Beyonce Baby Drama

beyonce and jay-z

I have a long-standing soft spot in my heart for Ms. Knowles, and although I’m not much of a celebrity gossip follower, I was very happy to hear about her giving birth to baby Blue Ivy, with husband Jay-Z. Jay even wrote a song about it — and while it’s admittedly not the hottest track, it is extremely sweet and no I did not tear up I JUST HAVE SOMETHING IN MY EYE.

Anyway, people are apparently mad because Beyonce gave birth at a hospital in New York, and the hospital had to take extra security precautions to block paparazzi. That meant that some parents weren’t able to get around the hospital as freely. As Amanda points out, yes I am sure that is frustrating, but the alternative is having the hospital swarmed with paparazzi — which is significantly more disturbing and intrusive and potentially dangerous.

I definitely get the frustrations of the new parents who had to put up with the extra security in the hospital because they had the misfortune to be there at the same time as Beyoncé, but at a certain point, I wish people would just get a grip. It sounds like the hospital did an excellent job of creating enough security to keep the area from getting clogged up with paparazzi without making it impossible for other parents to maneuver around the hospital. For everyone who thinks that it’s a pain to have to go through a couple extra steps to see your baby, imagine what it would be like if they had no security and you had to get around desperate photographers trying to get that million dollar picture of the baby. Sometimes it pays to step back and think of the alternatives before indulging yourself in a self-righteous huff.

Or you could just get into a self-righteous huff about the fact that Beyonce stole your baby name (obviously). And “now every hoochie mama will be calling their kid Ivy and my little Ivie won’t have an original name.” Extra points for racism.

122 comments for “Beyonce Baby Drama

  1. gretel
    January 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I think the parents should be allowed to complain. I’d be pissed off, too. I’ve had two very sick relatives at Lenox Hill, and if anyone–yes, even Beyonce–had stood between me and them I would have raised hell. When you’re dealing with that situation you’re not concerned about some celebrity’s privacy to be honest. Especially when someone is in intensive care and you don’t know how much longer you have with them. It’s cheesy, but every moment counts.

    But honestly I’m more concerned about the numerous HIPAA violations that have occurred since numerous hospital employees have apparently been speaking to the press, which is a disgusting violation of privacy. I’d say the entire staff of Lenox Hill needs a major HIPAA refresher course.

    • January 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      I think the parents should be allowed to complain. I’d be pissed off, too. I’ve had two very sick relatives at Lenox Hill, and if anyone–yes, even Beyonce–had stood between me and them I would have raised hell. When you’re dealing with that situation you’re not concerned about some celebrity’s privacy to be honest. Especially when someone is in intensive care and you don’t know how much longer you have with them. It’s cheesy, but every moment counts.

      ICU is a different part of the hospital. I don’t think anyone in ICU was being blocked.

      But honestly I’m more concerned about the numerous HIPAA violations that have occurred since numerous hospital employees have apparently been speaking to the press, which is a disgusting violation of privacy. I’d say the entire staff of Lenox Hill needs a major HIPAA refresher course.

      That I agree with.

  2. mary
    January 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I agree a lot of the hate/criticism of Beyonce and Jay-Z is overblown, gross, and in some cases racist. There’s a lot of gross speculation and rumor floating around, and it’s shitty that she has to deal with that at the already-emotional time of giving birth to her first child.

    At the same time, I can’t get on board with Amanda’s comment at all, given that some parents claim they were barred from visiting their babies in the NICU by Jay-Z’s security. Babies are in the NICU because they require the highest level of care. Sometimes even that level of care cannot prevent the baby’s death. If it’s true that parents facing that possibility were actually denied access to their children, then I’m sorry, but “get a grip” (and giving the parents’ feelings the belittling label of “frustrations”) is a really inhumane thing to say.

    If the reports about the NICU aren’t true, I’ll happily take all this back. This is the kind of thing I *want* to be wrong about. But if the reports are true, then I don’t think wronged parents should be told to shut up because hey, it could’ve been worse.

  3. Azalea
    January 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    People are complaining because it’s Beyonce. They feel they have a right to know about her hospital stay and see her baby. As you said , without the added security papparazzi would be taking pictures of every baby they could to ensure they got the shot that’s worth a small fortune. Be angry that for one stinking hour you couldn’t come and go as you please but consider next time a celebrity has a baby at the hospital if things are different you’re going to have a free for all of papparazzi everywhere.

  4. Clara
    January 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    The stories I read said that a parent with twins in the NICU were not allowed to see his babies for three hours. I think this is a big failure on the part of the hospital. If they knew for months that this was going to happen, they could have made plans that accounted for the needs of other parents in the hospital, not just the celebrity parents.

  5. shfree
    January 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Speaking as a parent who had a baby in the NICU, it was already stressful enough worrying about her health. Jumping through the extra hoops just to see her because someone famous was treating the hospital like a private hotel would have driven me around the bend.

    My family is just as important as theirs, and the fact remains if she is opting to have a C-section, they should have just sucked it up and accepted the fact that it is a surgical procedure that has to happen in a public hospital. Emphasis on public. Just like I had to suck it up and have my procedure done in a labor and delivery room instead of a birthing room, because my epilepsy meant I ran the risk of needing greater intervention. So I starved the whole time, whereas I could have eaten in a birthing room.

    And where they keep the babies and recovering mothers is a secured floor anyway, so not just anyone can wander in to take a look around, and security staff in a hospital do know their jobs.

  6. Ryan
    January 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    It’s hard to be objective when you’re the inconvenienced person in a situation like this. I lived in a building with a politician who was running for a higher office and all of a sudden his security was in our lobby and stopping the building’s other residents. Then they really crossed a line when they demanded to search a guy’s bags. I imagine the reaction to private security trying to inhibit your movements would be even worse.

  7. Azalea
    January 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    If they were truly doing their jobs they would have obeyed HIPAA laws and papparazzi wouldnt have had a chance, apparently they did. Also she didn’t have a csection that report is a lie.

  8. Billie Lou
    January 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    My question is why Bey Bey didn’t give birth at some private hospital in Europe like all the other 1%-ers. Or rent a damn country a la Brangelina.

  9. ethel
    January 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    For all of you that don’t know NICU stands for neonatal intensive care unit and in the hopsital where I worked they are very secure anyway. You need badge access to enter and the staff that work in there are not allowed to let anyone in. I have no problem about the security around their private suite, but when they took it to the NICU that was a bit much. A lot of babies in there are very sick and their parents should not be kept from them. If they had 1.3 million to spend they should have built a private place outside the hospital to have their baby. I think both Beyonce and Jay-Z play to the media, they knew all this would attrack the media and keep them in the news. That is why he jumped up and went and released a song. If they are so private he could have kept the song between him, his wife and baby, especially with lyrics about a very private thing like a miscarriage. He is just capitalizing on the birth of his daughter.

  10. Meghan
    January 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I disagree, the parents and babies in the NICU trump whatever privacy concerns they had. If they wanted a private experience they could have rented out a birth center or had a home birth and just hired a ambulance or helicopter to stand by. I hope the mistreated parents are apologized to and the couple makes some sort of amends for their callous and heartless mistake. I hate it when famous people behave as if they are better than everyone.

  11. NeuroGirl
    January 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    http://www.lenoxhillhospital.org/press_releases.aspx?id=2394

    The hospital says no parents were kept away from the NICU because of the security. My cousin’s baby was in NICU (elsewhere) recently, and often they was asked not to come in in the morning/afternoon as a baby nearby was having bedside surgery and they needed to keep the area sterile. Maybe someone miscommunicated to the parents?

  12. Poetree
    January 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Megan from what I read, they had the hospital renovated to create a new “executive” suite rumored to be for Beyonce. This means she had more privacy than anyone else because her room was bigger, she had a nice portion of the floor turned into one big “suite.” Considering that there are rumors she had a c-section, its obvious that paparazzi either found their way in or someone was giving them information. I know people who had babies in hospitals without celebrities and shutting down the floor for security reason happens; hospitals spend a lot of money on securing maternity wards.

  13. January 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    (This is obviously minor in relation to the main content of the post, but FYI, the baby’s name is actually Blue Ivy…though I agree Ivy Blue seems more intuitive? Anyway, just wanted to point out how you totally failed feminism forever once again Jill, or something :P)

    • January 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Ah crap! Fixed the name.

  14. January 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Lenox Hill is pretty upper-class to begin with—it’s located in the heart of the UES—I would imagine most of these stories are overblown, it seems like the would have paparazzi-handling and security down to a science. Also, last year my sister, who didn’t have insurance, gave birth at a public, downtown hospital. I imagine, despite the inconveniences, she would have gladly have traded places with anyone at Lenox Hill even while Beyonce was there.

  15. Kristen from MA
    January 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    From what I understand, it wasn’t hospital security that was limiting movement on the floor, but rather Jay-Z’s private body guards.

    No excuse for that.

  16. January 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I’m a HIPAA lawyer, and I’ve had to deal with celebrity patients in the past. We have protocols in place to ensure that their privacy is protected, as well a that of every other patient that we see. We generally do discipline staff that violate patient–VIP or otherwise–privacy, including termination. Still, when the National Enquirer pays an administrative aide for information, it’s hard to keep her quiet (unless she is very aware of other prosecutions for same).

    For reasons having nothing to do with paparazzi and more to do with prevention of baby snatching, every hospital in the country should have a protocol for keeping unwanted people out of the nurseries. Most hospitals have a check-in system in the obstetrics ward, where visitors are required to show an ID before they are allowed past the nurses’ station, and the moms can allow provide a list of approved visitors. No one should be allowed in the area without a visitor’s badge.

  17. Unree
    January 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Unlike Cedars-Mt. Sinai in Los Angeles, which has a reputation for tact and discretion, Lenox Hill has long been a bad choice for celebrities who value HIPAA-style privacy. A friend of mine who worked there years ago gossiped to me about what a bratty patient Sigourney Weaver had been. Looks as if the hospital has overcorrected its course.

    As for what happened this week, Jill, I think I disagree. Telling ordinary people that they have to be inconvenienced because a celebrity has chosen to occupy space isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s not democratic. Although I admire Beyonce and Jay-Z, they’re not royalty. Many of us Americans don’t want to live in a monarchy.

  18. Cagey
    January 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I also think it’s weird people are getting upset over Jay-Z making a song about it. Like, can we have more vacuous complaints. Stevie Wonder did the exact same thing with Isn’t She Lovely? and he actually put it on an album, Kelis made a whole album about her child and her motherhood. Madonna decided that becoming a mother constituted an album gimmick and became a spiritual earth mother for a little bit in the late 90s. But Jay-Z makes one song celebrating his newborn and it’s something odious? I mean, fair point about discussing a miscarriage potentially without his wife’s consent, but him releasing a song he made for his daughter on his personal blog isn’t even the most shameless thing a celebrity has done with regards to capitalizing on their child. A musician made a song about a happy moment in his life. It’s the equivalent of him showing off baby pictures. Is that really worth complaining about?

    As for the complaints about the NICU, the hospital insists that never happened or rather that they received no complaints about it. So I’m thinking some people decided to get their 15 minutes by saying something to the nearest camera.

  19. Cagey
    January 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Also, sorry for the double post, but it just confuses me the way people are so damn interested in policing everything this couple does with regards to this pregnancy. If they’re not criticizing the baby’s name, they’re criticizing the completely innocuous way the father has chosen to express his joy, or criticizing them for going to a hospital instead of having the baby at home since they can afford it, or criticizing them for having nice accommodations at the hospital or trying to criticize her for having a C-section before they even know if she had one or not (which isn’t their business anyway). And that’s after months of people vacillating between either insisting she wasn’t actually pregnant and it was a conspiracy or reducing a woman with a 20+ year singing career to an incubator by calling her some variation of “pregnant Beyonce”.

  20. shfree
    January 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Oh, and I love love love the fact that he wrote a song for his daughter. That’s such a beautiful thing, and anyone who criticizes that can fuck right off.

  21. Ohio Teach
    January 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Frankly–and like most sensible people– I pay no attention at all to celebrities until they force themselves into my space. These celebrities simply used their wealth and the outsize sense of privilege wealth brings to demean every other parent with a loved child in that NICU. That’s the end of the story. They were utterly selfish and heartless to others. There is no defense for this at all. As others have posted, NICUs are already pretty secure. There was no reason, not one, to keep other worried parents from their infants at all. And from the reports I’ve been reading, it was Jay-Z’s security, not the hospital’s, that came between the parents and their babies. Whether it’s Mitt Romney or Jay-Z I am sickened by the way the super rich treat the rest of us.

  22. debbie
    January 10, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Frankly–and like most sensible people– I pay no attention at all to celebrities until they force themselves into my space. These celebrities simply used their wealth and the outsize sense of privilege wealth brings to demean every other parent with a loved child in that NICU. That’s the end of the story. They were utterly selfish and heartless to others. There is no defense for this at all. As others have posted, NICUs are already pretty secure. There was no reason, not one, to keep other worried parents from their infants at all. And from the reports I’ve been reading, it was Jay-Z’s security, not the hospital’s, that came between the parents and their babies. Whether it’s Mitt Romney or Jay-Z I am sickened by the way the super rich treat the rest of us.

    Except it looks like the NICU thing never happened, so whatever.

  23. January 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Jay-Z’s song also brought a tear to my eye. It was so freaking cute. I feel like you rarely hear rappers rapping about their kids, let along the intimate emotions they felt upon their birth. It was touching, and also just really refreshing. Also, his line about B’s miscarriage gave me shivers. I thought that was pretty revolutionary too.

  24. PrettyAmiable
    January 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I believed the rumors (and truth be told, still kind of do which makes me sad because I like Beyonce and don’t want her to be an asshole), but assuming that the press release is accurate, who would start that kind of rumor and why? That’s pretty shitty.

  25. Chelsea
    January 11, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Jill, you said…”ICU is a different part of the hospital. I don’t think anyone in ICU was being blocked”. Sorry, but what do you think the “ICU” in NICU stand for? Having had a premature and critically ill newborn 2 1/2 years ago myself, I cannot begin to tell you what pain it is to be separated from that child longer than necessary. I had to watch my child being resuscitated while I stood nearby. Thankfully, she eventually made a full recovery, but if they had been unable to resuscitate her and I missed being by her side when she passed away, simply because some celebrity thought their (apparently healthy) child was more important, I would have flipped! Yeah, I took pictures– of my child hooked up to numerous tubes and monitors (just in case..). The NICU is for critically ill newborns. I was lucky – – I left with a healthy child, but it could have easily turned out differently and I wouldn’t have wanted a self-obsessed narcissistic celebrity taking a single minute from that time with her.
    This comment may seem overly emotional, but until you have to watch a machine hooked up to your child and be forced to consider the unthinkable (as a parent), you cannot imagine the pain. To then add the pain of being told that your child is not as important as Beyonce’s make-up artist go to her room (yes, I read an article stating SHE got thru to the floor)

  26. Toonces
    January 11, 2012 at 12:03 am

    @ 24

    Except it did. And the parents that were affected are banding together, from what I saw on the news tonight. The hospital likely hasn’t heard from them yet because these parents will be pursuing legal action and are in the process of contacting lawyers, as well they should. This isn’t over yet.

  27. Branwen
    January 11, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I keep trying to think of what to say to the flippant remarks about those testy parents who so ~unreasonably~ object to being kept from their critically ill newborns because some 1%ers insist on acting like they are the kings and queen of the land and have their privately hired henchmen guarding an entire wing of a public hospital. I guess if you have never had a kid in the NICU (and also somewhat lack in empathy for parents and/or general imagination) it may actually be baffling to consider how stressful it is. At any rate, Alexa does a better job of explaining what it’s like than I do, so read this:

    http://flotsamblog.com/2008/03/19/rome-burns-mother-fiddles-gaily/

  28. petpluto
    January 11, 2012 at 5:33 am

    the parents that were affected are banding together, from what I saw on the news tonight. The hospital likely hasn’t heard from them yet because these parents will be pursuing legal action and are in the process of contacting lawyers, as well they should. This isn’t over yet.

    My only question regarding that is why didn’t the hospital hear from parents as this incident was happening? I’m not saying this couldn’t have happened, but that kind of paper trail by even one of the parents would be ideal if they as a group are pursuing legal action.

  29. Ella
    January 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Branwen @28, are you referring to people on other blogs and news sites? Because I didn’t see anyone here dismissing the reactions of parents who have been prevented from visiting their babies in the NICU. I’m sure there are plenty of Feministe readers and commenters (myself included) who have been in that situation and understand precisely how difficult and upsetting and exhausting it is. Some of us *are* questioning what exactly happened and who is at fault, since there are apparently several conflicting accounts and a lot of the reporting about the labor and delivery has been sensationalized. According to the hospital’s press release the family didn’t rent out an entire “wing” or floor of the hospital and no construction or renovations were done to enlarge their space. No complaints were made to the hospital about denial of access (not saying that it didn’t happen, but it sounds like the hospital didn’t have a chance to make it right if it did) If Beyonce’s and Jay-Z’s security people did prevent other patients from moving about and getting to where they needed to be, that’s awful and apologies should definitely be made. But so much of the sturm und drang about this situation sounds like just more policing of a famous woman’s pregnancy and delivery choices, to paraphrase Cagey a few comments above.

    I, too, am baffled that anyone would complain about Jay-Z’s song. It’s lovely and touching.

  30. Ohio Teach
    January 11, 2012 at 9:28 am

    # 24–The New York Times reported it and has not retracted or altered the story. The only assertion I see to the contrary is yours (unsubstantiated). Beyonce and Jay-Z are 1%-ers and acted like it. It doesn’t make it any better because she can rock a song and he wrote one about his daughter.

  31. Azalea
    January 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

    The hopsital says it didn’t happen. But that could very well be due to the fact that the only authority with a documented complaint about this incident is the media, and even then the “biggest insult” as one parent reports is that Beyonce’s security wore badges that said “Special Event” and she felt there were saying the only special event at the hospital was the birth of Beyonce’s baby.

  32. speedbudget
    January 11, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Maybe the hospital did hear from the parents at the time and is lying now about not knowing. CYA. If the hospital didn’t make a record of it, it didn’t happen.

    The scenario doesn’t surprise me. What surprises me is that the hospital allowed someone’s private security to come in and take over the job of hospital security, which is already very adequate in the maternity ward.

  33. jennifer
    January 11, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I’ve had two babies in hospitals, one in a NICU, and had many friends with similar experiences. In all of our cases we were totally pissed off at the way we were treated, with no celebrities in sight. I can imagine that a celebrity presence could make a situation like that worse, and the parents have a right to be angry about the way they were treated.

    However, as a woman and as a celebrity woman and a woman of color there’s nothing Beyonce could do that wouldn’t have brought criticism. If she did it at home, she would have been seen as being irresponsible and encouraging others to be irresponsible, and she might have wound up in the hospital anyway whereupon she would have been criticized for not adequately planning for the disruption it caused. Whatever kind of medical facility she rented out, she would have been seen as displacing others.

    It sounds to me like they tried to plan for it as best they could. There’s a good chance that their security people screwed up and a good chance that the affected parents would have had a bad experience in any case. Hopefully the affected parents will tell their story and the hospital will think about how it could improve instead of just blaming celebrity security.

  34. samanthab
    January 11, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The Lenox Hill spokesperson said that she personally hadn’t heard of any complaints; that’s a carefully worded statement that doesn’t actually mean that there were no complaints. Do complaints usually get lodged with a hospital spokesperson?

    And, the health department felt it was worth investigating. It’s pretty discouraging that there’s so little empathy for the parents here. I mean, honestly, if people don’t know the specifics of the situation, why is the default assumption that parents are whiny?

  35. EG
    January 11, 2012 at 11:16 am

    The hospital has every reason in the world to deny that parents were prevented from seeing their babies in the NICU. That’s like say that because the Bush administration said that they didn’t torture people, obviously torture didn’t happen.

    I find parents and the NYT far more credible than a hospital that is trying not to look like it’ll bend over for rich people.

  36. debbie
    January 11, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I mean, honestly, if people don’t know the specifics of the situation, why is the default assumption that parents are whiny?

    I agree that this is an unfortunate assumption, and as it looks like no one is actually sure what happened, I take back my earlier comment.

    However, I think that the response to Beyonce and Jay Z is also unfortunate. If their security behaved badly, I hope that it gets addressed. I do think that some empathy could be extended to them as parents with legitimate security concerns for themselves and their baby.

  37. EG
    January 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

    You know what, before anybody calls me out on this, let me just say that comparing the hospital to the Bush administration was a bad comparison for a number of reasons (hospitals are not setting out to hurt people, for one thing), and I apologize for it.

    Let me think of a better one…

    OK, it’s like automatically believing a parent when he/she denies allegations of child abuse and says that kid is lying. The parent in question has every reason to lie.

  38. pedestrian
    January 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I like how in the Modern Love thread, people are jumping on the dude commenter who was insisting that it was all about class privilege, not sexism. Yet here, Jill made a point about racism and it has gotten almost no discussion because WAHHHHHH EEEVUL RICH PEEEEEPLE!!!!! Or maybe the 1% don’t experience racism?

  39. Ella
    January 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Pedestrian, that is an excellent point! Several of the commenters at STFU Parents point out that there is a definite racist overtone to the OP’s concern that now all the “hoochiemamas” will name their daughters Ivy, thereby taking away the “specialness” of her own daughter’s name. Ugggggh.

  40. Ella
    January 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    …and upon re-reading I remember that Jill made that very point already. So, as usual, “what Jill said!”

  41. EG
    January 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Well, right, but “that sure is a bullshit racist comment made by a white person” seems like a less significant comment than “No, actually, causing trouble to parents trying to visit their babies in the NICU is an asshole, unacceptable thing to do, no matter what your papparazzi concerns are.” This may be influenced by the fact that I have dear friends whose daughter spent the first year of her life in the NICU, though I also have friends who have had to deal with racist slurs from white people.

    I suspect it’s because nobody is suggesting that “hoochiemamas” ruining her baby’s name is anything other than racist and ridiculous, where there does seem to be disagreement over the private security’s actions.

  42. Lolagirl
    January 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I just went over and read Amanda’s comment, and I have to say she is so many different kinds of wrong in brushing off the complaints of the parents who claim to have been barred from accessing their NICU babies at Lenox Hill. By definition, children in the NICU are all extremely sick, and telling their parents to “get a grip” for being inconvenienced is about as incompassionate as one can get. Clearly, she doesn’t get it, even though she pays lip service to how understanding she supposedly is.

    But then again, I suppose I just don’t have all that much compassion for celebrities, certainly not as much compassion as I do for ordinary people trying to go about living their every day lives. And I have even less compassion for celebrities as I do for those with critically ill loved ones who may be inches from death, but who are kept from them because the Hospital made the privacy and whims of two celebrities paramount over everyone else.

  43. Cagey
    January 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Pedestrian, I also suspect that a lot of the talk around this couple and their pregnancy also has to do with some people balking at a black woman and her family daring to take up space and to be visibly wealthy. Oh sure, people don’t like when the rich flaunt their money, but they especially don’t like when black folks flaunt their money. They need to be humble about it and act as if they don’t, otherwise it’s especially distasteful and people will get really odious about it. I’m not really shocked that the NYT ran with a story where black folks look bourgeoisie and entitled anymore than some people aren’t shocked that the hospital would deny any of this happened. But hey, we all have our various areas of skepticism.

  44. Branwen
    January 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Right, NICU parents being enraged at the idea of being kept from their kid by some arrogant 1%er’s private staff aren’t worried about their child, or in the case of former NICU parents reading about this from a safe distance, triggered. (PTSD is almost ubiquitous among those who have survived the NICU ordeal.) It’s just that we’re all so incredibly racist we’re jealous that a black woman is getting attention. Right.

  45. Branwen
    January 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    It looks like a couple of the parents complaining are people of color too! So how does the “racists! They’re just jelly!” “feminist” defense of this elitist bullshit fly now?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/nyregion/after-birth-by-beyonce-patients-protest-celebrity-security-at-lenox-hill-hospital.html?_r=1

  46. January 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Wow. Really, Branwen? The ol’ “they’re doing it too so itz totes NAWT RACIST”?

    I don’t doubt what happened to the other families in that NICU, but yes, some of the criticism is racist. Beyonce and Jay-Z may be rich, but they are rich, Black people.

  47. shfree
    January 11, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    It does border on triggering for me hearing that parents are denied access to their babies in NICU, because it IS a big deal. I can’t even talk about my daughter’s birth without getting upset and it’s been over thirteen years, and, all things considered, that experience is hardly the wrenching one others’ have been through. So it isn’t just “get a grip” to a parent who might not have been able to touch their child yet, let alone hold them, when they are made to not jump though some hoops, but EXTRA hoops when they are already dealing with a tremendous amount of stress and fear. Because you can’t just stroll into a NICU, ever, not even a parent.

  48. Lolagirl
    January 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Anyone else catch the part in the NYT article about how the security cameras were apparently papered over?

    I can’t even form coherent sentences to sufficiently express my outrage that both the hospital and the Carter family was willing to short circuit hospital security procedures that protect all families in that hospital (not just the famous ones) to protect them from the paps.

    I so don’t understand why some feminists are jumping on this story as a supposed indication of racism or sexism. I honestly fear that this country is so wrapped in celebrity and money worship that nobody can be bothered to care about regular people. It’s appalling, and there is nothing feminist about supporting it or defending it.

  49. Lolagirl
    January 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Angel, I can’t pretend to speak for anyone else on this issue, but as others have already pointed out, at least some of the parents who were blocked from accessing the NICU are black, hispanic and other minorities.

    Call me a reverse classist all you want, I really don’t care. When it comes down to it, I will get outraged on behalf of regular people over celebrities pretty much every time. I may very well get even more outraged when those regular people are minorities, as were the parents who are complaining about Lenox Hill and the Carters.

  50. January 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Lolagirl, please go back and re-read what I wrote. Namely:

    I don’t doubt what happened to the other families in that NICU, but yes, some of the criticism is racist.

    And what is a “reverse classist”?

  51. mary
    January 11, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I think we can acknowledge that there’s a lot of racist and misogynist crap being thrown Beyonce’s way, without making dismissive or shaming comments about the NICU parents. The NICU parents are not the same as Internet blogs, gossip sites, paparazzi, or “fake pregnancy” speculators. Just because some complaints are BS doesn’t mean all of them are.

  52. petpluto
    January 11, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I honestly fear that this country is so wrapped up in celebrity and money worship that nobody can be bothered to care about regular people. It’s appalling, and there’s nothing feminist about supporting or defending it.

    Personally, I think that celebrity culture is more to blame for celebrities needing so much extra protection when they want to do things like give birth without being harassed than it is for people recognizing that celebrities are humans too.

    If parents were barred from the NICU for reasons stemming from Beyonce giving birth, that is a legitimate problem. If Beyonce needs security to be well provided for because some assholes are going to try and sneak a picture of her, her baby, and her family, that is also a legitimate problem.

    And while the first problem may be solved by barring celebrities from the hospitals ‘regular’ people use, it doesn’t solve the problem of treating celebrities as if just because they are famous and awarded many privileges they somehow aren’t people – regular or not.

    I am not trying to defend Beyonce by minimizing the affects this incident had on other parents who also have children they want to cherish and protect. But I do think there is a deeper issue than just “Beyonce made it difficult to see my own baby”. And that is who Beyonce is made it difficult for her to have her baby safely and privately and with minimal stress. And while some may not personally care about that particular plight, given that she is incredibly wealthy and married to another incredibly wealthy individual, I do think there’s something tremendously sad in that.

  53. Lolagirl
    January 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Criticism by whom, Angel? I don’t think any of the criticism made here at Feministe were motivated by racism or sexism. I haven’t read that much about this outside of what’s been reported in the NYT and I didn’t read any of the comments so I can’t speak to anything much beyond that.

    The term classism is usually thrown at those from a higher SES when they criticize those perceived to be of a lower class than then. I was owning the fact that I am perfectly willing to throw criticism in the direction of wealthier people because of their wealth and perceived higher SES by using the term reverse classist.

  54. Branwen
    January 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Yeah the disabling of security cameras thing floored me. The security around a maternity ward and especially the NICU is ultra tight for some very good reasons. (Not just the rare instances–there have been a couple recently–of deranged people stealing babies, either. On a much more common basis there are stalkers, abusive ex-partners and families, men who impersonate hospital personnel to gain access to vulnerable women and assault them, identity thieves…lots of issues. Any L&D nurse can tell you what a magnet for sickos and predators an unguarded maternity ward can be.) What if some “common” baby had been abducted, or a woman attacked in her room, or something like that, all because the hospital saw dollar signs and celebrity attention and let its brain fly out the window?

  55. Azalea
    January 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    How many parents were kept away from their babies in the NICU? From what I understand, it was one father of twins who was kept away from his children and wife for twenty minutes- he said he was kept away by Beyonce’s security;

    Neil Coulon, a 38-year old out of Brooklyn, says that he was already under stress that his wife had delivered two premature girls. That stress was compounded by the fact that Beyonce’s bodyguards were treating the maternity ward like the VIP section of a night club. Coulon said that he was barred from the sixth floor neonatal care unit for 20 minutes by the couple’s private security. He also says that the bodyguards were telling his relatives that they had to leave the area.

    “Three times they stopped me from entering or exiting the NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit) and it happened once on Friday — just because they wanted to use the hallway,” said Coulon.

    “They should have been more strategic about it,” he said. “These are children with problems in intensive care and you’re just going to take over the hospital like you own it? All I want is an apology.”http://www.yourblackworld.com/2012/01/09/dad-angry-because-beyonces-delivery-kept-him-from-seeing-newborn-twins/

    A woman with the same last name said it was “a struggle” to see her twins:

    One new mother, Rozz Nash-Coulon, told The Associated Press that her twins, born Dec. 28, were in the neonatal unit and, starting Friday, intense security measures made it a struggle to see them as guards directed hallway traffic.

    “Once they checked in there was high security everywhere,” she said Monday. “It looked like the president was on our floor. The hospital’s security cameras were taped over. Internal windows from the hallways into the ward were blacked out.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ny-health-officials-look-into-newborn-unit-complaints-at-hospital-where-beyonce-delivered-baby/2012/01/11/gIQAzYphrP_story.html

    Other parents were saying they were forced to remain in the NICU for an hour when they were ready to leave;

    New father Neil Coulon raged to the New York Post: “They just used the hospital like it was their own and nobody else mattered,” said Coulon, who waited in vain to see his premature, newborn twins in the NICU unit.

    PHOTOS: Beyonce’s body evolution

    “They locked us into the NICU and would say, ‘You can’t come out to the hallway for the next 20 minutes.’ When I finally was able to go back out, I went to the waiting room and they’d ushered my family downstairs!”

    Read more: http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/beyonce-gives-birth-inside-her-chaotic-hospital-stay-201291#ixzz1jD16HAlA

    Oh wait! The one person who was “barred” from the neonatal unit is also quoted as being “locked” in the neonatal unit at the same time!!!

    When they get their complaints straight, then we villify the parents and their heightened security.

    So we KNOW it wasnt “hours” it was minutes. We dont know if he was locked in or locked out or both because he gave one quote to different media outlets changing that one detail.

  56. librarygoose
    January 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Hmm, it is odd that it only appears to one set of parents complaining. So on one side I’m like “Seriously, are you trying to get something out if this?” while the other half is still pissed at the idea that someones private security would run around bullying already stressed parents at a public hospital. Even if was just for minutes, it’s still very fucked up.

  57. Donna L
    January 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Azalea, some careful reading on your part of your own quotes would have shown you that there’s no contradiction whatsoever in what that parent said; he did not say he was locked in and locked out at the same time. He said that both happened to him at different times:

    “Three times they stopped me from entering or exiting the NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit) and it happened once on Friday — just because they wanted to use the hallway,” said Coulon.

    And even if he’s the only person quoted by name in the press, how do you know he’s the only person to make a complaint?

  58. Azalea
    January 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Donna,

    The New York Department of Health says so. I caught that after I posted and apologize. However, what he says and what the woman who may very well be his wife in question says dont add up. The first report he gave he said he was barred from his children “for hours” that quickly changed to minutes. There is not a free for all in any maternity ward to go see your baby whenever you please, ESPECIALLY in a NICU. You know what I think? I think a bunch of people saw rich BLACK MARRIED couple celebrating the birth of their baby with a big chunk of the general population waiting to wish them well and felt “neglected.” It’s hard for me to believe that people were keeping you away from your possibly dying child/children at their will and it never occured to you, as the adult, as a PARENT to do something about it like…file a complaint. But you know what CAN be proven? People violated Beyonce’s rights to privacy, they vandalized church property and declared Blue Ivy Carter the child of Satan, they lied and said the woman had a c-section, they are saying Beyonce was never pregnant and there was a surrogate; all of this is documented and dont get me started on the INSANELY fucking racist bullshit people have been saying. Beyonce is a very private celebrity, the media HATES that and every now and then something is distorted or fabricated to make her look like the “evil black bitch” mainstream people want her to be.

    Read a few articles and you’ll see it really seems like this guy was the lone person prohibited by Beyonce’s security from seeing his children in the NICU and the whole ordeal lasted- by his own account- 20 minutes a VERY far cry from the “hours” he initially reported.

  59. Miss S
    January 11, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Oh sure, people don’t like when the rich flaunt their money, but they especially don’t like when black folks flaunt their money. They need to be humble about it and act as if they don’t, otherwise it’s especially distasteful and people will get really odious about it.

    This a million times over. To some people she’s not just a celebrity causing an inconvenience. She’s a Black woman doing it, and to them, that’s worse because Black people shouldn’t receive special treatment, or get placed higher on the hierarchy than them. EVER.

    IMO, it’s not her fault. She needed that security, and the hospital should have done a better job at making sure other families weren’t inconvenienced. It’s not Bey’s respobsiblity to do that, especially considering she was busy giving birth. FFS.

  60. Miss S
    January 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I saw this after I posted Azalea, but this:
    I think a bunch of people saw rich BLACK MARRIED couple celebrating the birth of their baby with a big chunk of the general population waiting to wish them well and felt “neglected.”

    is what I was trying to express. It’s the idea that black people are supposed to know their place, even if they have more money than all the white people around them. Fuck that noise, because yes- it’s racist.

  61. Branwen
    January 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    IME working with people advocating for their rights as patients and reforming a complaint system, for every person who files a complaint there are at least a dozen or two others who had pretty much the exact same experience but either don’t know how to file a complaint, are intimidated by the process, have been talked out of filing the complaint by the first “official” person they talked to, didn’t even know that there was a procedure for addressing what happened to them, or saddest of all, didn’t bother because they were so used to being discriminated against they didn’t see the point bashing their head into that wall. Systems within healthcare are set up to discourage complaints from being filed, they are complicated, time-consuming, and often intimidating to navigate. Many victims would prefer to just put the bad event behind them rather than fight for their rights.

  62. EG
    January 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    It’s hard for me to believe that people were keeping you away from your possibly dying child/children at their will and it never occured to you, as the adult, as a PARENT to do something about it like…file a complaint.

    Yeah, gee, I can’t imagine how parents traumatized by an extremely difficult birth whose children’s lives were in danger wouldn’t immediately have their shit together to follow proper bureaucratic procedures–it’s totally like how if you don’t call the cops immediately, you obviously weren’t raped. You’re right, it’s far more likely that some parents with babies in the NICU got pissed because Beyonce is a rich black woman having a baby.

    Papering over the security cameras? Fuck them all, except the baby. Beyonce is getting crap thrown at her by random bloggers and gossips who aren’t respecting her privacy? Well, that’s a hard-ass shame, but it’s what you sign on for when you become a celebrity, and in this day and age there isn’t a single person who doesn’t know it. Nobody signs on for wondering if their babies will live and die, and nobody who is doing that should have to put up with some rich-ass celebrity’s security detail giving them shit or making their babies less safe, even if it’s only for one minute.

    People violated Beyonce’s rights to privacy, they vandalized church property and declared Blue Ivy Carter the child of Satan, they lied and said the woman had a c-section, they are saying Beyonce was never pregnant and there was a surrogate; all of this is documented and dont get me started on the INSANELY fucking racist bullshit people have been saying.

    I don’t give a shit who vandalized church property. Property is only property. Babies are living human beings. Not even close to being of equal concern. They lied? They insulted the baby? They claimed that Beyonce was never pregnant? Well, all that shit went down about Katie Holmes, too (I’m still not convinced she was pregnant and gave birth); it is part and parcel of being a celebrity, and if Beyonce doesn’t want that, she can give back all the money and go get a regular job. People are saying racist bullshit? All right, that part sucks. How does it justify hassling parents and papering over security cameras, again?

  63. EG
    January 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Many victims would prefer to just put the bad event behind them rather than fight for their rights.

    Especially if they’re already suffering emotional and physical exhaustion and trauma from a hard, dangerous birth and the threat to their children’s lives. “Filing a hospital complaint” is not going going to make the short list of things you’re going to spend your time and energy on. God knows I never filed a complaint about the incredibly callous doctor whom I dealt with while my best friend was dying. I had other things on my mind.

  64. KW
    January 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I’mma let you finish, but Beyonce totally deserves the Oppression Olympics Gold Medal.

  65. mary
    January 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    @ Azalea:

    I think a bunch of people saw rich BLACK MARRIED couple celebrating the birth of their baby with a big chunk of the general population waiting to wish them well and felt “neglected.”

    Yeah, I’m sure when your newborn babies are struggling for life and hooked up to machines, getting on the Beyonce fame train is totally all you care about.

    Seriously, do you realize how fucked up you sound with this?

    People violated Beyonce’s rights to privacy, they vandalized church property and declared Blue Ivy Carter the child of Satan, they lied and said the woman had a c-section, they are saying Beyonce was never pregnant and there was a surrogate; all of this is documented and dont get me started on the INSANELY fucking racist bullshit people have been saying.

    I agree with you on all of this, but unless you can demonstrate that the NICU parents were somehow part of this, you do not need to demonize them or belittle their trauma.

  66. Anecdotal
    January 12, 2012 at 12:08 am

    I’d be curious to know what other celebrities did in similar situations in the past. I know pictures of Madonna’s baby weren’t made public for a long time, and I think it was the same with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes?

  67. PrettyAmiable
    January 12, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Okay. So let’s have two sets of legitimate concerns. This is not a world where that can’t happen, right? Racism sucks. Preventing parents from seeing babies in NICU (even if only for 20 minutes, even if only one set) sucks.

    On a tangent, if you can get your head together to complain about a hospital’s administration when you can, do it. Completely unrelated, but the nurse who handled me after I was assaulted at the first hospital I went to tried to keep me from going to a hospital where they have rape kits and then grabbed me by the arm and pulled me behind a room separator when I told her she wasn’t taking me seriously. The following Monday morning, I sent an email to every name I could find that looked like it might deal with customer complaints. They apparently retrained the in-take nursing staff because of my correspondence. Did it help? Hopefully. So complain. Complain complain complain.

  68. Branwen
    January 12, 2012 at 12:51 am

    I was wondering the same thing about how this celebrity situation is usually handled. I know some hospitals in LA have a more refined routine for dealing with high profile admissions, and was surprised that NYC and DC hospitals are apparently not all similarly accustomed to the drill by now.

    And definitely, if you can advocate for yourself or complain after the fact, do it, I’m all for it. I’m all about, if you feel unhappy with your care in the slightest, demand the charge nurse or nurse manager for the unit, then a patient advocate. If you have a lawyer, call them. Write to the regulatory boards for your locale, and the Joint Commission. But it is tough, and a lot of work, and IME women especially tend to be belittled, brushed off, and even threatened when filing complaints about their healthcare. Poor and minority women complaining about OB/peds in any form can end up getting stuck (paradoxically enough) with the “bad mom” label and can pay dearly for it. The system is already set up to favor the rich and the powerful to such a degree, that’s part of why it enrages me so to see this hospital being so terrible to people in order to accomodate a “star.”

  69. shfree
    January 12, 2012 at 1:10 am

    I know that when my daughter was in the NICU I was hooked up with an IV myself,not in the best shape after a very long labor, was an emotional wreck and only focused on the well being of my daughter. I’ve tried not to say it, but unless you’ve been in those shoes, you really just don’t know. Twenty minutes can feel like a lifetime when your babies are that sick and that new to the world.

  70. EG
    January 12, 2012 at 1:25 am

    I hate to write this, but twenty minutes can be a lifetime in that situation. My friends…every minute they weren’t with her was riven with anxiety.

  71. Branwen
    January 12, 2012 at 1:36 am

    One time when I went to visit my daughter (she was there 25 days) a woman had collapsed in the NICU hallway. This kind of thing happened a lot, moms who had been sick during pregnancy to start with, had been through surgery days or weeks ago, were not able to take much time for themselves or eat or sleep properly–if you are pumping, as you practically must when your baby is fragile, you have to get up ever 2-4 hours to maintain your supply, and when you are at the hospital all day they give you one cafeteria pass, typically, worth about $5. I personally was recovering not just from surgery but from the life-threatening illness that lead up to it, and could barely stand for 5 minutes without starting to grey out and feel sick. And fragile babies are the most unpredictable–my daughter would be doing great, getting ready to take a feed and move down to a lower acuity level, I’d go to lunch, come back, and they’d have a lab report they were shaking their heads over and she’d be back up on the oxygen, they’d be talking about calling a specialist…and that’s typical for NICU life. Every time you go to that door to buzz in, your stomach is churning, you don’t know what you’re going to walk into. Sometimes a baby would die on the unit and because there’s no privacy, we’d all see the nurse taking the body down to the service elevator, hear the mother’s screams…this shit is traumatizing TO AN EXTREME, and I am still really pissed and wanting apologies from those who have belittled it.

  72. debbie
    January 12, 2012 at 5:17 am

    One time when I went to visit my daughter (she was there 25 days) a woman had collapsed in the NICU hallway. This kind of thing happened a lot, moms who had been sick during pregnancy to start with, had been through surgery days or weeks ago, were not able to take much time for themselves or eat or sleep properly–if you are pumping, as you practically must when your baby is fragile, you have to get up ever 2-4 hours to maintain your supply, and when you are at the hospital all day they give you one cafeteria pass, typically, worth about $5. I personally was recovering not just from surgery but from the life-threatening illness that lead up to it, and could barely stand for 5 minutes without starting to grey out and feel sick. And fragile babies are the most unpredictable–my daughter would be doing great, getting ready to take a feed and move down to a lower acuity level, I’d go to lunch, come back, and they’d have a lab report they were shaking their heads over and she’d be back up on the oxygen, they’d be talking about calling a specialist…and that’s typical for NICU life. Every time you go to that door to buzz in, your stomach is churning, you don’t know what you’re going to walk into. Sometimes a baby would die on the unit and because there’s no privacy, we’d all see the nurse taking the body down to the service elevator, hear the mother’s screams…this shit is traumatizing TO AN EXTREME, and I am still really pissed and wanting apologies from those who have belittled it.

    That’s horrible and heartbreaking.

  73. January 12, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Man, Branwen, I read your comment and started tearing up. Fuck.

    A lot of people don’t get it. Hospitals are awful places to be in under the best circumstances, imo, but when you have a very sick baby – I just can’t imagine what that’s like (I hope I never have to). And every single thing that goes wrong is magnified to an extreme in what is already a volatile situation. So I can understand people freaking out over the presence of the bodyguards, et al, especially if any of those bodyguards made their hospital stay any more difficult and horrible than it already was.

    And I say this as someone who really digs Beyonce.

  74. Safiya Outlines
    January 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Methinks some people aren’t quite grasping what it means to have a child on NICU – “only 20 minutes”. Words fail me at how callous that statement is.

    Thank you Branwen and sh free for sharing your stories. I’m really sorry you’ve felt you had to justify yourselves.

  75. Azalea
    January 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Yeah, gee, I can’t imagine how parents traumatized by an extremely difficult birth whose children’s lives were in danger wouldn’t immediately have their shit together to follow proper bureaucratic procedures–it’s totally like how if you don’t call the cops immediately, you obviously weren’t raped. You’re right, it’s far more likely that some parents with babies in the NICU got pissed because Beyonce is a rich black woman having a baby.

    EG, I’ve had a child in the NICU after having a c-section and yeah when they told me I couldn’t see them when I wanted to I made calls, ASAP because I dont fucking play around about my children, period end of story. A woman being raped may not report out of fear of not being beleived, of her character being shitted on in court, a parent being kept away from their possibly DYING child has nothing to lose by taking steps to make sure anything preventing them from being with their child is perfectly legal and legitmate. You have far more to lose, you know like your child DYING and you not fucking being there by telling your story ASAP to the media instead of people who can actually do something about it while its happening. As it stands the New York Department of health called bullshit on these reports too.

    Yeah, I’m sure when your newborn babies are struggling for life and hooked up to machines, getting on the Beyonce fame train is totally all you care about.

    Seriously, do you realize how fucked up you sound with this?

    Actually Mary there is another quote where a woman said the biggest insult to injury (and Im sure its the woman I’ve already quoted) was that Beyonce’s security had badges that said “Special Event” and she took it to mean Blue Ivy’s bith was the only special event going on in the maternity ward that day. Doesn’t fucking sound like a mom who’s concerned about being kept away so much as her child not getting the attention he/she deserves from BEYONCE AND JAYZ.

  76. Azalea
    January 12, 2012 at 11:11 am

    And come on let’s not just slide by the 20 minutes comment as if I am saying 20 minutes isn’t a long time, BUT until calls for an invesitgation came about the story being given everywhere was that it had been “hours!!!” for no apparent reason but to move Beyonce’s family around, which was pure and utter bullshit and WAS an attempt to villify a woman who- after having at least one miscarriage– finally gives birth to a healthy baby. What is the focus on : how much was spent on her having privacy, lies about her having a surrogate, lies about her having a c-section, lies about her throwing “tantrums” (which was it, she had security so tight nobody could see her or barely get on her floor or everyone felt her wrath, I cant keep up with the angry black bitch bullshit being toted everywhere), and now people are complaining about the “processions” she had when she left the hospital, those people include the SAME fucking set of parents who initially said Beyonce kept them away from their twins. Well she isn’t at the hospital anymore people, why do you have ANYTHING to say about the way she left when her leaving didn’t shut down the floor, didnt stop you from seeing your twins? Yeah I know, it has NOTHING to do with her celebrity and everything to do with…….whatever a bunch of angry not racist people who say racist shit says it has to do with.

  77. January 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Criticism by whom, Angel? I don’t think any of the criticism made here at Feministe were motivated by racism or sexism.

    Again, please read what I wrote. The only comment here I took issue with was Branwen’s @ 46-47. You said yourself you hadn’t read anything beyond what’s been here at NYT. So, what’s the issue?

  78. mary
    January 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Actually Mary there is another quote where a woman said the biggest insult to injury (and Im sure its the woman I’ve already quoted) was that Beyonce’s security had badges that said “Special Event” and she took it to mean Blue Ivy’s bith was the only special event going on in the maternity ward that day. Doesn’t fucking sound like a mom who’s concerned about being kept away so much as her child not getting the attention he/she deserves from BEYONCE AND JAYZ.

    Here is what the NY Times article said:

    At one point, another father, Edgar Ramirez, 25, said, security guards kept him out of the neonatal unit for three hours while his wife and newborn were waiting for him. At another point on Saturday, a guard declared that “the floor is on lockdown,” Ms. Nash-Coulon said, and told her that if she left the neonatal unit, she would not be allowed back in to see her babies.

    OK? These are two families being kept away from their kids. You know what? If someone in a “Special Event” badge told me their event was so special I had to be denied access to my critically-ill baby, I’d take that as a goddamn insult too.

    If you are against the overblown, false vilification of Beyonce (as I am), then it is the utmost hypocrisy to turn around and do exactly the same thing to people who DID NOT ASK to be a part of this situation, who simply had the misfortune to have sick babies in the hospital at the same time Beyonce was giving birth.

  79. shfree
    January 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I’m apologize about falling for the C-section rumor, I should have paid better attention.

  80. Miss S
    January 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Why is any of the anger being directed at her? It’s pretty telling that alot of people on various blogs and websites are putting this sqaurely on her shoulders.

    She was in labor and giving birth, so I’m sure her attention was directed towards herself. I seriously doubt that she demanded that all other parents in the hospital be prevented from seeing their babies.

    Just because you don’t see any racism in this story doesn’t mean there isn’t any. It just means you don’t see it.

  81. Branwen
    January 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I see anger at both her and her husband, and it’s because they are the ones who spent the $$$ to lock the place down with private security, etc. I am also seeing a fair number of people who are angry at the hospital for being so star-struck/money-struck that they allowed this stupidity to affect their other patients.

  82. Vigée
    January 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I agree with Miss S in comment 82. It seems clear that the situation was handled really truly badly. But I have trouble believing that Beyonce is the one on whom the blame should fall.

    Our celebrity-obsessed culture? The hospital for not taking proper steps? The possibility of over-zealous body guards hopped up on their own power? Yes, to all of those. But probably not a woman in the middle of delivering a baby of her own.

    And none of that should in any way detract from the suffering that parents and families went through as a result of how the whole thing was handled. And the hospital absolutely should be held accountable. For the record, I find some of the comments above utterly disgusting in their attempt to discredit and disregard these families.

  83. Miss S
    January 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Right Vigee. I can see why people are mad, but I don’t see why they’re mad at her. She was in the middle of labor, and it wasn’t her responsibility to make everything was going right in terms of hospital protocol. It’s also not her fault she needed security.

  84. PrettyAmiable
    January 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    I wonder how I would react if it were a white celebrity.

    I definitely blamed Beyonce – which is wrong. I wonder if it has to do with internalized sexism or racism or a little bit of both. Miss S, you’re right. Wth could Beyonce have done? It wasn’t her, and blame shouldn’t lie there.

  85. Branwen
    January 12, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Sure there’s nothing she could have done when she was in labor, but you seriously think she had nothing to do with the ornate plans that were carried out WELL in advance of her arriving at the hospital?

  86. DonnaL
    January 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    I blame the hospital for allowing whatever happened to happen. Not Beyonce herself.

  87. January 13, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Branwen, I seriously doubt she planned to keep the other parents away from their babies. I feel pretty safe in assuming that Beyonce intended only to keep paparazzi OUT.

    Seriously, thank you Miss S. You beat me to it. I love how everyone keeps referring to the security as Jay-Z’s, and then blaming Beyonce.

  88. Vigée
    January 13, 2012 at 12:54 am

    It’s also not her fault she needed security.

    Also, I think it’s important not to lose sight of this fact (to quote Miss S once more). I do think that celebrities these days are way over-rewarded given what they do, but I also think they’re way over-penalized in their complete forfeiting of privacy. When they’re entire lives become a mechanism of entertainment, they are actually being forced to do thing like rent out wings of hospitals or entire skating rinks just to do things that any human being should be able to do.

  89. January 13, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Our celebrity-obsessed culture? The hospital for not taking proper steps? The possibility of over-zealous body guards hopped up on their own power? Yes, to all of those. But probably not a woman in the middle of delivering a baby of her own.

    Yes.

  90. Annaleigh
    January 13, 2012 at 3:13 am

    If it’s true that Jay-Z’s security disrupted NICU and kept parents away from their babies, that really sucks, and I hope an apology would be in the works. In life so much can happen in just a moment so I can appreciate that it would be distressing for parents to be separated from their very sick babies, even for “just” 20 minutes.

    What also sucks are the racists comments that are being made around the internet about this. I really do think that for some people at least, if the new celebrity mother were a white woman, some would react differently.

    The thing I’ve noticed that grosses me out are the people (in general, on the internet) who’ve decided that Beyonce *should* have had a home birth so as not to get in anyone’s way. While I bet, for instance, that she and Jay-Z probably have a very nice space in their home where a water birth could take place (if I had money and privilege myself and was pregnant, I would like a home or birthing center water birth), considering that she’s evidently had at least one miscarriage, maybe it personally gave her more peace of mind to deliver Blue in a hospital with close supervision? People don’t seem to realize that. I think it’s should be very possible to sympathize with parents of very sick babies, and with a new mother who has lost previous pregnancies and didn’t want to take any chances with the delivery of her baby, and who unfortunately requires a lot of security and safety measures in order to deliver her baby in peace.

  91. Safiya Outlines
    January 13, 2012 at 6:18 am

    The people to blame here are the the hospital. Beyonce and Jay Z’s security team can ask for x,y and z to happen, it’s up to the hospital to yes or no it.

    If the hospital really has been swayed by $ and prestige into allowing things to occur to the detriment of their other patients, then the hospital should be criticised and rightfully so.

  92. EG
    January 13, 2012 at 7:31 am

    The people to blame here are the the hospital. Beyonce and Jay Z’s security team can ask for x,y and z to happen, it’s up to the hospital to yes or no it.

    Oh, I think there’s enough blame to go around. The hospital has a much greater responsibility to make the interests of all its patients a priority, and I absolutely blame it for bowing to money and fame instead. But it’s also perfectly possible for people, even rich and famous ones, even rich and famous ones who are planning for childbirth, to recognize that papering over security cameras and controlling who walks through hospital hallways is unacceptable, and that “I want” doesn’t mean “I get.” Seriously, what if some doctor or nurse who had temporarily stepped out had needed to get to the NICU for an emergency? Security has no right to stop or delay anybody, be it for twenty minutes or twenty seconds.

    She was in the middle of labor, and it wasn’t her responsibility to make everything was going right in terms of hospital protocol.

    I’m giving Beyonce enough credit to have been involved with and aware of what was apparently the massive, intrusive, and expensive birth plan awaiting her labor. I highly doubt that when she went into labor, Jay-Z and/or her publicist called the hospital at the last minute with a list of demands that had never been previously discussed.

    EG, I’ve had a child in the NICU after having a c-section and yeah when they told me I couldn’t see them when I wanted to I made calls, ASAP because I dont fucking play around about my children, period end of story.

    Ah, OK, this is going to be another one of those things where if people don’t behave exactly the same way you did or would, they must be bad, bad people. Glad we’ve cleared that up. Obviously anybody who reacts any differently from you don’t care about their kids and so play around about them when they’re in danger, and then take shots at Beyonce and Jay-Z for the fun. They’re not just…different, and react differently, and didn’t pull themselves together until after the immediate situation, and figured they would have no chance in hell of being heard unless they went to the media. Good to know.

  93. Hari B
    January 13, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Wow….94 responses to a note on Beyonce–who, however stupendous she may be as an entertainer, is still, ONLY an entertainer. That is, she’s a womyn raking in millions based upon her music and fashion sense along with a big flair for the dramatic. She earns all that $$ and adulation for no other performance of real value to the world. Certainly of no value to feminism, certainly not plying her skills to improve the status of womyn in any way that truly matters. 94 feminists saw fit to argue about this. And hey, I’m glad for those who actually had the guts to call out Privilege where they saw it…and still–

    Only 8 responses to a note on Samira Ibrahim, a womyn of stupendous courage who has put her very life on the line for womyn everywhere. Who, for no other motive (not profit motive, anyway) than standing up to oppression on her own behalf…who risks death for standing up in a way that can make a difference in the lives of all her oppressed sisters in that part of the world…who, for these reasons and more is EARNING an eternal place of gratitude and recognition in our hearts and in our Halls Of Feminist Fame. All this, and only 8 people are moved enough to responde to the post about her.

    Can’t find strong enough words to describe the way this looks, and affects my view of American Feminism.

  94. Miss S
    January 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Pretty Amiable, it’s really awesome that you thought about this from a different perspective. I mean that sincerely.

    But it’s also perfectly possible for people, even rich and famous ones, even rich and famous ones who are planning for childbirth, to recognize that papering over security cameras and controlling who walks through hospital hallways is unacceptable,

    But why are you assuming that she planned that? Why are you assuming that they went into the hospital with bad intentions, or the intent to prevent everyone else from getting around the hospital, or the intend to cause other families grief?

    I’m pointing out that for some reason, she isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt and people are pointing blame at her immediately. Not just here, but a lot of other places as well. WHY? IMO, because she’s a Black woman.

    Fuck you Hari B, for suggesting that a discussion on Black women isn’t important to feminism. How ironic that it changes your view of American feminism, when that’s precisely what American feminism used to be about. Shall we return to the 1950’s for you? Would you like that?

  95. Hari B
    January 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Hmmm…well, Samira Ibrahim is also a woman of color. I’m not sorry to challenge your priorities here, when there is nothing Beyonce has ever done that came from the kind of courage Samira has shown in a single act. An act whose power will resonate around the world long beyond the span of her lifetime–whereas Beyonce has but a few years left to be of influence of any sort.

    I do not say that womyn should ignore Beyonce, look down upon her life and talents, nothing like that. I can see how she is an inspiring success story for womyn, and of particular inspiration in some ways to womyn of color.

    I do say that all this gossip about Beyonce’s million $ birth is just mindblowing to me–and most especially so when someone like Samira is being ignored. Ignored by womyn who call themselves feminists! And now, as I am also reminded in very certain terms, feminists who want WOC as rightly valued as they should be!

    The Beyonces of the world will never change this world by much, no matter how rich or famous they get. The Rosa Parks, and the Emmeline Pankhursts, and the Samira Ibrahims do change the world most radically, in ways womyn most desperately need it.

    But I’m not sure why I bother–obviously, with your ‘fuck you’ and trying to shame me as a racist, you are just reacting to your own shame in being more interested in this tabloid inanity than in a womyn of real courage like Samira Ibrahim. Obviously, too, there are Black womyn even in the US who are doing a lot more important things than Beyonce ever will–so I can’t take your racism-shaming too seriously. Seems to me YOU are the one devaluing WOC here, not me–just more of your own shame coming at me. Well, I ain’t buying it today, thanks anyway for stopping by.

  96. January 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Hari B, you’ve demonstrated more than once that you’re not interested in really listening to anyone who doesn’t fully agree with you so I probably shouldn’t bother, but Beyonce has in fact done lots for poor youth in Houston as well as survivors/evacuees of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike. Is her work on par with the resistance of Samira Ibrahim? Nope and I don’t think anyone, including her, would make the comparision. But it’s disingenous to claim Beyonce does nothing to help others when a simple google search would show otherwise.

  97. Azalea
    January 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    You see MIss S, only white women can be so distressed by childbirth that they cant make a phone call to somebody about being prevented from seeing their possibly dying children in the NICU but a BLACK woman, hours after giving birth, seconds even should have bene in someone’s face about all of the fuss being made on her behalf far away from her actual hospital bed because NOBOD was talking about how happy they are she delivered a healthy live baby, no everyone in her room was talking about and gloating about preventing others from seeing their little bundle of joy.

    Call it the magic negro syndrome, she should have none, she should have done something, she should have said no and you know when black women say no EVERYBODY bows down and listens, especially when she’s vulnerable in a hospital immediately after birth.

  98. Hari B
    January 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Grogette– there are a fair number of commenters on this site who seem to be very fond of claiming that I don’t listen to anyone…as you have just stated:

    “Hari B, you’ve demonstrated more than once that you’re not interested in really listening to anyone who doesn’t fully agree with you…”

    You then go on to demonstrate (as have others here on feministe, in other threads) the fact that it is you who are not listening to me. A fact I find doubly hard to understand since my words are written down and can be easily referenced. I mean, how hard is it to take a second look at someone’s post, and make sure you really ‘heard’ them, before shooting from your offended hip?

    “… But it’s disingenous to claim Beyonce does nothing to help others when a simple google search would show otherwise.”

    Cuz see, I never said one word to the effect that Beyonce “does nothing to help others”. Not. One. Word.

    It seems to me that the main issue here is that my POV is offensive to some. And because you are offended by a difference of opinion, you (some of you) immediately jump to the character assassination and assumptions about what I am saying. Is it possible in your world that someone could be listening…could understand you…and still have a different opinion?

    Finally, in this part below, you have it both right and wrong, IMO–as far as understanding my intention in posting initially:

    “Is her work on par with the resistance of Samira Ibrahim? Nope and I don’t think anyone, including her, would make the comparision.”

    Damn straight–talented AND good hearted/generous as Beyonce may be, her work is NOT on par with the Samira Ibrahim’s. I was indeed saying that. But where I think you’re wrong lies in your 2nd statement of “I don’t think anyone…would make the comparison”. Because what I see, by the actions of so many posters on this thread, is that you have indeed made the comparison. You’ve just don’t so without thinking about it. For you all, by comparison to the tremendously exciting importance of Beyonce’s baby drama, Samira Ibrahim’s act did not apparently rate even a passing ‘thanks, brave womyn’ or ‘way cool’ comment.

    And that, to me, is a sad statement indeed on the state of American Feminism.

  99. Hari B
    January 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    btw–in my first post, first paragraph about Beyonce, I was referencing her career work only. Point being that her career work is not helping the world, is not meant to help the world, just herself. If she shares some of her wealth accumulated through entertainment work, great–but that was not the point I was making.

    And to use a popular word here, it is just as disingenuous of you to read my words in any other way. It is not a reading toward understanding meaning–only toward finding ammunition–and then accuse me of not listening.

    people, people, people.

  100. Sheelzebub
    January 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I find it telling that you’re spending so much time and energy on this thread, Hari. If it’s not that important, why are you posting so much in the thread?

  101. EG
    January 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    but a BLACK woman, hours after giving birth, seconds even should have bene in someone’s face about all of the fuss being made on her behalf far away from her actual hospital bed

    First of all, if this shit was going down “far away from her actual hospital bed,” it’s even more reprehensible.

    More importantly, honestly, you honestly think that nobody discussed these arrangements with Beyonce ahead of time? Like, nobody gave her a heads-up, say, two weeks before her due date, just to say “Hey, just so’s you know, when you go into labor, we’ve rented out an entire hospital wing, and we’re going to be papering over the security cameras that cover hospital areas that other people use too, and we’ll have private security patrolling hallways that other people use to make sure nobody comes through. FYI.”

    You think all this was planned in secret and sprung on Beyonce when she went into labor? That seems so unlikely to me as to be near-impossible. Unless she’s really that stupid and powerless, which is not the impression I’ve ever had from her.

    But why are you assuming that she planned that? Why are you assuming that they went into the hospital with bad intentions, or the intent to prevent everyone else from getting around the hospital, or the intend to cause other families grief?

    I’m not assuming that they went in with the intent to cause other families grief. I’m assuming that like all other rich people, other people’s needs didn’t even occur to them, because they have enough money to sling around to make sure they get what they want. And yes, I am assuming that when they went in, they had an inkling that they’d be papering over security cameras and having private security patrolling the hallways talking to people. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have had the paper and tape handy, and they wouldn’t have brought private security, or at least would have kept the security people outside her room and only outside her room.

    Seriously, this is the argument? That Beyonce and Jay-Z were just hanging out in the labor room, waiting for her contractions to intensify, and one of them said “Hey, you know what we could do? How about we paper over the security cameras and send John Doe over there out to stroll around the hallways?” and the other one said “Great idea!” Or that they were hanging out waiting for her contractions to intensify, and their security did it without letting them know, despite having had no plans or suggestions to before? I can’t take that seriously at all.

    I don’t think they went in with bad intent. I think they went in with entirely self-centered intent, beyond that which non-extraordinarily wealthy people are ever able to indulge in.

  102. Juke
    January 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Hari B: I suggest you read this: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/04/12/faq-why-are-you-concentrating-on-x-when-y-is-so-much-more-important/

    Also, what would you like me to say about Ibrahim? I’m not an expert on the issues she’s facing, so I don’t really have anything to contribute beyond, “yes, she is very brave.”

  103. Donna L
    January 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    their security did it without letting them know, despite having had no plans or suggestions to before?

    I don’t know; I actually think it’s entirely possible that someone like Jay-Z (or Beyonce) who has full-time security people on staff, would simply instruct the head security person ahead of time to “take care of it — make sure we have privacy,” without instructing that person on exactly how to achieve it, or having them report in advance as to what exactly they were planning to do. That’s what rich people hire security for, after all! And I do think that Beyonce probably had other things to think about late in her pregnancy, especially if it actually was Jay-Z’s security staff, and he simply told her it was being taken care of. So I’m willing to give her a pass on this.

  104. EG
    January 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Oh, and as for why I’m not giving her the benefit of the doubt–I never give any rich people the benefit of the doubt, except in very, very limited cases in which I have actual good reason and past practice indicating that I should (for example, if word came down that Kate Winslet was body-snarking on her co-stars, I would probably give her the benefit of the doubt because she’s well known as condemning the Hollywood beauty-starvation standard and has given chunks of money to anti-eating-disorder organizations and suchlike). However, if it was the NYT reporting on it, I’d probably just be very confused, because they don’t tend to go around making up celebrity gossip just for the fun.

    Rich people get plenty of benefits. They don’t need the benefit of my doubt.

  105. EG
    January 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    especially if it actually was Jay-Z’s security staff, and he simply told her it was being taken care of. So I’m willing to give her a pass on this.

    Fair point. I would still hold her responsible for an apology and making good, though, because it was being done in her name, and she was the patient. It’s like, no, I don’t think that CEOs read all the papers and letters that they sign, but if one of those papers or letters goes out with some bad shit in it, I still hold that CEO responsible, because he put his name to it, and that’s what that means. So, sure, if we get a statement from one of them sometime in the next six months (because even non-wealthy new parents can grab a minute in the first six months to send an email) saying something along the lines of “Sorry, we had no idea that John Security, Chief of Jay-Z’s security was going to pull that shit, and it was totally unacceptable, and so we’ve fired him/required that he attend “don’t be an asshole” training courses, and we are very sorry for all the anxiety we caused other parents in situations similar to ourselves,” then I will resume liking Beyonce in an absent-minded “I don’t think about her much” way, instead of rolling my eyes and thinking “selfish jerk” whenever her name comes up.

    But I’m still not going to give her the benefit of the doubt. Because…rich people. Most of them leave a really bad taste in my mouth.

  106. Donna L
    January 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Also, what would you like me to say about Ibrahim? I’m not an expert on the issues she’s facing, so I don’t really have anything to contribute beyond, “yes, she is very brave.”

    Exactly. What drives high post counts is disagreement and controversy, or at least general outrage (as in Hugo Schwyzer, babies in NICUs, etc.), not “hey, what X person did is fantastic!” You’re never, ever going to have 500 or even 100 posts that simply say that, especially on a topic about which most of the audience doesn’t have a great deal of personal knowledge or experience. Like it or not, no matter the medium, there are *always* far more people who take pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, to express disagreement or disapproval, than to express agreement or approval.

    Which is why, in addition to the reasons stated in Juke’s post, it’s either highly disingenuous or shows an extremely poor understanding of how comment threads work to base an opinion as to what a blog’s readers care about or think is important — let alone an opinion on what American Feminists in their entirety care about!! — on comparing the numbers of comments on two different threads chosen essentially at random.

    In the last 6 months or so that I’ve been reading Feministe regularly, there have been only a tiny handful of posts authored by self-identified trans people, all but one of which, if I recall correctly, garnered 10 comments or less. (The one exception elicited a lot of comments only because a bunch of people were vilifying the poster because she was upset that her elderly grandfather was repeatedly misgendering her.) Should I conclude from that that the commentariat at Feministe doesn’t generally care about trans issues and/or thinks they’re unimportant? That proposition may be true (although I suspect otherwise from reactions to certain threads not authored by trans people), but it would be wholly idiotic of me to draw that conclusion from the post counts for a small number of threads.

  107. Esti
    January 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hari B, the posts that get the most comments are the ones on which the commenters disagree. The reason you get very few comments on the Samira Ibrahim post is that people read it and think it’s great but don’t feel the need to have 50 comments saying “that’s awesome” below the post. The reason you get a lot of comments on things like this is that the commenters are disagreeing with the original post and with one another.

    The number of comments on a post is a terrible indicator for how much people care about the topic. You’re actually a pretty good example of that: you made one comment on the Samira Ibrahim post, and four comments here. And yet you obviously think that this is less important than the other topic. See how that works?

  108. Hari B
    January 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    LOL, Esti, thanks for saying that! I do get it.

    Still…somehow it just seems so wrong that people are not giving Samira at least that ‘wow, awesome’ comment.

    whatever, JMO, now duly stated in pretty much the same vein of passion as anyone else here.

  109. trees
    January 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    @Hari B

    Your prescriptive feels all too familiar. You push to focus on the Important Issues! of colored people *over there*, while degrading the issues of POC much closer to home, issues for which you (if you are US based) may have a greater ability to affect positive change.

  110. Azalea
    January 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    EG:

    I would ask if you’re serious but Beyonce is black so I’m pretty sure you are.

    1) How did this “shit” as you so eloquently put it happen in close proximity to her if she had an entire wing of the maternity ward to herself? Wasn’t the point of it all for her to have privacy? Or are you suggesting that she wanted to know what every other set of parents in the hospital was doing, that she was being nosey?

    2) Why does she have to apologize for the actions of her husband and the security that HE hired? Actions that have yet to be confirmed and have even been thrown out as false after an official investigation by the DOH?

    3) Beyonce *just* had a baby! Why the fuck is she supposed to be putting her happy moment aside to make sure everyone else is having a happy moment? Why are they entitled…wait..she’s black.

    4) Being a black woman, contrary to what popular culture would have folks believe, does not mean that she is obligated to please everyone.

    5) Show me one woman who had a baby and could tell you whether or not someone on a different floor had problems getting to and from the NICU when her child was not in the NICU and I’ll show you someone who heals pretty fast to have gotten out of her hospital bed to see what everybody else is doing…on a different floor.

  111. EG
    January 14, 2012 at 12:27 am

    1) How did this “shit” as you so eloquently put it happen in close proximity to her if she had an entire wing of the maternity ward to herself? Wasn’t the point of it all for her to have privacy? Or are you suggesting that she wanted to know what every other set of parents in the hospital was doing, that she was being nosey?

    If she had an entire maternity ward to herself, and none of this was in close proximity to her, then what were the security guards doing in those hallways to begin with?

    2) Why does she have to apologize for the actions of her husband and the security that HE hired? Actions that have yet to be confirmed and have even been thrown out as false after an official investigation by the DOH?

    She doesn’t have to. I just think she should. Because she and her husband are legally bound, and he did all this crap allegedly for her, and if she doesn’t want people to think she’s on board with it, then she can say so. If she doesn’t, why wouldn’t I assume that she is?

    And sure, the NYC DoH can’t be influenced by bags and bags of money. That sounds like the city I know and despair of.

    3) Beyonce *just* had a baby! Why the fuck is she supposed to be putting her happy moment aside to make sure everyone else is having a happy moment? Why are they entitled…wait..she’s black.

    If she can’t grab one moment out of the first six months, then I’m going to stand by my assessment of “selfish jerk.” Having a baby, while, as far as I’m concerned, entitles a person to quite a lot of slack, does not entitle anybody to more than a few months of not giving a shit about people they have inconvenienced with their moneybags.

    4) Being a black woman, contrary to what popular culture would have folks believe, does not mean that she is obligated to please everyone.

    I suppose if you consider “not preventing one’s hired staff from hassling or delaying other people as they try to get around a hospital” and “not papering over security cameras that affect other people” aspects of “being obligated to please everyone,” this would be a relevant statement. However, I consider them to be what I like to call “remembering that world does not revolve around you, especially in a hospital,” and that is an obligation incumbent on being an adult human being, as far as I’m concerned, so it’s not.

    5) Show me one woman who had a baby and could tell you whether or not someone on a different floor had problems getting to and from the NICU when her child was not in the NICU and I’ll show you someone who heals pretty fast to have gotten out of her hospital bed to see what everybody else is doing…on a different floor.

    If you could just quote the bit where I talk about how she should have stopped it as it was happening or shortly thereafter, as opposed to vetoing the stupid fucking plan before it was put into action? Much obliged, thanks.

  112. Hari B
    January 14, 2012 at 8:37 am

    trees: “Your prescriptive feels all too familiar. You push to focus on the Important Issues! of colored people *over there*, while degrading the issues of POC much closer to home, issues for which you (if you are US based) may have a greater ability to affect positive change.”

    It may *feel* familiar, and I really do get that, from my own experiences and making associative assumptions from time to time. Yet my thoughts on this are not nearly as familiar as you might think. I don’t much pay attention to the news, and the only reason I even noticed the Samira/Beyonce diff was because notes on both were posted here, and further, the notes are one-right-after-the-other in the list of linked posts. I could easily see them in the same glance, that made it stand out for me. Well, that and the fact that I am continually surprised by how much adulation/attention the celebs are given–so of course, Beyonce as a rich celeb stood out perhaps even more to me because of that prejudice.

    I freely confess that I am white. And I’m a feminist….in a conscious way at least, I’m a lot more aware of ‘men’ and ‘womyn’ than I am of ‘white’ and ‘color’. Making no other claim than that. In any article placed so closely to the note on Samira, it coulda been Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, George Clooney or Michael Jackson…it still would have been about my celeb prejudice than any other (although, if it had been a man instead of Beyonce, I would have likely pounced much harder on that fact, on a feminist page, to be perfectly honest).

    No doubt, I am not as aware of the positive aspects, for POC, of a figure like Beyonce. No doubt, she, by being close to home and involved in the same culture as other americans, has an influence more readily sensed/seen than world-movers from other cultures overseas. No doubt, in my comments I did not much consider those things. Still–still, I’m not saying, never said, that Beyonce should command NO attention/admiration. Just saying that I find it hard to understand how a womyn like Samira commands so little here.

    but that’s ok–like I said–I’ve made my point, and have duly heard the refutations. With it, I have been as sanctimonious as a site dedicated to ‘the sanctimonious womyn’s studies set’ might well expect she is fully expected to be…just like the rest of us :D

  113. trees
    January 14, 2012 at 9:22 am

    @Hari B

    But this isn’t just all about Beyonce. I don’t know much about her life, nor am I terribly interested. What I see in this thread is folks using this particular celebrity story to discuss larger issues that effect their lives, among them perceptions of wealthy black women, and black women generally. I see you trying to shut down these discussions. You’re effectively saying that issues of pediatric hospital NICU policy, perceptions of black women, etc., just aren’t that important.

    You said:

    No doubt, I am not as aware of the positive aspects, for POC, of a figure like Beyonce. No doubt, she, by being close to home and involved in the same culture as other americans, has an influence more readily sensed/seen than world-movers from other cultures overseas.

    Actually, this is what I said:

    You push to focus on the Important Issues! of colored people *over there*, while degrading the issues of POC much closer to home, issues for which you (if you are US based) may have a greater ability to affect positive change.

    So if this is an issue in your front yard, you may actually be able to do something about it.

  114. Hari B
    January 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

    trees: “I see you trying to shut down these discussions. You’re effectively saying that issues of pediatric hospital NICU policy, perceptions of black women, etc., just aren’t that important. ”

    I can see how you would feel I was ‘trying to shut down these discussions’, and all the rest–even though this has not been my intent. Effective comm is challenging in the best of circumstances, and comm on the internet among strangers is among the worst of circumstances to achieve truly effective comm. I own my part in a failure to achieve effective comm…and only my part, with awareness of the other parts ;-)

    I actually do appreciate your elucidating the deeper functions and value of the Beyonce discussion, thanks.

    Anyway–my intention was to express dismay that so much attention was given to Beyonce, and so little to Samira. NOT to ‘shut down’ anything–only to point to another, and for me *more* significant and powerful (to womyn worldwide) current event that surely deserves *as much* attention as Beyonce.

  115. trees
    January 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    @Hari B
    You say:

    I freely confess that I am white. And I’m a feminist….in a conscious way at least, I’m a lot more aware of ‘men’ and ‘womyn’ than I am of ‘white’ and ‘color’. Making no other claim than that.

    But yet you also say:

    But I’m not sure why I bother–obviously, with your ‘fuck you’ and trying to shame me as a racist, you are just reacting to your own shame in being more interested in this tabloid inanity than in a womyn of real courage like Samira Ibrahim. Obviously, too, there are Black womyn even in the US who are doing a lot more important things than Beyonce ever will–so I can’t take your racism-shaming too seriously. Seems to me YOU are the one devaluing WOC here, not me–just more of your own shame coming at me. Well, I ain’t buying it today, thanks anyway for stopping by.

    With your admittedly limited base of knowledge and experience, why do you exhibit such confidence in your authority to define the parameters of feminist discussion? Do you get that this is a classic Nice White Lady Feminism tactic? Do you see the connection to Nice White Lady’s Burden?

  116. PrettyAmiable
    January 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I would still hold her responsible for an apology and making good, though, because it was being done in her name, and she was the patient.

    I disagree with this so much, EG. Let’s say that’s the case – that Jay-Z decided unilaterally to protect Beyonce through means that are questionable. (What I really think probably happened is one member of their entourage decided to paper cameras, another decided to fuck with people on the floor, etc.) But really, if this is happening outside of Beyonce’s knowledge, doesn’t this come down to some patriarchal bullshit where everyone knows what’s best for her except her? If she’s not being consulted, and if she’s not handing down the decision, why should she ever apologize for someone else’s misdeeds?

  117. Miss S
    January 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    EG, you’re hung up on the class issue and ignoring the racial one. I get it, you don’t want to give rich people the benefit of the doubt. That doesn’t change the fact that her race is influencing the reaction that she’s getting. Expecting her to apologize, even if she had nothing to do with it?

    You don’t see a problem with someone expecting a Black woman to apologize for inconveniencing other people, even if she didn’t know other people were being inconvenienced?

  118. Hari B
    January 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    trees: “why do you exhibit such confidence in your authority to define the parameters of feminist discussion?”

    Don’t think I’m exhibiting any more or less confidence in my POV than you or anyone else. Not sure why you think I do.

    ” Do you get that this is a classic Nice White Lady Feminism tactic? Do you see the connection to Nice White Lady’s Burden?”

    whatev, trees. Do you get that reading people’s comments on the internet, I have no idea what color they are? Or that what is a race-issue for you/some is not necessarily a race issue for all? I know POC who share my view that ppl (of all races) make too much of the whole celeb thing, regardless of celeb race; I know POC who think Beyonce is a total sellout, too. So don’t try to tell me I just don’t get it cuz I’m white.

    At this point I’m leaving the field to you.

  119. Azalea
    January 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I suppose if you consider “not preventing one’s hired staff from hassling or delaying other people as they try to get around a hospital” and “not papering over security cameras that affect other people” aspects of “being obligated to please everyone,” this would be a relevant statement. However, I consider them to be what I like to call “remembering that world does not revolve around you, especially in a hospital,” and that is an obligation incumbent on being an adult human being, as far as I’m concerned, so it’s not.

    EG,

    Considering that this all happened while she was in the hospital herself having just had a baby herself why is it that she has to prevent it from happening? Why are you assuming that they actually planned to stop other people from seeing their babies in the NICU? Why are you assuming that she’s this horrible person who would actually do something like that? Don’t give me the bullshit about her having money because 1) she didn’t always have it 2) she’s been very generous with her money 3) I highly doubt the money SHE earned paid for it consdiering who she is married to and the fact that he could mroe than afford to have paid for this on his own 3) the woman had a miscarriage do you really think they would bother her with the details of her security, its far more likely she was given a “I promise it will be ok, or DONT STRESS PLEASE IT COULD BE YOU KNOW UNHEALTHY FOR A WOMAN IN LABOR TO STRESS” But for some reason you’re sold on the idea that her woman makes her superhuman and immune to stress even during labor and childbirth even though she’s suffered the loss of a pregnancy she’s wanted via miscarriage yeah somehow someway Beyonce, should have made it easier for people because she’s black and should know better than to allow other adults who are not in labor who can move freely who are doing things other than recovering from childbirth and bonding with a brand spanking newborn baby to do things against her will far out of eyesight and earshot.

    When a white woman’s husband does some bullshit she doesnt like (ie the judge;s wife who watched and even participated when her husband beat the hell out of her daughter) she’s the victim hands down, but if its a BLACK WOMAN’s husband oh especially one who has the nerve to have more money than most white women, yeah she better start kissing ass and making amends for that thing she had no control over at the time and did not actively participate in because she was busy doing something like laboring and recovering from childbirth.

    Hmph, no racial overtones in this thread my ass!

  120. Hari B
    January 16, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Still think it’s more of a celeb privilege issue than a racial one. But, not to say there aren’t some intersections….

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