Saturday, July 10, 2010

Feminism and Breastfeeding

So I've seen some women who claim they aren't feminists. They say that feminism is detrimental to the act of breastfeeding because feminism is about equality in all aspects, including child rearing.

I can truthfully say that true equality in child bearing and child rearing is impossible. Until a man can carry a child for nine months, then give birth to it, then lactate for the duration of the child's nursing, there is no true equality to those that choose to bear children. So then, since feminism is about equality, one canot believe in having children and lactating and be a feminist...right?

Wrong. Let's first dispell some misconceptions about what feminism is.

Myth: Feminists hate men.
To the contrary, women who ascribe to being feminists do not hate men. Men are a part of the culture we live in, and the way we interact with men determines a lot about those who are interact.

Myth: Feminists despise traditional "gender roles" such as "mother" or "caregiver".
Not at all. There is nothing that says that a feminist cannot enjoy being in a traditional position of being a stay at home mom. The trick is that she should not be expected to be a stay at home mome, or she should not be expected to be in a positon of being a working mom. Being a feminist means having the right right to choose that gender role without being forced into it by anyone else.

Myth: Breastfeeding locks a woman into child rearing, therefore goes against feminism.
BIG TIME Untrue. Breastfeeding is something that only a woman can do, just like child bearing. It becomes the best choice for women to care for their children and themselves. It is true a man cannot do this but if a man is supportive of his wife/partner, then there is equality in breastfeeding.

Myth: Feminsim means equality in every aspect of life, bar none.
This is perhaps the most rediculous notion about feminism. There are times when equality is impossible due to physical restrictions. You would not expect a man who is 5 foot tall and 120 lbs to do the same amount of lifting as a six foot tall man who is 320 pounds. Let's be real about things. The same thing goes for child rearing.

So what is femism about. Equality, yes. In opportunity and chances to have access to work and education. But to deny a woman's femaleness is to deny a part of her just as to deny a person's race is to deny a part of their identity. And the rights of a woman to make her own choices are essential. More on this later...

No comments:

Post a Comment