Visionary... revolutionary. This is my mantra. Through the fire and the flames, both of my sons were born. Both times I suffered. Both times my enemies were different and yet very much the same. It's paradoxical. Toxical. Yep. I just invented a word.
Fast forward 3.5 years. Caught up in the thrill of yet another passionate rant with 'my people' about obstetric culture- it happened. "I don't need a reason. I need a revolution." KAPOW. Lightning had struck me. Unbeknownst to me, my revelation would spark something powerful in many.
My words struck a chord. One woman took to her keyboard. One awesome woman. Every keystroke bringing my idea closer to fruition. Her passion and power and righteous anger flowed like lava. BLAM. The revolution was born. Darling, your births were stolen from you, but you gave birth to my greatest dreams. You breathed life into an empty vessel. One phrase. I utter a phrase and you turn it into pure awesome. You know who you are..... we all do. And we salute you!
Fast forward another couple of months. We've grown in numbers. There are more than 100 of us now. We begin to work on changing the culture of fear surrounding birth. Our goal is pretty simple. To improve the maternity care every woman receives. Ideas are exchanged and support flows in and out like the tide. My friend and I congratulate each other on a job well done. No dramas, no chaos. (It hasn't rained frogs or anything yet).
Recently, I stumbled across a 'mainstream' support group for mums. I cringe and hover over the 'join' button. (Should I? Can I? it. Fire in the hole!). Suddenly I'm surrounded by thousands of everyday women. I should feel right at home. I don't. I fear they might 'should' me to death. I brace myself for the first blow. I know it's coming. Still, I set to work anyway. Answer some questions. (Okay, I haven't been lynched yet...) Answer some more.
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Then I start asking questions. I try to engage someone, ANYONE in an intelligent exchange of ideas and experiences. I fall flat on my face at first. The resistance begins. ( they're onto me!) My genuine support and solidarity is misunderstood and twisted against me. Accusations fly. I manage to simmer them down a bit with sheer determination and diplomatic prowess. (They're in the matrix.) 165 comments in 20 minutes. I feel like a troll and I question myself. (Bail, woman! Bail! No good can come of this.)
Before I can bail out, I hear the whisper of my kin amongst the misguided outrage of the masses. There she is! One of my kind. Then another, and another, and another woman resonates my points. As soon as I gain support, admin intervenes and shuts down my thread. I ask what rule I have violated and explain that I mean no harm. I'm met with silence.
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I tried again to engage in a respectful discussion. To provoke thought. Not outrage. I share an article written by my gorgeous friend. Obstetric Violence is the topic. OH. MY. GOD. Instantly deleted. I try again. Finally I break. "ADMIN Why are my threads being deleted?! WHY?! Please let the article remain at least. For the love of god." I post it again. I fail again. Deleted instantly. (I really wish I could tell you the exact words out of my mouth. But since we just met, I'd better remain mysterious for now).
My kin speak up. "What happened? What article? I'd like to read it! I love your posts!" My heart smiles and my soul sighs. I share the article again, within the comments instead. (Helloo.... admin? Where are you? Coming to hunt me down and delete me forever?) A discussion is sparked. It's respectful and under control and I'm super duper proud. As soon as it gains enough momentum to attract admins attention............... It's gone. And I'm banned.
*Don't panic, people. Before this happened I had 8 women private message me to ask to join the revolution. (pledge their allegiance?) I had several ask me if I would please start a REAL support group where intelligence and authenticity is encouraged- not stamped out like.... something that should be stamped out? (The end is nigh, I'm getting tired.)
I drew several conclusions from this whole unfortunate incident. It wasn't all for nothing. The article I shared received hundreds of views overnight. I can't believe it! GO US! I can take a few bullets if it means that even one woman is empowered. It's worth it, and I have a feeling this movement is about to gain some serious momentum. It has to.
To be cast out of a 'support' group, for offering just that is INSANE. (But thank you, crazy admin for highlighting my point so damn well). My mind doesn't even bend that way, I'll never understand. Our sisters are doing the heavy lifting for our oppressors. Women keeping women down. It makes my blood boil and fills me with rage. (Fuel for the fire, baby. Fuel for the fire). With women like this in a position of power, moderating a supposed support group, and allowing.... NO... encouraging the perpetuation of out dated and frankly, gross violations of our human rights....... Not just sitting idly by, by actually facilitating and encouraging women to submit themselves to situations which often...... (turn them into me? Ugh). I can't even finish the sentence. It's too hard.
So I leave you with this thought: One woman at a time. We'll change the world.