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What is an exoticized image of a woman of color giving birth?

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Here’s one example.


From “Cartoon Classics,” Medical Economics, Inc., 1963.




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Reader Comments (14)

Yowza. At least its almost 50 years old. But, it's not like we're post racial now.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMomTFH

I'm just sorta speechless...

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel_in_WY

Ugh, can't we just let this kind of stuff stay in the past? I mean what purpose does it serve to post this photo?

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwtf?

WTF, why pretend that the only time that exists is the present? Exoticization of non-white races, particularly women, is alive and well.

March 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

I am an extremely proud, natural African American woman so I clearly understand more than most. trust, I am well aware, maybe you are posting this for people who live under rocks.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwtf?

I'm also reading into this image the idea (transcending race in a certain way) that any woman who wants to give birth in a position other than the one depicted here (flat on back, stirrups, forceps) is "primitive" ("backwards," not modern, etc.) That's certainly an idea that's still very prevalent within the medical community today, don't you guys think?

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

"maybe you are posting this for people who live under rocks."

Yep. There are plenty of people who have no idea why an image like this would be problematic or offensive.

March 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

I agree, Ashley. It's thrown out as a pejorative. "Oh, so you want to squat in a bush like African women or you think you can just give birth and keep on working like a Chinese woman in a rice paddy." So now you're backward and backward = "those other people," usually of a non-white race.

March 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

Holy yikes! But it's not like 1960 is that long ago; certainly in living memory of people my parents' age. Of course, my parents grew up in a fully segregated town, too, and were otherwise nice people who happened to be complete racists. They would have found this funny. Lots of people their age are still in positions of power and influence. Some of them work for hospitals, medical associations, and medical schools.

So no, not far enough in the past for me.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteremjaybee

I have mixed feelings about the cartoon. Knowing what we know today, it serves, to me, only to make OB's with all their newfangled technology look stupid. Forceps? No thanks, I'll stick with my 'natural birth in the woods,' thank you very much.

I don't think it's just black women or other minorities that get treated badly - poor women, those who refuse an epidural, etc. are often treated the same way, even by their own peers. One study found recently that poorer, less educated women received epis, and personally, I think that even with their perceived lack of education, they are probably smarter than all those 'educated women.' I think that *all* women, not just minorities, are perceived as dumb and uneducated if they refuse birth interventions.

March 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Deranged Housewife
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