Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 950 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Read #20 Books: The Radical Doula Guide

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As you may already know if you’ve ever met me, my world is lived in the highly political, the in-between, and in the realm of social justice activism. So when I heard about the release party for The Radical Doula Guide back in 2012, a mere few months after I received my doula training, I couldn’t resist the opportunity. And boi am I glad I went. Getting to network with people from groups like Isis Rising (a “prison-based pregnancy, birth, and parenting project provided to women currently serving time at the Shakopee Women’s Prison”), Everyday Miracles (a non-profit “dedicated to providing education and doula services to low income families with the goal of improving birth outcomes”), and other self-identified radical doulas like myself was reason enough!

Not only did I get this great reference guide, and the chance to find out about some great organizations… But this release party also represented the start of a new organization that I am now a part of. The SPIRAL Collective is a full-spectrum doula organization like those described in the book. The Radical Doula Guide opens with:

“The guide provides an introduction to full spectrum doula work—supporting people during all phases of pregnancy, including abortion, miscarriage, birth and adoption—as well as a discussion of how issues like race, class, immigration, gender and more affect our work as doulas”

Now, almost 2 years later I found my bookmark in this book only halfway through and decided it was time to finish it. After rereading it from cover to cover I feel reinvigorated with all that it inspired me to consider.

For example, it’s got me thinking a lot about how race, class, gender, sexuality, age and ability impact bodies. We have a lot of work to do if we want to see a reproductively just world. I give this primer 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone – not just doulas, midwives, doctors and nurses. It’s a quick read and it’s worth it!

Learn #15 New Things: Abortion Support

Abortion Doula Workshop

Today I went to an amazing day-long workshop to become a trained abortion doula (support provider). To find out what a doula is, check out my website: cheyennethedoula.wordpress.com While I may not walk though the halls of the school I work in proclaiming my love of being an abortion doula, I am pretty open about it in the rest of my life. I love being an abortion doula.

One things I don’t think anyone loves is abortion. Abortion causes a lot of heads to turn due to its high profile in U.S. Elections and in the courts. But the fact is that abortion is necessary in today’s society.

On one hand, I’ll admit that in a perfect world, everyone would have access to sex education and birth control, no one would be coerced or forced into nonconsensual sex, or have unexpected pregnancies, and abortion would be obsolete. On the other hand, I just today read a well-researched article that said almost 2 million women are raped each year in the U.S. And that’s just women who were willing to admit it. So many more people are the victim of spousal/partner control, a lack of education, and/or religious/cultural/health/whatever barriers when it comes to family planning. It’s not a political issue to me, it’s a personal issue and a personal decision that every person should have the right to make for themselves. Because I firmly believe in working for the socially underrepresented and oppressed, I cannot turn away from those who need my help – possibly even more than those who choose to give birth. It is not pity that draws me to the aid of those seeking to end their pregnancies, it is camaraderie, compassion, and a desire to lessen the suffering that is the commonality within us all.

Article referenced:
http://www.vox.com/2014/12/5/7342489/rape-assault-violence-graphic?utm_campaign=vox&utm_content=article-share-top&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

Read #20 books: Things Fall Apart

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I just finished reading the tale of Okonkwo, a Nigerian man growing up amidst violence, war, suffering, balanced by a strong sense of tradition, ritual, and social coherence. In this story the protagonist is a self-made who has worked all his life to overcome his father’s weaknesses. Okonkwo is a champion wrestler, a prosperous farmer, husband of three wives and father to several children.

Yet things start to unravel for Okonkwo when a young boy from another village comes to live with him and his family. Okonkwo becomes fond of the boy – treating him as his own son – until a plague of locusts prompts the village elders to sacrifice the boy to appease the gods. Things go downhill for Okonkwo so much that he is eventually exiled from his village for seven years.

This book is fraught with themes of colonialism, gender, masculinity, and community. It’s deep but it’s plainly written and could be a quick read. You’ll be thinking about it long after though.