Have you ever thought about the kind of care you are providing?
Would you consider your business to be inclusive to all families? Have you ever read an article about someone being mistreated because of their race, gender, class or ability and thought to yourself, “I can’t believe that’s happening today, in 2017!”?! Would you ever stop and think that by making the statement, “I’m so shocked” or “It’s 2017!” that you are inherently contributing to the problem??? No?! We get it!
The birthing space is often criticized as being inherently racist, ableist, classist, heteronormative and for many families these experiences leave them feeling invisible.
So, how do we support the crucial change that will lead to inclusion?
Where does one learn about these things? And how do we create the space to examine our views without shaming ourselves?
It takes time and guidance and support and a safe space to host discussions in order to familiarize yourself with the ways in which our language and practices in the birthing space continue to contribute to experiences of invisibility among families that are considered “statistical outliers”. Our dear friend, Olivia Scobie, wrote a poignant blog on the need for more inclusive language in the birth space, particularly as it relates to PPD and the LGBTQ+ community.
If you are not already spending time reflecting on how your language and practices consider families in a totally inclusive way we would like to help change that for you.
There’s truly no better time than right now – that’s why it’s called the ‘present’, it’s a gift (awww!). So, with that said, we’d like to give you a sneak peek at a very important topic we cover in the first Module of our Diverse Families Certification course. Let us introduce you to the ‘Riddle Scale of Attitude Towards Family Diversity’.
The Riddle Scale was created by psychologist, Dorothy Riddle, as a measurement tool to assess degrees of homophobia. Riddle was a part of the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Status of Lesbian and Gay Male Psychologists, which worked to have homosexuality not considered a mental disorder by the American Psychological Association.
The scale consists of a negative side and positive side. With repulsion sitting on the most extreme end of the negative side and nurturance as the most positive possible outcome. As you move through the definitions of the Riddle Scale you will begin to notice that for some scenarios you lie on the positive side of the scale while for others you end up lying on the negative side and that’s totally ok! One of the main objectives of our Diverse Families Certification course is to help move you along the scale to the positive side, even if it’s just a little bit. Full disclosure, when the #bebobabes did the exercise we discovered that there were a few areas where we fell on the negative side of the scale.
Here, now you try it!
Here are a few examples of the questions we ask in the course to determine where you lie on the Riddle Scale. For each scenario rate yourself from 1 to 8 where 1 = Repulsion and 8 = Nurturance.
A pregnant mother who has no arms and will require substantial physical support in raising her baby.
A gay male couple using a surrogate to become parents.
A 43 year old single mother who wants to return to work after six weeks, doesn’t want to breastfeed, and will have a nanny caring for her child 12 hours a day.
A deeply religious heterosexual couple, where the husband makes all the birth and postpartum decisions as part of his role as being the head of the household.
A 17 year old, black, single mother who uses social assistance to pay for her family’s needs.
How did you do? What came up for you?
We understand that there is a very special connection between you and the birthing space and we know that you are deeply committed to creating the best birthing experience possible for your clients. We want to be an organization that contributes to social change in the birthing space. We want to make sure that all families feel visible and nurtured and cared for. And that’s why when Olivia Scobie came to us with an idea for a course that focused solely on the inclusion of all families we knew we had to bring it to life. Olivia is an absolute genius when it comes to inclusion, diversity and gender studies and she has totally been the brains behind writing the course content. We also wanted to make sure that we shared the lived experiences of birth practitioners and parents from around the world in this course and so, we’ve done just that! We have some really incredible guest speakers lined up that we are SO FREAKIN’ PUMPED about!
We are beyond thrilled to announce that the doors to the Diverse Families Certification officially open tomorrow, Tuesday, June 6th, 2017! This is an evergreen course which means that all course videos have been pre-recorded and you can access them whenever and wherever! And, just like all of our other courses you have two years to complete this certification.
We felt that it was important to make this course as accessible as possible which is why, like all of our courses, we are offering it online and for an affordable price. You can make a one-time payment of $379 or two payments of $197.
We would love to have you join us so together we can be part of the change to ensure inclusion for diverse families.
Alana Nugent is the Director of Marketing for bebo mia inc. She has a background in the history and scientific construction of sex & gender as well as critical race theory in the field of sport with a BPHE from the University of Toronto. She lives in Toronto with her spouse, Bianca, and their daughter Gray.
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