How ingrained is the male default? Is it filtering into AI?
Check out this news story about sexist snow clearing, which asks these questions.
It got me thinking…
where else does the masculine default impact the abilities of women?
Where else could a simple re-ordering not only improve experiences for women (without impacting the default greatly), AND save significant amounts of money and reduce injury?
Could it be so simple?
The Maternity System, so horridly paternalistic, over-medicalised and insurance-led, is also defaulted to the masculine.
The masculine being, convenience driven, staff-oriented and oblivious to the very people the system is meant to serve.
Choice is often an illusion, and lip-service given to an ‘woman-centred’ care. I am yet to hear anyone refer to woman-led maternity care.
And yet, we KNOW, that if we put the needs of women first money would be saved. Injuries would reduce. Satisfaction would increase (which reduces the risk of trauma and postnatal depression, increases breastfeeding rates). Work places would improve…midwife burnout is a very real problem.
And HOW do we put the needs of women first?
We provide Continuity of MIDWIFERY care…a known midwife to support from early pregnancy to 12 months postpartum.
We ensure access to ‘decision-aids’ (The Birth Map is the ultimate (and unique) decision aid…more than a patronising pamphlet or bias website, as it gives questions to ask, not propagandic instruction as to what to think). AND we train the care providers in supporting decision making (such as Birth Cartography training).
The solution is simple. The embedding it into the maternity literacy will take time…and an epic shift in the current paradigm.
You can be a part of that shift. Demand the change.
See also: Birth Beyond Leboyor
Default as the standard choice
It’s what you get if you don’t change the settings?
It’s what you get if you want no frills?
Or is default a failure?
Not meeting obligation?
‘Male’ has long been considered the default human.
It is the default in literature.
If the gender of a character is irrelevant, chances are the character will be male.
In The Lord of the Rings, Pip and Merry can be female. So can all the other characters, really. The only ones written as female are so because it was necessary to the narrative.
How many male authors declare their full name on their covers? How many female authors use initials? Why is that?
I wouldn’t want…
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