May 13, 2012

Are You Mom Enough? The Question Is For What

attachment parenting.jpg
at what age does it become incest?

"Has Time Gone To Far?"  "Time Cover Causes Controversy."  I heard people are actually offended by this cover.  Which is worse, seeing this or a picture of two gays kissing?  No, two gay women, of course, come on, don't be stupid.  Alright, fine, but what if one's named Loshanda and the other one may as well be? Yeah, graphic design is hard.

I'll leave the discussion of the merits of attachment parenting to people who actually have parents and attachments, but it's kind of a moot point, I've seen more Taliban snipers than I've seen boob sucking kindergarteners.

So forget what Time is showing you, ask instead: what does the magazine want to be true?

Postulate: Time doesn't like breast feeding. If you disagree at least grant me that no one at Time thinks four years of it is admirable.  Right?  So you are supposed to hate her.  Ok, how?

"Umm, 'how?'  Well... there's a kid sucking on a boob..."  Come on, man, that's weird but it's not hatable, hating her doesn't somehow reinforce who you are-- unless you're a woman who didn't breast feed.  What if you're a guy?  "Well, she's hot..." Right.  The secret fear of marriage is that the kid wins the Oedipal drama.

At some point someone needs to notice that the intensity of the emotions about this issue are way out of proportion to the... prevalence of the issue.  I'm pretty confident breast feeding  on the way home from Webelos is a terrible idea but is it worse on your kid than getting divorced?  Or staying together, depending?  Extra year of boob or lifetime without a father.  Hmm. Is this open book?

Other than the volume of your voice, do you have any reason to be sure of what you think?

So since Time has created a controversy out of thin air, we should consider that the controversy is a proxy for something else.

She's a billion, so either Time was writing a story on Attachment Parenting and found the hottest subject they could find to make it be ok, or they chose the hottest subject they could find to make it NOT be okay. So hot= shallow egomaniac using her boobs and then her kid to get noticed.



time cover mom.jpg


That's what Time wants you to think, anyway.  But there are things you don't see that I can't unsee, which is why I've been at the bottle stashed behind the big rock at the creek's bend since I was a pre-teen.  She's 26 and the kid is 3, subtraction= 23, so you have a super hot well manicured blonde having kids way the hell too early for a super hot well manicured blonde.................... and there are only two reasons why such a person would be pictured in American media: she's from Utah or Jesus is her co-pilot.  Amen.  The fastest way to get Time's Hatable Person Of The Week cover is to a) work for Goldman Sachs or b) praise the Lord.  I guess it's possible she works on a trading desk but my money says this is a story about why religious people are insane.

So while the rest of you bah bah black sheep are led to complain that she's hatable because she breast feeds, when the Time comes-- and praise be to Jesus, it is coming-- for you to learn she's nipples deep in the Lord Is My Shepherd maybe you'll then remember which candidate you're supposed to hate. 

There's hate in them there pictures, the worst kind of hate, the kind that makes you hate without knowing why, without knowing that you hate.  The kind of hate that ends up defining you as a person in opposition to something else.  And then you disappear.

Once you've made this prediction everything else is downhill.  She'll homeschool the kid, which is hatable.  She'll be wealthy for no identifiable reason: hatable.  She'll be carrying around that kid 24/7 with no nanny yet still weirdly find time for mani/pedis and barre class.  So hatable. And co-sleeping doesn't mess up her sex life or her sex interest because her husband plows her on the deck, in the car, in the pool, in elevators. Sigh hatable.  You can't make a right on red but this woman is forcing the world to accommodate her, bend to her way, her life, and she appears to be succeeding and happy.  Bitch. 

Look at the comments as people struggle to explain why breast feeding a 3 year old is bad: they sense it's bad, but can't come up with a concrete reason to explain it.  Well, Time is the magazine for you.  They offer you a blonde cypher trusting that you'll solve it: she co-sleeps because she's a religious nut.  Phew.

"When you think of breast-feeding, you think of mothers holding their children, which was impossible with some of these older kids," Schoeller says. "I liked the idea of having the kids standing up to underline the point that this was an uncommon situation."

That's Time's photographer explaining that simply having her breast feed wasn't good enough to make his point, he needed to stage the scene to "underline the point."  This is why the sentence before that one is this:

Using religious images of the Madonna and Child as reference, Schoeller captured each mother breast-feeding her child or children.


If you have the urge to email me complaining that I'm defending religion or attachment parenting, please don't, your brain is broken.  The point is to show you how the media e.g. Time manipulates you to hate some things by linking them to other things: it polarizes you, which means it makes you irrelevant.  E.g. when an election "is determined by" one particular group of "swing" voters-- whom you deride for being too stupid to have made up their minds yet-- it doesn't mean your vote has been factored in but that you are so predictable that you don't count.  Power never thinks of you as an individual.  Power never thinks of you at all.

Maybe attachment parenting is good?  Bad?  Time doesn't care to find out.  It could easily have PubMeded the story and found a hundred scientific articles to discuss.  Nope.  It needed space to tell me that Dr. Bill Sears was a Catholic, converted to evangelicalism, and back to Catholicism, and his wife goes to Mass every day.  Oh, I get it, they're crazy people.  This is a typical media trick, rather than exploring an issue it explores a person, describes him, his background and his faults, this is the kind of person who believes this, this complicated issue that is too difficult to understand on its merits.  You're free to choose.

Do you think Time cares about breast feeding?  Do you think Time cares about you? Time hates you.  It hates everyone, especially its readers, it thinks of them as credit card numbers, as registered voters, as organ donors.  It wants what it wants and if we have to throw a kid under a boob, so be it.  Like Marshall McLuhan once yelled, there's a war going on out there, and it isn't between liberals and conservatives or atheists and believers or attachment parents and detachment parents, it's between us and them, where them is defined as everyone who is not us and us is defined as me.  You lose.


---

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych








Comments

Some of us will only see th... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2012 10:10 AM | Posted by Michael B.: | Reply

Some of us will only see the image on the cover and never read Time's story and we aren't as insightful as TLP. All we see is a hot mom with her breast out.

We get a mildly provocative image but it's not enough to hate some made-up group. No strong emotion other than being jealous of a three year old. How do the 99% of American who are not Time magazine readers get manipulated into caring about this?

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: 36 (48 votes cast)
If your magazine is so stal... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2012 11:23 AM | Posted by keuril: | Reply

If your magazine is so stale people don't even know it still exists, who can save you? Boobies.

This lady reminds me an awful lot of the Tiger Mom. Has anybody seen them in the same room together?

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Whoa, wait. People were mad... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2012 11:39 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Whoa, wait. People were mad about that? I saw it a bit online, but I had no idea what it was about.

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David Sedaris wouldn't be s... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2012 5:08 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

David Sedaris wouldn't be successful if we didn't need to hear that this woman is religious.

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Hahaha I saw this pic and f... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2012 5:17 PM | Posted by anonanonandon: | Reply

Hahaha I saw this pic and figured you'd take the bait. Some times it is just a matter of setting your watch.

Good call on the kid's fatigues. First thing I noticed, other than the nipple-sucking. But all it means now is that the kid isn't naked. It doesn't signify anything more than the creeping state of permanent war we seem to live under. You know, 30 years ago we weren't allowed to wear them off the base. QROs of the time, swear to god. Times have changed - junior here apparently will dodge snipers when not... you know.

As always, we should give our artists the last word:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzFxPEMXYIY&feature=related

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The thing that actually pop... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2012 6:03 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The thing that actually popped into my head when I saw that picture was: if the woman is 26 years old, why does she look so much older?

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Hey guys I was on the cover... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2012 8:18 PM | Posted by vandal: | Reply

Hey guys I was on the cover of Time once!

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TLP,All you articl... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2012 11:49 PM | Posted by fghhj: | Reply

TLP,

All you articles these days just seem like a lot of hatin' on stuff. There is never really a thesis or a point to it all. You just hate on things.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -16 (50 votes cast)
I'll just say that I don't ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 1:18 AM | Posted by Andrea Harris: | Reply

I'll just say that I don't hate the woman, I just think she should have her child taken away from her. As for TIME magazine, everyone involved in this should be arrested, the business should be shut down, and the building razed to the ground.

Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -43 (67 votes cast)
You critique well (most of ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 1:35 AM | Posted by wyatt: | Reply

You critique well (most of the time). But why not do the harder thing and build us a warm fuzzy system to replace the one you constantly deconstruct. You offer clues here and there, But it seems since God died all we have is good critics and horrible system-builders. But people need systems, or maybe its just me. One illogical symbol system for another. Their 'truth' matters less than their results. Mediocrity and homogeneity seem to be the result of our system while making us feel like we are 'individuals'. Anyway I'm floating all over the place: offer us a alternative.

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Why do you want her childre... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 2:27 AM | Posted, in reply to Andrea Harris's comment, by Dasha: | Reply

Why do you want her children taken from her? In many poor countries and throughout human history it's been common to keep children breastfeeding until 2-3 years old because it is a safer and mostly reliable food source. It won't kill them. Why does it offend you?

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My impression of the woman ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 4:06 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

My impression of the woman was this:

1)She appears to be in her late 20s or early 30s. She is much older than 26.

2) She looks like a new york village yupster (yuppie hipster the worst kind! well off AND too cool 4 u). This is easily discernable by her rich people poor people clothing (the ballerina flats, the skinny jeans, the tank top - this is the outfit of a fashionable person who makes 6 figures who is trying to look like they are homeless IRL. The sum of that outfit cost at least a few hundred dollars I assure you.)

Furthermore, her hair coloring and makeup is too sophisticated and clearly the result of expensive salons & cosmetics companies (but again, attempting to mimic simplicity / poverty for bragging rights)

The odds of this woman praying to jesus? 0%.

3) Her pose is a defiant "yes I am a mom and I am totally breastfeeding a grown ass child right now!" It's sort of a trend amongst the yuppie class to have projects other than profession: butchering, wine making, and parenting. Child is her accessory, and she is so bad ass about it to be a parent like that in broad daylight. She should get a fedora (pink + purple plz) and child shoudl match it too!

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Reverse the sexes, keep the... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 8:34 AM | Posted by DanC: | Reply

Reverse the sexes, keep the same ages. Lots of people go to jail for a LONG time.

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The Time story is subscribe... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 9:14 AM | Posted by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

The Time story is subscriber-only, but I'm pretty sure you're correct: Time wants at least half the country to loathe these women (especially the cover girl), and a substantial amount of the other half to passionately defend them. She's the latest incarnation of Sarah Palin, selected to keep the horses of the mob pulling against each other. I was convinced by the billion on the cover's blog.

They chose their subject well, because she's an annoying SWPL caricature. If she read "The Iron Heel" by Jack London her head would explode. Her identity enables the otherization of a huge swath of people of whom she is no more representative than I am (probably less).

Analysis like this demonstrates that a conspiracy controlling the USG (by keeping the Matrix of elections functioning) would be so easy and simple it would appear banal. All you would need are church attendance figures, birth rates, and figures on educational attainment, and you would have everything you need to formulate the Platonic ideal of partisan strife, all sound and fury. And best of all, with media control you can make the system dynamic!

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I think the kid should get ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 9:22 AM | Posted by Glasier: | Reply

I think the kid should get his mouth off that boob so I can SEE it!

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Time magazine is bullshit. ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 11:32 AM | Posted by Popa: | Reply

Time magazine is bullshit. It's the political edition of People Magazine. That's why only women buy it.

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What if it were a picture o... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 12:05 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

What if it were a picture of a woman from a traditional society nursing a child of this age, presumably not in camo and the mother in her usual clothing?

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I suspect you're right and ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 12:53 PM | Posted by Winifred: | Reply

I suspect you're right and here's why:

Attachment parenting and Bill Sears have been around since at least when my firstborn was an infant and he's 12 now. It was big back then; maya slings were easily found and seen out in public and the pediatricians saw an up-tick in co-sleeping among other things. Point being, it isn't new or newly popular as Time alleged.

It's an election year. So, this will be the fourth election since 1999, why now? My guess is the combination of the facts that the incumbent president can't run on his record due to the poor economy as well as a challenger that represents everything culturally opposite.

An election about identity, which necessitates division and hate, is the incumbent's only hope in these circumstances.

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Sorry, fedora = ombre. I wr... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 3:31 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Sorry, fedora = ombre. I wrote that at like 4 am.

The only thing, and I mean ONLY thing, that makes me think this woman is jesus-bound, is the fact her facial bone structure suggests native american ethnic heritage, which in turn suggests she is a southern white, which suggests she is an ignorant moron.

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TIME followed up with a bri... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 4:18 PM | Posted by Smackdown: | Reply

TIME followed up with a brief interview of this mother after the foreseeable controversy erupted: http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/10/q-a-with-jamie-lynne-grumet/?xid=newsletter-weekly

"The more people see it, the more it’ll become normal in our culture. That’s what I’m hoping. I want people to see it...There seems to be a war going on between conventional parenting and attachment parenting, and that’s what I want to avoid. I want everyone to be encouraging."

Hmm...

I've been reading TLP for a while now, and this is the first time I've commented. The wisdom of his posts and the (sometimes) insightful comments that ensue never fail to please. Even when I disagree, there is always brain food to munch. Thanks everyone.

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Apparently, no one was read... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 4:37 PM | Posted by The Mommy Psychologist: | Reply

Apparently, no one was reading Time which is exactly why the editors published it. It was like dumping gasoline all over a simmering fire and then throwing a match on it. We all know what you get. A hell of an explosion. And we all proved we were lemmings. Meanwhile, all of the marketing executives and editors are high fiving each other backstage. I talk about the end of my role as a lemming here:
http://www.themommypsychologist.com/2012/05/11/have-you-seen-enough-of-jamie-grumet-yet/

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Well, attachment parenting ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 6:33 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well, attachment parenting is about an lack of ability to discern personal boundaries. Or at least not to care about violating them.

How can anyone in current society learn healthy boundaries with the sort of things going on to market to the masses. So here's what realy disturbs me about this cover. If those are genuine people on the cover, someone is renting out their child to be photographed with a strange woman's breast in his mouth. What's the name for that?

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I hate her because she got ... (Below threshold)

May 14, 2012 10:21 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I hate her because she got on the cover of time magazine without doing anything. A woman like that on the cover of time magazine means whatever I thought time stood for when I imagine the prestige that I've been taught to associate with time is no longer valid. Time has caused me a narcissitic injury on purpose. I fell for it. They led me on and I believed in their deception. My own fault, i need to be more careful in the future, unless...

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I feel bad for u cuz the mi... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 2:34 AM | Posted, in reply to The Mommy Psychologist's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I feel bad for u cuz the misogynistic basement trolls that dwell on TLP are going to troll your blog.

YOu committed these cardinal sins:

1) You are female and voicing your opinion; more specifically you are labeling yourself as a female voice. You can be a female and talk on this forum if you don't mention the former.

2) You are identifying yourself with labels ("Mommy" and "psychologist"). Get ready for a torrent of N WORDS headed your way.

3) You are begging for page views which never goes over well, plus your style is sort of like TLP, except if you surgically removed the misogyny and brooding basement dwelling angsty adolescent identity dilemma driven malaise, and replaced it with his mother'sPTA / home bakesale-y version of the same sentiment. Nobuddie likes a style thief.

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How can you reverse the sex... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 2:38 AM | Posted, in reply to DanC's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

How can you reverse the sexes? I get it, but to even make this suggestion is horrid. A boy nursing from his mother is natural and not sexual. The reverse situation is all kinds of eye brain bleach nightmare stuff. You watch too much porn you degenerate freak.

The only thing awful about this picture, is that our culture has become so depraved we have sexualized the act of a 3 year old child nursing from his mother. THAT LUCKY INFANT GETS TO SUCKLE ON HER OMG!!!!!!

Were you attempting to be humorous? I'm really not sure. Were you actually trying to make some kind of point about male oppression? I don't know, I'm very confused, my mind went into shock mode when you made me think about a 3 year old and her father.

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Dude, Alone already styles ... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 7:54 AM | Posted, in reply to wyatt's comment, by Lady Listerine: | Reply

Dude, Alone already styles himself The Last Man and now you want him to star as the Overman as well?

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well, I'm 24 years old... a... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 8:13 AM | Posted by breastfeeder: | Reply

well, I'm 24 years old... and I still breast feed! is that wrong?

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This cover & media analysis... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 11:29 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This cover & media analysis is awesome. It remind me of something.. wait...

In 1957 Fabien Barthez wrote Mythologies. In this short book Barthes analyses a controversial Paris Match cover of a "french nigger soldier saluting" and explain how modern media use Mythologies to get a society that adheres to the ideologies of the ruling class... a good myths analysis method. It's also a fun read especially when it comes to catch

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This image is so ripe. Whil... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 12:15 PM | Posted by JDubJay: | Reply

This image is so ripe. While I really enjoyed your reading of it, I don't come to same conclusion that we should hate her because she is religious/extremist. Your perspective as a childless male (presumptuous guessing), both wanting to be the boy and afraid of being replaced by the boy, really make sense. You can be turned on, weirded out and secure in your dread of a familial commitment, all at the same time.

As a 40-year old mother of a 1 year old, when I look at the cover I get my "mommy fear" button pushed for the 100th time today. Just after reading your post, I saw a link from a friend (mother of 3) on Facebook to the NYTimes "Can You Call a 9-Year Old a Psychopath?" with her comment, "This is terrifying."

I'm not the first person to say it, but the media approaches most parenting topics with all the subtly of a AK-47 pointed at your precious child's head. And guess who is always holding the gun. You. You horrible, neglectful mom. The Time cover tells me I'm old, ugly, not doing it right, whether I breastfed, or not, and I should immediately slap the mother next to me. And while I'm confused and guilty, shouldn't I purchase an organic diaper creme or wooden educational toy or Disney vacation to make it all better.

You also missed the narcissist's angle on this. (Not surprising since your commenters claim to be tired of it.) Freaking people out about bad parenting is about their own egos, not about the kid. You don't want other people to THINK you are a bad parent. You busy yourself with all the current cultural markers of good parenting and you'll be fine. Your kids may not be. That's why the NYTimes article is the apex of this trope. Your kid could be a psychopath no matter what you do and everybody will think you made him a psychopath. The ultimate horror.

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Should I masturbate to the ... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 1:47 PM | Posted by JohnK: | Reply

Should I masturbate to the Time cover or its analysis on this website?

Which one would make me feel more unique?

Definition of to masturbate: to waste time by doing something pointless only designed to pleasure the self usually followed by a sensation of emptiness. See also "writing/commenting anonymously online."

So, all of us that write here: are we better or worst than the people who read Time and fall for the "trap"?

What about those who put the magazine to good use and released themselves?

Who will save the boy? Will he ever read TLP? What effect will it have?

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Great Post. But what I don'... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 2:55 PM | Posted by anon: | Reply

Great Post. But what I don't understand is the motivation behind making her look 30-35yrs, and not 26 like she apparently is. Is it to appeal to the larger target demo? Few 26 year old females have 3 years olds, and those who do sure won't be buying Time, but of course lots of 30-35 year old white women have young children.

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I haven't read the Time art... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 3:19 PM | Posted by Henrico Otto: | Reply

I haven't read the Time article, and I wouldn't be surprised if it tried to link attachment parenting and religion, but I don't think the photo does that. I'm with Anon above, my immediate impression looking at this was that the woman was out of NYC: self important, self absorbed, well off, highly status driven, highly educated, but very far from religious.

You're right that her age doesn't fit this profile, she should be in her 30's if she's a mom in NYC, but the photo makes her look older than 26. Of course they mention her age on the cover and that may be a clue to how they may pitch her in the article, but the photo does not resonant with that portrayal for me. If we're analyzing the photo, something else is going on.

I agree Time does not like attachment parenting, and the cover is meant to make you dislike the mother, but it does so in ways unrelated to linking her with religion (although that may be the strategy in the article).

I would think that the crew at Time finds nothing at fault with NYC self importance etc. and an image of it would not offend their sensibilities. One thing that might be going on is that Time is not so much attacking "attachment parenting" as it is the notion of parenting itself. The relationship depicted seems clinical and loveless; the mom doesn't really seem to match up with the kid (she in hipster dress, he in fatigues). The mom's depicted independent attitude is not nurturing with is highly dissonant with the fact that she is literally nurturing by breast feeding. What the cover says is that parenting conflicts with being cool.

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Come on people, keep up. T... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 3:20 PM | Posted by Dgs: | Reply

Come on people, keep up. The last paragraph is one of the best things ever written here. tolerance, experience, perspective, those are the tools. Ignorance, biased differentiaion, blind indiviualism, those are the venoms. No one is as simplistic as tv made you think they are. And, She is 26 because she is 26.

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"Reverse the sexes, keep... (Below threshold)

May 15, 2012 7:41 PM | Posted, in reply to DanC's comment, by Scott: | Reply

"Reverse the sexes, keep the same ages".

That'd be one starved little girl. Tsk, tsk...

Or... hold up.
Did you actually mean a 26 year old woman nursing on the breast of her 3 year old father?

Well played, DanC.
Mind. blown.

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Ok, I've nursed my kid for ... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2012 3:47 AM | Posted by Whatever: | Reply

Ok, I've nursed my kid for 18 months and my first reaction to the Times title page was... YUK.

Not because she's nursing an older child. It's because the child is purposefully made to look older. The whole setting is unnecessarily provocative.

Like you said, they want us to hate it.

However I don't associate extended nursing with hippies or religious nuts, so my mind didn't go there. I simply assumed she's one of those women who has something to prove, for whatever reason.

Because when you accept to be pictured like this on Times, you DEFINITELY have something to prove.

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What if it were a pictur... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2012 8:49 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by James: | Reply

What if it were a picture of a woman from a traditional society nursing a child of this age, presumably not in camo and the mother in her usual clothing?

Then the mother and child would be in a natural situation, not dressed and posing as if they were in a porno shoot. There's no doubt the image has been carefully constructed.

In some jurisdictions (such as the UK) the image would probably be treated as indecent, and it is notable that the foreign editions of Time use a different cover image.

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The image is also of a secu... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2012 10:24 AM | Posted by Artfldgr: | Reply

The image is also of a secular sociopathic Madonna and child...
a sterile version of it... where Mary could care less about Jesus, and Jesus really doesn't want to be with Mary...

a PoMo Madonna and child

but ALSO... look at the child's posture and such... a parasite... why would a woman want to turn a tiny bundle of flesh representing her genetic contribution to the future (And her selection ability towards the same) into a full person.. who then is a parasite hanging off of you... preventing even this cheater of womankind non-feminist Judeo christian woman from looking her best... (a bit too much tongue in cheek i suppose)


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"She's a billion, so either... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2012 5:53 PM | Posted by I.G. Noranz: | Reply

"She's a billion, so either Time...." (TLP)
"I was convinced by the billion on the cover's blog." (Gabe Ruth)

What's a "billion"? What's a "cover's blog"?

"co-sleeping"

What's "co-sleeping"?

Would appreciate any help.

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Hi, Anon. Sorry that I cau... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2012 6:46 PM | Posted by DanC: | Reply

Hi, Anon. Sorry that I caused you so much mental anguish.
>> How can you reverse the sexes? I get it, but to even make this suggestion is horrid.
Alone asks "When does it become incest?" I was merely asksing "When does it become kiddie porn?"

>>A boy nursing from his mother is natural and not sexual.
Yes, I'm sure sex wasn't at all a consideration in TIME's approach here. That's why she's hot, and has a giant question mark over her crotch.

>> The reverse situation is all kinds of eye brain bleach nightmare stuff.
So, you agree with me. Add "criminal", too, please.

>> You watch too much porn
Sorry, I didn't know you were monitoring me. What's the *right* amount to watch?

>> you degenerate freak.
Posing a hypothetical that makes you uncomfortable makes me both degenerate, and a freak? Sorry again. What questions am I allowed to ask to avoid your judgement? Only ones you would ask?
Is my problem that I am not you? Sorry, I can't help that.

>> We have sexualized the act of a 3 year old child nursing from his mother.
By "we" you mean you and TIME, yes?

>>.... THAT LUCKY INFANT GETS TO SUCKLE ON HER OMG!!!!!!
Have you actually seen the cover? Three point something years old is not generally considered an infant. If you are old enough to ask to nurse, and tell your play date friends about it, perhaps you aren't really an "infant".

>>Were you attempting to be humorous? I'm really not sure. Were you actually trying to make some kind of point about male oppression?
Male oppression? Sorry yet again, but I can't see that far out to left field. Or does a sports metaphor prove your point somehow?

>> I don't know, I'm very confused,
Again, we agree.

>> My mind went into shock mode when you made me think about a 3 year old and her father.
I'm very glad I made you think. The image you describe is repellent. Now, ask again, why is this TIME cover not kiddie porn, but the reverse is? Because women nurse children? That's true. If it's so perfectly natural, why is there a controversy? Try that thinking thing again, and see what happens.

Dan


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A billion = 10^9Th... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2012 7:26 PM | Posted, in reply to I.G. Noranz's comment, by Gabe Ruth: | Reply

A billion = 10^9

The 10^9 that is on the cover has an awesome blog.

Co-sleeping is the whole family sleeping together.

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This one is mom enough, and... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2012 10:26 PM | Posted by DGS: | Reply

This one is mom enough, and the toddlers are not even hers.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3vfc5R4BL1qe9uoko1_500.jpg

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Its as if goatse was a woma... (Below threshold)

May 17, 2012 5:09 AM | Posted, in reply to DGS's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Its as if goatse was a woman!

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What committee is responsib... (Below threshold)

May 17, 2012 11:00 AM | Posted by gral: | Reply

What committee is responsible for writing this particular TLP entry? It's not written in the same style nor from the same perspective as other entries here. No guest author credits either.

No real insights here. And where's the obsession with TLP's own masssive narcissism, projected outward onto society?

When did the noun "parent" become a verb? And why?

Who fuckin' cares about the latest fad in human psych, "attachment parenting"? It's just a way for some charlatan quacktor to promote himself and get rich. What's the opposite? DEtachment parenting?

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Do you think Time ... (Below threshold)

May 17, 2012 5:37 PM | Posted by T. AKA Ricky Raw: | Reply

Do you think Time cares about breast feeding? Do you think Time cares about you? Time hates you. It hates everyone, especially its readers, it thinks of them as credit card numbers, as registered voters, as organ donors. It wants what it wants and if we have to throw a kid under a boob, so be it. Like the late Marshall McLuhan once said, there's a war going on out there, and it isn't between liberals and conservatives or atheists and believers or attachment parents and detachment parents, it's between us and them, where them is defined as everyone who is not us and us is defined as me. You lose.

I just finished a book called "I and Thou" by Martin Buber, and this last paragraph so reminds me of that book. Have you ever read it? Difficult read, but it's really worth it.

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I haven't read the article,... (Below threshold)

May 17, 2012 5:46 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I haven't read the article, but my first reaction to the cover photo is that it is pure exploitation of shock value by TIME magazine. In other words, TIME want's to sell more magazines and have their name in the media, as they say, there is no such thing as bad publicitiy. Of course, the photo is staged for maximum shock value. Do the powers that be at TIME magazine really give a rats ass how long mothers breast feed their children, I doubt it. While I agree that the idea of nursing a child past the age of a year or so is weird, I also understand that my ideas about that are influenced by what is now considered socially acceptable. With the amount of societal pressure that is imposed upon parents these days to raise "perfect children", I'm not surprised at the lengths that some parents will go to in order to give their children some sort of an edge over others.

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Uhhh... she's hot. Plain a... (Below threshold)

May 17, 2012 6:08 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by TMS71: | Reply

Uhhh... she's hot. Plain and simple and undeniable. She is hot. I wish it was me there on that breast. She doesn't look any older than her 26 years.

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The discussion about the TI... (Below threshold)

May 17, 2012 7:32 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

The discussion about the TIME's clever staging of a message got me thinking about New York Time's assessment of DSM-V last week. Granted that DSM-V has some complex problems (what are we to do if narccisism is to be removed as a personality disorder? lol!), I am sadden to see that the mainstream media is DRIVING the stigma of psychiatric illnesses instead of educating the public about the importance of awareness and prevention.

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House of Ruth says:<p... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2012 1:46 AM | Posted by gral: | Reply

House of Ruth says:

"A billion = 10^9"

in response to a question on what the SLANG term "billion" means in the context of this god-damned murk offered by not-Alone.

Listen here Jonas Quimby... we who aren't hip gay men like you, we need to know what Teh Gaze mean when they say "she's a billion."

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IMHO there is a cultural mo... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2012 7:12 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

IMHO there is a cultural move of morphing narcissism into a healthy psychological attribute, most commonly it's used as a sort of synonym for self-confidence. From the wikipedia entry on healthy narcissism.


: (Healthy narcissism): High outward self-confidence in line with reality

: Narcissism has become something of a postmodern bugbear, almost demonised in what has become known as the culture of narcissism. In reaction, there has been a growing emphasis upon the fact that 'we all need a bit of narcissism - a bit of self-centredness, a bit of overwhelming self-regard - to be able to do anything, to feel good about ourselves, to impose ourselves a little'.

As humans we exhibit many traits, without it per se being an argument for it being healthy. This cultural move mentioned above, would it be fair to say it's the only conceivable way forward? I mean, would The Circus desire to brand its effect on society as unhealthy?

I'm glad TLP debunk books like "Why we love sociopaths."

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>>IMHO there is a cultural ... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2012 8:24 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

>>IMHO there is a cultural move of morphing narcissism into a healthy psychological attribute

Everything is a disorder. Everyone is a psychologist.
People who disagree with you are mentally ill, and should probably be institutionalized.
Which proves how caring (oh, and superior, of course) you are.

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I know nothing about breast... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2012 8:25 PM | Posted by Roger: | Reply

I know nothing about breast feeding, beeing a mother and all these issues. But, to make a guess, a kid that can walk, talk, do things by his own, and has teeth to eat, should not be feeded like a baby. And I don't see it related to more or less attachment. Is she doing this for him or for herself?

About the magazine, nothing to say, never read. I don't know its political position and reasons.

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An interesting focus on c... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2012 9:22 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

An interesting focus on childrearing evidently. Nevertheless the following info does not have anything to do with the article. I had to choose some recent article to post more risperdal litigative action on and since there is military like ambience to the above article's picture why not. Combat is ubiquitous everywhere anyway.
THe following article is: "Court to Hear appeal of dismissal of Pa.'s risperdal lawsuit" Philadelphia Daily News 05/16/2012. The estimated penalty hanging over Johnson and Johnsons' head could run as high as 1.8 biilion dollars in fines. I believe that is according to Bloomberg---though may not be sure of that. Yet Johnson and Johnson continue to make the rounds from one state courthouse to another on the risperdal drug fraudulent issues and misprescribing information. Arkansas already has levied a 1.2 billion dollar lawsuit against the company this past spring.

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Entertaining... but I don't... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2012 9:53 PM | Posted by Ra: | Reply

Entertaining... but I don't think Time's agenda is that deep. I think we are entering the age of overly sensationalized print media, in their bid to avoid extinction. Click my name for more.

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Name not activated? It's <a... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2012 9:55 PM | Posted, in reply to Ra's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Name not activated? It's http://foresee.reddit.com

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almost more interesting, sh... (Below threshold)

May 19, 2012 6:07 PM | Posted by bob k. mando: | Reply

almost more interesting, she breastfeeds her adopted Negro son ... and Time didn't mention that.

http://www.the-spearhead.com/2012/05/17/time-scoops-newsweek-in-raging-cover-shot-war/

http://www.iamnotthebabysitter.com/breastfeeding-adopted-older-child/

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Well, if Time magazine's po... (Below threshold)

May 20, 2012 2:55 PM | Posted by Robin: | Reply

Well, if Time magazine's point was to get people fired up, selling magazines and online adspace, I guess good job. I looked at this cover, thought, "What an absolutely absurd cover photo", and promptly forgot all about it. Because, even at the ripe old age of 26, I know that Time magazine isn't going to tell me anything worthwhile. We should all know this, right?

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I personally don't give a c... (Below threshold)

May 21, 2012 2:26 PM | Posted by Elizabeth: | Reply

I personally don't give a crap if people breastfeed past teething or walking or whatever (My kid started getting teeth at four months old, which would have made weaning a tad early by medical recommendations). I do find it irritating when extending breastfeeding is made to look like "hardcore mommy-ism." Because it's, well, not. A good chunk of the world is OK with breastfeeding until their kids are a few years old (more on that in a second), and breastfeeding is pretty straight forward once you get past the first two months or so.

I read the article and not a lot stuck with me besides the Sears' childhoods. Dr. Sears had an invalidating environment, and Mrs. Sears's mother had Schizophrenia. They're really sensitive people who were reacting to how they were raised. Fine, whatever.

The thing that divides many parents about this issue is, "I am a better parent than you, and your judgment is what makes it so hard for me to be a parent." This attachment parenting vs. conventional parenting (What does that even mean?) is a bit absurd. Both sides are convinced the other is going to permanently scar their kids, all the while being secretly concerned that the other side might be right. Kids are pretty resilient, provided you're not beating without mercy, starving them, etc.

The thing I find confounding about attachment parenting is the idea that it makes families work so much better. The article mentioned the Sears's being influenced by a report on a tribe that used slings, co-slept, and breastfed for longer than Americans, and how well-behaved the kids were. A few connections that weren't made:

1. People have traditionally co-slept because getting eaten by a lion was a real possibility and there's strength in numbers. Later on as societies became more industrialized, there were/are families who couldn't/can't afford a large enough house and/or enough beds for everyone.

2. Carrying a kid in a sling is practical when you have to spend good portions of the day collecting food and water, and you need to breastfeed regularly.

2. a. People used to and some currently breastfeed late into childhood because clean water and food weren't/aren't always available.

2. c. Some societies have and still do breastfeed other people's children, so keeping up a milk supply is helpful to their society.

3. Tribal kids are probably better behaved because they're constantly surrounded by close friends and family, and their dad will likely bring forth the pain if they're caught screwing around - little room to cause a ruckus when twenty pairs of eyes are on you. Oh, and having the emotional support of relatives is a very good thing.

It's not about attachment - it's about practicality.

I think #3 is an important point: high expectations and familial support are going to lead to a more emotionally supportive environment than what some Western families do today. Breastfeeding past preschool, sleeping in the same bed, giving up date nights because you refuse to leave your kid (some attachment parents do this), not using "negative reinforcement" (even time outs) lest you hurt little Johnny's psyche (some attachment parents do this, and incorrectly using the phrase negative reinforcement to boot - confusing it with punishment), and so forth.

If attachment parenting didn't work for the Sears's, they wouldn't have continued to do it. I would wager to guess their success in parenting is more rooted in having high expectations for their kids and working on emotional relationships - things that are doable with cribs, the CDC recommended vaccination schedule, time outs, public schooling, strollers, sleep training, and Potty Training In Less Than One Day by Azrin.

Whatever works for folks. Again, don't care. I'm secure enough in my parenting abilities that I don't get worked up if someone criticizes me for stupid stuff like time outs and a second cup of juice. People need to lighten up.

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<a href="http://upps-sajt.c... (Below threshold) It's Roland Barthes not<... (Below threshold)

May 21, 2012 6:02 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by teletubby: | Reply

It's Roland Barthes not Fabien.

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Attachment parenting is sim... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 9:55 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Attachment parenting is simply narcissism in mommy form. I don't think for a second that a mother thinking about how her kid feels is going to do things in front of the kid's friends that trumpet how mothery she is at the expense of her child's future social life. The kid is obviously having to explain this stuff to his friends, which means

A) she's doing this in a public way

B) she's not all that concerned about what the kid himself may face right now, let alone in the future

C) she's bragging -- this isn't something that she's doing simply because she thinks it's right, but something that she wants everyone to see. To the point of agreeing to let her kid breastfeed on a national magazine cover without any thought as to what happens when his buddies see that cover in a few years. That cover is going to dog her son for the rest of his life. He's going to be seen by his peers as a freak of nature.

Which part of this isn't about HER? It's all about her, and her need to keep her child very close. And not necessarily because it's good for him, but because she then gets to show off how concerned she is about her kid and how great a mother she is. A mother might do something like this in a traditional culture, but they don't do it like this. They don't do it in a way that everyone notices that they're breastfeeding a 3-year old. They do it in a rice paddy when everyone else does it.

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There seem to be two differ... (Below threshold)

May 28, 2012 4:02 PM | Posted by Leon Jesmanowicz: | Reply

There seem to be two different issues here. 1) the writer being critical of the article, which is fine (yay freedom of speech). 2) straight forward disdain of Time magazine. I feel that point #2 undermines point #1. If you flat out say you hate Time magazine then any other commentary will come off extremely biased and slanted regardless of it's merit.

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Time mag is in every doctor... (Below threshold)

May 30, 2012 10:19 AM | Posted by Tre: | Reply

Time mag is in every doctor's waiting room in the country, which is why it doesn't matter that nobody subscribes — everybody goes to the doctor; everybody will see the covers.

Even without the woman/child, the cover is provocative with the large red letters asking if you're 'mother enough'. And that's not just for women to steam over; men are addressed, too: is your mother/wife/sister a good enough mother.

While I do think it's possible Time Mag gamed a genuine woman into doing the cover (because there are women who not only breastfeed 3+ yrs, but who are also nearly militant about it), I definitely agree that Time magazine doesn't consider breastfeeding or parenting an issue at all.

What IS an issue is the economy (can you afford to stay at home and be a "good enough" parent for several years per kid?), and the definition of a family (can you even successfully parent a NON-BIOLOGICAL kid?)

Those are the hotbed issues, and this poor fool La Leche woman let herself be used as a political tool.

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Additional followup artic... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 1:34 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

Additional followup articles on a May 18 2012 Harry Horton posting on the risperdal issue.
"Risperdal Drug lawsuits: Will new Johnson and Johson CEO Gorsky change litigative strategy?"
Timesunion.com Friday May 4 2012.
"Soldiers, veterans PTSD and antipsychotic drugs" Philly pharma Monday May 14, 2012.

The two articles relate certain facets of the antipsychotic usage in the US. A thorough recounting of the litigative environment surrounding risperdal dating back to the Louisiana and South Carolina trials are included in the TImesunion article and the current Pa. risperdal legal matter in action. Secondly, the military article centers on the widespread usage of antipsychotic drugs through the military with an emphasis on PTSD and its cost into the future for the US health care system.

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Actually, I hate her becaus... (Below threshold)

July 8, 2012 6:14 AM | Posted by Nicki: | Reply

Actually, I hate her because she participated in this horseshit I call Divide and Conquer Teh Women, Because Feminism Makes Us Uncomfortable.

I wonder what they paid her to sell-out.

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I also hate her because tha... (Below threshold)

July 8, 2012 6:17 AM | Posted by Nicki: | Reply

I also hate her because that poor bastard child of hers will probably have that photo passed around at his 21st Birthday.

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Dear LP --writing under thi... (Below threshold)

July 19, 2012 11:12 AM | Posted by teddebiddle: | Reply

Dear LP --writing under this headline w/query about latest Time mag front page--.
Please consider posting your brilliant consideration/analysis of what, exactly, or top 20 things, to say or do, for a weeping empath/volunteer (me, with long line of ancestors buried at Arlington Cemetery --but for ANY empathic layperson--)to counsel?/assist/prevent potential military suicides??!!

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what do you mean?... (Below threshold)

August 2, 2012 7:53 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

what do you mean?

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Yes. You totally nailed it.... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2012 3:03 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by nizza: | Reply

Yes. You totally nailed it. But Yuppie Hipster is practically a religion so we might as well still "hate" her. I mean she's glamorizing poverty and that's pretty lame, right?

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i don't think TIME cares, b... (Below threshold)

January 15, 2013 1:16 PM | Posted by Shamsi Ruhe: | Reply

i don't think TIME cares, but i have a friend still doing this and her son is five. she's super hot and does yoga all the time. none of that bothers me, when she lay on the floor and let him nurse in front of my then gf, i thought, "she *does* kinda feed her ego with this.

i wasn't jealous, but i was uncomfortable. maybe that says something about me, but he also has invented behavioral problems from how she's raising him (not the breastfeeding, other stuff). i do wonder how much attention she needs. but i love her. i'm sure there's stuff about me she's not 100% positive or convinced about, and she might be right about any or all of them.

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It's obvious why its offens... (Below threshold)

September 28, 2013 6:51 AM | Posted by jack: | Reply

It's obvious why its offensive, its not natural by any means!
Its not a mother breastfeeding a baby, its a KID who's old enough to have a crush on a girl, standing on a chair in an inappropriate position sucking a womans breast!
Its highly suggestive that its NOT by any means natural and it is absolutely mentally unhealthy, no normal mother and son relationship is like this nor do they position themselves in such a strange fashion that suggest something else.
It could very well be incest for number of reasons but a baby you can clearly see it isn't for obvious reasons, so why are people offended by this? well when you're done playing with yourself take another look.

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OMG! LUCKIEST SON EVER!!!!!... (Below threshold)

November 7, 2013 5:10 AM | Posted by NoOne YouKnow: | Reply

OMG! LUCKIEST SON EVER!!!!!!!!!!

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He looks about 5 or 6 to me... (Below threshold)

November 13, 2013 10:09 PM | Posted, in reply to Dasha's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

He looks about 5 or 6 to me. I think it's wrong because children need to begin feeding themselves at some point before they move to a dorm.

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