Monday, February 4, 2008

I'm a Formula 409 Woman

Has anybody ever wondered about this?

So for years in our country there has been an assault on breastfeeding practices. People think it’s “disgusting” to do in public, it isn’t encouraged in hospitals and the result has been that very few babies are breastfed past six weeks of age, if at all.

Also, birth has been moved from the woman-centered care of homebirth and midwives to the male-centered “business” of hospitals. This has led to a decrease in vaginal birth and a huge increase in abdominal surgical birth.

Then, we have several different birth control pills that “allow” women to have only a few to absolutely no periods.

So, since we aren’t using our breasts for feeding our babies, or our vaginas for menstruation or birth… what are we supposed to do with them?

OH! That’s right… our bodies are to now only serve the sexual desires of men.

My body serves more than one function and if (the collective) you don’t like it then you can buy a blow-up vagina.


CappuccinoLife said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that's noticed this. I'm not even a feminist in most respects, but I couldn't help but notice that in the surrounding culture, women are treated like pieces of meat rather a lot. :(

I know my husband likes my body, but I'm so grateful that I'm not married to someone who looks at me as a bed-warmer only. My husband is in awe of the birth-warrior in me. :D

Emma B. said...

very few babies are breastfed past six weeks of age, if at all

According to the CDC, 41% of mothers exclusively breastfed at three months, and 14% at six months. 36% of mothers were at least partially breastfeeding at six months.

This may not be as high as you'd like for it to be, but I don't think it qualifies as "very few babies" -- even 14% translates to about 1 in 7 babies.

mel said...

brilliant! i'm a breastfeeding educator/prenatal program counsellor in canada and trust me, i've been SOOOOOOOO frustrated by this idea that b/f is "gross" or "inappropriate". our bodies are FUNCTIONAL - and trust me, i'm no prude, i acknowledge and embrace the sexual as well. just very very annoyed at how it's taken over - thank you for your brilliant, brief articulation of this :)

Anonymous said...

You know, I WISH I COULD have breast fed my girls, but you know, I couldn't. I DON'T produce but miniscule ammounts of milk. I tried EVERYTHING, even a hospital grade electric double pump. Please don't label some women as being "sexual servants" just because they choose differently than you. Sometimes, its not by choice, its the way God made us!

Jill said...

I think about this a lot. It all stems back to men shoving midwifes out of the picture and taking over women's healthcare. I don't consider myself a bra-burning man-hater, but really, look at what they've contributed to this field: Mandatory inductions. 1/3 of women being C-sectioned. Formula the norm, breastfeeding archaic and "icky." Women giving birth on their backs with legs spread in submission. Homebirth and midwifery in general banned in some areas. The old model of personal, hands on, woman-to-woman care banished in favor of assembly-line style procedures performed on faceless wombs that are shuffled down the line and out the door to make room for the next batch.

People talk about all the advancements modern medicine has made in recent decades. But when I look at the birth field, I have a hard time seeing the positives.

And this is why birth and breastfeeding can, if you make them, be the most powerful ways to assert your femininity. You don't need a MAN'S HELP to have a baby. You don't need a MAN'S HELP to breastfeed. And I think this is why they get so upset when they see us doing it ourselves without them...because they're losing that power of being the only ones who know how to do anything. Sorry, but since I'm the one with the breasts and vagina, I consider myself the expert, thanksverymuch.

Gina said...

A little crass in the end, but I'd say it's pretty right on! I'm with you on this one!