I’ve seen his stand-up. I’ve watched his show, “Politically Incorrect.” I never was much impressed with either. Sure, he was funny at times — who isn’t if given enough airtime? — But for the most part, he always struck me as a misogynistic ass.
I was not wrong, apparently. Last night, Bill Maher spoke out on breastfeeding and lactivism, making fun of the latter and criticizing the former. Apparently, in Bill Maher’s world, it’s totally okay to show tits if they’re being used ornamentally, but start feeding a baby and suddenly that’s totally inappropriate. He compares public nursing to masturbation… because…Well, because he’s an idiot. I’ll break it down into more digestible pieces for the idiots out there, like Bill Maher, that compare breastfeeding to masturbation because they are both “natural” acts.
Breastfeeding is compared to masturbation, defecation, urination, spitting, and a whole slew of unappetizing but ultimately natural acts by morons everywhere. Here’s a newsflash for you: breastfeeding is natural, yes, and those other things are also natural. Death is also natural, but lactivists are not advocating for public death. “Because it’s natural” is not the only reason to breastfeed. It’s a minor one, not sufficient to fully explain why breastfeeding is better than formula feeding for the infant, just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.
Yes, breastfeeding is natural, but that’s not why most people choose to do it. Women choose it for their babies, and work so hard to make it a reality for themselves, because it’s the best, most healthful feeding choice available to them. Many women who breastfeed successfully cannot pump enough milk to make a full bottle for their babies, a fact that is completely ignored by these (usually men) who criticize women who breastfeed in public by saying they “don’t plan ahead” or are “lazy.” Additionally, a lot of breastfed babies would refuse to drink from a bottle even if their moms did manage to squeeze out enough milk to feed them. You cannot force a baby to eat, either at the breast or from a bottle. What are these women expected to do? Stay at home for two years plus? Never go anywhere, because Bill Maher and others like him deem breastfeeding moms a “nuisance?” (Post-partum depression due to isolation…? Nah… Just tell those ‘whiny’ post-partum women to pop a pill to ‘deal with it,’ right, Bill?) Oh wait, I know what you really want… You want these mothers to wean their babies prematurely so that you don’t have to bother with averting your gaze when you see their babies eating in public. That’s more like it, right? (Remember, many babies refuse to nurse if you cover them with a blanket, so that’s not an option either.)
So, Bill, our cause isn’t “important” enough? This is a public health crisis, as far as I’m concerned, apparently a much bigger one than I initially thought with influential people like you poisoning the minds of your audience members with this dreck, yet you don’t think it’s “important” because you can’t appreciate the effect it has on society? At least tell me you received a check from the IFC, or that you have shares in formula stock, so that the selling of your soul actually made you some money. I wouldn’t be surprised either way, actually. Your stand-up has always had misogynistic overtones, so you probably did this (and gave the formula companies a foothold, probably without even intending to) for free.
Look, I’m all for global warming awareness. There’s definitely enough evidence to indicate that’s a real problem. This awareness of global warming and other salient issues does not preclude me from also being aware of the importance of getting more mothers to breastfeed, and for fighting for the rights of these same mothers to be openly accepted in society when they take their children out in public. How does one negate the other?! I don’t follow your line of (completely irrational) thinking…
Here’s video of Bill Maher making a complete ass of himself. The anti-lactivism segment starts when the YouTube counter reads 2:51. (Those of you in the know will notice Bill Maher is extra clueless since he states that the Applebee’s nurse-out was the “world’s first.” My previous post dispels that bit of fiction definitively.)
Update: The blog response has been overwhelming regarding Bill Maher’s anti-breastfeeding-in-public stance. Salon featured an article about it (in which this blog, as well as others, were linked) entitled “Bill Maher: ‘Don’t Show me Your Tits!’” So, is the next step a nurse-in at the “Real Time with Bill Maher” studio? This ought to be interesting…