Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Response to Jessica Valenti - Formula Marketing is NOT Feminist

The Feminist Breeder posted yesterday on her Facebook page about an influential feminist and her blog post about formula feeding.  Jessica Valenti, in response to news that some hospitals are removing free formula samples, wrote, "But truly, refusing to give mothers access to formula is not "baby friendly" or helpful - it's shaming and in some cases could be very dangerous.  Enough already."  The full blog post, written by Lorrie Hearts, later links assault on reproductive choice with the stigmatization faced by mothers who choose to formula feed.  While I think it's important to draw attention to the hypocrisy existing in judgement leveled at those who formula feed, in a perverted way, the article serves to justify the limiting of choice moms face when they are gifted with free formula samples in-hospital.  Women can choose to formula feed, and can go to any grocery store and pick up the brand of their choice.  This is in no-way analogous to attacks on reproductive justice which serve to make access to abortions illegal.  From The Feminist Breeder, "Just because you've used infant formula [which I have], and support formula feeding moms, doesn't mean you should support formula marketing."

Check out A Mother is Born for a great response.

And, not to be outdone, The Feminist Breeder wrote this great response on her site - which sums up the arguments against formula marketing in-hospital in a super easy to read and smart way, as usual.  Check her out.  [Also, she mentioned me on Twitter yesterday - holy sh*t!! - she's my feminist/mommy idol]

1 comment:

  1. Valenti's post was *not* in response to hospitals removing formula samples, but in response to a hospital policy refusing to provide formula even to women who choose to formula-feed and ask for it, unless the medical staff judge there to be a medical emergency. There is a difference. A woman who is in hospital recovering from having just given birth can *not* just go out to a grocery store - if things are not going well with breastfeeding and she really wants to give a bottle/give up altogether, or if she planned to formula-feed from the start but was rushed into hospital too quickly to get a bag together, the only way she can get formula is by having it provided for her. If the medical staff on the ward refuse to give it to her, they are indeed limiting her choice.

    Wrote more about this at http://goodenoughmummy.typepad.com/good_enough_mum/2011/10/formula-in-hospitals.html

    Both you and the Feminist Breeder are misrepresenting Valenti's position on this, making it sound as though she supports something that in fact she has not offered any support for. You're talking apples and oranges. Meanwhile, the rights and wrongs of refusing formula to women who *do* want to use it are being ignored. I think this is really a shame.