A male midwife in the UK has triggered a venomous reaction after publishing a study that suggests pain during childbirth is good for women. Dr Denis Walsh, associate professor in midwifery at Nottingham University, said pain was a "rite of passage" which often helped regulate childbirth. Walsh said:
Pain in labour is a purposeful, useful thing, which has quite a number of benefits, such as preparing a mother for the responsibility of nurturing a newborn baby.
Dr Walsh maintained that epidurals had a place in childbirth, but not at the rates that they are currently employed. He said epidural rates had been rising over the last 20 years, despite the fact that alternative, less invasive ways to manage pain in labour were available. But the midwife's measured comments have been boiled down into headlines like this:
Jezebel's Male Midwife: Women Need Childbirth Pain To "Prepare" for Demands Of Motherhood


The Herald Sun's Just put up with pain of childbirth: UK professor Dr Denis Walsh
The UK Telegraph's Women 'should go through pain' in childbirth, says male midwife
The Herald Sun is currently polling this question:
Should women go without painkillers during childbirth?
Right now, 70% of respondents are saying no. Jezebel responded with this comment:
See, the pain of labor is apparently great training for, say, taking the kids to soccer practice or cooking them regular meals. If you don't sacrifice your autonomy by handing decisions about epidurals over to a midwife like Dr. Walsh, you'll never accomplish the total erasure of selfhood that is the mark of a great mom.

The suggestion is firstly, that this guy is well, a guy, and what would he know? The next is that he's cruelly suggesting that women should put up with excruciating pain and that he has no right to make such a comment.