Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).

3 April 2016

No Breasts No Opinion...

Jamie Oliver said something about breastfeeding recently.
I didn't go down great.
Poor Jamie. Ha ha ha! 

I'm aware breastfeeding is a dangerous highly emotive subject.
So I'm going to tread as carefully as I can, tippie toes and all that.
<Feels Lego smash beneath feet>
Obviously I shall write about this subject with my normal grown up and sensible approach to the subject matter at hand.
Damn it
<Asks the world in general> Is there Lego over every inch of this damn floor?
<Turns on light>
Oh... Shiiiit There is...

(Nice hillocks)

I don't have a problem with what Jamie said.

“If you breastfeed for six months women are 50 per cent less likely to get breast cancer. When do you hear that? Never,”

Seems alright to me.
I honestly think his heart was in the right place. He wanted to help.
The more I re-read his comment the more I see someone trying to tell us a statistic that (if true) should be common knowledge.
It would be good, if it was, common knowledge.

Still he chanked some people off (annoyed them).
It wasn't the best timing for his comments. Or platform.
To me it sounds more like a pub comment.
You know, everyone's had a load of beer. There’s a very grown up, mature adult chat going on. When suddenly your mate, Bob, who's been quiet all night speaks...

[Mid important debate]
... And that, I think you will find, pretty much proves that there is no way Aladdin and Jasmine could have got around the world that quickly, excellent award winning song, or not...
It's just not realistic <Is smug>
Mate1 (no kids): 'You take Disney films too seriously dude'
Mate2 (lots of kids): 'Utter Rubbish!'
Mate2: 'The Genie was clearly helping Aladdin to woo Jasmine and...'
Bob: 'If you breastfeed for six months women are 50 per cent less likely to get breast cancer'
Bob: 'When do you hear that?' <Does question hands>
Bob: 'Never!' <Is a bit cross about it>
Mate1: '...'
Mate2: '...'
<We all look at Bob>
<Tumbleweed rolls by... continues into the fireplace and a huge fireball roars out>
<Pub staff rush in to stop the blaze>
<Smoke fills the pub>
<We notice nothing>
You alright there Bob? <Is worried>
Bob: 'Er... Yeah... Sorry guys' <
Bob: 'It's just been on my mind a lot'
Mate2: 'It's alright mate, we understand'
Mate2: 'Things like that can keep me up at night too'
Mate1: <Can't believe what he is hearing> 'What the bloody hell is going on?'
Mate1: 'We’re not seriously going start talking about breastfeeding and its relative right and wrongs are we?'
Mate1: 'ON A FRIDAY NIGHT? IN THE PUB?' <Stands for drama>
Shut the hell up. I'm with Bob on this one...
Mate2: 'Yeah me too. Shush no-kids'
Mate1: <Sighs and sits, defeated>
Mate1: <Lights a fag>
What are you doing? There's no smoking in the pub? Ever! Sadly...
Mate1: 'I didn't think anyone would mind'
<Motions to the burning tables all around us, the fire crew rushing through with hose>
Mate2: 'Fair enough... Should we go?' <Puts out flaming coat>
I'll just see if they are still serving <Dashes to the bar>
Mate2: 'Get crisps!'

Disclosure: I am not a Jamie Oliver fan (unlike Mrs. Amazing).
I like his cooking and the things he does for the UK. I just can't stand the talk-talk he does.
Jamie: 'Pukka!'
WHY! Yes! I would love a Pukka Pie <Smiles>
Jamie: 'There's no pie? I'm 'aking a pukka salad'
I will never forgive you for this... <Runs off cackling>

But that's my problem, not his.
Being rich, successful and fancied by Mrs. Amazing doesn't really help endear him to me either. What a pukka git.

(Beer fridge? PAH! Once you've had a pie warmer next to the sofa you never go back…
Or move around…)

So what did Jamie do wrong.

1. HE had an opinion, he did. He.
If you read this article jamie-oliver-needs-to-stop-mansplaining-breastfeeding-to-women (of which the title pretty much illustrates what I am about to say) and this one jamie-oliver-breastfeeding-advice-cancer-women. (You don't have to, or need to BTW...)
You'll see that the main thing Jamie did wrong was dare, DARE, to talk about breastfeeding, with a todger as a man.

[Sarcasm start]
HOW VERY DARE HE! What the hell was he thinking? Men shouldn't be talking about women's stuff at all.
It matters not what his intentions were, or are. It matters not that for some men that was probably the first time they heard another man (other than a quack) talk about breast feeding. A geezer too.
No, please ignore all that and just write your man slamming articles.
Bet that helps the situation for everyone. -You idiots.-
He has no breasts, ergo he cannot understand (as obv. men cannot empathise).
How dare he have an opinion and try (failing or not) and help people.
The utter scum.
[Sarcasm end]

<Stomps off to get a cuppa as this stuff annoys me>
<Come back with chocolate and tea>

One of the articles puts it this way...

“Why are you, a male, telling me, a female, about breastfeeding? Are you a doctor, midwife, breastfeeding specialist, a secret woman? When was the last time you lactated?”

And in answer to the first of a lot of attacking questions that could easily be turned on their head question:

Why the hell shouldn't HE? Don't be so sexist. Ya plumb.
HE 'could' be right, HE really could. HE could just be being lucky that day and the right information could have bobbled into his noggin that day. It happens.
But most importantly, and without doubt, without any doubt.
HE isn't wrong because he's male.
That's just dumb thinking.
We're all in this together!
Or did you conveniently forget?
<Heads back to the chocolate cupboard>

2. He said 'Breast is best'
Well actually it seems he didn't.
Which is weird as I got the impression he did. I keep looking for where he said that.
But it seems he didn't.
It's wasn't just me either. Eeh Bah Mum’s blog, which I LOVE, wrote about it in breast-is-best. (You should read this one <Shakes fist> if you like <Shakes other fist>)
Where did we both get ‘Breast is best’ from?
It's there. It's just not actually said this time. But it's on our minds and in our thoughts, as it is drummed into us.

'Breast is best' at first glance seems OK doesn't it?
It exists as a phrase because from ONE point of view, it has some truth behind it. It's a quick and simple way of delivering a message. A slogan if you will.
From a purely, purely, scientific, non emotive, cold-hard numbers, point of view, and when answering this exact question:
"If I have the choice, should I choose Breast or Formula or badger milk?"
Then the answer is: “Choose breast first”.
Not best... Just first.

And that's the problem. Best.
Best is how we sell stuff. It's how stuff is marketed to us. We upgrade to the best.
Best is what we aspire to be. But Best's never last, they are always replaced.
This is the best car in the world... for 10 seconds.
When they said England were best Test Cricket nation in the world (really, it happened), that lasted a good month of two. It was brilliant.
However it went bad pretty quick. My t-shirt saying they are the best lastest a lot longer than the actual fact.

So instead of 'Breast is Best' how about?

"Breast is great. Science (as the single entity it is) backs it. It's portable. It's free.
If you can go with breast, that's great. Lucky you. But if you can't. Alternatives are great too. Johnny Science backs that too.
But make sure you do what feels right for you. Above all, do that."

Mine is less catchy though. I admit it.

How about, instead:

"Breast feed if you can? *"
(*and it works for you, and your life, and your child)?"

So poor Jamie.
Wrong time. Wrong place. Wrong genitals.
I hope it's forgot quickly and people don't keep blogging on about it...

(Shush… sometimes no words are needed… just enjoy the pukka picture…)