In light of the amazing results from the Birthphotographers.com 2015 Birth Photography Contest, there are two main points I want to make today regarding the claim that this post title makes. (Check out the winners here: http://birthphotographers.com/)
1. Birth Photography is the ultimate feminist art form because it is bringing to light the way in which we birth, the way in which we are treated when we birth, the way we feel about birth, and it is sending women on a search to empower themselves with information and options. It has BRILLIANTLY used the gut-wrenching images that come from the birthing space to cause people to take pause, to look around at what other childbearing woman are saying, and what they are angry about and more importantly, what they are DOING about it. What began as an alternative birthing community is growing into a worldwide women-centered childbirth movement and it is a beautiful thing to behold.
2. More obviously, it is the ultimate feminist art form because its product is an unashamedly feminine subject, birth. This is an exclusively (please correct me if I am wrong) female community of professional artists who are capturing and broadcasting the moment where a woman is exercising the greatest feminine power of creation, she is at her strongest, she is holy, and damn is she BEAUTIFUL. It is forcing us to look on all women and mothers differently, with acceptance and awe of this ancient feminine right of passage. Causing us to take hold of what is powerful and wonderful in us. And I'm not just talking about giving birth, I'm talking about the entire economic and spiritual community of WOMEN taking care of WOMEN. Midwives, doulas, birth photographers, car seat inspectors, newborn and maternity photographers, cooks, maids, cloth diaper companies, writers, speakers, activists, lactation consultants, this vibrant field is shattering the limitations that childbearing women have faced in the past, allowing them to support one another, raise their families, and MAKE MONEY. Money is what can get you out of an abusive situation. Money is what can get you exposure, equipment and the time and energy to create. Women have figured out that they don't have to give up feminine spheres to be powerhouses, they have figured out they don't have to raise their kids the way they were raised.
They have figured out that what their forebears did was lay the path, by asserting again and again that women were just as valuable as men, just as capable, just as intelligent. What birth photographers have done and are doing, along with what the entire women-centered childbirth movement is doing, is standing up and saying "Women are valuable, thus, our experiences are valuable, thus, we should have a say in how we move through these experiences!" they are standing up and saying "We HONOR and TREASURE the sacrifice that birthing and raising children is. We value the experience of mothers. Look how beautiful and powerful our women are."
and people are listening.
This photo is shared with the gracious permission of the amazing woman who is catching her own baby. Do NOT save, copy, share, crop or otherwise steal this beautiful moment from this site.