There is a backlash against breastfeeding in which women constantly argue they need their drugs more than they need to breastfeed and it parallels the WWT (World War Transgender, courtesy of one Steve Sailer) demands for drugs to maintain a supposedly inborn gender. Yep, I totally went there! But in the case of women, as opposed to the men and teenage boys encouraged to take dangerous drugs with horrible side effects, most of the (usually) psychiatric medications they want to take are compatible with breastfeeding.
Another part of the breastfeeding backlash is defining bizarre edge cases where breastfeeding would not be feasible as normal and typical, like this cancer mom http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-breastfeed-nursing-moms-baby-perspec-1015-20141014-story.html#page=2.
Also, in a country where formula feeding is the social and medical norm, screaming about boob nazis (women defending the right of women to behave in biologically normal ways that were historically part of the public sphere) disturbingly parallels the vicious and astonishing misogyny leveled towards radical feminists, who represent another minority group of women desperately trying to defend the biological reality of femalehood and female existence from the relentless onslaught of surgically unaltered men proclaiming themselves more womanly than any woman born.
If woman is just a feeling a man has sometimes, what rights (even to existence) do real women have?
“Women don’t really exist, they’re just a feeling a man sometimes has”– GallusMag at GenderTrender, a radical feminist clearinghouse on WWT and one of the few sources of real journalism on that topic.
The breastfeeding backlash is pretty virulent and often part of nominally conservative circles that identify as more “moderate” and libertarian. I was inspired to start this post-topic by the weird fact that I’ve seen soooooooooooooooooooooooo many conservative men bring up OUT OF NOWHERE the “boob nazi” narrative regarding why their wives put some or all the babies on formula. One notable example was reading a dissident right blog mostly about statistical analysis of various stuff and out of nowhere comes the boob nazi thing at the end of a post. Another interesting example was an open thread discussion on a center-right/libertarian blog that wasn’t about birth or breastfeeding or pregnancy in any way. But then a dude just busts out with it.
Liberal dudes tend to be super pushy about “posting for their pregnant wife/girlfriend”, which is controlling and weird too, but conservative guys tend to be anti-breastfeeding as a norm. To brag about how their wife used it as a weight-loss tool, sure, but never as something normal and part of how women birth and nourish infants. They are also this way about homebirth and midwifery. Only if they assisted do they support it or speak of it favorably. One example is the place I purchased some homebirthing supplies from, which was a guy who assisted with his wife’s homebirths enough times that they decided to start a business selling the supplies online.
Breastfeeding for more than a year is especially reviled, which is bitterly funny given the supposed support for SAHMing.
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy and it carries a lot of health issues (like being exhausted from the biological process of milk-making, among other things), but it’s biologically normal, it’s part of the great work that is our womanly form. We weren’t designed to merely have a baby and then, well, whatever foodwise. We were designed to breastfeed for many months of an infant’s life, with again a natural decrease in production as the infant matures and can eat more and more solid foods into toddlerhood, where the weaning process is supposed to happen. These are ideals, and the fallenness of this world makes them not always possible for every woman. But normalizing *anything but breastfeeding* is definitely anti-woman. And that happens over and over again among conservatives. It’s so common to denigrate solely feminine spheres in this way, by only speaking of them when they have some utility as a tool to serve a man’s desires. It’s not just a thing that gets your body slimmer for funtimes postpartum. It’s not costless compared to formula, it simply comes with different accounting. It’s a fearfully and wonderfully made system of infant feeding built right in to start working even before you give birth. Formula is very clever, but breastmilk production and nursing is so remarkable I do encourage women to try it and support them in doing so in the ways that I can (food, employment for nursing mothers, connecting them with other experienced nursing mothers, etc.)
My position is the same online as it is when I’m helping out women offline to breastfeed at all or for a few months longer than they otherwise would. Formula is a great invention, but it’s not magical and requires a lot of resources to be a reliable feeding method for infants. Babies that sleep badly will do so regardless of the food they eat. And if they sleep pretty good, then they’ll do so with breastmilk as readily as formula. And making milk is work too, just like growing a baby, so dig in. But the main way to get more women breastfeeding is to actively support and approve of women staying home all day. Pumping rooms at a job aren’t going to do it and create many other problems, like pressure on women to run to work ten minutes after delivery. Anyway this is a hobbyhorse so I’ll hop off and leave additional discussion to the floor.