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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Coming Breastfeeding Wars

Timothy Birdnow

Time Magazine has caused a stir with a rather risque' picture of a pretty model breastfeeding her three year old son, and the internet has been abuzz with commentary, much of it directed at the picture - and its appropriateness - itself. What has been missing is a discussion of the actual article the picture was intended to promote, and why Time felt it worthy of devoting the cover to an article about extended breastfeeding. One must ask; is there more to this than meets the eye?

Unquestionably. This is the tip of the iceberg.

The Time article was devoted to the theories of Dr. Bill Sears, who advocates something called "attachment parenting"
Sears believes that children are encouraged to be independent too early and too much, and that mothers should wrap their little ones in a cocoon of motherly love. Now, there is nothing wrong with showing love to your child, but one must ask where the line should be drawn. Adolf Hitler, for example, was extremely close with his mother and look how he turned out. At any rate, one wonders exactly how a society of children so smothered by parental care will fare upon adulthood; will the children learn independence and self-reliance as American children have traditionally done, or will they move from breastfeeding on their mothers to breastfeeding on Uncle Sam? It seems to me that "attachment parenting" is going to make a bunch of permanent children to replenish the dependent classes.

Be that as it may, the question arises; why did Time run this article on the front cover, and why now?

This is an issue that has been quietly gaining momentum.

The U.S. Surgeon General supports breastfeeding, and even extended (over one year) breastfeeding. So does the World Health Organization, so does Michelle Obama. In fact, the IRS is offering tax breaks to encourage nursing.

And the city of Seattle has declared breastfeeding a civil right.

According to an AP article, the Surgeon General issued goals that fully 25% of all babies be breast fed by 2020.

And the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare) requires employers to provide for nursing workers.

There is the key.

The new federal regulations will force employers to give mothers time off during the workday to nurse their children (unpaid at present, but that will be subject to change) But what value is time to nurse if the child is not available? This ultimately requires employer-provided daycare to exercise this new "right". It fundamentally redefines the relationship between employer, employee, and the government. It puts the grubby paws of the regulators that much deeper into the economy. And it creates a new right where one did not exist. How long before this right metastasizes into a right to free daycare, or free healthcare for the children, or the right to other special privileges?

Meanwhile, the father's role is diminished even more as mom drags her children to work every day.

There are other nice benefits to this from the Progressive standpoint. For instance, the Left has always hated the cow, which they see as the embodiement of American excess. They hate it for it's Global Warming-causing flatulence, for the damage it does to creeks and streams, for the four pounds of grain it eats to produce one pound of meat. They would love to be rid of the stinky animals, but the cow produces milk. Extended breast feeding would greatly reduce the demand for cows milk, and perhaps push some dairy farmers to sell their land to some Soros-owned investment corporation or forfeit it to the government. The Administration has been quietly waging a war on cows milk, classifying milk as a form of oil thus forcing dairy farmers to keep expensive "toxic spill" equipment on hand lest they spill a milk jug, and raiding "raw" milk farms. And milk, once the hallmark of America's bounty, will become less profitable as sales decrease. Oh, and America will become more like the Third World where mothers breastfeed for long periods of time because they have to.

There are several organizations dedicated to promoting extended breastfeeding and the like. La Leche, for instance. I found a group called the Lactavists, too.

Let's not forget this continues the feminization of America, what Rush Limbaugh calls the "chickafication" of our society.

But again, why now? Well...

There is a real chance Obamacare will be found unconsitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, and if that law is struck down so too will the breastfeeding requirements. Obama can start campaigning for stand-alone legislation imposing these regulations on  businesses, and the GOP will be forced to oppose him. He and his lackeys in the media will then have the perfect souondbytes for the "war on women" shibboleth they have been fashioning; the GOP and that evil Mitt Romney hate women, children, and despise motherhood. And they will walk right into this trap, as they always manage to do.

Progressives do not do things Off the cuff, and their stated motives are never their true motives. This is particularly true of this Administration. We would be wise to seek out the real purposes behind Time Magazine's cover article, and to understand that this is the beginning of a campaign to create a new right. A right imposes no obligation on others to exercise, yet the Progressives have turned the concept on its head. Consider Barack Obama's lament that the Constitution does not offer "positive rights" delineating what government must do for the citizenry; he shows that he thinks rights obligate others. He would undoubtedly see breast feeding as a right, and demand that businesses and society at large reorganize itself to promote the wishes of a minority of women. and with the media's help he will manage to convince many Americans that this is so. 

Thus begins a titanic struggle. We need to get out in front on this.

(Thanks to Jack Kemp for telling me about La Leche.)

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