About


I'm Zawn, and that's me with my dearly departed German shepherd, Zora, about a month before I got pregnant.

I've been a feminist my entire life, yet I knew little about mothers' issues until I became a mother myself. That speaks to the ways mainstream feminism has neglected the many issues mothers face. I started this blog in an attempt to rectify that. 

I was stunned by the sexism and abuse I encountered during my pregnancy. That shock gave birth to Pregnant and Feminist. The feminist issues inherent in pregnancy are so neglected that I had no trouble registering the domain pregnantandfeminist.com. I hope this blog will inspire more and deeper conversations about what it means to be a mother, how motherhood colors perceptions of womanhood, and why feminism is so important to motherhood. 

Athena, my daughter, was born on September 7 after a long, challenging, unmedicated labor. Don't report me to the Skeptical OB, though! I think epidurals are a human right, and embrace all pregnancy and birth choices. 

The feminist challenges of motherhood, as I quickly learned, only begin with pregnancy. Motherhood is ground zero for most female stereotypes, and research shows that motherhood is when the wage gap really begins. Pregnant and Feminist became Feminist Mothering.

If you want to learn more about why I started this blog, or don't think that pregnancy is a feminist issue, click here. You can also find a list of the many forms of sexism we expect pregnant women to tolerate here. Interested in how sexism colors women's experiences of motherhood? Consider the case of public breastfeeding, or the near-constant public judgment mothers face

I also occasionally publish pieces of advice. Some of these pieces cater to pregnant women, such as this piece on coping with first trimester symptoms. I also try to protect parents from well-meaning bystanders, such as with this piece outlining rules for visiting a newborn, or this piece offering pregnancy etiquette tips

My Pregnancy and Journey to Parenthood
My husband Jeff and I started 2016 with a positive pregnancy test after trying for a baby for almost three years. I had one miscarriage and 217 negative pregnancy tests (yes, I counted) before that, so was completely over the moon. We actually had an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist scheduled for the week after our positive test. Thankfully, we did not have to go down that road. But if you're here and you've struggled with infertility, I get it. Please trust that, if and when you do have a baby, your struggles will make the pregnancy that much sweeter.

What You Can Expect Here
I've always been vocal about my opinions, but much less so about my personal life. I hope to change that a bit, and dig deeply into what pregnancy means to me. As every feminist has learned, the personal is political, so I'm especially interested in sharing how my personal challenges and triumphs connect with the larger political struggle.

I am an intersectional, trans-friendly, sex-positive feminist, and I'm not sorry. I welcome critiques of my behavior, so if I say something oppressive or harmful here, please speak up.

I will not sugar-coat things. I hope to offer something of real value, especially given the dearth of feminist pregnancy blogs out there. If I find something that works for fending off pregnancy and parenting-related sexism, I'll share it. If you find something that works, I hope you'll share it with me.

Who I Am
I'm a self-employed writer, which means that I work for a range of clients. I write blogs, ghostwrite academic and website content, cover news stories and scientific studies, and occasionally edit other writers. My specialty is health journalism (with a focus on mental health), but I've covered everything from Supreme Court cases to fashion trends. I often joke that the hardest thing about being a writer is getting people to believe that you're actually a writer. It's a much-coveted identity imbued with mysticism and bullshit, and people who say they're writers often mean something other than that writing is their profession. Call yourself whatever you want, but writing is my actual profession, not a side gig or aspirational label. 

My work website is super-boring and buttoned-down, and I'm constantly editing it. I keep my work and personal lives separate, and do not promote or share my work on social media (or on this blog). But if you stumbled across this page because you want to hire me, stalk me, or learn more about my work, then you can find it here. Don't go there, though. It's boring. Really boring. Seriously. Don't click.

I intermittently maintained a personal blog before I got pregnant, but I've mostly abandoned it. When you spend all day writing about the world, it's tough to muster the energy to do it again as a hobby. My blog is a good way to get a window into my politics and world view, if you're really itching to know.

I started a nonprofit while I was pregnant, after my hospital tried to ban waterbirth, VBACs, and women's control over their own bodies. The Georgia Birth Advocacy Coalition (GBAC) advocates for women's privacy rights in birth, their right to control what happens to their bodies, and the right of women and doctors--not hospital corporations or governments--to determine how women should give birth. 

My husband is a civil rights attorney, and we're both long-time activists. That activist history colors much of my approach to parenting. Neither of us shies away from a righteous fight, and I anticipate that parenthood will bring many such fights our way. 

A bit more about me: 

I love orchids, gardening, goats, ducks, and all things outdoors. I share my home with an assortment of dysfunctional rescued animals, and more than 300 houseplants. I curse with wild abandon, and believe that as well-placed F-bomb is the hallmark of an excellent education. I embrace all things traditionally girly, almost always wear dresses, and believe that, like a modern-day Samson, much of my power is derived from my waist-length hair. I also love MMA and digging in the dirt, and refused to be pigeonholed into a gender stereotype. 

I read more than anyone I have ever known, and have run out of space in my home for my books. You can see some of what I'm reading here, but I'm terrible at keeping up with Goodreads--even more so now that I am a mother. I am a devotee of analytic philosophy, a critic of evolutionary psychology, and a befuddled admirer of Slavoj Zizek. I think much of mainstream feminism is self-congratulatory garbage, and the older I get the more I see how many people feminism has abandoned. 

My detractors allege that I have some sort of formal training in philosophy and psychology. There also might have been a brief side tangent into primatology. 

I'm a stationery and planner addict, and plan my day in 15-minute intervals. 

I loathe self-promotion, passive-aggression, and self-importance. I hope you won't find any of that here. I am direct and self-effacing, but not afraid to tell people when they are wrong.

I love my daughter more than life itself, and reject the notion that I must love everything about parenthood to love her. My complaints are with how society treats mothers and parents--not with anything inherent to parenting.