Dad ‘Breastfeeds’ Baby – Internet Burns Down

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New dad Maxamillian Neubauer became an internet meme of sorts when he posted photos of himself “breastfeeding” his baby on Facebook. Yes, it did involve fake nipples and a milk delivery system, so we’re not talking about medicine going crazy. But, the level of hate Neubauer has seen on social media is quite simply disturbing.

He was lucky, in the sense that his wife just had some complications that prevented her from breastfeeding. Of course, it’s fair to guess that the people who were calling him out for being unnatural at best, profane terms at worst, didn’t bother to think of alternative situations.

Would there be so much venom spent on this if the picture was of a father doing the same thing after losing his child’s mother in childbirth? It is a valid question, because this milk delivery system probably has been used in that kind of situation.

The point is to do something that most professionals agree is good for newborns – establish skin on skin contact with parents as soon as possible to aid in emotional bonding between parents and children.

So, babies born in situations where their mothers are unable to breastfeed shortly after birth should be denied this even if the father is willing to step in with the help of a milk delivery system? Further, those fathers are somehow “creepy,” “disgusting,” or any other negative term because they want to make sure their children sense from early on that they are loved? That is what we are talking about – parental bonding is love.

I’d like to think that all of that negativity is just the result of people not thinking through what they were saying before posting. That’s quite common. Maybe they just went with their gut reactions to just the photo, didn’t bother to read the story behind it, and may not have been so hateful if they realized Neubauer wasn’t doing a stunt to shock people. Perhaps there would have been fewer hateful comments if people would have read about the fact that his wife wasn’t physically capable of breastfeeding. Or maybe it’s just another sign of the rampant lack of empathy out there. If you’ve read this far and had initially been upset with the photo, where do you stand now?

Image: Facebook/Maxamillian Neubauer

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Dad ‘Breastfeeds’ Baby – Internet Burns Down

Art Gallery Twitter-style with #VisibleWomen

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If you’re into art – illustrations particularly – it might not hurt to take a moment and look up #VisibleWomen on Twitter. A significant number of female artists have taken to social media to show their work:

Yes, these women are out there doing their work in places you actually know about.

Here’s some from Disney:

And Cartoon Network:

And the world of comic books:

And fantasy/video games:

All I can say is drop by Twitter, check out #VisibleWomen, and keep scrolling to see the work from these remarkable women.

Image: Twitter/Maria Nguyen/@DTNart

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Source: Subculture

Art Gallery Twitter-style with #VisibleWomen

Sexual Assault, Harassment, and ‘Me Too’

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Alyssa Milano opened the proverbial can of worms by posting on Twitter:

This lead to an avalanche of “Me too” posts on social media in general, not just Twitter. Many women started describing what they have endured in their lives – sexual harassment and assaults – and many people started getting upset about the two being placed together. While it is true that the definitions of both sexual harassment and sexual assault have been more than a little muddied in recent years, the fact remains that both behaviors are rooted in a lack of respect for women.

We probably do need to have discussions about whether or not certain behaviors and situations really are sexual harassment or sexual assault, but we also have to agree on the concept that any behavior that is rooted in patent disrespect for women in general is unacceptable. Note “in general” in that statement. Disrespecting a specific person because that person has behaved badly is not verboten, nor should it be. Disrespecting women simply because they are female is unacceptable.

Most of the complaints out there about the “Me too” posts are centered on politics or annoyance with women who claim to feel that they have been victims of harassment or assault, but when they tell their stories, it doesn’t seem all that terrible. On the political end, there shouldn’t be “left” or “right” on the issue. There is, but for the purposes here, there is no point to wasting time or words on the political arguments.

The women who are calling actions sexual harassment or sexual assault, but have some people who disagree with them? There lies a problem that needs addressing. It is a Frankenstein monster created by helicopter parents, radical feminists, ministers, and many others. It is a symptom of our society, and how we view women and sex. Because it is a societal problem, one would think that it would be wise to consult a sociologist or social psychologist on this matter, but one response I saw that summed up the problem succinctly came from a lawyer on Facebook:

First of all, the number of women I follow Twitter and Facebook who have shared their stories of sexual assault or harassment, in some cases apparently for the first time, has been alarming and eye-opening. Since graduating law school, I’ve worked alongside women who were subordinates, opposing counsel and other fellow attorneys, bosses, Judges, and in a wide variety of other roles. I also have many female friends on social media and in the real world who I’m able to get along with quite well without acting like a jerk who didn’t grow out of being a frat boy in college. I was always aware that behavior like what has been described in many of these posts occurred, but I’ve never witnessed it (as far as I know) nor did I realize how widespread it is. I’m betting many other men didn’t either.

Second, it’s always seemed very simple to me. Sexual assault of any kind is always wrong, and excuses for harassing behavior like “I was drunk,” “She was drunk,” or “No means yes” are never acceptable. As far as sexual harassment goes, no means no, and there is no justification for someone to make those kinds of advances in a professional setting, especially when one is in a position of power over another person such as in the employment situation. There’s also no excuse for such unwanted behavior outside the office.

Finally, I’ve seen several men commenting or posting in response in dismissive tones regarding these disclosures, and that is just as disturbing as the reports themselves. “Boys will be boys” is not an excuse for acting like a boorish jerk, and the fact that a woman isn’t interested in you isn’t a reason to treat her like crap. Additionally, dismissing the reports that are being posted as some kind of social media fad is, well, kind of pathetic, as is the excuse that the campaign is somehow an attack on all men, which it clearly isn’t. Stop acting like jerks, guys. It’s as simple as that.

That was written by Doug Mataconis from Outside the Beltway. He stripped the issue down to its bare bones, and that is the start point for finding a solution. Our biggest problem in dealing with sexual assault and sexual harassment is that we have allowed the “powers that be” to over complicate the matter. The problem really is the fact that we are failing at educating our children about respect, and sex. Creating a web of taboos out of what should be clear and concise lessons about intimate relationships isn’t working. Suggesting that anything is free game when it comes to sex and sexuality isn’t helping either. While all the supposed adults in the room are arguing about what the kids should or shouldn’t learn about all that “icky” sex stuff, the kids aren’t learning the most basic lessons about survival as human beings. They aren’t being taught how to interact with each other in respectful ways, particularly in intimate relationships. That is the real root of the problem.

So, do we continue arguing about what is (or isn’t) sexual assault and sexual harassment based on the reports of the women who used the “Me too” statement on social media, or is it time for us to start teaching kids how to respect themselves and each other? Sure, that won’t help current and past victims, but it definitely will help to reduce the number of victims in the next generations.

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Sexual Assault, Harassment, and ‘Me Too’

Lena Dunham Did Not Want an Abortion


Yes, this is old news. Campy, gossip, garbage news. I could lie, and say that I have been actively thinking about the stupidity of the uproar over Lena Dunham saying she wished she had an abortion, but I haven’t. The news hit under a week before Christmas, so life simply got in the way. But, since I have a bad habit of keeping a kajillion tabs open all the time, that one never got cleared, until today.
Dunham is an idiot. She’s established this many times, and even some of her fans would agree that she has a tendency of letting words come out of her mouth before thinking it through. In this case, I’m not sure that happened. Honestly, it looks like people who threw fits over her comments were the ones who were suffering from the malady of commenting before thinking. English is a difficult language, and is misunderstood far more often than most would like to admit. When Dunham said she wished she had an abortion, it probably wasn’t about actually “wanting” to have one. It definitely was about a desire to experience full empathy with others.
I’ll clarify that, since the point is that this whole situation was a matter of words misunderstood. Dunham seemed to be expressing both a desire to fully understand how women who have had abortions feel, and some level of guilt over previously pointing out that she hadn’t needed to have an abortion during her life. In other words, she wasn’t trying to glorify abortion, at all.
While hosting Women of the Hour, the Girls creator recalled a visit to a Texas Planned Parenthood years ago, during which a girl asked her to share her experience with abortion.
“I sort of jumped. ‘I haven’t had an abortion,’ I told her. I wanted to make it really clear to her that, as much as I was going out and fighting for other women’s options, I myself had never had an abortion,”recalled Dunham, 30.
“And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue. Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt that it was important that people know that I was unblemished in this department.”
Context is everything, and that definitely is the case here. I’m sorry, but I don’t get where the outrage came from on this. Were the people who got upset thinking that Dunham was looking down on women who had abortions? Well, that would be wrong, because she characterized women she knows who have had abortions as “brave.” Are they upset that she publicly admitted to discovering that she personally had attached some kind of stigma to having an abortion? Well, if they are, the whole point of Dunham’s comments were to point out how she was trying to uproot that way of thinking. Again, if they were thinking she wishes she had an abortion because it’s “cool” or something equally vacuous, that isn’t the case either.
No, Dunham was speaking from a guilty conscience, and perhaps a recognition of personal hypocrisy. It is fairly disingenuous to run around preaching about a woman’s right to choose, while secretly feeling there’s a stigma attached to having an abortion.
So, please stop attacking Dunham (and anyone else in the spotlight) until you bother to really listen to what was said. Seriously, I don’t like being in this position – defending someone who I normally can’t stand.

Source: Subculture

Lena Dunham Did Not Want an Abortion