A little bit about the Barbara Ellen post natal depression furore, another cheap shot at Santorum and why science and hardline ideology don't mix
There are some things that just don't really mix; fire and water, caviar and cream soda, small children and high voltage power sources etc. In bad pairings, one of the elements twists and dominates the other; But there are even less comfortable bedfellows in the form of science and politics. And predictably, it is science that is all too often twisted and abused.
It would be very easy to illustrate this with an attack on the American right; their propedency to climate change denial, creationism, frankly repugnant attacks on reproductive rights, occasional hilarious diatribes about croco-ducks and Rick Santorum makes them ripe for parody this side of the Atlantic. Here in liberal-ish Europe we roll our eyes and shrug, which we do very well, having learnt the Gallic shrug from our French brethren and then go back to our wine drinking, beer brewing, love-making, or David Hasselhoff listening depending on where in the continent we are.
|If you do all these things at once,it's called the Pan-European.|
|You know Rick, they say those most repressed are the most homophobic...|
|Must.... resist....urge...to...feed... troll!|
"One hesitates to use the term womb-envy, but what else could it be? Can't females have anything just for themselves, without men barging in, not even a foul, debilitating condition directly related to the physical act of pregnancy and childbirth? What next: women staking a claim to the trauma of penile dysfunction? It was a long, hard road for womankind, getting postnatal depression recognised as a condition, and also to receive medical attention or even routine sympathy. It seems to me that saying men can also get it is just cheapening this achievement."
And there you have it; not content with re-writing medical science, Ellen casts it in a pseudo-historical light. Post partum depression is not some new trendy concept that men has 'stolen', it has been recognised since the time of Hippocrates. This is text-book bending science to fit an ideology. I wonder if Ms Ellen has been told yet that men can get breast cancer too ? "Cheapening the achievement" is a shockingly distasteful line - I have both male and female friends who have suffered dreadfully from postpartum depression, and is it no achievement - regardless of etiology, depression is a serious illness and requires help. I admit while I usually laugh trolls off, this line caused me to sputter a little, especially as I lost a friend to depression just last year - oh, and she was female too, not that it matters - That is just the point; gender, race, age do not matter when it comes to mental health.
Now, Barbara Ellen exists to generate controversy, and I know this; either that or she is some empathy deficient individual who thinks it's ok to refer to depression as "sulky self-interest". The comments on the article are almost universally negative towards the piece, and many commentators in medicine and psychology on twitter were quick to correct the inflammatory post. One of my favourite psychologists on twitter, Dr. Petra Boynton promptly responded
|Owned: By science!|