“It might not end the war on women, but at least it will give our beloved representatives something soft to cuddle when they have nightmares about slut-demons and whore-monsters taking over the world with our birth-control riddled godzila-sized vaginas.”—Knit a Uterus to Donate to a Congressman in Need
I have a friend who’s studying the rhetoric and policies surrounding breastfeeding (and, consequently, formula feeding). Or something like that. It’s fascinating, and I love talking to her about her work.
She sent me a paper yesterday that I haven’t had time to read. But it focuses on issues of guilt and shame, which some women feel about how they feed their babies.
I felt no guilt or shame about formula feeding my son, but I relayed to her an incident from last week.
I was in a coffee shop with my 14-month-old, and a couple other mothers were there with their toddlers. At one point, all three of us produced Goldfish crackers to feed to our kids, and we all apologized for how relatively unhealthy they are, yet so durn convenient and the kids never reject them. Why on earth did we all feel the need to qualify our food choice, especially since we’d all made the exact same choice?
Here’s why, I think. It’s because we’re living in an absolutely maddening era of food labeling and judgment. Healthy eating, local eating, ethical eating, sustainable eating, slow food, organic food, free-range food, veganism, cleanses, gluten-free. Holy smokes, it never ends. And when it comes to feeding our kids, there’s also this expectation that we must feed our kids some sort of romanticized pure diet of wholesome goodness.
And you know? We all fucking do the best we can. But it would be a great wonder if we just called food food.
And no, I don’t want to argue about what’s “junk food” and what’s “real food.”