Too Polite to Fight

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Courtroom Mama is a lyrical genius.

I’m not sure if she remembers writing “maternal request or doctor behest” in an e-mail a year and a half ago, which I totally hoisted once or twice without due credit, but she’s identified a cousin of the “Too Posh to Push” archetype.

Her cousin, “Too Polite to Fight.”

Ms. Too Polite to Fight is a stereotypical manifestation of gender subordination. When faced with a recommendation of a cesarean, she feels uncomfortable questioning the doctor or midwife and sheepishly schedules the surgery.

On the Internet, Ms. Too Polite to Fight gets her share of shit from anonymous mobs of men and women who yell, “IF YOU HAD JUST EDUCATED YOURSELF, YOU WOULDN’T BE IN THIS PREDICAMENT!” and “WOMEN JUST NEED TO STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES AND SAY NO!”

Ms. Too Polite to Fight, it was your fault.

After all, it has nothing to do with institutionalized sexism or violence, the doctor/patient imbalance of power or the societal doubts about whether a pregnant women really is an autonomous individual and subsequent dehumanization of her. Or medicolegal factors or physician preferences and biases or hospital policy. Or the woman’s personal history of emotional abuse or her religious beliefs.

She was just too polite to fight.

And next time she can go to the same hospital and see the same doctor and everything will be different because this time she’s going to educate herself and fight for her rights.






Yeah, right. It’s just one piece of the puzzle.