controversial topic - Birth rape
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Thread: controversial topic - Birth rape

  1. #1
    Posting Addict Amber_daisy's Avatar
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    Default controversial topic - Birth rape

    While "birth trauma" has become fairly accepted as real in the birth community, "birth rape" really hasn't. There are many out there that think that the term "rape" to describe a birth experience is offensive and diminishes the experiences of "real" rape victims.

    Personally, I'm of the opinion that birth can be extremely traumatizing, especially after reading the experiences of some women, and how they've been treated and abused by their care providers. And if those women feel like they've been raped, then they're bloody well entitled to use the term. I read a response to one article once by a women who'd experienced both a "typical" rape and "birth rape." She said that, in fact, the birth rape was worse, because the birth rape was committed by a respected doctor, and because there was no one to turn to after the fact.

    Anyways, I just thought I'd bring it up and see what you all thought...if anything.

    Here's a couple of good articles:

    http://www.theunnecesarean.com/blog/...ape-thing.html

    http://navelgazingmidwife.squarespac...ight-isnt.html

    http://roseredhoofbeat.livejournal.com/612231.html
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  2. #2
    Mega Poster krazykat's Avatar
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    I agree and am glad that the term is becoming more widespread. I also have experienced both. I don't think that a lot of people realize how sexual birth really is... if that makes sense. I definitely think that my history has inhibited my labors and progress. It's bad enough having a provider who doesn't take that into consideration, let alone one who contributes to further trauma.

    There are several definitions of rape and one is "to seize, take, or carry off by force." I think that the term is very fitting. Rape is also "any act of sexual intercourse forced upon a person". I don't see how it is any different when they are shoving their hands, or instruments inside you, and taking away your ability to make decisions for you and your child. There are very strong emotions associated with both a birth rape and a sexual rape, and I would say that if you look deep, the basic emotions are the same; fear, helplessness, self-blame, etc.

    That's just my take.
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    I agree and think many women probably experience this

    However, since it's such a harsh word in our society and in the way our society knows the word "rape" even many rape victims are embarrassed and deny anything. I could see this "offending" many women who experienced birth rape because *they* are the ones who chose their OB (or other care provider). Does that make sense?

    I get really sad when I hear other people's birth stories....especially those who *do* regret listening to their doctors.
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    To me it is an inappropriate use of the word. Abuse or trauma, certainly, not rape.

    I say that as a rape survivor, and as someone who has had a birth or two go awry.

  5. #5
    Posting Addict jooniper's Avatar
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    I think it's hyperbole. Right idea, taken to the wrong extreme. (and I think the overuse of it lowers credibility.)
    Having a man force their penis into your vagina or mouth under threat of death isn't quite the same as having their hands forcibly remove a baby from your body. Both are traumatic and awful and shouldn't happen. But I think there are other words more fitting than "birth rape".
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    Mega Poster mandora's Avatar
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    I ditto everything Ariel said. As someone who has experienced both, I feel that it's a fair use of the word. Both left me feeling violated, alone, terrified to seek counsel, and guilty that I had somehow caused it to happen.

    I see no difference. My opinion.
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    Posting Addict gardenbug's Avatar
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    It is an issue for sure, not only a vocabulary issue.
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    Mega Poster DunyaWolf's Avatar
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    I can see both sides of the argument over the term. But what I keep coming back to, and what a couple of the articles mentioned, is that its so subjective, and I think that the women who have gone through it have the right to call their experience what they want. If they felt it as rape, then that's what it was- I feel like to tell someone they can't call it rape is to devalue (I don't think that's the word I'm looking for, but my mind is blanking atm!) their experience.
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  9. #9
    Prolific Poster cindyanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DunyaWolf View Post
    I can see both sides of the argument over the term. But what I keep coming back to, and what a couple of the articles mentioned, is that its so subjective, and I think that the women who have gone through it have the right to call their experience what they want. If they felt it as rape, then that's what it was- I feel like to tell someone they can't call it rape is to devalue (I don't think that's the word I'm looking for, but my mind is blanking atm!) their experience.
    This is a really good point. When I first heard it, I thought it was an extreme word to describe the experience. But I've never had that experience, so who am I to say if it is extreme? And if I had an experience like that, my experience would probably have been much different than another woman's.

    If that's the closest term they feel fits their experience, then I think it's an appropriate term.
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    Really? So experience alone dictates vocabulary? I disagree.

    I would find it really offensive if someone called their bad haircut "being raped", even if they said "but in my experience it seemed like rape to me!". Rape is rape.

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