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It's Official: Women are Obsolete

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Have you been "CorpRobotized" (say it fast and it sounds almost exactly like Corporatized) to dread a real female body and trained to sit cubicled in artificial light, inside all day, encouraging the demise of your beautiful inner earth mother. If you're a man, read this on behalf of the women you love.

Let's see, in the last few weeks I've read news about pills that women can take to stop having their periods, and then news about how all those hormone replacement pills that you thought you weren't supposed to take because they might cause terrible diseases and nasty cancers in the "female" parts of your body are just fine to take for heart disease prevention... IF you've just HAD YOUR FEMALE PARTS CUT OUT SO THEY CAN'T GET CANCER. Then there are the prophylactic mastectomies that you can get if you have certain genes or other risk factors for breast cancer... because after all, how could we be expected to stop the momentum of hormone disrupting chemicals and other stresses that drive breast cancers: the pesticides, the plasticizers, the personal care products, the work and home stressors that are so profitable and ubiquitous. Also, there are the birthing statistics that show high rates of C-sections and peri-natal anesthesia which suggest that the average American woman's body is simply incapable of giving birth to a baby all by itself, unmedicated. We know from history that that is not true. Have you been corp-robotized into no longer being, or perhaps never having been, in awe and respect for the female body in health and robust fertility?

When I was an undergraduate at Barnard College back in the building-occupying sixties, I saw, scrawled across an announcement for an evening lecture, the words: "Of course women's bodies are inferior, look at them, they're always secreting something!" On many levels this was a bizarre thing to see. First of all, as a young hip woman who happened to love her dancing, newly bra-less body, I wasn't aware of widespread claims that women's bodies WERE "inferior". Secondly...most human beings are women, so why was anyone needing to rank the only two kinds of human body's that exist on the planet and make one of them better. Better for what? It's like saying that up is better than down. And women's bodies do all kinds of wonderful things... things that the only other kind of body, men's bodies, can't do. Like make milk... and what is wrong with secreting something anyway? Is the word secrete related to the word secret?

Though I live in a very rural area, I have women patients come up from NYC to see me, and they tell me that the biggest complement you can give a New York City corporate woman when she's pregnant is that she's "small" ....i.e. that being pregnant isn't effecting her very much...that she can go on with her busy life and not LOOK MUCH DIFFERENT or be much effected by the fact that her body is in the process of doing something that no laboratory has ever done: create another human being.

When I was in my early child-bearing days it was popular to read Ina May Gaskin's book Spiritual Midwifery and grok (see Kurt Vonnegut) on the glory of birth and life and woman power...as Ina May called it..the "pure great effort" of birthing a baby. She taught that birth happens in the way and time that are just right for that baby and that mom. I came to believe that if you believed that that was true, then it was more likely to BE true. And yes, I always knew that "things can happen". In any case, Ina May was there for support. When I tell my birthing stories now, I can feel that they are not always inspiring but are actually threatening to some young women:

No fetal monitors, no drugs, no episiotomies, absolutely no intervention of any kind except a midwife who knew expertly how to use a feta-scope and check my babies for distress,and keep me up and moving, and who knew how to administer warm packs and olive oil massage to help the stretching and opening necessary to deliver a baby with no cutting or tearing. Such births leave a baby and mother alert and ready to connect where they connect best, at the breast. Natural births free of interventions have been shown to encourage early successful breastfeeding and this results in more long term breastfeeding which thousands of studies have show protect babies in the short and long term from the dangers of being fed artificial milk products (aka "formula") Trends in breastfeeding statistics prove another aspect of the obsolescence of the female body. You have been trained to think that the massive experiment of providing artificial milk to infants which has been going on only for the past 60 or so years has had a happy outcome..but from a health point of view it has been a disaster. (Yes, I know there are many brilliant exceptions to the statistics.)

So if breasts and periods and the basic functions of the reproductive parts of womens bodies have become either unnecessary or obsolete and infinitely manipulatable and manageable with expensive pharmaceuticals, where is the place for a beautifully functioning female body that menstruates without pain and severe PMS, that makes beautiful babies, births them powerfully, feeds them perfectly, and all the other things that female bodies have always done. Am I a hopeless romantic, and a danger to whatever the forth wave of feminism turns out to be? No, I believe that the assertion that women's bodies are wonderful and to be protected in all their roles and functions, HOWEVER EACH WOMAN CHOOSES TO USE HER HEALTHY BODY, is critical to the survival of the human race, and is part of the next wave of feminist understanding that we have all been corp-robotized to accept the devaluing of the feminine body. Leaking milk just has no place in the corporate board room. For one thing, it reminds everyone in the room that there are children in the world... and a future... and that they are responsible for it. Factor that into corporate decisions and you have a whole new ball game. Can we profit the health of our children as happily as we profit the shareholders? Isn't that what Michael Moore's new movie is fundamentally about?

It's not just about access to health care. It's about access to health and honoring our own bio-logical being. It's about collective responsibility for our health and for the future of the planet. If women's bodies are obsolete and pharmaceutical companies and surgical practices profit from keeping them that way, then life itself is obsolete, and, as multiple species die out daily, we seem to be well on our way to proving that that is true.

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