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So why can't we just get along?

By January 5, 2009 - 1:21pm
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So I recently wrote a SHARE post about a breastfeeding study that I pegged as propaganda. As my colleague, Kelley, pointed out, it's probably better not to discuss politics, religion or breastfeeding.... Apparently, breastfeeding can ingite all kinds of passionate discussion. But what amazes me the most is how we women can, and do, judge each other so severely on issues like this. Why are we so judgmental??

What I've learned from the "breastfeeding propaganda" conversation thread, (that you can find and join in here:https://www.empowher.com/community/share/more-breastfeeding-propaganda) is that if I choose not to breastfeed my newborn infant, then I can expect to be slammed by other moms (and dads) as being an immoral, heartless wretch of a mom. Unless, that is, I have a pretty darned good excuse. Like say, a medical issue that prevents me from breastfeeding, or a premature infant who is unable to breastfeed. Then it's acceptable. But if I simply make the CHOICE not to breastfeed, for whatever reason, then I should be prepared to wear a scarlet F (for formula) on my chest.

Geez. So when are we going to come together as moms and be more supportive, or at the least, somewhat respectful, of each others' choices? Isn't that what we're all about, as 'empowhered' women? To have access to, and to be able to make, choices that are the very best for my health and the health of my family? Without fear of judgment or an extra layer of guilt?

If we can't come together as strong, empowhered women to extend empathy and compassion to each other without judgment, then I don't see how we're ever going to make progress in obtaining equality in medical care and treatment.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Coach Virginia makes such a valid point. Perhaps the more "heated" posts and subsequent messages makes for BETTER education and information dissemination, as people can gain both perspectives and weed out the information they disagree with.

Kristin, as you said "why can't we all get along", I agree with Coach Virginia (and I'm sure you do, too) that it would be a boring world! However, more to the gist of your point about respecting and not judging, since that's the real issue! There is a fine line between asserting our different opinions vs. judging/putting down others opinions and choices. If we look at the Cultural Competency literature, it helps to explain your point, Kristin, and I wrote a separate SHARE about it (you can read it here, so we can all join in on that discussion!

January 6, 2009 - 3:16pm

Kristin, I just got caught up with all the postings on the topic you brought uplast week...wow! it looks like I missed the fun! Here is what I think triggered this passionate discussion. I will be very honest with you if I may. From the start (notice how you titled your posting) it showed a personal bias on the article from the get-go by labeling it "propaganda". Here is what that word means:

"Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist."

"Deliberate" and "manipulate" may be perceived negatively so it is understandable why we got the postings you are referring to here. Is it just possible that this ONE word (propaganda) may have caused readers to get defensive about their more conservative opinions on the subject?

I believe there is great value on sharing information on this site. EMPOWHER is committed to respecting everyone's opinions and no one should feel unsafe of sharing a more conservative or more liberal pespective on a particular issue. Women can agree to disagree and our goal is that. Let them be on their own "soapbox", you probably will not change the world. It would be too boring...but as women we can ensure our future generations are healthier, better-informed and safer so they can move humanity to a better place (I am including the whole world in this statement as I assume many of our readers are international or across cultural/religious backgrounds)and survive the many challenges ahead...There is NO one size fits all, but we can dialogue about the facts on health, wellness, ways to improve our lives, etc.

There are many issues that cause emotional reaction, the EMPOWHER family should be welcoming to all perspectives. The value of the information presented on the article you shared was kind of lost as the discussion shifted away from focusing on the findings of the study about the motion of sucking as it relates to greater lung capacity. And whether you agree or disagree with the study I think our readers gained a new perspective on breastfeeding as a whole, that alone will help many women make a more informed decision on whether to breastfeed or now, wouldn't you say?

January 5, 2009 - 9:34pm
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