I know you have your position to maintain as a patriarchal consumerist toy but I know this is the real book you would have written if you could have:
Lots of love
I know you have your position to maintain as a patriarchal consumerist toy but I know this is the real book you would have written if you could have:
Lots of love
I felt the need to address your letter and raise a couple of points with you. I see that you are home educated, do you know if your parents are providing a broad evidence based curriculum? I see from your letter you personally don’t believe in evolution, this is your right but have you ever looked at the evidence for evolution?
Your argument hinges on us evolving to be better than those that were before, yet you admit to not believing in evolution, which then destroys the strength of your argument. I suggest that you need to examine argument construction and flow in order to have your points taken seriously. You also clearly have a complete lack of understanding of natural history, ecology, biology and evolution. This is a shame. I added a diagram at the bottom of this letter which explains things nicely.
You basically argue that the Romans practiced homosexuality and we should have evolved past that, the Romans also practiced “heterosexuality” (given that if they solely practised same sex relations the human species would have been wiped out since in order to make a baby you need a sperm and an egg- this is something else your parents may not have shared with you- suggest you start here to find out more) anyhow my point being that heterosexuality existed in Roman times as did groovy things like democracy and toilets -not things we need to evolve beyond. The very notion of evolving “beyond sexuality” is beyond the scope of my reply but one I intend to ponder further anyhow, so thanks for giving me food for thought.
For the record things like homosexuality don’t spread, it is not a disease, it is simply an aspect of someone’s identity like red hair, or gender, or religion, football team supported (some people disagree whether its genetic or adopted as an identity, that bit doesn’t matter so much other than some people are gay some people are straight but all deserve our respect and the ability to marry the person that they love.)
Oh and someone needs to address the principle of equality with you – the notion of being “more equal” well um no- look it up! Of course you may have been studying Animal Farm- it’s a good story- did you also learn about the communist allegory underpinning it?
Also you stated ducks nest in pairs, did you know ducks practice gang rape or even homosexual necrophilia, I mean I appreciate this muddies your argument somewhat- I think you were trying to say Ducks are more civilised than humans, but lets face it, some ducks are complete bastards and unfortunately so are some humans.
Anyhow I could go on explaining on just how many levels your argument is wrong and flawed but I’m tired and I don’t want to be mean, I’m actually really hoping your letter is a joke written by someone very witty taking the piss, but just incase it isn’t (and it looks like it isn’t) and you are real I hope you will open your eyes and ears to the wider world beyond your parents doctrine. Your strike me as a bright individual who could go far but is being limited by not being given access to a quality education. I’m in favour of home education when it works but in your case I fear it is badly badly failing you, and that’s not right.
I wish you every success in your future.
Dear Angst Bombs,
An Angst Bomb dropped last week.
On my head.
Normally I let the worries of the world wash over me, having a relentlessly cheerful “Twill all be fine” attitude. Remaining upbeat and positive even when things are pretty shitty is actually something I pride myself on and has got me through some pretty tough times. Maybe before I just selectively ignored what was going on?
Last week I found myself utterly overwhelmed by the world. I was filled with helpless rage and relentless worry, so much so I had to take a break from my twitter timeline (although admittedly I still tweeted and replied to @mentions) and all other forms of news as I just could not take any more.
Some of the things that worried me (and are still worrying me) about the world are-
It all came to a head when I found myself shrieking to LordCurd “and the potatoes- the poor potatoes!”, as my angst levels reached a new height when reading about how the potato blight had affected the farmers supplying our veg box due to this terrible summer. He has been taking the piss ever since, and I realised I needed to take a break from the world (including my veg box leaflet) and not get all consumed by my rage and my panic at what is going on in the world as otherwise I will be rendered utterly incapable of doing anything about it.
I want positive change, I want things to stop feeling so futile, I want to stop feeling so angry but I also feel incredibly helpless about how to achieve any of that and worry about burn out if I don’t learn how to defuse these angst bombs so I can keep on raging and not end up with angst fatigue which renders me incapable anyway.
So if you could send the de-fusion blueprint to assist with this current situation that would be marvellous. Alternatively if we could harness the energy of my angst bombs to make green energy for all, and the resultant Nobel prize I would obviously get awarded would assist in me easily being elected to president of the world, whereupon I would immediately sort all the shit out and make it a better place for all. That would be lovely.
P.S I realise my list makes me sound a bit of a twat- I probably should have included did also worry about what I was cooking for tea, why Oddler keeps biting me, how much Peppa Pig is too much Peppa Pig, whether we have nits again, whether Omble had a form of epilepsy as she seems vacant sometimes and has virtually no fontanelle and a funny shaped skull!? Whether my tooth was going to fall out due to gum issue caused by tongue piercing, and so on and so on and many other day to day worries that comes with living a life….
Dear Ladies with Labia,
Been thinking alot about this lately since I stumbled across this letter to the GMC from Lippy Girl. Previously I have just shrugged my shoulders a bit about labiaplasty after all- who am I to judge?- I had an outsized pair on my body reduced too (breasts) and I am loathe to be hypocritical. However the amount of women having breast reductions in last 2009-2011 has increased by 6% whereas Labiaplasty increased by 70% in just 2008-2009. (these were the only figures I could get hold of in my limited googling time- shout if you have more up to date ones).
So what has happened to make women, in dramatically increasing numbers, so ashamed of their labia they are driven to have them cut down to size? Most people suspect “porn perfect” and the “pornification of our culture” is to blame, and sadly I suspect they are correct. What I don’t understand is that as an adult no-one should see your genitals unless it is someone you trust, and if any of them were to make fun of your most intimate parts then what the hell are you doing with them!? That is a bit different to me with my massive norks there was no hiding my huge breasts- despite my best efforts with dark v-necks, bra’s with supreme engineering and hunched shoulders. I do appreciate the media do like to go on about “camel toe” but that is a problem more easily solved (and much cheaper) by adapting a wardrobe not adapting your genitals.
I recently heard Labiaplasty be referred to as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – and in fact it could be considered Type 2 “Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora.”, and given that FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 then I find it fascinating that such a surgery is legal and on the increase. I appreciate there are differences in that FGM is carried out on (usually non-consenting/lack of informed consent) girls under 15 as a harmful traditional practice often using unsterilised knives and no anaesthetic, whereas Labiaplasty will involve consent, sterile equipment and anaesthesia (and is unlikely to involve removal of the clitoris), however the chilling comparison is that it is removing part of your genitals for your culture. How can you actively choose to do something to yourself that currently 24000 girls are at risk of in the UK (&140million girls worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM) !?
I know I may sound a hypocrite having had part of my “secondary sexual characteristics” removed but it wasn’t for a porny sexual attractiveness reason, I actually wanted to reduce their “sexual signposting”- I had big breasts therefore “I was easy”, “I was a slut”, “I was up for it”. I hated that so often I was reduced to being a pair of talking breasts. A result of the surgery was that my confidence did increase massively and I probably felt (and hence became) more “sexy” as a result. however a side effect of the surgery was that the sexual responsiveness of my breasts has been reduced on one side with permanent nerve damage. I am okay with that as I was incredibly lucky I still have one fully functioning nipple and I can breastfeed from both sides- with the added bonus of the numb side not hurting as much if I get a breastfeeding nipple crack!
Ladies with larger labia- we should all be massively jealous of you- you have more highly sensitive tissue and therefore most probably will be having a much more exciting pleasurable time of it 😉 to remove that tissue WILL most likely reduce its sexual function, so to do it for sex reasons (as lets face it you are only doing it for your partner or for your own confidence naked) you are sexually crippling yourself for a “sexy porn perfect” appearance. I find this so sad.
So ladies with labia of whatever size, love them- get a mirror, check them out. They are beautiful. Go see the Great Wall of Vagina (technically Vulva but obviously not as snappy ;), if your partner doesn’t like your labia- get a new partner (because he/she is a pathetic shallow image obsessed fuckwit and you can do so much better). If after doing the and some counselling and a lot of thought about the procedure and the consequences of it, you still want to proceed then I cannot judge as I understand the mental and physical distress outsize body parts can cause, but do it for you and not for a partner and most definitely not for society/porn expectations of the “perfect cunt”.
Whatever the size and shape of your cunt, it’s yours and it’s beautiful.
Lots of Labia Loving Love
Dear Parents of 9month old babies considering your next sized carseat,
Did you know that keeping your child rearfacing in their stage 1 carseat (the one after the Stage 0 newborn -9months old so from birth) is FIVE times safer than moving them forward facing from 9months? This is because in a forward collision the impact pushes them back into their seat instead of forwards- forward facers in a collision are 90% more likely to suffer serious injuries and are more likely to break their necks/die. 😦
The reason so many people don’t know this or use them is because rear facing carseats are rarer and can be more expensive. Forward Facing from 9months is the more dangerous “norm” in this country (In Scandinavia not so).
When I found out about this I insisted Oddler went into a rear facing carseat from when she outgrew her stage 0 at about 10.5months. After doing some research we bought online the Britax Two Way Elite from the incredibly helpful InCare Safety Centre (We used the videos online to help make sure we installed it properly). It cost £200 so £100 more than what we were anticipating spending on a carseat but we had my parents buy it for Oddler’s christmas present and the fact it would last her until 4 (25kgs) and had the possibility of going forward facing if she got to an age she hated to be rear facing then we thought this was the best option for us (we also dont have Isofix in our car).
Oddler is almost two and a half and she is totally happy being in a rear facing carseat even on long journeys. People often say “Oh but she can’t see what is going on” but that is rubbish- she has an entire unobstructed view out of the back window and can see out of the sides. They often seem suprised my toddler is still rear facing like I am “babying” her. The safety facts I pass on soon shuts them up, although I do feel bad when it’s other parents who have forward facing carseats- I don’t want to make people feel bad about the carseat they chose (especially when so few people know abour rear facing safety) but more to educate people in the safest option and get the word out there.
Yes there are very minor downsides to keeping her rearfacing- I can’t see what she is upto even if I turn around (not while driving!) but this is easily fixed by putting a mirror on the seat headrest in front of her so I can see out of my rearview mirror without turning around- so again that makes it safer than if she was forward facing as I would have to turn around for her. Also when she had a dummy to sleep for car journeys she would also often lose it down the side of the seat and we would have to stop to be able to rescue it for her but I think it would be similar if she was forward facing, she has got rid of the dummy now so it is no longer an issue. These are very minor niggles compared to the absolutely massive safety advantages. Plus it is easier to get her in and out of the carseat as you are putting her in the same way the car door opens, so no bracing yourself against the car door opened at its max to strap her in.
A few months ago I thought Oddler was getting too big for her rearfacing seat and I was worried I was going to have to turn her forward facing, she is in the 99.9th Centile and the size of a hefty (NOT FAT!) three year old. I tweeted my worries and PHEW- the lovely @13Loki who has the same carseat told me there is a part of the base that folds out and when you do this suddenly there is a heck of a lot more leg room for them. Hurrah- so Oddler is now safe in that carseat for another year at least. Annoyingly I have had my babies close together so in 6months or so we will need to buy another rear facing seat as Oddler won’t be ready to move up to the next stage car seat by the time Omble needs it, but never mind twill be a Christmas present from us all. It is so annoying these car seats are so expensive which is another reason for my post. The more consumer demand for these car seats there is, the more common these car seats are, the cheaper they will become. We need to demand more places stock them and they are much more affordable for all.
This post was fired up by reading yet more blogs/forum threads/ twitter discussions of parents moving their babies forward facing at 9months “so they can see the world” even if they haven’t grown out of their existing rear facing carseat (once the head extends over the top of the carseat is when they have outgrown it NOT when their legs extend out of the bottom- legs can bend) when there is a much safer better option. 😦
If you found this information helpful please do pass it on, or pass on the links. I can be a bit evangelical about rear facing carseats (this isn’t a sponsored post by the way in any shape or form- haha can you imagine an PR wanting to get involved with my phallic avatar and vaginal yeast infection name- Methinks not- this blog will only ever have me rambling about stuff I love for no gain whatsoever (like this and will publish my dear Mooncup one soon!), in fact I hope I don’t bring any of my fave brands into disrepute with my Curdy ways! ;))
Lots of Love
Oddler in her carseat
Dear Alpha Parent,
I read with interest your “NEWSFLASH- Breastfeeding requires effort” post last night. I was conflicted about it for various reasons which I will explain in a moment. I tweeted:
Hmm I am conflicted re. @AlphaParent‘s blog post. I understand where she is coming from but hmmmm I need to ponder more.
— LadyCurd (@LadyCurd) June 28, 2012
and understandably a lot of very upset tweeters tweeted back at me. 144 characters is not enough to do my thoughts justice so I am expanding upon them here.
*Personal breastfeeding story klaxon*
Firstly I need to say I should be one of the 2% of women who actually can’t breastfeed. A bilateral breast reduction when I was 19 removed 7lbs of breast tissue and I was told it was 50:50 whether I would breastfeed. However I was one of the lucky ones. I have written extensively about my exceptionally hard early breastfeeding experiences of Oddler (here, here) and Omble (here, here, and here). I hoped it would be easier second time around but if anything it was harder! But in summary here is a chart of most of the trials and tribulations we conquered.
|Breast reduction- large amount of tissue removed. can I feed? Health care professionals doubtful.||Breast reduction- have predominantly breastfed before, can I exclusively feed this time?|
|14% weight loss in first week. Everyone panics.||9.7% weight loss, most people stay calm.|
|6weeks to regain birthweight- Health Visitors and Midwives worried||5.5weeks to regain birthweight- Health Visitors and Midwives still worried but less so than last time|
|Crazy intense relentless exhausting hellish pumping and top up routine||Crazy intense relentless exhausting pumping and top up routine but this time I have a toddler to care for too and a dad to grieve for.|
|Tube fed baby won’t latch on for first week. Will only latch on with nipple shields for first month.||Won’t latch on for first 36hours, then only with nipple shields|
|Agonising cracked nipples that won’t heal.||Agonising cracked nipples that won’t heal.|
|Tongue tie diagnosed and snipped at 7weeks, latch improves, nipples damaged further||Tongue tie dismissed at birth but diagnosed and snipped at 3 weeks. No improvement in latch, nipples still being damaged|
|Bacterial infection in nipple crack diagnosed at 9 weeks. Antibiotics mean nipple heals||4 bouts of mastitis- 3 I cleared on my own, one requiring antibiotics as my breast was oozing pus|
|Baby on NICU for first 5days of life, I am on a hospital ward away from her. I am given minimal advice on how to establish breastfeeding in that situation.||Treated for breast thrush as deep stabbing pain whenever I feed, treatment doesn’t improve situation|
|Flat almost inverted nipples makes it hard for baby to latch.||Nipples aren’t as flat anymore thanks to a year of breastfeeding Oddler but they are still a very difficult shape to get a good latch in early days|
|Hugely traumatic birth and worries about a possibly brain damaged baby, affect establishing bonding and breastfeeding.||My dad dies when Omble is 3weeks old, I am utterly devastated, milk supply crashes with the stress|
|No skin to skin after delivery- first cuddle at 24 hours old.||Omble gets cold after cold making it very difficult for her to feed from me.|
|Born with a poor suck reflex, it does improve but breastfeeding incredibly hard to initiate.||Very clicky latch despite tongue tie snip. Feeding is very noisy and painful. Tongue tie reassed but not much more they can do- Omble is just a crap feeder.|
I am incredibly proud to say that despite all of this I breastfed Oddler til she self weaned at 13months and Omble is still going strong at 6months. Oddler was mixed fed from birth as NICU put her on a 10ml an hour regime and if my supply wasn’t up to that she was supplemented with formula. When she lost 14% of body weight she was put on 30ml top ups every three hours by the paediatrician, as much as I could manage of breastmilk and the remainder being initially of Diaorlyte but we soon switched to formula as she was just sloshing with liquid. However by 15weeks I managed to get Oddler to be predominantly breastfed with a bottle of formula at nighttime. Omble was exclusively breastfed for 8weeks and although I was hoping to go longer, I was utterly floored by my 4th bout of mastitis so LordCurd took both the girls away to give me a break and I slept and pumped but we didn’t have a store of breastmilk so she had formula and from then on has had a bottle a day too.
By my own success criteria I am a fucking legend. But in your eyes would I be a failure because I didn’t try that little bit harder and not supplement with formula!? I only found out with my second child Omble I could actually exclusively breastfeed and have her gain sufficient weight but I have no idea if I could have exclusively breastfed to 6months like the recomendations. I doubt it somehow. I have started weaning her now anyhow, earlier than 26weeks. Is that another failure? Am I now making excuses?
There is no doubt breastfeeding is a very good thing but it occupies such a tiny part of your child’s life and within a few months babies are experimenting with food and given that whilst weaning Oddler I gave her things like quavers and rich tea biscuits as finger foods, and Omble has already tried Jamaican Ginger Cake and I drink alcohol whilst breastfeeding and I have an utterly shite diet, then I don’t think I can be at all smug about giving my kids the “best start in life”.
Therefore by some people’s “sucess criteria” it might be said that I am failing my children, but I have decided that I cannot judge anyone except myself against my own success criteria, sometimes I feel a failure as a mother, other times I think I am the world’s most amazing mother, and I think most other mothers feel the same. It makes me sad when we judge and compare each other for making different choices to our own. Which is also why your post rankled with me, who exactly are you to decide the success criteria of breastfeeding mothers!?
Originally before I started breastfeeding thinking I would be completely unable to due to the breast reduction, my success criteria was “If I can just get them to have a bit of colostrum then I will be happy” as it turned out I far surpassed that, but I think individuals should decide their own breastfeeding success criteria, not anyone else. If they are happy with their choices then so am I.
However one thing that came out of your post for me, was reading the comments where women highlighted some of the reasons they gave up breastfeeding, whilst other women shared the difficulties they had overcome, the difficulties were fundamentally the same in some ways, the choices different. The reason I highlighted my own difficult breastfeeding story is that I do think it is important to celebrate breastfeeding stories in the face of such adversity and I do get a bit cross that women are expected not to champion their pride in their own achievements for fear of upsetting other women who are dealing with their own sense of failure around breastfeeding. I am not writing this to deliberately make anyone feel bad- those that know me, know I go to great lengths to avoid upsetting people, (mainly because I am a complete wuss when it comes to confrontation!) but I am worried this letter may upset some of the people reading it because the terrible tendency us women have to compare and measure ourselves against others. As I said in my comment on Glosswitch’s post “Being proud of my own experience and choices doesn’t mean I think other people should feel ashamed of theirs“. I am not other people, I am me, only the expert of my own experience, no-body elses.
However I didn’t used to be so wise
or pretending to be wise. A few years ago I was incredibly naive when Oddler was about 10weeks old and I posted on Mumsnet “Am I being unreasonable” the following “AIBU to think that some women give up breastfeeding too easily“. ie. I thought much the same as you do. My thinking behind such an inflammatory statement was “If I can do it in the face of all this shit then why am I seeing person X, Y, Z giving up after a measly cracked nipple or slow weight gain- pah wimps, I’m hard me!” Of course quite rightly I was completely and utterly flamed on the thread, and then I had the really sad realisation that the ONLY reason I stuck with breastfeeding despite all the shit was because I FELT GUILTY. I felt I had let down Oddler during her birth, I had given up, I had stopped pushing, I wanted to die, I didn’t care if she died, and as a result she was possibly brain damaged. Succeeding at breastfeeding was the ONLY way I felt I could make it up to her, and so I did, despite it being the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have had a huge amount of therapy since then and I don’t feel that way any more but lets face it – that is a pretty sad and crap reason to stick with breastfeeding and how is that any better than the “crap” reasons for giving up breastfeeding you highlighted in your post?
My crap reason for sticking with breastfeeding my second baby Omble despite it being fucking hard again was because I had done the same for Oddler and I couldn’t give up, as it wasn’t fair on Omble, and it was about equally as hard (or in some ways easier and some ways harder anyway) breastfeeding her as it was to feed her sister and if I had managed it once then I could again. But had I not had my crap reason to breastfeed her big sister and managed it, then the liklihood is I wouldn’t have been so bloody minded second time too.
When I realised that the only reason I stuck with breastfeeding was misplaced guilt I realised therefore that I couldn’t judge other mothers for their choices as who knows the real core truth what was going on for them to make them stick at or give up on breastfeeding, I certainly didn’t realise my own for a good while. I felt so awful about posting my thread on Mumsnet and I persuaded them to pull it as I was too mentally fragile to keep dealing with the fallout. Very kindly they did and thanks to all the posters who accepted my apologies and those that understood where I was coming from, though I hadn’t expressed it very well.
My key learning from that episode is that IT’S NOT A COMPETITION to see who had a shittest time of breastfeeding and using that as criteria to judge others successes or failures because ultimately that is not only cruel but futile, they are incomparable as we are all individuals. In fact Motherhood in general IS NOT A COMPETITION.
But being called the AlphaParent I am not sure you will see it like that. I have my breastfeeding experience, and others have theirs and it makes me sad that we can’t celebrate and comiserate equally without the baggage and judgement which comes with discussing infant feeding choices.
Having rambled on about my feeding experiences for long enough (amuses me how any breastfeeding comment always attracts everyone’s personal stories), I will now try and explain why I was conflicted when I read your post. I think it was because I agreed with an aspect of what you were saying but not how you were saying it. I do agree there is a a “culture of ‘failure acceptance'”which there currently is around breastfeeding. “If Woman X, Y, Z didn’t manage it, then I don’t need to feel so guilty about stopping either.” ie. it makes it much easier for women to stop perhaps before they have explored all the avenues for possible solutions to the difficulties they are experiencing. However there is a huge amount bound up in that- it is too simplistic to solely blame the woman herself for making the excuses. Ledoux made an excellent comment on your post about that. Personally I feel the crucial issue central to successful breastfeeding is support. With the right support I reckon most women would succeed at breastfeeding if they wanted to. I had a group I went to every week, I phoned helplines, I have a very supportive husband and family, I had supportive midwives and health visitors (and some crap ones which I ignored), I had done a huge amount of reading beforehand. All of these things contributed massively to my breastfeeding successes despite the huge obstacles I faced. But I was lucky. A scary amount of women don’t get the support I did. I have read blogposts by women explaining why they gave up breastfeeding for reasons such as “because my baby lost weight”, clearly not realising that it is entirely normal for babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight in first few days. 😦
I do think the way you expressed your opinions was unnecessarily harsh and unhelpful in the “breast vs. bottle” debate which has trundled on for far too long already. Alvarrson commented very well on your post and I don’t think furthering the guilt mothers feel is helpful to anyone. It is pointless in fact. (Much like the pointless post abortion guilt I wrote about previously) I am viewing my stance on breast versus bottle to be the same as my pro-choice stance. I am pro-choice here too, women make choices right for them and their families, if we stopped with the judging and the guilt and the defensiveness and instead recognised and celebrated individuals rights to truly informed choices then I think the world would be a much happier place. But the caveat is the “truly informed choice”, I would hope that women have the opportunity to explore every avenue for support or solutions to the issues available to them before making the decision to stop breastfeeding (and if they decide to stop after that- they absolutely should- no judgement), but I am realistic, I know this currently isn’t happenings so how can we change that?
Being a solution focussed kinda gal I would like to see the following put into place:
Dear Ginger Haters,
Bugger off from finding my blog with your stupid search terms. You are looking in the wrong place. I am a Ginger Lover and proud (Literally as LordCurd is the most handsome Ginger Man ever- he looks like a Ginger James McAvoy
shall ignore the people who disagree, I love him a heck of a lot and if I was a Mills &Booner I would describe myself as his Lover (more interesting than Wife innit)).
I am also a Ginger Gene Carrier and very proud of my ability to produce Beautiful Ginger and Strawberry Blonde Babies so far…. So please don’t happen upon my blog by searching “I hate ginger babies”, because all that will invoke is my bile and vitriol towards you along with some telepathic painful incurable infectious itchy curdy discharge thoughts.
Effectively Gingerism is an “acceptable” form of racism- and it is just not on. Makes me furious, and if anyone dares be mean to my beautiful Ginger Baby– beware the Wrath of the Curd descending on your backside with incredible force.
Shall rant off with Tim Minchin singing about Prejudice.
P.S Anyone else notice that apple autocorrect will capitalise White, Black and Ginger but no other colour. Interesting.