speak where we can hear you, dear

8/22/11

Yes, I realize I’m slacking here, but that’s for two reasons: one, it’s the dregs-end of summer and I’m resting up for another inevitable victory, and two: MY WIFE IS ABSOLUTELY DESTROYING IT ON THE HUFFPO.

To whit: her article on the Breast Milk Baby doll has (as of this writing) more than 3,700 “likes”, 1,136 “shares” and 655 comments. She probably has more page hits from two blog entries than I have, total, in almost ten years of keeping a personal blog – and I couldn’t possibly be prouder of her.

Sure, they are vastly different platforms, but it just goes to show the level-of-scale certain lecterns have. Also, there’s a built-in audience of parents who love to heap scorn on other parents – it’s the blood sport of the twenty-teens.

Can we call these the twenty-teens yet?

Anyway, Tessa’s new article is about a doll that suckles on a little breastfeeding halter your li’l one can wear, and naturally, it grosses out a few conservatives. Man, do they have hearts of alabaster, or what?

LucyBreastfeedsVictoria(bl).jpg

Lucy at 4, multitasking

0 thoughts on “speak where we can hear you, dear

  1. jif

    I loved the article Tessa and was highly “entertained” by several of the 600+ comments. Having given birth to and breastfed twins here in Germany, I find the outrage over the doll and many Americans unease with the breast being used for what it was intended to be used for, i.e. nourishing a child (or two), amusing to say the least. I never felt uncomfortable, scorned, unwelcome, etc for nursing in public in Germany – and this coming from a woman who occasionally had to breastfeed two at once – simultaneously – which is, to be fair, a total spectacle.
    My daughter first noticed a woman breastfeeding this past January (when she was 2 and a half) and immediately asked me what she was doing. When I explained she had milk in her breast and the baby was drinking the milk, she immediately pulled up her shirt and nursed her bear. Which was very sweet and completely natural – there was nothing sexual about it nor was it anything that anyone forced upon her – it was her own natural curiosity and instinct to do the same for her “baby” because that’s what she saw other mommies doing for theirs.
    A better example of “sexualizing” the breast would be the way the most widely-read German daily paper, the Bild Zeitung, has a topless/naked woman on the front page of every issue, or the way more reputable publications, like Spiegel and Stern (Germany’s most respected news magazines) never fail to get a bare breast on the cover when the topic is health, gender, relationship or sex related – or basically any other topic they can possibly relate a boob to. And THAT sort of boob usage the prudish American in me finds callous and unnecessary. Whereas the Germans don’t bat an eye…

    Reply
  2. jje

    Bravo, Tessa!
    Very pro-BF’ing over here. I even ponder becoming a lactation consultant from time to time. I nursed both my babies until they were two. And I was such a super-producer that I was able to exclusively nurse my second AND donate 12 ounces every day for six months to a woman who had adopted a baby from Ethiopia.
    It might be interesting to note that I’d identify myself as conservative. And my husband, who was incredibly supportive of BF’ing/extended BF’ing/milk donation, is also conservative. ;-)
    I feel fortunate that it did come so easily to me (especially after having to use medical science just to conceive) and that I ran with a diverse group of women for whom BF’ing was the norm.
    And my three year old and six year old understand how babies are fed and it’s not weird or something sexual to them. It’s just what it is. *shrugs*
    Last thing I’d note – this topic is definitely part of the Mommy Wars. I belong to a group in Charlotte made up of about 3,000 mothers (it breaks down into area groups and I usual stick to mine because of the kindred souls found within). And it’s verboten to begin a FF’ing vs. BF’ing debate because the thread will BLOW UP. Knickers get knotted and flames start shooting. Crazy, but true.

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  3. Julie

    I admire anyone who can do it. After six weeks with my first, mine conked out, literally. Dried up overnight without any warning. With my second, the doctors realized he was allergic to me and told me to stop immediately. He had lost more weight and was getting to the point of having to go back to the hospital. Not much I could do about it. Oh well.

    Reply
  4. Anne

    Awesome essay by the incomporable Tessa! (Hmmm, would that make it a “Tessay”?)
    As many others commented at HuffPo, our daughter also watched me breastfeed our youngest and imitated me with her favorite doll. “Baby eat ‘nummy’!” was her explanation. (She was not yet two.) I cracked up every time she brusquely yanked the front of her shirt up and clapped that doll firmly onto her little chest. :-D And of course she did it as naturally and as often as she changed her doll’s or her teddy’s “poopy diaper” on the coffee table, complete with dramatic wiping action using multiple Kleenex. Ahh, the memories!

    Reply
  5. cullen

    I absolutely love this…one of my family’s favorite recollections is a talking game my Grandaddy used to play w/me as a toddler whenever a crying baby was in earshot.
    (baby cries) Adult: Give that baby some milk
    Kid: I say titty
    Adult: I said give that baby some milk.
    Kid: I said titty
    Adult: I said milk..
    Kid: I said titty
    ETC….
    Brava Tessa!

    Reply

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