Monday, 23 July 2012

Whose Breasts Are These?


I’m not going to name them, in case they’re believers in ‘all publicity is good publicity’, but there has been a bit of controversy on Twitter this week. As usual.
You see, there’s this new manufacturer of baby bottles, and they’ve kind of annoyed some Mums. Especially the feminist ones.
Now, I don’t actually know what the background to the story is, but I imagine it went a little something like this:

Scene opens half way through a business meeting. We’re in a generic office building. Business type people are wearing suits.
Silly person 1: So, how shall we market our brand?
Silly person 2: Well, who’s our target audience?
Silly person 1: Babies? (chuckle cascades around the office) So I guess target the Mums?
Silly person 2: All the bottle companies target Mums, let’s target Dads instead.
Sensible person: Inspired! Breaking gender bias. Exciting!
Silly person 1: Great. How shall we target Dads? What shall the message be?
Sensible person: Well, surely the message is the same, we just target it more to Dads? 
Silly person 2: No, we must appeal specifically to Dads. Dads don’t care about babies, they just care about... pause. Thoughtful expression.
Silly person 1 & 2 in unison: TITS!
Sensible person: laughs. Realises is only person laughing, looks around confused.Sorry?
Silly person 1: Yeah, tits. Breastfeeding is a real drag because it means men don’t control the tits anymore.
Sensible person: No, we couldn’t possibly... drowned out by others talking
Silly person 2: Brilliant! So we’ll target Dads - ‘Get Your Tits Back’ will be the campaign message.
Silly person 1: High five! Wooo!
Sensible person: I have to say, I think we’re at risk of offending Mums with this campaign.
Silly person 1: Ha! Yeah right. Only the feminist ones, the weird ones. The other Mums will be glad to have more time to spend sexing their husbands.
Silly person 2: yeah, high five!
Sensible person looks out of the window, it is raining.
Obviously this is entirely assumed, but probably pretty accurate. The campaign started last week, “reclaim your wife” the tweets demanded. They also talked about having to share your partner with a newborn.
Firstly, this campaign is sick. The company in question claims to be promoting breastfeeding and bottle feeding; clearly not. Tweeting about reclaiming wives is not promoting breastfeeding, it’s promoting misogyny and dickheadedness. Trying to make Dads feel left out in order to sell a product is, well, weird.
Secondly, how many breastfeeding women did they think were going to become customers after seeing the campaign?! As a new Mum, your only concern in life is whether your baby is ok (please see attached diagram). You really don’t have the time, energy or spare brain cells to be worrying about whether your partner is feeling left out. If your partner is helping out with the baby, he is probably also too exhausted, delirious and busy to be worrying that he is competing against the most tiniest, cutest, perfectest person ever.
Unfortunately, there probably are some men who feel jealous about breastfed babies. These men are severely disturbed, and selfish, and probably idiots. I have heard of men exclaiming: “oh but her breasts no longer feel like they are mine” about breastfeeding women. To these men, I say fuck you! Those breasts were never yours, you sad little pervert. To even speak such words aloud suggests that you are unhinged. Please seek help.
After many an argumentative tweet, and enlightened facebook post, the company in question is now claiming that the campaign was not meant to be sexual. It was simply about Dads feeling left out because their wives spend less time with them once the baby is here.
Well, yeah. You’re a grown man and the baby is a baby. She can’t even hold her own head up, you should go and hang yours in shame, you whingey man. I would like to say that no real men would think such things, but again I know different. Sure, some men moan about being left out after the baby arrives. These men are also morons. Want some attention? How about looking after the bloody baby as well then!
If this company is, as it claims, breastfeeding friendly, and the bottles are to be used with expressed milk, the woman would have to express (which can often take longer than breastfeeding because it is less efficient) and then feed the baby with the bottle. I don’t understand how this would guarantee the father any extra time with the Mum. Surely, he would just get the same amount of attention as if she were breastfeeding. So I’m not sure this argument makes sense, and consequently I really do think this campaign was about tits, tits, tits. But maybe I’m wrong.
Although, maybe these bottles are aimed at petty men. The petty men who feel left out because they cannot breastfeed baby. I mean, sure, that’s got to be rubbish. I’m sure I would feel left out if it wasn’t me who got to have that special bond with the baby, but at the same time I would understand that this is what nature intended. Apparently some men don’t get this. One Mum at baby group told me proudly that she had started to supplement with formula because her husband was “feeling left out that he couldn’t feed the baby”. I haven’t met her husband, but I imagine he is the type of man who would dramatically stick out his bottom lip and say “frownie face”. He sounds like an idiot. I’m sure men do feel a bit left out at times. They don’t get to carry the baby, they don’t get to birth the baby, they don’t get to feed the baby, but all this is because that is the way nature intended it. Sorry guys, you’re just not designed for it. Suck it up.
The company in question has since explained the campaign as being a miss understanding. I assume she is some big breasted sexualised spokesperson for bottle feeding.
Mr understanding is probably a pretty lucky guy, he’s probably has a total monopoly of miss understanding’s tits.

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