My parents are in town, so we have free babysitting. Which meant movie night for me and Fearless Husband. We chose to see “Young Adult”, thinking that it would be light and funny; 90 minutes later we were about to poke our eyes out with hot coals, since that would have been less painful. Or at least less emotionally draining. Great acting, but one hell of a downer.
The film got me thinking on a myriad of levels, and one particular element of the script provoked me to come home and visit the blog (much to Fearless Husband’s chagrin, but what can you do… date night or not, I haven’t spent quality time with FFF in quite awhile. Sometimes it feels like I am in a polygamous relationship, I tell ya). Charlize Theron’s character, Mavis Gary, is unlikeable in about one thousand different ways, but you end up feeling sorry for her because she is completely delusional. At the same time, Mavis feels just as sorry for everyone else around her, because she thinks they are ignorant, small-minded simpletons. It’s a weird dynamic to experience as the moviegoer, because you aren’t sure who to identify with: if you empathize with Mavis you’re a cold-hearted egomaniac; relating to the rest of the cast makes you feel like kind of a loser. In the end, you realize that it is all a matter of perception. You can be the hero in your own story, but to everyone else you might be the villain, or even worse, just an ancillary character.
So how does this pertain to our little infant feeding blogosphere? I think the flawed communication and general lack of empathy on the part of many involved on both sides of this debate comes from a similar egotistical P.O.V. as Charlize’s unlikeable character. Perceptions are vague and/or downright incorrect, colored by our own experiences, our own realities. I know full well that some see this blog, and all other formula feeding support, as something vicious; others, as something that should be pitied or handled with kid gloves. And on our end, it’s easy to dismiss all breastfeeding advocates as intentionally obtuse; privileged; limited in scope.
There are many gray areas to this debate, and I think that my New Years Resolution is going to be that I will strive to give that gray some much-needed color. That means more bottle-feeding research rather than simply tearing down breastfeeding studies. (Although this will be hard to do, when studies like this one pop up. Completely aside from breastfeeding, I simply cannot fathom how such a clumsy study has gotten both funding and media attention. I don’t think I need to explain the ridiculousness of what the researchers did here, but if anyone wants to discuss it we can do so on Facebook. Suffice to say – where the hell was the control group of non-exclusively breastfeeding kids who DIDN’T chug sugary drinks? And what’s with the dig about juice? How many leaps did it take to get to the conclusion that this proves anything about the link between breastfeeding and long-term obesity?…Aw, crap. Why do my resolutions never last longer than my neighbor’s Christmas tree?) More attempts to reach out to experts and pick their brains about specific subjects. More support for combo feeders.
Of course, this all can only happen if I get off my ever-growing butt and focus on the blog a little more. Considering I’m only now writing a New Year’s resolution post and it’s a few minutes before January 8th, maybe that should be resolution #1.