Breastfeeding is bad because it reinforces traditional gender roles



Modern feminism has a lot to answer for. Instead of going after the real problems in our society it is dreaming up  non-issues. The latest non-issue comes from a feminist professor who does not like breastfeeding being called “natural”. She believes using the word “natural” reinforces traditional gender roles. The biological fact that that’s what women’s breasts are actually designed for has escaped her.

Promoting breastfeeding as “natural” may be ethically problematic, and, even more troublingly, it may bolster this belief that “natural” approaches are presumptively healthier.

It annoys me that there is this assumption that there is something wrong with traditional gender roles. If I choose to be a full-time mother rather than a career woman that is a feminist choice and it is my choice to make. Likewise, if I choose to breastfeed my child rather than bottle feed, then that is my choice as a mother to make. Whatever choice I make, nothing can change the facts. The facts are that breast milk is best for a baby. Formula will do the job, there is no argument about that, but it cannot compete on quality or nutrients and it never will. That is why breastfeeding deserves the description “natural”. Natural is always better than artificial.

This may ultimately challenge public health’s aims in other contexts, particularly childhood vaccination…. Coupling nature with motherhood, however, can inadvertently support biologically deterministic arguments about the roles of men and women in the family (for example, that women should be the primary caretakers of children).

Last time I checked, men could not breastfeed. Motherhood is part of nature; we are designed for it biologically. If you take away all the artificial aids that modern society has created and put a father and a baby and a mother and a baby on a desert island only a breastfeeding mother will be able to keep her baby alive. No matter how much love the father has to give, without breasts and without formula he cannot keep his child alive. The laws of nature are harsh. Without a lactating mother, a baby in nature will die.

Referencing the “natural” in breastfeeding promotion, then, may inadvertently endorse a controversial set of values about family life and gender roles, which would be ethically inappropriate…. Whatever the ethics of appealing to the natural in breastfeeding promotion, it raises practical concerns. The “natural” option does not align consistently with public health goals.

When did traditional gender roles become controversial? I suggest they became controversial when modern feminists took over academia. Traditional gender roles actually work. They may not be for everyone but, statistically, children who come from two-parent families do much better than those who don’t. There will always be those who want women to act like men and men to act like women. What I object to is them trying to call black, white. Breastfeeding is natural. It has always been natural. It always will be natural.

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