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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in an area that while generally progressive because there is a large portion of the population to support natural living, there are still pockets of conservativism and mainstream thinking. We have two distinctly different establishments of education in my town. One is very liberal and leans toward holistic ideals in all aspects of human existence (a 4 year state college), and one is a highly conservative counterpart (a community college).<br><br>
My husband is currently attending the community college full time and working toward a degree in psychology. As part of the curriculum of a sociology class he's taking, he has been instructed to attend a meeting or social event of some sort and report to his class, the sociological and socio-political aspects of the organization, attendees, and subject matter involved in the meeting.<br><br>
Tomorrow night, I am taking DH to a meeting of our local LLL chapter and he has decided to base his paper on breastfeeding! I'm very excited about this and feel I have been given an opportunity to propagate the tenets of breastfeeding to a mainstream pocket of my community. Whatever views he takes from the meeting (I will not influence his views, only support and discuss even if they differ from mine), it will at least undoubtedly bring the topic to light in a place where it most likely wouldn't be discussed!<br><br>
While I may never directly see the positive ramifications of this social experiment, my hope is that someone, somewhere will and that thought makes me very pleased.<br><br>
Just wanted to pass that along and wish you all the best in promoting breastfeeding in your own communities!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Peace.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Peace">
 

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I think its great that your dh is interested in going to a LLL meeting! You didn't mention, however, if the Leaders know he is coming and if it is ok. Some groups welcome men and some have moms who prefer to meet in an all-women environment. If you haven't, I would check with a Leader to make sure it is ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Lil'M</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9897461"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think its great that your dh is interested in going to a LLL meeting! You didn't mention, however, if the Leaders know he is coming and if it is ok. Some groups welcome men and some have moms who prefer to meet in an all-women environment. If you haven't, I would check with a Leader to make sure it is ok.</div>
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Wow. Okay <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
My county has two meetings every month, one on the second Friday in the morning, and one on the first Monday in the evening. The chapter's webpage states specifically that fathers are welcome to attend the Monday evening meetings.<br><br>
I have done my research.<br><br>
While I understand why some groups prefer an all-woman environment, I am glad that my local chapter incorporates fathers in their mission as well. I think educating men on the merits of breastfeeding is EXTREMELY important in achieving the goal of normalizing the practice and leading a culture that sees it as natural instead of obscene. So many of the obscenity comments I know of or have read about come from men.<br><br>
I recall reading a thread about a woman who was harassed for breastfeeding in a restaurant in Texas by the restaurant manager who was male. I imagine that if he had been married, had a child with a woman who decided to breastfeed and had gone to an LLL meeting or two, that might never have happened.<br><br>
Do you disagree?
 

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It is great that your local LLL welcomes fathers....and they should be welcome, although some women are nervous to discuss breastfeeding infront of men they don't know or to breastfeed infront of men they don't know. I wish we lived in a society where breastfeeding wasn't something that women were embrassed by or afraid to do in public, but unfortunately alot of women are. I am a pretty open breastfeeding mom, tandem nursing a three year old and a 7 month old and I went to a program (not LLL, a parenting program) and I was uncomfortable NIP around some of the men in the group (although it was because they were kind of creepy) I was surprised to feel that way because I normally NIP uncovered.....so the previous poster may be speaking about women feeling uncomfortable nursing or discussing nipples and such in front of men.....sorry for the rambing
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momtoS</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9897956"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It is great that your local LLL welcomes fathers....and they should be welcome, although some women are nervous to discuss breastfeeding infront of men they don't know or to breastfeed infront of men they don't know. I wish we lived in a society where breastfeeding wasn't something that women were embrassed by or afraid to do in public, but unfortunately alot of women are. I am a pretty open breastfeeding mom, tandem nursing a three year old and a 7 month old and I went to a program (not LLL, a parenting program) and I was uncomfortable NIP around some of the men in the group (although it was because they were kind of creepy) I was surprised to feel that way because I normally NIP uncovered.....so the previous poster may be speaking about women feeling uncomfortable nursing or discussing nipples and such in front of men.....sorry for the rambing</div>
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He's not some random man. He's my husband. I know that other women may not know him, but he's not going alone. I'm going with him. I am his endorsement. He should be allowed to support his wife and learn of the benefits of breastfeeding. I doubt I would be comfortable with an LLL group that discouraged me from including him. He is after all, the father of the baby who will benefit most from this and I would not feel right about excluding him.<br><br>
I would hope that women who engage in lactivism and hope to see people's attitudes change about breastfeeding wouldn't cater to the view of breasts as solely sexual and never functional for the purposes of excluding supportive men and husbands from the process of social change. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just wanted to add also, that from what I understand of men and sexuality, it is the general view of breasts as hidden and forbidden that distinguishes them from other body parts and contributes greatly to their sexualization. If that were not true, pornographic materials might be centered around things like earlobes, elbows and fingers. Imagine that! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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From what you're describing, it sounds like you live in my city and yes the LLL info does specifically state that fathers are welcome on the evening meeting on Mondays. And I don't think they would invite the fathers if it was causing discomfort with the other mothers! Good for your DH!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nikag</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9898169"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would hope that women who engage in lactivism and hope to see people's attitudes change about breastfeeding wouldn't cater to the view of breasts as solely sexual and never functional for the purposes of excluding supportive men and husbands from the process of social change. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"></div>
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I would hope that you wouldn't push women who just want breastfeeding support to be activists. Just like a women is not required to have student doctors or mw apprentices at her birth because "they need to get experience somewhere" or "to show them what a homebirth is really like", she also is not required to be a breastfeeding activist when she just wants some bf help or support. Now if it was a "Breastfeeding Activists of America" meeting, then I would agree with you.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><span style="font-size:xx-small;">Said by a mom who bf at a church which televises everything; really, I'm not shy</span> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Emmeline II</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9900547"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would hope that you wouldn't push women who just want breastfeeding support to be activists. Just like a women is not required to have student doctors or mw apprentices at her birth because "they need to get experience somewhere" or "to show them what a homebirth is really like", she also is not required to be a breastfeeding activist when she just wants some bf help or support. Now if it was a "Breastfeeding Activists of America" meeting, then I would agree with you.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><span style="font-size:xx-small;">Said by a mom who bf at a church which televises everything;really, I'm not shy</span> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">.</div>
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Allowing a man to fully support his wife's decision to breastfeed by letting him sit in on a meeting is seen as pushing other women to be activists?<br><br>
Wow. Just wow.<br><br>
When referring to lactivists specifically, I was talking about the women (and men, I hope) of this board...specifically this section of the board and the responses to the original post which focused on the merits of excluding men from the process rather than the merits of their inclusion. Not the women who would be present at the meeting.<br><br>
But then, it's been said that the meeting is specifically father friendly and that the women who attend (I would assume) would be comfortable with men present <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:. Why continue to argue for the exclusion of men in this circumstance?<br><br>
And the larger question now in my mind...<br><br>
How do lactivists expect to progress their cause by alienating fathers? Not all of them are perverts. Some of them are just supportive husbands.<br><br>
I feel for my husband. How insulting.
 

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It seems like you're feeling hurt about the thought of *your* husband being excluded. Knowing what I know about LLL, I think you're missing the point.<br><br>
LLL meetings are about mother-to-mother support. I think that there are women out there who would not come if they knew that men (who are strangers to them) would be there. They just may not feel comfortable w/ a man at a meeting, being new to nursing, and needing to nurse, possibly exposed, during said meeting.<br><br>
Some groups do many things during the year to include fathers. Others not as often. There is only so much Leaders can organize. I know our group has events/mtgs/etc. where it's encouraged for fathers to join in. And I remember a few years ago when a father came to a meeting. It is not about excluding fathers; it's about making sure that mothers are comfortable.<br><br>
And, honestly, I'd rather have a father or two offended about not being welcome at meetings than have a mother or two not attend a meeting and get the support she needs because their was a father there.<br><br>
I'm glad to hear that there is a meeting close to you that accommodates both mothers & fathers.<br><br>
Sus
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mama24-7</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9905842"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It seems like you're feeling hurt about the thought of *your* husband being excluded.</div>
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You are very much correct in that. I don't feel comfortable with the insinuation that my husband is a pervert with any other than respectable intentions. I know of VERY few women who wouldn't be hurt by that assumption or who wouldn't be supportive of their husband's feelings. He is just as deserving as any woman of compassion and consideration for his feelings.<br><br>
Coming from women who may know what it feels like to be viewed as perverted for extended breastfeeding, I am truly in shock. His gender makes him no less of a human being.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">LLL meetings are about mother-to-mother support. I think that there are women out there who would not come if they knew that men (who are strangers to them) would be there. They just may not feel comfortable w/ a man at a meeting, being new to nursing, and needing to nurse, possibly exposed, during said meeting.</td>
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To be quite honest with you, if I had known that this element of thinking was prevalent in the LLL community, I wouldn't have sought the community out in to begin with. It doesn't sit well with me and makes me feel like I'm being separated from my family unit - which includes myself, my husband, and my child.<br><br>
Now that I know, I don't think I will be attending any meetings in the future. I am totally turned off.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">And, honestly, I'd rather have a father or two offended about not being welcome at meetings than have a mother or two not attend a meeting and get the support she needs because their was a father there.</td>
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He is not the one who is offended. I am.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">LLL meetings are about mother-to-mother support. I think that there are women out there who would not come if they knew that men (who are strangers to them) would be there. They just may not feel comfortable w/ a man at a meeting, being new to nursing, and needing to nurse, possibly exposed, during said meeting.</td>
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I would go to a co-ed meeting, but I would not discuss certain topics, and I think that would defeat the point of going.
 

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I totally see both sides of the picture here. I think it is great that nikag's hubby is going to a LLL meeting and will be educating a segment of the population who otherwise would not have access to that info. LLL's mission of serving women from women is a great one. I also think its great that men can come to one of your local meetings. There are plenty of fathers who are interested or curious in nursing issues as well.<br><br>
and given the fact that there are two meetings one where fathers are invited and welcome and one that appears to be women-to-women I don't see what the big deal is in reference to this one meeting, I would hope they would make it known that men are welcome and therefore the other mamas would have an idea.<br><br>
However if that is not the case, I have seen many a bare breast from a newly nursing mom who was just trying to get the hang of things, would she have been comfortable baring all so she could have someone look at the latch, or apply thrush meds if another person's husband was there? I don't know.<br><br>
I would have no problem if someone's hubby was there, but that is me. A father's admittance to a LLL meeting is secondary (IMO) to the comfort of a mama who is having problem. LLL does not exist to make men feel welcome, but to help women with whatever support they need in their bf'ing relationships.<br><br>
And maybe I wouldn't discuss certain topics as well if men were present but there perhaps would be the potential for dialogues to take place that otherwise wouldn't have with men present. I would be very interested in hearing about bf'ing from the XY point of view.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mama24-7</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9905842"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It seems like you're feeling hurt about the thought of *your* husband being excluded. Knowing what I know about LLL, I think you're missing the point.<br><br>
LLL meetings are about mother-to-mother support. I think that there are women out there who would not come if they knew that men (who are strangers to them) would be there. They just may not feel comfortable w/ a man at a meeting, being new to nursing, and needing to nurse, possibly exposed, during said meeting.<br><br>
Some groups do many things during the year to include fathers. Others not as often. There is only so much Leaders can organize. I know our group has events/mtgs/etc. where it's encouraged for fathers to join in. And I remember a few years ago when a father came to a meeting. It is not about excluding fathers; it's about making sure that mothers are comfortable.<br><br>
And, honestly, I'd rather have a father or two offended about not being welcome at meetings than have a mother or two not attend a meeting and get the support she needs because their was a father there.<br><br>
I'm glad to hear that there is a meeting close to you that accommodates both mothers & fathers.<br><br>
Sus</div>
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I have not read all the responses but I have to say I really agree with this one. When I first started BFing...I was so nervous to do it in public. I almost left DD (4 weeks) at home w/ DH for an hour so I could go. I was afraid of "doing it wrong." Having a guy I didn't know there would have been a deal-breaker for me.<br><br>
Fast-forward 4 years. I didn't stay that shy for long. I have attended numerous "nurse-ins" and totally consider myself a lactivist. I throw in a good word about breastfeeding whenever I can. DH is also a total lactivist. DD weaned a year ago but I'm looking forward to NIPing w/ new baby boy soon.<br><br>
I guess my point is that for *some* new mothers, it's hard enough just talking about it with women. Not all women start off at ease with it (no matter how intellectually commited they are as I was).
 
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