Ignorance is not feminist

I was meant to write about butt plugs. Instead I got my hands on Inga Muscio’s Cunt. So you get a pre-review rant.

There is nothing that turns me off feminist, sex-positive works like anti-science, irrational and ignorant statements. I just can’t stomach the woo-woo shit. It’s harmful and it’s insulting. Every time someone puts down “western” medicine as man-made they imply that critical thinking is something beyond a woman’s brain.

I can’t stand the naivety of people who promote Big Supplement and Big Quack while throwing stones at Big Pharma. I despair at women who poo-poo highly effective and safe methods of contraception and fail to mention that the alternatives they propose are only suitable to people for whom unplanned pregnancy wouldn’t be a problem. I feel sick whenever somebody praises the wonders of menstrual extraction or herbal abortions. If they were so wonderful then why fight for abortions in clinics? And I absolutely abhor the “birth is so medicalized” crowd.

I’ll grant you that the woo-woo is seductive in its simplicity. You just have to close your eyes and wish and it’s gonna be all right. It’s comforting. But the comfort it brings is just an illusion. I have once fallen for the homebirth agenda. I’ve watched the Orgasmic Birth and the Business of Being Born. I’ve seen how lay midwifes use the anti-patriarchal sentiments to sell the fantasy of female empowerment through natural and unmedicated birth. But the bubble bursts when you look at perinatal mortality rates (that homebirth midwifes are always very reluctant to release).

Medicine, when practiced properly, is based on evidence of efficacy. It is based on knowing the pros the cons and weighing them against each other. One of the reasons why woo-woo wins over people is that it doesn’t require knowledge. It doesn’t require critical thinking. It’s easier to “listen to your body” than analyse results and methodology of a clinical trial. It’s easier to invent a “wholistic approach” than to spend 5+ years studying how organs in the human body really interact and how to properly diagnose an illness based on it’s symptoms.

That’s all for now – I plan on posting a review of the book in the beginning of 2014. Till then please keep a level head and don’t let seductively easy ideas fool you.

Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out

most often attributed to Richard Feynman