The Milk Meg and lactivists’ desperate desire to hurt other mothers

Angry woman abusing of another scared one

Whaddya know?

Meg Nagle, the self proclaimed Milk Meg, doesn’t “give a shit” that you feel judged, but she thinks it’s a very big deal when she is judged for her nastiness.

In the wake of my blog post about lactivists’ cruelty and crushing lack of self-esteem, she removed her rant explaining why she couldn’t care less if she hurts your feelings.

I have removed *the* blog post from my blog. There is one reason for doing this and one reason only. I do this work because I love helping women reach their own individual breastfeeding goals. Whether that goal is for 4 minutes or 4 years. Unfortunately this blog post has prompted someone to take the focus off of that and turned it into something completely different. I’m here for the women who are looking for information and support and will continue to do so. Thanks to everyone who have sent me messages!

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#93aeb5″]How can lactivists be superior to other mothers if breastfeeding is merely one of two excellent ways to nourish a child?[/pullquote]

So Meg recognized at the very least that her rant was unflattering.

Notice that although she removed the post, she never apologized for its content. She never asked how she might craft her message of “support” without demonizing women who formula feed.

How could she? The crushing lack of self-esteem that impels lactivists to pretend that breastfeeding is some sort of achievement, to grossly exaggerated the benefits of breastfeeding, and to ignore the risks and harms was hardly satisfied by choosing to back down publicly from her obnoxious effort to hurt and shame women who formula feed. How can lactivists be superior to other mothers if breastfeeding is merely one of two excellent ways to nourish a child?

That’s the dirty little secret about contemporary lactivism. It has nothing to do with infant feeding and nothing to do with what is good for babies. It’s about some mothers and their desperate desire to feel superior to other mothers.

Don’t believe me? Check out what Meg wrote in the immediate aftermath of removing her original post:

[L]et’s all write one thing we love about mothering through breastfeeding.

She could have asked for readers to write about what they love about mothering. She could have asked readers to write about what they love about breastfeeding. But she wanted, she needed, to demonstrate her supposed superiority to those lazy, derelict, formula feeders by claiming that breastfeeding adds something more to mothering than simple loving your children.

Mothering through breastfeeding?

I breastfed four children exclusively for a very long time and I can tell you that I did not “mother” them through breastfeeding, I fed them. And had I chosen to formula feed them I would not have been mothering them any differently.

The breath taking, extraordinary, incredibly intense love I have for each of them was reflected in everything I did for them, whether that was sleeping on the floor by their cribs when they were sick, scrimping to save for their college educations or teaching them to navigate their way in the wider world.

It makes me happier than I can express to see them now as adults, professionally successful, independent, involved in loving relationships and surrounded by lots of friends.

If I didn’t write about breastfeeding for my work, I wouldn’t think at all about the fact that I breastfed them. And I can assure you, they never think about how they were fed as infants.

Why not? Because — listen closely — it doesn’t matter!

Meg seems to have entirely missed the point of my blog post even though she took hers down in response.

I wrote that she “didn’t give a shit” that she made others feel bad because I wanted to highlight the cruel behavior of lactivists who act as if their self-esteem rests on tearing down mothers who don’t mirror their own choices back to them. Meg took down that egregious example of cruelty but could not resist replacing it with another cruel snub albeit one more subtle.

A physician writing on Twitter and my Facebook page is puzzled by my stance on breastfeeding.

First he tried this.

Ghaheri tweet

Then he tried the shill gambit:

Dr Tuteur, are you funded by someone to stir the pot? Like, a sponsored troll? What do you charge?

Maybe he writes only what people pay him to write, but I don’t need the money. I write about what the scientific evidence shows.

He responded:

I’m trying to figure out her angle.

It’s very revealing that he thinks I have to have an “angle” beyond conveying what the scientific evidence actually shows and expressing my firm conviction that reducing mothering to breasts, uteri and vaginas is scientifically suspect, deeply anti-feminist and gleefully vicious.

The benefits of breastfeeding for term babies in first world countries are real, but they are trivial. Sure there are many who benefit both psychologically and financially by claiming otherwise, but the scientific evidence does not support them. And it certainly does not justify the vicious efforts by those like Meg who apparently can’t feel good about themselves without cruelly snubbing women who formula feed.