If you see Bill Maher consuming food in public, be sure to tell him that his horrible appearance deeply, personally offends you, and you think it’s totally disgusting that he would put food in his mouth in public. Eew. Also, remind him of the fascinating biological fact that people are mammals.
Yeah, Bill Maher is funny, but he’s a real ass when it comes to women. His latest tirade is against breast feeding, which he thinks is disgusting and compares to masturbation. But don’t get him wrong, he loves titties — as long as they’re attached to a thin female body, and as long as they’re there for his pleasure.
For all his complaining about conservative nutjobs attacking science and sex, he’s awfully willing to ignore the basic fact that human beings are mammals, and he’s awfully willing to shame women who don’t fit into his narrow ideal of human sexuality. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a TV talk show host) to figure out that the purity-obsessed anti-choice anti-sex misogynists aren’t coming from such a different place than the Girls Gone Wild woman-objectifying misogynists. In both viewpoints, women exist for men’s pleasure, and women’s bodies are public property. Women’s reproductive choices are up for legal and social regulation. The female body is dirty, and that dirtiness should be generally repressed — except in dude-approved settings.
I’m with Louise Marie Roth:
Given that it’s so good for their babies and themselves, why don’t more mothers breastfeed? One reason is that there is inadequate maternity leave for most women, making it hard for women who want or need to work outside the home to establish breastfeeding. Another reason is that many employed women don’t have enough privacy at work to pump milk. But we shouldn’t underestimate the impact of people like Bill Maher who are squeamish about the fact that humans are mammals. Coworkers who don’t want women leaving icky breast milk in the office refrigerator because it grosses them out. Those who can’t handle the idea that babies should also get to eat when the family is at Applebees, even if they are having something healthier than what’s on the menu. So Bill Maher says that breastfeeding mother’s are too lazy to plan ahead, presumably because they can arrange it so that their babies don’t need to eat while they’re out. Obviously he has never had to manage life within small windows of opportunity between feedings or he would know that timing a baby’s hunger is just not possible. Perhaps he would prefer that breastfeeding mothers never leave the house — another recipe for reducing breastfeeding rates. Sometimes people, especially those without children, seem to forget that mothers are people too — we need to have friends, social lives, and activities beyond the confinement of our living rooms.
Bill Maher obviously doesn’t understand the benefits of breastfeeding to public health, since he claims that breastfeeding is not worthy of activism. He says that it’s “petty and parochial.” Apparently he also doesn’t understand that supporting breastfeeding is not only good for public health, it’s also part of reproductive justice — along with the availability of contraception, the legality of abortion, the right to informed consent or refusal of medical procedures when giving birth — all rights that many women currently do not have. When he claims that women’s reproductive activities are yucky and should go underground, he is colluding with the people who want to control reproduction and sexuality — not normally the folks he counts among his friends (with the possible exception of Ann Coulter). He may be in favor of the kind of sex he wants to have with the kind of bodies he wants to have it with, but his attitudes toward women are stuck in the Dark Ages.
And did you know that “narcissistic” activists like the breast-feeding “lactivists” are the reason why the Iraq war is continuing? Crazy.
He also argues that women shouldn’t get “special privileges” just because they had a baby — which is so easy, even a dog can do it.* Who knew that feeding your kid was a special privilege? Or that eating in public (babies are people too, you know) is reserved for a particular class?
*Of course, if it’s so easy I’d like to see him try it.