Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Celebrating Lactating

So the New York Daily News is reporting that nearly 150 breast-feeding moms swooped down on Barbara Walters' Manhattan offices to protest remarks she made on "The View," comments that rankled the milky mothers. Evidently, Babs noted that she felt uncomfortable on a recent airline flight in which another passenger was breast-feeding a rugrat.

The Daily News milked the protest for all it's worth:

" 'Just look away if it's really that offensive,' said Anushka Paris-Carter, 32, of Manhattan's East Village, as she fed her 23-month-old daughter, Sasha. The women - carrying signs like 'Mama's latte is best' - said they worry the comments might keep new moms from nursing. Some are demanding an on-air apology.

" 'I'd do it on the subway. I'd do it in the library. I'd do it in the park. I've never been a particularly shy person, but some people are, and they shouldn't be discouraged from doing something natural,' said Jennifer Sheridan, 42, who brought her two children, each breast-fed for two years."

While we don't have much of an opinion on the subject, we will say Jennifer Sheridan sure sounds like someone worth knowing.


At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Ray Stephens said...

I typically vote in favor of all things topless, but breast-feeding is pretty nauseating.

Besides, the "Just look away if it's really that offensive" arguement shouldn't work for moms if it didn't work during my indecent exposure trial.

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Jill Vatican said...

I'm sorry..."23 month old daughter?" I'm of the opinion that if your kid can eat a steak, she can drink from a cup. I'm just sayin'...

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Tommy said...

I eat in public, so I don't see any reason a baby can't as well. Besides, "lactivist" has to be one of the coolest new words I've seen this week.

At 5:46 PM, Blogger LiteraryTech said...

The fear and loathing of most straight men to the natural feeding of children always leaves me cold. Of all the androcratic attitudes. There is nothing disgusting about it. It is typically done without anyone knowing it is going on.

And really, we should be encouraging and supportive of this totally normal activity. In an effort to promote the formula industry and preserve the mono-functional mythology of the patriarchy, we have totally lost touch with the normality of this method of feeding our children. This attitude is only healthy if you work for Nestle Corp.

Do you really want to risk your children? For worst-case scenarios, there is the possibility that there is something seriously wrong with the formula. And yes, there have been cases where formula feeding a child resulted in profound mental retardation. I met one of these unfortunates. May she rest in peace.

But we don't have to go to worst-case scenarios. It is a medical fact that the formula industry has been unable to duplicate the benefits of the lactation of the mother. It is shown to build smarter children not to mention all the benefits derived from the shared immunity.

Finally, this codswallop about the age of the child is just rot perpetuated by a society at odds with the natural world. It is not necessary to breastfeed until the child is three, but it is also hardly a problem. The benefits to the child are enormous and the problems are all social inventions. In developing societies, it is actually a really good idea as it protects the child from problems in the food or water supply and can reduce the amount of food it is necessary to provide the community.

In short, the horror expressed here, and the discomfort expressed are an opportunity for the uncomfortable to examine their feelings and grow, not an opportunity to encourage mothers to abandon their children to the inadequacy of formula.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Lady Godiva said...

Geez, I'm inclined to move back to the old country. Americans are just too incredibly uptight about the human body. Breasts are beautiful. OK, except my sister's where she was misguided in her choice and location of a tattoo. That elongated diagonal of what was once a rose is really creepy. Wasn't Lip Schtick just discussing cleavage? Most seemed OK with that. Mothers have every right to breastfeed their babies in public... in a discrete manner. While two years may seem long in our culture it's certainly not in many... although I would consider it risky once they start cutting teeth.

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Morgana said...

I don't know what codswallop is but I can say this. . . actually being a woman with breasts a couple of children have suckled, I think it is a better option. However, I don't agree with the idea that formula is an abandonment of your children. Some of us women are not fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed, some of us choose not to because we work, and in those instances, thank you Nestle and all you other evil corporations for giving us something to count on. I wasn't breastfed because it didn't fit with mummy's schedule, and I graduated from college--twice, once with honors!! I think you do what you can in this world and being raised on formula isn't so bad. It's safer than a ride to pre-school in daddy's station wagon, but we do that every day, don't we?

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a 22 year old male and I was not breastfed as a child, but I would love to be breastfed by hot young mothers now.


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