My Identity (Crisis)

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This last week-and-a-half, I’ve been pondering the mystery that is Rachel Dolezal, the President of the Spokane-Washington NAACP chapter, a woman who presented herself to be African-American but who was born very much caucasian. I read the news articles and thought, “That was stupid. She could have just been a white ‘sympathizer’ and still become the chapter president. Attention whore.” Thursday morning, I woke up to the tragic news of the Charleston terrorist attack on Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. For me, these two stories converged in a very unsettling, but ultimately cathartic way. Let me explain.

I am Afro-Peruvian. By birth. But I don’t speak much Spanish at all. I am also Canadian. By adoption. My parents are white. My adoptive parents. This week, I learned I’m transracial. Who knew? I live in North Carolina with my white husband and our white-but-tans-really-well daughter. A year ago, I found myself grappling with my own identity for the sake of my daughter; today, I’m doing it for myself.

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Women’s Rights vs States’ Rights: The Ongoing Battle and How it Affects Birth Settings

Image by J. Costea Photography
Image by J. Costea Photography http://www.jcosteaphotography.com/

We are facing a national women’s crisis, and nobody’s willing to do anything about it. Is it because the operative word here is “women”? Because that’s what it feels like. In the US, the vast majority of women don’t have a choice as to where they are going to give birth because of the widespread belief among medical professionals and policy-makers in the US that only hospital births are safe. In reality, traditional, out-of-hospital settings, such as freestanding birth centers and home births, have been proven safer and cheaper for low-risk, healthy pregnant women. Countries with socialized medicine know this and are actively recommending it because healthy women having healthy babies in hospitals are a strain on their system, as they know it leads them to more unnecessary, costly interventions.

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