Outfit consists of:
Necklace: 1940s book locket found at Jean Jean Vintage
Sweater: acrylic sweater from Romeo & Juliet Couture found at TJ Maxx
Shirt: gray tee found at TJ Maxx
Jeans: dark wash skinny jeans from Domaine found at TJ Maxx
Boots: brown A2 by Aerosoles boots found at Kohls
Week 17 of this pregnancy and I'm frustrated. In my real life, my husband kindly calls me militant about my political views (but I emphasize I don't bring this into my classrooms) so it's no wonder that larger scale issues associated with pregnancy and parenting have more than set me on edge. I've been lumping these issues together into a category I call the politics of pregnacy, but they really touch on issues of social, political, and medical views of pregnancy and parenting.
What exactly has me angry? Well the issues are broad, but they really boil down to the core issue of how the female body in general, but specifically in relation to child having and raising, becomes public. In crafting the female body as a publicly accessible entity, women are constantly bombarded by social, political, and medical controls. Already during this pregnancy I've questioned fear-based medical practices associated with prenatal care, the invasion of personal space by strangers while pregnant, and the near constant litany of advice-forcing by every person you've ever known. The last one is yes, a bit tricky, but there's a marked difference between "Hey have you tried this? It worked for me and it may help!" and "You have to do this." or "You absolutely cannot do that."
There's been a few heated and lively discussions on my personal Facebook page about these issues and I've really wanted to have a forum in which to continue them and engage with a broader audience. I debated starting up a new blog specifically devoted to it, but I barely have time to keep up with one blog. I've also debated writing a series of essays, and I may still do this, but I'm hoping this sporadic series of posts will start as a proving ground for my ideas and concerns.
Least you be concerned that a vintage clothing blog will devolve into heated political debate, I doubt you need to worry. I intend for these posts to be infrequent, perhaps once or twice a month to start and if they prove successful I'll schedule a day for them. What does it actually mean in terms of content, well I'm hoping you'll help with some ideas. To begin with some topic ideas I've been thinking over, I've come up with:
1. Why has there been a shift in the American medical system wherein pregnancy information relies on fear (food lists, habits that will harm you and your fetus) rather than relaying health and wellness empowering practices? What can I do about this?
2. What is it about pregnancy that allows for strangers to feel the need to monitor and approve your individual behaviors? How do I get people to mind their own business?
3. How do I raise a child without gendered stereotypes or hetero-normative expectations of love and relationships?
So ladies (and gents if you're reading!) what about pregnancy and parenting have you struggled with?