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Archive for August, 2010

In light of the election.. I can’t believe I sit here and I find myself writing this.. But I am… I could not possibly care any less about the election. And that’s my perogative. But no.. I find myself upset at the current climate of the people. I mean it’s people everywhere I turn.. It’s not making me smile whatsoever.

The election is a contentious subject for me.. And my opinion is what it is. And you know what? We live in a country that enables me to have my opinion and not be persecuted for it. Or so I thought. :-/

There are those of you who are vehement labor supporters, those who are fervently in support of the greens, the liberal party, the sex party, christian democrats, WHOEVER! There are many and varied people in all walks of life, with different priorities and we live in a society where they have plenty of political choices to make. We are afforded options. Don’t get me wrong, this post is not about the calibre of said party’s, because lord knows, in this latest election the choices were pretty shit-house. So for someone who doesn’t care about an election in the best of climates, this was one of the worst so far…

Then there are people like me. I don’t care. I honestly don’t. I don’t believe that any one party is any different to the other’s and I truly believe that in the end, they are all going to move as slowly as each other to get to the end goal. At the end of the day, changes will be made or they won’t be. But in general, it has little or no effect on my day to day life. That opinion is mine to have.

What I can’t stand is the attitude that has swept over the online world (ie-facebook, twitter, etc) and real life in the last 48 hours of: “my opinion is the right one, and my party is the right one and if you don’t agree then you must be <stupid/un-intelligent/close-minded/conservative/un-educated/any other number of insults>”

I know we live in a diverse society. And I know we are all different. But since when do we live in a place where we hurl insults about the place, based purely upon what people do or don’t support. Comments like: “oh, she’s voted for the red-head” “labor supporters” “they voted greens, hippies”. Comments like “coservatives” or “what have you done, Australia? You fucked it up” “Those people who choose to cast an invalid vote are dim-witted/moronic/fucktards”.

Additionally, the people who chose not to vote. In Australia, any person over the age of 18 is legally required to be enrolled on the electoral roll, and even moreso to vote. I’m sorry, but how is that democracy? Forcing people to have a vote? I’m sorry, but I couldn’t care less about the election. You can all jump up on your soap box and tell me till your blue in the face about why I should care, and how it effects me. I don’t care, and I don’t believe any of it is any different. I also don’t complain about who is in power, I don’t complain who runs our country, and I don’t complain about the decisions they make. But how is it that that makes me stupid? I’m not stupid, in fact I am fairly well-educated. I exercise my right to an opinion. I don’t walk around the place telling you all that you should have the same opinion as me. No, I have my opinion and it’s for me. It’s my business. And I live in a country that says I can do so free from persecution. Or so I thought.

The comments I have read about the place in relation to this election make me shake my head. Mentioning things like “Good work, <insert name of place> you elected <insert name here>”. Or suggesting that certain areas are devoid of progression, lacking in intelligence because of who they elect. Likewise, just because an area elects a party that you agree with, why does this make them any more intelligent? Since when do we equate intelligence with people who agree with us?

I personally couldn’t care less what the result is. I only wish it would hurry up so people would stop their bitching and moaning over it.

I do think that the general concensus is that those who don’t vote, or choose to cast an invalid vote have no right to complain about the result. And I think this is fair to say.. If you don’t care enough to vote, then you can’t complain. But just because there are those who are of the opinion that being forced to vote for parties they don’t agree with or support the policies of, this does not make them stupid. In fact, no-one is stupid for having an opinion. And just the fact that anyone suggest I might be stupid for any opinion I have or don’t have is the most closed minded of all.

I believe in a world that is tolerant, one that accepts me for who I am and you for who you are. One that allows me to read, learn and grow, and ultimately to make my own decisions. I also am quite happy to live with any decision I make. If it turns out that I am wrong, I am quite happy to admit to the fact. But in the end, it’s all about choice. You make a choice to vote and to care about who you vote for. I believe it doesn’t make a lot of difference who I vote for. I know more about politics than I would care to know… But in the end, it’s my choice what I do with my vote… and it’s my business. none. of. yours.

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opinion poll….

****DISCLAIMER: This isn’t meant as an argumentative piece. This isn’t meant as a piece designed to give advice. It’s just me… a girl, trying to make sense of my thoughts… And I’m letting you see my thoughts so please respect them…

You would think, that this here post going up on my site on election day might actually mean it’s related to the election. But truth be known.. I couldn’t give 2 shits about the election. I actually can’t wait for it to be over to borrow a term from one of my favourite friends (@TraceyMmm) .. I’m an apathist… I could not care any *less* about it.. Truly. Not. Possible.

So onto thingsĀ  I *do* care about…? Yes… There are some.. Though I am a firm believer in allowing people to make up their own mind. Allowing people to have their own beliefs.. I mean half the conflict in this world is resultant from people who feel the need to impress their beliefs on others… They feel that their beliefs or thoughts or feelings on a particular subject are such that everyone should uphold them? These people feel that everyone should think the way that they do? I personally couldn’t handle that. If everyone in the world agreed with me, I couldn’t handle it… (even if I’m right! :p)

But what I am getting at here… Is that everyone is entitled to an opinion. Everyone is entitled to have their own say on a matter. No matter how much research they may have done on a particular topic. I think that some people get too caught up in their passion that they forget this.

What happened the other day that got me particularly riled up? I have a group assignment for one of my subjects this semester. There are 5 people in the group. The subject is “mental health nursing”. We have a thread going on facebook. It’s basically an inbox message that has been running all semester. We get on there and post discussions, questions, tips, plans etc. The other day, one of the group members, another nursing student, started a conversation on this thread that was not in any way related to the assignment. And it’s not the first time she has done something like this.

Let me set the scene. She is a loud-mouthed american woman with a few kids. She is opinionated. I get that. But what I have a problem with is that the other day she started an argument.. Of the 5 people in our group assignment 2 of us are double degree nursing/midwifery students. One of those is me.

So this person started an argument on our discussion thread, in the inbox about the safety and what-not of homebirth vs. hospital birth. I suspect she was just doing so to be contentious. I mean, I know she is in vehemently in support of homebirthing. And that’s fine… She is so vehemently against hospital birth that she would be the type to make other mother’s feel inadequate or somewhat “less of a woman” purely because of how they birthed their children. I’d almost even go so far as to say that she would judge to the point that anyone who didn’t agree that homebirth is the best option; that they would be ridiculed and made to feel that choosing to give birth in hospital is somehow jeopardising her baby’s health…?

But why start an argument over it? She is continuously making off the cuff remarks about the midwifery students in my class. She is one of those people who makes me feel like I can’t be a good midwife because I haven’t had any babies…

I think that it’s fair enough that she has her opinions. But her constant remarks about the midwifery class in our year and their levels of maturity drive me nuts. I get that she has an opinion and it’s something she cares about, but it’s not something she cares *enough* about to actually study.. Yes, you heard me right.. She is not actually *in* the midwifery class, no.. She watches on….

Here’s the thing.. This is my opinion on homebirth. And I don’t give this lightly. In fact, I rarely feel the need to impress my opinions on others.. I just don’t feel it’s necessary. But this here is my little bloggy blog.. And I’ll write whatever I damn well please! I guess I am feeling a little lost lately. Cos I don’t really feel I have any “safe place” to discuss this. I feel that whatever I say “can and will be used against me in a court of law” so to speak. That is, that my opinions and beliefs that I have now should they change as I grow and mature and learn more about my chosen profession, that I’ll somehow be judged on these…?

Anyway.. Here is the thing on homebirth… One side of the argument you have those who are “for” it. They argue vehemently that there is no reason why a low-risk woman with a reasonably healthy pregnancy and no complications shouldn’t give birth at home if she so desires. The contention is that pregnancy is a normal life process, and should not be medicalised. Part of the argument outlining that if a woman is at home labouring, and is left to give birth naturally that nature is simply allowed to take it’s course. It goes along the lines that those hormones that control and are responsible for causing labour to occur and subsequently progress are over-ridden by things like adrenaline. Adrenaline comes into play when a person feels threatened or scared as can happen in hospital. Those who support homebirth argue that a new surrounding, new people, fear of the experience of giving birth, etc. As well as this is the theory that a normal labour and delivery is said to be more likely in this scenario, owing to the calm surrounds, and a woman who is empowered both through her own active education on the matter as well as the fact that the medical profession is not there to interfere, to intervene when it may not be as necessary.

It would seem the medical profession has a lot to answer for. And if it were not for the “cascade of intervention” that seems to occur, then women might feel safer about giving birth in hospital. The cascade of intervention referring to the growing trend that one intervention in labour or birth increases the chances of another intervention being necessary. Whether that intervention would be necessary regardless of other factors we will never know.

The way in which far too many women have given birth in hospital and ended up feeling “robbed” of their birthing experience because a doctor/obstetrician/medical professional has felt that the risk/convenience of said interventions are warranted given <insert particular scenario here>.

A homebirth from what I have read and heard from those who have done it, is one of the most empowering and earth-shattering experiences for the woman. It’s all natural, it’s all the way that nature intended.

I think the medical profession means well. But really… How often have you heard of a woman being induced because well.. she’s 5 days overdue and the obstetrician wants to go away for the weekend?

On the other side, as a midwife, being asked if I will conduct a homebirth when I am fully accredited. Weeeeellll.. I don’t know.. I mean, I want to see that women continue to have choices in their obstetric care. I want to see that women are free to choose this, and I also want to see that homebirths are not made illegal. But as a midwife.. *I* don’t know that *I* would have a homebirth myself! On the same token I would not judge any other for making that choice. It wouldn’t be right for me. But that’s not to say it wouldn’t be right for anyone else!

And I am not going to go on about whether a caesarian section is better or not. I am not going to be involved in that. A caesarian section IS still major abdominal surgery. But sometimes it is the best option for mother and baby. It’s a case of the risks and whether or not they outweigh the benefits. If you like, a cost vs. benefit analysis.

As a midwife, I can see the inherent risks involved with a homebirth. Basically a healthy, low-risk woman with no complications can go from 0-113 on the risk scale in a few seconds flat. The argument is that you don’t know who it’s going to happen to, or what is going to happen. This is not meant as a scare tactic, rather a simple statement of the fact.

A post-partum haemorrhage, a shoulder dystocia, a flat baby, cord round the neck. All rather serious obstetric emergencies. Scary! I don’t know if I could handle these on my own. I mean, I don’t imagine that there is 2 midwife’s present at a homebirth. I don’t know though. I haven’t been to one.

But I think that in labour and birth and maternity care. It is probably some substantial figure of deliveries that go to “plan” so to speak. But it’s those few that don’t. It’s those few that don’t who slip through the cracks. And for me.. it’s the simple fear that if things go wrong, they can go so seriously wrong. Without being AT a hospital near the help required, then there is that fear that those are the ones who will pay the greatest price.

But the question remains is it those women who are low-risk, with nil complications paying a price by having their births medicalised? I think personally, that as long as we maintain a bottom line of a health system where every single person can have their choices and their ideals maintained then we can say we are truly doing everything we can to provide the best healthcare options we ALL deserve.

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