Red Medicine

Topics: Childbirth, Woman, Obstetrics Pages: 3 (1175 words) Published: September 20, 2013

1. On February 28th, 2013 I attended, as a listening audience member, Patrisia Gonzalez’s Red Medicine discussion at San Diego State University’s Love Library.

2. This event relates to Women’s Studies and issues discussed in our class in many ways. To start, I want to bring up the idea of medicine. In Gonzalez’s book, she mentioned traditional medicine of indigenous people strengthening Western society’s own healthcare. Some example of traditional medicine are herbs and other plants in the environment they are from, and also some invisible places such as dreams and just the spirit world. In contrast, most of the medicines that were brought up in week four’s readings were scientific kinds. For example, Davis-Floyd’s article Gender and Ritual: Giving Birth the American Way mentioned the “doses of the synthetic hormone Pitocin to speed their labors” (455). The United States’ ideas of medicine for pregnant women are ones that speed up birth, minimize pain, and anything scientific and unnatural. The only similarity I can find with the type of traditional medicine mentioned in Red Medicine from week four is the natural way Naoli Vinaver Lopez gave birth and her spiritual connection with her environment and family in the bathtub. The concept of authority was briefly mentioned during Patrisia Gonzalez’s discussion and was also mentioned in class. Gonzalez said that women experience authority of their body when they are sitting or squatting as they give birth. In Takeya Trayer's Takeya and Aziz, Takeya’s authorities came from her decision of doing natural birth and avoid doctors and epidurals. Like the squatting and sitting authority Gonzalez mentioned, authority seemed to be present when women is in control of her body, herself and not under science and technology. However, in Davis-Floyd’s article Gender and Ritual: Giving Birth the American Way, from the moment women decide they want to have the birth of their children in the hospital, all the authority seemed...
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