JASON RANTZ

Rantz: WADOH pretends men breastfeed, feigns interest in ‘black people who chestfeed’

Aug 31, 2022, 5:52 PM
(Getty Images)...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Washington Department of Health (WADOH) is pretending men can breastfeed. It’s virtue signaling at its most irritating.

The WADOH posted a celebratory tweet for Black Breastfeeding Week, which is August 25-August 31. The tweet aims to “recognize Black people who #Breastfeed and #Chestfeed.”

But the movement itself doesn’t recognize “chestfeeding” in its materials. And it’s women that breastfeed — not merely “people.” It appears WADOH added the term to continue the fiction that men can breastfeed. It’s erasing women in the process.

Washington State: where we pretend men can breastfeed

The term “chestfeed” is used when transgender men (biological women) breastfeed. It’s also a way to erase women as gender extremists seek to influence the culture into believing there is no difference between men and women. But the very use of the term “chestfeed” is an indication that there is a difference.

Some transgender men maintain their breasts, while others undergo “top surgery” to remove breast tissue. Since they’re biological women, they can still breastfeed. But transgender men may not feel comfortable using the term “breastfeed.”

For women who claim to not have a gender, the term “chestfeed” is the equivalent of a “they/them” personal pronoun. It’s considered a gender-neutral word for a female act.

Though men, generally, do not lactate, some transgender women (biological males) seek medical intervention to lactate.

“Transgender women may also be able to lactate with the support of medications and pumping. Medical care is usually needed, as the medications require prescriptions and do have potential side effects that people should be aware of,” the website Motherly claims.

Celebrating black breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for a child. But the organizers behind Black Breastfeeding Week believe the rates of black women who breastfeed to be low.

Using old CDC data, the organizers report on its website that while 75% of white women breastfed, only 58.9% of black women did the same.

“The fact that racial disparity in initiation and an even bigger one for duration has lingered for so long is reason enough to take seven days to focus on the issue,” the organizers say.

The good news is the data is no longer correct. It’s from 2008. The most recent data, from 2021, shows 73.6% of black mothers breastfed with 84.1% for white women.

Given the importance of breastfeeding, there’s obviously nothing objectionable with working to increase the percentage of black women — and all women — as much as possible. So what’s stopping black women from breastfeeding as much as white women? Slavery.

Why black women don’t breastfeed

The Black Breastfeeding Week founders blame the lower stats on “unique cultural barriers and a complex history connected to breastfeeding.

“From our role as wet nurses in slavery being forced to breastfeed and nurture our slave owners’ children often to the detriment of our children, to the lack of mainstream role models and multi-generational support, to our own stereotyping within our community — we have a different dialogue around breastfeeding and it needs special attention,” its website reads.

Lactation racism is also a reason too few black women breastfeed, apparently. The movement’s founders chide the  “blatant disparity in breastfeeding leadership as well.”

“It is not debatable that breastfeeding advocacy is white female-led. This is a problem. For one, it unfortunately perpetuates the common misconception that black women don’t breastfeed. It also means that many of the lactation professionals, though well-intentioned, are not culturally competent, sensitive, or relevant enough to properly deal with African American moms. This is a week to discuss the lack of diversity among lactation consultants and to change our narrative,” the website reads.

WADOH doesn’t really care about this issue

To be clear, the WADOH doesn’t really care about this issue. Its social media team merely wants you to think that they do because of health equity, or whatever new progressive term they’re pretending is legitimate. This lets them kill two birds with one stone: pretending to care about black people and the trans community.

But if the department cared, they’d put together their own resources rather than link to a website that hasn’t been updated in years.

While someone looks to have used Microsoft Paint to update its logo to say 2022, the website lists events from 2020. Its August 30th event lists its black breastfeeding week panel starting at 1:00 a.m. EST with no location. It’s also odd for a celebratory week to begin on a Thursday and end the following Wednesday.

WADOH would have caught these discrepancies if they cared a little more than just offering up appearances. And it’s a shame that they don’t really care: the issue is actually important — regardless of the race of the mother and child.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: WADOH pretends men breastfeed, feigns interest in ‘black people who chestfeed’