It is another common assumption that a single mother is a woman who puts her sex life ahead of her social responsibility. Manipulative or sexual, she exhibits either too much self-control or not enough (what is never mentioned in relation to teenage pregnancies is the possibility of child abuse and rape). Behind the idea of maternal virtue, therefore, another demand and/or reproach. A mother is a woman whose sexual being must be invisible. She must save the world from her desire – a further projection that allows the world to conceal from itself the unmanageable nature of all human sexuality, and its own voraciousness. Even in the years leading up to the 1960s, when there was more sympathy for the predicament of single mothers, the basic assumption was there. ‘Innocent’ girls could get into trouble and deserved understanding ‘provided that they did not flaunt their transgressions’. Nor is the childless woman immune from sexual taint. ‘Surely,’ one journalist said recently, expressing a common attitude to the declining birth rate in 21st-century France, ‘a woman who refuses to be a mother enjoys lovemaking rather too much?’
In this context, ancient Greece and Rome are again refreshing. Cleopatra, deemed the most desirable of women, was the mother of four children, one, she claimed, by Julius Caesar and the three youngest by Mark Antony, something most representations of Cleopatra conspire not to remember or talk about (no one I have mentioned this to had the faintest idea she was a mother).
From this amazing essay, “Mothers” in the London Review of Books by Jacqueline Rose.
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Posted in babies, breastfeeding, celebrity breastmilk, feminism, feminist motherhood, motherhood, motherhood bliss, pop culture, sexy breastfeeding?, yummy mummy on September 20, 2013|
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Vogue Netherlands has included a photograph of their model breastfeeding in a fashion spread and the photo looks great. As some of you may know, I love a non-traditional breastfeeding photo and I collect them on this blog. Mothers looking glamorous or dangerous while breastfeeding are my favourites.
But I just want to say about this photo.. that is a terrible latch, madam. Hurts like hell when a baby sucks on the end of your nipple instead of latching on properly.
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I currently have an incoming link from Fark.com with a thread on extended breastfeeding, and it’s Fark.com so you’re not expecting much breastfeeding enlightenment and there isn’t, but then this:
baska: Can you not provide adequate comfort and reassurance without sticking a tit in the kid’s mouth?
factoryconnection: If nursing is suddenly inappropriate for comforting a child, then why should any other childish comfort be appropriate? For the record, I cannot comfort a child with my breast as I’m a guy. I’ve lived with a breastfeeding wife for the last five years (across three kids) and have seen:
1. Nothing remotely creepy nor sexual between mother and child (including our many friends that nursed their kids)
2. No “whipping out” of anything in public and even rarely in private
3. No strange behavior as a result of having weaned after 12 months of age, nor any particular air of indulgence at offering the same.
It is just so strange to see the terror with which seemingly reasonable farkers react to the thought of a 15-month-old nursing. I mean, the AWs on here that use their titties to get farkers to buy them things off their Amazon wishlists I understand; their relationship with their tits is a uniquely commercial one. But man there’s a whole lot of breathless fear of nursing on this site.
I’d like to offer a tip of the cap to those that suggested “American Suckers,” “Jugrats,” and “Battlestar Lactica” however. Those were good.
I really like seeing The Dads call this crap out instead of The Mums for a change.
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Posted in babies, body image, breastfeeding, celebrity breastmilk, feminism, motherhood, motherhood bliss, pop culture, sex of the icky parental kind, sexy breastfeeding?, yummy mummy on March 12, 2012|
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I think you know when Madonna incorporates images in her new music clip of herself pretending to breastfeed that breastfeeding is having its time.
Put your leopard skin maternity bra on and give her all your luvin’ because further evidence for the case that breastfeeding has pop cultural buzz can be found here, here, and here.
I feel like this clip for Give Me All Your Luvin’ is kinda playfully sending up the whole ‘yummy mummy’ thing. And watch for the very end of the clip where you will see that punting dolls and scoring a touchdown is also having its moment. Busy working mother imagery, anybody?
Apparently Madonna’s new album, MDNA includes lyrics she wrote referring to the “life of an ex-wife”, having “no time”, “doing ten things at once”, “custody” and “pre-nups”. I know some people find it grating when hugely wealthy celebrities talk about their difficulties with juggling work and family but I gotta say I find this aspect a little more refreshing than the rest of their ‘yummy mummy’ caper.
I’m a looooong time Madonna fan and I also quite like M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj. Undoubtedly some of Madonna’s ideas have been problematic though; whether you love or hate her here’s two very different feminist essays on her that are worth the read: Naomi Wolf and bell hooks.
Finally, thanks to the lovely Veronica Darling for the tip on the clip.
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Posted in babies, breastfeeding, celebrity breastmilk, feminism, motherhood, motherhood sux, pop culture, sex of the icky parental kind, sexy breastfeeding?, work and family (im)balance, yummy mummy on November 8, 2011|
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Remember this? A breastfeeding portrait of pornographer and feminist performance artist, Madison Young that led another pornographer to accuse her of exploiting and sexualising her baby? Well, Tracy Clark-Flory has just interviewed Madison Young over at Salon on the whole controversy.
Why is the issue of sex and motherhood such a potent subject?
People obviously have a lot of issues around moms, regardless of whether their sexuality is documented on camera. Just Jane Smith having a sex life and having a kid and being out about it is controversial.
I like to make art about what’s going on in my life right now, and my child is totally consuming my life. Even when I’m not with her, my identity is affected by her existence. She’s my inspiration for basically everything that I do now. People would tell me before that everything would change when I had a kid, but I thought they meant, “You’ll never do adult film again” or “You’ll never make art again.” It’s not those kinds of things but rather why you’re doing it or how you do it.
We’re creating our own family, in our own way, instead of feeling like we have to move to the suburbs and have nine-to-fives and give up all that we are because we have a kid.
Let’s talk about the controversy over the breast-feeding image.
What was interesting was that people were projecting all these fears and hang-ups that they have onto that image. So I think there’s obviously some conversation that needs to happen around it, and hopefully we can create some safe spaces for those conversations.
That’s why when people started using the p-word [pedophile], it just seemed so incredibly loaded and dangerous. As a mom, you’re constantly worried: Am I doing the right thing? Am I giving her enough love? Should I be here talking to you instead of being with her right now? It is gut-wrenching to leave her when I go to work every day. And then you feel like you’re not doing as good of a job at work because you’re thinking, “I have to hurry home to my child!” These are things that every mom, especially every working mom, deals with. It’s really challenging on top of that when you have numerous articles and comments from strangers about how you’re not doing a good enough job parenting, because you already have your own anxieties around that anyway.
Cross-posted at Hoyden About Town.
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