Mondays at The Variegated Life: links to some stuff I’ve liked …
At Wise Way Tribe, Elena explains why children need to see breastfeeding (boldface mine):
Ten-year-old boys and every other age of boy NEED to see a baby suckling on a nipple until it becomes BORING. I guarantee you if my 15-year-old son were in the room with a nursing mother, he probably wouldn’t even notice it. Just like if someone were eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich he wouldn’t really care. Or if someone were BREATHING it wouldn’t much draw his attention….
It’s a baby eating. Seriously, the most boring, tedious thing in the world. (Well, okay, when you’re the one feeding the baby, it’s pretty magical and fantastic sometimes, but usually even for the Mama, it’s pretty run-of-the-mill.)
And girls need to see it. They need to see that it’s no big deal, that it’s everywhere, that choosing to breastfeed does not mean fighting with blankets to cover the baby’s head or fighting with restaurant owners (to cover THEIR heads.) They need to see that they would be fully welcomed, supported, even IGNORED by doing what is natural, commonplace, no big deal.
Speaking of breastfeeding, Blue Milk re-posted a response to French feminist Elisabeth Badinter (which I missed the first time around), pointing out that Badinter’s critique of certain approaches to mothering (breastfeeding, for example) is actually “patriarchy-enabling” (boldface mine):
Babies are helpless little beings designed to fall in love and elicit love and just to, generally, survive. Really, however infuriating it gets caring for them, that is all a baby is trying to do – survive and love. (Sometimes it helps to look them in the face and acknowledge that to yourself.) Whenever the tussle for fairness, for support, for scarce resources, for needs being met is waged between a mother and a baby somebody is being let off the hook, and I would argue that it is a whole society of somebodies. Take or leave “attachment parenting” as you wish but raising human infants is not supposed to be done in isolation by a single caregiver, and yet overwhelming levels of individualism combined with conservative gender roles have positioned us in exactly that place.
At Thursdays with Dr. Mama, Amber Kinser provides one of my two favorite critiques of the current (and truly flabbergasting) attacks on women’s reproductive rights in this country (boldface mine):
Do those who support mandatory pre-abortion ultrasounds also expect that women who change their minds on the ultrasound table will then be given an equally clear picture of how little they will be supported in the raising of the child, either by those politicians or those marching communities? I’m not talking about baby clothes and diapers here, which help through about the first five minutes of motherhood. I’m talking about the two decades of support that a mother will need to bring a child to adulthood. Will they detail what those two decades will look like? Doesn’t she have a “right to know” this? Will they clarify that it won’t be long before both she and her child fade from the memories of those who coerced her into raising it? That she will be blamed for all manner of consequence for her child, consequence over which she has had no control — like the state of health care, education, and food justice — but over which those who coerced her and forgot her had full control? Will she be told that workplaces will likely treat her as anathema to their ideal employee profile and that her pay, sick leave, promotion opportunities, and retirement benefits will reflect that? Will they tell her that the ultrasound is actually not remotely designed to provide rational information but rather to stir surface-level emotional guilt that is hardly the foundation for good decision-making of any kind, much less that related to raising a child? No? Really? Gosh. Shocking.
My other favorite critique is by Favianna Rodriguez at Colorlines.com (via Blue Milk).