Far too many parts of a woman’s life seem to be up for negotiation these days. We try to negotiate what is assault to a woman, whether a woman has the right or not to have children or have an abortion, the validity of in-vitro fertilization or whether the process is inadvertent abortion or not. We even argue the limits of make up and hair and personal sartorial choices, as though a woman’s appearance is something they have to conform to our varying standards of morality. It is draining, considering most of the people doing the arguing (cis straight men), could just as easily listen but vehemently refuse to, relying instead on preconceived notions of what they personally consider ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’ as a litmus for the give they will allow.
While it is draining, it is conventionally acceptable to be this obtuse, and there are many women, (bless their hearts) who have dedicated their lives to leading these men and women who have difficulty grasping these ideas about women’s bodies and lives to enlightenment. However what we will not accept, and cannot overlook is when these debates start to stray towards very real conditions, and casts doubts on well researched and documented medical phenomena. One cannot argue that Post-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) doesn’t exist, and one cannot certainly argue that Post-partum depression doesn’t exist.
Over the week, public personality Ese Walter-Ark took to social media to share her own personal story about struggling with postpartum depression. She expressed how she had struggled with suicidal ideation and eventually decided to voluntarily separate herself from her child and seek help for her postpartum depression.
In response several social media users responded by accusing her of being an unfit mother (which she already had admitted herself) and insinuating that she simply wanted out of her life and was using postpartum depression as an excuse to leave her husband and children. In response, several other women shared their own experiences with postpartum depression, including wife of singer Bez Idakula, Tito Idakula.
We are grateful for women like Tito and Ese who lend their voices to these discussion because they don’t have to. This kind of ignorance is not attractive in any way. Postpartum depression is a medically diagnosed illness, with several recommended treatment plans.Postpartum depression severs a much needed bond between child and mother and can be detrimental to both parties. And in It is not a joke to be made of for social media clout, or a point of view that can be disagreed with. Let us leave this kind of behaviour in 2017.