Being mean to the Big Meannies

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Being mean to the Big Meannies
Fri, 04-06-2012 - 7:00am

>>The current breastfeeding backlash is a reaction to a certain intensity surrounding the issue of breastfeeding that did indeed gain currency over the past decade or so. But what today's mothers - the ones who are fueling the breastfeeding backlash with their criticisms and complaints - don't appreciate or maybe even realize is that the activism and advocacy they are slamming was actually an important, grassroots women's health movement that managed to fundamentally change the way our culture views and treats breastfeeding

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Fri, 04-06-2012 - 7:07am
Right on!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Fri, 04-06-2012 - 7:35am

So true. And how often do the later beneficiaries just take it for granted that this is how things are, without realising the hard fought battles that went on before them.

Historically, it happens time and time again. Go back to the ridicule heaped on the activists who sought voting rights for woemn. And recall how extreme their actions had to be to attain what is now seen as ordinary. Many other things would present the same history if looked at. I know in my own profession of teaching, female teachers were dismissed on marriage. A widowed great aunt with five young children was unable to get a teaching job with the education department here many years ago, even though a teacher could not be found. In fustration the pioneer settlers privately employed her to teach the local children for some time, until finally another teacher was engaged. Even though she had a young family to support on her own, she had been married and was considered ineligible for a job on that basis.

Later on, teachers were dismissed on marriage, and only re-engaged if no-one else could be found, only to be dismissed every summer vacation thereafter. These things were only changed by stron activism.

Strong activism is a necessary part of major change. The people who benefit do not always appreciate what sort of effort went into what they accept as the status quo.


Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Fri, 04-06-2012 - 9:39am

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Fri, 04-06-2012 - 3:18pm

This is an interesting piece, and I agree with some of her points.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 04-06-2012 - 8:43pm

>>But I think people who formula feed by choice and feel a lack of respect for that choice are right to criticize the more extreme early lactivists and demand real respect for the choice to formula feed.<<

I could not disagree more. I do not think that people who have made an educated choice to formula feed are disrespected. And I think the early lactivists (the Founders of La Leche League, specifically) made it a point to help moms who asked for help. They did nothing to warrant any criticism from formula feeders or anybody else. The La Leche League leaders in the group that