On Formula Feeding, Internet Trolling and Penance


So. Yeah. Today over on Babble I had a bit of a shitshow on my hands. See, my editors asked me to write something about feeding babies to promote a new eBook being released on Friday. (The eBook is going to be awesome by the way – lots of great writing from bloggers about breastfeeding). The editors suggested something about formula feeding. I decided to make it a reader-response piece where women told me what they liked about formula feeding. I disclosed that quotes could be used at Babble and I got a lot of great, honest responses, especially from three wnderful women who acknowledged a total lack of interest in breastfeeding.

You can imagine what happened next, right?

The comments immediately turned into a slam-fest where judemental women rode in on their Perfect Mommy Sparkleponies* and started dumping Sparklepony shit all over the post. I alerted the troops and my amazing readers jumped into the fray. It’s been pretty epic. Lots of action. Lots of great women telling people to step back and let moms do their thing without judgement. It will probably send my Babble traffic for the month into the stratosphere.

I feel like a total dick about it.

This post was meant to stir the pot and boy, did it ever. I knew – and I hope everyone I quoted knew – that some people can’t just read  posts like this. They have to get on their Sparklepony and scream their judgement at the top of their lungs. This was like catnip for them and I knew it would be. I instigated the comment free for all.

There are better uses for all of our time than shouting at each other on the internet. While I love a show of solidarity as much as the next guy, what happened today didn’t make anybody’s life better. But I’m going to change that. See, I got enough clicks today that I’ll probably be getting a bonus from Babble for high traffic. I’m going to use that money to feed some hungry babies. I did a little research today and found some great organizations that help kids in the developing world get what they need to survive. There’s the Gates Foundation, the Water Project, UNICEF, Shot@Life, and the Clinton Global Initiative. These organizations are focusing on clean water, maternal and child health, ending hunger, providing vaccines, and stopping the spread of malaria. That’s what want to be a part of: an united effort to do good.

I’ll give my bonus to UNICEF for their programs to feed hungry children around the world. That’s what it’s all about right? Feeding children who need to be fed. It’s not about what makes us feel superior to each other. It’s about doing what needs to be done.

*I stole the word Sparklepony from Minnesota Vikings punter and all around awesome rabbleraiser Chris Kluwe.

 

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6 comments for “On Formula Feeding, Internet Trolling and Penance

  1. April 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    I adore your writing and was very happy to tie myself to that pole and let the commenters…er…trolls burn me at the stake. I knew it would happen. I didn’t care. You asked, I gave. That is how much I respect you and what you do.

    This here? You just sent my love, adoration, and admiration through the roof.

    You are good people, Rebekah. Real good people.

  2. April 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    There are FAR better uses of our time. Ugh! I hate all the judging. Just tried to go through the comments to your post, but they got me too worked up.

    It’s examples like this that make me feel my work with The Mom Pledge is all for naught. Because the hateful attacks just will.not.stop. 🙁

  3. April 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Yucky Sparkleponies and their shit! Thank you for taking the high ground and using your bonus to dispel some of their smell.

  4. April 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    You are such a great writer. (Thanks to Katie Sluiter for sending me your way.) Unfortunately, no matter what, anytime their is any story about formula feeding the crazies come out of the woodwork and start throwing their judgement everywhere. I just don’t get it. There are so many things that I wanted to comment on that post, especially since I was a formula feeder, but I just didn’t want to add to the hate. It just makes me sad. Good for you for writing this!!

  5. amy
    April 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    “Sparkleponies” I love it and I really dislike when mommies get their panties in a major twist when they disagree with the whole kit and kaboodle of breast vs formula. Yes you can have an opinion but don’t be bitchy about it. Holy crap this is the main reason I don’t blog, even though the thought has passed my mind….
    You are an amazing writer and thinker. Love you!!

  6. April 28, 2013 at 12:37 am

    I thought the piece was really refreshing, frankly. But unfortunately, I think Babble kind of threw you under the bus – not intentionally, but still. The way the e-book on breastfeeding was presented, I think everyone kind of assumed it was going to be uber pro-breastfeeding and ignore formula feeders entirely (at least that’s what I assumed) and so your piece came off as a “counter” to that – when it was anything but. It SHOULD have been what you intended it to be – a nice article finally pointing out the POSITIVES in formula feeding.

    It’s twisted that every article about formula feeding needs to be defended, or given a lengthy caveat about how breast is best, etc, etc, to counteract the hate. And even then, the haters (or sparkleponies – I seriously love that) come anyway. Trust me, you Just. Cannot. Win. I’ve bent over backwards to let these folks know how much I support breastfeeding, but they take one look at my blog’s name and assume that anyone justifying formula feeding is somehow infringing upon their right to breastfeed. It’s asinine.

    I’m with you on the clean water thing. Imagine how much we could do if all the Western sanctimommies stopped trying to force their own parenting beliefs and choices on everyone else in the name of “saving the babies” and actually did something that could not only save the babies, but the children those babies will someday (hopefully) become?

    Regardless – I thought you did a fantastic job representing all types of formula feeding mothers. Be proud of that, and ignore the haters, because like so many rap songs have taught us, haters gonna hate. 🙂

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