Found this linked from Strollerderby--I picked it up on Lactations.org. Some people are, for reasons passing understanding, attempting to set a record for "synchronized breastfeeding" around the world. Here's my edited version:
RE: SYNCHRONIZED BREASTFEEDING WORLDWIDE
10:00 AM LOCAL STANDARD TIME around the world, August 8, 2007
Authorized by Guinness World Record under Claim Number 191535 of Children for Breastfeeding, Inc. with Membership ID 139335, we decided that our Synchronized Breastfeeding Worldwide be attempted in one single day, August 8, 2007, at the end of the World Breastfeeding Week.
Therefore, the Synchronized Breastfeeding must start at 10 AM (1200 GMT) local time August 8, 2007 at the International Date Line, at Time Zone Number One, comprising New Zealand , Marshall Islands , Wake Island and Fiji . Then an hour later the event will be continued in Time Zone Number Two, at 10 AM (1300 GMT) (more of the same, snipped) Thus, New Zealand gets its wish – to be the first and starting point of the event. Please see attached Time Zones for your respective schedules.
The purposes of this Exercise are
(1) To break the Guinness World Record for Simultaneous Breastfeeding in multiple sites (17,000 nursing mothers, soon to be credited by Guinness) established by the Philippines on May 2, 2007. We mean to do this not by pitting one nation against another, but to establish the record by international cooperation among those countries that belong to the same Time Zone.
(2) To make a permanent and on-going roster of the national records of each nation on simultaneous breastfeeding in a single site and in multiple sites, urging each nation to surpass its own record every succeeding year.
(3) To compare the efforts and achievements of each nation by standards based on population. Each nation will be judged by the number of simultaneously breastfeeding mothers “per million population” (pmp), thus negating the obvious advantages of countries with huge populations like China and India .
(4) To provide a measure of how the Breastfeeding Movement around the world is progressing every year, and to achieve the numbers worldwide that will make all nations cooperate in reviving the breastfeeding culture.
(5) To establish simultaneous breastfeeding as a form of universal prayer for peace and thanksgiving for the gift of motherhood and breastfeeding.
People. WTF is the POINT?? This is so ridiculous, but I wasn't going to blog it until I read that last little gem there.
Now, let me note that I breastfed Maggie, and am extremely glad I did so. This isn't the "bitter ravings of an incomplete woman" or whatever the lactivists would call someone who couldn't or wouldn't breastfeed. And let me admit that yes, I have a serious scorn going on for La Leche and their ilk. Here's why. To my knowledge, they have never apologized for inviting what is essentially a practioner of hate speech against adoptive parents, infertile couples and gay famiies to speak at their national convention. At best, they were guilty of breathtaking ignorance in not checking this woman out (like, GOOGLING her, for example) and at worst, they are guilty of holding the same repugnant views.
I do think breastfeeding is best, or I wouldn't have fought to make it work through weeks of blinding pain and frustration at being pinned to the couch every two hours or less. I don't know why anyone wouldn't at least give it a real try. I look forward to nursing the baby I am carrying now. I also think mothers should feel comfortable nursing anywhere they would feel comfortable giving a bottle -- which does NOT include a skanky bathroom. I never got comfortable with it myself (big boobs, short waist, and a squirmy and very distractible baby add up to more potential embarassment than I care to face) but I fully support anyone's right to latch that baby on anywhere they please.
However, can we all just get some fucking SENSE already and acknowledge that breastfeeding is a way to feed a baby, and that is ALL it is? It is not a badge of superior mothering, it is not some feminist statement, it is not the foundation on which all that is good and right in society is built. It is also not an exhibistionist act or tatamount to pissing in public. It is a way, a damn good way, to accomplish one of the most fundamental tasks in parenting, which is to feed and nurture your child.
Lactivists drive me craazzzyyy because they get so smug and exercised over how greaaaaattt they are for breastfeeding. They brag about how and where they have nursed in public, how long they nursed each kid, etc. What they don't get is this: BBY being so self-satisfied and so militant about how "breast is best" (I have even had blog comment wars with people who think it's okay to walk up to a non-nursing mother and expound about the superiority of breastfeeding!!) they turn off moderate people like me who would otherwise be supportive of their cause. Similarly, people who oppose breastfeeding and make comments about how "gross" it is for a mother to nurse her baby in public play right into the hands of these tiresome people who want to make it seem like breastfeeding mothers are some persecuted minority.
And that's my other big beef with lactivists. Is there ANYONE out there who has parented an infant and hasn't heard ad infinitum that "breast is best?" Is it news to anyone that breastfeeding is the preferred baby-feeding method these days? Anyone who hasn't felt even a leetttle guilty taking that can of formula off the shelf? If anyone is a persecuted minority these days (and I am not implying anyone is) it's formula feeders, who get comments from random passersby about how they should really be breastfeeding and unhelpful advice from everyone about how to make it work.
Breast is best, and supporting mothers in their choice to breastfeed is important. But staging meaningless events and trying to give it this soft focus romantic wonderfulness draws attention away from very real battles mothers face every day --battles for safer neighborhoods, for decent childcare, for a little freakin' respect already. It doesn't escape me that the lactivist movement appears to be exclusively made up of middle-class women. There are a lot of real problems facing mothers --sufficient support for breastfeeding isn't one of them.