May 11, 2012

Let's talk about the "Are You Mom Enough?" Time magazine cover.

Alexandra Petra has a WaPo column titled "Time magazine and our mommy porn fixation", and I'm going to make you click through to it if you want to look at the cover, because if you're going to call that cover "mommy porn," why isn't it also child porn? I'm not going to display the picture here.

(It's a 5 or 6 year old boy sucking on the naked breast of an adult woman.)

ADDED: How old is that child actually? This article says it's "26-year-old mother Jamie Lynne Grumet" with "her near-four-year-old son." Sorry, he looked older to me. I guess the breast milk is promoting growth... or maybe she's tiny.
Ms Grumet told Time she also breastfeeds Aram's five-year-old adopted brother, Samuel, and recalls how she was breastfed by her own mother until the age of six.
So there you have it. Breastfeeding not just for infants and toddlers, but for children who have surpassed toddlerhood. As for the child porn/pedophilia issue I've raised (in response to Petra's rhetoric):
"There are people who tell me they're going to call social services on me or that it's child molestation," Ms Grumet tells Time. "People have to realise this is biologically normal. It's not socially normal. The more people see it, the more it'll become normal in our culture."

85 comments:

Freeman Hunt said...

Not only is it inappropriate, but it's smearing Dr. Sears.

dreams said...

I thought it was a 3 year old child but I haven't the article and I don't feel like reading it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Sears can't be tolerated because he respectfully advocates that someone cut out or down on work for a while to stick around with young children. So they take some extreme people, link them to Sears, and try to marginalize him.

Vile.

Pastafarian said...

I wondered what their angle here was, Freeman. I thought it was just to give everyone uncontrollable squick-chills.

Lucien said...

Not any kind of porm. Completely non-prurient. 0% ooh!, 100% eww!

Scott M said...

Why isn't it, indeed. As much as rolly-polly fat children, its very close to being child abuse.

I've talked to a number of educators over the years and, to a person, they say if they have a little fat kid in class, that kid invariably has one, if not two, fat parents.

What's the equivalent with breast-feeding until you're old enough to play little league...or after?

A far better question. What kind of father would let his son do this?

Moose said...

why isn't this tagged with "war on women"?

Crunchy Frog said...

Creepiest scene in all of Season 1 of Game of Thrones was Lyse Arryn nurses her sickly, 6-year-old princeling Robert in front of Cat and Tyrion...

Petunia said...

The one inescapable fact is that this child is going to be teased for the rest of his life for this picture. Once it's on the internet it's never going away. Hope his parents have some money saved up for therapy.

Mitchell said...

The kid has a milk gut and Alexandra Petri flubbed the obligatory reference to Betty Draper.

Scott M said...

why isn't this tagged with "war on women"?

Because that's a little boy clamped on the teet. It's part of the war on men.

edutcher said...

Stupid, not sexy.

But it's the Lefties' vision for this country - everybody forever suckling at Mother Bountiful.

Jon Burack said...

If a teacher gives this issue of Time to kids for a current events class, won't the teacher be put in jail?

The Drill SGT said...

I read it previously. The kid was supposed to be 3.

However, it's one thing to show an infant, even a named infant at his mother's nipple.

To do so in the internet age for a child approaching the age to start school, begs for bad outcomes. Talk about bullying?

comments about a sissy and others about your mom's tits is just the start.

child abuse in the making by Mom.

traditionalguy said...

This may be a censored American version of the cover. Time's Roman Polanski European version of the cover would not have used so many clothes.

The prurient interest in sexual acts of children must still sell magazines.

Or maybe it a candid pic of a visitor to Jerry Sandusky's Penn State Office being groomed?

MayBee said...

Imagine being that kids's fiance' and then seeing that picture.

I am bothered by the practice, bothered by the photograph, and bothered that TIME decided to use an attractive woman. What happens to a 14 year old boy who sees that picture?

Jason said...

I never understood why breast feeding, even in public, was so controversial, or why anyone in his right mind would be bothered by it.

It just never made a lick of sense to me. And I don't give a rat's ass what age women choose to wean their children at.

Period.

Chip Ahoy said...

I see deadsperate people all over the place.

Chip Ahoy said...

Ha ha ha, you said lick.

sydney said...

Not appropriate on any level.

Petunia said...

It's now being reported that the mom is a blogger and model. I wonder how much of her posing for the cover was about her supposed advocacy for attachment parenting, and how much was about self-promotion.

Either way her son is going to be the one to be bullied for this. For years. Poor kid.

Scott M said...

Either way her son is going to be the one to be bullied for this. For years. Poor kid.

Do we know it's her son? (lol)

MayBee said...

I never understood why breast feeding, even in public, was so controversial, or why anyone in his right mind would be bothered by it.

I don't think breast feeding is controversial.
Breast feeding in public needn't be controversial, as long as the woman is as discreet as such an intimate act requires.
And surely you can see why someone in his right mind would be bothered by either a completely exposed breast in public or an older child breast feeding.

phx said...

I think the kid is doing it wrong.

dbp said...

I think the picture is prurient because an attractive model has most of a breast exposed.

It is not child porn because the scene would be far sexier if the child wasn't in it.

Unknown said...

They obviously like/love each other, Mr. Obama, should they be allowed to marry?

Alex said...

Tits, tits and more tits. One thing you can always count on this blog to provide in bountiful abundance.

Har har har!

gadfly said...

"Anything to improve readership" has to be Time's excuse for raising this double social taboo. The taboo is double because Western woman generally breastfeed for about one year (while East Indians go about three years) and of course breastfeeding in public is A NO-NO (except in the mindlessness that is the National Association of Gals {NAG} or is that the NOW).

Better yet, unlike Sandra Fluke, Jamie Lynne Grumet is saving $3,000 per year by not having to worry about birth control meds, which may well explain her desire for extending her lactation period.

holdfast said...

Exactly - the kid is dressed, so no child pr-0-n. And sickos who are into that sort of thing would likely be turned off by the presence of the mom.

It's pure exploitation of a mostly uncovered boob and a boob of a parent.

Poor kid is f*cked at school. How is putting the kid on the cover not child abuse? Time for WitSec and massive plastic surgery.

Plus all that sugary moo juice is making him fat.

Seeing Red said...

"Pardon me while I whip this out!"

Petunia said...

Good one, Scott M!

I read in the Daily Mail online, the source of all news, that she and her husband also have an adopted 5 y.o. son from Ethiopia, whom they adopted about 18 months ago, and she breast-feeds him too.

Wonder why Time didn't put THAT photo on the cover?

BarrySanders20 said...

Wow. Lots of folks have their titties in a ringer over this. Hmmm. Jealous?

Repeat after me: breastfeeding is not sexual for either participant.

The boy seems a bit old for a nip sip, but isn't that really up to the family? I don't think it's so odd in other countries to have 3 or 4 year olds continue to nurse (granted, that's odd for the US). But the real oddity is Mama's agreement to use the boy so publicly to shock the shrinking violets of the blogosphere. She's kind of like the NJ tan lady there. Time, of course, loves being relevant again, so they are happy to exploit.

And projections of endless future bulling? From whom? His friends and any hetero male are going to be jealous if anything. They'll be lucky to get near a breast that nice when they are 18.

Meh. The kid will be fine.

dreams said...

I'm 67 years old and grew up in the country and when was I was a little boy, it wasn't unusual to see a mother breast feeding her baby.

dreams said...

Not 3 year old babies though.

Lyssa said...

I've been strongly considering not breast feeding. The fact that people get so kooky about it certainly isn't helping on that issue.

Jana said...

::deep breath::

I breastfed both my kids until they were past two, and they both naturally weaned themselves. It wasn't sexual, it wasn't gross, and it certainly wasn't unnatural.

I'm not a big attachment parenting mom, but I don't see the big deal about breastfeeding a toddler. There is a point when a mother should encourage children to grow more independent, but having hung around a few "extended breastfeeders" (anyone BFing past 6 months - 1 year), it is very rare for a child to not self-wean by age 3. This is not a wide-ranging phenomenon. At all.

The media digs up these women just to attract attention, inciting inane debates about the appropriateness of a woman feeding her child as nature intended, and having the AUDACITY! to risk a nip-slip in public.

Lucien said...

Why hasn't Titus posted on this yet?

BarrySanders20 said...

Lyssa,

Do not allow others to decide this for you. Tell them to politely fuck themselves if they feel they need to offer advice or think you need their approval to feed your baby the way humans have done it for 100,000 years. If they are uncomfortable, they shouln't leer.

Same answer if you choose to pump the child full of formula. It's nobody else's business (just find out what it is and how it is made before you decide).

Lyssa said...

Just for the record, Barry, in my decision about breastfeeding, the last thing that I'm worried about is whether people might have an opinion that differs from my own. I'm talking about the people who act crazy, like this mom.

phx said...

Repeat after me: breastfeeding is not sexual for either participant.

I remember reading a story in the daily newspaper back in the 80s or 90s about a woman from Syracuse, NY who called the Health Department (or some other Government Bureau of Whatever) and said she was wondering if it was normal for her to have sexual feelings when she breastfed.

It wasn't too long before CPS was at her door, and as I recall they actually removed her child from her custody. I don't think I ever heard how it was finally resolved, but the story made it clear it was a horrible nightmare for her.

And the story did quotes some 'experts' who said that in some women it normal to feel arousal when they breastfed, and there was nothing unhealthy about it.

madAsHell said...

It would be interesting to follow the trajectory of that kids life. I don't think it's going to be happy. If I recall correctly, being a tit-sucking momma's boy wasn't a compliment.

MadisonMan said...

My opinion is that the mom is breastfeeding 'til Age 4 to show what a sacrificing Mom she is. She's not doing it for the kid's sake.

Part of the LookAtMe generation. That she allows herself to be photographed for Time Magazine only underscores it.

@Lyssa, when my wife was considering Breastfeeding she talked to the Milk Nazis of La Leche League who were aghast she could even *think* of working after her child was born (eyeroll). So my advice to you -- is this your first? -- is to smile at the people giving you advice, say "Thank you" and proceed to ignore it -- unless the person is your kid's pediatrician and you trust his/her advice.

BarrySanders20 said...

Oh, I see. If she breastfeeds and people think she is crazy, then if you breastfeed, then people will think you are crazy, too.

There is no in-between. It's either batshit crazy or formula.

Good luck.

Alex said...

Fuck this, I'm watching hawkporn.

Lyssa said...

Once again, Barry, I am not concerned about what anyone thinks of me. If someone thinks that I'm crazy, that person is probably a bit off their rocker themselves.

People who act crazy about things (for example, by being convinced that the only reason a person would make a decision is because of the perceptions of others) make the things that they do appear less appealing.

Darrell said...

Back in May 2007, Dr. Izzat Atiya, head of Al Azhar University’s Department of Hadith, issued a fatwa, or Islamic legal decree, saying that female workers should “breastfeed” their male co-workers in order to work in each other’s company. According to the BBC:

He said that if a woman fed a male colleague “directly from her breast” at least five times they would establish a family bond and thus be allowed to be alone together at work. “Breast feeding an adult puts an end to the problem of the private meeting, and does not ban marriage,” he ruled. “A woman at work can take off the veil or reveal her hair in front of someone whom she breastfed.”



http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/04/raymond-ibrahim-islamic-adult-breastfeeding-fatwas-return.html

Sigivald said...

because if you're going to call that cover "mommy porn," why isn't it also child porn?

Because in the first case "porn" means almost nothing, just "an image that will cause a response in the target audience".

And in the second case, "porn" means a very specific thing that is utterly inapplicable to that image in any sane way.

(As Lucien said - there's nothing remotely prurient about it, and as Barry said, breastfeeding is not in any normal context a sexualized matter.

Contra traditionalguy - where the hell is the "sexual acts of children" in that?)

Stop it. Just stop.

I've seen this "why isn't this child porn"/"this is child porn" meme on half a dozen blogs now, and it's utterly stupid.

One could, if on was inclined, argue that half-seriously wondering why that isn't "child porn" cheapens the horribleness of actual child pornography precisely because this is nothing like it at all.

(It might be in bad taste, sure. But that's a different question.)

Tari said...

The fact that she still breastfeeds her 3 year old - who cares? The fact that she put her child on the cover of a national magazine as a prop for her own ideas and ego - disgusting.

Roger J. said...

The most disgusting thing I have seen in the national media. As a public health professional I am strongly in favor of breast feeding. But the kid in the pic is hardly young enough to be sucking. And the "mom" looks like she just got back from pilates and yoga. If I had this cover picture on my computer I would probably be arrested for child pornography.

absolutely disgusting and speaks to the utter degereration of the American media.

AJ Lynch said...

A relative of mine breast fed her son with flourish for 4-5 years. Most of us thought she was nutty but tolerated her behavior.

BarrySanders20 said...

I misread, you Lyssa. You don't care what other people think. Because when you said "I've been strongly considering not breast feeding. The fact that people get so kooky about it certainly isn't helping on that issue" I thought you were caving in to the people who get squeamish about breastfeeding.

But you seem levelheaded and reasonable enough not to make a decision based on what the kooky fringe does. So why is a kooky person relevant at all in the decision? Unless you're worried that if you breastfeed you'll get kooky too (which is kooky), or that if you breastfeed, you'll be associated with kooky people (which contradicts your lack of concern about what others think) I guess you are in the clear.

Roger J. said...

Breast feeding is normal, masturbation is normal, taking a shit is normal--none of them however need to be featured on the cover of a national news magazine.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

I echo what MM said about the "milk Nazis", they probably turn more mothers off from breastfeeding than otherwise with their heavy-handed tactics.

That being said, my wife breastfed all three of our daughters for 2-3 months each.

The disadvantages were that it sapped all her energy and made her ravenously hungry all the time.

The advantages were a delay in having to purchase super-expensive formula, I never had to get up and feed the baby when they were on mother's milk, they have fewer and less stinky bowel movements.

In theory you can eat more while nursing and not gain weight, but in practice you will eat more because you will be more hungry.

AllieOop said...

Breast feeding is still the best method for feeding infants, provides antibodies and provides perfect nutrition.

When the child starts getting teeth in quantities that mastication is possible, weaning is then natural. Many babies start rejecting the breast for solid foods at this point and weaning isn't difficult. My daughter nursed all three grandchildren.

She prepared all her own baby food and offered the sippy cup with formula, instead of bottle when weaning began. They didn't really like formula, so they were offered yogurt as an alternative source of calcium.

I do suspecting some cases, the mother may be prolonging breast feeding, for various reasons, none of them sexual in any way. It's not natural (for humans) to breast feed for this many years.

prairie wind said...

I've been strongly considering not breast feeding. The fact that people get so kooky about it certainly isn't helping on that issue.

Lyssa, you won't get kooky and no one is going to think you are kooky. This chick on the cover was probably a little out-there to begin with.

I breastfed mine until they decided to quit, around eleven months. That was about five months longer than I ever guessed I would continue it but I found the cuddle-time truly lovely.

prairie wind said...

One could, if on was inclined, argue that half-seriously wondering why that isn't "child porn" cheapens the horribleness of actual child pornography precisely because this is nothing like it at all.

Yes, exactly. There is too much hysteria over sex these days--a boy kicked out of kindergarten for sexual assault (I think that was the charge) because he kissed a little girl, for example, or teenage boys charged with child porn because they have naughty pics of their girlfriends. It's a shame we need the reminder that outrage should be reserved for the truly outrageous.

I do feel for this little guy. In ten years, a good sense of humor is the only thing that will save him from starring in another Time cover story about bullying.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Breast feeding is still the best method for feeding infants, provides antibodies and provides perfect nutrition

This. Plus the quiet time of breast feeding is a restful and bonding experience for both mother and child.

To be judgmental about whether a person chooses to breast feed or not is ridiculous since each person's circumstances are different. I was fortunate to have the luxury of being able to not work for 6 months after my child was born, so I could breast feed. Not everyone has that luxury. There is nothing wrong with NOT breast feeding either. Just do what works for you and your family.

It's not natural (for humans) to breast feed for this many years

Especially when there is no lack of food available. It reeks of narcissism on the part of the mother. It seems to be all about "look at ME!" and see what a wonderful/devoted/attached/caring/blahblah person I am.

She is NOT doing her son any favors and I agree that this exploitative photo of her son will not do him any good. Especially when he gets to junior high and dating age.

PatCA said...

So this lady breast fed at the Playboy Mansion?? Confirms my thought that she is just another pretty, ambitious L.A. star wannabe. When does her reality show begin?

And yes, it is natural and up to her and her husband and kid. But defecating is natural, too, and doesn't belong on the cover of Time.

Roger J. said...

Prairie Wind--I take your point and agree--but madam: convince a prosecutor with an agenda.

Amartel said...

"The media digs up these women just to attract attention, inciting inane debates about the appropriateness of a woman feeding her child as nature intended, and having the AUDACITY! to risk a nip-slip in public."

There's more to this cover than messing with a few prudes who faint about nursing mother nip-slips. Here's a cool looking mommy, all fit and pretty, and no daddy in sight, nonchalantly feeding a not so little boy and asking, with an aggressive look on her face, if we're "mom enough" to do the same.

This is single lady porn and it's political.

Also, this attachment parenting thing may have some good points but it mainly sounds like parents who don't want their kids to grow up and away. The parents aren't grown up so why should the kids?

MayBee said...

I hope everyone understood when I said I don't approve of the practice, I meant toddler breast feeding. Not infant or baby-- that's fantastic.

MM had the best advice for what Lyssa should do with all the advice she's about to get.

As to all the people saying this is common in other cultures-- which cultures?

prairie wind said...

Roger, yes prosecutors have an agenda given to them from the DOJ. Most people think that "tough on crime" is a good thing...how could it NOT be? Legislators love to be seen as tough on crime and since voters won't elect someone who campaigns with "Crime? No big deal" as their campaign slogan, they all try to come up with proof that they are tough on crime. All the good laws are already taken--it is illegal to murder, to steal, to rape and so on--so legislators try to toughen up the existing law. Sure, it's illegal to commit murder, but lets give an enhanced sentence if murder is committed when you, um, wear a tie while doing it! Sentence enhancement guidelines, mandatory minimums, felonies around every corner...once that stuff is in the criminal code, there is no turning back.

Until more people are touched by the criminal justice system and are willing to speak up about their experience, nothing will happen. If it doesn't happen to you, you can be sure the poor sucker facing a mandatory minimum sentence had it coming, right?

And just to prove I didn't forget what the original post was... In the face of an out-of-control criminal justice system, moms who BF their toddlers and first graders just don't mean a whole lot. Not until that three-year-old grows up to commit his first crime, anyway. He'll need to prove something.

Jeff said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApBVJMfUjbs

sleepless nights said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ndspinelli said...

Got Milk ad for La Leche League.

ndspinelli said...

Lucien, Titus is currently being breast fed. He'll join in later.

Jenny said...

Tari said...

The fact that she still breastfeeds her 3 year old - who cares? The fact that she put her child on the cover of a national magazine as a prop for her own ideas and ego - disgusting.

DITTO!

5/11/12 1:13 P

Pogo said...

At least she had the choice to have an abortion.

Roger J. said...

Seems to me that there is a consensus among commnters: (1) breast feeding is natural and good for mom and child (2) the age at which the child is weaned is a mom's decision; and (3) putting this perfectly natural function on the cover a national news magazine is disgusting.

wyo sis said...

Doesn't anyone ever consider anything private anymore. I don't want to know how long anyone breastfeeds. I don't want to know who they have sex with or if they're married or not. I'm not interested in how much anyone else eats, or whether they are fat or thin. These things are none of my business, and they're none of anyone's business. When they become other people's business someone else gets to think they can regulate it.

Freeman Hunt said...

MadisonMan, would alter your advice to say that you should only care about the pediatrician's advice if it relates to illness or development.

Pediatricians, even the ones who think themselves experts, generally know almost nothing about nursing. They also know no more than regular people about day-to-day parenting.

Synova said...

"Along these lines, a mom I know had her first kid sleep with the parents until a ridiculous age and it was NOT a good experiment. She's way more emotionally stunted than her younger sister who was not experimented upon."

Because it makes so much sense to put a child, that you'd never leave alone for a moment during the day, alone at might in the dark in another room of the house.

I do not understand the notion that family sleeping is any sort of experiment. It's normal for *all* of History and human development. The amount of time that abandoning a child during the dark-hours has been the expectation is so small as to *obviously* count as the "experiment." And even when kids went to their own room, it was the kids sleeping together, most likely in the same bed with their siblings. No one had their own room when families had 9 children.

I can see a child becoming dependent on account of being the sole focus of their parent's constant attention, but that's from not having a big family, not at all from sleeping together the way that humans have done forever.

Freeman Hunt said...

Dr. Sears has one of the most useful websites for looking up info when you have a sick kid. His book is the same. Invaluable.

And attachment parenting works. I love it. But now people are lumping other things into it like breastfeeding preschoolers, allergies, not vaccinating, and other things. Dr. Sears basically advocates a very close relationship between babies and their primary caregivers. That is developmentally appropriate.

But now people are ticked off that women are staying home to be moms, so Sears has to be marginalized.

Freeman Hunt said...

I wish there was a Like button to click under Synova's comment.

Synova said...

"I've been strongly considering not breast feeding. The fact that people get so kooky about it certainly isn't helping on that issue."

Dang, Lyssa. Are you expecting and I missed it? If so, congratulations. :)

Freeman Hunt said...

Lyssa, sorry you're encountering kooks.

I nurse my kids for two years, and I think the main thing people have to be ready for is that it's very difficult and painful at first.

But obviously if nursing doesn't work out, it's not the end of the world. Some people seem to think that it is, and that's silly.

Crunchy Frog said...

Pediatricians, even the ones who think themselves experts, generally know almost nothing about nursing. They also know no more than regular people about day-to-day parenting.

The most annoying thing when I took the boys for their last physical was the interrogation about whether there was a gun in the house - as if that had anything to do with anything.

Synova said...

The Milk Nazis are good for helping past the difficult and painful part.

The only real problem I had was feeling profoundly nauseous while nursing my first. I discovered that if I sipped on orange juice while I fed him the nausea went away.

My third was early and the effing hospital staff gave her a bottle while I was recovering. Consequently each nursing episode for weeks involved 15 minutes of trying to get her to latch on and suck properly. If she hadn't been my third I'd have concluded that I was one of those who simply couldn't nurse and I'd have given up.

Idiot nurses.

Synova said...

"The most annoying thing when I took the boys for their last physical was the interrogation about whether there was a gun in the house - as if that had anything to do with anything."

Did you say... and knives too, lots and lots of knives?

cassandra lite said...

If I were her son's friend visiting after school, I'd be sure to be thirsty right when he was.

SukieTawdry said...

sleepless nights said...When I was 17 this 5-yr-old little boy got a huge crush on me as little boys will, but in this case, it wasn't sweet. He was the kind of 5-yr-old little boy who was going to grow up to be nasty one day.

I, too, have been the object of a five year-old's affections. This little guy wasn't nasty, but clearly was already on the road to being a sexual being which, I believe, most boys that age are. They're already aware of the pleasure that comes from touching themselves "down there." They play doctor. If you're a Freudian, at five boys are in the midst of their Oedipal stage. I'm afraid having a five-year old boy still on the teat is a little out of my comfort zone.

Petunia said...I read in the Daily Mail online, the source of all news, that she and her husband also have an adopted 5 y.o. son from Ethiopia, whom they adopted about 18 months ago, and she breast-feeds him too.

Wonder why Time didn't put THAT photo on the cover?


Indeed.

jimspice said...

Here's my addition to the meme: http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/181839_3868136832303_1545057899_33120924_1591932192_n.jpg

Methadras said...

Mom is kinda hot. Then I'd say lucky little bastard, but then I realized that she's probably raising a future entitled pussy man-baby to be. We are in effect raising children that will have the will of noodles.

Kirk Parker said...

"Did you say... and knives too, lots and lots of knives? "

Forget that! Did she say, "I guess we'll be looking for another pediatrician then."