Saturday, December 29, 2012

Would you wear one of these t-shirts?


I've just been shown these t-shirts being sold by Asda - one with the slogan 'Too Posh to Push' written above a picture of Miss Piggy and the other with the words 'Keep Calm and Push'.

And mmmm... I must admit that I'm in two minds about how I feel about them.

On the one hand, having come from a starting point in 2004 when it was considered almost sacrilege to even mention the idea of 'choosing a cesarean', I welcome the idea of women who do prefer a cesarean birth plan being able to express their choice freely and confidently. And in some ways, it helps keep the spotlight on this birth choice as a women's rights issue, by literally saying to the world, "It's my baby, my body, my choice - you do things your way, I'll do things mine".

But on the other hand, I'm very uncomfortable about the slogans too.

Firstly, I really dislike the phrase 'too posh to push'; it misses the whole point about wanting to avoid the very real risks of a trial of labor, and is so often used in such a disparaging and ignorant way that I just couldn't bring myself to give it any credibility by wearing it in public or adopting it as something I want to say about myself.

Secondly, I don't like the insinuation that women who choose a cesarean are any less 'calm' than anyone else; or that somehow the ability to give birth vaginally is dependent on a person's mood or temperament. They aren't, and it isn't.

Thirdly, I'm concerned that these slogans could promote further division and even conflict between women; and for pregnant women especially, I'm not sure that it's a good idea to invite any confrontation or subsequent stress that these t-shirts might cause.

But ultimately, I guess it's each to their own; I've never been a fan of wearing words across my body, whatever the words say (and I consciously avoid slogans on our toddlers' t-shirts too!), so it may be that it's simply not 'my thing'.

And who knows, maybe one day in the future, when choosing a PROPHYLACTIC (as opposed to POSH) cesarean has attained the worldwide understanding, respect and legitimacy that it deserves, I'll be ready to call myself too posh to push too - albeit it in an ironic rather than literal sense, and within the context of what being 'too posh' really meant for real women during this very controversial period in maternity history.

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