south,” but culturally it’s not really all that southern, especially the DC area. I don’t know why she started identifying with the deep south and country living. My MIL suggested it probably had something to do with a a guy. She was boy crazy in high school and never much of a thinker, so I wouldn’t be surprise if that was true.

            She crossed the line when she down played the Charleston shooting, complained about the “coloreds” playing the race card and started defending the Confederate flag. Being that I’m black, I told her off and unfriended her.

          • Daleth

            Omg. OMG. Stop the insanity!!!!

          • nomofear

            Yes, ask, if you feel comfortable! I flipped from NCB/anti-GMO/pro-organic after stumbling here accidentally while DOING MY RESEARCH (hahaha) on Ina Mae gaskin. I don’t know why it caught there and then, though. I wish I could figure it out, because it might help others out of the BULLSHIT-presented-as-fact trap. Maybe she knows what happened and it can be used for good.

        • Empress of the Iguana People

          no news sources are reliable, except Bannon’s Even if that “Trump rally in florida” was really the Cleveland Cavaliers victory parade

          • Mel

            LOL. The part that kills me is that Trump has been the easiest candidate to fact-check in years because he LOVES tweeting and seeing himself on video.

            I keep telling people that they don’t have to believe me – the videos and transcripts are online in uncut formats; apparently, that too is a liberal party conspiracy theory, I’ve been told.

        • Maud Pie

          Agreed. The ex-SIL whose been getting under my skin this election cycle responded to every fact-based criticism about Trump by rhapsodizing about HOW FIRED UP his supporters were at every rally and HOW MUCH HE LOVES AMERICA and how he can MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Obviously someone so susceptible to being carried away by the force of his (gag) charismatic personality (gag) can’t be persuaded by facts and reason. I have no hope at all for enlightening someone so oblivious to the fact that she’s under the same sort of influence that gets people involved in cults and destructive uprisings.

          It’s probably my greatest frustration in life that reliable knowledge and sound reasoning are so bloody impotent against mob hysteria. Granted, ex-SIL is, to put it bluntly, ignorant and stupid, though not purposefully malevolent. But my efforts at reasoning also failed to persuade my XH, an intelligent person with some significant academic and career accomplishments, that his religious beliefs were rapidly progressing into fanaticism. It just seems that people driven by raw emotion, or fanaticism, or mob mentality are beyond reclamation until the consequences of their lunacy come crashing down on them. As a person fully committed to free expression I am distressed that charlatans and demagogues can so readily exploit that freedom to amass a following of useful idiots and suckers.

  • lily

    Dr Amy, this is YOUR blog and you have every right to post whatever you want without whiners coming in and complaining. If you want to start posting about the the Hulk versus Superman, that’s your right as someone who pays for a domain and internet space.

    To the complainers – sod off. No one is forcing you to read. Start your own blog.