Thursday, May 03, 2007

A writer on writing and images of us

Mat Johnson posted a really interesting quote from Terry McMillan about writing.

Here's part of it:
“I just think there are some people who try too hard. They just think every sentence has to be perfect. I’m the sort of writer who thinks your first draft is your most honest."

Good to know she isn't trying too hard.

In other, non-book, but very interesting and disheartening news. The New York Times story last week about infant mortality rates rising again in some states among African American women had me angry, sad and amazed. And I almost didn't read it because of that first picture. I just felt like the picture fed into those old, though likely still held, stereotypes about Black women and their children. And it really hit me how much those images impact how I try to control the way my own children look - i.e., the t-shirt and diaper, no pants look.

Anyway, I have been deeper in my bubble than usual the past few years and it just amazed me that we're still talking about access to prenatal care. It's one thing if mothers choose not to go to the doctor, but having some program available to them should have been solved years ago. And in some cases it seems like it was, but our government has decided to take away the solution.

This feels like somebody's book project - a look at pregnancy, birth and infant health today among poor women and minority women. Or a book that, through women's stories, shows the disparities among mothers and babies - things that we should be able to level out.

Instead of so much coverage of the "mommy wars" and the "opt-out" revolution and "balance," what if more of us opted in to making the same basic health care and support systems available to all pregnant women and mothers, regardless of marital status, geography, race or wealth?

Okay- I'm done ranting for now.

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