Women's groups and mothers blast BBC drama This Is Going To Hurt

Women’s groups and mothers blast new hit BBC drama This Is Going To Hurt for portraying pregnant women as ‘weak and disempowered’ and births as excessively traumatic

  • This Is Going To Hurt has been slammed for depicting birth as ‘traumatic’ 
  • Pregnancy groups said it portrays women as ‘weak and disempowered’
  • However other praised the show for showing what it’s like to be a junior doctor 

BBC medical drama This Is Going To Hurt has been slammed for depicting birth as ‘traumatic’ and women as ‘weak and disempowered’.  

Mothers, midwives and pregnancy campaign groups have blasted the show, which is based on the bestselling memoir by Adam Kay and stars Ben Wishaw as a junior doctor on an obstetrics and gynaecology ward. 

The seven-part series, which continued last night, has come under fire for portraying Wishaw’s character as the ‘hero’ while the women giving birth are background characters and ‘misguided fools who think they can have a say in birth’. 

In one scene in the first episode, Wishaw’s character Adam indicates to a woman that he will perform a Caesarean by simply gesturing a cutting movement. 

In another, he makes it seem as though a potentially dangerous delivery complication – a umbilical cord prolapse – is commonplace. 

Mothers, midwives and pregnancy campaign groups have blasted the show, which is based on the bestselling memoir by Adam Kay and stars Ben Wishaw as a junior doctor on an obstetrics and gynaecology ward. Pictured, Adam (right) with a mother giving birth in episode one 

The Positive Birth Company shared this lengthy post about the issues raised on Instagram

In a third, Adam takes a personal phone call while telling a more junior doctor to ‘pull as hard as she can’ while using forceps to deliver a baby, barely paying attention to the mother. 

Elsewhere, women are portrayed as unintelligent, with one new mother in the second episode telling Adam that her baby weighs ‘2st’.  

Milli Hill, author of the bestselling Positive Birth Book, said that the show celebrated trauma, adding: ‘He portrays himself as the hero while the women giving birth are silly misguided fools who think that they can have a say in birth, bit part players in the background to be mocked and vaguely disgusted by… 

‘Hopefully [the show] will get more people thinking about the systemic sexism in maternity care. More than anything I hope it also raises the question; does birth have to be traumatic?

‘Programmes like This Is Going To Hurt present it as if it does. And we are supposed to find that funny. It’s not funny. Women deserve better.’

Columnist Janice Turner added: ‘Finding This Is Going To Hurt unbearable hateful towards women, especially pregnant ones. They’re just thick cows, malingerers, bigots, vaginas or slabs of meat.’

A birth educator named Poppy wrote: ‘As a birth educator I thought I’d be immune from being influenced by this programme. 

In one scene in the first episode, Wishaw indicates to a woman that he will perform a Caesarean by simply gesturing a cutting movement, pictured

The seven-part series, which continued last night, has come under fire for portraying Wishaw’s character as the ‘hero’ while the women giving birth are background characters and ‘misguided fools who think they can have a say in birth’

‘Even with how much I know about birth I still felt the seed of doubt being planted in my mind after watching this. I wouldn’t recommend watching even if you’re hoping to have a baby one day because you can’t un-see what you’ve seen. 

‘The real problem is that we don’t have balance. We never see positive and empowering births on TV. It’s only really one sided. And that’s damaging.’ 

Community midwife Rachel Dewey added: ‘I must admit I don’t understand the support for #thisisgoingtohurt. It demeans women’s experiences/ bodies & has dramatised attitudes we’re trying to move away from in midwifery / obs and gynaecology. Calling obs and gynae ‘Brats and twats’- just sums it up really.’

Other pregnant women said they were advised by their midwives not to watch the programme. 

However the programme has been met by praise, by other viewers, including NHS workers and former NHS staff, who praised it for its realism. Others noted the focus of the show was the staff, not the women.

However the programme has been met by praise, by other viewers, including NHS workers and former NHS staff, who praised it for its realism. Others noted the focus of the show was the staff, not the women

One tweeted: ‘The exhaustion, elation, despair, joy, depression & achievement of being a healthcare professional is so perfectly captured in #ThisIsGoingToHurt.’

Another wrote: ‘Say what you like about #ThisIsGoingToHurt but it doesn’t cut corners when it comes to discussing mental health in the NHS. And, at a time like this, that’s so needed.’

A third added: ‘#ThisIsGoingToHurt and this is what we do to our junior doctors. And all of NHS staff, at some point. Yes, much of it is funny, but those of us who know, know it’s actually really not.’

Speaking recently, writer Adam Kay said he wrote down ‘mostly the disgusting things’ about his time as a junior doctor, which became the book.

He added: ‘I wanted it to be an honest reflection of what it’s like working as a junior doctor and I don’t think you do it honestly just as a comedy or just as a drama, so what Ben Whishaw did so well is danced between those two things.’

He is also touring the UK with the This Is Going To Hurt tour and a ‘live comedy show’ from his new book Undoctored.

Kay, 41, also wrote Crims, Mrs. Brown’s Boys and Mitchell and Webb.

Source: Read Full Article