It took less than a day. Less than ONE day before I saw the inevitable. A meme that formula and bottles are just as good. Comments that women just have something to prove. One day was all it took. Before the apology parade was required by those of us celebrating our motherhood.
Yes. Again. A year later. Fuck you.
Since you missed the rant last year and I have to endure the same shit again, it is a necessary reminder that this, this is your issue.
Do I give a shit if you breastfeed or don’t? No.
Do I care that you grew up on formula and decided to do the same if you want? No.
Do I support that formula or bottles or hell, never even having children is a personal choice? Of course I do.
This week is NOT ABOUT YOU.
And every single time you hijack this cause to remind the world that you made a different choice, you HURT so many families who are not out to get you.
Don’t you care about that? Because I do.
I care. I care that we don’t make someone feel wrong because they want to celebrate all they’ve done. And I care that we don’t slight their endurance because of something we might not have chosen. I care that someone wants to pit mom against mom.
So fuck them.
And since you are doing it too, fuck you.
Do you hear yourself? Do you know what you sound like? You sound like the #alllivesmatter crowd. You sound like my three year old screaming he missed out. You sound like a person so hell bent on getting your voice heard that you have to push someone else off the podium and drag the microphone near you.
I am DAMN PROUD that I breastfeed. I have every reason in the world to be. I am a woman exercising her freedom to bodily autonomy and using my own body to make my kid’s food. And that is fucking amazing and awesome and no, it’s not a magical potion obviously — but it’s not a miracle giving birth either and no one seems to mind that idiom when it’s used.
World Breastfeeding Week is not about you. We get it. Fine. Then there's no issue. Bake a pie or run a race or travel the globe or stand in place. It doesn't matter what you do. Just stop bitching about a cause you say you wish didn't exist at all just to tantrum out loud "me too!"
Because you sound like a fool.
So fuck you for trampling on the families in dire need of support. Fuck you for pretending it’s a competition of sorts. Fuck you for not just shutting the hell up and letting someone else feel good.
Can you get that. Do you care to. I don’t think you do.
So fuck you.
Do you know what I’m tired of? I’m tired of our reproductive decisions being a reason for discrimination. I’m tired of play centers and churches harassing women and I’m tired of restaurants and parks telling children that latching from their mother’s breast is wrong and off limits.
I’m tired of police being called and kids getting slammed in the post office. Tired that our own government can’t get behind full enforcement. Tired that at a WIC office a child is being told to hide away. Tired that a presidential candidate suggests it’s unusual I use my breasts this way.
I’m tired that we’re expected to work and raise our children without any sort of realistic policy that actually makes that happen.
I’m tired of this constant fucking fight to say we’re just feeding our children.
So forgive me for not coddling to your annoyance with your feed. And I am sorry that some idiot said something disparaging. But no, that’s not the same as institutionalized prejudice. It's not the same as having your pictures flagged for being offensive. It's not the same as being told to feed your kid near feces. It's not the same as someone perverting your child's own innocence while eating. So yes, I have empathy that someone was an asshole to you, but that gets thwarted when you completely ignore feeding my child requires a legal statute.
The harsh truth is that you don’t support all women when you hijack some of our conversations to reiterate your use of a product that is used by the majority of women. The minority has a reason for voicing our grievances. And if you can’t understand our suffering, at least don’t fight against us by pretending our time of solidarity is a slam against your decision.
Because it isn’t.
And you would know that if you stopped talking and started listening. And got out of your scope enough to focus on someone else’s encouraging. But I guess not. Based on these immediate “pro-active” memes I keep seeing. Based on your instant engagement on social media that shows you don't know what algorithm even means.
So, yeah then, fuck you.
Because I deserve the community.
I deserve the unity. I deserve to know my journey was and is something worth celebrating. And if you don’t appreciate the media giving one fucking week of much needed positivity in place of the daily slams we have to tolerate because our path isn’t to your liking?
I get enough heart ache hearing I’m molesting my kid. And enough tears flow because someday I have to explain those idiotic, horrifying remarks to him. I get enough pain inside trying to navigate who are my allies — without having to deal with your disgust that there is a story that makes you roll your eyes.
So fuck you.
Fuck you for feeling the need to boast this week online that you didn't breastfeed and your kids are just fine. Fuck you for saying you support nursing “except”, “unless”, or “if” one more time. Fuck you for qualifying and questioning the age or place or time. Because it’s not about that, it’s about this and clearly this isn’t yours, it is mine.
I won’t let you hijack my party one more time.
A woman’s bodily autonomy trumps all. That means, data on how much we could save a country or how much healthier it is for baby have a place in the discussion, provided that place doesn’t attempt to overrule a woman’s own personal decision. But this week isn’t about mandating a woman’s decision. It’s about education and support for those wrestling with or who have already come to a determination.
This year’s WBW theme focuses on women in the workforce and how we can encourage better laws and support as mothers who choose both their children and their careers.
And more than anything as you read this, remember this rule: “It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to” ~ Fields. That means, this rant may very well not be targeting you. Unless you think it is, in that case… think about it. - elizabeth