Are lactivists addicted to self-righteousness?

Woman has no Idea

According to scientist and author David Brin:

[S]elf-righteousness can also be heady, seductive, and even … well … addictive. Any truly honest person will admit that the state feels good. The pleasure of knowing, with subjective certainty, that you are right and your opponents are deeply, despicably wrong. Or, that your method of helping others is so purely motivated and correct that all criticism can be dismissed with a shrug, along with any contradicting evidence.

Sanctimony, or a sense of righteous outrage, can feel so intense and delicious that many people actively seek to return to it, again and again. (emphasis in original)

Lactivists are indignant. But then when are they not indignant?

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Righteous outrage can feel so intense and delicious that many people actively seek to return to it”[/pullquote]

They’re indignant about breastfeeding rates.

A Swansea University academic has said that breastfeeding levels in the UK are the lowest in the world. She is placing much of the blame on the social pressures and attitudes that many women face and is calling for greater support for new mothers to start and continue breastfeeding.

Dr Amy Brown of the Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences discusses this in her forthcoming book, Breastfeeding Uncovered. She says that breastfeeding has a whole host of benefits, including protecting the health of mothers and babies. Increasing breastfeeding rates would therefore save the UK millions of pounds each year.

It’s hard to see how breastfeeding will save any money since there is NO correlation between breastfeeding rates and healthcare costs. Indeed the UK — where lactivists are indignant about the breastfeeding rate — has one of the lowest rates of infant mortality in the world.

They’re indignant about formula. Oops! I mean artificial baby milk.

They’re indignant when anyone dares suggest that breastfeeding has risks as well benefits.

Melissa Bartick is an assistant professor of medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School who volunteers to help hospitals become designated as baby-friendly. She called it “ridiculous” to draw the conclusion that there’s a link between newborn deaths and skin-to-skin care.

She noted that since 40% of the deaths in the first six days of life were in premature babies, there could have been other health complications. She also said there could have been other factors the study didn’t examine, like smoking or drug use by the mothers.

But most of all, they’re indignant that anyone dares criticize their self-righteousness.

In a piece surely destined to become a classic of the genre, Dear formula-feeding mothers – why are you so angry?, pathologically clueless Stefania Giraldi writes:

Those who give artificial milk feel equally attacked by those who constantly tell them how important and amazing breast milk is.’

Stefania goes on to say that, as a breastfeeding mother herself, she has been wondering why mums ‘who have not nursed their babies feel offended when they hear or read about breastfeeding’.

‘I am aware that this post of mine will unleash a tussle of no small amount but I truly want to understand what happens in the mothers who experience such negative feelings,’ she writes.

You can’t make this stuff up!

Giraldi has no interest in understanding anything. She just wants to bathe in those delicious feeling of self-righteousness.

So I ask myself: What happens to mothers who have not nursed their babies? Why do you feel so guilty? Why do you always feel like your feeding choices are called in question? Why are you offended? And why are you so angry against nursing mothers? Against us.

‘My intent is not, I repeat, to offend or hurt the mothers who have not nursed.

‘Whether you believe it or not, I despise judgment in any shape of form, I believe in support rather than war. What is this battle really about?

Stefania is indignant because she’s so misunderstood.

Perhaps I can help her understand with these gentle words:

Hey, stupid cow! Is your life so pathetic and your self esteem so low that you actually imagine you are “special” because you shove your saggy boob into your 3 year olds’ mouth every day?

Wait, what? Why are you so offended? You can be sure I don’t intend to hurt you because I despise judgment in any shape or form.

Stefania blathers on:

And I wonder why if I, or any one else writes that artificial milk is deficient compared to the maternal one (FACT), we are being crucified by those who accuse us of offending and insulting formula feeding mothers?

‘Basically, as soon as anyone talks about breastfeeding, here comes the army of those who wrongly translate every word you say into a threat, an offense towards those who did not breastfeed.

Here’s a thought, Stefania: maybe no one is offended that you breastfeed; they’re offended by your self-righteousness.

Ask yourself, Stefania, is it pleasureable to know with certainty, that you are right and your those lazy morons who formula feed are deeply, despicably wrong? Do you feel proud that that your method of helping others is so purely motivated and correct that all criticism can be dismissed with a shrug?

Because the truth is that this has nothing to do with breastfeeding and everything to do with the lactivist addiction to self-righteousness. It doesn’t matter to lactivists that the benefits of breastfeeding are trivial. It doesn’t matter to them that insufficient breastmilk is common. And it certainly doesn’t matter that aggressive breastfeeding promotion harms literately tens of thousands of infants each year. The only thing that matters to them it that delightful hit of dopamine that occurs every time they declare their inherent superiority — not, heaven forefend because they are bragging — but because they are selflessly educating formula feeding mothers by pointing out their faults.

Lactivists are addicted to self-righteousness. The question they must ask themselves is whether they are capable of kicking the habit.