Here is Mr. Bernard Bel’s of AFAR response to Debra’s backstory about the Orgasmic verse Organic Birth titles….
Long ago (in 2001) a group of birth activists led by two homebirth midwives invited us for a contribution to the public show they organise every year in the context of International Women’s Day. Since I was collecting interviews of women who had unassisted births, I suggested that we invite a few of them to speak about their experience. The title of their intervention would be “Le plaisir d’accoucher, pourquoi s’en priver?” which means: “Pleasure of birthing, why should we avoid it?” The organizers felt shocked with the title and this contribution was canceled on the pretext that it would generate “bad reactions from the press”… Their main problem was to promote the case of intelligent women who did not rely on the care of midwives for a secure birthing. However they felt equally disturbed by the notion of pleasure associated with childbirth. One of them confessed that after thirty years of practice as a homebirth midwife she had never noticed anything pleasurable in the experience of her patients!
In those days writings such as “Resexualizing childbirth” (Leilah McCracken) and a few pleasurable birth stories started circulating but only in a very small circle of people who could read English and communicate via internet. We started publishing birth stories, encouraging parents (and caregivers) to share their experience in writing. Gradually the idea that birth may “also” be pleasurable made its way, at least women experiencing it were no longer seen as hysterical nymphomaniacs. 😉 I often argued that sex can be the most pleasurable experience in life wheras it becomes a horrible and painful event when forced or even disturbed by someone’s will.
Indeed, pleasure in birthing requires more than the respect of privacy, but privacy and gentle care are necessary conditions for it to happen.
For these reasons I personally would keep a title like “Orgasmic birth” for the original film and a slightly less provocative one such as “Le plaisir d’accoucher” (Pleasure of Birthing) for the shorter version. Both of them would convey the idea of pleasure and we would avoid discusions about what is “natural” triggered by the word “organic”.
I let you know about more comments.
All the best,
To read Debra’s original response to Mr. Bel’s inquiry about the titles please click here.
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