#YesAllWomen. Thankfully #NotAllBabies.
I’m a Dr. Amy fan. I value the attention she’s brought to the dangers of homebirth. I’m a pretty strong homebirth opponent too — all I can see is increased risk with no benefit — and I agree with the part of her recent blog post that brings to light yet again the appalling lack of accountability and devotion to dogma over all else that is exhibited by American homebirth midwives. But I disagree with her co-opting of the #YesAllWomen hashtag to serve the cause.
Not all babies are affected by U.S. homebirth. It’s no secret that homebirths make up only a small percentage of American births. Most women give birth in a hospital. Most women would never consider giving birth at home.
While #YesAllWomen is not without criticism, there is no doubt of its magnitude. All women are affected by misogyny, rape culture and violence against women. I believe that the harm caused by the homebirth movement is worthy of attention, but those of us who are passionate about this topic should have a sense of perspective. This conversation is taking place amongst a relatively small pool of women. Not only does homebirth not affect all women, it doesn’t even interest most of them.
The #YesAllWomen conversation is powerful because of its critical mass. It’s bigger than the navel-gazing mommy wars and these familiar debates (homebirth, breastfeeding, circumcision) that some of us (myself included) can’t help but continue to revisit. #YesAllWomen transcended the relative isolation of internet debate to become a moment of connection and enlightenment. Let’s respect the power of what #YesAllWomen began and not trade off of it for pageviews.