Show & Tell: Brains, Babies, Bratz, and Breastfeeding

BRAINS: "You mean men and women's brains are different???"

A new study reveals what us moms already know: boys and girls are indeed different. An excerpt from a great article about the study about brains & gender:

"Equality feminists will be even more disturbed by science that confirms what most of us already know: women are more emotional than men. Cutting to the chase, that means girls are more prone to over-reaction than boys. Were we to map the female brain, Brizendine says the connecting routes for emotion look more like super-highways, compared with the country roads you'd find inside the male brain."

BRAINS AND BABIESMore and more, our culture says to women: brains and babies don't mix. Two articles (plus one follow-up article) give insight to this phenomena.

(1) A Harvard grad revisits her old stomping grounds- this time, with four children (*gasp*), and finds rampant anti-natalism greeting her at every turn. It's really worth the read; this intelligent mom of four is treated with contempt and the miniscule value of children to the intellectual elite is evident and saddening. She recounts a humorous story:

"I remember the last time I was in the GapKids store in Harvard Square before we moved away. I had my two little boys and was five months pregnant with my third. A customer behind me in line, looking me over and observing the two little ones in the stroller, asked me in all seriousness how I was going to get around once I had my third. Surprised, and mildly humored, I explained that I fully expected that my oldest would be able to walk by the time my third was born. It was a partly facetious answer for a mostly absurd question — my eldest son could already walk, of course, but, like all kids, preferred to ride if he could. Yet it was a revealing question. I’ll be the last to make light of the difficulties involved in transporting three little kids all about Cambridge. But the tone of the question bothered me, as if it was meant to imply: 'Didn’t you think over the transportation issue before you got pregnant again?' As if getting around by stroller would ever figure into my calculations over whether to have a third child."
(2) One of the most offensive women on the planet regurgitates her same philosophy: that the only women who should stay at home with children ought to be those with no potential- no brains- nothing to offer the world. And that those of us who have these things and stay at home as wives and mothers are doing more harm than good (her words, not mine). An excerpt from the interview:
"Q: Are you angry or frustrated with women who stay home with their kids? 
A: I think they're making a mistake. The most frustrating thing about the whole business is the nonsensical stories that they tell themselves and me about what they think they're doing. The delusional quality of it is a little weird. "
(3) For a critique and rebuttal of her odious opinions, check out Dr. Al Mohler's response to Ms. Hirschman.

BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLICA couple of everyday dads discuss public nursing. It's good for a laugh but also for a common-sense perspective on the whole thing. (It's a video, so give it time to upload.)

BABIES, BREATHING, & CARSEAT SLEEPINGEver hear that babies sleep better in their carseats? Ever let your baby sleep in the carseat? (Our oldest used to sleep in his all the time... on the other hand, our daughter hasn't ever been in one; they're not even sold where we live!) 

You may want to read this article about breathing risks affecting babies in car seats.

BRATZ DOLLS (need I say more?)Called Hooching Up Little Girlz, this blog article from Crunchy Con will give you even more reasons to avoid the purchase or giving of these childhood-stripping (intended literally and as a pun) dolls.
Happy reading!


EmmyJMommy said...

Jess, I am unsure of the total opinion you have on public I am unsure of my total opinion of it. I am a mother of two, and with my first breastfed (due to medical reasons I could not breastfeed my second), but never did in public....not necessarliy becasue I wouldn't, but because I couldn't. I am uncomfortable when I see a woman not respecting her body and the temptations of men when she does not cover herself when she breastfeeds in public. That bothers me. I did not watch the entire video of the dad's discussing their perspectives...but I feel that you have brought to light some interesting points in this blog post. The Bratz dolls are of the devil and I would be very happy if they disappeared totally from the face of the earth!--I also think that the women who choose to give up their careers to stay at home and be Proverbs 31 women that God calls us to be, are to be respected more so than women that work. I battle the desire to stay at home everyday. God is working on me to be a Proverbs 31 wife and mother...and I feel that He also has a reason that I continue to work in our family business...My request to you, at the end of my rambling here, is that you pray for me. Pray that I continue to work on becoming a Proverbs 31 wife and mother, and that God continues to use me in our family business to reveal Him to our lost employees. Thank you for letting me ramble, and reply to you, even though we do not know one another...~~emily

CappuccinoLife said...

Wow! Lots of good reading. I hope to have time to wade through it all tomorrow afternoon when everyone else is sleeping.

Though, I already know what I think of Miz Hirschman.

Jess said...


As for breastfeeding in public, you have to consider the perspective I'm coming from: as a mom who has gotten more comfortable nursing each time around (and now nurses wherever I am, whenever I want, with a cover-up, with complete confidence), and as a person who has seen - in plain view- the minority women here whipping their "gear" out in far more obvious sight than anything I've ever seen in America. It's never come CLOSE to what I've seen here in America.

I think like the dad in the video says, for most women in America, they're trying to be discreet, trying to cover up with a blanket, nervous about anyone catching a glimpse and feeling FAR less free (and far more judged--trust me, I speak from experience) to feed than bottle-feeding moms.

I remember when Ethan was 5 weeks old, and I was flying from DC to TX, while Doug drove the moving van cross-country without us. I snuck into a women's bathroom and got all the way in the back and sat up on a little ledge- in the middle of muggy August, mind you- and covered myself up with a blanket...I was burning up, and he was burning up, but I didn't want to offend anyone... and wouldn't you know, I STILL got ugly stares and gasps as other women noticed what I was doing? Even covered up with a blanket! I just hate the way this is viewed by people in the States, as something kind of unnatural and offensive, rather than natural and normal and healthy.

Here, women who breastfeed are not nearly as concerned about the possible over-sexualization of their breasts (because they aren't quite yet seen in the same view here as they are in America) as they are about feeding their hungry little one. I do think that most men in America need to grow up and realize that there is one primary purpose of the breasts, and any aesthetic or kinesthetic pleasures that arise otherwise are just a total bonus.

Those are my general thoughts on nurshing in public.

Jess said...

nurshing, nursing... you know, I should spell-check a little better before I hit that "publish" button.


Oh and I wanted to say- it was an airport bathroom too... not just a normal bathroom any old place. It was obviously the most discreet place I could pick at the time with my hungry infant. :) OK, getting back off my still-hurt-four-years-later-feelings soapbox!

Maria Kenney said...

These are great articles. As a mother of a 16 mo old, I generally breastfed whenever and wherever I wanted, and usually without a blanket (because Miranda would grump instead of eating). With the huge variety of "nursing wear" available today, it's possible to nurse without showing much skin at all.

Also interesting to note... the Harvard mom was not just revisiting her old stomping grounds, she's reentered Harvard as a PhD candidate. As one myself (although not at Harvard), I'm grateful for the company!

Jess, we continue to pray for your family.

Maria Kenney said...

PS -- as someone who's studying the very school of ethics that Linda Hirschman employs in her argument, she's not at all solid in her arguments. Never mind that the philosophers she quotes said that women didn't even have souls, much less minds... but that's another story. ;-)

EmmyJMommy said...

Jess, Thanks for the clarification of your experience. I will say that I am not offended when I see a woman covering herself and trying to be discreet. I think nursing is a beautiful God given event that every woman (who can and will take the time) should do and treasure the experience.