GFY

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I am both angry and sad today.

Depending on the moment, it could be either or both.

Almost every day, I feel like a fish-out-of-water in this culture and I want to run away and never return.

It started with feeling emotionally shut down as a kid and a teenager via religion and other unrealistic cultural expectations of children.

Then it came from going through a divorce and the reactions I received both from friends and family which was confusing since I was the one going through the divorce, not them.

Then it came from pregnancy where I was treated as if I had a disease that I needed rescuing from. And when I asked questions about that perspective, I was treated as if I was a careless idiot.

Then it came from the (fearful) comments of others when I shared that I birthed my first baby by myself at home in my bathtub…… you know, like most other mammals and how women have birthed babies for thousands and thousands of years.

Then it came from motherhood where we ARE doing it ALL wrong in Western civilization and if you follow your instincts, someone needs a study or some further research to validate your natural given instincts. Ironically, there are copious amounts of research and studies indicating that we are indeed doing it all wrong…!

Then it came from my work as a doula and birth photographer, where I consistently watch a system, that is not all that knowledgeable or skilled in caring for pregnant and birthing women, completely derail and cause harm to laboring mothers and unborn or newborn babies. A system that neither respects pregnant and laboring women nor trusts or values anything they have to say about their own bodies or babies.

Then it came from unlearning everything I was ever taught about the female body in regards to reproduction and sexuality. And from that unlearning came further learning of how backwards our entire culture has been, is, and continues to be about the female body.

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This is what I DO know to be true:

  • Females have uteruses to grow baby humans.
  • Females have vaginas so penises can deposit sperm in the female body to grow said baby.
  • Females have vaginas so that said baby can come out of the uterus into the world.
  • Females have breasts – also known as mammary glands – to nourish and continue to grow said baby.

Females do not have vaginas and breasts purely for other’s sexual pleasure.

It is literally FOR REPRODUCTION. And it is a function of female sexuality.

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I know, I know… you were told differently growing up by your parents, your church, the magazines you read, your school dress code, the movies you watched, by being told to “cover up” as a child, what the media told you, by laws against nudity, by seeing only men shirtless at the beach, by the European churches that don’t allow women to show their arms or legs inside, by United Airlines that said their off-duty female employees cannot wear leggings on board, by social media that censors breasts and vaginas (unless it’s a tacky site about porn or breast implants, of course), by being told you cannot nurse your baby in public and being sold nursing covers as if it’s an actual piece of baby gear you NEED, by entering an institution to birth your baby where your body was shamed and treated as if you were sick just because you were pregnant, and so on and on and on and on. …

Our culture is so disgusting.

We have shamed and hid and tortured the female body for SO long, we don’t know any other way.

EVERYONE has nipples. Mine look pretty much just like yours regardless if you are a male or female. If you are a male, my nipples are attached to breasts BECAUSE WE ARE MAMMALS AND I FEED MY BABIES WITH MY MAMMARY GLANDS just like dogs and horses and cows and sheep and pigs and cats, gasp!

Think about that…. our shame and censoring of nipples attached to breasts, or as Facebook says – “female nipples”, is as ridiculous as hiding cows in a barn and only putting steers or bulls in pastures simply because the cows’ udders are showing. Literally that’s how ridiculous our culture is about breasts. The cows have udders to produce milk and feed their babies just like we have breasts to produce milk and feed our babies.

It really is THAT simple.

If you are “uncomfortable” or whatever else with female nipples/breasts, dig into that.

Why do you feel like that?

Where does that discomfort come from?

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While everyone will have a different answer to that question, the correct one is NOT “because women showing their breasts or nipples is inappropriate”. WRONG. That is just. not. true. regardless of what your parents, your principal, your pastor, or your best friend told you. Total bullshit.

Meanwhile, in other countries in the world, women are birthing naked and lying on beaches topless and nursing their babies in public without anyone batting an eyelash. You know why? Because their culture accepts and understands the PURPOSE of breasts.

We do not. We do A LOT of things wrong and backwards and stupid. Shaming women’s bodies as well as pregnancy and birth and nursing is at the top of that list.

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I hate our culture. I really do.

I hate that we disrupt birth.

I hate that we sell GMO fake processed garbage on our market shelves and tell people it’s “food”.

I hate that we separate newborn babies from their mothers for no good reason.

I hate that we make up reasons to cut babies from their mothers’ uterus and then tell the mother her body is broken.

I hate how we invalidate women and what they feel regarding their bodies when it comes to pain and health and the like.

I hate how we teach mothers and fathers to not hold their babies for fear of “spoiling” them.

I hate how we made up this ridiculous notion to “sleep train” our babies as if babies don’t already know how to sleep.

I hate how we think mothers can just hop back into the office SIX WEEKS after birthing a baby.

I hate that working moms have to fight with their employers just to pump breastmilk for their new babies while separated from them at work.

I hate how we tell women to cover themselves while nursing their babies even though that is a basic function of the female body.

I hate how we medicate everyone without fixing the actual problem.

I hate how we think we can talk down to children and hit them just because they are smaller than us.

I hate how women have been taught to accommodate their birthing spaces to make men feel more comfortable.

I hate how we think we are the greatest country in the world yet we are killing more mothers and babies in childbirth than any other developed country.

I hate how we think we can just police the world with military because we think we are the greatest country in the world.

I hate how polarizing our stupid politics are and we created these two stupid “parties” to divide everyone up so much so that their office buildings are on opposite sides of the street in Washington. How is that productive?

I hate how we automatically respect politicians and doctors and wealthy people yet we pay firefighters, teachers, police, and our military like shit.

I hate that we still have a gender pay gap.

I hate that we still have racists.

I hate that we still have homophobes.

I hate that we still have misogynists.

I hate that we still have bigots.

I hate that we all carry trauma yet nobody wants to talk about it.

I hate that we still have intolerance.

I hate that we teach children to blindly follow “authority”.

I hate that we have no idea how to raise emotionally healthy children/people.

I hate that we have no idea that humans are mammals.

I hate that beer companies can advertise with women’s breasts yet women are shamed for wearing a low cut dress or nursing a baby.

I hate that some of you will read this and get angry or offended or defensive.

I hate how we have made masculinity completely toxic.

I hate that we have elected an under-qualified privileged white man who is the most representative illustration of fragile male ego and toxic masculinity there is to run our country.

I hate how most men reading this post will label me an angry crazy bitch ranting about things that don’t really matter.

I hate how most men reading this post will feel anger about what I stated about masculinity.

I hate how most people with whom this post does not resonate with will not do the work to dig deeper into their feelings associated with this post.

I hate how unaware and how “asleep” our culture is in general.

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How can we fix this?

How can we make a better world for our children?

How can get rid of toxic masculinity?

How can we change how our culture views and understands the female body?

How can we take charge of our health and stop believing what our government and doctors tell us?

How can we teach that diets and silly gym routines are not the answer to truly good health?

How can we change maternity care to put the mother back in power as the sole decision-maker regarding her and her baby?

How can we teach our children that nakedness and breasts and nipples are real and normal and nothing to be ashamed of?

How can we teach our children that they are in charge of their bodies and their decisions about their life in regards to education and health and relationships?

How can we stop fighting about Democrats vs Republicans and realize how stupid and trivial all of that truly is?

How we can change the way our government infiltrates our lives and brainwashes us to believe they have our best interest at heart?

How can we talk about trauma within families without anger and resentment and malice?

How can we change the way all of us view “normal” life to make our lives healthier, better, happier, simpler, and more peaceful?

The answer to all of those questions is to TALK ABOUT IT.

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Yesterday, Facebook blocked me from sharing a gorgeous birth image of a mother and father and newborn on my business page. I appealed it as they have just recently changed their “community standards” to stop censoring birth photos and any “nudity” related to that yet that’s exactly what they are STILL doing in blocking that image. Ironically, the entire wordage of the post associated with the photograph was speaking to the level of unacceptance in our culture regarding nudity…!

This morning, I woke up to Facebook blocking an image I posted that I took of MY beautiful daughters playing next to a lake in their underwear. They are 4 and 6 years old and the true essence of being free and wild on a farm in the summer. I know for a FACT if they were boys, this would not even be a discussion. And THAT is where the problem lies.

First, I was angry. Really, really angry. How dare someone label my girls and my photo in a pornographic or sexual context?? Then I became deeply sad because I realized that whomever has an issue with my two daughters playing lakeside in their underwear enough to report the image to Facebook is so fucking confused about their own existence. This person – and many people just like them – has no understanding of their own humanity, their own body, and the female body. They carry their own trauma related to their childhood and how they were shamed by their parents, their teachers, maybe their pastor or priest, or the dress code at their school. Maybe they were sexually abused. Whatever it is, it’s trauma and a misconception of who they are as a human.

However, deal with your trauma. Dig into it. Discover it. Process it. Heal it. Don’t you dare project your trauma onto MY beautiful, smart, strong, and brave daughters. Don’t you dare act like such a coward that instead of addressing your own insecurities, you “report” an image of two little girls playing in a summer sunset to fucking Facebook. Don’t you dare hide behind your fucking keyboard and act like a hero. My girls chose to take that photo and they gave me permission to share it. They are wild and free and confident and I will do whatever I have to do to protect that and continue to nourish those characteristics in their souls. Take your bullshit to your own soul and sort it out and leave my children out of it. They don’t deserve your toxic perceptions of humanity and the female body.

They are ✨ magical ✨and they know it. And I am not going to let this culture take that away from them.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, here are the wild and free images someone on Facebook thought were “sexual nudity”…

} All images are mine with the exception of the one @austinbirthphotos. All rights reserved. None of this may be copied or reproduced without my permission. {

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