My son saw a picture of a woman breastfeeding. His response says a lot.

I've spent years as a breastfeeding advocate, so my son's negative reaction to seeing a nursing baby totally threw me.

I had just finished writing an article about breastfeeding in public and was searching for a photo to add to it, when my 8-year-old son looked over my shoulder. He gazed at the image on my screen of a mom breastfeeding a baby with a confused look on his face. "What is she doing?" he asked, his brow furrowing. "That looks weird."

Photo by Johan Ordonez/Getty Images.


I tried to hide my surprise as I explained that she was just feeding her baby, but inside, I was floored.

I have spent most of my 17 years of motherhood advocating for breastfeeding moms. I've written multiple articles about breastfeeding. My own mother is a retired lactation consultant. All three of my kids — including my weirded-out son — nursed through toddlerhood.

How did that statement really come out of my child's mouth?

After a few minutes of reflection, I recognized where we'd gone wrong.

My son is the youngest child in our family and one of the youngest among our circle of friends. My older two kids had the benefit of seeing their younger siblings breastfed, in addition to seeing many of our extended family members and friends who had nursing babies. Because of that fairly constant exposure, they'd never blinked an eye at breastfeeding.

Photo by Ezequiel Becerra/Getty Images.

But I realized my son, by sheer circumstance of birth order, had rarely seen babies nursing. And seeing breastfeeding is the key to normalizing it.

A simple lack of exposure, plus immersion in a society where breasts are highly sexualized everywhere we look, equaled a kid who saw a baby on the breast as "weird."

It didn't matter that no one in our family had ever made breastfeeding out to be anything other than the natural way babies eat. It didn't matter that his father makes it a point to never make sexualized remarks about breasts. It didn't matter that he himself nursed until he was 3.

My son thought breastfeeding looked weird because he had not regularly seen babies breastfeeding. Not seeing it is what mattered.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

It's hard to believe that in 2018 it's still controversial to see a baby eat the way pretty much every mammal on Earth eats. But it is.

People can get way up in their feelings about breastfeeding in public. I've got the hate mail to prove it.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post diplomatically refuting every argument I've ever heard against women breastfeeding in public. It has received hundreds of comments — the vehemence with which some people argue that moms who breastfeed in public are disgusting, immoral, looking for attention, or half a dozen other offensive, unsavory qualities is kind of unbelievable.

One of the angry responses to my suggestion that women not feel shamed for breastfeeding in public. Who knew that nursing mothers were responsible for crime, poverty, and divorce? Screen shot from Motherhood and More.

One lengthy email I received accused moms who feed their babies in public of "feminist tyranny," "digital lynchings," and a host of other transgressions. It's worth a read, if only for the jaw-dropping entertainment factor of it.

This is a mere excerpt. You can read the whole thing with my responses here. Screenshot from Motherhood and More.

While extreme, these comments are also a window into how some people really feel about breastfeeding.

Society will never accept seeing breasts as anything other than sexual if we don't see more moms breastfeeding in public.

Yes, breasts have a sexual function. So do mouths, but no one has an issue seeing mouths being used for other purposes.

Breasts are not, primarily, sex organs. (And they are not genitalia, which is why comparisons with seeing penises in public are moot.) Their primary biological purpose is feeding babies. And if we don't see them being used for that purpose — regularly and out in the open — we will continue to see breasts primarily as sex toys, and people will continue to be uncomfortable with breastfeeding.

Photo by AFP Contributor/Getty Images.

That discomfort can have a detrimental effect on breastfeeding rates. Moms have all kinds of reasons for choosing not to breastfeed, and we all need to respect that. But feeling uncomfortable because breasts are hypersexualized should not be one of them.

Some people argue against breastfeeding in public because children might see it, but I would argue that kids are the ones who should be seeing breasts used for their original function without fuss or fanfare.

Please, moms, if you are choosing to breastfeed, and you're comfortable nursing your babies in public, do it.

Kids who see breastfeeding their whole lives don't see it as weird. But they do need to actually see it in order to counteract the constant messaging in advertisements and media that breasts are sexual.

Photo by AFP Contributor/Getty Images.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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