I recently thought I’d like to start watching a TV show. I don’t watch much, but thought it might be fun to get into something regularly (besides Seinfeld reruns). I tried a couple of those prime time dramas and every time I had to turn it off after 10 minutes and was left emotionally triggered the rest of the evening. It seems we’ve become completely desensitized to rape, murder, beating, blood, gore, etc. Some of the plot lines were so outrageous, so violent that my mouth literally hung open. It’s always the same cheesy lines, void of any human emotion and more excessive violence. Yet I regularly receive messages over social media that I’m, “gross,” “disgusting,” or “harming” my children in response to my breastfeeding or gentle parenting posts. Get a clue, people. What is harming our children? What is harming the world? Breastfeeding and co-sleeping? Or glamorized violence, violence in our neighborhoods, free-walking abusers, intolerance, hate and fear?
We live in a culture where we are constantly pressured to push our kids to “grow up.” This is often the argument for weaning, “They need to grow up sometime!” I’ve even got feedback for the vocabulary I use to describe my kids, “baby versus toddler versus small child.” And anyone who is not pushing their child to grow up is trying to “keep” them young. What is the big rush? They are going to grow up. Seriously, you don’t need to push them. Actually pushing too hard can cause anxiety and distrust in the world. They will just grow. It’s nature. I will not wean my child simply because he breastfeeds at an older age than makes you comfortable. It works for us, it is what I believe he needs and he likes it! I am not “keeping” him breastfeeding. He likes it, he initiates it and, even after hard work to establish boundaries to keep me sane nursing 2 kids, he keeps coming back. I do not force it to continue and I will not force it to end. He won’t breastfeed when he is in college, not that you really need to care about what my child does. Of all the things going on with kids and in the world at large, people trip about this. I don’t get it. How can anyone look at this and think it is wrong?
Breastfeeding isn’t private for me. At all. It’s no more private for me than eating, sipping water, holding my husband’s hand or hugging friends. It’s private for some people and that’s totally cool. That’s just not my personal story. No one would ever interrupt my husband and I holding hands while eating dinner to tell us we were being inappropriate. I don’t see any reason to do this to a breastfeeding mother. Ever. There is never a reason to treat a breastfeeding mother any different than anyone else on the street. Unless she is about to wander into traffic just let her be.
If a woman decides that her breasts are sexual then we have to accept that. If she decides that her breasts are purely for feeding her baby and that they lack any sexual meaning whatsoever, then that’s her truth. Breasts are whatever we want them to be. “We” as in the owners of them. Society has decided that we are not the owners of our breasts and that they are sexual because everyone else wants them to be. This is how a woman’s body becomes sexualized, and it’s not about sex, it’s about control. This way we remain sexual in the eyes of society and our primary purpose is to sell products and satisfy sexual fantasies. [Read more…]
This past weekend I was getting dressed for Easter Sunday brunch. When I put on my dress I realized I had forgotten my shaper, which is really just high-as-hell underwear to cover up that little bugle I have that sticks out over regular underwear or pants. I stood in the mirror scolding this belly bulge and myself for forgetting the most important piece of my wardrobe; the one that covers up my true body shape. [Read more…]
It’s hard living in my skin. Not in a melodramatic way, but literally. My skin is sensitive and is a recurring source of discomfort. A few weeks ago I got a cold that swept through the toddlers at the local park district building. You know the moment when you realize you have gotten the cold that your toddler and baby have. “Oh what misery we are in for,” I thought. The first time I blew my nose I was reminded of the painful dry, flaky, cracked, bloody skin that will develop from the repeated blowing. Not only will Man Cold surely set in, but Cold Nose will too. [Read more…]
You will most likely not have a negative breastfeeding incident in your life. But that means nothing really. You live in a world where this happens and we all suffer the consequences of misogyny. Breastfeeding incidents occur often. Most of them are not reported. (Sound familiar?) Women are left humiliated, frightened and broken. Something is taken from women when this occurs; a sense of safety and innocence. These are not isolated incidents. They are part of a pattern of hatred of women, violence against women, abuse of women, shaming of women. Where porn is a billion dollar industry, where we pay a ton of money to see women take their clothes off, but women are told to cover up and go to the bathroom when breastfeeding their babies. There is a sickness in our society. One rooted in misogyny and double standards. One that hurts women and children everyday. One that must be cured. Cured by speaking up, speaking out, speaking often, making waves, not shutting up, not waiting for it to get better, breastfeeding whenever and wherever, shouting for each other and not giving up ever, ever, ever.