Breast feeding doll? Creepy or progressive?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by made_in_canada, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Flatfoote

    Flatfoote Active Member

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    I picked up on that little girl's discomfort as well. She really didn't want to be there, did she? And the "close up" of the doll "breast feeding," the doll wasn't really "latched on" to anything. So basically it was just holding up the doll in the vicinity of the child's breast, and the doll made sucking noises. So why even have that little smock with a fake nipple covered by a flower in the first place?
     
  2. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    You are misunderstanding my point. I never said little girls need to go to classes to learn to breastfeed or even that they needed to learn. I didn't even say this doll would teach them to breastfeed.

    I was reacting to a comment about how unnecessary it was to have anything that promoted breastfeeding to young girls because breastfeeding not something that needs to be learnt. When I was counseling breastfeeding moms, I saw how ridiculous this statement was every day. Tons of women need to learn to breastfeed because they aren't just naturally picking it up by watching the adults around them as they grow up.

    Nice ad hominem attack!

    I'm guessing they need someplace to put the receiver that senses when the doll is near and sets off the suckling sound.

    I really don't get the fuss over this doll. I think it's cute. I also don't think it's particularly necessary - as has been pointed out you can play at breastfeeding without it - but you can say that about a ton of toys. In fact, I do say that about a ton of toys. :lol:
     
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  3. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    (my bold) Actually, you did. Post 43. I'm still having problems with this multi-post quote thing. :blush:

     
  4. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    My bad then. That wasn't exactly what I meant. It would be more accurate to say "when there is plenty of evidence that they grow up into women who do need to learn to breastfeed."

    I was thinking more about modeling behavior and how in societies with higher breastfeeding rates this sort of doll playing happens all the time where it's rarer in Western cultures. Correlation isn't causation, of course, but I can't but think that more young girls just casually breastfeeding their dolls might help them grow up into adults who weren't so hung up on breasts and uncomfortable with breastfeeding.

    The thing is, if the number of women who think they can't breastfeed really physically couldn't, our civilization never would have survived. So there is something else going on and I am pretty sure our society's sexualization of the breast is a large part of it.

    And it's definitely a large part of what I am seeing in this thread with some fairly extreme over-reactions to something that is, in the end, just a doll.

    Now, if you want to see a truly creepy doll, there's this
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  5. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

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    true!! :lol:
     
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  6. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    That's the thing, MacMadame, to you it may be just a doll, to others it's about gender stereotyping and indoctrinating. Your statement about little girls needing to learn to breastfeed (which you have now retracted) was wrong and your statement "there is plenty of evidence that they grow up into women who do need to learn to breastfeed" is also wrong. No woman needs to learn to breastfeed. Some women may want to, but no woman needs to. Breast feeding is a choice, not a need.

    Maybe some reasons that women in Western cultures choose not to breast feed as much could be because many have careers which makes it much more difficult, because it is much more of a choice, because they're impatient, or simply because they don't want to. I don't think it has anything to do with not having a doll to help them model, or not having models. I'm not sure how you know "in societies with higher breastfeeding rates this sort of doll playing happens all the time where it's rarer in Western cultures", but I am interested - can you give me some more information? Every Western child (girl or boy) I have known who has seen breast feeding (by their mum or someone else) has modelled it at some time; some have modelled it because they've seen their friends model it. Still, I would much prefer a society making it a complete choice than a society that makes it feel obligational or a necessity, because it's not.
     
  7. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    In your opinion. Clearly I don't share it and this is not something where it's a fact.

    There was a time when I might have agreed with you about the stereotyping though. I used to have a much more complicated relationship with dolls. :lol: But I've come to realize that in my society at least we have toys for everything. We have Easy Bake Ovens and $400 cars that really drive (speaking of cute toys) and those toys for toddlers where they can stand up and lean on them and push buttons and lights flash and stuff. We even have toy computers!

    None of this really necessary. Kids can play with the pots and pans in the kitchen, help their parents out with the real thing, etc. But it's how our kids play.

    Plus little girls like to play with dolls. (All of them? No. But enough of them. More of them than don't like to.) Now that I have my own daughter I see that it's not all because they've been brainwashed by society to see being a mother as their calling in life as some people will tell you. Mini-Mac just really liked to play with dolls with absolutely no encouragement from me.

    So why not a doll that makes sucking noises when you feed it? That's actually kind of cool, IMO, in the context of a society where there's a toy for everything and those toys are often incredibly realistic.

    As for indoctrinating, it's no more indoctrinating than any doll including ones that come with a bottle and a pacifier. Where's your rant about those dolls?

    To call a breastfeeding doll a tool of indoctrination reminds me of political rhetoric when what one side does is labeled as propaganda but when your side does the exact same thing, it's perfectly okay. A breastfeeding doll is only indoctrination if all toys are indoctrination. (An argument I've actually heard people make but I'm betting you don't agree with.)

    In this case, we have women who breastfeed and women who bottle feed and women who do both so it seems to me that we should have dolls that breastfeed and dolls that bottle feed. But apparently a doll that breastfeeds is indoctrinating children into thinking that they must breastfeed and should feel obligated to breastfeed but a doll that comes with a bottle is just normal and natural and not indoctrinating children into thinking that they must bottle feed and should feel obligated to bottle feed....

    Also, there are many women who WANT to breastfeed, who intend to breastfeed. But when the time comes, they don't know what to do, it doesn't just all come naturally, and sometimes they get no help or worse they get all this bad advice from the professionals who are supposedly there to help them and instead sabotage them (sometimes even on purpose but usually accidentally). So they don't end up breastfeeding. Obviously, something in the entire process is missing for them and their needs are not being met. I really don't see how anyone can argue against that when we see it over and over and when breastfeeding rates in the US (and many other countries) are so low.

    It's easy enough to say well it's a choice and formula is adequate so it's not big deal, but IMO these women's choice is being taken away. To me that IS a big deal. It's not a real choice if it's not remotely practical for you or if people are actively working to take it away from you by sabotaging your efforts (even if that wasn't their intention).

    This doesn't even include the women who probably would want to do it if they weren't so caught up in the idea that a breast is meant for sex and not for feeding babies that they just can't bring themselves to do it. IMO their choice was taken away from them too even though they probably see it as they are making the choice not to breastfeed.

    Therefore, you can say it's a choice but for many women it's not a real choice and that's not okay with me. And I think this means that I am not wrong when I say that women need to learn to breastfeed. Clearly a lot of them do.

    I actually don't know any little girls or boys in real life who have ever modeled breastfeeding including my own child who was breastfed much longer than societal norms. This doesn't mean that NO child does it. I've certainly heard about it including from people I know online. But it's not as common as in your experience when you look at the entire world.

    As an example, I used to co-op in my kids' preschool and in the four years that I had kids there, I never once saw a little girl pretend to breastfeed. That's about 100 little girls from the age of 0 to 4.9 that I've never seen or heard about them breastfeeding their dolls.
     
  8. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    MacMadame, do you think breast feeding should be mandatory, since you think it's a necessity?

    I'd still like to see more information on your comment that those in societies that have more woman choosing to breast also have more children modelling it. Or that modelling breast feeding as a child actually leads to a decision to breast feed as an adult.

    I've seen plenty of people's choices NOT to breast feed taken away by a (Western) society that makes some women feel bad for not breast feeding. My sisters and I were born in 1977, 78 and 79, my mother didn't breast feed and she received some horrible comments even back then; I think this is much worse now. My mum was a nurse, and a midwife, which made the harrassment even worse for her. Because people like you think a child MUST be breast fed, that it's a NEED. I wasn't breast fed, neither were my sisters . So clearly it's not a need. My mother didn't need to learn to breast feed. She did help my sister when she made the choice to breast feed her son.

    Some women who choose to breast feed, may choose to learn formally with classes. Some choose to learn in different ways. Some it comes naturally to; for some it doesn't. If they're not getting the information they need to learn properly, and they want more, there's lots of options if they choose to continue; many of them free. There is always the choice to continue or not. I find your comments about some professionals sabotaging the breast feeding learning process bizarre.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  9. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    There is evidence on both sides of the spectrum for whether or not breast feeding is better than formula feeding. I understand that it bothers you that your mother, and other women, have faced harassment on this issue, but as breast feeding will never be mandated by law I'm not sure why you would choose to write such an angry post directed at MacMadame before she's even bothered to answer your first question. And based on the post, I'm not sure why she'd answer it.
     
  10. nlloyd

    nlloyd Active Member

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    The issue, if you read up thread, isn't whether breastfeeding is beneficial or not, it's whether a doll that teaches young girls to breastfeed is a good idea or not. MacMadame thinks it is a good idea because it will help women feel more comfortable about the idea of breastfeeding and perhaps render breastfeeding in public more socially acceptable in the West. She sees this as a necessity. Angelskates feels the promotion of the breastfeeding doll is a form of gender stereotyping (associates girls with motherhood to the exclusion of other possibilities) and that it doesn't allow for the fact that women can be good mothers without breastfeeding. She believes that it intensifies the criticism currently levied at mothers who don't or can't breastfeed.

    An important, underlying issue seems to be attitudes towards women's breasts in the West and whether, in order to render breastfeeding in public more acceptable, it is necessary and/or possible to de-sexualize women's breasts. While some believe that having girls breastfeed dolls may accomplish the latter, others are concerned it will only sexualize girls.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  11. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Yeah, I'm done with this conversation. If you want to know more about breastfeeding in other cultures, you can Google, it Angelskates.
     
  12. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I have. I can't find anything at all about how children modelling (or not modelling) breast feeding is in any way related to the number of woman who breast feed, or want to breast feed, or anything about how/if it makes girls feel more comfortable (or uncomfortable) about it at any stage (as a child or adult). That's why I asked you for more information.

    michiruwater - I think breast feeding is better than formula feeding in most cases, but I don't think that means all women need to learn to breast feed - I don't think it's a need, but a choice. I also think organic food is better than non-organic food, but I'd never say all women need to learn to shop organic or grow their own food. It bothers me a lot when people say women (or men, or children) NEED to do something, just because *they* think it's the right thing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  13. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you are saying little girls generally like to play with dolls because they are girls. It would follow that little boys like to play with cars because they are boys. This view has huge gender assumptions and implications and aligns with other gendered views such as pink for girls, blue for boys, and throwing tennis balls for boys while girls get to help mom mix the cake batter in the kitchen. I played with dolls because they were the primary toys I was given. Fortunately I soon discovered books and abandoned the dolls. As an interesting aside - the fact that dads play ball with their sons is one of gendered reasons why boys are able to develop better visual spacial skills.

    I think that children like toys of various kinds. Boys play with action figures, which are really not that much different from dolls, expect of course that they are not pretty soft figures with fluttering eyelashes. But both boys and girls like toy models of humans and both boys and girls model human behaviour. And what differentiates male from female behaviour is to a large extent socialized. In this day and age, I'd hope that parents would give their children exposure to more toys, ideas and behaviours.


    As for indoctrinating, it's no more indoctrinating than any doll including ones that come with a bottle and a pacifier. Where's your rant about those dolls?

    When you create toys to replicate and promote specific gender views and norms, they do become tools of indoctrination.
     
  14. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    That's the part I find particularly creepy. Or nauseating. Also dolls that perform other bodily functions. (Doll that blinks: CREEPY.) It's as creepy as those stupid stuffed "sleeping pets" that look like taxidermy animals curled up "asleep" until you realize it's got some internal mechanism where it's "BREATHING." Freakin' creepy.
     
  15. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Well at least you are consistent in what you find creepy. :D

    No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that a lot of girls still want to play with dolls even when you want them to play with cars. I didn't say anything about the boys. Some boys want to play with dolls too. Especially if you count action figures as dolls, which I do. But that wasn't what I was addressing.

    There was a time when I thought I would raise my kids a certain way and I certainly wasn't going to foist gender stereotypes on them. I wasn't going to paint the girl's room pink and the boy's room blue. I wasn't going to give my girl dolls to play with while the boy got Legos. But then I had children, real children, and I discovered that real children have wants and needs that don't always line up with your ideas of how you are going to raise them.

    So now my boy child had a blue room because, when we moved to this house, we asked them what colors they wanted to paint their rooms and he asked for blue. My girl child is really girly too. She played with dolls when she was little and ended up with something like 35 Barbies at one time. She just LOVED Barbies. She loves make-up and clothes and started badgering me to let her wear make-up at an extremely young age. She never played with the Legos not even in pre-school where other girls played with them. It just wasn't an interest of hers.

    Perhaps people hear this and think, oh because you had gender neutral toys around and didn't paint her room pink, she must have been totally indoctrinated by society then to take on the traditional girls preferences. But I was there watching her grow up and I think that these are just her personal preferences. She isn't traditional in a lot of other ways including other non-traditional interests. Heck, she taught herself to use the computer at 18 months (we never bought all those fake toy computers for toddlers because we thought an 18 month old doesn't really need to use a computer) and she loves anime too. But she also loved dolls as a girl. Really, really loved them.

    I think no matter how you raise your kids, sometimes girls just like dolls because they like them and not because of gender stereotyping. In other words:

    Sometimes a doll is a tool of indoctrination and gender oppression but sometimes a doll is just a doll.
     
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  16. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    Granddaughter #1 plays with dolls and trains. Go figure. Granddaughter #2 has a couple dolls, and loves the Cars movie. Go figure. Indoctrination at its finest, I guess...
     
  17. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    I'm tempted to start a thread pointing out how creepy dolls that pee in a diaper are. I doubt that it'd go to three pages long. It makes me so extremely sad that people find nothing creepy about feeding a baby stuff from a cows glands and even drinking it themselves, yet are completely disgusted by the idea of feeding a baby from a human's glands.

    If breasts weren't so sexualised, then children would put the doll up to their bare chest and the sucking noise would be just a novelty.

    Hopefully someday humans will look back on this period of time and find the current obsession with mammary glands as repellent as we find the historical Chinese obsession with feet. Walking normally, and feeding babies, both being a function that the female half of our species was evolved to do.
     
  18. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Yes. God forbid that humans enjoy sexuality in any way, shape or form. We must put a stop to it.
     
  19. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Who in the world posted anything like that? This thread is amusing in the sense that folk seem to be reading all sorts of things into other's posts. :)
     
  20. rjblue

    rjblue Re-registered User

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    I watched this documentary recently- Busting Out. It was an eye opener. If you think what I posted was in any way against the idea that people should enjoy sex, maybe you should find a copy and watch it too.
     
  21. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Loved Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs! There were, also, these colored building blocks, that were (kind of) sticky, that you could build things with. ONly problem was that they got rather gross, because stuff stuck to them :lol:!

    I don't find the breast feeding doll to be gross, just stupid. I had a Betsy Wetsy when I was a little girl. You fed it water, it came out a little hole in it's crotch area, into a diaper. That was 55+ years ago. Little girls will pretend to breast feed regular dolls. Mine did. When I brought my son home from the hospital, my daughter sat down next to me when I breast fed him. She put her doll to her chest and held it there for a few minutes. Then she looked at me and claimed that was silly and went and got a toy bottle. Kids emulate their parents all of the time. A little girl mimicking their mother breast feeding is not awful. But the doll is dumb.
     
  22. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Rjblue - no one in this thread has said that they're against breast feeding and no one had said anything against breasts.

    The problem many, including me, have is that this doll is being promoted as a *teaching tool* so that little girls ages two and up can learn to breast feed, because this company believes all little girls need to learn. I have a major problem with that. I would still be a against it, but would see it as slightly better, if they did use a realistic breast - after all, they're promoting it as a teaching too, not just a toy, and breast feeding isn't done with a halter top and flower nipple.
     
  23. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly how I feel about it too. It's the way that they're trying to market it. Let's be real - toddlers do NOT need to learn HOW to breastfeed.
     
  24. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    ITA too with AS.
     
  25. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I think the idea of the doll being a teaching tool is ludicrous. First, the doll doesn't really breast feed. The child doesn't, exactly, learn anything. It's a hook, an advertising ploy. Idiotic, but not evil.
     
  26. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Exactly.
     
  27. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Over-sexualizing and objectifying breasts is not essential to enjoying sexuality. I find it sad that so many women today think they have to have their breasts enlarged in order to be attractive. Some women have sexual sensations when their breasts are touch, but many don't.

    Breasts are not a sexual organ.
     
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  28. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    In that vein, I find it particularly amusing that many women lose sensation in their breasts after they get them artificially enlarged. :shuffle:
     
  29. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I suppose the enjoyment, then, becomes psychological. I, personally, don't understand the desire for large breasts. At some point they sag far more than small ones. It's uncomfortable to sleep on your stomach. They hurt your back, neck, and shoulders. I think flat chested and comfortable is far more desirable!
     
  30. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    When you're young and naive, you associate breasts with femininity. It's not that I wanted large breasts so that guys could like me (although my first bf was a boob man - no idea why he decided to start dating me :lol: ), but I wanted to feel like a woman. It's taken a while for me to reconcile that.

    I suppose that whole experience is A LOT more difficult when you're transsexual, but that's a topic for another thread. :lol:

    But anyway, breasts are just breasts. I don't think making a toy about breastfeeding is going to help the next generation accept that breastfeeding is normal. What we need is more acceptance for breastfeeding in public, but due to the natural mothering movement, I imagine it's the women who want/have to use formula that will need more acceptance. :lol: