Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bearing Meaning

Last week I finished reading Bearing Meaning: The Language of Birth by Robbie Pfeufer Kahn. This had been on my wishlist for ages and I was excited to read it. As it goes with most dissertations-turned-books, it was a somewhat dense and heavy read and I worked through it kind of slowly. I've quoted from it on the CfM blog already and plan to also write about it on Talk Birth. I enjoyed it, but it was different than I expected. I was looking for an analysis of the language used surrounding birth and though I suppose the book addressed that, it was more about the embodied connection between mother and baby and how that is denied/suppressed/ignored/thwarted. So, interesting, but not quite what the title let me to believe. There was an extensive analysis of Williams Obstetrics and also of Our Bodies, Ourselves (and the contrast between the two books attitudes towards the female body).

She also talks about the term "womanist," which I've always liked (comes from Alice Walker), as an more inclusive definition of feminist: "Womanist acknowledges women like the early activists who honor the maternal body ('roundness') within 'women's culture'...a womanist woman experiences the maternal body ('loves roundness') as connected to nature ('Loves the Moon') and the divine ('Loves the Spirit')."

I also finished reading Sheila Kitzinger's Education and Counseling for Childbirth. I'm going to write about it on the ICEA blog.

At least I managed to make a post this week, albiet an incomplete one. I'm working on an article right now that needs to be submitted by the 30th, plus working on some book reviews for a journal, so my writing energy is diverted in those directions...


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