The Disappearance of “Mother”

Isabella Malbin was an Art School graduate and like most graduates in that field she had to work at finding work. After many odd, unfulfilling jobs she thought helping women in the birth process would be rewarding and would fit her personality. So she started the certification process in New York State thinking she could work in a hospital, birthing center, or a clinic as a birthing assistant.

Below is a long form interview of her by Benjamin Boyce on his podcast, “The Boyce of Reason.” He calls his interviews “calmversations.” Something we desperately need in today’s insult Twitterverse, where the snarky often vulgar putdown is the preeminent form of communication.

I’m going to preview the parts that I found most compelling and on point. But do support Benjamin’s efforts by checking out his channel and watching the interview yourself. Also don’t skip the ads. (Unless it’s a 30 minute one!). He gets paid a meager stipend for his production efforts if you “watch” the ads. The full video interview is below so you can verify I didn’t jerk thangs out of context.

NOTABLE QUOTABLES {my comments are in brackets}

Isabella: (10:31) “You know, I had heard about this Postpartum Doula thing…so in 2016 I signed up for a birth and Postpartum Doula1A support person, usually female, who may not have medical or midwifery training, who provides emotional assistance to a mother or pregnant couple before, during or after childbirth. training….At the time I couldn’t find training that was just Postpartum {she was not interested in the birth part of the training but the combined training was all that was being offered.} I really wasn’t even interested in birth, other than the fact that I had heard there was injustice happening within obstetric birth and that was women were being violated and that c-sections were on the rise and I had an awareness that there was something wrong but I didn’t think that was going to be my lane.

{Isabella is a self-described Radical Feminist who believes the medical/pharmaceutical industry is abusing women by pushing unnecessary medical interventions (c-sections) opioids and, surprisingly for a Feminist, also by pushing synthetic hormonal birth control.}

(11:45) There was a cultural competency segment of the training which was that we no longer use the words “woman” and “mother.”  We say “birthing people,” “birthing person,” “chest feeder” and then later I was introduced to “menstruating human” and “uterus haver.”  And all those things.  And so this was in Brooklyn and New York City…

The term “birthing people” implies that women are not the only humans that give birth.  “Birthing people” makes space for someone to say “I’m a man and I give birth.”  Which is just factually inaccurate.  Men don’t give birth.  In the “birthing person” space, with language ideology, women are being asked to play pretend.  Right?  To pretend that that’s a woman, to make a sacrifice for someone else’s comfort of their kind of dysphoria, right, making space for their dysphoria, right?  Their belief that they are stuck in the wrong body, that they have some congenital defect, which is just healthy breast tissue, you know, so things like that.

…not only is this factually untrue but it gives power to our oppressor class to say that men give birth, right?  {I told you she was a Radical Feminist!} So it’s ironic because all these women who are in this birth Doula training are there because they want to change the world, they want to make things better for women specifically in birth.  We are only in this position because natural birth and um traditional midwifery was systematically taken away from women.  Women didn’t get together and say hey this birth thing, men and technology they just know how to do it better.  

To say that this thing that only women have the capacity to do is now something that men can claim is totally bonkers.

(21:13) we were instructed {in her Doula training} to not use the words natural birth.  I really see that as part of the pharmaceutical industry to like want to normalize c-sections so what once started out as caesarean awareness month which was like education to kind of like share what caesareans were and how they worked has become a whole really romantic glossy for women to like “shout their caesareans” “this is birth too!”  I think it came from a place of not wanted to shame and not wanting to judge…

{Isabella talks about how pervasive the ideology was in her training and why she hesitated initially to push back…fear of being called a bigot.}

(26:28) How could it be true that my Doula training and the organization itself talks more about trans ideology and inclusivity more than they do about preserving the importance of physiologic birth and protecting women and children?  You know it is so bizarre and it took me a few years to kind of wrap my head around that because I had such a, you know, before I really got clarity over what was happening on like a larger scale and what was happening with uh just the market of sex reassignment surgery and that and the money stuff.  I just, I didn’t go there for so long because part of me thought that there was this small oppressed sad population that needed my protection and if I were to utter the words “woman” and “mother” I would jeopardize their safety, I would jeopardize their well-being and, and nobody wants to be the bigot, you know nobody wants to be that person, and so yeah.

(31:12). So the friends I was teaching with were affirming trans ideology, they were affirming women to take synthetic hormones, if they identified as trans, like no questions asked, and like to even question a woman who had cut off her breasts and taken testosterone for years then having a baby, to question what the effects of that long-term testosterone would be on the child was like “no, no, no, that’s not your business, you don’t go there.  That’s not something you ask a question about.” 

Ben: (33:30) California just recently is attempting to redefine breast tissue as abnormal if this mental condition called gender-dysphoria declares it as abnormal.   This one condition, gender dysphoria, is given the right to redefine what reality is, what normality is.  It is given a completely different status than any other psychological distress or mental condition and even we probably couldn’t even call it a mental condition because it’s so sacred and it’s redefining the world.  It’s very odd that this one thing has so much power.  

Isabella:  Yeah, when I saw this I was horrified.  I think the language was like congenital defect

BenYes, a breast is a congenital defect because of gender dysphoria.  

Isabella: (35:55). When I started to bubble up things about my discomfort with the ideology, people would say to me, friends would say to me, well you don’t know because you’ve never experienced that.  And I would say well, it’s interesting you’d say that because I remember as a teenage girl fantasizing what it would be like to slice off my inner thighs,  so I could have a thigh gap.  And of course my mom would say well that’s ridiculous you’re never, you’re not going to get liposuction, you’re 14 years old.  Imagine the damage that could have been done to me had my mom said, you know what, you know if I had threatened to harm myself if she wouldn’t let me, if I were to use suicide as a kind of manipulation technique?  Same for anorexia….If I were to beg my mom to call me fat when I was like 85 pounds that would have been really damaging.  That wasn’t my experience, the anorexia part, but certainly the desire to modify my body surgically is not something specific to trans identified women….That gender dysphoria thing is something that, or body dysmorphia experience is something that you know a lot of my friends went through and had.  What we didn’t have was someone affirming us saying you know what, you’re right, your body is wrong.  

Ben:  Is there some part of pubescence for women that’s uh, it’s a very narrow passage and wanting to escape the body or disgust with the body or a persistent desire to flee the body is a part of that passage and coming to peace with that is traditionally, up until medical ability to fiddle around with that, is a part of becoming mature, a part of becoming a woman, and becoming embodied and I guess in a way dealing not only with the social consequences but the reality of the situation of being a woman and wanting to flee that as a part of pubescence and coming of age.  And in our attempt to give people the most convenient life possible, the most easy life possible we’re starting to fiddle around with something that’s essential to the process of becoming mature.  

Isabella: (1:02:44). I think there’s something about just not being able to deny the truth of birth.  There’s no pretending…I always say there’s no room for apathy in birth.  You really, it’s something that is so grounding and so sobering and the idea that such a point of truth of humanity that one would be asked to lie or pretend really astounds me and to deny that that process, or to include men in that process even linguistically is totally weird.  It’s weird.

It’s straight up abusive to take these like young (I was 24 when I did my Doula training) these really eager young women who want to do good who want to serve women and to kind of indoctrinate them in this way to say like “you won’t have a client base unless you agree to the new lexicon”. You know which was what was like implicit in the whole training.

Isabella: (1:07:19) Again this narrative, it’s just the disenfranchised, oppressed, you know, absolutely gender non-conforming people are targeted right and attacked, I mean Buck Angel says you know that she was brutalized as a butch lesbian, dragged in the streets, then she now passes as a man in some respects.  We can hold the truth that gender non-conforming people are targeted and brutalized…but that isn’t justification to then move into this whole twisted mental gymnastics ideology where men and women are like interchangeable.

{She next tried to get training in what used to be called Natural Family Planning but has been rebranded in the last few decades as the “Fertility Awareness Method.” Most of the research behind FAM is by the Catholic Church (though not this training), plus, I’m pretty sure Isabella is not Catholic or religious for that matter. But, as a Radical Feminist opposed to Big Pharma, and the medicalization of identity, she is very much in favor of natural processes instead of synthetically enhanced ones that, in her view, damage women. But she got kicked out of this training too. Here’s the story:}

Isabella: (1:18:15)  I got kicked out of the FAM training.  I was already a radical feminist.  I emailed the head of the program and was like “hey this is what I’m about, let me know if you erase women, if you do I’d like to know now”. And she was like, oh no, no, I hold space for everyone and that should have been my red flag, but it was a two year teacher training that I had been looking forward to, I had actually applied the year before and not gotten in and so it was the long journey of “oh my god it’s starting and wonderful I’m going to get all this knowledge and you know deepen my knowledge and whatnot for sharing this natural family planning method with all these women.”  

(1:19:07). I kept using the word woman and mother, um, the first module was the gender unicorn, uh total indoctrination of trans ideology.

Ben:  So in the beginning before you get to the facts you have to adopt this ideology.  It’s put right in the front of reproductive health of females.  They have to adopt trans ideology before they can get to the reality of woman.  In program after program.  Pretty astounding.  

Isabella:  And this woman who is the head of this program would constantly self-censor.  She’d be like “women, oh gosh, I’m so sorry everyone I’m really working on it and I’m getting better.”  But um and then she would say to me privately, “I really resonate with some of the things that you’re sharing like, I also worry about little boys being castrated”.  You know and then totally would collude to the mob.  You know it got worse and worse and we would have private talks and I’m not kidding, I would be giving a presentation on my assignment and be saying “woman” “women” and this was all virtual training so I could see the women on the screens just being like visibly upset and so this kind of all led up to there was a lot of tension brewing and women were writing her saying that they didn’t feel safe in the program because of my critique of the gender unicorn and my stance and I wasn’t alone, I had an ally in the group and then a silent ally so…

Ben:  It’s so weird, like I’m sorry to distract…the terminology “I don’t’ feel safe” for someone having a different…this ideology is so threatening and its so frail at the same time.  It’s just a nest of contradictions.  

Isabella:  And manipulation, ridiculous you know I had this thought too, have these women never experienced real violence that they can’t distinguish between someone who is 5’1”, 110 pounds, like five states away, in a virtual space, thinking that I’m unsafe and could like harm them.  In what reality?  I mean kudos to them for having never experienced real violence but that’s like crazy shit.  

(1:21:34). So the teacher was very much like trying to be the peacemaker and like trying to find a win for all.  So, she decided to schedule a gender forum in which she said she was hiring a moderator, no I’m sorry she said an expert.

Ben:  which means an ideologue, a demagogue that comes in and lays down the law.  Am I incorrect?

Isabella:  You are spot on.  She was a trans rights ally.  As soon as I started to speak women started to cry.  They started to shake.  The one woman in the program who went by she/her and he/him, said “it’s really hard for me to be here” and she was the one shaking and crying and then the expert challenged me to a role play.  And I accepted.  So during this role play, she was a man who identifies as a woman asking to be included in my women’s circle and so it basically was:  “But Isabella you know I would really appreciate it if you would let me into your circle, you know, I really you know I’m working through a lot right now and I could really use the community and support.”  ….At one point then she started to get really jazzed up and was like “I want to kill myself” and I basically just said “Your mental health is not my responsibility.  This is a group for women and I’m really sorry to hear you’re going through a hard time and I have empathy for that and I am not giving you permission to come into this space”.  And then it was just over.  Like dead silence.  It was the end of the call.  I got an email right after, you’re out of the program.  Sorry we couldn’t make it work.  I wrote her an earful.  

Ben:  We only want women who will be penetrated at the will of people who cry in the right way.  Wow.  

Okay. That’s it for now. Take time and watch the whole video. Isabella does not claim to be a Christian. And perhaps she could have handled these moments more sensitively. But watch the video and form your own opinion. I think she is a caring person. She is just frustrated at being asked to affirm a falsehood.

Also, let’s not miss the important cultural shift clearly on display. My research in the past year confirms this kind of training is happening all over the western world. And the intimidation tactics are increasing. Professional licensing and reputation is on the chopping block if you don’t fall in line with gender ideology.

Unless you are willing to disappear mother for “birthing person,” “chest feeder” “menstruating human” or “uterus haver” you may no longer be welcomed as a health care provider in the Western World.

Is this the world we want to live in?


LINK DISCLAIMER footnote:2 Links from this blog to online resources don’t necessarily mean I support everything found on these sites. But as adults we should embrace viewpoint diversity. And make alliances where we can.


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