Rape, birth rape and the limitless hypocrisy of natural mothering advocates

Hypocrisy Concept and Words

Behold birth rape!

According to HuffPo UK:

Birth rape, they call it … Rape is really to do with having your body disrespected, contorted against your wishes, without your consent. The way the medical establishment sees it is, when you’re on the hospital bed, you have already given consent. Some men say the same thing about the marital bed, or any bed that you get into with them.

There’s even a website called Birth Rape:

This isn’t the first attempt to censor me and it won’t be the last. It also won’t be effective.

The idea of being raped while giving birth is difficult to imagine. In most people’s minds, rape means forced sexual intercourse where a penis is inserted, forcefully and without consent, into another person’s body. Some broaden that definition to include objects as well as body parts… And it doesn’t just happen in dark alleyways, bedrooms tinged with the smell of alcohol and ‘mixed signals’, or in war zones. It can (and does) happen in some of the most respected and revered institutions in the land – hospitals.

And another website called Birth Raped:

Birth rape is the violence and assault women are subjected to by those they are trusting to safely care for them while they give birth…

Those who abuse pregnant and birthing women under the guise of care giving need to be called to account. Sadly, most people are unwilling to admit women are routinely assaulted by doctors, nurses and midwives. Women need to tell their stories so that one day these abusers can’t hide behind claims of doing their jobs to avoid the legal and professional repercussions of their abuse.

In each case, natural childbirth advocates are claiming that the way they were treated during birth isn’t merely “like” rape; it is rape. I’m not aware of a single celebrity natural childbirth advocates criticizing the use of the term “birth rape” or cautioning that it is disrespectful to or triggering for women who have survived sexual assault.

You can understand, then, why I’m not moved by the faux outrage about my post pointing out that rape is natural; forced copulation occurs across the animal kingdom including humans and in some cases is an evolutionarily successful strategy. I noted that just because something is natural does not mean it it good or worthy of being emulated. Unmedicated vaginal birth and breastfeeding may be natural, but rape is, too. At no point did I suggest that unmedicated vaginal birth and breastfeeding are the same as rape or that rape is acceptable because it occurs in nature.

No matter. Those who fear me and the power of my words have set out to censor me. Kaci Dean CLC, Doula, Herbalist has set up a Change.org petition to get me banned from Facebook.

Who is Kaci?

Kaci is a birth/postpartum doula, placenta encapsulator, herbalist and certified lactation counselor. She has two beautiful daughters and 4+ years of personal breastfeeding experience. Her thirst for knowledge was born when she was left wanting more following the cesarean birth of her first baby. Her passion for birth and postpartum care bloomed after the gentle home birth of her second daughter. She strives for excellence in every aspect of her work and celebrates each client with the love and support every blossoming mother deserves.

Why should I be banned?

Amy regularly spreads false information (proven time and time again by science). She has been quoted as saying “rape is natural” and a “successful evolutionary strategy.”

But that’s not the real reason. As she acknowledged on her personal Facebook page, she just wants to shut me up:

Help me take down the Skeptical OB. I’m done with her trash littering our society.

For people like midwife Hannah Dahlen, it’s not enough to hide from me by blocking on social media, she is so afraid of what I say that she wants to prevent anyone from hearing it.

We are calling on Facebook to remove The Skeptical OB. I am all for debate and respectful disagreement but Dr Amy demeans, defames, attacks, insults and promotes ideas that are contrary to the evidence and recommendations. Her hatred for midwives, normal birth and homebirth and anyone who supports either of these is well known. It needs to stop #ENOUGH

FDB2BCFA-481B-4178-9B34-B0AA9D75C75A

I understand why they want to silence me. As Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee has observed:

The punitive gesture of censoring finds its origin in the reaction of being offended. The strength of being-offended … lies not in doubting itself; its weakness lies in not being able to afford to doubt itself.

They’re not really offended; their unwillingness to call out their own colleagues for comparing hospital birth and C-sections directly to rape makes it clear that it doesn’t matter how the word is used, just who is using it. They’re afraid of me and my critique of the many ways they bully women and profit from that bullying.

These natural mothering advocates are hardly the first to attempt to censor me and they won’t be the last.

As I wrote more than 6 years ago before embarking on a lawsuit against a blogger who tried to censor me:

…[T]here has never been any chance that The Skeptical OB would disappear. There may continue to be disruptions until the matter is sorted out, but my writing will continue to appear in the marketplace of ideas that is the Web.

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over and this ain’t over.

  • GeorgiaPeach23

    That lady can fuck right off with this “normal birth” bullshit.

    My baby was breech. Tell me more about how abnormal his birth was, you judgey old cunt.

    • Who?

      Hannah Dahlen is a piece of work, I grant you.

  • Amazed

    Oh, and those who tone-troll Dr Amy insisting that so many impressionable young mothers will say, “Well, I could never listen to someone who compares breastfeeding to rape!” should look at HOW it has gone on the other side of the Big Divide. We have mothers who aren’t at all doubtful at the breastfeeding/formula information provided by anti-vaxxers, although they aren’t anti-vax themselves. Cognitive dissonance doesn’t bother them at all, yet somehow Dr Amy will be all to blame if a poor angelic innocent mother who is just so lovely and confused goes up at arms over this non-existing comparison and ends up a lactivist shitty bitch?

    Methinks not.

  • rox123

    “placenta encapsulator” lmao. Proper job title. Understandable, I myself am a ‘morning coffee brewer’.

    • Mel

      Toddler wrangler. Grocery shopper. Watcher of birds.

  • Anna

    I laughed my arse of when I heard Hannah Dahlen shared this. How pathetic!

  • Amazed

    Next time I hear, What other mammal feeds artificial food to their young, I’ll make sure to remind them that what’s natural for animals isn’t natural for humans.

    • StephanieJR

      Ask them what happens when a mammal can’t feed any food to their young.

      • Amazed

        What do you mean? It NEVER happens.

      • rox123

        “Only 2% of mammals really don’t have enough mikl. The rest are just too lazy.”

    • kilda

      what other animal has language? what other animal reads and writes? Unnatural, I tell you!

  • mayonnaisejane

    Amy regularly spreads false information (proven time and time again by science).

    I can’t even with this. It’s like… the opposite. Amy regularly spreads true information, proven time and time again by science. These people spread false information, proven time and time again by um… people who ignore scientific study.

    • rational thinker

      These people live in fantasy land not reality. I was reading some comments on Hannahs FB page and one said everyone has a right to speak their opinion but Dr Amy should not be given a platform to speak her opinion or something like that. I laughed my ass off for about 5 min.

      • Mel

        They probably didn’t get the irony of “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”?

        • mayonnaisejane

          FOUR LEGS GOOD. TWO LEGS BAD!

      • mayonnaisejane

        Yeah I’m still reeling from that thing with the Queer parenting discord, where they kept asserting that the “Fact” that breast-milk is better makes it not an attack on formula feeders to say that, but that it is an attack on breast feeders to say they are in fact equal. I feel like this misinformation that breast-is-best is the scientifically supported position is so widespread that even otherwise reasonable people have bought into it completely. It doesn’t help that fricking WHO is onboard that misinformation train.

        • rational thinker

          I know it is frustrating. I dont know if it is because its a belief as well and sometimes even scientists are reluctant to go against widespread beliefs.

          A great example of that happening is Charles Darwin. He sat on his research for 20 years. He knew it would challenge a widespread belief in God. He also knew he would be accused of killing God. So maybe its the same type of thing happening with the breast is best debate.

          • mayonnaisejane

            It’s got to be something like that. It drives me bonkers that otherwise skeptical and scientifically minded people hold such patently wrong beliefs because there are organizations, like WHO and hospitals with the BFI, which are seen as wholly scientific and not at all crunchy, and lend their reputation to the idea that it is a scientific FACT that breastmilk is better, so of course it’s okay to say that, even in an environment that purports to take the “fed is best” stance. “Fed is best, but breast is better.”

          • rational thinker

            When you compare the ingredients in formula and breast milk it is kind of obvious at that point that it is more of a belief system.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          I love how they don’t mention to new parents that breast milk is actually lacking some nutrients that formula has, namely Iron and Vitamin D, so breast milk is actually Not better than formula… And if you feed your kid ONLY breast milk for the first 6 months they stand a good chance of suffering from mild anemia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4573441/

          I also feel that the “lots of antibodies” in breast milk is overblown. Your baby “might” get fewer colds and tummy upsets if they are breastfed but it’s probably going to depend a LOT more on if you have older kids who are in daycare or school and if your baby goes to daycare.

          • Angharad

            I have wondered about the antibodies thing ever since a nurse praised me for nursing my baby because it contains so many antibodies. I asked if eating an antibody helps keep you from getting sick. She didn’t know, and I still don’t know. I do know most vaccines aren’t given orally, but I’m not an immunologist or a doctor, so I couldn’t say why.

          • Daleth

            As I understand it, oral antibodies only protect against pathogens that attack the digestive tract. That’s why the rotavirus vaccine works as an oral vaccine — it protects against gastrointestinal illness.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            They aren’t given orally because most antibodies won’t survive the environment of the stomach. Babies get some (temporary) immunity to things their mom has been vaccinated against or caught herself earlier in her life like German measles, measles, polio, whooping cough. But babies get NO immunity to those things through breast milk, just immunity to things like colds and gastric upsets. And the immunities they got across the placenta, to measles etc, wear off over time, which is why mostvaccinations are not done on newborns. It has nothing to do with “too many, too soon” its just the immunities they got from mom may keep a vaccine from causing the proper response from the baby’s own immune system. That a nurse doesn’t know this is kind of depressing.

          • rational thinker

            “And if you feed your kid ONLY breast milk for the first 6 months they stand a good chance of suffering from mild anemia” = Dont forget rickets.

  • MaineJen

    “…and placenta encapsulation specialist!”

    Satire is dead.

  • Mel

    Ms. Dean, the idea that rape could under certain circumstances be a successful evolutionary strategy was revolutionary in the 1970’s. You could even stretch that to the early 1980’s….maybe.

    Granted, not everyone studies evolutionary biology or human evolutionary biology, but 10-15 minutes on Google would easily confirm that evolutionary biologists accept that rape can be a successful reproductive strategy for low-ranking or outcast males as a matter of course.

    Acting like Dr. Tuteur’s explanation of a concept in evolutionary biology that has been accepted for 40 years is risque and horrifying makes you seem proud of your ignorance in this area.

  • Mel

    My dad taught high school English for well over 30 years before retiring. His instructions on the importance of clarity in writing shine out when confronted with this lovely sentence:

    “Amy regularly spreads false information (proven time and time again by science).”

    Yeah, if FB kicks Dr. Tuteur off for spreading scientific information, they’re going to have to purge a lot of scientists, institutions and educators from FB as well.

    • demodocus

      Ah, clarity. The student psychologist we see reminded us that you need to give your kids concise instructions. Dem finds this extraordinarily difficult. Poor philosopher-boy, lol

      • GeorgiaPeach23

        When people use ad hominem attacks it does not make their ideas seem more valid. Indeed, quite the opposite.

        • demodocus

          ??
          I wasn’t making an ad hominem attack. I was struck by Papa Mel’s clarity thing. Unless you mean when I called my husband a poor philosopher-boy. That’s not ad hominem, that’s friendly teasing.

          He is really bad at being concise.

  • rational thinker

    “Kaci is a birth/postpartum doula, placenta encapsulator, herbalist” TRANSLATION = CON ARTIST

    I have something to say to Kaci, If you dont like the skeptical OB blog, then dont read it!