Janelle Hanchett is the author of “I’m Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Recklessness, Rehab, and Renegade Mothering,” out in paperback May 7, 2019. In this episode, we talk about the politics of motherhood and why the idea that controlling our bodies in birth is controversial. Janelle also talks about ‘how I discovered I am white’ (her excellent post of that title is at her Renegade Mothering blog here: https://www.renegademothering.com/2014/12/09/discovered-white/) and her new book.
There’s this larger question: ‘Is motherhood enough to turn us into perfect versions of ourselves?’ I was really looking into the redemptive narrative surrounding motherhood. Like, this idea that we are saved by motherhood, that we are washed clean by it, that we are redeemed by it, and that the dark part of our self can be erased through love of our children. Spoiler alert, I think that’s bullshit. I think it’s more just subtle erasure of women, right? Because if you erase *any* part of me, you’re erasing me.
“What that’s basically saying is that the instant a woman has a baby, she is transformed into a vessel of motherhood for this child. She is no longer a fully formed human being. Human beings have fatal flaws! We aren’t that any more. We are now just this clean slate to be used and to nurture this child. And it’s bullshit! So–the book is a story about addiction and motherhood, but it’s really kind of a larger exploration of that theme.”
Follow Janelle at www.Facebook.com/renegademothering
We love Evidence Based Birth® for making this episode possible, and for their radical approach to changing maternity care–taking the research evidence out of paywalled journals and putting it into the hands of the people on the ground.
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