by Diane Robertson
La Leche League fills a needed service for new breast feeding mothers. According their website, La Leche League helps mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding in the healthy development of the baby and mother. They lend a needed service to many mothers.
Three years ago, La Leche league stated that, “As the cultural understanding of gender has expanded, it is now recognized that some men are able to breastfeed.”
Recently, La Leche League allowed women who dress as men, birth babies, and breast feed for at least nine months to volunteer, bringing the idea that men can birth babies and breast feed back into the spot light. Headlines, once more report the “new reality” that men can breast feed.
This of course is ridiculous. Men do not have the natural organs and hormones needed for breastfeeding.
However, some women who want to be men and dress as men and call themselves men’s names continue to do that which most defines their female gender—have children. They are women and not men. There are not more than two genders. Gender is not a society construct while sex is something different.
How one dresses, what name one goes by, what color one enjoys, what bathroom one uses, what pronouns one insists on being called, or even what gender one’s sexual partners happen to be does not change reality. Men are men in every cell of their body. They have unique body parts, hormones, body structure, and produce sperm. They cannot become pregnant, carry a developing baby, or breast feed their children. Women are women in every cell of their body. They have different body parts, body structure, and hormones from that of men, and they produce eggs and not sperm. Only women can become pregnant, carry a developing baby within their bodies, and produce milk for nourishment for their infants. Motherhood belongs solely to womanhood.
It does not matter what words are used, or what clothes are worn. It doesn’t even matter what body hair she has, if a person is a mother, she is a woman.
Of course, all mothers whether they believe they are men or women can use support with a new child and breast feeding. It can be a long road whether the mother thinks she is a man or a woman. If a mother dressed up as a father and calls herself “dad” needs assistance breast feeding, it is nice that she has available resources through La Leche league. It just doesn’t change reality.