There are going to be a lot of spelling errors in this because Grammarly turned off suddenly and I don’t know how to turn it back on. I won’t have time to come back and correct anything, so just enjoy all the mistakes as my special gift to the universe. You’re welcome!
Here I am, struggling into life, and all the lady lawyers have just arrived to begin another day on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard extravaganza. They do look fresh and bright. Their skirts are all so suprisingly modest. Is this a thing? Modesty back in public affairs? Have I just watched Legally Blond two too many times? Now they are getting all their things out of the capacious hand bags and looking at their phones. Opp, and now there’s Johnny Depp smiling and shaking hands all around. Well, I won’t be able to check on this exciting time until this evening because I really do, I promise, have better things to do.
Like complain about this terrible terrible thing from Vox. It’s a series of ugly and bleak cartoony drawings explaining how breastfeeding is actually just as bad as everything else. Here is a sample:
Gosh, that is too big and I don’t know how to make it smaller. So that’s pretty horrible. Through all the cartoons, Vox doesn’t ever once use the word ‘mother.’ Rather, it’s all “birthing” and “breastfeeding parents.” Moreover, they go on and on about how hard and impossible feeding a baby the old fashioned way is, and how you need so much equipment and special classes. The faces of all the “birthing parents” look like this one–angry and sad. They also claim that mothers who breastfeed for six months or more “experience longer and more severe income loss” than mothers who use formula, like it’s some sort of disease, as bad as having to have a baby in the first place. Oh wait, and here’s another horrible line: “breastfeeding is only free if you think lactating-parents time is worthless.” Some “specialist” did the hard work of figruing out that people have to spend as much time breast-feeding as actually having a full time job! Wow, Vox, you guys are really on the cutting edge of the information highway. But that’s not all! One of the cartoons is a big long list of all the diseases you can get from nursing (they don’t use that word, obviously). Did you know you can get carple tunnel from breastfeeding? And “inadequate sleep“–THE HORROR. Oh yes, and “loss of bodily autonomy.”
Like all reasonable people at this moment, I will go on the record as saying that I hated nursing my children–almost every minute of it. I was bad at it, I hated sitting down for any reason, I wished they would all get a move on with their lives. I was impatient all the time. And most of all, I hated having those fierce powerful baby jaws clamped on my person for hours at a time. It made me want to jump out of my own skin and run away. Nevertheless, I gave it my best shot six times. I did the best I could. I didn’t last a whole year with all of the six, but I stuffed them full for as long as I could. For all of them, I ended up suplementing with formula because, well, I just did–and it was expensive back then. Of course women who use formula aren’t bad people and no one should shame them. But you know what, I don’t hear a lot of that actually going on. The women I’m running across online who are passionatly committed to nursing their babies are out in force praying for and coming up with help and ideas for women who are caught in this terrible time.
But seriously, this Vox thing is absolutely appalling. Enough with “birthing parents” and “breastfeeding parents.” Those people are called Mothers and they are women. And also, you wretchedly small-minded “journalists,” when people say that nursing is “free” they do not mean whatever it is you think they mean. They mean that it doesn’t require cash in the moment to feed the baby. Obviously, the mother has to eat–a lot, and that takes money. And she has to sit down some of the time, and rest, because she is literally giving her very life for the life of another. And she has to have community and support because it’s a big deal, what she is doing. It isn’t “free.” On the contrary, it is immensly valuable. It is of far more value than the garbage wage she could earn in those hours working some miserable job in an office or a store. No kidding, Sherlock, it is basically a full time job. NO KIDDING it reduces your “bodily autonomy.” Glad you finally discovered that essential truth.
Tragically, heretofore, society understood that babies coming into the world was so important that when women were going to have them, they really had to do that as the main thing for many years and couldn’t do anything else. Prevailing opinion thinks this was mysogyny, that “staying home” with babies and young children was a terrible thing to do, and not gracious and life giving, and also the glue that kept a lot of society together. All those women weren’t doing no work, they were doing work that was so valuable the rest of society earned money so they could do it without having to earn money also. And because they were given the time and space and freedom to do that necessary and critical task, their care for infants and young children extended past into other spheres of influence and power. They cared for people in their churches. They started hospitals. They organized guilds. They raised money. They have influene and power that extended into every corner of society.
All this information is also available on the internet, but Vox doesn’t seem to know how to find it. So anyway, if you are struggling to find formula and are in a bad way, I am seriously praying for you, and if you are local to me, contact my church. I don’t know what we can do but we will do something. If I could nurse your baby for you I would, even though I would want to scream all the time. Life is a desperate thing and only God can help us out of all our difficulties–and wonderfully, he often uses people, even women, to do it. Have whatever sort of day you can cobble together!