Monday, May 23, 2005

The Postmodern Doula

As fun as writing posts to this blog is reading what people have to say about them. It really feels like a conversation. I also enjoy checking out the blogs of people who comment here. It was in doing that that I ended up at Henry's Webiocosm Blog.

Ever the sucker for pop-on-line-psychology, I couldn't resist following his link to a "What is Your World View" quiz. Here are my results:
You scored as Postmodernist. Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.

Postmodernist

81%

Cultural Creative

81%

Idealist

69%

Materialist

63%

Existentialist

56%

Fundamentalist

31%

Modernist

25%

Romanticist

19%

I have to agree. And I think this is why I have a hard time being as strident about birth issues as many of my colleagues. I had lunch last week with a friend who works with pregnant women. She is so easily and completely opinionated. She stopped assisting at hospital births because, as she says, "I couldn't stand all the bullshit."

I have friends in La Leche League who are fanatacal breast-feeding advocates. Others, who are stark adherents to the Bradley Method, condemn any variation from the prescribed labor and delivery positions. I know doulas who are quick to fault (or support) doctor or midwife decisions ("They never should have broken her water;" "It was the absolute right thing to do to let her tear instead of cutting an episiotomy.").

Their certainty is enviable. I find myself nodding in agreement, carried along by their enthusiasm. By comparison, I feel wishy-washy. When I find myself having a strong reaction in one direction, a little voice in my head usually provides a convincing counterpoint. Which isn't to say I don't have strong convictions. I just have fewer than a lot of birth professionals I know.

True to my post-modern world view, I don't think one style is any better than another. There are benfits to knowing your opinions and holding to them unwaiveringly. Conversely, it can be useful to temper your reactions by imagining and exploring alternative points of view. Alternative constructions of reality.

What is your world view?

4 Comments:

Blogger Linda said...

I scored overwhelmingly (94%) as a Cultural Creative, a term I've never heard of before, and 75% as Posmodernist. And on down the line with Idealist, Existentialist, Romanticist, Modernist (not sure what that means either,) Materialist, and ending with Fundamentalist coming in at 13%. (Phew.)

Interestingly, although my top three were similar to yours, I do hold strong convictions about birth issues such that there would certainly be those who would call me fanatical or strident. I am completely, utterly opinionated. I acknowledge that context counts for a lot, but even within a given context some things are going to more appropriate and some less. The trouble is that we don't always have enough information, or the situation is too complex, to know for sure which is which...

But also, we all just have such different motivations and goals and sensibilities. Who gets to define what it is to be "human" and what serves and honors that? I realize that I can only speak for those who define it as I do. Everyone else can do what they like, really I don't care, as long as they don't infringe upon others' (my) choices.

What happens, though, is that I (and I think most people do this) tend to project my own world view onto others. No one wants to believe they are really living in a world of aliens.

11:06 AM  
Blogger doulicia said...

Wow! Great points, all! Do you happen to recall what it said bout Cultural Creative? I only got to read about postmodernism...

It is spooky to occasionally feel like no one else thinks the way you do.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

The QuizFarm definition reads: "You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational."

I did a google search, and apparently there is a website devoted to cultural creatives, with an FAQ here. What I gather from it is that a "cultural creative" is someone who literally helps to recreate a culture by "questioning the unspoken assumptions of social codes." Hm, okay, I guess I can go for that.

3:04 PM  
Blogger doulicia said...

Oooooh, I like that. I can live with being as strongly that as Postmodernist. They are nice counterpoints to each other, really.

Thanks for the link, too. I'll have to check it out.

3:38 PM  

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