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#241 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 12:45 AM
 
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freaky slogans win over freaky/fringe people and just turn off the majority - that's the way the world works.

I think the best way to win people over to your viewpoint is #1 befriend them, #2 help them, #3 give them info!
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#242 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 12:47 AM
 
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But how do we decide freaky? I mean it seems like there are the obvious (formula is toxic!) but "use then or lose them...." do these two even compare in freakiness?

what about "jesus was breastfed" should we consider it offensive to nonbreastfeeding christians?

"Parents are simply trustees; they do not own the bodies of their children"-Norm Cohen  Martial arts instructor intactlact.gifhomebirth.jpgnak.gif and mom to 4: DD1 (1/05) DS (7/06) DD2 (5/08) DD3 (2/11)
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#243 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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i agree with beckula.i think it is getting harder not to get snarky with pookel bcbd. it is getting old already. are you here to contribute some positive feedback or to to disagree with everyone?

Lisa wife to Ronne and mom to 4 kids ,Thomas 4/92, Amanda 9/99, Christopher 8/06 & Nathaniel 5/08.
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#244 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 12:57 AM
 
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I agree that putting breastfeeding in a positive light is a great way to pass on positive information. But what do we do about those who truly believe the propaganda that formula is just as good as (or dare I say "BETTER than" because it's made in a laboratory) breastmilk? I can't begin to list the people I've personally known who never thought twice about formula because of all the advertising/doctor information. I do think people who are uneducated about the risks associated need to hear them. Because there are problems associated with formula. (By problems, I'd like to invoke Newton's first law that for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction; every benefit of breastmilk has an opposite negative side effect in formula. For instance, saying that immunities get passed on in breastmilk is the same thing as saying formula-fed babies lack proper immunities until their bodies start to make them and it doesn't happen for 1-2 years.)
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#245 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 12:57 AM
 
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The way I see it, there's three types of 'slogans'. Celebration (I make milk- what's your superpower?/ Breastmilk is love) Normalization/Desexualization (Human milk for human babies/ Babies were born to be breastfed), and Condemnation (Formula Kills Babies, the bottle with the strikeout though it).

Condemnation has it's place when dealing with the institutions that undermine breastfeeding, not when dealing with individuals. But I'm really disturbed by the idea that celebrating breastfeeding is offensive. If I were to see a shirt that said "Adoption is Love" I wouldn't think that someone was trying to imply that I didn't love my son because he's mine biologically. Adding disclaimers to everything dilutes the pure celebratory message. I don't think "Being able to sustain another life with my own body makes me feel amazing and powerful but those women who can't or don't have the opportunity to do so are equally great" would make a very good t-shirt, however true it is.

I do understand how it can feel hurtful. If someone was wearing a shirt that said "Mother is Love", and my mother had died when I was young, I would feel bad. If someone had a shirt that said "My children are my strength" and I was infertile or had just lost a pregnancy, it might make me cry. Because that would have been something I wanted, and hearing someone celebrate something that you wanted but couldn't have can be hurtful. I just can't get behind the idea that we should censor ourselves when promoting breastfeeding publicly because of that.

Besides, there's such a wide range of what can trigger those feelings in mothers who can't breastfeed, we'd have to cut EVERYTHING out. Pookel, you had "Breastfeeding goddess" as a like and "I make milk - what's your superpower?" as a didn't like. I'm having trouble seeing a real difference there. And I can see how "human milk for human babies" could imply sub-human status on babies and mom's who don't breastfeed, but that one didn't bother you. Whereas BCFD has "BREASTFEEDING: It's only human" as an offensive one.

I do agree that there is a definite line, and things that equate formula with poison cross it; when breastmilk is not available, formula saves lives. That's just as much of a fact as breastmilk's superiority to formula.
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#246 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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I retract this statement

Becky married to Dave with our sons Davey(6), Beren(3), an Angel, and Seifer(11 m)
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#247 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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Thanks.
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#248 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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deleting

Lisa wife to Ronne and mom to 4 kids ,Thomas 4/92, Amanda 9/99, Christopher 8/06 & Nathaniel 5/08.
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#249 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
But how do we decide freaky? I mean it seems like there are the obvious (formula is toxic!)
That one may be obvious to you, but I've seen it defended here as simple truth, and I've seen people ridiculed for being upset by it (in fact I think I've been one of those people).

I would like to see some kind of study of how people react to different slogans, but that's probably not realistic. I don't think everyone can ever agree on which slogans are offensive and which ones are not, because it's so subjective. But it would be nice to see people at least try not to be rude, hurtful, and offensive, instead of blowing it off with cop-outs like "no one can MAKE you feel that way." Shouldn't it at least be a goal to win people over rather than driving them away?

I wouldn't mind if the conversation around here about this topic consisted of "I don't think this slogan is offensive, I think it would be effective because XYZ" rather than "if you don't like the slogan, you shouldn't be in the lactivism forum."
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#250 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel View Post
Because promoting slogans that offend people contributes to the epidemic of unncessary formula feeding. Really. I don't know how much more simply I can put this. You piss people off, they write you off as some kind of militant wacko, they go around telling all their friends to avoid "those pushy breastfeeding freaks," their friends are less likely to go to an LLL meeting when they're having troubles because they're terrified of those scary lactivists they've been hearing about, the friends give up on breastfeeding because they don't get any good information ... this helps the cause how exactly?

And "slightly offensive to the extra sensitive" is WAY understating the issue. Of the five or six pages of Cafe Press shirts I looked at, I think that was the only one that was so offensive it shocked me.
I hear you on that, and I do think that we have an image problem as a movement -- where individual volunteers or passersby are concerned. I'm visiting Seattle this spring, and when I was having dinner with an couple old friends and mentioned my desire to do more breastfeeding advocacy work, his reply was a snort! He said, "That isn't needed around here" and then proceeded to tell me about his friends' stories of being "attacked" by strangers in public for bottle-feeding their babies. He didn't know about the structural forces that work against breastfeeding or understand that THIS is what I meant by "breastfeeding advocacy." If the general public thinks that the goal of breastfeeding advocacy is to accost bottle-feeding strangers, then YES, we have an image problem. Because when I think "lactivism" I think about politics, economics, hospital routines, and mass media first. And I think about my LLL volunteer work second (and believe me, LLL Leaders are NOT trained or encouraged to bad-mouth formula or insult mothers. Quite the opposite.)

What I'm pressing for here, in this thread, is for those who are hurt and offended by various lactivist tactics to step back and consider the source and the context of the various messages. Anyone can put ANYTHING on a CafePress T-shirt. Anyone can post ANYTHING on a messageboard. That's one category of communication, and it's good to discuss.

But let's not lump it together with things like WIC posters or the Ad Council breastfeeding campaign. They reach (or, in the case of the ad campaign, were meant to have reached) astronomically more people than a bumpersticker or T-shirt EVER will. Step back and look at the big picture. The economic, political, and societal forces that we're up against in trying to raise breastfeeding rates. The lived reality of the vast majority of women who do NOT hear enough about breastfeeding to know why they should bother (this brings up issues of social class/classism, race/racism, etc.) The many who do know that they should breastfeed and would LIKE to breastfeed but can't figure out how to make it work with no maternity leave, health insurance, or community and family support. The politicians who won't lift a finger to change the status quo until lactivism brings enough passion -- and VOTES -- to the table to out-muscle the formula industry's billions of dollars.

A favorite quote of mine applies here: "The truth will set you free ... but first it'll piss you off!"
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#251 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Beckula View Post
-removing quote as she edited her original post-
ETA: Thank you for the retraction.

Edited to remove the rest of my post.
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#252 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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It really boils down to the 'cool' / 'not cool' factor which is different for everybody but determined somewhat democratically by the public (although slick marketing usually wins over the public). It's not something you can have a scientific measure to say 'yes' or 'no' to any particular slogan.

It's more about what is 'general public' vs. 'personal/stinging' and mix in the 'cool' factor and there you have it - that's how you choose slogans.
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#253 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
Besides, there's such a wide range of what can trigger those feelings in mothers who can't breastfeed, we'd have to cut EVERYTHING out. Pookel, you had "Breastfeeding goddess" as a like and "I make milk - what's your superpower?" as a didn't like. I'm having trouble seeing a real difference there.
To me, the difference is that the first shirt is just about the person wearing it - the second one addresses the person reading it.

But like I tried to make clear in another recent post, I don't think there can ever be a consensus on which shirts are offensive and which are positive. But can't there at least be a friendly dialogue, with the *goal* of not being offensive? Why is it so hard for some lactivists to see that it's even *possible* that their slogans are hurting people's feelings?
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#254 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel View Post
it would be nice to see people at least try not to be rude, hurtful, and offensive, instead of blowing it off with cop-outs like "no one can MAKE you feel that way." Shouldn't it at least be a goal to win people over rather than driving them away?

I wouldn't mind if the conversation around here about this topic consisted of "I don't think this slogan is offensive, I think it would be effective because XYZ" rather than "if you don't like the slogan, you shouldn't be in the lactivism forum."
ITA. Thank you for standing your ground and calling out ad hominem and deliberately hurtful/dismissive statements here.
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#255 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel View Post
I find it sad that you can't believe anyone would possibly disagree with you unless they're an agent of the enemy, so to speak.

I work at a newspaper. I have nearly 3,000 posts at MDC and have frequently referenced the facts of my life - my husband, my 2yo son, my job at a newspaper in North Dakota, my background as a history and classics major. I'm an atheist, a terrible housekeeper, and a great cook. I sell used books on eBay. My husband runs a computer repair business. I write novels and have often dreamed of becoming a SAHM/WAHM.

Stalk me if you want; you'll find all these facts repeatedly backed up. I have never, as an adult, held a job outside the newspaper industry. And as a journalist who believes in ethics, I would never take *any* PR job - especially not for a formula company.

ETA: Thank you for the retraction.
Look I realised it was crap before anyone needed to tell me and thats why I removed it. I'm a person who sometimes makes dumb descisions and no I don't think everyone who disagrees with me is the enemy because really "who" is the enemy per se. I will not make excuses for myself: I am sorry and I wasn't being very mature.

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#256 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:20 AM
 
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I will not make excuses for myself: I am sorry and I wasn't being very mature.


It takes a big-hearted and mature person to publicly apologize and take responsibility for a mistake. Thank you!
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#257 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:24 AM
 
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Look I realised it was crap before anyone needed to tell me and thats why I removed it. I'm a person who sometimes makes dumb descisions and no I don't think everyone who disagrees with me is the enemy because really "who" is the enemy per se. I will not make excuses for myself: I am sorry and I wasn't being very mature.
I edited the rest of my post out. Sorry, I had a hard time resisting leaving it in because I thought it was well-written and I hated to see it go to waste. : Didn't mean to be snarky towards you.
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#258 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:38 AM
 
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I edited the rest of my post out. Sorry, I had a hard time resisting leaving it in because I thought it was well-written and I hated to see it go to waste. : Didn't mean to be snarky towards you.


Also nicely done! Friends, with more posts like this -- civil discussion and quick to apologize when passion momentarily outweighs civility -- we can change the tone of this whole forum and help shift that "image problem" in lactivism.
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#259 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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Also nicely done! Friends, with more posts like this -- civil discussion and quick to apologize when passion momentarily outweighs civility -- we can change the tone of this whole forum and help shift that "image problem" in lactivism.
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#260 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:43 AM
 
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To me, the difference is that the first shirt is just about the person wearing it - the second one addresses the person reading it.
That's interesting- I take that aspect of the second one as a positive. It invites the reader to fill in the blank, as someone else mentioned earlier. This is what I'm proud of, what are YOU proud of? It seems less exclusive than the other one, to me.

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But like I tried to make clear in another recent post, I don't think there can ever be a consensus on which shirts are offensive and which are positive. But can't there at least be a friendly dialogue, with the *goal* of not being offensive? Why is it so hard for some lactivists to see that it's even *possible* that their slogans are hurting people's feelings?
I agree with you on this, mostly.

You're right in that we need to avoid offending people open to the idea of breastfeeding, including those who may have FF another child.
But it's tricky. There is something inherently potentially offensive about saying that the way someone else feeds (i.e. cares for) their child isn't as good as another way. Since there's no way to avoid it entirely, it's not always easy to figure out what 'degree' of truthful offense is beneficial, and sometimes that discussion just feels futile.

There's another wrinkle in this, involving who is being offended by what, exactly. Now, someone who wants to breastfeed and really, truly can't...isn't someone we need to win over. Those slogans and that information isn't directed at them. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be decent people and at least think about how it might make them feel (they're on 'our side', after all!), but if it comes down to informing/convincing a new mother to breastfeed or refraining from bringing up feelings of guilt in someone who shouldn't feel guilty... what do you do?
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#261 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:49 AM
 
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I edited the rest of my post out. Sorry, I had a hard time resisting leaving it in because I thought it was well-written and I hated to see it go to waste. : Didn't mean to be snarky towards you.
you absolutely have the right to defend yourself and i really thought it wasn't nearly as snarky as it could/should have been.

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#262 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 01:55 AM
 
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That's interesting- I take that aspect of the second one as a positive. It invites the reader to fill in the blank, as someone else mentioned earlier. This is what I'm proud of, what are YOU proud of? It seems less exclusive than the other one, to me.
Yeah, I've heard that argument before, I know some people see it that way. To me, it comes across as a challenge: "I make breastmilk - what can YOU do?" Like if I can't make breastmilk, I'm don't measure up.

Quote:
There's another wrinkle in this, involving who is being offended by what, exactly. Now, someone who wants to breastfeed and really, truly can't...isn't someone we need to win over.
See, that's where I think you're wrong. Not many women truly, medically can't breastfeed, but it's not THAT rare - something like 1 in 20, or 1 in 30, plus adoptive moms and those who have had reduction surgery, right? And there's a pretty substantial percentage who tried hard and got bad advice and sincerely believe they're unable to breastfeed, even though maybe they could have in an ideal situation.

Now, maybe none of those women are ever going to breastfeed, even the ones who theoretically could. But they all have friends who might someday breastfeed. And they tell stories to their friends about their experiences. And those friends develop ideas about breastfeeding based on what they've heard. Which story would you rather have a pregnant woman hear from a good friend?

1. "I tried really hard to breastfeed and I just couldn't, and then I was on this parenting forum and people accused me of not trying hard enough! They said I must have been looking for excuses to quit. And they all had sigs that said things like "formula is toxic" and they made me feel awful. You should stay away from those people, they're just a bunch of wackos. And it's OK if you can't breastfeed, because you'll still be a good mom if you give formula."

2. "I tried really hard to breastfeed and my doctor said I couldn't, but then I went to this parenting forum and they told me that my doctor might have been wrong. They said a lot of women get bad advice and if I'd gone to a support group, maybe I would have been able to breastfeed. They were really nice about it. You should look for one of those support groups when you have your baby. It's supposed to be so much healthier than formula, you know."
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#263 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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See, that's where I think you're wrong.
I don't think we actually disagree here. What I meant was that breastfeeding awareness materials, slogans, etc. aren't targeted at people who already KNOW that breastfeeding is best/normal/appropriate, and that those materials should be evaluated in that light.

I think that we should treat women the way you portray in the first example and not the second, not because it will help raise breastfeeding rates (I agree with you that it's a better tactic there as well), but because it's just the right way to treat people.
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#264 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 09:34 AM
 
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But they all have friends who might someday breastfeed. And they tell stories to their friends about their experiences. And those friends develop ideas about breastfeeding based on what they've heard. Which story would you rather have a pregnant woman hear from a good friend?

1. "I tried really hard to breastfeed and I just couldn't, and then I was on this parenting forum and people accused me of not trying hard enough! They said I must have been looking for excuses to quit. And they all had sigs that said things like "formula is toxic" and they made me feel awful. You should stay away from those people, they're just a bunch of wackos. And it's OK if you can't breastfeed, because you'll still be a good mom if you give formula."

2. "I tried really hard to breastfeed and my doctor said I couldn't, but then I went to this parenting forum and they told me that my doctor might have been wrong. They said a lot of women get bad advice and if I'd gone to a support group, maybe I would have been able to breastfeed. They were really nice about it. You should look for one of those support groups when you have your baby. It's supposed to be so much healthier than formula, you know."
For me this is why I started reading this board because I was curious to see if I had been given wrong info about being able to BF. I don't think I've seen anyone on here advocating that formula is the same as breastmilk....But if one cannot truly BF then even the WHO concludes "Considering that, when mothers do not breast-feed, or only do so partially,there is a legitimate market for infant formula and for suitable ingredients from which to prepare it; that all these products should accordingly be made accessible to those who need them through commercial or non-commercial distribution systems; " and that formula can be used "as a substitute for human milk in meeting the normal nutritional requirements of infants"

I agree with the WHO that Formula shouldn't be advertised as the same as breast milk and that it should have a warning on the label. It shouldn't be given away in bags at the hospitals to new nursing moms. In fact I would think it would be better if Formula companies went so far as to create bags for nursing mothers.

I want the same thing that many lactivists do...educate women (and men too) about the positives of breastmilk, the benefits of nursing and the legalities of it all. At the same time I want women who FF because they HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE to also have good quality information about formulas and how to make that decision should it arise. Are there places I can look for info, yes but many are mainstream so IMO they are diluted mix of info and propaganda.

I know this why I read the boards at MDC, so I can find out information that I might not have found on mainstream boards.
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#265 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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Personally - and if I didn't make this clear before, I did breastfeed partially for 9 months while supplementing - I am not offended by breastfeeding slogans as a category. If I were offended by lactivism in general, I wouldn't be on this forum!

I am offended by *some* lactivist slogans, and while I don't personally get that upset about them, I don't like seeing them promoted when I consider them to be hurting the cause by offending people rather than converting them. The ones that are just pro-breastfeeding? Great. Normalizing breastfeeding, positive messages, promoting NIP, all great. The ones that put down formula or worse, mothers who use formula, are not so great. The ones that imply that you mothers who REALLY love their baby breastfeed, not so great.

I'm going to take a minute to surf cafepress and see if I can find some examples of both good and bad ...

I liked:
If breastfeeding in public disturbs you, please feel free to put a blanket over your head
My baby doesn't like to eat in the bathroom ... do you?
Human milk for human babies, cow milk for baby cows
That's my baby's lunch you're looking at! [I may need to buy this one ]
It's not about my right to breastfeed, it's about my child's right to eat
Jesus was breastfed
Breastmilk: It's what's for dinner
Breastfeeding goddess

Didn't like:
I make milk - what's your superpower?
Love your baby ... breastfeed!
Breastfeeding is love
Formula sucks! (And it makes your poop stink!) :
My mom is too lazy to make a bottle
Use them or lose them: Breastfeed to prevent breast cancer

There were others I didn't like not because I thought they were offensive, but because they were just crappy slogans ... I'm not including those. Just these, which all (to me anyway) are negative towards women who don't or can't breastfeed.

I wholeheartedly disagree with you. I bf my first dd and had to stop when she was 8mos old because I was preg and drastically losing weight (dropped 30 lbs at 6mos preg).

With my ds, he was bf for 2 mos and then bf because of his lactose intolerance.

I DO feel guilty because I didn't have the money or support to continue. But that's life. You do what you can.

I do NOT feel offended by those shirts. I believe in them. Truly, why even argue that formula is nasty and makes your poop stink? It does. It's the truth. Have you ever tasted that crap? Or smelled a baby dipe from a baby on formula? Good gods, it would make me want to vomit every time.

Yes, I consider making breastmilk to be quite a gift and superpower. It's really a miracle. Everyone has something they are good at, why can't I be proud of my milk?

There is voluminous amounts of research linking bf to reduced breast cancer rates. Why not advertise?

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Originally Posted by TigerTail View Post
'Use them or lose them: Breastfeed to prevent breast cancer'

Not 'liking' that one? Don't worry, it's well-hidden info, lest it make anyone 'feel bad'. God forbid women be informed of something that could save their lives (and yes, their babies' lives too). Becausing making sure no one 'feels bad' is more important than saving lives. That's why you won't hear it from the Susan Komen folks.

This is a weird, sad culture, that puts people's fragile self-esteem ahead of their good health.
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Originally Posted by Beckula View Post
Babies were born to breastfeed

Just because you adopted your children (and I think that it is wonderful that you did because all children need loving parents regardless of what you feed them) does NOT change the fact that indeed all babies of MAMMALS are meant to breastfeed. Every MAMMAL on Earth has to feed their babies using their mammary glands or their babies die so aren't we lucky that as humans we have formula and our babies don't have to die.
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#266 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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Never mind the poster already removed part of their statement. Nice to see the topic back on subject.
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#267 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel View Post
It's not the info I dislike, it's the phrasing. Use them or LOSE THEM? Might as well wear a shirt that says, "If you're infertile, celibate, or unable to breastfeed, you deserve to lose your breasts." Yeah, it reduces the risk of breast cancer. But it doesn't eliminate it, and not breastfeeding doesn't guarantee you will get breast cancer - and that slogan is rude and offensive besides.
I agree. You put this perfectly into perspective. It's the PHRASING that is offensive. Lactivists might think they are helping the cause by wearing these cutsy little shirts, but honestly it turns me off.

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#268 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 12:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TigerTail View Post
OMG, me too. It's a pet peeve of mine. There's milk, there's cow's milk, & then there's Beeee Emmm.
yup, i used to work as an in home care provider for severely mentally and physically challenged children, and bm was "bowel movement" i had to write it down every time they had one, so i also see bm and think...what the...?!! its taken me a long time to get over it.
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#269 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Beckula View Post
Also frankly most Mom's who adopt don't need WIC so they really aren't going to cater to your feelings.
No, you are wrong. I don't want to start a huge debate here because this is WAYYY off topic, but I had to respond to your above comment. You are welcome to PM me if you would like more info. about this. Do you know how much a private domestic or international adoption COSTS? Do you know how families scrape together their money, have yard sales, have bake sales, and ask for donations to an adoption fund because they DON'T have $30,000 just lying around so they can be parents? Do you honestly think that all adoptive moms are driving around in BMW's and have a membership to a country club? Do you understand that a lot of foster parents (who later become adoptive parents) are far from wealthy? Ok, that's all I have to say, but you are way off base with this comment.

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#270 of 369 Old 05-24-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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I know the Tshirts help the cause. I have personal stories about all my shirts except 2. And some of them are ones on the "omg offensive!" lists that are being posted.

I think "I make milk, what's your superpower" is so popular because theres pride (and rightfully so) for the wearer but also it attracts questions. It's simple and brings out that "super mommy" idea. It's probably, IMO, one of the most, in not THE MOST, popular breastfeeding slogan (not counting "breast is best" ). I would say it has done a lot more good than negative, and I have def given out the cafe press recommendation for that one more times than I can count. ("where did you get that????" "cafepress" "omg I want one!"). Pride and excitement about breastfeeding help bring about change.

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