It reminds me of an interview I heard with Bart Ehrman, who's a biblical scholar based in the Southern US specialising in copying errors in the New Testament. And he gives talks to general audiences about translation errors and redactions and medieval additions to the gospels, and religious people in those audiences have various extreme reactions: they cry, or get angry or have crisis of faith or angrily denounce his work.
And then he gives the same lecture to priests of any denomination - who preach at the churches attended to by the very freaked out people in his lay audience - and they shrug and say, 'Yeah yeah yeah, we learned all of that stuff at seminary. So what?'
There was a similar response to the Hollow Men - which contained rather astonishing revelations about the marketing and funding of political parties, and journalists like Jane Clifton yawned and replied, 'But we ALL knew all that.'
Danyl, my Dad was about 23 when his first child was born, and 54 when the youngest was born. (1940-1970 in case you're wondering, were his years of childbearing). Because of his youthful spirit and joie de vivre, it was never a problem.
Youthful spirits and joie de vivre? Great - but how does that help me?
Sorry Russell - I didn't mean to derail the thread, even though it looks like that's exactly what I've done. My point was that telling a guy he's 'mansplaining' is analogous to telling a women she's 'being hysterical.'
Modern is a funny concept. The whole early 20th century hygiene movement technologised and dehumanised things in a big way, but it also brought infant and maternal mortality down a lot. Women in Queen Victoria's day, including the Queen herself, fought for the right for anaesthesia, which was opposed by many on the grounds that childbirth pain was Eve's punishment for eating the apple. Yet twilight sleep and ether, the only things available at the time, were risky and had bizarre side effects (twilight sleep kept you up and about but made you forget it all).
The twilight sleep episode of Mad Men (actually, all episodes of Mad Men) made me wonder how the next generation down the line will view our current culture and especially our approach to childbirth. What do we do that will seem absurd to them?
If I had to guess I'd pick the widespread late age of childbirth. I feel vaguely terrified that I'll be in my mid-50s by the time my child is a teenager.
My generation fought for fathers to be present at birth (which is actually quite recent), and against the gowning and stirruping of mothers at birth (because it was 'dirty unnatural' process and easier for the doctors if you gave birth in a position that went against gravity, but was much harder for mother and baby), and for the right for midwife assisted and even home births.
One of the many fascinating qualities of Mad Men was the depiction of pregnancy and birth, 60's style. Betty smoke and drank through her pregnancy, obviously, but then when she went into labour Don had to sit in a waiting room and drink whiskey for hours, while Betty was strapped into the stirrups and anaesthetised, regaining conciousness many hours later to find out she'd had a boy. In some ways, the present is less creepy and futuristic than the past.
I accused you of Mansplaining. Not manslashing, though the fact you clearly didn’t read what I wrote rather illustrates the point.
'Mainsplaining'? Still? Really? Surely only 'hysterical women' use ad hominums like 'mansplaining'.
I'm not sure any rule-bending ad campaign can compete with the lactation consultant at our breastfeeding class insisting that it will be 'difficult for formula feeding mothers to get jobs, because employers prefer to hire women who breastfeed'.
I still amuse myself by imaging our HR reps reaction if I asked someone in a job interview whether or not they were breastfeeding.
But what I see is a PR machine out there that formula is OK as a substitute for breastmilk
As someone attending parenting and breastfeeding classes with my wife, reading parenting books and buying a bewildering array of post-natal gadgets, I really don't see this at all. The overwhelming message is pro-breastfeeding.
Which is good, to a degree, because there's a lot of empirical evidence in its favour. But the differences aren't mortal - the majority of the population over the age of 30 was formula fed, they're not limbless vegetables. And many women have huge problems breastfeeding, so the message that this failure means they're destroying their children's lives isn't that helpful. Especially since stress impacts on the milk production cycle.
One month away from my wife's due date for our first baby and I've had a fair bit of contact with various midwives, through the classes, hospital appointments etc. And some people are good, some are bad, same as any industry.
But what's really struck me at this point is that the entire profession seems to cross the line when it comes to advocacy for breast-feeding. I'm aware that there are many proven scientific benefits, that it's preferable to breast-feed your child and so on - but I'm also aware that many woman have huge problems with the practise, so I don't think it's helpful for mid-wives to send the message that failure to breast-feed is tantamount to child abuse.
And the pre-occupation over breast-feeding seems to cross over into their judgement during deliveries. There's a huge controversy about the role of pain-killers during childbirth - they may, or may not delay the onset of breast milk and a baby's instincts to feed, and many midwives seem to take this debate as settled and strongly oppose the use of painkillers during labour. I've had a few friends who have requested pain relief and whose mid-wives have 'stalled for time' during the delivery until it was too late to perform an epidural.
And of course nobody complains - at the end of it most mums get their baby and go home to several months of sleep deprivation, during which the idea of making a formal complaint to a DHB is the last thing on their mind.
...according to the Met? Just saying, it's not the sort of situation in which you can be confident of police impartiality.
Which sounds awfully conspiracy minded.
Yeah - it's certainly possible Hoare killed himself - I'm not saying people who think that are 'sheeple' or anything - just that the police statements to that effect are near worthless, that it seems like a huge coincidence that he'd antagonise several groups of very powerful, ruthless people and then commit suicide.
I think it's fairly likely Sean Hoare was assassinated - probably not by News International, but by Met officers working in an unofficial capacity, sending a not-very subtle message to other potential whistleblowers that if you speak out against them they can murder you with near total impunity.