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Time Channels Tina Brown, Gets Attention

THE TIME COVER produced a whine from Mika Brzezisnki and Gillian Tett on “Morning Joe.”

“I’ll tell you why it bothers me. It bothers me because it’s a profile of Bill Sears,” Brzezinski said, suggesting, as Tett did, that the cover was a cheap shot. [Politico]

Whoosh

That’s the sound of the subject matter attached to the provocative picture going right over their heads.

Evidently, Brzezinski and Tett don’t care that Dr. Bill Sears is father of “attachment parenting,” that includes “extended breast-feeding,” which the Time magazine cover is meant to depict.

From the author of the piece:

For TIME’s May 21 cover story, I explored the personal history and legacy of Dr. Bill Sears, the father of a child-rearing philosophy called attachment parenting. As the author of 40-plus books on parenting and pregnancy, Sears is a familiar figure to many American mothers and fathers. Some parents subscribe to his theory that attachment parenting – characterized by extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and wearing your baby in a sling across your body – is the best way to raise confident, secure children. Others think Sears is an antifeminist tyrant, or that his ideas are just totally unrealistic.

It’s hard to know how any magazine stays in business with new media’s power, but as long as the cover matches the article subject there’s no reason not to do it. What’s critical is drawing attention to subjects that matter, so if it takes a little shock value to get people to care about issues, so be it.

There is also a certain segment of women in this country who are afraid of public depiction of nudity and breasts, as well as anything provocative at all, thinking life needs to be serious and sober to be important. Politico wouldn’t even show the entire cover while writing about it! Back when I watched “Morning Joe” regularly, Brzezinski would freak out every time the boys brought up anything having to do with women scantily clothed or nude, coming off as prudish, schoolmarm or old-fashioned.

Feminism is also attached to a strict sense of female propriety where nudity is concerned, something I always equated as part of the multiple choice party of liberation. Unfortunately, many feminists have a politically correct dos and don’ts list for women that all of us are to live by. I blew past that one decades ago.

As for the philosophy of “extended breast-feeding,” it’s just plain creepy and reminds me of the shame I’ve seen through girlfriends who couldn’t breast feed no matter how hard they tried, but were made to feel guilty because they couldn’t.

I’m child-free by choice, so this story is completely out of my personal experience base, though I have interviewed women on children’s issues many times. I’ve yet to find anyone who embraces “extended breast-feeding,” though many have chosen co-sleeping, up to a certain age, and wearing their baby across their body in a sling, though these two issues are quite different from what the Time cover depicts.

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7 Responses to Time Channels Tina Brown, Gets Attention

  1. Solo May 10, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    That kid is never going to be able to live this picture down.

    • whitepaw May 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      So true Solo — very true… This is strange to me. Not the nudity of course, or any woman breast-feeding in public… just this particular concept.

  2. fangio May 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    A testament to this country’s unbridled narcissism and vulgarity.

  3. spincitysd May 11, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    I don’ know, with the pill becoming a matter of debate; and lactation being a proven biological way to suppress fertility …

    This whole business is just another example of Upper Middle Class panic becoming media fodder. What working gal or Middle Class woman has the time to do this kind of nonsense?

    Plus strapping your kid to your body is not the newest idea on the block. People in Asia (and Africa) have been doing this for millennium. What a narcissistic, parochial lot we in the US are.

  4. cjoblak@hotmail.com May 11, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    That picture is just plain wrong.

    Figuratively speaking, it is a good representation of what the United States is becoming. Everyone sucking off the government tit.

  5. Lake Lady May 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Might be a totally different reaction to it if the woman in the photo were not a hot babe.

    That said~ extended breast feeding does not seem healthy to me for either the child or the mom. Attachment parenting does seem very narcissistic to me.

  6. StrideHyde May 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Come on, folks, get over it. This is what breasts are made for. Wearing your baby is not a new idea and neither is “extended” breast feeding–some African mothers breast feed to age 5. We are such a freaking uptight culture. To me this is an extension of reproductive choice: to have or not have kids, choice in the manner of birth and choice about breast feeding, co-sleeping etc.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong