No, I believe that it is much deeper than that, more unpleasant, and I think that we as women are scared to death to admit it. WE- women, though strong, though wage-earners, though equal under the law, still desire deeply the approval of men for our actions.
Enter the male physician or obstetrician (Yes I realize that many are female. Stay with me, don't get distracted by that.) He is by design paternal. In fact, he is deeply ingrained in the most respected and feared fraternity that I can think of. He seems to hold the powers of life and death in his tidy, gloved hand. He is knowledgeable beyond comprehension in the workings of our mysterious and dark inner parts. He knows what can go wrong, what can go right, how it works, how to fix it and what to call things.
He can be quiet and aloof or friendly and conversational. He is almost always busy, in demand, and expert.
And we need him. We want his approval, his expertise and his knowledge.
If he says, "Take off your pants," we do it. In fact, we don't even question it. If he says, "You are gaining too much weight," we look shamefacedly down at our round and curving parts. Our cheeks turn red with shame. We have failed. If he tells us we are incapable of this act of womanhood, birth, we believe him. We defend his proclamations and his word as long as we can. In fact those who question the expertise of this knowledgeable man are hated. How DARE they? My doctor told me I couldn't, and so I CAN'T!
Oh, but we in the natural birth community are not immune to this male hero worship, are we? Most certainly not. Look at the love we throw at a doctor like Michael Odent. He HAS done great things for women. He DOES believe we can birth. He IS a great spokesman for us. We SHOULD respect him and I am grateful beyond belief that there are experts out there with whom I can agree.
Or look at Dr Bradley, the author of "Husband Coached Childbirth". Nice farm boy who watched animals give birth and believed that human women could do the same. He knew we could birth powerfully, naturally, and without assistance. I am so glad he was a voice of reason during a time of obstetric darkness. I am so glad that he changed the face of American obstetrics, even the way hospitals respected birth.
But I am downright sickened that we needed a man to tell us that we were capable of giving birth. I am disappointed that we need an MD to give us permission to get off our backs. I am disgusted that we seek for male or expert approval to do things that are inherently FEMALE. And I am saddened that we didn't just know this already. I can't believe we ever let this happen.
Women are stronger than this. We are better than this and we are capable of knowing the power of our own bodies without a man giving us permission, approval, or proof that it is possible. This is not their power to give us. This is not their knowledge to hand out and this is not their bodies we are talking about.
These bodies are OURS. They are female. They may not fight in many wars or win battles or triumph in barroom brawls. But they are strong and they are capable of what they were designed to do.
We can choose our birth. We open our eyes to our ability and we need NEVER rely on the approval or knowledge of a man to tell us what we are capable of or how we can birth. For goodness sake, we should already KNOW THIS.
If I want a good surgeon, I will hire an OB. That is what they are meant for.
If I need to know what my body can do, I need look no further than my mirror, my heart, my body and my mind. I do not need a man to tell me what or how I can/should birth. I know that very well all by myself.
Thanks, but no thanks.