Re: Formula, Hooray!

1

The comments are bananas: "Does anyone have the link to the INFACT website where we can report this violation of the WHO code?"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:53 AM
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And I doubt Old Navy had the slightest clue what they were stepping into and just thought they were riffing on race car tshirts.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:56 AM
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That's probably true.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:59 AM
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Good thing we systematically make it difficult for mothers to work parttime at career-track jobs, or else someone at Old Navy might have caught this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:01 AM
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All three of my kids were breast-fed (though Noah started refusing it around 3 or 4 months and insisted on a bottle), but the religious fervor that many breastfeeding advocates bring to the issue is ridiculous. Did this Atlantic article get linked here back when it came out?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:07 AM
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2:
I guess that is possible if your marketing department only has young twenty-somethings who arent parents.

Anyone who has a child should understand how fierce the breastfeeding advocates are.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:08 AM
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5: That article came out the month Hawaiian Punch was born, and it was a really healthy complement to all the intensity of everything else I read.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:17 AM
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I think their work in making breastfeeding in public more acceptable has been very helpful to mothers.

We have four or five sets of parents with new babies living near us, and the moms all whip out the boobs to breastfeed whenever necessary. At first, my son thought he was supposed to walk away discretely to give them privacy. Now, he understands that it is a normal thing.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:24 AM
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Oh, this is the Dr. Momma woman, isn't it? She really gets under my skin. Like here.

This is 2010. We live in the nation that boasts not only the highest rate of sexually active adult men who are circumcised, but also the highest rate of adult HIV of any developed nation.

I've seen her throw that out before and I don't have hard numbers in front of me, but I feel pretty confident that the nation with the highest rate of sexually active men who are circumcised would be Israel, which has one of the lowest HIV rates in the developed world.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:25 AM
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And actually, she's totally wrong about circumcision not preventing HIV infection in Africa. It's something like a 30% improvement, which is far from perfect, but also far more effective in practice than anything else, in practice. Including condom distribution programs, even though that's counter-intuitive.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:28 AM
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9: But that just taught me the word "intactivist."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:31 AM
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I'll see your Israel and raise you Indonesia (200 million Muslims, men circumcised, HIV prevalence 0.2%)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:32 AM
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If they'd just chop the whole thing off, prevalence would probably go to zero.

On the breastfeeding thing, boobvangelicals may indeed be a pain, and Mommy Drive-Bys are Never OK, but I've seen too much "Ew gross" and "Get Thee To A Public Toilet" type stuff in the opposite direction to give much of a shit about who they are offending in situations like this.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:41 AM
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13:
it is the shaming of other mothers that is offensive.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:43 AM
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Both sides are just way too intense.

Oh hey, more mouse droppings on my desk. Good times.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:46 AM
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The "ew gross" stuff is unbelievably stupid and offensive, but this isn't even about that. This is about a tacky baby tshirt that's not actually advocating for anything, but that they want to report as a crime.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:47 AM
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Oh hey, more mouse droppings on my desk.

It's Dr. Momma's fault!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:50 AM
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And it isnt just "ew gross" looks, but the entire culture here that female nipples are not to be shown in public. My son just thought he was supposed to walk away.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:52 AM
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Why the kerfuffle from pro-breastmilk agents about this relatively tasteful T-shirt, while this one goes ignored for years?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:54 AM
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Oh, lord. The "breast is best" people make me want to punch something. 8.1 is right, people should be able to breastfeed where they want, but when it segues into "FORMULA IS EVIL" is where my rage starts.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:56 AM
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Breastfeeding is great and good, but it is a monstrous task. So any time you've got anyone taking the complexity out of the situation, you know they're causing problems.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:01 AM
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Exactly, because everyone who uses formula is lazy/ignorant/brainwashed by Nestle.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:07 AM
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And there's a big fat class element to it, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:08 AM
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My mother couldn't breastfeed me, though she tried. She didn't generate enough milk. So she switched to formula (someone else's human milk? It is to laugh, who was going to organise that in the small third world country we were in?). My brother in law couldn't metabolise human milk. The fact that he's alive at all is due to the fact that somebody was desperate/imaginative enough to try buttermilk.

Fuck these people with a pointed stick - they know nothing outside their gated communities.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:09 AM
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21: Breastfeeding is great and good, but it is a monstrous task.

Is it much harder than formula feeding? Harder to split up between the parents, I'll give you. But the amount of time the baby's going to spend suckling on something is the same either way.

I could be missing something, of course, because while both of mine got formula, they got it when I wasn't around -- if I was there, they were nursing. But I'm not seeing the difficulty difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:11 AM
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This is the equivalent of a "My kid beat up your honor student" bumper sticker.


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:12 AM
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26: how so?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:13 AM
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re: 25

I think because for a lot of people that isn't the model? They don't approve of formula full-stop, and that then introduces all the other practical problems if the mother isn't around all the time.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:14 AM
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I could be missing something, of course, because while both of mine got formula, they got it when I wasn't around -- if I was there, they were nursing. But I'm not seeing the difficulty difference.

So your situation was such that you didn't actually have to be there every single time they needed to be fed (and didn't pump milk for it, etc.), right? That already seems to give you a lot more freedom, because you had a nanny or a helpful partner and the choice of giving formula.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:17 AM
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Is it much harder than formula feeding?

In my second hand experience, it depends very much on the breasts and babies in question. It comes naturally for some. But if my wife would react strongly to the assertion that breastfeeding is "easy."


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:22 AM
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27: In the sense of "It's a joke, not a position paper, for crying out loud."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:23 AM
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I just don't see why people get so het up about it. Breast is best, but some women find it very hard or have a work schedule that make this difficult for them, and they should use formula and their kids will be fine. I breast-fed my children for ages and ages, but it is crucial to note that I did have a maid but did not have a job. I enjoyed nursing and I remember a terrible feeling of sadness when I realized I would never experience it again.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:24 AM
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31: ah. So no teething-infant duels?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:25 AM
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Er, an "if" snuck into 30.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:25 AM
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I'm sure you could find volunteers to help simulate the experience, alameida.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:25 AM
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because you had a nanny or a helpful partner

Okay, but that's not a breastfeeding/formula difference. Someone without other caregivers is there for every feeding regardless of what's being fed.

Pumping seems insanely difficult to me -- I did some of that and it was very burdensome. So I get "Feeding breastmilk exclusively if the mother isn't around as a primary infant caregiver is a giant horrendous project." That makes perfect sense to me -- when I say that breastfeeding wasn't burdensome I was thinking in the context of my generous maternity leaves.

But for a woman who's doing the primary caretaking for her infant, I'm not seeing breastfeeding as significantly more burdensome.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:26 AM
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30: Twins, man. That's got to be rough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:26 AM
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But for a woman who's doing the primary caretaking for her infant, I'm not seeing breastfeeding as significantly more burdensome.

Again, this presumes cooperative breasts and baby/ies.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:28 AM
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Perhaps not for an infant, but once they're old enough to hold a bottle, it's the difference between pushing them in a stroller as you go about your business or everything grinding to a halt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:28 AM
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The only person I know who breastfed twins was basically exhausted by the experience. (This was the same woman who had some slight pelvic complications after her twins were born and was advised to avoid heavy lifting. FAIL.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:33 AM
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38: Okay. Can I revise my disagreement with Heebie to saying "It can be a monstrous task if things aren't going easily." It just seemed off to me to say that breastfeeding is generally going to be assumed to be a monstrous task.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:33 AM
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Well, and breastfeeding as proposed by the sort of folks at that link means "no bottles," doesn't it?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:37 AM
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41: Sure. I admit I may be oversensitive: my wife badly wanted to exclusively breastfeed, and was heartbroken when it didn't work out. We're both still a little touchy.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:38 AM
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It can be a monstrous task

Misogynists, the lot of you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:38 AM
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43: The 'no bottles ever' thing always struck me as odd to the extent that it's an element of breastfeeding advocacy (I'm not sure how much this is the case, but I've never gotten hassled by breastfeeding advocates). I mean, the arguments are that breastmilk is good, not that formula is actively harmful.

I get that supply/feedback issues mean that a situation where you're feeding significant amounts of formula daily probably isn't stable, so if you're interested in continuing to breastfeed you want to keep formula to the minimum practical. But for occasional convenience, I can't figure out why anyone would be opposed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:43 AM
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The intensity of the advocates is annoying, but being aggressively pro-breast feeding is kind of a wedge for a lot of other things that are socially desirable, like understanding that mothers have to take a lot of time off and that feeding in public is OK, etc. So I can't get too mad at La Leche League, etc. The real problem is just lame competitiveness between more motherly than thou UMC moms, which isn't really about breastfeeding per se.

Anyhow, I'm feeling that I'm finally acheiving my parenting goals. My 2.75 yr old just started a new preschool and came home on Friday saying "Daddy, are there any jobs I can do for you?" and then started tearing up lettuce for a salad while I kicked back and read a novel. I love that school.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:44 AM
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The lactivist zealots are extremely annoying (though I do think there's too much rage here), in large part because of their individualistic "moral motherhood" framework. There's a lot of emphasis on "educating" mothers, on getting mothers to make the "right" choice, but almost no serious attention to socioeconomic policy (e.g., and most significantly, to maternity leave, or the lack thereof). So they'll cite the superior breastfeeding rates in Norway or Sweden, but almost never make the connection that these places have generous paid parental leave policies.

I don't know about monstrous, but I agree with heebie that breastfeeding is a lot of work. It is seriously labor-intensive, at least in the first few months. It bothers me when that aspect is ignored (e.g., when people say that breastfeeding is "free": it's only "free" if you're willing to overlook the mother's time, energy and labor).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:44 AM
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Man, those little flashes of helpfulness and competence are the best. And they just keep coming closer and closer together.

Newt made us chicken with a rum/lime glaze from a Food Network recipe for dinner on Sunday: I had to help some, but hardly any. And it was really good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:46 AM
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It is seriously labor-intensive, at least in the first few months.

I still want to quibble about this. Infant care is colossally labor intensive. For someone who's not having particular difficulties with breastfeeding, and who would be providing the bulk of the infant care anyway, and isn't making themselves miserable by never ever ever leaving the baby with someone else and a bottle for a couple of hours, what makes breastfeeding more laborious than bottlefeeding?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:49 AM
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I mean, the arguments are that breastmilk is good, not that formula is actively harmful.

This, yes, is a point that many lactivists (hee!) seem to forget. Although I believe I've seen reference to research suggesting that some of the benefits of breastfeeding may come from the mother-to-child contact?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:51 AM
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My thinking on this is shaped heavily by really liking to sleep. Breastfeeding meant rolling over and jamming a nipple in the baby's mouth, rather than getting up and getting a bottle out of the fridge, or mixing one up, or whatever you do, which seems as if it would be much more interrupting to my sleep.

There are probably convenience advantages on both sides, but seeing all the convenience on the bottle-feeding side doesn't ring true to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:53 AM
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50: I'd believe that: that a kid being held and cooed at while they eat (at least usually) is getting something developmentally important that a kid drinking from a propped-up bottle isn't. A bottlefed baby can be getting the same amount of holding and cooing that a breastfed baby does, but there's a minimum of holding that a breastfed baby can't possibly drop below, while a bottlefed baby might.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:56 AM
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In my view the real villains aren't the Lactivists but Dr. Sears and the "attachment parenting" folks, who have taken a generally good idea -- babies need lots of hugs and time with loving caregivers -- and have turned it into "if I don't keep my baby on my body 24 hours a day I am a monster unfit for motherhood."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:57 AM
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53: Yep. And it's a shame, because lots of their advice is great from a convenience point of view if it's working for you, but the guilttripping about it is awful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:58 AM
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The only person I know who breastfed twins was basically exhausted by the experience

Yeah, we needed to supplement with formula, which probably puts us among history's greatest monsters as far as the lactivist crowd is concerned. The next-door neighbor produced enough milk for their triplets, which is kind of amazing.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:01 AM
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which probably puts us among history's greatest monsters as far as the lactivist crowd is concerned.

People really gave you a hard time about that? That's horrible. People suck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:02 AM
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Breastfeeding meant rolling over and jamming a nipple in the baby's mouth

Meet:

a kid being held and cooed at while they eat (at least usually) is getting something developmentally important that a kid drinking from a propped-up bottle isn't

Not a criticism. I just think it's funny. Ours got cooed at depending on how tired we were, not based on the delivery system.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:02 AM
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You don't have bed-pigeons, emdash?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:05 AM
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But of course even if I was dozing, I was still holding the baby, they was feeling my skin temperature and my heartbeat, I was murmuring things to them... just because you're not devoting higher brain functioning to a baby doesn't mean they're not still getting something valuable from the human contact. (Not cross, I realize it's not a criticism. Just spelling out the thought.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:05 AM
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what makes breastfeeding more laborious than bottlefeeding?

In the first couple of months: a breastfed baby generally has to be fed more frequently than a bottle-fed, and the feedings take longer. Then there are the night feedings, which have to be done by the mother, who therefore doesn't get a lot of sleep. Also, I'm pretty sure that a breastfed baby generally wakes more frequently during the night (because formula is more filling and/or takes longer to digest).

I'm pro-breastfeeding, btw. But I do think it is a lot of work, in the early months at least (once the baby gets bigger, I suspect it is less work/hassle than bottle-feeding). And I also hate the guilt trip crap that some lactivist types direct toward mothers who don't breasfeed (I also hate the b.s. stats about IQ, the overheated rhetoric about the DANGERS OF FORMULA, and etc).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:06 AM
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In the first couple of months: a breastfed baby generally has to be fed more frequently than a bottle-fed, and the feedings take longer.

If that's a consistent big difference, then that's something I hadn't accounted for. The sleep issue sounds like a wash to me though, if you account for the less hassle factor and foist all non-feeding nighttime care on the father.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:09 AM
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Of course. And holding, cooing, and skin contact can happen with a bottle, too. (We actually never succesfully propped a bottle until they could hold them for themselves.)

The next-door neighbor produced enough milk for their triplets

Wow.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:10 AM
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And holding, cooing, and skin contact can happen with a bottle, too.

Absolutely -- I didn't mean to imply that there was any necessary difference there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:21 AM
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I'd say it's a bigger task than formula because:
1. Holy fuck were the first ten days rough. Come chomp on my bleeding nipples every hour and a half, you.
2. Plugged ducts/insufficient milk/toll on one's body/side effects that vary by person
3. Pumping at work. This was horrible. And the biggest problem, by far.
4. Lactating through your clothes at times when you need to look presentable. Having to purchase bigger bras/adjust wardrobe around yet another new body.

3 and 4 are problems balancing work and family. But I found staying home with HP to be so brutal that I can't really answer the question without it.

The nighttime feeding happened to go really well for us, keeping her in bed. This obviously varies by person, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:23 AM
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53, 54: Huh. You got that from Dr. Sears? I read his attachment-parenting book and didn't take it as a guilt-trip at the time, although admittedly I don't remember much about that period.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:23 AM
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Anti-circumcision seems to go along with anti-vaccination, or at least it does in a relative of mine.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:24 AM
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I don't think we're planning on circumcising this one. I don't have huge informed opinions about it, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:29 AM
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3. Pumping at work. This was horrible. And the biggest problem, by far.

This, yes, absolutely. I'm stunned that anyone manages to pump significant amounts of milk for long. I pumped the bare minimum to empty myself out when I had to be away from the kids through a normal feeding time, and I still hated it.

Combining breastfeeding with doing anything but being a fulltime infant caregiver seems brutally difficult to me, and Mary Catherine's point about how it doesn't make any sense to guilttrip women who aren't or can't practically be in the position of being a fulltime infant caregiver, rather than talking about societal changes that would make it possible for her to take that role if desired makes perfect sense to me.

Everything I've said about it not seeming obviously more difficult was meant (and I should absolutely have been clearer about saying it) in the context of a mother acting as a primary caregiver, so around most or all of the time. Once that's not the situation, then yes, breastfeeding is going to be wildly harder than formula, to the point that I can't imagine the benefits to the kid come anywhere near outweighing the grief to the mother.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:30 AM
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In my view the real villains aren't the Lactivists but Dr. Sears and the "attachment parenting" folks, who have taken a generally good idea -- babies need lots of hugs and time with loving caregivers -- and have turned it into "if I don't keep my baby on my body 24 hours a day I am a monster unfit for motherhood."

There are contingents who do this with any advice, right? Call it the spun-glass elaboration. Several years ago I read a mom-blog post about being given tons of shit for (a) taking the kid out in cool weather without mittens and (b) giving the kid a juice box. (I forget the name; she had repro-organ damage and a logo involving a damaged or marked-over letter "Y".)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:31 AM
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Anti-circumcision seems to go along with anti-vaccination

No.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:31 AM
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Do-over.

In my view the real villains aren't the Lactivists but Dr. Sears and the "attachment parenting" folks, who have taken a generally good idea -- babies need lots of hugs and time with loving caregivers -- and have turned it into "if I don't keep my baby on my body 24 hours a day I am a monster unfit for motherhood."

There are contingents who do this with any advice, right? Call it the spun-glass elaboration. Several years ago I read a mom-blog post about being given tons of shit for (a) taking the kid out in cool weather without mittens and (b) giving the kid a juice box. (I forget the name; she had repro-organ damage and a logo involving a damaged or marked-over letter "Y".)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:32 AM
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It's as if there was something abroad in society that tries to turn essentially anything involving a woman's body into a religious issue. I wonder...surely not.

Meanwhile, is 24 appropriate? /mcmanus


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:34 AM
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Everything I've said about it not seeming obviously more difficult was meant ... in the context of a mother acting as a primary caregiver, so around most or all of the time.

So I'd amend my statement and say that it's not automatically a monstrous task - there are certainly plenty of women who are cut out to be primary caregivers and have cooperative bodies.

But it's pretty common, at least, to have at least one complicating factor that turns breast-feeding into a monstrous task.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:37 AM
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This is one of those areas where it is somewhat amusing to look at the trends over the last half-century plus. Being born in the "better-living-through-chemistry" 1950s I was raised on formula/evaporated milk (as I suspect many here were--can't find a chart but in the US it seems ~50% on formula was reached in 1950 peaking at 75% in the early '70s) and in fact I did not take well to it and began losing weight. As my mom tells it, they ended up with a very onerous preparation routine which as I recall involved boiling milk. She said the idea of breastfeeding just did not come up--it was a significant class marker at the time (and is completely reversed now, of course, see also white/brown bread).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:51 AM
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74: Shorter me: Whatever it is I blame having been bottle-fed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:52 AM
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People really gave you a hard time about that?

Oh, no one gave us a hard time, it's just that the lactivist crowd seems to have a zero-tolerance attitude. It's the dark side of "Titties hooray!"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:04 AM
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there are certainly plenty of women who are cut out to be primary caregivers and have cooperative bodies.

One real negative of all the guilttripping (from lactivists or internalized) about not breastfeeding, is that I think it leads people to conflate medical (this isn't the word I really want. Biological?) difficulty with situational hardship, and so to overestimate the chances that breastfeeding will be medically difficult or impossible.

Not being able to breastfeed because your working situation (or other responsibilities, whatever they are) means you're not an all-day caregiver for your infant is a perfectly good reason not to breastfeed that no one should feel guilty about -- the generations where most people grew up on formula are just fine. But actually being unable to produce enough milk to feed a baby, if you've got a situation that allows for breastfeeding, happens, but it can't plausibly be a terribly common problem (common by the standards of medical problems, maybe, but not the sort of thing that's more likely than not, or even close to as likely as not).

And from the amount of reports of people I know who've talked about being unable to produce enough milk as a reason for not having breastfed, I think there's a tendency to report situational inability to breastfeed (which is something no one should feel guilty about at all) as medical inability, because medical inability is the sort of thing that no one's going to give you a hard time about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:09 AM
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There's always the odd loon anywhere, but as far as I have seen in breastfeeding circles, history's greatest monsters (or however you put it) are those who refuse to even try bfing because it's icky. A woman who starts bfing twins but doesn't manage it exclusively? Generally the worst opinion would be that she got wrong or insufficient information. The whole lactation nazi stomping round ripping bottles out of babies' mouths is such a strawman.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:10 AM
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Further to 77: That's stuff I've thought about the breastfeeding discourse generally, not so much a response to anything in this thread -- I quoted Heebie because the words "cooperative bodies" brought an old train of thought to mind.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:14 AM
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the generations where most people grew up on formula are just fine.

Prove it ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:15 AM
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This always makes me think of poor Priss in The Group.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:15 AM
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I was sure I'd find breastfeeding horrible and difficult, but I wound up thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread. Of course I have been really lucky with my schedule.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:16 AM
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82: Yeah, I think the desire to open a space for people to talk about difficulty breastfeeding without feeling shamed about it can lead to a little too much emphasis on how awful it is. I was expecting difficult and burdensome as well, but under my actual circumstances (six month maternity leaves), it was pleasant and convenient.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:25 AM
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I think there's a tendency to report situational inability to breastfeed (which is something no one should feel guilty about at all) as medical inability, because medical inability is the sort of thing that no one's going to give you a hard time about.

There's also: it never stopped being excruciating/ baby never learned how to latch/ we were doing it wrong but no one showed us how to do it better until we gave up.

(This is certainly an area where the lactivists have been really helpful getting information out, but it's kind of shocking that your body doesn't just automatically do it right. And I think there are times when women rightly give up, despite having all the best info and help.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:29 AM
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I feel like the word "privileged" should be used in this conversation.</asshole>


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:29 AM
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85: Relax, baby-doll.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:30 AM
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It is my privilege to support Eggplant's right to be an asshole in comments.

Because I was bottle-fed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:32 AM
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84: Yeah, and threading that needle between giving helpful, useful advice and support that can make breastfeeding possible for someone who actually wants to do it and has a situation that makes it possible, without guilttripping or sounding overly fervent about the whole thing, is very hard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:33 AM
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88: This is true of any number of issues surrounding child-rearing: minor (but still statistically significant) benefits come loaded with enormous amounts of pressure and guilt.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:38 AM
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88: I just meant there's a third category of reasons why breastfeeding doesn't happen which are nonsituational (woman's schedule and inclination permits) and nonmedical.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:43 AM
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The anti-circumcision conversation makes me insane. Directly or indirectly, it involves someone telling me I do not enjoy sex.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:45 AM
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88 -- I don't think it's hard at all. People not actually offering actual help can STFU. Instead of engaging in self-validating.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:48 AM
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90: Yep. What I meant was that the third category is the sort of thing where information and support from lactation specialists, or other mothers who've done it before, or La Leche, can help a great deal, but it's really hard to provide that kind of support without having it feel pressuring. I don't know how to thread that needle, I'm just identifying it as an issue.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:48 AM
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And there's a big fat class element to it, too.

Interesting how that flipped in a few generations. It used to be that working-class women, farm families, etc, were the ones who breastfed and wealthier families either wet-nursed (in the quite distant past) or, in the post-WWII period, purchased formula. There was a period when breastfeeding women were seen as incompetent to manage their own children, and likely to undernourish them by mistake if they weren't actively monitored by a qualified professional. You can still hear grandmothers who came of age with that idea insisting that a baby isn't "gaining" or "thriving", and should be switched to or at least supplemented with formula.

Now, advocating for breastfeeding is seen as a SWIPL thing and the class dynamic involves looking down on those who use formula as pig-ignorant or actively harming their children by not giving them the immune-system and contact benefits of caring.

The comforting constant, of course, is that there are plenty of people happy to tell mothers that they are fucking doing it wrong.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:59 AM
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Regarding class, there's a quip about how brown bread and breastmilk used to be for the lower class, but now white bread and formula are looked-down-upon.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:06 AM
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The comforting constant, of course, is that there are plenty of people other mothers happy to tell mothers that they are fucking doing it wrong.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:08 AM
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96: And "experts" and anyone who ever had a mother and everyone who was ever out in public with a mother and...people.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:12 AM
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95: Yes, I keep trying and failing to find that quip. It was posted by someone here once I think. Something like, "the rich man has his white bread and the poor man his brown--until they switch". Only witty and quippy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:16 AM
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I love country bread, peasant skirts, and la cucina povera.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:23 AM
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Elitist.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:24 AM
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Holy fuck were the first ten days rough. Come chomp on my bleeding nipples every hour and a half, you.

I WISH PEOPLE AROUND HERE WOULDN'T BE SO THIN-SKINNED!


Posted by: OPINIONATED BABY | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:27 AM
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The anti-circumcision conversation makes me insane. Directly or indirectly, it involves someone telling me I do not enjoy sex.

Yes, that's a particularly dumb part of that conversation. Among the many, many conversations I've had with friends about the aspects of sex that *are* problematic for them, NEVER ONCE has "if only my penis were more sensitive" been offered as a complaint.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:32 AM
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But actually being unable to produce enough milk to feed a baby, if you've got a situation that allows for breastfeeding, happens, but it can't plausibly be a terribly common problem

Anecdata, but this was my wife. Stay at home mom, baby nurse, etc. Real problem breastfeeding. She would pump for hours and get 1/2 oz. Supply did not meet demand, formula here we come. That stuff was expensive. I now see it is locked up at the grocery store, like the cigarettes and fancy liquor.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:34 AM
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NEVER ONCE has "if only my penis were more sensitive" been offered as a complaint.

Quite the opposite, usually.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:34 AM
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I now see it is locked up at the grocery store, like the cigarettes and fancy liquor.

Cocktail recipe contest time!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:36 AM
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I now see it is locked up at the grocery store, like the cigarettes and fancy liquor.

I think you gave your baby the wrong stuff.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:36 AM
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Yes, that's a particularly dumb part of that conversation. Among the many, many conversations I've had with friends about the aspects of sex that *are* problematic for them, NEVER ONCE has "if only my penis were more sensitive" been offered as a complaint.

Also, the foreskin's presence is not necessarily devoid of complications (NSFW despite being SFWikipedia).


Posted by: Wilfrid Laurier | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:37 AM
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One very valid element of the anti-formula analysis is corporations aggressively pushing formula in areas where clean water isn't reliably available. That's why Nestle sucks.

Less dire but related is hospitals distributing free formula from corporations so that it seems like the medically instructed choice, especially unfortunate when there aren't lactation consultants and other support for breastfeeding.

I think those 2 things help fuel the formula/bf debate for some.

Assuming clean water, everyone should do what works for them, but I do wish there were broader knowledge of the value of colostrum so that even women who aren't planning to breastfeed might consider trying it for the first few days.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:39 AM
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That stuff was expensive.

Word. The free can we got from the hospital lasted for the first six months, when I went back to work. Once they were getting formula regularly during the day when I was working, it was shockingly expensive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:41 AM
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107: The husband of a friend of mine had that, and had to get circumcised in his mid-30s. His report on the pleasure comparison, post-recovery? "Definitely different, neither one better."

Apparently the worst part of the recovery process was trying to avoid getting erections, which were very painful. Morning was not a good time for a while.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:43 AM
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I'm surprised I haven't yet seen the NYMag story on "The New Wet Nurses."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:43 AM
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I'd say problems with breastfeeding - including plugged milk ducts that lead to excruciatingly painful infections, low milk production, failure to latch, etc - are vastly more common than LB thinks they are. I suspect this is coming from the "well, it's the natural way to feed the baby, isn't it?" thought process, which does not consider the incredibly high infant mortality rates of the past. (I don't have any numbers and can't be bothered to look anything up here, so I could be wrong, too.)

I think only one of my friends was able to breastfeed to solid foods without any problems. Everyone else encountered something that made it more difficult, including one friend who had to pump for nearly three years, as her child a) was never able to breastfeed and b) had allergies to every single other potential food source.

Also, on the subject of class and breastfeeding, wasn't there a good Lepore article in the New Yorker on this linked here awhile back?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:43 AM
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"if only my penis were more sensitive"

Okay, actually, I had that complaint once. But the calluses are removed easily enough after a few minutes with a pumice stone.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:44 AM
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My 2.75 yr old just started a new preschool and came home on Friday saying "Daddy, are there any jobs I can do for you?"

I love that. Another great thing about 2.75-year-olds is that they will sincerely shout "hooray!" even without the presence of titties. This morning it was in response to finding a band-aid in the first kid that was the same as the other extremely common band-aid she was wearing.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:45 AM
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finding a band-aid in the first kid

Boy, kids have no boundaries.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:46 AM
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This morning it was in response to finding a band-aid in the first kid

Did you have a talk about where you should put things you find around the house?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:46 AM
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Hmm, that was supposed to say "first aid kit."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:49 AM
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Here's the Lepore article.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:50 AM
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112: There's a difference between any problems and unresolvable problems -- I'm arguing that unresolvable problems can't be terribly common. The terribly high infant mortality rate of the past was largely due to infectious disease: when you take that out of the equation, I don't think there's going to be all that much left to be explained by starvation of nursing infants.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:51 AM
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118: Oh, that is interesting -- people should click through.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:53 AM
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119: I'm saying that there were plenty of times when poor milk production, including because the mother was unable to get enough to eat herself, is going to contribute to weakening the child enough that they'll be more easily killed by infectious disease, not straight up starvation.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:54 AM
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I'm arguing that unresolvable problems can't be terribly common.

Also, this helps a lot. It was probably due to reading quickly but your argument was coming off as a lot more strident than that.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:56 AM
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including because the mother was unable to get enough to eat herself,

This isn't really a relevant issue in the context we're talking about, of course: a mother without enough food to lactate isn't going to have formula at hand either.

I'm saying that there were plenty of times when poor milk production... is going to contribute to weakening the child enough that they'll be more easily killed by infectious disease

Mmmaybe? I mean, you've said you're not going to look anything up, so I'm not going to ask you to, but this sort of thing doesn't seem terribly common in other species of animals. (Again, something can be 'common' in terms of medical problems, without being common in the sense of being something one would normally expect to run into.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:59 AM
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Kraab@108.1: One very valid element of the anti-formula analysis is corporations aggressively pushing formula in areas where clean water isn't reliably available. That's why Nestle sucks.

Absolutely, and it included a very egregious bit of journalamism on the part of Fortune magazine.

Nestlé initially responded to the boycott of its products with a counter-campaign, which included donating money to a research center that funded Herman Nickel, a writer for Fortune magazine, to produce a critical report on the boycott campaign. That report was never written, but Nickel published an article in Fortune that served the same purpose. The piece, entitled "The Corporation Haters," referred to the religious groups involved in the boycott as "Marxists marching under the banner of Christ." Nickel was later pushed off the Fortune staff, but he was rewarded by the Reagan Administration by being named ambassador to apartheid South Africa.
My mother was actively involved in the boycott campaign through her church and the incident helped her to begin the process of ending her status as what we called the "last liberal Republican" (being a Repub poll-watcher for the 1984 election was the final straw).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:59 AM
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110: A friend of mine did it at 19 and ran into the same problem. His assessment was that it made him last longer, which was a big part of the reason for doing it.

I don't think it's possible to compare sensation on a simple more-less axis except under the simplest of circumstances, which sex isn't. My opposition to circumcision is entirely based on consent: Infants can't, end of story.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:07 PM
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Some lactation rooms even make a point of banning infants and toddlers, lest mothers smuggle them in for a quick nip. At the University of Minnesota, staff with keys can pump their milk at the Expression Connection, but the sign on the door warns: "This room is not intended for mothers who need a space to nurse their babies."

Good grief.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:12 PM
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123.1: Yes, I know that's a bit of a deviation, I just don't know how to separate out the health of the mother from the ability to breastfeed and if I am going to use a historical argument (as I would like to) it felt necessary to indicate that I know some of these problems are going to come from malnutrition.

Now that I understand better what you were trying to say - that completely unresolvable problems are not common - I feel like I should just drop it because we're definitely coming at it from different places. My point more comes from the idea that breastfeeding issues - including issues that are resolvable today, but weren't necessarily in the past - led to a number of babies being malnourished.* Malnourishment definitely leads to babies being much more susceptible to infectious disease and death (this I'm more than willing to go look up).

*I have only anecdotal historical evidence for this, but of that, I have plenty.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:14 PM
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My opposition to circumcision is entirely based on consent: Infants can't, end of story.

Regrettably, for many of us, complex decisions that involve a collision of (antiquated-but-nevertheless-still-powerful) cultural practices, (perhaps misguided) theories of public health, and context-driven child-rearing practices resist this kind of Easy Bake Oven reasoning.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:20 PM
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127:Everything I know about the past comes from novels, of course: I can't remember the name, but there's some eighteenth century novel in which an upperclass woman attributes her infant's death to a fashion for mothers nursing their babies themselves rather than hiring wet nurses, and her not having enough milk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:23 PM
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That sounded about 27% more dickish than I intended. It's just that the decision to circumcise our kids was not made lightly. And the idea that there was a one-size-fits-all* equation out there that, if only we had been rational enough to solve it, would have revealed the right answer, grates.

* Low-hanging fruit? Apo?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:25 PM
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It's just that the decision to circumcise our kids was not made lightly

"Son, this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:27 PM
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120: 118: Oh, that is interesting [Lepore article] -- people should click through.

And includes what I suspect is the aphorism (or a restatement of it) that emdash and I were looking for: A brief history of food: when the rich eat white bread and buy formula, the poor eat brown bread and breast-feed; then they trade places.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:28 PM
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other species of animals

Roughly speaking humans are born immature compared to other species, probably due to skull size and brain development. Even chimps show much more autonomy two months after birth, let alone other mammals. Does it change anything to view lactation problems as a now-treatable form of infertility or impaired fertility? ~ 5% of viable adult individuals are infertile in human and cattle, don't know about mice.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:32 PM
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Just to be clear, I learned the following factlets by way of some unpublished survey and focus group data: it turns out that a surprisingly high proportion of male and female students (particularly the latter) find the very idea of an uncircumcised male quite disgusting. This may be due to general late-teen posturing/body anxiety combined with lack of, uh, exposure. A lot depends on where in the country you're from, as circumcision rates vary a lot.

Many of the same people also find the idea of men and women who don't shave their body hair pretty repellent as well.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:33 PM
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131: who said anything about having a son?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:34 PM
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69, 71: I read that too, and had to spend some time remembering the name of the blog/blogger. I was sad shen she retired in 2005, I loved that blog. Unfortunatly she took down the archives. I think people were reproducing without permission. It was Chez Miscarriage and the blogger was getupgrrl (I think in 2005 it was still ok to have grrl as part of your name.)


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:34 PM
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I, for one, don't find unshaven babies sexy at all.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:35 PM
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110: I have sometimes said in the course of this conversation, when it happens, that there is no Preputial Tiresias who can report on which is better, but I guess I'll have to stop saying that!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:37 PM
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134. Such people should not be allowed to have sex. This would have two positive outcomes: first, it would spare everybody else their opinions; secondly, they'd die out in a generation and we'd be rid of them.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:37 PM
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137: It hides the bruises.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:37 PM
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Many of the same people also find the idea of men and women who don't shave their body hair pretty repellent as well.

OkCupid has, as those who have been condemned to use it know, many questions its users are requested to answer. There is the option of making one's answers public; if you answer a question publicly you can see someone else's answers to the same question if they have also answered it publicly.

This explains why I know that there exists at least one woman who claims to be bisexual and who answers the question "which best represents your opinion of same-sex relationships?" with "girl-on-girl is ok, but guy-on-guy is wrong" (not exactly inconsistent but a little strange) and who also believes that women have an obligation to shave their armpits and legs (again, not inconsistent but not what one would expect).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:40 PM
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Just to be clear, I learned the following factlets by way of some unpublished survey and focus group data: it turns out that a surprisingly high proportion of male and female students (particularly the latter) find the very idea of an uncircumcised male quite disgusting.

It seems like about 80% of females in my experience. NOBODY thinks it holds any benefit to have a foreskin. This is one of the many ways the internet is different from the world.


Posted by: Wilfrid Laurier | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:41 PM
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132: Yes! That's where I read it.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:41 PM
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Such people should not be allowed to have sex. This would have two positive outcomes: first, it would spare everybody else their opinions

How do you figure?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:42 PM
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Didn't Bitch say nice things about uncircumsized men? I've never actually encountered a foreskin on a sex partner (I think they're fairly rare in the US in my age bracket), so I'd probably boggle a bit at one, but I can't see what would be so gross about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:42 PM
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NOBODY thinks it holds any benefit to have a foreskin.

They should poll overeducated Europhile city women and gay men.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:43 PM
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136: Thanks. Checking the Wayback Machine.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:44 PM
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142 is 100% wrong, in my experience.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:44 PM
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148: Yeah. Any one of my female friends with say "uncut" with zero hesitation.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:46 PM
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What 142 should have said is that no one thinks it's of any benefit to have a foreskin just, like, in your closet along with your baby teeth.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:46 PM
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(But see the joke about the retiring mohel for a contrary position.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:47 PM
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I'm dubious about the male-pleasure argument (pleasure is experienced on a relative scale, not an absolute one), but at least I understand it. Is there some way it affects female pleasure?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:48 PM
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149 is surprising. What's the benefit of a foreskin for a woman?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:49 PM
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138: Also, wacky liberal Christian blogger/chinchilla rescue activist Hugo Schwyzer was circumcised as an adult as some kind of spiritual exercise relating to prior immoral sexual behavior, IIRC. I think he said it didn't make much difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:51 PM
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This surely has primarily to do with my lack of experience with cicrumcized men, but I don't quite understand how to jack off a guy without a foreskin without hurting him. Lots of lube?


Posted by: Lady Bird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:52 PM
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Hugo was wacky. I had forgotten about him.

Leave it to Unfogged to turn a conversation about breastfeeding to cock-cutting.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:53 PM
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But how can he compare immoral, uncircumcised sexual behavior to moral, circumcised sexual behavior?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:53 PM
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Lube helps, but also the skin really isn't as sensitive, so it can take rougher treatment.


Posted by: Abigail Adams | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:54 PM
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153: Less direct friction.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:55 PM
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155. As a circumcised man, let me assure you that it's perfectly straightforward whether you're doing it yourself or somebody's doing it for you. Geography dictates that I can't demonstrate this.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:57 PM
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155: It's the same.

153: Well, as I implied, part of this is just the aesthetic matter of preferring the less common thing, the thing that many folks say "ew gross" to, the thing that is common if one has had sex with non-Americans.

152: You can tell the difference -- as in, it's noticeable in flagrante. IME it's neither better nor worse.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:57 PM
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159: Affecting the males, as in the giving of handjobs, ala 155; or affecting the female, as in the act of coitus?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:58 PM
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Geography dictates that I can't demonstrate this.

Webcams have solved this problem, chris. Get cracking already.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:59 PM
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159: Both, but for your specific question more the latter. ... reputedly.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 12:59 PM
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163: Cracking? That's not a technique I've ever seen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:00 PM
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165: RTFA, LB.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:02 PM
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166 I miss Weiner.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:07 PM
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166: A bit of an ur-thread for the place, but am I wrong that one of the key comments motivating the subsequent discussion is no longer with us?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:13 PM
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Damn SdB! Damn him, I say!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:16 PM
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circumcised as an adult as some kind of spiritual exercise relating to prior immoral sexual behavior

If thy foreskin offends thee ...


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:17 PM
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I miss Weiner

Also a poor masturbation technique.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:18 PM
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Isnt Delaware having a referendum on masturbation?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:21 PM
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Or possibly an excellent technique, but one that requires ninja/Jedi-level abilities.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:21 PM
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I miss Weiner

I think that would be a tantric masturbation technique.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:23 PM
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NOBODY thinks it holds any benefit to have a foreskin. This is one of the many ways the internet is different from the world your country perhaps, but not mine, Wilf.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:27 PM
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164: I'm going to have to look into getting myself one of these foreskins.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:30 PM
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It's the same.

Judging from Euro women, this is not true.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:31 PM
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130: I didn't take it as dickish, FWIW. I disagree that Easy-Bake Oven reasoning is inapplicable. If the lack of consent is less significant to you than the cultural and religious connection, that's your call. I might even choose it for my hypothetical kid if there were any arguments in favor along those lines applicable to me, though I kind of doubt it given how much respect I show to the cultural and religious traditions I did grow up with.

A lot of the pro-circumcision arguments I've seen completely gloss over consent, those that don't ignore it treating it as if the consent in question was with regard to temporary pain rather than permanent physical mutilation.

And yes, I've been done. No thousands of years of cultural history driving it, either. Just simple bad medicine and some weak bullshit about being like other American boys.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:32 PM
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177: They jack people off differently?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:33 PM
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Europe is a foreign country; they masturbate differently there.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:36 PM
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Europeans are different from you and me; they have more foreskins.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:37 PM
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179: yeah, they use a different frequency and voltage.


Posted by: A Guest | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:40 PM
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Damn SdB! Damn him, I say!

What was that all about? It was before my time.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:46 PM
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182: Plus, the prongs are totally different!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:46 PM
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184: As are the sockets, sexist!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:48 PM
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183: Labs posted something mocking SdB for reviewing pornographic anime while bemoaning the inclusion of underage naked cartoon girls with the naked cartoon women he was looking for. SdB, in a fit of responsive pique, got Labs' IP address somehow, and from that posted the name of the college he works at. For vocational security reasons, Labs then redacted a whole lot of his more adventurous posts and comments.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:49 PM
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The words "nicely bouncy" were used by SdB to refer to naked cartoon women in the review in question.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:50 PM
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Ah, thanks. What a complete asshole.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:51 PM
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Relevant link.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:51 PM
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"I have retired from the field of battle to watch more anime" is my favorite blog post title of all time.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:53 PM
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Click through the link to SdB's guide to the WoT in 189. It's cute.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:56 PM
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184, 185: I was truly shocked as a teenager when I found out that our garden hose and "male" and "female" ends. It seemed rather obscenely explicit.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 1:58 PM
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184-185: you don't have to go to Europe to the the strange. See here for some cheesecake.


Posted by: A Guest | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 2:07 PM
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193: Dang, that first "the" s/b "get"


Posted by: A Guest | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 2:09 PM
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193: It's like Chat Roulette for appliances.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 2:09 PM
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I feel more confused on the circumcision issue now than I did when I started catching up on this thread.

1. My first time was with a guy who was uncircumsized. I thought CW held that cut or uncut looks the same when erect. So why would women be squeamish about uncut guys? Why would they necessarily even notice in the first instance of passion?

2. So, for those of you with sons, what went into your decision to cut or not?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 3:42 PM
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196.2. Didn't put much thought into it -- we've got no religious/cultural reasons for it, and I wasn't aware of any good medical reasons (the phimosis possibility (Ludlum novel) seemed non-traumatic and like the kind of thing that would be no big deal to treat if it happened). Add the general "First, do no harm" and the consent issue Tologosh brought up, and we didn't. Since Newt was born, I've become more aware of the circumcision reducing AIDS transmission thing, which might have given me pause, but under US conditions, probably wouldn't have changed my mind.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 3:48 PM
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196.2: aesthetics.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 3:49 PM
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197: LB, I'd like a spec of The Phimosis Possibility on my desk by the morning.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 3:49 PM
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198: Vain!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 3:50 PM
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Veins, too. More visible on a cut one.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:04 PM
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I think these are some of the factors we weighed when making our decision: consent (we do so many things, some irreparable, to kids without their consent that we decided that this argument was incredibly resonant but maybe not definitive); the notion that as they grew up the boys might (heaven forbid) want to embrace their Jewish identity (whatever that means) and thus might need to get cut down the road (fuck. that. shit.); aesthetics (read: looking like dad (this struck me as wildly stupid (and not just because who cares if their cock looks like their dad's), but there it is); cleanliness (though I think this issue is overrated -- or maybe not for adolescent boys); keeping grandma and grandpa happy; disease transmission (my wife has an MPH and did quite a bit of reading -- I helped by reminding her that god frowns on "science"); the value of instilling an early lesson about the cruelty of life.

For what it's worth, my best friend in the world is vigorously anti genital mutilation (outrageous, right?). And he provided us with tons of literature indicating that we were history's greatest monsters for even considering having some poorly trained dipshit in a kippah hack off a piece of ours kids' dicks. But we went for it anyway. Looking back, I neither think it was a bad decision, for what that's worth, nor do I especially think it was a good one.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:09 PM
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Oh, I forgot one: the locker room. We had some half-baked discussion about what would make it more likely that the boys would be teased/hazed/sexually assaulted before or after gym: being cut or uncut. I think we decided that white boys in their socio-economic bracket would be slightly more likely to be cut, so fitting in with the crowd justified mutilating their genitalia. Or something. Then we decided the discussion was really stupid, and we moved on to the really pressing stuff, like, "Will they care if their dicks look different from yours, honey?" Fun times!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:12 PM
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So that whole covenant with god thing, that didn't weigh too heavily in these deliberations?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:15 PM
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Oh, I forgot one: the locker room.

We forgot to worry about that one, but in our kids' generation, I've gotten the impression that neither cut nor uncut is an overwhelming enough majority that the other would look odd.

Mostly, I don't think it's that major an issue -- both circumcised and uncircumcised men seem pretty happy with their status, generally. (Barring the occasional obsessive loon on the internet hanging weights from their bits in an attempt to recreate a foreskin. But they're clearly just weird.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:16 PM
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196.2: I didn't want my son to grow up and join a Reclaiming Our Foreskins internet chat group.

(Also, in the absence of complex and compelling cultural/religious reasons for having it done, I couldn't see any reason whatsoever for doing it. Also, I basically do think it's not a good thing to do, but I realize it's a delicate issue and much more complex for those with thousands of years of cultural/religious history).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:18 PM
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197.2: We did not circumsize, mostly based on the "why cut something off when there is little benefit" argument.

At the time, the evidence that circumcision cut the transmission of AIDS in Africa was emerging. The anti-circumcision people we knew gave a few arguments that we sound't worry about this in the US. People said things like "Oh, it is only a factor if you don't clean well and that won't effect you" or "that's only a factor in a place like Africa, where there is a lot of AIDS."

The arguments didn't really work. Whenever you have a small causal factor, you can compensate for it by being more careful with other factors. Also, small causal factors can make a big difference when you look at a large area where the base level risk is quite high. Bottom line, leave Joey uncut does slightly increase the risk of various sorts of disease transmission.

I then started talking about circumsizing, but being sure that anesthetic is used, which still isn't standard procedure in a lot of hospitals. Since this was mostly my idea it fell on me to make it happen, and I didn't follow through. The disease risk seemed small and abstract.

I still think about this decision sometimes. If circumcision were promoted as part of a public health campaign to fight disease, I would definitely feel obligated to participate for the general good. But I don't think there is any point to doing something for the public benefit that requires collective action if there is no push for that collective action to happen.

As for Joey's individual disease risk, there are bigger factors for us to devote time to worrying about, like the the depression and alcoholism that runs in my family.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:18 PM
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re: 203

You didn't think that making them different from the rest would be a good thing? Encourage them to get some fighting practice in early? Boy-named-Sue, and all that?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:19 PM
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Mostly, I don't think it's that major an issue -- both circumcised and uncircumcised men seem pretty happy with their status, generally.

I believe that this is nearly 100% right. That said, I also think MC is probably right: barring a compelling reason for cutting off a piece of an infant's body, why do it?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:20 PM
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Encourage them to get some fighting practice in early?

We hire middle-aged, English kickboxers to rough them up a bit. Works a charm.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:29 PM
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This thread needs more misspellings of circumcision.

Sirkemsizzin! Dzherkamszyn! Sorecamsiz 'un!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:30 PM
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We wound up having a girl, thank goodness. But we didn't know in advance, so my wife (A) and I (B) had a nice vicious multiple-round fight over it in advance. Background: I'm Jewish, my wife's not.

A: Everyone has a right to bodily integrity and babies can't choose. Therefore, consent is impossible and circumcision is wrong.
B: But parents make decisions for their kids all the time.
A: But parents should make decisions that preserve their kids' options for later. He can always have the procedure done later on if he decides it's important.
B: But having it done when you're old enough to understand what's going on (and remember the pain) seems likely to be much more traumatic.
A: Babies can feel pain too, and you don't know what effects it might have on him even if he can't remember them.
B: I'm circumcised, and I've never noticed any particular psychological trauma.
A: It could explain a lot, actually.

B: It's a part of the Jewish tradition.
A: So? You're Reform (at best), and I'm not even Jewish. Since when was tradition a good reason to do something we thought wasn't a good idea.
B: Well, but this seems different, for reasons I feel in my gut but seem difficult to articulate.
A: Yeah, that's usually a sign that I'm right and you're wrong.

A: Circumcision could have bad physical effects. A lot of people on the Internet say so.
B: That's not a very authoritative source.
A: Have you done any research at all?
B: No, I should go look on the Internet. Have I mentioned that I've never noticed anything that seems to be an bad physical effect?
A: Yes, and my response is that you wouldn't know if it were better the other way.
B: There are people on the Internet who say there are good physical effects.
A: That's not a very authoritative source, and anyway you didn't really look it up.
[I think where we came down on this one is that there's nothing really conclusive one way or the other unless you're in a high-AIDS-risk country.]

B: About the whole physical resemblance argument . . .
A: Two years from now, Ari's going to point out that one's pretty stupid in comment 202.
B: You don't even read Unfogged, much less two years in advance. And it still bothers me in a hard-to-articulate sort of way.
A: That yet again fails to persuade me entirely.

Basically, I kind of have to admit she was ahead on points.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:30 PM
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We decided against, mostly for the consent and pain issues. The rates of circumcision are such that the "locker-room" issue was a non-issue. Same with "looking different from Dad." That one in particular seemed silly.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:31 PM
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Bah, no one thinks twice about snipping the umbilical cord.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:34 PM
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re: 210

English ones? That's really no good at all.

More seriously, unless the US is very different from the UK, I don't remember much genital related teasing/mocking at all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:36 PM
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THE GUN IS GOOD. THE PENIS IS EVIL. I FEEL THIS IS RELEVANT SOMEHOW.


Posted by: OPINONATED ZARDOZ | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:36 PM
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A: Two years from now, Ari's going to point out that one's pretty stupid in comment 202.

When we're not having British kickboxers beat the stuffing out of the boys, I spend a fair amount of time mocking them because their cocks are so small compared to mine. So it's not like being cut means that they really look much like me anyway.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:37 PM
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215: I think that's right for the States as well, which is why we eventually decided that the discussion wasn't worth having.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:39 PM
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The only genital related teasing I recall is people punching each other in the face or being called gay for even looking in that direction.

Although, I guess there was a guy (now a Harvard professor!) who was legendarily well-endowed. I can't claim personal observation, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:42 PM
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217: Speaking of which, am I the only person at this blog who finds a strong hint of such father-to-son mockery in the much-loved (though not by me) children's book Guess How Much I Love You? Well, it's probably just me. I really dislike that book, though.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:43 PM
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220: that never occurred to me, MC, you perv. And although I think that book is painfully hackish, I appreciate that it's one of a very few options that mentions that fathers, like mothers, love their children.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:46 PM
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221: Oh God, I hope I haven't spoiled it for you, Ari. Sorry!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:49 PM
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214 - hang around on enough hippiefied pregnancy boards neb, and you'll find out all about lotus births.

I didn't circumcise because I don't see the point, and no one does here anyway. Of course, all British men have horribly diseased and/or amputated penises, but I'm sure that has nothing to do with it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:56 PM
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fathers, like mothers, love their children.

Lies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:57 PM
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I don't have kids yet but I opted not to circumcise my cats.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 4:57 PM
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217: Speaking of which, am I the only person at this blog who finds a strong hint of such father-to-son mockery in the much-loved (though not by me) children's book Guess How Much I Love You?

Oh, me me! That's kind of what I like about it, though. If the big hare weren't a dick, it wouldn't be interesting at ALL. Right now at least there's that.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 5:03 PM
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Of course, all British men have horribly diseased and/or amputated penises, but I'm sure that has nothing to do with it.

Thankfully we're all tongue-tied and suppressing our homosexuality, so we're able to keep this a secret from women for a long time ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 5:06 PM
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I now see it is locked up at the grocery store, like the cigarettes and fancy liquor.

That's because people use it for cutting heroin. It was a hugely favorite shoplifting item in charlestown, I was told.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 5:14 PM
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Well, I've never seen *your* penis ttaM. Anything could have happened to it during those knife fights.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 5:14 PM
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re: 229

tierce is an unforgiving opponent.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 5:15 PM
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Anything could have happened to it during those knife fights.

Not to mention the effects of gravity after a lifetime of never wearing knickers under your kilt.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 5:19 PM
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228 to 229.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 5:29 PM
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202, 212: We are the reverse situation of widget. We intuitively covered all of the ground in his and ari's comments and within 10 seconds decided that it was going to come out "Yes" no matter what. Similar amount of time spent deciding to have the hospital folks do it right there. First boy was born pre-enlightment (before we had Internet access) so we didn't really know anything about anything anyway. And no way the 2nd would be different than the 1st.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 5:34 PM
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143: 132: Yes! That's where I read it.

And I found where it had been posted here before--by Sir Kraab. </pander>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:05 PM
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220: I hate that book! What kind of sick father would feel so compelled to one-up his kid? To the point of having to get the last word in, even if it's after the kid falls asleep? We have a copy but I refuse to read it to my daughter. (Not that she asks - I suppose she doesn't know we have it, as I won't read it to her.)


Posted by: freight train | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:16 PM
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We dithered over the circumcision question, and I finally decided I wanted it done, for stupid tradition reasons, and ended up finding the perfect person to do it: a mohel who happened to be chief of surgery at the hospital down the road, who was able to administer an anesthetic.

Of course, now I'm all atheist and shit, and my wife's a little pissed that I've drifted away from the religion that caused her little boy's penis to be cut. I... feel guilty? But not enough to go to shul about it.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:19 PM
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Also, huh. I just read Guess How Much I Love You to the kids tonight for the first time, and although I've always thought that Big Nutbrown Hare was kind of a dick, the little ones listened in rapt attention, so that's definitely staying in the rotation.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:24 PM
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Ok. I have always been flummoxed by the argument from "it should look like his dad's." Was my family especially puritanical about nudity? Because I sure as hell never would have known if there was a disparity.

Having vague deja-blog. Apologies if I'm repeating myself. Just every time this comes up I'm all "wut?"


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:43 PM
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That's my favorite argument in favor of cutting, too. I picture it as a companion to the infamous Mom-do-you-ever-get-that-not-so-fresh-feeling commercials. Father and son near the willow tree, by the pond, all misty, just gently hoisting out their schlongs and admiring how matchy-matchy they are.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:48 PM
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"We did it, Dad!"
"Yes son, we really did."
*high fives*


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:48 PM
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I saw my parents naked pretty routinely growing up. They'd leave the bathroom door open to prevent steaming or just wander out into their bedroom to get clothes. Plus there were the nude beaches.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:51 PM
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For the record, I did too. My dad is cut. And hung!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:51 PM
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8: I used to know more women who would do that. Now people breastfeed in "public" but they have this little tent-like sling thing. A friend of mine breastfed in front of me in her house, but wore one of these things. It had some too-cute name that I can't remember.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:54 PM
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I breastfed wearing t-shirts that I'd pull up from the waist, and it seemed like no one could see that much. I had trouble getting a latch if I couldn't see HP, ie under those bib things. It also seemed like shirts you unbuttoned or released from the top show a lot more breast than pulling up from below. I imagine the appeal is partly that all your post-baby fat isn't sloshing around all over the place. Mine certainly was.

I put a lot of faith in the idea that everyone is narcissistic and therefore not paying much attention to me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:58 PM
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Not exactly the was it is recounted in 207, but my memory of making a firm decision not to circumcise was influenced entirely by this.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 6:59 PM
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|| The Delaware Republicans just nominated the anti-masturbation whackjob who lied about her college degree rather than the nine-term Congressman who would have won in a walk. Wolverines! |>


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:06 PM
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246: I hear she's going to call for mandatory circumcision as a matter of moral hygiene.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:09 PM
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As far as I can tell, she's against masturbation since you can't masturbate without lust and sexual desire under any circumstances is equivalent to adultery and thus evil. This would seem to imply that if you enjoy sex with your own spouse you're actually cheating on her/him.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:15 PM
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246 -- Man, can't you just see the hand of a masterfully scheming anti-colonialist Luo tribesman behind it all?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:16 PM
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you can't masturbate without lust

Cry, cry, affectlessly masturbate, cry.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:18 PM
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affectlessly masturbate

Meh-sturbate.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:18 PM
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You're saying that's his hand down her skirt?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:18 PM
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252 to 249?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:22 PM
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248 et al.: I'm a little curious whether that stance would remotely fly, electorally, coming from a male candidate. It would sound rather extreme, no? Obviously it's extreme in any case, but I'm thinking that the electorate who pulled the lever for O'Donnell might have been less willing to do so for the equivalent male candidate. Hm.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:27 PM
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I'm a little curious whether that stance would remotely fly, electorally, coming from a male candidate.

If it were sufficiently wide.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:27 PM
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SWPL Forumula, Hooray!

Half the menu is devoted to Roman square-cut pizzas. And the dough has a dramatic back story: it is a result of 15 years of experiments by an engineer specializing in the molecular properties of flour. Made in Italy, it is flash frozen, flown to Brooklyn and baked in an electric oven on a ceramic hearth.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:46 PM
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To go back to breastfeeding and the difficulty thereof, I would say that although I quite enjoyed the experience, it was a physical hardship all the time. It made me super exhausted (I would fall asleep nursing a lot) and I couldn't have any caffeine! Also, my baby could ne er vet the hang of nursing in bed. I always had to be sitting up. Sex became super painful until I went on hormone replacement therapy, which gave me melasma. My baby also had a milk protein allergy which meant that I couldn't have any dairy as long as I breastfed. I still chose to do it, and bffing was actuallly better for her than formula because of her allergy, but even without mastitis or latch or supply problems, there was a real physical drag. Did I mention the super painful sex?


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 7:47 PM
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74: My Mom was a big breast-feeder and did it on places where that was considered scandalous in 76. She also brings up the fact that she fed us and how this makes her our mother whenever we get really angry with her.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:02 PM
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84: A friend of mine did breastfeed for a while. Then her son started biting her. After consulting lactation specialists and still having trouble, she switched to formula. It was fine for a while, though.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:09 PM
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I breastfed wearing t-shirts that I'd pull up from the waist,

Me too, but only after I asked around and received the sound advice that this was the easiest way to go. Initially I made the mistake of buying a couple of those specially made "breastfeeding tops." Egads. Dorky, and bulky, and anyway, they don't hide a thing.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:13 PM
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111: I'm surprised I haven't yet seen the NYMag story on "The New Wet Nurses."

I was talking to the mother of an infant in Georgetown, and I said that I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to handle the sleep deprivation. She said, "Well, there's always a wet nurse."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:18 PM
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I couldn't have any caffeine!

I have caffeine plenty. I am history's greatest monster, though, so, you know.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:23 PM
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Also, I hate pulling my shirt up, rather than down, to nurse. This means all my shirts' necks are stretched out, alas.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:25 PM
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Debate, schmabate. Real parents worry about what the hospital is doing with their child's foreskin.

The most disturbing and alarming [controversy] is in the unethical trafficking of neonate foreskins. Not only do parents of North American baby boys have to pay between $200 to $300 to obstetricians to circumcise their boys that no sooner are the circumcised foreskins cut off that they are sold on to bio-engineering and cosmetics companies by the hospitals.

The resale value of neonate foreskins is astronomically dizzying in that from one boy's foreskin can be grown bio-engineered skin in a lab to the size of a football field. That's 4 acres of new skin or around 200,000 units of manufactured skin, which is enough skin to cover about 250 people and sells at $3,000 a square foot. Considering that there are 1.25 million neonate foreskins circumcised each year in the U.S alone this translates to one of the most lucrative trades, if not THE most lucrative trade in human body parts ever in the history of humanity.

(Rationality of links not vouched for, but accuracy as to the general claims seems to be pretty good.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:28 PM
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I knew I should have circumcised them myself.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:32 PM
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265: Why? What do you want with four acres of foreskin?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:36 PM
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Putting green.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:38 PM
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Click through. The morally valuable use is skin tissue for burn victims; the morally questionable use is cosmetics.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:39 PM
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266: To subdivide and sell to people like Yawnoc.

176: 164: I'm going to have to look into getting myself one of these foreskins.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:40 PM
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As a Circumcised-American I do feel I deserve some recompense and revenge. Where's my four acres and a mohel?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:47 PM
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I drank coffee while breastfeeding. A weird thing happens with my caffeine addiction when I'm pregnant: the addiction itself dwindles in proportion to the sensitivity of my tummy. So when I'm wretched, I at least don't have a caffeine headache on top of it, and for most of the pregnancy a watery dinky cup of coffee does me just fine for the day.

Then as soon as Hawaiian Punch was born, my addiction ramped back up again, and I was soon up to my normal demands of caffeine, without which I'd be cranky and have a gray film covering my brain.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:48 PM
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I shoulda made sure that was English before hitting post.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 8:53 PM
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264: Holy crap! Can that really be true? or is it one of those internetty things that circulates freely, and free of any basis in reality?

If true, it is appalling.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:00 PM
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No link to submit your own.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:02 PM
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273: It's definitely true that foreskin tissue is widely used for the purposes I cited, and that hospitals etc. make money off of selling it.

Whether it's true that hospitals are doing this without consent is kind of in the eye of the beholder -- there's probably something in the reams of surgical consent forms about "medical waste," but I wouldn't have imagined that included a foreskin, and I wouldn't expect most people to. It's not clear that hospitals are rushing to obtain truly informed consent.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:10 PM
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3. Pumping at work. This was horrible. And the biggest problem, by far.

Huh. It was annoying, in that the only private space available was a stall in the women's restroom. But I generally liked pumping because I could actually see exactly how much I was producing. Direct breastfeeding was kind of intimidating initially because I had no clue how much she was getting. Also, she was such a grazer it took forever


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:32 PM
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The standard should be informed consent, which in my opinion would require a clear, and probably verbal as well as written, explanation: 'Should you choose to have your son circumcised, we will sell his foreskin to a bioengineering firm, or perhaps to a cosmetics company, in the interests of science, or beauty.'


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:34 PM
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256: I do hope "Forumula" wasn't a typo (Standpipe's blog?).


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:37 PM
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I didn't actually find anything convincing in the links. The most concrete article mentions companies that could be using tissue like this to seed artificial skin. One of the companies mentioned (Advanced Tissue Sciences) has been bankrupt for 7 years. Is there any evidence that a market exists?

Using living US donors as a source of skin sounds like a liability nightmare; also, FDA regulation of biologics has not exactly made the US a hotbed of innovation. No idea about the economics of cosmetics-- does all the goop that's supposedly placental actually contain placenta? Does it have to be human? How often are any fines paid for misleadingly labelled but harmless products?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:44 PM
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279: Here's the Apilgraf page at drugs.com. It is from 2002, but it is listed as being made by Organogenesis Inc. which seems to be active.

Apligraf is manufactured under aseptic conditions from human neonatal male foreskin tissue. The foreskin donor's mother is tested and found negative for human viruses, including antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2), human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg), and syphilis. The fibroblast and keratinocyte cell banks which are the source of the cells from which Apligraf is derived are tested for human and animal viruses, retroviruses, bacteria, fungi, yeast, mycoplasma, karyology, isoenzymes, and tumorigenicity. The final product is tested for morphology, cell viability, epidermal coverage, sterility, mycoplasma, and physical container integrity


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:50 PM
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1.25 million foreskins x 250 people worth of skin = 312.5 million people worth of foreskin-derived skin cultures.

Now, I don't know about you all, but I think I would remember if EVERYBODY I HAD EVER MET was getting 100% of their skin replaced with vat-grown skin derived from foreskins every year.

Rudimentary Penii indeed! Hmph.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:52 PM
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Just to clarify: Uncircumsized and proud of it. Totally opposed to circumcision, even (especially) if mandated by religions founded a long fucking time ago in the desert.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:56 PM
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I had a dental operation where they removed a tooth and then shored up the area with some stuff. As the dental assistant was applying the "some stuff" I asked what it was. "Cadaver bone; do you know what that means?"

"Uh, dead people," I responded.

So that was weird. But I'm okay with these dead people who LIVE ON IN MY FACE.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 9:56 PM
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Great for us also. But could we get a Charleston Chew or an Oh Henry! something. Your kids have your new candies, which are nice, but it isn't the same.


Posted by: Dead in Stanley's Face | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:00 PM
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"Your kids" should be "You kids." Sorry. Most of our fingers are in the "ham" at WalMart.


Posted by: Dead in Stanley's Face | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:01 PM
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Does that side of your mouth crave brains, Stanley?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:02 PM
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Would you mind brushing your teeth? It's getting fœtid in here.


Posted by: dead people | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:03 PM
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Fuck.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:03 PM
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"WalMart". Hypercorrection?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:04 PM
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289: Neb teaches, I overreact.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:06 PM
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I taste dead people.


Posted by: Stanley Sear | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:18 PM
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(formerly branded as Wal-Mart, branded as Walmart since 2008)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:19 PM
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I don't quite understand how to jack off a guy

It's an identified problem even without the cut/uncut distinction.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 10:46 PM
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Already posted in the Rangel thread, but extremely relevant:

If he already knows what pleases him and if he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?

Anti-masturbation TV ad (which appears to co-start Luke Wilson) from the Tea Partier who just won the GOP Senate primary in Delaware.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-14-10 11:04 PM
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I assumed the excess went into the stew.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 12:42 AM
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Also, I hate pulling my shirt up, rather than down, to nurse. This means all my shirts' necks are stretched out, alas.

I've never understood this problem, which I've heard of many times. Shirts with buttons would appear to be the solution, no?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 12:46 AM
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Button-downs never worked well for me -- if it was unbuttoned enough to nurse, I was pretty much totally exposed. I was another pull-up-the-tshirt nurser, and like Mary Catherine bought some nursing-specific clothes that I regretted as annoying and useless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 4:05 AM
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292: So only wrong on the capitalization. Go me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 6:42 AM
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293: Boy do I hope I don't get caught singing that at work today.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 6:46 AM
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Once, while waiting for my baggage at an airport, I saw a woman wearing a shirt cut down to the navel. Somehow, nothing that would get a movie to PG-13 was revealed. I don't know if that would be a solution to nursing problems or not, but it was certainly memorable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 6:50 AM
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- if it was unbuttoned enough to nurse, I was pretty much totally exposed.

Yeah, exactly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 7:05 AM
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293:

I sometimes wonder how you people find stuff like that.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 7:13 AM
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I share that sentiment in general, but Garfunkel & Oates are somewhat well known (and awesome). Another great one of theirs.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 8:42 AM
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Simon & Hall on the other hand, are deservedly obscure.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 8:46 AM
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re: 300

I think I mentioned this before, but I may have done it quasi-presidentially in order to appear less of a lecherous scumbag, but someone sat opposite me in the coffee shop some months ago in a shirt so low-cut that I could see, erm, the under-boob area. It looked like the sort of thing ice-skaters wear, with the flesh coloured mesh/hose underneath, only without the mesh. However, I didn't look, because I am feminist that way.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 9:45 AM
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And now regretting the lack of presidentiality ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:00 AM
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quasi-presidentially in order to appear less of a lecherous scumbag

Not really acquainted with American presidents, are you?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:02 AM
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And now regretting the lack of presidentiality ...

That is so New Unfogged. Time was, a fella would've proclaimed it proudly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:04 AM
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That is so New Unfogged.

What he's ashamed of is not having looked.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:05 AM
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if it was unbuttoned enough to nurse, I was pretty much totally exposed.

Solution: two columns of buttons.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:06 AM
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re: 308

I know. Shame also at that. Clearly Wednesday is Catholic guilt day.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:07 AM
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I share that sentiment in general, but Garfunkel & Oates are somewhat well known (and awesome).

Speaking of which, I should again thank HG again for passing along "Pregnant Women are Smug." That was very good.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:10 AM
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311: Last night's Delaware primary has shown that anti-masturbation forces are on the march, so it's probably prudent to avert your eyes.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:10 AM
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How did he know he could see if he didn't look? I'm guessing the answer to this will reveal the source of his shame. Groping, probably.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:11 AM
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314: Closed his eyes and tongued her.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:14 AM
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Surreptitious cell phone photo, maybe. If so, it belongs in the flickr set.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:14 AM
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313. Clearly what is now needed is for half a million people to rally in Dover with their hands in their pants.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:14 AM
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Cell phone? Please!

Rolleiflex, with Rolleiflash.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:17 AM
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But if she loses, it'll be NMM to her candidacy. A conundrum!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:17 AM
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Yea, back in the day, pictures of heebie's butt got passed around.

Now, Unfogged is all no look, no touch, and no insult.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:20 AM
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264 -- A football field is a bit more than an acre. 160' x 360'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:35 AM
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I've never understood this problem, which I've heard of many times. Shirts with buttons would appear to be the solution, no?

(a) Most off-the-rack shirts with buttons really pull across the chest on me, especially now that I'm extra bonus buxom.

(b) The small buttons of your standard blouse or oxford shirt are quite tricky to get done back up while also holding a squirmy baby.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:36 AM
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You can hand-stretch it to four, though.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:37 AM
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The football field, not the squirmy baby.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:39 AM
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Or heebie's butt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 10:42 AM
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Not to be a (mutilated!) dick about this, but 282 is the kind of thing I sometimes encounter in these conversations (why is it sounding like I go around discussing circumcision with strangers on the subway?) that raises an eyebrow. Proud of it? Um...? That's weird to me, and a little loaded, albeit not in a particularly important way.

Meanwhile I hope George Clooney or someone is making a movie about "unethical trafficking of neonate foreskins." One of those tense thrillers where an ordinary citizen has to keep making frantic calls from pay phones and ducking into alleys, pursued by the thuggish agents of Big Foreskin.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 11:34 AM
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Lawsuit over accidental circumcision.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-15-10 12:11 PM
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n = 1, but fwiw: I (male) was circumcised and I really wish that I weren't, largely for consent-, irreversibility-, pain-, and sensitivity-related reasons (I'd like to be more sensitive). The lack of overwhelming non-tradition/religion-based reasons in favor of circumcision coupled with the fact that one can always get cut, but not uncut, later in life lead me to a strongly anti-circumcision position.

Re: 134: I may have a defective disgust-operator, but I can hardly believe that foreskin-or-not and hair-or-not are disgust-worthy.

Along with 238, I don't think I've, and certainly don't remember having, ever seen either of my parents in the buff. Come to think of it, I've never seen a penis other than my own that wasn't in a photograph or film.


Posted by: Yrruk | Link to this comment | 09-16-10 2:28 PM
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