Thursday, June 14, 2007

Three for Thursday: Massachusetts Public Breastfeeding Bill, Hybrid Moms and Men’s Health Survey About Dads

Item #1: Get Over Yourselves and Pass the Breastfeeding Law Already

It seems as though in virtually every recent legislative session, for several consecutive sessions, a bill has been filed in the Massachusetts Legislature to confirm that women have the right to breastfeed in public, that wherever a mom has a right to be, the mom can feed her baby.

And during each legislative session, a breastfeeding bill falls by the wayside, a victim of out-of-touch legislators who — despite the fact that the federal government has told women if they don’t breastfeed they’re poisoning their babies and despite the fact that the state’s Department of Public Health actively promotes breastfeeding as a healthy practice in a pro-breastfeeding campaign — want to make life more difficult for new moms. Or they simply just don’t want to deal with a delicate “women’s” issue like breastfeeding.

I’m tired of hearing people complain that women should be forced to hide in public restroom stalls or stay locked in their homes, away from the easily-offended eyes of their fellow citizens, if these brazen (it’s always brazen) women intend to breastfeed, as though breastfeeding shameful and should be done in private.

I’m tired of hearing people liken the natural act of breastfeeding to the natural acts of defecation or urination which would never be done in public. (A baby who’s breastfeeding is EATING folks, and if, in your mind, eating and defecation are equivalent acts, maybe you should take some cooking lessons.)

I’m tired of hearing people tell women that they should be decent and cover themselves when they’re nursing a baby because people are offended by their whipping (it’s always described as whipping) out their breasts (I’ve yet to see a breast that can whip). Yet no one bats an eye or complains about being offended by billboards, TV ads, magazine ads, shop window displays (ever walked by a Victoria’s Secret at a mall?) and actual people walking down the street who brazenly send the message that breasts are sexual parts of the body meant to be exploited.

Just pass the damned bill already and put your laws where your state health recommendations are. If the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the federal government think it’s so important for women’s and children’s health for women to breastfeed, then protect the women who actually try to do it. Geez.

(For a summation on breastfeeding laws in the 50 states, go here. According to the Associated Press, by the way, Massachusetts is only one of four states without a breastfeeding law.)

Item #2: Hybrid Moms

No, I’m not talking about moms who trade in gas guzzlers for vehicles that run on alternative fuel sources. I’m talking about a new magazine entitled Hybrid Mom that’s aimed at women who describe themselves as blends of working moms and at-home moms. We’re talkin’ moms who’ve adjusted their work lives for their kids, or simply have to find a way to balance work and home life. The magazine focuses on everything from entrepreneurial moms to women are the antithesis of perfect homemakers.

Item #3: Men Talk About Their Dads

Men’s Health commissioned a poll where they asked 2,322 men about their own fathers. Some interesting results:

  • 75 percent of men think they’re funnier than their fathers, while only 36 percent of men think they are “handier” than their dads.

  • 62 percent of men said their own fathers are more responsible than they are.

  • 57 percent think they’re better fathers than their own dads.

  • 45 percent said their father never said he loved them (as compared to 27 percent whose dads said they loved them “all the time”).

E-mail Meredith

(Image from the Boston Herald.)

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