Saturday, 2 August 2008

Lactaphobia

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lactation
1668, "process of suckling an infant," from Fr. lactation, from L. lactationem (nom. lactatio) "a suckling," from L. lactatus, pp. of lactare "suckle," from lac (gen. lactis) "milk," from PIE base *glact- (cf. Gk. gala, gen. galaktos "milk"). Meaning "process of secreting milk from the breasts" first recorded 1857; lactate (v.) in this sense is a back-formation from 1889. Lactic acid is from 1790; so called because it was obtained from sour milk. M.Ir. lacht, Welsh llaeth "milk" are loan words from Latin.
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What I like about the original meaning of lactation, is that it was the process of suckling a child that was being described. The act of being suckled upon, was lactation lactationem. I know it's moved on from there, and is now used to describe the process of making milk, and that's not a bad thing. In the post-Industrial world, where women are re-finding their power and their babies, and wrenching both back from the profiteering reach of formula companies and factory owners alike... redefining lactation to be about the production of milk, and supporting mothers in that as a separate need, is A Good Thing.
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A common rubric now, is that mothers lactate, and babies breastfeed. This is a neat reminder that babies are the active participants, the ones doing the suckling. A vital point to make, in this world that positions breastfeeding as a lifestyle choice on behalf of the mother, thus neatly removing the baby's needs and desires from the equation. So it's a phrase I like, even as I rue that the mother-baby symbiosis has disappeared from 'lactation' to some extent.
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And that's not just because I'm a word geek. Or rather, it's because I'm a word geek I rue the changes. Because some language development is good, some less so. Words embody concepts, and those concepts have power when we use them. As we grow as a culture, and find new things about ourselves, or find we need new ways to describe how we feel about old things... we make new words. Breastfeeding, for instance, is a really new word. It's only been around for about a hundred years. You could argue, this is only since the rise of bottle, and formula, feeding. For up until then, there was no need to mention how you fed the baby other than to say you were feeding it!
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Nursing, of course, is about the oldest we can track. We've always nursed babies at the breast. It's how we got the other type of nursing, the bandages and taking temperature type, as an extension of the original meaning - to nurse a child. The actual definition of breastfeeding in some dictionaries, is to nurse a baby. I like nursing as opposed to breastfeeding. Nursing brings with it warmth, and love, and caring, and snuggles. But it can get confusing to use nursing, and sometimes you have to stick to breastfeeding to be heard. But I do invite you to use nursing for one day, everytime you'd use the word breastfeeding, and see what happens! You might like it as much as I do! But, like I said, we sometimes have to use breastfeeding, to be clear and precise.
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For that reason, we didn't hold nursing picnics, or lactation picnics on July 21st, across the UK, we held breastfeeding picnics!
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And great fun we had at them all, and very successful they were too. A great fun day out for all concerned, whether it was milling in the mobs at Bournemouth, or fighting off the traffic in Westminster, or waving your flags for the camera at Durham, all around the country, mothers and babies showed off their suckling skills.
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And others showed off less attractive skills...
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Kenneth Gray wrote: Look Sorry but I dont want to see women getting their breasts out in public It needs to be done in private It makes people feel uncomfortable Not politically correct but TRUE
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... which was, after all, only to be expected... but others, perhaps, were more forthright...
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Posted by: jpcm24 I'm sorry, but it is a 'restaurant' where people are eating. If I am in a restaurant I don't want to see that. I don't care how great you think it is that you have a kid and how great and special you think your kid is.
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Comments that most mothers have seen and heard during the past couple of years in the UK, when feeding babies is discussed. These sorts of comments are common, and mothers get pretty fed up of hearing them. And when we tell others that we get fed up with it, they tell us not to be so sensitive, it's not like people are meaning to be nasty....
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Posted by: Tom I do not object to breastfeeding, i do object to seeing it when i am walking through a park though.What next..... Sex in public in front of children because it is a human right????
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or offensive...
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Posted by: women I think they are a bunch of perverted women who get turned on by a baby sucking on a tit in public and men watching and when they are still letting the baby suckle at 1 year plus should be classed as paedophilia
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or just racist...
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Posted by: Mr Britain Walking naked down the high street is also natural if you live in darkest timbuctoo - but in Oxford one would be locked up - why is it one law for the native and another for the law abbiding citizen , personally I think women should be allowed to breast feed in public , in the toilets of restaraunts , but not at the table sat next to me whilst i am tucking into my scoff- what about my rights to the enjoyment of my meal without some unwashed old baggaage feeding their spewing brat at the table
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or simple misogyny...
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Posted by: Hugh Breast feeding in public will involve ever increasing degrees of nudity from the aggressive mother who will use this power of public exposure to discomfort and drive away those who are not in their family group.
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or just simply perverse...
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Posted by: John Thomas What about my rights - I want to be able to have a swift one off the wrist on a bus - masterbation is a natural act so why am I discriminated agianst make you voice known vist wankingonthebus.com and vote to petition governemnt
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All of which would be funny, if it wasn't so serious. Two of the Mums were harassed on their way home from the London picnic, for instance. Both on their own with a baby, both on the Tube. Emily Pulling, whilst feeding her son, was actually shouted at loudly by a male commuter, telling her he didn't want to see that sort of thing. She responded vigorously, but reports she was shaking like a leaf at the time. Others sat back in the carriage and let this man abuse her and her son.
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It's no shock to us, of course, we who ran the picnics and organised the press coverage. we're used to this sort of lactaphobia. Daily, obscene and aggressive comments are made about breastfeeding babies and their mothers, particularly in the UK and the USA. I often feel that what they say isn't as shocking as the fact that they feel safe to say it. Would such comments be made about colour, race, religion or sexuality?
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white Says All you pushy arrogant breastfeeders need to level with us and admit that nothing makes your crotch area tingle more than seeing a child sucking on a big swollen teet. It's a fetish and it's okay to admit that you nearly orgasm just seeing it in pictures or in person.This is why you are so passionate about it.Otherwise you wouldn't care about other people breastfeeding; you would only care about whether you do it.So quit handing us all your bull and admit that you are turned on by titty-sucking.That is why you have your ultra lezzy group breastfeeding sessions so you all can get your titties suked and watch each other having your titties sucked and moan and groan and come together. You sick homely broads.
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Jake1479 you are a disgusting pervert and like to watch babies suck on breasts to get you off. your so gross
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StarbucksAddict95 ok y the fuk do u ppl add videos on youtube breast feeding?..thats just wrong ..im not only telling u but 2 evry women who has their breast just poping out on youtube...god women r becoming more nd more "body showing" shame on urself lady nd have some pride rather than putting ur breasts on a public site....
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In case you're wondering, we are now in the realm of how people talk to mothers who post breastfeeding support videos on the Internet. Videos by such lactation luminaries as Dr Jack Newman, showing how to latch a baby on and how to deal with breastfeeding problems. Videos designed to show how to breastfeed, and how normal breastfeeding is. Or, as many tell us each and every day... child pornography...
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ASiReNiCLaMiA Ok, first, why are you recording babies breast feeding and posting it up? Why are there toddlers that you are teaching to say boobie and get excited about latching on to nipples? These kids are gonna be screwed up later in life from this crap. What are you doing? You do that with INFANTS! Not when they have a mouth full of teeth and can talk. What the hell. Second, the only people watching this are probably curious or just a horny dude who is into that sort of thing. What are you doing? Seriously. You should be placed in an correctional facility for kiddie porn cuz thats basically what this is. You freak.
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Of course, some of the comments are directed at the babies...
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McLOVININYOUROVEN Move over you greedy little bastard my turn my turn
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jacksnmnwlkr12345 That ugly baby doesn't know how to please you. Let a real man show you how it's done.
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And the usual one, that just by mentioning breasfteeding, you are shamelessly attacking mothers in their other choices...
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foxybliss boobie feeding
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Im bottle feeding my baby. Come on give me shit, make me feel like im a second mom. Thats what all you pro breastfeeders do. YOU MAKE SURE bottlefeeding mothers feel like shit. WHY CAN'T YOU MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
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YouEatTurds YOU SICK FUCKING BITCH

I HOPE YOU GET HIT BY A BUS YOU NASTY BITCH! NOBODY WANTS TO SEE BABIES SUCKING YOUR DISGUSTING TITS. GET THIS BULLSHIT OFF YOUTUBE YOU STUPID CUNT
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And please don't think it's just the illiterate...
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diamondchild While I understand the nature of your videos to be educational I felt that I should let you know that I have reported all of your videos to youtube for nudity and I and friends plan on reporting them every day until they are taken down. This is a public forum for posting and if you do any research at all you will realize that there is a MAJOR underage following for both viewing and posting on this site and it is beyond me to understand how you think its ok to just let these videos be open to everyone to watch. Children do not need any help finding such an easy view of breasts exposed in video form. Whether or not you mean for them to be these videos are completely able to be called pornography and either you take them down or we will complain to youtube until they do!
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I think I can say that it's people who think that seeing breastfeeding, will pervert children, that leaves most of us just truly flummoxed!
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In what world, does a child seeing another
child feed, see something pornographic?
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In what world, is breastfeeding, pornography?
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In the world of the lactaphobe, spewing hatred at

a breastfeeding baby, somewhere near you.
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Lactaphobia: the fear and loathing of the

process of a mother suckling an infant.

.Breastfeeding is not a crime.

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Lactaphobia should be.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that some people think like this! I knew there were people who didn't like bf or were uncomfortable with it, but honestly, pornographic? A fetish? These people were probably ff and ignored as children to be as deluded as this.

Tamsyn

sophiedb said...

There are some sick idiots in the world. Queen Victoria and her legacy of modest morality - let alone the Puritans, who still seem to run the US - have almost as much to answer for as M. Nestlé..

Anonymous said...

I feel quite ill reading some of those comments. I've read some of the milder ones before on the sites they came from but I'd not seen some of the viler ones.

I did get a laugh out of the "lezzer" (sic) comment! I can't even find words to describe how stupid that comment is! I know that lesbian women have babies too via IVF but not in the numbers that would make every one of us lesbian. Just to clarify, straight women bottlefeed, lesbian women breastfeed?

Morgan said...

No, just to clarify, and straight from youtube.. "only whores breastfeed."

Now all we have to do is work out if they are lezzer whores, or not. ;-)

Amy said...

Idon't know about you guys but since I'm not a "lezzer" Guess that makes me a whore huh? I can't understand the logic of some of these "people" Women are welcome to breastfeed in public as long as it's in the bathroom? What the hell?

Lisa Durbin said...

How on earth can people equate breastfeeding with things like public sex?!? The comments you received really boggle the mind and make me feel a bit sick. I'm especially saddened by the mums who received abuse (and NO support! Shame on you, fellow commuters!) I just don't get it.

I couldn't be at the picnic as I'm now back at work, but I was definitely there in spirit...and will continue to breastfeed wherever I want, thank you very much!

Ailbhe said...

Try as I might - and I have tried - I just can't get by boobs to whip out properly. There's just no flex and crack.

bigbird07 said...

It's bloody ridiculous the comments that are said.. i don't see why people are so against bf, just cos breasts are now seen as sexual, their primary function is and has always been to feed a child, whether it be yours or someone else's.. remember the term 'wet-nurse', that used to be a job, there was no secrecy involved in that and most Wet- nurses didn't go and sit in a toilet to do their job, so why should us bf-mums be told to do so.
Personally, I don't see why mums in the developed countries need to bf until aged 6 like the WHO says, but upto 2 maybe but there again that's my opinion and i'm not going to force that on anyone, so why do all these A*R*H*LES need to force their opinion on us bf-mums.. I say in my extremely bad english
"F**K *FF, I don't tell u what to do so don't tell me"
Natt

The Broken Man said...

I wish we had known about the Bournemouth Picnic in July - my wife is pregnant with our first child, and is desperate to breastfeed, despite having some real issues excema on her breasts. She commented the other day that she has never actually seen anyone breastfeeding "up close", so to speak - as everyone is so discreet (in opposition to what some of the detractors have been saying).

She would have welcomed the opportunity to meet with some people who sound like they would have been open enough to show her how it worked, in advance of having a newborn to try it with!

We will be checking out those videos on Youtube instead.

Thanks

The Broken Man

http://theblogofabrokenman.blogspot.com/

julie Taylor said...

Morgan you are doing a great job! I had no idea that I was really that exciting, a whore and a lesbian too - gosh!
Strangely my three breastfed children have all grown up to be well adjusted, respectable adults. Healthy as well - you never can tell can you? LOL!
I am now an IBCLC ( being a lesbian whore got a bit dull)and I tell my mums 'these breasts are now working breasts - doing what they were meant to be doing". It takes a REAL woman to breastfeed!

Barbara said...

Depressing stuff. You only have to look at any comments on any topic on Youtube to come across the crassest and most ignorant of bigots. It does make you wonder how we can have evolved to this though doesn't it? A world where something so perfect as nurturing your baby in the way nature intended could have become something rather out of the ordinary that frightens and offends. Perhaps it is another sign that we the human race are on our way out?

Anonymous said...

The original post reads: "A great fun day out for all concerned, ... waving your flags for the camera ... all around the country, mothers and babies showed off their suckling skills."

I find breastfeeding perfectly natural. We humans are mammals after all. :-) But I don't understand the need to show off in public, be it in Facebook or in front of cameras. Why do you turn an utmost intimate act into a media event?

The discussion is about breastfeeding in public, not about breatsfeeding in general. What would be an appropriate way to feed your child in in public urban places like restaurants or trains? In almost of all the world (Western and Non-Western), women would retire to a more private space or at least hide their breasts from public view.

So why is this so difficult for some mothers to treat others with the same respect and sensitivity the expect from them? I think this has lots to do with a greedy need for recognition. Fortunately it's only a small minority of women who develop this exhibitionist need to show off their breasts in action. Mature and self-secure women know how to balance their own and others' needs.

The purpose of breastfeeding is not to aggressively "show off" in public, but to provide an infant with food, intimacy and love.

Morgan said...

The purpose of life, is living. Breastfeeding does not stop you living your life. Your child enters your world. Having a child does not mean you cloister your life into a baby room. Women need to be seen breastfeeding in front of cameras, on Facebook, in the street, outside Parliament, to ensure that the living tapestry of life represents the richness and fullness of life during motherhood.

Children learn by what they see. Just about every child on the planet, knows how to hold a doll and pretend to feed it from a plastic bottle. They play act it from early years.

Very few in this coutnry, know how to hold a baby to the breast, and how to settle into a good latch, as they don't see it as part of their normal day. Breastfeeding is not an intimate act, in the sense that it is cloistered from public view. It is a common day, every day, whilst you get on with your life, activity.

And fortnunately, more and more women are having the courage to stand up to bigots like you, who deem all women who refuse to hide, as attention seeking. Women who refuse to be bullied, cowed and made to feel shame, women who put themselves into the public forum, and stand firm against attack. Women who stand up for all other women, and declare their basic human right to feed their child when the child is hungry, not to your agenda of mysogyny hidden under a guise of decorum and discretion.

The purpose of breastfeeding is to nurture the next generation. What those babies learn from our unhidden breasts, is that women are free to live their lives and nurture babies. They don't have to hide themselves, their beleifs, their babies, or their breasts.

They own their own breasts. Not the State, the media, or the bigots. My breast, my choice.

Do note, there is no ban on male nipples of aureoles, only female one. Only the female is seen as dirty and obscene, in this patriarchal paradigm of 'obscenity'.

I suggest you learn to start averting your eyes - the breasts, the babies, and the milk, are not going back into the closest.

Out & Proud!

Jodi said...

The best thing we can do is breastfeed in front of our family members....those who love and accept us (in addition to in public, I mean). I have 5 sons, soon to be 6 (we don't know the sex of the 6th, but are assuming it's another boy) and I've breastfed all of them. My 17 and 14 year olds don't even bat an eye at breastfeeding because it has been a normal, daily occurence in their lives. They see it all day long!

My 17 yr. old has a Facebook friend who went OFF about a young woman pulling out her "disgusting boobs" to feed her baby in front of the checkout lanes. He said it was "as if she was daring someone to say something to her about it." LOL! I don't know about anyone else, but when I sit down to feed my baby, I'm doing it to quiet them down, not to prove a point to the world!

Of course, he thinks she should have gone into the bathroom to feed her baby. Gross. This kid has never seen a woman in his family breastfeed or support breastfeeding, obviously! I'm hoping that by me breastfeeding in front of all family members, over all these years, I'm "training" all of the males (and females, too) in my family (immediate and extended) to accept it as normal!