What We Missed

She Writes launches a day of action in response to Publisher’s Weekly’s sexism.

Apparently, women should breastfeed cause it will make you skinny again.
Thanks NYT.
Esmerelda, a transgender asylum seeker from Mexico, speaks out against immigration detention.
Yesterday, women’s orgs health care bill with Rahm Emanuel.
More ammo for debunking the “hecession” emerges.

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25 Comments

  1. Comrade Kevin
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Well, at least pro-choice activists have made their grievances plainly known.

  2. era4allNOW
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I love how NOW has been all over this. In the past 4 days, the National NOW Officers have been in the media at least 4 times standing up against the Stupak Amendment, already had a protest about it, and are organizing big time on this (they are working on a Dec 2nd action already too). They are truly rocking it. And I love how all of the feminist organizations are coming together on this issue. The response has been overwhelming. It is great to see so many advocates getting riled up over their rights. I hope we get through to these politicians.

  3. Av0gadro
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    These days, more than ever, a mother is expected to bounce back from pregnancy and be a “yummy mummy” in no time.
    I admit it might be the morning sickness, but I just threw up a little at the phrase “yummy mummy.”

  4. aleks
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Is it the NYT’s job to inform women that they’re wrong to want to lose weight after having a baby?

  5. Jen
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Not to stray too far off point, but when the hell is NYT going to stop relegating articles that have anything to do with women to the Fashion section?

  6. A female Marine
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I think the way the breastfeeding link is worded is misleading. The article wasn’t pushing the idea that “women should breastfeed to be skinny again”.
    It was about whether the supposed weight benefits of breastfeeding were real and it presented arguments and studies from both sides.

  7. A female Marine
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    But yeah, some of the wording was icky. “Yummy mummy”?? Ugh.

  8. electrictoaster
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Hey, me too. Does this mean I’m pregnant? Parthenogenesis ftw.

  9. Brianna G
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Eh, anything that gets women breastfeeding comfortably and confidently and encourages them to speak up for their choices. Bonus that, like the PPD prevention, it focuses on benefits to MOM, not just “you must sacrifice for the baby.” It’s very irritating to suddenly have a lot of extra weight you and your body aren’t used to, and it can discourage women from feeling like the need to rush-diet and exercise right after birth, when they should be recovering.
    I hate all the articles about “immunity,” too. I’m taking a Virology course, and the studies say that the antibody boost is in the colostrum, then lasts for many months. It’s not like nursing your 6-month old is giving them antibodies, the molecules are too big. Sure, they are getting good nutrition and that helps their immune system, but normal breast milk after the colostrum does not contain antibodies, and if some do pass, the baby can’t absorb them.

  10. Darkmoon
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    They make women sound like Halloween candy. “Yummy Mummies, the perfect treat!”
    Just once I’d like to see someone focus on a woman’s physical and psychological well-being instead of what she can do to look “appetizing” for others.

  11. Gopher
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    It shouldnt be framed about losing weight but about the babys nutrition or bonding. It superficializes it.

  12. lauredhel
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    I don’t know who’s teaching this Virology class and what specific experience they have in lactation, but if you want accurate information, you need to read a bit more about the secretory IgA in breastmilk and how it works – and about all the other components in breastmilk that help protect a child. You might start with some of the references here and here, then do your own search.
    The higher incidence of infection in formula fed babies, continuing well past early infancy, is very well established. You might also have a look at infection rates in premature infants fed donor milk, which is almost always post-Lactogenesis II milk.
    Good levels of some of the protective factors (lactoferring and sIgA particularly) not only remain present in milk throughout lactation, but increase in the toddler year.

  13. damigiana
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    As a mother of three, I am always impressed by the lack of mention of the Best Reason Ever to breastfeed: namely, it’s pleasant for mother and child. Compounded with a discussion of how having a sympathetic lactation consultant (sympathetic not optional) can help make nursing as good as it can be. And how for a number of mothers this is not possible for a number of reasons, and they shouldn’t feel bad at choosing the bottle in that case. A mother is a human being, not a martyr. We as society should feel bad about anything that makes it harder for a mother to nurse her child (e.g., I can assure you a pump is nowhere near as pleasant as a baby).

  14. feckless
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Can anyone explain to me how the article on employment “debunks the hecession”?

  15. Therese
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    No, it’s just their job to make them fell guilty about it. That and to make them feel guilty about NOT breast feeding also.
    You can’t win.

  16. spike the cat
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I was asking myself that question too; but I think to be fair, the statement was not that article debunked the he-cession rather that it might provide more “ammo” probably because it parses out additional information to show a broader picture of what the numbers mean on a micro level.
    I can appreciate for example what they are talking about with African Americans where women are much more likely to be sole, unmarried breadwinners and caretakers already (in part to crippling incarceration rates of men in their communities). So one point of the article is to point out the ripple effects of increasing unemployment among single primary-caretakers (i.e. folks with kids)…
    Another thing to that I wonder, which I think can be gleaned from the stats in the article, but hell if I can tell, is what percentage of the newly unemployed men (the 7 out of 10) are part of dual income families…compared the remaining 3 out of 10 that represents newly unemployed women. People coming from a once dual income situation might at least for awhile be able to weather the storm a little bit better.

  17. holmes
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    um… I don’t think the NYT article was saying women “should” breastfeed because it makes you skinny. it was addressing a point that has been brought up in celeb/media, as well as the results of an epidemiological study (which appeared to be the first of its kind). as far as I can see, the term “yummy mummy” was not made up by the author but a quick google search shows that there are stores and clubs called yummy mummy, as well as an urban dictionary entry for a young attractive mother. (doesn’t make it right, but doesn’t put the onus on the NYT either).
    the article even ends with a mother saying she would never expect her body to go back to the way it was and how she’s fine with that:
    “Melissa Ramsay Miller, a nursing mother of 4-month-old Luella in South Hadley, Mass., is clear-eyed about the limits of breast-feeding’s ability to “get her body back.” She has five pounds left to lose, but said she has a “soft stomach.” “It doesn’t make sense it would go back to what it was before,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’m O.K. with that.””
    where does it say “should”??

  18. aleks
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    There are lots of articles about baby nutrition and bonding. Should there be a blackout on mothers controlling their bodies after pregnancy? Lots of women want to lose weight after pregnancy, you may think that’s trivial but I’m not sure it’s NYT’s job to embargo them.

  19. dhistory
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Best reason to breastfeed is it is FREE. I am so doggone cheap. I can’t stand to part with a dime! The price won me over. Finally I could be cheap and not feel guilty!.

  20. dhistory
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I looked at the article from the link “More ammo for debunking the “hecession” emerges.”
    “The Recession Brings Higher Unemployment to Unmarried Women”
    October unemployment according to the article:
    married women: 5.7%
    unmarried women: 10.3%
    single mothers: 12.6%
    married men: 6.5%
    unmarried men: 14.1%
    It doesn’t really debunk the reports that men have higher unemployment. It is an interesting article even though the title is a little misleading since unmarried men have even higher unemployment.

  21. stellarose
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Breastfeeding worked for me, weight-loss wise. I ended up 2 sizes smaller than before the pregnancy. That was weight I had gained working 16 hour days at my evil job, and it was extremely liberating to get rid of that work-weight without starving myself or exercising crazily. So personally, one of the main reasons I breastfed and will again was weight loss. Not sure why anyone should have a problem with that, or with sharing the fact this is something that works for some of us with others.

  22. stellarose
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Just need to say that I think that whole idea that you “never get your body back” is incredibly offensive and misogynistic. It suggests that a woman’s body doing one of the things it can do (not should or must, mind you, but CAN) somehow damages it and makes her less of a woman. I shudder to think of the reaction of people on this website if someone made a similar claim about having sex. Sure, some people like their body less after having a baby. Same goes for many other things like having plastic surgery or going on a diet.
    But here’s a secret – some of us like our bodies a whole lot more after having a baby, and don’t view having chosen to engage in that bodily function as somehow lessening our attractiveness.
    While every woman should feel free to express her feeling about her post-natal body, whatever they are, and have them recognized as valid, I don’t think its particularly liberating to suggest it is GOOD to focus only on those women who feel negatively.

  23. SociologicalMe
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Breastfeeding *can be* pleasant for Mom and Baby. Can be. Isn’t always. I’ve experienced both feelings of deep calm and contentment during breastfeeding AND feelings of rage over having to share my body on someone else’s schedule. I’ve also had my nipple bitten hard enough to draw blood. I don’t think we should ignore the pleasant aspects, but I think it’s really misleading to make the entire experience sound so rosy.

  24. holmes
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I agree completely with the premise of what you’re saying – however I don’t think that the woman in the article that was quoted (or the author) made it seem bad that her body had permanently changed – she said she was okay with it, and the author leaves it at that. If I somehow made it seem like that was a bad thing then I sincerely apologize – maybe my wording wasn’t the best, but I was trying to say that it seems the article also acknowledges that some women do not feel compelled to “get their body back”, which I DO think is a good thing.

  25. Sadie2009
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    The NYT article didn’t premise it as a reason that women “should” breastfeed. I too fail to see what’s wrong with an article that merely points out one of the benefits of breastfeeding. I don’t see anything un-feminist about women that might want to lose baby weight after having a baby. I know I would want to and would be pleased if something that is healthy for my baby had the added bonus of helping me lose baby weight.
    Although I think that sometimes that happens on this site; an article is pointed out and what the article is trying to get across gets mutated a bit because of a writer’s beliefs.

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