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Breastfeeding Nazis


Day in and day out, I keep hearing and reading the term Breastfeeding Nazi used to describe lactation consultants, La Leche League leaders, breastfeeding advocates and other lactivists. I think it is completely inappropriate.

  • First, lactivists have not killed millions of people like the Nazis did. People that advocate for breastfeeding are doing so to give babies the best possible start in life and to save lives. In fact, improved and increased breastfeeding could save millions of lives each year. According to UNICEF:

It has been estimated that improved breastfeeding practices could save some 1.5 million children a year. Yet few of the 129 million babies born each year receive optimal breatsfeeding and some are not breastfed at all. Early cessation of breastfeeding in favour of commercial breastmilk substitutes, needless supplementation, and poorly timed complementary practices are still too common. Professional and commercial influences combine to discourage breastfeeding, as do continued gaps in maternity legislation.

  • Second, calling someone that is an enthusiastic advocate of something a Nazi trivializes and minimizes the suffering of the victims of the Holocaust. Even if you feel like you have been a "victim" of extreme lactivism, you cannot in good conscience compare that to the complete and utter horror that the Nazis carried out.

So stop. Please stop. It is not appropriate. Not funny.

Don't believe me? Want to know more? Then read the perspective of Kathy Kuhn, a Jewish lactation consultant. Or the perspective of the child of a Nazi prisoner of war camp.
« Moving Mother's Day Post | Main | Why I blog about breastfeeding »

Reader Comments (182)

What a great article!!!

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUpstatemomof3

agreed and amen!

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramie

Werd. The second point is a great thing to remember in regards to ANY group.

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAl_Pal

hear hear. Glib use of the word 'Nazi' makes me sick. I'm looking at you (& feeling sick, in a powerful, pissed off way), Rush Limbaugh.

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterInanna

I wonder, not all that seriously, but a little curiously, if the Nazi part of the term is more picking out neo-Nazis than German Nazis. That is, I wonder if the comparison is supposed be to white supremacists and not to the actual historical events of World War II.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBackpacking Dad

Thank you!
Now, how to get people inclined to use this word this way to read your blog? (Also, if you can think of a way to stop people saying Feminazi let me know!)

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSpilt Milk

Oh, and 'bodynazi' -those that work out a lot. It is really inappropriate. I too hate that useage. Thanks

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

Thanks for writing this up - I cringed when I read a blog with a follow breastfeeding mom using this term yesterday and tweeted about it. Nice to know that it offends many people - it's go to stop!
Also, another term used for breastfeeding moms (and moms who practice AP or some of it) treehugger? People are funny!

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCindy


May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjane

Thank you for posting this! It drives me insane when people use the word Nazi to describe LCs and others who are passionate about supporting breastfeeding moms.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElita

@Backpacking Dad: Honestly, I think the tendency to use it comes from the Seinfeld "Soup Nazi" episode more than anything else. Whether the comparison is to modern day or historical Nazis, I think it is completely inappropriate.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

@Elita, Passionate about feeding your OWN child is one thing, passionate about demoralizing women who can't breastfeed or who are in pain is like the bible thumpers or cultists. Someone who imposes terror on women while in fragile state IS comparable to a Nazi. LC's can be educators, or they can be Nazis, and unfortunately, my only experience has been with a woman who over-stepped her boundaries, man-handled my breasts, and humiliated me. I was basically assulted. So until you learn what people other than the women who have always had "the dream" go through, then you'll continue in complete ignorance, which is what this blog DOES NOT COMPREHEND. There are two sides to a story. This blog should address both sides, including the women who were thankful for the breastfeeding support kit while their breasts were inflamed and bleeding, infected and oozing. No child should have to suckle at the nipple of an infection.

@ Split Milk If you see people using the term on other blogs, on twitter, or anywhere, feel free to send them a link to this post.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

@ Not Your Boobs, Not Your Problem:

There are lots of people that act inappropriately at times. That doesn't make them comparable to Nazis.

After my first child was born, I had trouble breastfeeding. I had a nurse in the hospital squeeze my breast and pinch it with her long finger nails to the point where I had huge bruises on my engorged breasts. Inappropriate? Yes. Unacceptable? Yes. A Breastfeeding Nazi? No.

The same nurse, came by later and said "since he still doesn't seem to be latching on, why don't we just give him some formula so that he'll know what it feels like to have a full stomach and then maybe he'll eat". Inappropriate? Yes. Uneducated approach to dealing with a baby that is not latching? Yes. Formula Nazi? No.

When I was having to exclusively pump for my son because he wouldn't latch on, another woman (pregnant at the time, but not yet a mother), said "my sister is a lactation consultant and she said that all babies can breastfeed, but some moms just don't do it right". Inappropriate? Yes. A Breastfeeding Nazi. No.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Point taken, point appreciated. However, taking away a woman's choice is deplorable. LC's should be educators, not running the show. Let a woman decide if she would like to be touched, or "helped along" as they see it. Let a woman decide if she wants to give the child formula. Educate all you want, but don't take away my power that I darn-well earned by carrying this child.

Agreed that the word Nazi is inappropriate. People use it for a lot of things, not just overzealous breastfeeding advocates, and it's never appropriate.

Also agreed that the way some people behave when it comes to breastfeeding is completely inappropriate. But one behaviour doesn't excuse the other.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterzchamu

@Not Your Boobs, Not Your Problem I wouldn't dream of taking away that choice. Even if I don't agree with someone's choice, I will fight for their right to choose.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Very well said, I agree completely. I posted something in the same vein last year http://noblesavage.me.uk/2008/09/17/no-more-nazis-please/

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNoble Savage

@Not Your Boobs, Not Your Problem
A smart friend of mine says "It's not a choice if you don't have all the information." Lactation educators and consultants exist to provide the information - and they can only speak to you if you let them. If you don't want the information, don't seek it out. But don't blame them for telling you something you don't want to hear and then accuse them of making you feel bad.

You don't hire a plumber to have him talk you out of getting your leaky toilet fixed. So why hire an LC (or attend a LLL meeting or read a Lactivists blog) if you're not interested in hearing about what you can do to be more successful at breastfeeding? Just walk away.

I'm personally grateful for all the committed women who moved hell and high water to help me through my breastfeeding struggles. If I wasn't committed to what I was doing, I could have easily said they were being pushy or uncaring; but since I was committed, their commitment was welcome and absolutely vital to my success. The world needs more of these people, not less, and the way these women/people are seen is 100% based on the perspective of the receiver of the information.

No one can make you feel anything unless you let them. If you're feeling guilty or disrespected because of your choice, as my brilliant Interpersonal Communications professor would always say "You own that problem."

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTheFeministBreeder

I've said the same thing to my husband when he's started in on "environazis" or "femnazis". Just not an appropriate comparison. I know he got the habit from his parents, and I think I've mostly broken it for him now.

Yes, some people are very pushy about their beliefs. That doesn't warrant a comparison with Nazis.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

@phdinparenting and @TheFeministBreeder Touché You both do have a way with words!

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBirth_Lactation

@ Not Your Boobs, Not Your Problem: I obviously haven't seen every lactation consultant out there, but my experience is that true lactation consultants (international board certified) are pretty good with the protocol of asking moms first before touching and that type of thing. It is the nurses in the Mom & Baby wards at the hospital that are overzealous about prodding and squeezing without asking first.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Yes! This and joking about OCD are my two biggest pet peeves. Neither are a joke.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnita

I would never use such a term to describe the amazing and yes, at some times pushy people that tried to help me through my breastfeeding journey. My husband on the other hand used it a lot when he saw me going through the hard times. I do not think it was a personal dig at anyone, just him venting his frustration for not being able to help in such a hard time.

When I did make the choice to switch to a hypoallergenic formula when my daughter was eight months old, after about the millionth nursing strike. I never once heard anyone say I was wrong in what I did.

My only wish is that more LC's and LLL are educated about babies with sever silent reflux and food sensitivities. I did have the hardest time trying to get suggestions that worked. Granted the things I was told may have worked for the "Happy Spitters". None of them worked on mine. I can only wonder if the outcome of my breastfeeding journey would have been better if I along with all the medical professionals and LC's I encountered really new what my daughter was going through.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBobbie

Couldn't have said it better myself! Great article!

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhyah

@Not Your Boobs, Not Your Problem
Since you addressed your response specifically to me, I'll reply. First of all, no one on this blog or my own is passionate about demoralizing women who can't or choose not to breastfeed. That's not my target demographic. The whole point of my blog is to support women who WANT to nurse. The use of the word Nazi is inappropriate and offensive to me as a Jewish person. Nazis are people who killed my relatives and tortured my grandparents. I am not a Nazi.
I didn't have "the dream" start to breastfeeding either. It doesn't mean that my breastfeeding relationship with my son was ruined. I worked through our problems and we are still nursing at 17 months.
Please tell me why this blog has to cover both sides of any issue? Annie is free to discuss or not discuss anything she'd like. It's her site. She is amazing at being respectful of both sides of an issue, but she doesn't HAVE to do anything. Her responses to you so far have been a lot more polite and cordial than mine would have been had you left this nonsense on my blog.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElita

Amen! I feel the same way about people who throw around the term 'child abuse' cavalierly. Unfortunately, there are real and tragic things that happen in the world. Let's not belittle that by comparing well-meaning people to war criminals.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

@amber - I will admit I have trouble using the words "well-meaning" to some of the people that have been called the insulting phrase in question. I know several people who have encountered breastfeeding "advocates" who were hurtful, demeaning and insulting, and I can't see any reason to believe these people meant well at all.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterzchamu

Point well taken -- I use the term jokingly sometimes; guess I had better stop! By the way, what is in the photo? At the risk of sounding uneducated, I don't recognize the image?

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlina

I love you, Annie, for using Godwin's Law to say that the "discussion" on breastfeeding has degenerated into something of a non-productive mudslinging session.

If someone saying "human breast milk is the healthiest means of feeding human babies" makes someone feel so oppressed and deprived of rights and freedom that they feeling the Nazis are closing in on them, I am concerned for them-- both for their mental health and for their total insensitivity and lack of historical knowledge.

My two cents? A lot of women are terrified deep down that being tied to babies will put them right back in the place where their grandmothers were (in the U.S., anyway). It's a knee-jerk response because of unaddressed fears. Example:

Woman #1: Do you need some help with breastfeeding? If you'd like the number of the lactation consul---

New Mother: Don't freaking oppress me, you Nazi!!

It's hard to be a mom sometimes. Can we really be attached to our kids and let them be attached to us AND maintain our footing and power in the world? Will breastfeeding on demand relegate us to second-class citizenship and make us wear an armband that indicates that we are a powerless baby factory and food machine?

I don't think so. Some women do. Can you please tell me why you feel this way WITHOUT the insensitive comparisons to Nazis? Many thanks.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill--Unnecesarean

@jill - rarely have I heard a conversation of the type you wrote. More often I've heard of conversations like -

Mother - Breastfeeding is going horribly, I've tried everything and it's not getting better, I'm in pain every time

"Advocate" - If you're doing it right it shouldn't hurt!

Mother - OK, except it obviously DOES hurt and I've GOTTEN help and it's not working and I'm miserable and my baby's miserable and I am considering switching to formula feeding

"Advocate" - Well, if you don't want to do what's best for your baby!

Or, worse examples. Such as when a friend was feeding her baby from a bottle in a baby/mama room at a shopping mall and someone came up to her and told her she shouldn't be in that room, because she was taking up the space of a breastfeeding mother who deserved to be there.

Trust me, there's assholes on both sides.

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterzchamu

@zchamu - Youre' right, some people talk like that. I for one do not like to be associated with that type of "advocate." Usually those people are uneducated nurses, not lactation consultants or LLL leaders or osme of the other 'lactivists' I have met. For a great example of a truly good lactation consultant doing her job well, you should check this out on the blog of @Birth_Lactation - Stork and Stories... Birth and Breastfeeding http://obnurse35yrs.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/breastfeeding-bottle-feeding-and-somewhere-in-between/
Now that's how people should talk!

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelodie

@Alina - It is the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

May 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I came back from your tweet & saw your comment that you thought the "soup nazi" episode was the main reason for the word's "popularity".
I did a little wiki research & that episode was in 1995, Limbaugh was using 'feminazi' in 1992 or earlier. So, I think that may be a bigger reason. Could be both.

May 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAl_Pal

Thanks for the post. I wrote http://momstinfoilhat.wordpress.com/2007/03/04/breakfast-and-breastmilk/" rel="nofollow">a similar one a little while ago.

Note that any irrelevant comparisons to Nazis, Hitler or fascists invokes a correlate of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law" rel="nofollow">Godwin's Law, also known as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum" rel="nofollow">reductio ad Nazium or Hitlerum. In other words, the one who invokes the ridiculous comparison (such as Rush Limbaugh) automatically loses the argument.

May 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMomTFH

Thanks for making this important point -- it needs to be made every time an inappropriate Nazi comment is made.

May 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSally Wendkos Olds

I visited Auschwitz when I was ten on a trip to Poland with my grandmother, I've never forgotten the things I'd seen (I'm 38 now). It always angered me that people have misused the term (or worse, claim it never happened). It's appalling that people use the word inappropriately and with regard to something so natural and good for mom and baby.

Fortunately, any help I'd ever gotten the first time around from LCs, IBCLCs, and LLL, they tried really hard to help with my seriously low milk supply (to no avail), but they were always kind and compassionate about it. My first LLL leaders' credo was "feed the baby first" (whether pumped milk or formula and preferably by finger feeding or SNS), then troubleshoot the problems. It took the pressure off me a little bit. Every little bit counts. I was able to partly bf for 6 months. Of course, when I found the internet, I learned so much more about the ins and outs of bf, that by baby #3, I probably knew more than some of the lactation experts, and I was able to bf for 3 years.

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKC

I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here for a second, because as I read more of the comments I think the post is less about breastfeeding or namecalling than it is about argumentation and standards. And so while I'm not particularly vocal about breastfeeding I AM fairly vocal about argument.


1) It is possible to refer to someone as an x-Nazi and not violate any argumentative standards. The association fallacy (your position is associated with X, and X is evil, so your position supports evil) works as a criticism of x-Nazi type statements in arguments when the aspect of Nazi-ism being used for comparison is genocide or the Holocaust, because few real-world examples of behaviour are legitimately compared to a desire for genocide, so to make the comparison is disingenuous and purposefully distracting. However, there are other parts of the Nazi concept, particularly the FASCISTIC or DICTATORIAL aspects of organization, PROPAGANDA, and STRONG BLIND PARTY LOYALTY that are manifest in organizations even today. In those cases in which an x-Nazi comparison is made that picks up on these parts of the Nazi concept it is immune from the association fallacy: it is not saying that x is bad because it is like the Nazis in a hyperbolic way (genocidal Holocaust perpetrators), but in some deplorable but genuine way (fascistic imposition of party philosophy). If "nazi" is supposed to do more work than evoke the organizational aspects of the candidate for comparison, then yes, it is a fallacious usage.

2) "boob-Nazi" is probably not being used by most to evoke images of the Holocaust for the purposes of disparaging lactation advocates and consultants, but instead to evoke images of a style of organizing that we have reason to think of as improper.

3) It is dangerous to clamp down on comparisons to the Nazis, because the more we do the more convinced we will be that they were the ultimate evil and can never be emulated in our lives. We will train ourselves to not judge groups too harshly in order to always save room for how harshly we want to judge the Nazis. But people are people, and it is always possible that they will organize themselves in a similar fashion and by refusing to LOOK we'll let them get away with it.

4) I don't have any experience with lactation consultants or advocates (some, but not extensive), so I don't know for myself whether the organizational comparison to the Nazis is legitimate. I tend to think not, but I also tend to think that people are usually generous and open-minded and I keep getting proven wrong.

5) A claim that there are "boob-Nazis" out there does not amount to a claim that all lactation consultants/advocates fit the comparison being drawn. So offering examples/evidence of consultants or advocates who act in a manner completely undermining of the comparison doesn't actually speak to the issue. However, if as it seems the term "boob-Nazi" is meant to apply not only to some select individuals who act particularly egregiously toward people, but to an entire organization (La Leche League, for example) then identifying group philosophy that specifically says something like "Be courteous and respectful and back off and don't force your philosophy on others" then that goes a long way toward refuting that comparison/criticism.

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBackpacking Dad

You know, I hear this term all the time - Soup Nazi. Clothing Nazi. FemiNazi. - and I hate it. I totally agree with you that such use trivializes the term, in the same way as kids drawing swastika graffiti trivializes it. I wish people would stop saying "It's just a word. I don't mean anything about the Holocaust." and wake up. They're rarely just words.

Thanks for another great post.

Backpacking Dad- The Nazi's didn't invent the use of propaganda and they certainly weren't the only ones who used it. America (among other nations) used it for their purposes (esp in WWII to drum up support for the war). The Soviet Union was also masters of propaganda. Fascism, socialism, communism, capitalism all have their forms of propaganda.



What it comes down to is that people are mean, and they want to cut to the chase. It's easy to coin a derogatory term (that sits well on the tongue) about something beautiful, natural, and healthy by adding - Nazi to it. Yes, I think people can get carried away with being passionate about "spreading the word" of how beneficial nursing is, but that's because IT IS good for the child and mother, it is scientifically proven that human breastmilk is superior nutrition for human babies.

The formula companies could be accused of distributing their own propaganda when they put their ads everywhere and distribute the "breastfeeding support kits" to nursing mothers. Yet no one calls the formula companies "formula-Nazi's" do they? No, they call it strategic marketing. None of the breastfeeding moms call the formula feeding moms "formula-Nazi's" either.

It's pathetic and mean hearted and it's usually the insecure person that feels the need to name-call.

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKC

@zchamu-- That wasn’t supposed to be an actual overheard conversation. It was a corny way to show how one person can say something completely innocuous and the other person goes bananas.

Of course there are a-holes! Period. The world is loaded with them. There’s a huge difference between:

-An informational Web site on breastfeeding
-Asking a friend if they would like help finding a lactation consultant
-Recommending LLL, books or sharing personal experience which is how women have always helped each other directly


-Following a stranger around in a public place to berate them for using a bottle because you just can’t wait to tell someone how they’re doing it all wrong

After I commented here about Godwin’s Law, overreaction, perceived oppression and fear that women have of slipping back into secondary citizen standing, I read a perfect example of what I was trying to convey with my silly faux dialogue. I read an article in the SF Gate about VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) that spotlighted a pregnant women who decided that a repeat c-section wasn’t for her, then talked about anti-VBAC policies and how difficult it is to give birth vaginally in a hospital after a previous c-section.

The most popular comment said something to the effect of “Hey ladies, don’t let articles like this guilt you into vaginal birth. Giving birth is not an accomplishment. It’s not something for women to be proud of and all that matters is how you raise the child.”

It was totally irrelevant. There were no “shoulds” in the article and yet someone read it as if someone was trying to tell them that their decision to have an elective c-section was wrong.

I’d wager that for every one jerk that wants to give bottle feeders the stink eye, there are ten times as many jerks that think breastfeeding is weird and don’t want to have to see you doing it in public or who don’t believe you should do it at all after baby is 8 or 9 months old. Changing culturally ingrained attitudes is hard when people dig their heels in the sand to preserve the status quo. To be compassionate to status quo-defending folks, it must be so hard to be a rule-based person that needs external validation for being right or wrong and have the rules seemingly change on you. Raised to belief formula is superior or equal, then encounter public health campaigns that extol the benefits of human milk for human children? It must be very difficult for people who need external validation to feel as though they *were* doing it right and now they’re doing it wrong. The fact is that they’re not doing anything wrong but probably won’t be satisfied until they change “the rules” back to when they were right.

Public health and epidemiological info do not constitute rules. They share *information* that one can use to make their own decisions about what is right or wrong for them and for their families.

Proposed moral of the story: Avoid sanctimonious jerks who want to tell you how wrong you are. How’s that?

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill--Unnecesarean

KC--I think you've misunderstood my comment, which is about what might count as legitimate argument forms and not about the issue of breastfeeding advocates vs. formula companies vs. moms.

It doesn't matter if it's true of other forms of organization that they used propaganda, not if the point is to evaluate whether the Nazi comparison is legitimate in an argument. Because it just has to be true of the Nazis, and well-known enough about them to be an identifier. Same with their facism, their party loyalty etc...if those things are true of the Nazis and are good identifiers of the Nazis then the issue in the comparison isn't "Do we know what the Nazis did, or what they originated?" but is instead "is the comparison group legitimately compared along one or more of the identifying characteristics?"

What most of the critics of the Nazi terminology on this post have cited is a diminishment of the severity of the Nazi crimes for posterity. My point was that the comparison neednt' be referencing the Holocaust or crimes at all, but may be evoking other parts of the Nazi concept. If that is what is going on, then to dismiss the comparison as illegitimate is to commit an argumenatitve fallacy: "You can't compare anyone to the Nazis at all because no one is committing genocide."

I'll offer no psychological evaluation of people who use the term "boob-Nazi" or any other combination of terms with "Nazi." I have no background in psychology and wouldn't know where to look to make judgments like that.

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBackpacking Dad


Okay, split your hairs if you will. My point in bringing in others' use of propaganda IS the WHOLE POINT. It's unneccessary to use that term and really shows callousness to make any comparisons to a regime of government that was made infamous for mass extermination of innocent people to the act of breastfeeding - a LIFE-GIVING act. It's actually quite illogical to do so.

If people don't like breastfeeding "propaganda" or the agendas of passionate lactivists, that's fine (and I agree there are extreme cases on either side of the bottle). But there's absolutely no reason to attach "nazi" to breastfeeding. Except, of course, it's MEANT to elicit an emotional response. You don't need a degree in psychology to know that. It is offensive and it shouldn't be used in relation to breastfeeding.

I know another N word that once upon a time was a popular derogatory term, yet it's been taken out of general use because of the emotional response it evokes.

It's time to retire this term from any use other than it's originally intended one - that to describe German historical ideology and practices.

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKC

KC--I'm sorry you think I'm splitting hairs. Really, I'm just trying to show that the argument against using the x-Nazi formula is fallacious, and you've repeated it without irony: "really shows callousness to make any comparisons to a regime of government that was made infamous for mass extermination of innocent people to the act of breastfeeding."

If you don't think it's a fallacy then keep using it. You're wrong, but I don't have a horse in this race and I don't want to troll the board by poking you over it.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBackpacking Dad

Backpacking dad - I don't have time to do a point by point rebuttal, but you are splitting hairs and playing a useless devil's advocate by playing up minor parts of the comparison.

What are Nazis MAINLY known for? Mass extermination. There are plenty of movements with loyal adherents and propaganda that make much better comparisons.

There is a reason why 1. it's disturbing and wrong to those who support breastfeeding (WE (the arguing people on this thread don't have a "horse in a race", another weird comparison, IMO, everyone has a vested interest in public health, including dads) and 2. it is disturbing and wrong to humanity, especially those whose families and ancestors were slaughtered by the Nazis.

Thia may be an exercise in banter to you, but you are missing the major points.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMomTFH

Sorry, I forgot to close some paretheses...there should be a closing after (the arguing people on this thread).

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMomTFH

Sorry about the triple posting, but one more point. Did you see the early comment I made about Godwin's Law? If no less than two Wikipedia entries exist about a comparison being fallacious due to its extreme nature, (regardless of to what one is comparing Nazis) please don't say we're wrong to call the comparison fallacious so casually, as if it's an inarguable fact. Just because some parallels exist does not cancel out that the extremity of the comparison, due to the obvious overreaching horror of the holocaust, cancels out any minor comparisons you as an individual, not the authority on what is a fallacious argument, think may be legitimate.

Trying to find minor loopholes in major obvious points on a blog dedicated passionately to a certain subject is a form of trolling, IMO.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMomTFH

This is a great discussion!

I will add one point, though.

I've never used the phrase "breastfeeding nazi" to describe anyone in the LLL, or any reasonable/normal breastfeeding advocate. The only kinds of people I would apply it to are the ones like the examples I referenced above: The people who are intentionally cruel, the people who can't see past their beliefs to realize that it simply doesn't work for everyone. So while I agree that the use of the word is unfair, in my experience it's only been applied to the assholes. However, obviously, my experience is not vast.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterzchamu

@zchamu: Unfortunately, I have seen a lot more flippant use of the term breastfeeding Nazi or boob nazi or breast nazi on twitter, in blog posts, in newspaper editorials, in magazines, and on message boards. If it was only used in isolated cases to refer to people that are intentionally cruel, I would still think it was inappropriate, but wouldn't have been prompted to write a post about it.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Amen, Nazi is a terrible thing to call anyone, except an actual Nazi. And I have heard it thrown around very casually, referring to anyone who is pro-bf, usually by women who didn't like hearing the truth, to be perfectly honest ("what do you mean giving one bottle of formula the day my baby is born could mess up breastfeeding? It's my CHOICE!") Certainly there are good and bad LCs, (as with all people!) but even the good ones have an uphill battle in this society, where the bottle is the cultural norm. Imagine having to tell moms that most of what they've been led to believe is actually not true -- most women CAN bf, formula ISN"T as good, yes nursing a newborn every hour IS normal, etc., etc., And sometimes, the truth hurts, and people get defensive.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

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