MilkMeg and lactivists’ crushing lack of self-esteem

self esteem

The Alpha Parent, queen of lactivist viciousness, appears to have dropped off the map. But fortunately for me, a new queen of viciousness has crawled out from under a rock, The Milk Meg.

Meg Nagle, the eponymous Milk Meg, describes herself thus:

In between breastfeeding my youngest boy, chasing after my oldest two boys, blogging and occasionally sleeping …I work with women to help them reach their breastfeeding goals!

I have a degree in Psychology and was a La Leche League Leader (breastfeeding counsellor) for seven years before becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I write frequently on my blog about all things breastfeeding …

I am currently being filmed for a short film documentary titled, “Lactaboobiephobia” which is based on an article I wrote about breastfeeding in public.

Meg has recently written an exquisitely reprehensible post that highlights the crushing lack of self-esteem that appears to afflict many lactivists. In their desperation to feel superior to somebody, anybody, they’ve imbued breastfeeding with significance far beyond its actual benefits, have made shaming of bottle feeding mothers intrinsic to lactivism, and react with cruelty when anyone dares question their right to shame anyone who doesn’t mirror their choices back to them.

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#901919″]Meg, we recognize that your need to bully other women means that you really don’t feel very good about yourself.[/pullquote]

The title of the piece is You’re offended? You feel judged? Here’s why I don’t give a shit… (cached version).

The irony is that Meg does give a shit.

She wants you to be offended, indeed, she needs you to be offended. How else can she feel superior to you if she doesn’t flaunt her amazing “talent” to lactate, right up there with her ability to respirate and digest her food.

Meg, with her degree in psychology, ought to recognize her piece as projection, but she can’t.

What is projection?

Projection is a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people. For example, if you have a strong dislike for someone, you might instead believe that he or she does not like you. Projection works by allowing the expression of the desire or impulse, but in a way that the ego cannot recognize, therefore reducing anxiety.

In this case, Meg is projecting her feelings of inferiority on the very people she criticizes in order to keep her own feelings of inferiority at bay.

Meg’s fragile sense of self-esteem depends on her ability to shame others who choose to formula feed. The idea that it impolite at best and cruel at worst to shame mothers who formula feed, fills her with despair and rage, so she lashes out.

Consider the main points as to why she doesn’t “give a shit that you’re offended.” The projection embodied within these statements imbues them with pathos.

It’s your ego talking…My husband loves the little phrase he made up, “Ego…let it go!” Ego is defined as, “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” It is this very thing that drives people’s need to FEEL something when they read or hear something. “I AM IMPORTANT!” We want to scream!! “SOMEONE LISTEN TO ME AND MY IMPORTANT STORY!” “SOMEONE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT MY STORY IS DIFFERENT!”

Yes, Meg needs to feel that people are listening to her and her important story, featuring her lactating breasts.

The lens you see this in is completely different to the next person …it’s all about our perspective.

That’s right, Meg. You cannot tolerate anyone else’s perspective but your own, and it enrages you that others aren’t impressed with your “achievement” or are hurt or offended by your boasting.

Your feelings are not facts… and yes “offended” is a feeling.

Actually, in this setting women’s feelings are facts. Therefore, Meg, if your claims offend women (and it is a fact that women are offended), it is up to you to examine what you have said and how you said it. It is possible that you did not mean for other women to feel offended, in which case you should clarify. However, your insistence that you don’t give a shit when other women are offended indicates that you don’t care how your words impact others.

Someone questioned my philosophy on not being offended or upset by someone’s words and they used bullying in school as an example. I see this exactly the same though. When my middle boy was being bullied … I said to him, “He must really not feel very good about himself to be spending time saying these things to you. All of those things he is saying doesn’t matter because you know you are a good person. You know the truth so he can say whatever he likes.” I then told him to tell him that he cannot talk to him like that as it’s also equally important to stand up to oneself. After a few days of telling this boy, “Don’t talk to me like that.” The boy stopped!

And what if the bully responded that he didn’t give a shit how your son felt and that he would go right on bullying anyone he chose? What if, Meg, the bully responded like you’re responding?

Let’s see if you solution to bullying works when you are the bully:

Meg, we recognize that your need to bully other women means that you really don’t feel very good about yourself. Don’t talk to other women like that!

Are you going to stop bullying other women now? I doubt it.

You are not special…because we are all special.

And that’s your deepest fear, Meg, isn’t it? Breastfeeding doesn’t make you special, so you double down on your insistence that it does make you special and that those who don’t breastfeeding should be shamed.

Let’s take the phrase, “I’m offended” and start focusing on being in charge of our own happiness and feelings … instead of putting it in other people’s hands.

I’ve got a better idea, Meg. Let’s take the phrase “I’m offended” and start focusing on why you feel your own happiness depends on offending others.

As a first step, start “giving a shit” when others are offended and examining your contributions to their feelings.

If you can be honest with yourself, you may be surprised at what you find.