This woman is complaining

It’s the middle of a dark, November night, and I’m about to have my first baby. But instead of the joyful experience I’d hoped for, I am being rushed into the operating theatre to have an emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic. I have a dangerous complication and my son’s life is at risk. Four hours earlier, I’d been sent home by a midwife who told me I couldn’t stay in hospital and have an epidural because labour wasn’t properly “established”.

It’s a week later and I’m back home with my son who, thankfully, made it. But I’m struggling. If someone asks me how I am, in a kindly voice, my voice cracks. I’m spending a lot of time sitting on the bed in a milk-stained dressing gown. In a few days, my partner will go back to work.

Several thousand years of civilisation combine to firstly work out how not to kill mother and baby here and secondly produce the excess resources above subsistence to enable mother and baby not to end up dead on the midden.

Worldwide, mothers are overworked, underpaid, often lonely and made to feel guilty about everything from epidurals to bottle feeding. Fixing this is the unfinished work of feminism

Fuck off, Honey. And take your complaints about the patriarchy with you.

18 thoughts on “This woman is complaining”

  1. Flight of Fancy: Meet Concrete Pavement of Reality.

    Childbirth is, and has always been, a very dangerous procedure for both mother and baby. Evolution, and advantage of large baby heads versus disadvantage of getting stuck in mother’s hip gap. Address all complaints to deity of your choice.

    Meantime, how about a word of thanks to the health care what saved your life?

  2. It’s the middle of a dark, November night,
    Fixing this is the unfinished work of feminism

    Or, as an intermediate step, we could train better midwives.

  3. “Eliane Glaser is a writer, lecturer and author of Get Real: How to See Through the Hype, Spin and Lies of Modern Life.”

    Yet she writes opinion/lifestyle pieces for the Guardian..
    Is this one of those: “either mercenary, cynical, or stupid. You get to pick only two… ” cases?

  4. Also:
    “mothers are overworked, underpaid, “

    Can she explain why she thinks anyone else should pay her to give birth?
    Does she support renting out wombs for surrogacy? I thought that was a feminist no-no!
    Or is she proposing to sell the child for adoption?
    Why then, should anyone pay her?

    Perhaps, it may eventually dawn on her that there’s a reason why “marriage” was created…

  5. The Guardian obviously carries such pathetic rubbish because they believe there’s a reader demand for it. Who are these readers? People looking to make a profitable career about purporting to tend to dimwits?

  6. Idk. Women complain. It’s what they do. Sometimes they’re right, a lot of time you just look wistfully outside at your car. I can understand the appeal of allotments and golf.

    Worldwide, mothers are overworked, underpaid

    This is true, and also true of fathers. But it’s especially difficult for Mums with small children. Being a Mum is already a full time job, with added health implications for a lot of women, being a Dad is not.

    We should prefer that mothers didn’t have to work, which was the direction our society was heading in circa the mid 20th century.

    But the feminists really didn’t like that. Not that it’s their fault, we’ve seen our capitalist lords and masterses’ insatiable hunger for cheap labour in operation for centuries now. The last thing they want to do is pay a family man a family man wage, when they can hire girls, or migrants, or offshore production to China or India instead. Or all of the above. The bargaining power of Western labour circa 1945 was a historical anomaly, which they immediately sought to correct with the Windrush (pbuh)

    But the femmies still resented and agitated against the idea of being dependent on a man who is legally and socially obliged to support them, and preferred to be dependent on the State and faceless corporate behemoths promising the old lie of a “career”. There’s a bit of Marxian bitterness against the normal family in there too, with the obsession with getting minimum wage strangers to raise your children in “daycare”.

    Old media is a time capsule of formerly fashionable attitudes. Some of it is darkly funny in retrospect – if it wasn’t for the whole fembot murder thing, lots of women would love to be kept in suburban comfort as Stepford Wives.

    Wouldn’t stop them complaining about it, though.

  7. Safest delivery is one’s second child at age twenty three: she should have started sooner, mind you the midwitches play into the illusion that everyone can push one out. She should be railing at the NHS for crap service they get away with.

  8. Dennis, A Vast Reservior of Toxic Masculinity

    Just another Guardian Woman – the type that can spin any event into trauma, suffering and oppression – whingeing away to yet another Guardian Audience that, by definition, will never lift a finger to do anything about said trauma, suffering and oppression.

  9. “We should prefer that mothers didn’t have to work”: why don’t they just hire nannies? I wonder if Kier Starmer’s wife has used nannies for her brats? So I looked at WKPD.

    ‘Starmer married Victoria Alexander in 2007. She was previously a solicitor but now works in NHS occupational health.’

    Golly, does that mean she’s become a professional bossyboots?

    ‘Starmer supports Premier League side Arsenal.’ He has my profound sympathy.

    “Starmer is a vegetarian’: yeah, and the bugger drinks lager too instead of grown-up beer. What a twerp.

  10. dearieme – I wanted to hire a busty Eastern European au pair, but the wife wasn’t having it.


  11. Bloke in North Dorset


    It’s the middle of a dark, November night,
    Fixing this is the unfinished work of feminism

    Or, as an intermediate step, we could train better midwives.
    In the early days of blogging there was a very good one by a doctor, he used to refer to them as madwives because even then they’d been taken over by the natural birth fundamentalists. So yes, that’s probably the place to start, although likely to be too late for reform.


    ‘Starmer married Victoria Alexander in 2007. She was previously a solicitor …

    We’ve just had a thread about male abuse in the work place, did she work for him and did he abuse his position? Great feminists need to know (The rest of probably don’t care).

    …but now works in NHS occupational health.’

    Golly, does that mean she’s become a professional bossyboots?

    I think the correct term is busybully.

  12. It’s probably why an increasing number of women are choosing to remain child free. That said, however, it is thought the primary cause for our falling birth rate has more to do with families settling for one or two children rather than three or four. One/two kids can accommodate a two career family unit (and most women want a career), while a third disrupts. I have three neighbours that each have three children – two have high-earning men and mothers prepared to put their career on hold, the third neighbour is blessed with a large extended family that fills in big time on child care (bambino taped to handlebar of granddad’s quad-bike alongside sheep dog).

  13. Dennis, He Who Remains Unpublished

    It’s the middle of a dark, November night,

    It was a dark and stormy night; my tears fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind (pardon me!) which swept up the house (for it is in my home office that our scene lies), rattling along the keyboard, and fiercely agitating the scanty cells of a brain that struggled against horrors of First World life.

  14. Dearieme & BiND

    …but now works in NHS occupational health.’

    Golly, does that mean she’s become a professional bossyboots?

    It means that Starmer can claim that his wife is “working in the front line in the NHS saving lives” apparently.

  15. She’s the type o’ gal who would get a double mastectomy after an early cancer detection, and then complain that her figure has changed.

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