Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voices Retreat

I wanted to share some exciting news, and give the heads up that we are heading into light-posting (aka vacation!) month.

2010 Writers' Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices Next week, I’ll be attending the 2010 Writers’ Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, hosted by the Lambda Literary Foundation. I’m super psyched to have been picked along with 32 other amazing LGBT writers (including fellow radical doula Valerie Wetlaufer!).

I’ll be in the non-fiction track, working on a manuscript for a book project that has been in the works for a year or so. Yay!

It’s my first time with formal writing instruction in non-fiction and I’m super psyched.

I will also be taking some time off (mostly). As a self-employed writer and consultant, vacation is tough. But it’s also crucial. So I will be partially disconnecting until Labor Day. The plan is to still have some posts here at Radical Doula, but we’ll see how that goes. I will also be spending a week on this lovely lovely organic farm I worked at last summer.

Hasta septiembre!


Radical Doula turns three: Wish list

It’s my third birthday right?

In the spirit of celebration, my birthday wish list:

  • Ten new Radical Doula’s for my profile series. Details here. (I would especially like to highlight more doulas of color)
  • Double my facebook fans. (That’s 450!) Tell your friends to become a fan.
  • Invite me to speak at your campus or community. Details here.
  • Tell me why you like Radical Doula, and what you’d like to see more of in the comments.

Thanks everyone for celebrating three years of Radical Doula with me!

Happy 3rd Birthday Radical Doula: Fun facts

Happy birthday multi-colored candlesToday is the 3rd birthday of Radical Doula.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years already. I’ll be doing a few things today in honor of the bday, but let’s start it off some fun facts about Radical Doula:

I’ve written 314 posts, with 585 comments from all of you! This post got the most comments, this one got the most hits.

My highest trafficked month was January 2010.

My busiest day was Wednesday March 5, 2008, after I posted this piece responding to a doula bashing article in the NY Times.

Radical Doula has 227 fans on Facebook, and 103 followers on Twitter.

Some favorite posts, by year:


January 22: How about we call it blog for justice day

February 4: California pregnancy-related deaths triple in the last decade


February 19: Some thoughts on tokenism

March 5: Lost in Translation


April 16: Some thoughts on gender and pregnancy

August 14: One main cause of health disparities: Racism


April 17: Pleasure & Pain

July 30: Sterilization: Abuse vs Access

August 2: Kick-Ass radical doulas, 3rd ed: A collective post

Other posts I wanted to highlight:

Hardest post to write: On why I blog, criticism and activism

Silliest post: Radical Doula body graffiti

Most sex-related google traffic: Fresh Focus sex ed digital video contest (Seriously, I get at least 50 hits a day on this one, and the folks looking for porn even click on the contest link!)

Speaking in NYC: Reproductive Justice in Action

I’m speaking at a great event next week in NYC, at Barnard College. If you are in NYC, you should check it out.

It’s a panel with Mary and Lauren, the two other co-founders of the Doula Project (and current coordinators!) as well as Aishia Domingue from the Brooklyn Young Mother’s Collective. It’s going to be an interesting conversation.

Reproductive Justice in Action
Aisha Domingue, Mary Mahoney, Lauren Mitchell, and Miriam Pérez
Panel Discussion:
Wednesday, 3/3, 6:30 pm
Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd Floor Barnard Hall

This panel will feature a group of reproductive justice activists and birth doulas who work across the spectrum of pregnancy, birth, and women’s health, connecting the traditional reproductive rights movement with new social justice activism that considers the complete physical, political, and economic well-being of girls and women. Birth doulas, as trained sources of physical, emotional, and educational support, work to empower women and support their reproductive choices. How does childbirth fit into the discussion around reproductive rights, a discussion that is often based around access to abortion and contraception? How can the reproductive justice framework help us consider institutional barriers, such as racism and poverty, that have limited women’s empowerment and decision-making when it comes to their reproductive health?

I’m also speaking at a couple of other places in the next few weeks, including Smith College, University of Iowa and University of Minnesota. Check out the details here, and if you’re interested in bringing me to speak email me.

Shameless self-promotion: Want me to come speak at your campus?

Part of what sustains my blogging is speaking. Getting to talk directly with folks, have conversations and hear about the work of other activists is one of my favorite parts of this work.

I’ve done events at campuses and conferences around the country, on topics like reproductive justice, gender non-conformity and feminism, the connections between birth activism and reproductive rights, Latinas in the US.

I’m happy to discuss pretty much anything I’ve written about!

I’m currently booking events for the spring, so email me if you’re interested in bringing me to your campus, conference or organization.

More info about previous events I’ve done is here.

Radical Doula on Facebook

You can now become a fan of Radical Doula on Facebook. I’ll also post links to my blog posts there. Just another way to connect with the other Radical Doula’s out there.

Click here to see the page and become a fan!

Updated Radical Doula Resource Pages

I’ve been working on updating and expanding the resource pages on this site so that folks looking to become a doula have somewhere to find information. There are now three resource pages:

Becoming a Doula

Doula Trainings

Volunteer Doula Programs

Thanks to everyone who emailed me or commented with the information about volunteer doula programs! There are now 20 programs listed.

If you know of volunteer programs or doula trainings, send them my way!

Radical Doula’s new look!

After much work and thinking, including the talents of Sinclair Sexsmith and Jill Raney, Radical Doula finally has a new look! I’ve been working on this since the two year anniversary of the blog and am happy to see it finally done.

A few new elements:

A “Becoming a Doula” resource page: I often get emails from people interested in becoming doulas, so this page is meant to be a starting place for learning about trainings and volunteer doula programs. If you know of a program or organization I didn’t list–email it to me and I’ll add it!

Radical Doula Profiles page: This is a series I’ve been doing for a while, but wanted a place to collect all of the awesome radical doula’s that have been featured here. Are you a radical doula? Email me to be featured on this site.

Updated and slimmed-down blogroll: I revised my blogroll extensively. I was overwhelmed trying to keep up with the broad categories, so I’ve decided to focus on birth and doula blogs. A number on my old list hadn’t been updated in over six months so I took them down. Know a great blog, or author one that relates to doulas/birth? Email me and I’ll add it to my list.

An actual logo!: The logo is courtesy of Sinclair Sexsmith, an awesome blogger and graphic designer. We put a lot of thought into creating something that would represent the feel of this site and what I’m trying to do here. I struggled with how to represent the work of doula’s visually. In the end I choose to rely on the commonly used image of the pregnant belly. It was not without recognizing that pregnant women are often represented by just a belly, and that it can be strange and disembodying, particularly in advertising. The main reason I chose to use the silhouette of only the belly was that I wanted something which wasn’t particularly gendered–I struggle often with using the super gendered language of pregnancy and birth and wanted a logo that didn’t denote this gendered nature.

Thanks to everyone who has read this site, emailed me with their stories and commented or contributed. You’ve all made this passion project more enjoyable than I could ever have imagined, and made me feel supported by a large community of radical doula’s out there.

Radical Doula Revisited

I finally did what I’ve been meaning to do for a long time now, I’ve edited the Radical Doula??? page. I’m going to repost it here, so you can all read my new description of what this blog is all about. Things haven’t changed radically, but I’ve tweaked a few things here and there to reflect the way I talk about what it means to be a radical doula (particularly from a personal perspective). The new page is after the jump!

I’ve also updated and expanded my blog roll. I decided I wanted something more comprehensive and that actually reflects what blogs I am reading on a frequent basis. (Thanks Google Reader!) You can see that I now have broken it up into categories (look to your right!). I will try to keep it updated, but bare with me. Also, if you have a blog you think I would want to read, email it to me or link to it in the comments! I promise I will check it out, and maybe you will even make it to my google reader.

Continue reading

a new blog is born…

Hello everyone! After immense amounts of thought and consideration, as well as some peer pressure from awesome fellow feminist bloggers recently (special thanks to Julie and Milbydaniel) I have decided to enter into the feminist blogosphere.

I want to acknowledge the awesome bloggers who have paved the way and really made this medium something that matters politically, socially and intellectually. You all rock, and we amateurs could only hope to live up to the high standards you have set for us. Particular shout out to feministing, who was the first blog I ever read diligently.

So what is this blog going to be about? That presumably will develop as I do, but my initial idea (and dare I say niche) is to focus on the politics of reproductive justice activism from the perspective of a radical doula.

I just threw out a lot of terms that necessitate defining, which I will do here, with the caveat that some of these terms are new and developing, and I welcome the input of others to help broaden and refine their definitions. This blog is meant to be a conversation about what these terms mean, how we can actually live out our politics, and what are the relevant issues at hand.

PS I promise not to overuse the cheesy birth puns