|copyright Cavendish Press|
You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read.
You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride.
You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.
We have seen the future, and the future is ours."
The above picture appears today in the Daily Mail. Yes, that's right, the DAILY MAIL. The blurb mentions nothing negative about breastfeeding. In fact, the article is a very positive one.
This is such an important moment. Such.
The culture is slowly turning. Slowly, sometimes backwards after a few steps forward, but slowly, step by step, inching forward. This photograph would have been impossible 5 years ago. A mainstream junky news paper, carrying this image? Ten years ago, there would have been outrage? Even two years ago, the editor might have hesitated. Yes, they have used it deliberately. Yes, they are expecting a little bit of a frisson. Yes, their job is to sell newspapers.
But the text... the text reveals nothing but solid, excellent and positive reporting on the flashmob event.
A breastfeeding flashmob! Who'dv'thunk? :-)
This picture in the Daily Mail? Who'dv'thunk?
I don't post very often anymore. The reason is, I don't need to. As I've always said, the internet is changing the world, one mother to another. One woman to another. We can connect, reach out, activate: change. Change ourselves, change the culture. One breastfeed at a time. :-)
The above picture fills me with such hope. Combined with the remarkable events of the past week or so, as the entire lacvavist world has taken arms in support of Alma and Habiba... well, I just smile. Smile at the fact that we just do it, now. We just stand up and shout for our babies' rights... and it's wonderful
It's not to say it's getting easier. In fact, it's getting a lot harder in the corporate and political world. Massive inroads are being made into protection for babies in terms of commercial attack. The World Health Organisation and the United Nations is being invaded by corporate interests, offering corporate sponsorship to 'help' health funds. Misguided entrepreneurs are pouring billions of dollars into buying pea nut sachets and diarrhea vaccines, rather than in making sure clean water and full breasts are available on demand. People who are concerned and loving and compassionate, are pouring efforts into dealing with symptoms, not addressing the underlying causes.
Corporate interests mask their need to make money, by handing out money to 'help' in ways that may kill more than it saves. At home, formula advertising is now so skilled at showing formula feeding on tv despite the ban, most of us can't watch the adverts without screaming any more. The NHS is undelivering breastfeeding support at an alarming rate. Formula companies are deftly fighting to have unsubstantiated health claims put on their packaging, and they are winning.
It's not a good time to be fighting for babies, in the boardrooms. In the closed and smoky rooms. In the committee meetings and in the halls of power. In fact, it's probably the darkest it has been for a very long long time, for the real political work.
Which just shows you how much effect we're all having. :-)
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
~ Mohandas Ghandi
They are not laughing anymore. They are, indeed, fighting back very very hard. But they are losing the culture battle. The poltical one they may be making inroads in, but the above photo in today's Daily Mail, combined with this quote...
A stunned onlooker said: 'It's not every day you see that many breasts while out doing your shopping. I suppose it's a good way of getting people to listen to the message. I fully support them.'
... shows just how much we are winning the battle for the daily live. The being a breastfeeding dyad, in public, and not being oppressed. Not being laughed at, ridiculed, thrown off the plane, thrown of the bus, sacked, moved job, sent to the bathroom, denied access to our babies... the list goes on.
As does the battle. :-)
When you read this post, and rejoice in the photo, and what it says... also remember that when you start to win, they really start to fight back. We're winning: they are fighting back. Big time. As well as all the other work you are doing, the flashmobs, the picnics, the simple being with your baby and having fun outside in public spaces. The facebook groups, the internet forums in support... as well as doing all this, you should also do something else. Something real and tangible to fight those who are seriously fighting back. You should help the ones walking in the corridors of power, trying to stop the corporate inroads.
Send these people some money.
If we weren't' winning, they wouldn't be fighting so hard.
Help the fight: DONATE
Mother to Mother. Baby to Baby. Woman to Woman.
We are all Habiba.
And goodness, ain't we wonderful?