Posted by ESC on May 14, 2003
In Reply to: Okay - related sort of "hasbian" posted by Word Camel on May 14, 2003
: : : : : While driving home from work the other day, I was flipping through various radio stations and came across a discussion on breast feeding, undoubtedly occasioned by the British Government's health czars deciding to issue advice that ideally, babies should be fed nothing but breastmilk for the first six months of their lives. Various new mothers were being interviewed as to their reaction to this. One, when dismissively describing those earth mother types who view any woman who doesn't breastfeed her child with utter scorn, regardless of reason, came up with the wonderful phrase "nipple nazis". I just had to share.
: : : : This is also the nickname given to my mother-in-law by her daughters. She is a card carrying member of the La Leche League. "La Leche League" to my mind, always conjures up images of buxom Italian fascisti marching aroung in uniforms. They're really not a bad lot, but it's an unfortunate name.
: : : Great phrase.
: : : A few years back I was writing copy for a brochure for a state agency promoting breast-feeding. I said, "We want to give mothers information, not make them feel guilty. After all, it's not like child safety seats where not using one endangers a child's life."
: : : I was told that, yes, we should make mothers feel guilty because failure to breast-feed does endanger a baby's life. We discussed reasons for not breast-feeding. They were all waved away. No excuses! Then I read some background information that had this amazing statement: "You can nurse even if your breasts are cracked and bleeding. A little blood won't hurt the baby." Ouch. What about the mother's pain?
: : : They were zealots. True believers.
: : : I decided what we needed was a publication called "Breast Feeding for the Dead." So, you're dead. That's no reason to stop breast-feeding!
: : Drivetime radio can occasionally be a wonderful thing. The breastfeeding issue and "nipple Nazis" clearly struck a chord with the British public and featured as the central discussion point in a phone-in show this morning. Since I am male, and since I am aware that the forthcoming paragraph is potentially a veritable minefield for me to walk in, I'll recount the dicussion as verbatim as I am able.
: : One of the (female) callers was clearly incensed at the insensitivity of those who will tolerate no alternative to breastfeeding, and who are determined to make any woman who doesn't nurse her child feel like an utter guilt-ridden failure. She likened these "nipple Nazis" to those equally earnest and determinedly educative women who use the same subconscious guilt tactics to attempt to convince women that, if they don't experience earth-shattering sexual pleasure whenever they feel like it, they too are failures. She called these luminaries "the Clitorati" - I expect that the extremely scary, grinningly walnut-faced diminutive Dr. Ruth (who gives me nightmares) would be an archetypical memeber of the Clitorati (which would make her a Clitoratus? Clitorata? Heck if I know.)
: "Hasbian". Slang for a woman who used was a self proclaimed lesbian when it was fashionable but now dates men.
You guys are just full of wonderful phrases today! This is probably "too much information," but I was a hero to the nipple Nazis because I breast-feed twins. I felt slightly guilty because we stopped "early" because I hurt my back and had to take some medication. Among the reported benefits of breast-feeding is that your kid will have a higher IQ based on length (months, years?) of breast-feeding. I said that I only breast-fed my children until they were qualified to attend a state university. I didn't have the strength to nurse until they could attend Harvard. Nobody laughed.
Seeking reassurance about my mothering (and my own IQ), I asked my mother how long she breast-fed. She didn't remember exactly. But she said, "I didn't have to call you in from the yard."
Another lesbian term - "lipstick lesbian," a lesbian who wears make-up and is attractive in the traditional way. I first read that term in a murder mystery series by Robert Campbell about "Jimmy Flannery, Campbell's engaging Chicago political foot soldier and sewer worker." Ellen DeGeneres says she is a "Chapstick lesbian."