It’s been brought to my attention, however, that my silence itself sends a message (of course it does). But it’s not the message that I want to convey to my potential clients–that I love and support ALL people, that I stand with HUMANITY. Which brings me to the subject of inherent bias.
Inherent bias refers to the effect of underlying factors or assumptions that skew the viewpoints of a subject under discussion. In other words, my own personal experience can blind me to the experiences of others. Birth workers encounter this all the time when working with Black women, for example, who suffer from disproportionately high rates of maternal death and infant mortality and who are routinely mistreated by the healthcare system within the United States. It is on us to be educated, informed, and open to seeing this.
Inherent bias is something that I, as a person of privilege, am constantly working on. It’s important to me to not only be available to clients who might not usually hire a doula, but to also be able to meet them in a place of empathy and understanding for whatever their situation or circumstance might be. This means that in my studies and career I’ve done many trainings in trauma support, various multicultural birth support methods, gender and racial equality, and socioeconomic issues. None of this means anything though if I don’t speak up and make it abundantly clear that I am a safe person with whom you can share your experience.
So let me be clear: thousands of innocents are dying every single day right now. Millions more face permanent displacement, starvation and death. In the name of self defense, Israel is breaking multiple international laws and conducting a campaign of terror and genocide in Gaza and they are doing it with the full support of the United States government.
Let me also say this: PEOPLE ARE NOT THEIR GOVERNMENT, OR THE TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THEIR COUNTRIES.
And what does all this have to do with birth, you might ask? The answer is EVERYTHING. In Gaza there are currently more than half a million displaced women and girls. There are more than 50,000 pregnant women with more than 5500 of those women due to give birth in the next month--in a place where hospitals have no power, running water, or even a roof (source: Institute for Palestine Studies). In the eloquent words of @taprootdoula, "Once you become a mother, you mother every child. You mother the entire world." We all love our children in the same language (@yoga_girl).
So, these are things that I’m personally doing in support of the Palestinian people and I encourage you to do the same because your voice matters. I also encourage you to make it clear to others that you are actively engaged in these activities. My inherent bias told me that doing so was patting myself on the back, and so I remained silent with regards to my activities. But I understand now the importance of letting people know, in a respectful way, where you stand. My hope is that this post also gives you the extra support you need to speak up if you are feeling a little intimidated. I see you, I support you, and I love you all.
#ceasefirenow #bringthemhome #freepalestine
RIGHT NOW: Text CEASEFIRE to 51905
This will take you to a page created by Jewish Voice for Peace where you can: tell President Biden to call a ceasefire now, tell Congress to support a ceasefire, and demand better coverage on Gaza from the New York Times.
Educate yourself and others; learn from history, READ, watch documentaries and have empathetic conversations with your community. I highly recommend reading “The Olive Grove” by Deborah Rohan.
Learn more by following @palestine.academy
Denounce Islamophobia and antisemitism.
Join a rally, protest, march, or vigil near you.
Sign the petition on JVP.org
Contact your representatives and demand an immediate ceasefire and return of the hostages. Call 202-224-3121 or visit https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative OR download the 5 Calls app, which connects you directly to your representatives and gives you a script to follow. If you do not like talking to people, call after hours and leave a message. SPEAK UP NOW FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T!
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