So...I've just discovered Hoyden About Town. Fabulous cultural critique and feminist deliciousness. Their post on Salma's extended nursing is spot-on, and must be praised, linked, and well-pimped:
It’s not as simple as “The Patriarchy wants women to not breastfeed” or “The Patriarchy wants women to breastfeed”. What The Patriarchy “wants” (if you’ll bear with me on this somewhat teleological train of thought) is to have control over breastfeeding. Sometimes that might involve coercion to breastfeed (while withholding full support), sometimes coercion to not breastfeed, sometimes breastfeeding is a tool to confine women to the domestic environment, sometimes guilt over not breastfeeding is cultivated to sell women more products. Above all, breastfeeding women are reminded day after day after day that their bodies are public property, that breastfeeding isn’t a free pass out of the sex class, and that whatever they do, there will be no shortage of people telling them that they’re doing it wrong.Anyway, Salma is great and is, according to me, the most gorgeous woman on Earth. Maggie is the cutest quirky-sexy chick, but Salma is beautiful. Breathtakingy so. And with the talent... Elisa on 30 Rock is cracking my shit up. (P.S. Tina I <3 you too, of course.)
Australian and USAn societies are down there with the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. We have developed a peculiarly pernicious mix of:
* half-secularised Puritanism;
* half-baked woman-hating Freudianism;
* toxic capitalism;
* mother-hostile workplace practices;
* social isolation of new mothers;
* a deep-seated fear and suspicion of any bodily intimacy that isn’t sexual;
* and an overwhelming sense of proprietorship of breasts by heterosexual men.
And for snarks & giggles, I give you Anti-Breastfeeding Bingo.