Swinging from the Vine / 791 posts / 2,699 comments / feed / comments feed

happy anniversary!

There are quite a few “not necessarily church related” passions of mine. Empowering women is one of the top on my list and along with that is breastfeeding, positive parenting/non punitive discipline and gender justice issues.

This video is inspiring for more than just the breastfeeding issue. If you watch the whole thing, you will see subtle gender justice issues addressed because of this issue raised by the “founding mothers” of this wonderful organization. Contrary to what some of my feminist sisters might propose, empowering women to feed their babies naturally, the way God intended is actually more “feminist” than removing from them the power of nurturing their babies at the breast as they are encouraged to hand over that joy to the men in their lives - esp. the doctors.


  1. Shauna — July 31, 2007 #

    How do you personally define feminism?

  2. Mak — July 31, 2007 #

    That’s a loaded question LOL.

    If you search for feminism here on my blog, you’ll see several write ups I’ve done - one in particular is a response to the conservative complementarians in my life and is a lengthy address to the accusations I’ve heard against feminism.

    But since you asked here, I’ll do my best to be succinct.

    as a Christian I would define it as the responsibility of Christ followers to continue the ongoing redemptive work in the area of gender and sexuality on the earth as we, as incarnations of Christ, advance the Kingdom and work as co creators with God to see His will done on Earth as it is in Heaven

    feminism is the movement of men and women who advocate for the justice, wellness, safety and equality of women either simply in their own lives or the broader sphere. Feminists work to provide equal rights and opportunity for women everywhere in all spheres of life, to fight against the subjugation and objectification of women and abuses of power against women.

    in context of this post, I have often heard feminists say that breastfeeding advocates oppress women who want to work outside the home (which I think is perfectly fine, for the record)- where as I would argue that women who serve their fellow mothers in helping them breastfeed successfully EVEN WHEN THEY WORK outside the home are encouraging and empowering women in a way that is distinctly “feminist”.

    now, if those women don’t WANT to breastfeed then it’s moot. LLL and other advocacy and support organizations like it are in it to encourage and empower women who WANT to breastfeed as well as to educate the general population about the value of breastfeeding.

  3. Paul — July 31, 2007 #

    that’s very cool!

  4. Erin — July 31, 2007 #

    It’s interesting to me - for all of time until maybe the victorian era, women helped women in their villages and communities with childbirth and breastfeeding - until it somehow became “improper” to talk about these things. Then we ended up with a culture of women in the western world, generations, who didn’t know how to breastfeed. Not that a woman can’t figure it out on her own - but it’s so much easier with instruction and support. You know what I mean? I would have had a hard time without my mom to “teach” me.

    Cheers to the champions! I’m so glad my mom followed these ladies and their instinct for what was natural - because I followed my mom on it.

  5. Mak — July 31, 2007 #

    exactly Erin, it was quite bizarre - - obviously there are reasons for it but still bizarre.

    I’m glad for the model my mom was as well. I never knew any different. It never occurred to me not to breast feed. My mom was a big fan of LLL and had one of the earliest printings of the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Since my baby bro. is 10 years younger than me, I had a first hand model.

    One of my brothers is now married with a baby and it’s been cool seeing how supportive he has been of his wife as she struggled through some frustrations early on.

    Cheers to the champions indeed.

  6. Shauna — July 31, 2007 #

    Thanks, Mak! There are so many different ideas about what feminism means and encompasses that it’s helpful to know individual definitions.

  7. Mak — July 31, 2007 #

    too true shauna - just like Christianity ;)

  8. Erin — July 31, 2007 #

    My mom had a ancient copy of the book, LOL that she passed on to me when I had kids. It’s still on my bookshelf, I think, waiting for some nieces and nephews to come along (no more for me, thank you very much).

    My youngest brother is 12 years younger than me - the other sibs are 8 and 4 years younger than me - so it was always a part of my life and seemed totally natural to me. My hubby’s family is the complete opposite - to the point of my being asked to leave the room by my in-laws when I was nursing. Yeah, that went over well ;-) They only brought it up once.

    I’m not a fanatic - no “nursing until they go to first grade” for me - but I am always willing to support anyone I know who wants to do it for any amount of time - because we know any amount of time gives the baby a head start in life.

    Thanks for posting this.

  9. Julie Clawson — July 31, 2007 #

    great post. thanks.

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