I work for a women’s health web site, www.EmpowHer.com, which was started by Michelle Robson after she realized how far we still have to go for women to obtain equal access to medical care and treatment.
So I recently wrote a SHARE post on the EmpowHer web site 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??
I’m hoping that at the Fem2.0 conference, this question might be asked. Because until we can work together, we’re not going to attain the equality we’re all striving for. What I’ve learned from the "breastfeeding propaganda" conversation thread that I started, (that you can find and join in here) 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 empowered 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, empowered 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 studies, care and treatment.