I recently joined a discussion where a local personality posted something that got a rise out of a lot of people. She said that men had no right to comment on this subject.
She further frustrated / angered the men by telling them to get to work fixing something or mowing the lawn. Now, I “got” what she was saying. She was treating men the way women have been treated for a very long time. I also understand that a decision to breast feed is a personal one. I did it for my children. The online discussion was that boobs are for babies and not the property of men.
But come on… seriously. I mean… seriously?
If you do something absurd or shocking you’re going to get a reaction, which is exactly why Time published this article and put this photo on the front. You have the right to feel however you feel about this topic or the subjugation of this child for the sake of selling magazines. My personal feelings? Someone needs to beat the crap out of this mother. By the way, this woman is a blogger in DESPERATE need of attention, obviously.
Now, onto the facts, “attachment parenting” is a relatively new idea and as far as I’m concerned there are already too many men who need to cut the strings. But if a child can use a fork and spoon and eat solids, and can CLIMB ON A CHAIR to get at the tit… you’ve gone too far. Personally, as soon as the little bastards started biting me, they got the bottle. But that’s me. However, even mammals in the wild understand what a reasonable time is to wean the babies.
Yes, boobs are for babies. Yes, the US has turned them into something entirely different. I’ve traveled abroad and let me tell you, there are bare breasts all across the world being exposed and the earth doesn’t crack in half and the beaches aren’t full of dudes with wood. I also understand the appeal of a nice rack and if I ever get the funds, I’ll procure a nice pair of my own.
But Time, and this mother, got what they were looking for… attention. They got people emotionally invested in the discussion, in the article and some people are even trying to push to get Child Protective Services involved.
That reaction is what all writers strive for. We want our readers emotionally invested in our books so that they keep reading, and buying. With few exceptions, writers live by modest means. We don’t make a ton of money at this profession, but it is a “for profit” situation.
And emotionally involved, interested readers create a for profit situation for the author. If an author can tap into your prefrontal cortex with their writing, they’ve hooked you. I’ve been that reader, so tired my eyes are bouncing but I can’t put the book down. That’s good writing. That’s talent and what we writers strive to achieve.
So as I get feedback from my betas, I realize I’m beginning to get a lot better at tapping into that little nugget. My readers (even though the group is small) are getting emotionally involved with my characters. So while I’m an abusive author who has turned my main character of Taking Control and Losing Control into a woman who is nuttier than rat shit in a pistachio factory, her demise and / or success is something my fan base has come to care about.
I count that as success.