UTS: Team #FeedBabies, or how the Religious Right weaponizes Facebook to make you feel bad about Similac and working, while also exploiting SAH parents & every impoverished parent on the planet in the name of Breast is Best (for whom?) With a side of misogyny & corporate malfeasance.

https://threadreaderapp.com/embed/1016428436766777344.js

Usually when people write connections like that, we’re talking conspiracy theories. But nope, this is just corporate evil & exploitation in the name of profit.


Trigger Warning: A thread on the commodification & conscription of women’s bodies. You’ve been warned. Exploring relationships between childbearing, work, coercive control, breast feeding, formula, gig economies, capitalist exploitation, colonialism and colonialist paternalism…

2. In this week’s culture war, the Leche Paratroopers have attacked the Working Parents Brigade. I’m making my stand: I’m Team #FeedBabies I will not cede ground to either side. I posit that both sides are oppressive. Formula is an undeniable good for economic & social justice.

3. Personal experience: I’d be dead without formula. Smother was a shitty parent, way too young, had a massive staph infection (or something) at my birth. (She’s been known to exaggerate.) My gran & g’gran were my primary caretakers.

4. Both well into menopause (thx routine hysterectomies)

No wetnurses in 1970s Indiana (thank gods & angels.May that vile form of human exploitation never return). Formula existed. I got a healthy microbiome from fingers in my mouth & kisseds & dirt & sharing biscuits w/ the dog.

5. (Pro tip: the tiny white Milkbones in the 70s small dog multicolored assortment taste better than baby teething cookies from the same period & almost like animal crackers, but less sweet. I loved my teacup poodle brother. He socialized me.)

6. In fact, perhaps I’ve a healthier microbiome than my full siblings, who were both breastfed (for reasons.) Both have Smother’s full devastating & significant digestive, reproductive & metabolic disorders; I have almost none. Maybe mitosis, maybe acquired. Can’t know.

7. I know Nestle was awful in the 70s. They’ve remained awful. They’re profiting off Flint’s lead water. You needn’t tell me they’re evil & have been evil. Yet, I will still defend sending baby milk and water to Ethiopia & Eritrea in the early 80s. Starving moms don’t make milk.

8. Food aid was being stolen. Drought & heat & fucking warlords. A dehydrated mom can’t make milk. Gran caring for baby after mom got kidnapped also can’t make milk. Breast is only best when Mom is a person with agency & nutrition & water & safety.

9. Formula offers a slim chance of survival for mom & baby when both are starving. And yes, Nestle did send water. That’s HOW Big Water went big.

10.

You didn’t think it manufactured itself for Yuppies, did you? Perrier & Evian were legacies of 18th & 19th century water cures.

Nope, crisis water is a thing; More so the tech to make the bottles. (Fuck you, too, Dupont.) Marketing it was Nestle’s evil genius.

11. My big issue with Leche Paratroopers is how paternalistic their Only Breast schtick is. Oh, those foolish brown women were totally taken in by that big nasty corporation & 40 years later are still completely stupid & have learned nothing and must be protected from themselves.

12. Read that back. Read how awful that sounds. It denies agency to all of those women who were making rational economic decisions based on their knowledge & circumstances. They had incomplete information coming from self-serving sources.

13. Guess what? I’m a reasonably wealthy white woman with a doctorate in the sciences & I make rational decisions with incomplete information from flawed sources every single day. That’s *agency* It’s power. All women have a right to her own decisions. Especially poor brown ones.

14. Yes, Nestle exploited women & children for profit. Let me introduce you to Facebook, 200K MLMs, antivax, Wellness Mama, avocado wolf guy, Baby Einstein, lead paint & leaded gasoline industry. Fast Food, Big Tobacco &King Sugar. Agribusiness, cereal processing, fast fashion.

15.

There is not an industry in the world that doesn’t exploit for profit.

16. Note the UN is not calling on Facebook to shut down the antivax ad rev for the Mommy blog mafia even though that is objectively more harmful to the entire planet & much easier to control. Take out 80% of the delivery system (FB, ad rev) and antivax falls apart.

17. But agency is fine when it’s women with internet connections telling lies, right? Sharing lies about pizza places and daycare centers performing rituals in their non-existent basements? Of course people are free to lie when it advantages them.

18. Speaking of exploitative relationships, let us not forget the hellish collaboration of the anti-choice, anti-contraception, anti-suffrage religious right & breast-feeding advocacy. Catholic & Evangelical sources are founders & funders.

Founding Mothers – La Leche League – The Lives They Lived – Obituaries

The stay-at-home feminists of La Leche league.

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/magazine/28froelich-t.html

19. Most local BF advocacies rely on evangelical churches for space & volunteers. No pissing off the hand that feeds. Better talk up anti-contraception. Advocate for white collar pumping rooms, not comprehensive paid parental leave. Better condemn gay men with babies since…

20. Here’s why: making it extremely difficult to feed babies EXCEPT at breast means gay men have no chance of adopting/having surrogate children. (watch the TERFs gloat themselves into a stroke.) Widowers who lose their wives in childbirth will be fucked. Maybe lose baby, too.

21. Women who need meds – HIV, TB, psych, insulin, Crohn’s, whatev – will be discouraged from having children at all b/c breastfeeding & meds are a bad idea…

Hi, Eugenics. Haven’t seen you in a while.

22. It discourages all women from working during their 20s & 30s. It incentivizes not promoting women, leaving them in dead-end careers. Hardcore breastfeeding advocacy is Kinder Kirche Kuchen, updated w/ some crunchy granola 1950s veneer.

23. It says women should focus on babies, to the exclusion of their own ambitions/talents & glory in their biological determinism. (This worldview grudgingly allows AFAB if they keep their ovaries & don’t overdo T. It treats transmasc like a costume, so they’re not trans allies.)

24. But making formula rare won’t stop ambitious, wealthy, powerful women. It never has. Forcing a ‘Breast Only’ world creates opportunities for exploitation. Wetnurses. In the US, it’s milk banks; breast milk’s an expensive commodity right now. There’s a ton of profit to be had.

25.

You know who’s watching? Nestle. Silicon Valley. Monsanto. Medical device manufacturers. Pharma. Plastics.

26. The new world of wetnursing probably won’t be ‘rent a woman to live in your house’. (Though the religious right sees The Handmaid’s Tale as instruction manual, so being *rented* might be optimistic.)

No, think… industrial dairy farm.

Except Uberized. Gig economy.

27. Sign up for your free pump! Fill 50 ounces a day, get a bonus. Buy your groceries through our company store (so we can ensure you’re not eating Cheetos you junk food whore)! Pass our complimentary urine screen & go up a tier! Best Pay ONLY!(Some skin colors need not apply.)

28. The human cow makes an extra $30 a day; the buyers spend an extra $10 per bottle for all vegan (uh, about that…) organic certified breast milk with guaranteed antibodies and no diseases. (Also, about that…)Blue Nipple rakes in profit & Peter Thiel buys more blood slaves.

29.

I swear on a stack of IUDs that I am not exaggerating how badly this can go.

30.

When wetnurses were common, women couldn’t afford to feed themselves had to let their babies starve. They were paid in room, board & pocket change to feed wealthy babies. Women whose babies died of diarrhea or diphtheria sold their milk while weeping about their dead child.

31.

Milk supply expands to fit needs, but not indefinitely, nor perfectly. A woman with a 6 mo old hired to feed a 2 week old isn’t providing either kid with what they need. Is it better than nothing? Sure, but so it sugar water with vitamin supplements & fats & proteins.

32.

But the Marissa Mayers & Kim Kardashians of the world don’t want a crying, grieving poor person in their house. No, much better if the milk comes in anonymous, cute-kawaii!! insulated boxes, delivered by sexy young men in clean, new cars. Blue Nipple. Promo code LECHE!

33.

But… The woman with the pump who is supplying Blue Nipple for an extra $30 a day? Where’s her baby? What’s her baby eating? Is her baby thriving?

34. In the age of wetnurses, the aristocracy literally looked down on the peasantry. Aristocrats grew taller and stronger. Malnutrition deprives a body of mass. And cognition. Malnourish a baby and learning disabilities & conduct disorders skyrocket.

35.

Hey, Brave New World readers: Here’s your Deltas & Epsilions. No cloning or decanting needed.

36. Am I talking about America? Sure. But also Singapore. Dubai. Buenos Aires. Beijing. Jo’burg. Riyadh. Delhi. Moscow. Anywhere with an urban elite, where major income inequality allows for the exploitation of an underclass.

37. Make formula impossible and women lose the ability to self-determine their lives. Babymilk, contraception, running clean water and the washing machine are foundations of women’s suffrage & liberation. Take any of them away and the cracks start to show.

38.

I mentioned contraception. Yeah, hormonal contraception can interfere with milk production, requiring supplemental formula.

You know what else interferes with milk production?

Pregnancy.

Leche Paratroopers hate to admit it, but lactation is NOT contraception…

39.

…except the way all babies are contraception. Ovulation may cease, but exhaustion stops ovulation, too. Which exclusive, on-demand breastfeeding causes. Plus, birth is injury. Everyone’s tired, half the partnership is sitting on ice packs, nobody’s having sex.

40.

At best, it lasts 6 months. 3 mos of healing, 3 mos fatigue… Calling LAM contraception is functional bullshit, because it is unreliable, especially in the last month, when you may have ovulated but don’t know it yet.

And 2 kids in diapers SUCKS.

41. Please, let me introduce you to Mormon & Catholic families w/ 8 kids in 9 years of marriage. They used LAM, too. (Talk to dentists about what 8 pregnancies do to a set of healthy teeth. Then think about her spine. Her ankles & knees. Does a walking uterus actually need legs?)

42. But if wealthier women (those who can live on 1 salary) who can’t work anyway, or get to work in some magnanimous faux-egalitarian home business like consulting or selling little bits to other moms stuck at home — since they’re doing childcare anyway & blitzed their career

43.

…what’s egalitarian about that? Why should the man respect her right to refuse sex when she says she’s too tired/sore? She was just hanging out at home. He’s supporting her. So what if she gets pregnant? Another kid doesn’t cost much more. Reusable diapers & breastfeeding.

44.

I’m not talking about the 18th century. I just described the 1950s in the US in the white suburbs. Marital rape. Financial coercive control & abuse. This is within living memory.

Pray for that washing machine. It’s the last holdout here.

45.

If you aren’t sick to your stomach at the thought of being FORCED to give up your agency to breastfeed… okay, here’s the obverse: if we make formula expensive and rare because we’ve killed global demand for it, we can force women to breastfeed.

46.

Just not their own children. Remember, Blue Nipple needs producers. A lactating woman is a necessary resource. You know, we know how to *make* people lactate. It’s not that hard. A few hormones and some stimulation. Easier if they’re already doing it, but we can force it.

47. The hot growth sector in private prisons today is women’s prisons. Most inmates are young women, childbearing age, 18-40. Their diets can be well controlled. Let’s give them some time off their sentence if ‘human dairy’ is the job they pick. Until it becomes a requirement.

48.

Now let’s give the cops an incentive to arrest more young women between 18 & 40. Hey, the ones protesting for their right to work & determine their own health care! Give ‘em a felony & 5 years as a milk machine. They’ll never work again. Problem fucking solved.

49.

Have an approved kid & your felony is expunged, except not really. You’ll never work again thanks to that long employment gap. Sell some leggings. Or makeup. Recruit your neighbors & facebook friends for bonuses.

Hey, have you heard about Blue Nipple’s free breast pump?

50.

And if we’re okay with milking humans, why not let them serve their sentences as incubators? The adoption and trafficking market can’t survive on stolen Guatemalan kids forever.

51. Lots of (white) extra frozen embryos that need to be plugged into a uterus before their cryro facility has a power cut. It’s not like those girls in prison were doing anything with their uteruses anyway. It’s not like they care about their kids, or they wouldn’t be in prison.

52.

What about kidney donors? Liver lobe donors? Heart donors? Let’s quit using that expensive machine dialysis & hook the male prisoners up to famous violinists and CEOs. Gender parity, after all.

53.

This is a very steep slope made of ice & ICE & coconut oil & teflon ball bearings. It’s so slippery that it’s already happening. The organ trade is all over refugee camps, China & SE Asia. (See: The Red Market, Scott Carney)

54.

Surrogate wombs – Indian women in Nepal & Bangladesh (Radiolab, Birthstory, Jun 7 2018) Baby trade in US – international & regional adoptions. Public foster to Private adoption agency pipeline. Plasma. Milk banks. Uncompensated prison labor for private profit.

55.

The Religious Right already teams up with the aspirational motherhood lifestyle influencers to promote a vision that says women who can’t or can’t afford to breastfeed are failures. (See: Mormon Mommy Blogging as career.)

56. This is the embodiment of the idea that women’s only worth is in their uterus and their breast. That the idea of a career is a distant second to being mommy. That we don’t need to be educated. That we should be forever at home until our fathers choose for us. Covered. Hidden.

57.

Making people commodities starts with 1 act. I can’t pay for passage to Virginia colony, but I promise to work it off. The captain sells my bill to a farmer. Who cheats me on my pay, but eventually, even as innumerate as I am, I get free. That’s indenture. Slavery for time.

58.

My brother is captured in a local war. I’m traded for my brother & cousin. I’m the new lord’s 4th wife. My job is to feed the babies of his favored wives. He trades away my one surviving girl. Politics. I die young, my bones depleted by two continuous decades of lactation.

59.

Or a girl is captured in a local war. The conquering warlord sells her to a third lord as booty. That’s life slavery. She has a baby in captivity. That baby is saleable, too. That’s chattel slavery. It’s that simple.

60. I can’t afford to feed my kids, but my pretty 1st daughter is strong. The merc army needs cooks, nurses. Men deserve to fuck before they die in war. I’ll get enough for her to feed the others. If she survives the war, she’ll have skills. If I don’t sell her, we all die anyway

61. This is how slavery starts. With seeing a person as a product or merely a conduit for a product. When the Leche Paratroopers say breast is best, they are also saying the woman is less important than the child. That other people have a claim on her body no matter her consent.

62.

Don’t say having a baby is her choice. Pregnancy isn’t always voluntary. Avoiding pregnancy isn’t free & requires medical help. Circumstances at conception may favor being a BF SAHM, but 40 weeks is a long time. Conditions change. Children aren’t punishments.

63.

Now the obverse: formula also oppresses women and children.

(I said I’m not ceding ground to either side. I am Team Everybody Eats. Also team Everybody gets a say.)

64. Specifically in our form of fake gender-blind capitalism. When we offer no parental leave, we force poor women to either rely on social support & savings & their partner after giving birth & during infancy, or they go back to work. Too soon. Baby goes to daycare.

65.

Don’t get me wrong – daycare is the BEST thing there is for socializing small human beings. Kids should be in crèches for 4-6 hours a day from the time they can crawl. Humans are social animals & need to be around others at the same developmental level regularly.

66.

Locking toddlers & 1 parent in suburbs w/ no interaction except each other stunts children’s emotional development & isolates their parents. Who then get fucking squirrelly as all hell.

67.

(See above, antivax, aspirational lifestyle. Note that the US center of this shit – Utah- has highest use of benzos, anxiolytics & antidepressants & women’s suicide attempts.)

68. I LOVE Daycare. I want ALL kids in good daycare. I want all daycare workers rightly paid for their tough & demanding job. I want to see private nannies (who are one of the most exploited classes of workers) become a rarity. (Also daycare/public school prevents child abuse.)

69.

But that’s not what we’re doing. Too many people are working for daycare. It costs more to put a kid in daycare where I live than out of state tuition at the top flight (public) University where I work.

70.

And unlike your kid’s college, you can’t finance daycare with your (or their) future earnings. You gotta pay every month, usually when your career & budget don’t have much wiggle room.

71.

I know (white, educated) nannies who make more than my grad students & I pay as well as I’m allowed. (I flatter myself that we have better hours & conditions; no poop, no vomit, tantrums limited to sun downing emeritus Freudians) Hell, babysitting bought my Bachelors.

72. But the non-white nannies who don’t speak French or Mandarin? The ones with irregular work documents? They get exploited. Paid (if at all) under the table & less than min, their papers held so they can’t leave, isolated, treated like they don’t understand words/tone of voice.

73. (Yeah, if you haven’t figured it out, I am looking forward to the day when we eat the rich. Fried Green Tomatoes style. Secret’s in the sauce.)

74. I live in a relatively wealthy place. EBT/WIC, our food banks do ok, CHIP is alive despite the Feds, good public schools though underfunded (Thanks, TABOR.) It’s possible to be poor here & make it. Barely. (Housing kills. Gods forbid your landlord decide he wants to AirBNB.)

75. So there’s support if you need to work. But work for daycare fees…

But if you stop working, since you’re only working to pay for daycare anyway – and stay at home…

well…

76. You’ve got about a year before it starts to really hurt. Your lifetime earnings as a mother who stayed home for one year with one child will take a 20% hit for 4 years. You’ll recover by the time your kid starts middle school. Just don’t have another.

77. Stop working for 2 years? You never recover. Your lifetime earnings take a permanent hit, 10-20%. Stay out for 5? Up to 50% loss. You return to work at a lower salary & hours, despite inflation. The economics of motherhood suck. Baby milk makes it barely doable to keep career

78. If your male partner w/ a bachelors chooses to be home dad for 2 years? He’ll recover before your kid is 8. He’d have to sit out 8 years to lose as much as 2 years out hurt women in the workforce.

If that’s not structural sexism related to childbearing, I don’t know what is.

79. (Some studies show men who take paternity leave get lower performance reviews, but it’s easier for them to move to another company at the same or better salary, even with a gap on their resume. …

80. …

This is especially true if they can fill that gap with anything, from ‘volunteer’ work like open-source coding/app dev or calling themselves independent contractors, even just handyman/shadetree mechanic/volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Women don’t get that benefit.)

81.

So. You’re a woman who wants a career and a baby. If you don’t go into labor with an extra year’s salary in the bank, if your marriage/partnership doesn’t survive the earthquake that is parenthood, if your employer doesn’t approve…

82. The FMLA – Fuck My Life Act -oops, Family Medical Leave Act- says you get 12 *unpaid* weeks off for a qualifying event & your employer has to bring you back at the same salary with the same *type* of job. (Assuming you’re not a temp. Not 1099. Self-employed? You’re fucked.)

83.

FMLA doesn’t require you get YOUR job back. Like, if you were tech support & climbed the ladder to good tech support jobs (say for a specific client), your employer doesn’t have to put you back. You can be put back in the pool, taking rando incoming.

84. You were a pastry specialist? You were gone. We hired a replacement. Now you’re a prep cook. Salary remains same, but the intangibles -prestige, recognition, slightly better or more interesting work, client & coworker relationships- aren’t compensation, and aren’t regulated.

85.

*Note: Many shrinks are considered contractors, not employees. No benefits in many practices. Self-employment taxes. No FMLA or protections. Don’t become a shrink it you think it’s a route to wealth, job security & happiness.

86.

We don’t talk about it, but bad employers make new moms’ working conditions worse to make them quit. Some employers feel betrayed that she took time off. They had to pay a temp. Mom’ll take more time. They get passive aggressive & take it out on the returning employee…

87. Who, as it happens, is probably in the midst of a hormone storm, sleep dep, recovering from MAJOR injury & oh, right, taking care of a new human who has no words & no off switch. New moms aren’t at the top of their ‘reading the asshole weather’ game 12 weeks post-partum.

89. An employer can get away w/ being a complete douchecanoe if they’re a little subtle. Employment law & labor board will probably side w/ the employer over the *hysterical* *shrill* *stressed* lil woman cuz really, she just wants free money so she can go back to her baby and…

90.

Fulfill her destiny to be a stay at home mother!

91.

That’s why I call it the Fuck My Life Act.

As Admiral Akbar says, It’s a TRAP.

Babymilk is the secret sauce that makes the daycare ‘maternity leave is a shitstorm’ – ‘take this job & shove it’ -’Kill your career’ cycle work. So if we just didn’t have formula…

92.

No. Please go back to the top. Biological determinism, forced lactation, human tissue harvesting, Blue Nipple ads on podcasts.

That is the Bad Place that looks like The Good Place only when compared to the shitstorm. The one with chowder fountains.

93. Oh, and if you’re a woman in a developing country w/o any safety net, if your parents died of malaria, your aunties got killed years ago, your man got conscripted, you have to work. There’s no alternative. Consider Bangladesh, in the garment factories. You’ll need babymilk.

94.

Babymilk increases the risk your kid will die, but working increases the chance your kid will go to school & you’ll both be able to financially stable by the time the kid reaches adolescence. It’s the same trap, and all of these women are gambling with their old age care.

95. In the US, it’s do you retire? In developing countries, it’s does your kid live to take care of you. When I say rational decisions, I mean hyper-rational & hard. Women in dev countries are the opposite of stupid. They’re just stuck with horrible circumstances & information.

96.

There’s no win here, because both sides of this are based on

Wait

structural misogyny.

To make this work, get that shit out of the mix. We must stop punishing the people who sustain our species. Since it takes two to make a baby, both people have to take parental leave.

97.

Yes, both. And not Zuckerberg’s fake “paternity leave” where the dude spent six weeks sitting on the couch & playing Fortnite after changing one diaper a day. (That calls for justifiable homicide as far as I’m concerned.) Here’s my ideal, assuming a 2 parent family:

98.

Both parents are off for at least 3 weeks before due date, and for at least 12 weeks after. Let’s say 16 weeks guaranteed, required, paid leave. It takes a minimum of 6 weeks to heal after an uncomplicated vaginal birth. 10 from a C. (Also, visiting nurse, every 2-3 days.)

99.

Also, babies have fucked sleep schedules until about 12 weeks, with a especially bad patch around 9-11 weeks. (Shaking trauma SPIKES at 10 weeks b/c babies that were eating & sleeping just… stop. That software build is BUGGY as fuck! But it passes in the next patch.)

100.

Both parents need some fucking sleep during that time. That’s why both parents are off. Right now, women get so sleep deprived after birth, plus the pain & the lifestyle expectations and JustNoMIL stories and …

101.

(As a PTSD researcher, I can tell you how to create PTSD: put someone in pain for an extended time frame, expose their private parts, don’t tell them what’s happening, deprive them of sleep for days/weeks/months & wake them up just when they hit REM….

102.

… Why yes, PTSD & post-partum depression *do* look remarkably alike to me.)

103.

Caveat: this assumes healthy baby & parents. Disability can extend it, or transform it to Disabled caretaker. Also, no exceptions. Jimmy Kimmel takes paternity leave & Mindy Kahling subs for him. The sandwich artist and the manicurist and the roofer take leave & get paid.

104. Around 12 weeks, babies start to get easier. Then both parents can go back to work a little. Parents need adult interaction & stimulation. Each parent gets 12 work hours a week, 3 half days. Different half days. They need to escape EACH OTHER, too. Both still get paid leave.

105.

This lasts until kid starts crawling, around 6-8 months. Kiddo spends 4-6 hours a day at the crèche, chillin’ with other babies. Both parents need adults, meaningful work, alone time. Both work 25 hours a week, divide as needed. At a year, baby goes full time crèche.

106.

Parents get their adult lives back. One wants to stay home? Kid still goes to crèche. A single adult cannot provide all social-emotional development. Volunteer. Have relationships w/ adults. Shower. Be a human who isn’t a baby bot. Children belong to themselves first.

107. What about single mothers? Remember, it takes a village. Visiting nurses, respite carers, retirees who like to hold babies but don’t have family nearby. We help people build support systems all the time. That’s social work & logistics. It’s just a data problem.

108. Remember, I love daycare. The crèche model makes better human beings who get along with others and expect their society to be about interdependence and the social community. Isolated babies become selfish adults because they never have to wait, share, or cooperate.

109. And no, siblings aren’t enough. Kids need developmental peers as well as those well above and behind. A toddler who only plays with older kids gets frustrated & tantrumy that they can’t do what the big kids do. Only little babies? They don’t develop new skills.

110. But THOSE PEOPLE (by which certain white people mean those slutty slut slut women who have hair they don’t understand or tattoos or too much melanin) will exploit the system! No employer will ever have enough employees! *THOSE* women will have too many babies!

111.

We’ve never tried full employment. What we call full employment is 4-12% of adults not working. 4% is those drawing Unemployment benefits. It doesn’t count those who have been unemployed longer, are taking care of children/elderly, working 2+ part time jobs or gigging it.

112.

Which means dude, we’ve got so much excess capacity that we can send about 1% of the workforce home for 4 months & part-time for another 8. (Also, weren’t you just shitposting about population crash, not enough workers for tax base? Don’t we want people having more babies?)

113. But we can’t afford —

No, seriously. Do you think there’s a giant ball of gold at Ft Knox? You think that’s a good idea? Why? Don’t. Back to basics: gold isn’t edible, bad insulator, heavy. It’s just shiny. We stopped doing money that way & it’s a REALLY good thing.

114.

(Go read Debt, the First 5000 years, by David Graeber; and Capital, by Thomas Piketty. And Political Order & Political Decay, by Francis Fukuyama. And The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. That’s your 101 start. Come back when you’v finished. Take notes, you will be graded!)

115. Governments print money & it’s fine. It’s not a private budget, nor a credit card. Money’s entire value is that you believe in it & so does the issuing gov’t. Gold coins are worthless in the middle of a burnt desert w/ no water/salt/food.

Also, no more Glenn Beck for you.

116. Really. Stop. It’s fine. We can totally pay for social support. Do you know what $3.25 Trillion buys? The US spends about the same amount, +/- few billion. At those numbers, a billion is not much. Yes, we have a deficit. It’s no big deal. When we don’t is when we’re fucked.

117. We can pay for social support, as Universal Basic Income or as parental leave supplementation, or however we want to structure it. Look, you’ve been lied to. A lot. You need a ton of remedial reading and this isn’t that class. Bye, now!

118. But *THOSE* women —

119. You mean the white women who keep calling cops on little kids being little kids? Or the ones saying it’s fine to put little kids in cages? Or the white women who won’t get their kids their shots, so other vulnerable babies die? Yeah, okay, sure. No parental leave for them.

120. No, *THOSE* women —

121. Oh, you mean you’re being racist. Got it.

(How old are you again? Over 50? Yeah, I’m gonna outlive you by 20, 30 years. I don’t actually care what you think. 🖕)

… You’ve made it abundantly clear that *your* parents didn’t have daycare available.

122. North America’s whiteness is the result of vile bad fortune & evil intentions. It’s only been so for a geologically insignificant moment. Nature is resetting the proper balance as is appropriate. Race and colorism is learned behavior anyway, taught by ignorant people.

123. Or more simply, there’s no such thing as *THOSE* women. There’s just women who happen to live here.

(Anyway, moving on, and we’re in the downslope now… Thanks for sticking with me! )

124: BTW: if your last name is Irish, Polish, Italian, German, Slavic, Jewish, Spanish, Portuguese, some variants of Norwegian or Swedish… you weren’t white until recently anyway. Being White meant being England English (& not the filthy York part that’s practically Scotland).

125.

And Protestant, but only a few Dissenter sects. Mostly Anglican.

So probably not you. Be glad – the food & music is much better when you’re not stuck with only English Country Dancing and boiled turnips.

126. Anyway, having slagged my own ancestry (I’m East Anglian Quaker & a single Welsh Methodist by descent, though some great-uncles married into the Miami band a long time ago to preserve Miami land rights & I 💜English Country Dance) & gotten deeply distracted…

127. Neither the breastfeeding side nor formula side exist outside of structural misogyny. They reinforce each other to damage equality by asserting biological determinism or libertarian capitalism. Ideally, we would never have this argument. It’s the “Let’s You & Him Fight” scam

128. The people who push the Leche Paratroopers use activist energy to subordinate women’s interests below the child. (What child? Doesn’t matter. Nebulous. Just not poor women’s kids. Drive-thru woman can’t be allowed 20 minutes to go pump.) They want Mom as Milk Bot.

129. They use brown moms in places experiencing colonialist exploitation because the breast campaign permits the delay of water provision, reduces food aid costs &presents a tool to be used against women in wealthier or urban places who might want to own their bodies & labor.

130. While the Working Parent Brigade is fed at least some of its energy by a destructive late stage capitalist employer system that considers all people spare parts to be discarded if they are not perfectly serviceable all the time.

131. And the capitalist employer system doesn’t especially want to be paying those brown women, either in aid or salary, so they’re happy to see the Working Parents Brigade & the Leche Paratroopers kill each other in the trench. They watch the fight on Pay Per View.

132. Both of these are EVIL and will happily see every one of us die of thirst, malnutrition or overwork if it serves their narrow interest.

133. The real root of international breastfeeding activism is the fact that Nestle sold formula to women in countries without reliable sources of clean water. That meant those babies were more likely to die of diarrhea. This happened 45 years ago and people were RIGHTLY outraged.

134. Without being a Nestle apologist (they’re the 1st battle group in the pending Water Wars & the babymilk battle ceded WAY too much Water War territory to them) Nestle did improve. They’re the only formula manufacturer that conforms to WHO’s babymilk code.

Faint praise.

135. But the women who chose babymilk didn’t pick wrong. Formula lets anyone feed a baby. Older siblings, grandparents, Dad. Friends. Formula allows a village to raise a child. Formula means the baby is comfortable while Mom is bathing or working or just being human for 2 minutes

136. Formula is an instrument of egalitarian feminism, which posits that women are 1st human beings with agency over themselves. Its invention permitted the idea that parenting is voluntary, and the love of a mother is not shackled. It is not forced. Mother’s milk is not a chain.

137. The Breastfeeding Only side derives from biological determinist feminism, with a big dose of colonialist condescension. It says women’s agency endangers others & must be stopped.

138. (Psst: biological determinism isn’t feminism. It’s patriarchy in drag. It hates women and children and anyone who isn’t already in power, because it seeks to preserve the power structure in place. Note where BF advocates push for pumping/feeding rooms-not in retail/service.)

139. You know what’s a better punishment than 45 years of Nestle boycott while giving them the Big Water fort for the developed world? Making them use water purification & transport technology where they sold the formula that got mixed with bad water that killed the babies.

140. Imagine if, instead of bottle tech, Nestle put that $ into wells/solar stills/battery tech for point of use purification? If they were forced to rehab the cocoa plantations they fucked up? If we required Nestle to provide actual AGENCY they sold instead of a poison illusion.

141. You know how you make a multinational behave? Well, the Intl Human Rights Court at The Hague is the start. Call it genocide or mass human rights abuse & PROSECUTE THE C SUITE. From all divisions. Arrest them when they cross into a signatory country. Use passport control.

142. They can bail out. They just have to booked & printed & show up for court. Often.

A corporation can’t skip every country. Well, they could confine themselves to countries that haven’t signed human rights accords, but North Korea isn’t very lovely this time of year.

143. I am not actually suggesting anything too difficult. It just takes courage & the willingness to piss off people who need markets full of wealthy consumers more than the wealthy consumers need them. We buy their shit, which keeps them in business. Not other way ‘round…

144. Unless we think of human beings as products to be sold and consumed.

145. And thus, Blue Nipple. The choice is that simple:

Do we support a world where anyone can be commodified

or

one where our commodities & those who sell them work for us?

Like money, corporations exist by our will.

They can be dismantled. Surprisingly easily. (Hi, MySpace!)

146. Let’s fight the real war, not the fake news battle.

Thanks for sticking with me. If you like my dystopian view of humanity, I write fiction! I’m releasing a fantasy series about a civil war. I’d love to have you along for that ride.

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