Friday, July 08, 2005

A Male "Midwife?"

A couple of days ago I came across a Swiss news story on the country's first male "midwife." The article documented the apprehensions of some of the staff and patients of the hospital, with the bulk of the concern centering in, shockingly, the fact that a man will midwife. For his part, the male attendant (I refuse to call him a midwife) sees himself as something of a trailblazer, a figure of courage and importance breaking down unnecessary barriers. He seemed to struggle to understand why women not married to him would have a difficult time with him being so intimately involved in the birthing process. Ignorance may be bliss for Mr. Male Attendant, but those he'll "assist" seem to feeling anything but.

This is what happens in a culture without absolutes, where the ingrained realities of life undergo surgery and emerge as social constructs. One can tear away those "constructs" as surely as one can tear away gauze covering a wound. When societies do so, things happen that are fundamentally out of order with those ingrained realities, those products of the conscience, and that naturally unnerve even those who scoff at absolutes. Culture is thus left with nothing to check decline save for uneasiness. How long does that last as a defense? Let's just say longevity need not hold its breath. When absolutes are tossed away, it's just a matter of time for the behaviors they once supported to topple. Male "midwifes." And I thought boys playing field hockey was off-kilter.


Blogger Jeff said...

I've often had some of the same thoughts about male obstetrician/gynecologists. Just ain't right.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Richard A. Bailey said...

So--no male nurses, no male elementary school teachers, no male hairdressers...wait, those are barbers! Ahh that hobgoblin of little minds....consistency. My point? While there certainly are reasons to be concerned about the abandonment of absolutes, the threat of postmodernism, and perhaps even the application of social constructs, this story is not necessarily one of those times. Would I want this guy's job? No. Would you? Likely not. But with the information given, this doesn't qualify as an issue of gender or sexuality. Instead, this is simply an issue of profession . I don't want to be a fence-installer, a garbage man, or an assembly line worker, but does that necessarily say something about my sexuality or gender? It might be nice to have more facts before burdening this poor mid-husband with weight and a cause he might not be seeking. Does the guy have a family? Is he providing for them in this way? Perhaps we'd be better off to pray that he would glorify God and delight in his calling.

2:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home