Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Boycott Braxton

If one were to catalogue all the descriptors that apply to me, "Feminist" would not be very high on the list. Don't get me wrong, feminism has accomplished some amazing and commendable feats; I just wouldn't count myself among its most active and ardent supporters.

So, I was surprised a while back at how perturbed I was when I learned about "Braxton Hicks Contractions." And since I just mentioned these physiological phenomena in my last post I thought I'd share a quote that nicely sums up my surprising feminist sentiments:

They are called Braxton Hicks because they were "discovered" by a physician named, yes, Braxton Hicks. (What this actually means is that in the nineteenth century a man finally thought to attach his name to something that approximately 50 percent of the human race had been experiencing since the beginning of time...)

-Martha Beck, Expecting Adam

Does this bug anyone else? Why the heck should this exclusively female experience be named after some old bald dude (who, I will admit, does have AWESOME sideburns!)?


Anonymous said...


I wonder if I can claim the menstrual cycle.

"I'm on my Durias."

maybe not. . and maybe I crossed the line.


Brian said...


AmberOwen said...

You know Mr. Braxton Hicks was like, 4.5 feet tall or something too, right? Wouldn't that just beat it all! And really, what kind of person would want to have sensations of great discomfort named for him unless he's some kind of sicko? Looks like a little, round bald man with ham-hock sideburns (which could rule the world on their own) did. Weirdo.

Praying for you guys. If there's anything we can do, let us know!

emily said...

how do you propose we boycott? any "new" terms to offer up?

Brian said...

The two other terms I used in the previous post were "false labour" and "practice contractions." Shannon also remembered that the Bradley Method workbook sometimes referred to them as "natural pregnancy contractions," as opposed to "natural labor contractions."

Any other ideas?

Anonymous said...

Just G-ma R. again. Know baby yet? Thats all write. In about three weeks you will wonder why you were in such a hurry. G-pa will be coming home from the hospital today if he passes gas, I am waiting for his call. He is doing fine. Got to do Great-ma's hair. Love all three of you.