Birthers Gone Wild

My first post on this new blog site was called Birthers, and I have blogged on the topic many times since.  Ultimately, I think that people today have taken having babies (something done for millions of years) to whole new levels of narcissism and stupidity.  It isn’t just the tendency of parents to be obsessive compulsive, and as a result completely uneducated in the decisions they make for their children.  It also isn’t only the breastfeeding dads or the pictures of dirty diapers on Facebook.  The truth is that I think the Birthers have gone wild – in the entire process of birthing; from conception to high school graduation.

It seems as if these Birthers – the narcissistic newbie parents that truly believe they are the first people ever to have children – actually get some rise out of being so pompous and obsessed with their job as parents.  You can see it in the way they judge others for parenting in a different style than theirs, or in the way their lives become 100% focused on their child.  I used to have pregnant friends for whom pregnancy was just another thing in the day – now that baby belly is the center for which all things revolve.  You can see it in the monthly baby belly pics posted on Facebook or TwitPics.  And while I can consider that you are (literally) carrying the little tike with you 24/7, and it is a major life thing that is coming down the pipeline (so to speak), it would be a pretty major thing on your mind quite often; however, there are still things to life besides having those babies.

But I think what has happened is our entire culture has become so obsessed over almost every thing we do that these Birthers now have their non-stop talk of birthing and rearing as an outlet to truly express just how much they get off on the entire process.  Whereas before, being a parent was another thing in the list of what we did as human beings, the Birthers have let birthing define their very essence.  Of course, then, it’s no-holds-barred in a world where everything revolves around the process of conceiving, delivering, and raising children.  Coupled with the redefinition (read: loss) of privacy and we are now all inundated with the things put out there by the people for whom babies are the center of the universe.

Today I went on Facebook and saw that one of my friends had gone into labor.  She posted frequent updates through the course of the experience and it bothered me how extremely personal the update the comments that followed were.  While I scrolled through the comments to get to the bottom to post my simple “congratulations,” I was reminded of that episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy has the baby and you see nothing except Ricky pacing around the waiting room.  There was no detail about her epidural; no discussion about squeezing anything from Lucy’s hoo-haa – just Ricky pacing around the waiting room, I think smoking a cigarette.  I’m not suggesting that the process of giving birth is something to hide or to be ashamed of, I’m simply saying that it is an intensely personal thing that is not always a cutesy “hee hee, hoo hoo.”

To put it a little more bluntly, if someone wants to spread their vag and everything that comes out of it around for the public to see, the least they could do is consider how that makes the rest of us feel.

Another example of how the Birthers have gone wild is in their ridiculous characterization of what it is to give birth.  Halloween is just around the corner and people are going above and beyond the call of traditional pumpkin carving to come up with the most unique pumpkins they can.  Along with this obsession over birthing, the Birthers have taken to putting that obsession in their Halloween decor.  When I started seeing some of the absurd things the Birthers had come up with was when I actually accepted that the Birthers have gone completely wild.  Consider these three pumpkin sculptures – each of which appear to have gone viral on Facebook; each of which get more and more graphic as you go down the line:

It seems that the graphic sharing of the process of giving birth has transcended to an all new level with these pumpkins.  And I thought the daily updates on Facebook and personal blog posts, or the countless graphic videos on YouTube, were bad enough.  As I said, giving birth to a child is an extremely personal, (and for many people) a private thing.  Additionally, it’s a beautiful thing – absolutely astonishing.  That another human being can come of tiny specs of D.N.A. is – in itself – awe inspiring.  To devalue such a mysterious and often miraculous thing with sharing every single detail – from the fertility treatments to the end of bottle feeding – is (in a way) disrespectful of the wondrous experience of bringing life into this world.  Worse, to put it on a pumpkin – to debase an experience that is different and unique for literally every woman (or couple) out there, is a little insulting.  As a woman, I am disgusted that someone would carve a vagina with a baby coming through it onto the side of a pumpkin.  It was bad enough when the Birthers acted as though they were the first people on the planet to have a baby; and it was certainly horrific when men began trying to induce lactation to breastfeed.  I still don’t want to see photographs of your child’s dirty diapers, just as I don’t want to hear all the details of your baby moving down through your birth canal.  To the Birthers Gone Wild:  stop turning the experience of having children into such a joke.  Your antics, your stupidity, and now your pumpkins.

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Breastfeeding Dads, or Birthers Strike Again

Today I came across a blog on cracked.com which discussed (satirically, I might add) some of the progressive parenting trends that are almost difficult to believe are real.  The article was originally spurred by some controversy over a video that went viral a while back on Youtube of a woman flipping her baby around, claiming it was yoga.

The video, itself, is disturbing, but the idea it brings up (which the blog addresses) is yet another notion that the birthers have struck upon us.  In the name of being progressive, and of doing everything they can to raise their child the right way, it seems they have gone off the deep end.  You all remember my first blog on this new sight.  Titled Birthers, I discussed the fact that it seems new parents today tend to think they are the only people on the planet to ever have and raise a child; as if their experience is wholly unique, even though women have been successfully having and raising babies for the entire course of human history.  After witnessing and even being involved in some vehement discussions on what is right for infants and children, on topics from breastfeeding to pacifiers, brand of diapers to the pros and cons of placing your child into daycare, today’s birthers have become unrelenting (and often ignorant) in their positions on all-things-children that they will undoubtably fight about to the death, even in the face of knowing they are wrong.

Here is one of those things that the birthers of a more “progressive parenting” generation have begun to embrace:  the breastfeeding dad.  Breastfeeding, itself, is a controversial topic.  While science has proven that breastfeeding is (in most cases) beneficial for baby, the best way to do it (nurse versus pump), how long to do it (less than one year versus up to eight years), whether to supplement with formula; not to mention the issue of nursing in public, have all become topics of bitter debate that women will break entire friendships over if everyone is not in agreement.  Breastfeeding dads are another one of those topics.

Reportedly, a man has two options to breastfeed a baby:  (1) he can wear a handy-dandy milk-filled arm strap that simulates the mother feeding the baby; or, (2) he can actually induce lactation over time and make the milk for the baby himself.  Beyond the initial shock of this idea, alone, there is a very serious problem with breastfeeding dads:  that problem being gender confusion.  Let’s not pretend we are living in some tribal state in South America, or even in Eastern Europe, where cultural understandings of mom and dad’s roles are much different all around.  Even in the United States, where families are defined in a number of unique ways (particularly those in gay couples), there is still a general consensus that each family provide motherly and fatherly characteristics in the Western World.  Empirical science – psychological, sociological, and neurological studies – have proven that this is a necessity to children growing up in this and other Western countries.  To muddy those waters by not keeping boundaries around certain child-rearing behaviors (including breastfeeding) raises concern as to the long-term psychological and sociological affects of such an action.

Are the birthers right in the controversy over the breastfeeding dads?  As of right now, all we have is the research, which suggests to us no.  In the end, whether anyone is right or wrong is not really the issue.  The issue is the absolutely stubborn inability of birthers to accept any position other than their own.  Ignorance and refusal to look at factors other than our own opinions is perhaps the most dangerous thing we, as a society, can do for our children.  In all the time the birthers spend defending what they think is right, they really do nothing more than show just how wrong we all can be.