9.16.2007

Boycott Bill Maher!

The Mommybloggers are PISSED.

On his HBO show on Friday night, Bill Maher compared breastfeeding in Applebee's restaurant to MASTURBATING in same restaurant. Which, of course, has all us moms up in a tizzy. As it should. This is one of THE MOST ludicrous things I have ever heard.

Sara over at Suburban Oblivion sums it up perfectly. And there's an interesting discussion going on in the comments as well. Go on, read it. I'll be right here waiting for you.

Maybe Erin's open letter on the Huffington Post will inspire Maher (also a Huffington contributor) to step up to the plate and own up to his hypocritical, misogynistic rant of Friday night. Maybe it won't.

But what Maher's public rant shows is that we breastfeeding -- and bottle feeding -- moms need to change the views of many about how we feed our babies. Why should bottle feeding moms get flak for NOT breastfeeding, and breastfeeding moms get flak FOR breastfeeding? The ways in which we punish women in our society for the choices we make is completely ridiculous.

Maher makes fun of us breast feeders for, essentially, being like animals. He makes fun of parents in general by calling us "breeders," and to further his point, says that dogs can also have babies. Which is neither here nor there.

Maher seems to be bothered that "lactivism" is overshadowing "more important" issues. Somehow I doubt that women fighting for their right to feed their babies is going to cause all the anti-war activists to give up their agenda.

Maher even says that breasts and food go together well -- but only at Hooters restaurants. I can guarantee you that the Hooters waitresses show much more skin and cleavage than I do when I feed my son in public.

It's been a tough week for breast feeders. First Facebook and now Bill Maher. We need to get on board with the CDC recommendations and assert our right to bear breasts (in the name of food) in hopes that we can demystify breastfeeding and remove the stigma attached to it.

Either way, we can't win. If we bottle feed, we're horrible mothers who don't want what's best for our babies. If we breastfeed, and do it in public, we're nipple-bearing, attention seeking whores.

Is this proof enough that our society is skewed to discriminate against and belittle women?

Sherry F. Colby says it best:

...why are some people so hostile to public breastfeeding?

The answer concerns more than just breastfeeding. It is about women's bodies and the customary rules that demand shame, also known euphemistically as "modesty," from females.

Women's breasts today are viewed presumptively as sexual and accordingly as dirty and taboo.

Ms. Colby goes on to state that we need to get out there and expose the public to breastfeeding, to normalize it. I wholeheartedly agree. As I stated previously, "With my Hooter Hider and my legal right to do so by my side, we are an unstoppable nursing pair!"

So get out there, ladies! No need to hide at home. We have NOTHING to be ashamed of, and ONLY our babies to nourish.

Check out my follow up post and to see what other fabulous women are saying, go to the round-ups here, here, and/or here.

I know a lot of you are reading this post, so please leave a comment, let me know what you think (and then go look at the cute baby pictures on my other posts)!

17 comments:

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

I'm standing and cheering for your post!
"Maher seems to be bothered that "lactivism" is overshadowing "more important" issues. Somehow I doubt that women fighting for their right to feed their babies is going to cause all the anti-war activists to give up their agenda." So true.

Thanks for furthering our cause!

http://awholelotofnothing.net

Cathy said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I'll be writing about this soon (if only Liam will sleep today)!

#1 said...

You go Girl! Women have the right to breastfeed in public, and those who do should be treated with courtesy and respect. Great post!

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Great post, VDog! I mulled all day on a post, but I'm too angry to write anything intelligent and without copious amounts of cursing.

It's ignorant people like him that perpetuate the mysticism that is breastfeeding. It's ignorant people like him that cause women to stop breastfeeding because they're tired of being stuck at home for fear of backlash for feeding their children in public.

When he said that this could have been avoided if women weren't so lazy and unprepared, I had visions of ripping his pathetic little head from his body.

cate said...

i am SO with you, and thank you for writing such a great post...i was going to write one, but you had a lot of great links here that i didn't even know about until now!

as someone who tried desperately to breastfeed, but was unable to...i support anyone who CAN breastfeed, and they should be able to do it ANYWHERE at ANYTIME they need to feed their child.

i am so angry that, with all the reports telling us how much better breastmilk is for our babies, there are still people like this out there....

i'm so angry i can't even write an intelligent comment!

andi said...

What a fabulous post. You summed it up so well and avoided the curse of verbal diarrhea the afflicted me while I wrote about the same issue.

It is so important to me that mothers stick together on these important issues rather than turning bottle feeders against breastfeeders and vice versa. We are all mothers and we all want to do what is best for our children. Well said.

MommyK said...

I think you made a great point. Women who don't breastfeed get bashed and women who do breastfeed get bashed. What's a mom to do?

Bill Maher is exactly what is wrong with this country. Hooters waitresses are appropriate but nursing mothers are not?

Great post!

Bitsy Parker said...

Well written. Thanks for covering this.

Megan/ Velveteen Mind said...

Fantastic post. You hit all the right points. Gladly submitted to sk*rt and Stumbled. Keep spreading the word. The only way to normalize breastfeeding in public is to just keep doing it and doing it with confident dignity.

Secret Agent Mama said...

I hate Bill Maher.

Lawyer Mama said...

Great post! Bill Maher can suck it!

Karen said...

well said - thanks for stopping by - great to read that from Shelby- be bold!

Tina K said...

Maher is a sad lonely middle aged man who will never have any babies that need to be fed. Back when he was on Comedy Central, I was a big fan, but his snobbish, holier than thou, elitist crap has gone off the charts.

Although I seldom have cause to align myself as a feminist, this is one of those issues that wouldn't be an issue if men were the breast feeders.

And every woman should have the choice to decide what is right for her and her baby. Breastfeeding and bottle feeding are both options that can produce healthy, happy kids. Women need to stick together, not fight about something that is no one's business but the mom.

I don't have any babies (yet) but when my best friend had my niece, I was the one she called crying in the middle of the night because she physically could not breastfeed. The books she had read were all by breastfeeding Nazis that made the other choice unthinkable. But after a week of trying, you have to feed the baby. Mom's shouldn't be made to feel like bad moms when they do what they need to do.

Lela said...

I agree whole heartedly. Maher is a penis absorbed jerk who can't separate anything in life from how it relates to his package. I breastfed my kids in public and am not ashamed of it. If I was still having kids I would still breastfeed them in public. Only difference being, now I would have a blanket that said in huge letters "I'm breastfeeding here! Don't like it? Go Suck It!"
Or something equally shocking to that effect.

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Anonymous said...

Bill,
I've always looked forward to watch this program on Friday night
this week was the worst,the panelists were terrible,I could NOT understand them because they mumbled.
The only phrase I understood was that Obama praised the Texas surge,what did the rest of the troops do take a nap??!!
I'm tired of these other networks being sexist,now you have joined them.
Why don't you mention that Obama was not in the senate to cast a vote for the war?! And given the intelligence the senate recieved,would he have voted against protecting our country?!?
At the beginning i was for the war just like the majority of the united states, till we found out we were duped, and check out the approval rait of bush.
I know that he probally dont read these comments.
I am no longer watching this program. Apparently you have been castrated or women intimidate you, for you to make these remarks.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you took the time to speak up against this.

I only started watching maher towrds the end of last year on you tube and saw this breastfeeding rant and I was so upset that someone who is so open minded about pot, whose girlfriends reveal more than breatsfeeding moms is so close-minded on women breastfeeding in public.

But you missed one point and so did so many sites talking about this. It is not about what is it about breastfeeding that is so difficult for men to take, it is just plain and simple blatant misogynist.

If bill maher had said something the racist or anti-semitic equivalent of this, he would be fired. But will all his misogynist commentary, nothing, he doesn't get fired, he doesn't even have to apologise.

What is worse is how some people were supporting his views by saying he is just anti-bullshit and anti-stupidity.

This rant was vile and blatantly sexist. I hate how the women on his panel never call him out on his sexism. His stupid friend jeaneene garafalo said those of who were bothered were the immature ones on his show the following week after this comment.

Disgusting. I have stopped watching his videos on You Tube. I just wish more women would boycott his show and HBO to send them a clear signal just as we don't tolerate racism and anti-semitism in our speech and media we should not tolerate misogony and sexism in our speech and media.

Thanks for reading my rant and putting in effort in this.

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