What happens when one of your beloved friends or teachers gets called out online? Are you able to take in all the details & suss out what each person’s part is in the situation?
Or do your knees jerk & cause you to not only defend your comrade, but also demean &/or defame the other parties involved? Does your reaction change when that issue involves politics or intersectionality?
Today I want to talk about some of what I found after hours (& hours & hours) of going down the rabbit hole & reading every thread & every comment on every post that I could find. Fun? NOT!
Here’s what I discovered: all the cis-gendered christian white women defending a venue choice that all the LGBTQI2 birthworkers were telling them is exclusionary & bigoted.
Now I’m one of those people who believes it is a good thing to know what people really think about me. I don’t want to be in a relationship that I think is based on mutuality, respect & understanding, only to find out that the others involved secretly despise me & are just putting on a PC face. Especially Midwives. We have enough hate from doctors, hospitals & Medical Boards, not to have each other’s backs, right? Damn.
In my last post I mentioned writing for MT. I’ve also met & had some conversation with Jan at conferences thru the years. And like her defenders say, she is really sweet & welcoming. One of the things I’ve always appreciated is that name tags at conferences are just that, name tags. No titles, no letters, no hierarchy of speakers, midwives, doulas, illegal, alegal, credentialed. Levelling the playing field in any area is always a good thing. Until you discover that's as far as it goes.
Jan needs to address this current issue more fully. Word was that the situation with the location came to her attention as she was leaving for vacation & she answered on her way out the door without thinking through her response.
Ok, so if to err is human, then to apologize consciously is divine.
That would’ve meant reading through the community’s concerns, and owning her systemic & institutional privileges and biases, and acknowledging how those blinded her to the exclusionary nature of the venue. The MT org has been called out on privilege before, there’s been plenty of time to get educated and put systems in place to assist them in ensuring their business practices are fully inclusive & taking the extra step to amplify voices from still marginalized communities.
The post/apology MT put out last week was, well, weak.
And weak apologies are like weak coffee: nobody wants to swallow that mess.
Stay tuned for part 3, coming Friday
Sitz Herbs in the Doula's Birth Bag;
One Midwife's Perspective