Yesterday, Home Birth activists in Argentina took off their tops and took to the streets of Buenos Aries to send a message to the world and to their own Ministry of Health that they want the right to give birth in peace, on their own terms, in their own power and without the “authorized” mandates of a man made government agency. We hear you, women of Argentina! And support you.
Home birth activists, midwives and doctors came out in support – Doctor Ana Paula Fagioli, who backed the protest, had this to say about hospitals – “they have become torture chambers for pregnant women who spend hours connected to tubes and under medication to induce birth”. The activists are calling for freedom in how women choose to give birth, and are wary of the new policies that the Ministry of Health is developing that may put restrictions on home birth midwives, and subsequently, options that women have in their birthing choices.
It’s not the first time women have chosen to go bare breasted to make a point – the women of Femen have fine tuned it into an art form – and have suffered criminal and political repercussion’s because of it.
Concerned mothers and breastfeeding advocates in the Philipines took the same course of action against Nestle back in 2007.
What is it about the power of the boob? What is it that mystifies the breast? Some would ask, cloaking it/them behind an obscure political agenda that dominates over women’s power? It is certainly fine, acceptable and common to have our breasts used to sell products, but shameful if used to feed a baby in public, or simply because it feels amazing to go topless while swimming, or dancing. No, our breasts must be confined – brought out only if it serves to increase someone’s profit margin. And we comply.
Sometimes we don’t, and bring them out when we seriously want to prove a point – which the women in Buenos Aries did yesterday.
We’ll see if the government heard them, and if they did, will it effect the new policies that are being drafted to control what may be the most powerful act a woman has – how and where she gives birth?