Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meet Mrs. W - She isn't who you might think she is...

The other week - an anonymous someone - made the following comment on my blog:

AnonymousNovember 14, 2012 11:41 PM You strike me as one of the type of upper class white person who feels entitled to anything she pleases. This sort of arrogant mindset does not serve you well, it only makes you come across as snooty and reprehensible. Not everything should be accessible simply because you want it. This is a product of the over-consumption way of living that is not healthy nor admirable. It's not anyone else's problem that you have issues with squeezing a baby out of your vagina. It's not anyone else's responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen. It's YOUR responsibility to mature a bit and realize not everything in life is convenient, clean and pain-free. And it's nobody's job to make it that way.

They revealed their assumptions about me - and in doing so, demonstrated what the stereotype is of a woman who wants to avoid delivering her child vaginally and requests a cesarean. It's not a pretty picture. Entitled. Arrogant. Snooty. Reprehensible. Over-consumptive. Self-centred. Immature.

Such vitriol - no wonder this person wished to remain anonymous, it is easy to hate a stereotype and even easier when you can choose to remain nameless and faceless yourself.

So who am I really - and how does it compare to the woman this person thinks I am?

I am 33 years old. I'm caucasian. The second born child of three to two high-school drop-outs - a farmer and a waitress at the time of my birth. I was baptized Anglican. My parents divorced when I was 6 - after the farm failed in the wake of early eighties interest rates. My father graduated from college when I was nine. I went to Catholic school from grades 2 through 7. My father remarried when I was seven - and separated again by the time I was nine. I was bullied in grade school. I was confirmed Catholic. I elected to live at my father's house when I was thirteen. My mom graduated university when I was fifteen. I taught Anglican Sunday school and volunteered at the local hospital in high school. I graduated when I was seventeen. I moved out on my own and started at the University of Victoria when I was nearly eighteen. I worked full-time for most of my undergraduate studies - as a waitress at a family restaurant, as a cashier at Tim Horton's, as a hostess at Japanese Village, as a copy editor for the student newspaper, as a telephone surveyor. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Economics and Sociology and more than $18,000 in student debt. I then worked as an employment standards officer and started graduate studies in Economics. My mother remarried when I was twenty-two. I was a teacher's assistant during graduate school. I did work terms with the Ministry of Forests and Tourism British Columbia. I worked as a labour relations officer with the federal government for a year. I graduated with my Masters Degree when I was twenty four. I then did economics consulting for a year, at which time I was offered an economist position with the Vital Statistics Agency. After a year with the Vital Statistics Agency my position was transferred to the Ministry of Health. I met my husband shortly before my 28th birthday - at which time his children were 9 and 5. We married shortly after my 30th birthday. His vasectomy was reversed shortly after the wedding. I lost my grand-mother, aunt and uncle to a drunk driver the summer after I married my husband. Our daughter was conceived in the fall. I became a mother at the age of 31 and again to my son this past September.

So who am I? I am a devoted daughter, sister, step-sister, wife, step-mother, mother, and aunt who has worked hard to get where she is. I am a devoted friend. I am educated. I am an economist. I am principled. I am confident. I am independent. I am open-minded. I am responsible. I am articulate. I am thoughtful. I am hard-working. I am respectful. I refuse to be bullied. I am determined to be the kind of woman and mother that I would want my daughter to be - and to do my part to make her world a better place.

So to Anonymous - I say the following, "I know who I am, I am not ashamed, I will not be disempowered and abused - I am not the stereotype you think I am - and it's rather telling that you make such assumptions to begin with."


  1. Wow. That 'anonymous' has issues. I love too how the idea of how you bring a child into the world is related to consumerism. Not everything should be accessible because you want it to be? Sure, maybe if we are talking about my ability to get a certain friggin doll for my daughter for Christmas that won't be available in Canada in time but a maternal request cesarean? If this 'anonymous' ever gets extreme constipation which requires medical help then I say it is not anyone else's problem - not one HCP should worry about providing best care. They are so full of it anyway it might already be happening. You are clearly a lot nicer than me Mrs W. It took a lot of self control not to include expletives in my comment. Keep rockin' the blog.

  2. Pff, what a silly and ignorant comment from that Nov 14 anonymous. Mrs W, I greatly enjoy your blog, and agree wholeheartedly with your views (as presented here) on autonomy, misogyny, and what frankly amounts to medical fraud. Please keep up the brave work.

  3. Mrs W. Why do you feel the need to justify your background in this post. Why is it important to say you are not upper middle class? So what if you actually do fit that profile?

    The point is that, for any other issue medical there is no shame in splashing your cash and getting the best treatment you can afford. Even having plastic surgery these days isn't the preserve of the upper classes and is incredibly common, and you certainly wouldn't get judged or need to justify yourself.

    For any other issue you wouldn't have people saying that pain and suffering is some sort of badge of honour.

    So why having a C-Section? Particularly when you may well have mental health considerations and worries.

    So yeah, I'm actually quite disappointed you felt the need to defend yourself against anonymous. Its a real shame you did. You don't. They are ignorant and don't deserve you giving them power over you. Its as simple as that and anyone educated and open minded would take the view that everyone is different and whats right for you isn't right for the next person and you simply should focus on that and not give a damn about the judgemental bigots out there.

    1. I don't think Mrs W was defending herself so much as proving anonymous wrong and showing him/her how dangerous and naive stereotypes are. No shame in that. I say "bravo".