Friday, September 10, 2010

The Breastapo

Some comments* in the last post reminded me once again of a recurrent thorn in the side of many breastfeeding advocates: the slur "Breastfeeding Nazi" or, slightly more punchily (though no more wittily), "TitNazi". It comes up frequently in the comments threads on any article or post where lactivism is discussed, particularly if the topic is a controversial one, but even if it's a fairly benign jumping-off point, the ensuing discussion still sometimes spirals off into some pretty nasty territory.

This really bothers some advocates out there, and both Amber Strocel and PhD in Parenting have written eloquently about their objections to the term and how insane it is to compare breastfeeding support to, you know, the mass murder of millions. Other lactivists feel that overreacting to this moniker is, well, an overreaction, and argue that while they disagree with using such a slur themselves, and that the term is definitely insensitive and inappropriate, it's more about fascism than it is about comparison to actual genocide. And thus, from this POV, overreacting to the term distracts from the real issues.

I honestly see good points from each lactivist camp, I really do. Some might say that's the diplomatic tendency inherent to the Libra ascendant in my chart. Others might say the very concept is malarkey. And I can see both sides. See, there I go again! Anyway, my problem with this whole thing? Bottom line? It's dull, unoriginal, and unimaginative. It's just plain LAZY. Really, all it does is draw attention to poor rhetorical skill and a rather embarrassing lack of creativity (substituting "boob" for "tit" isn't much of a flourish, guys).

If you're going to go there, go all the freaking way, man. I'm not a TitNazi, I'm a member of the Breastapo! La Leche League meetings? More like The Nursenburg Rallies. Lactation consultants? Elite officers of the Lactwaffe. Nurse-ins to protest businesses discriminating against breastfeeding moms? Why, that's a full-blown Titskrieg!

Can we invoke Godwin's Law* already (whereby the first person to make a comparison of their opponent's views to Hitler and/or Nazi Germany automatically forfeits the argument) and give this a rest once and for all?

THIS is all we are saying. **

*Not that the commenters herself was making this slur; they simply mentioned how it comes up in such conversations. Just wanted to be clear.

**Indeed, this is tongue-in-cheek, as much as my own punnery above.

** I looked around in vain to credit the original LOLbaby creation featured here. Do claim it, if it's yours! (And please don't be mad at me for besmirching it so.)


  1. I love your way of expressing what I cannot articulate. The "epithets" you invented are priceless. Very creative. Love your blog.

  2. Genius post! I couldn't have said it better myself. No, really. I couldn't have. ;0)

  3. Don't forget "Nipple Nazi"!

    Yeah, it's one of my pet peeves, to say the least. I way back in 2007.

  4. Whoops, not sure what happened with my link. The link works, but it should say "I wrote about it way back in 2007".

  5. That one irks me too. I have contemplated several times lately posting that the next person who calls me a Nazi (I get feminazi too) gets to watch WWII documentaries. Advocating for education does not make me a Nazi. It kinda makes me the opposite of one.

  6. (By the way I think breastapo is halariously funny) I agree with the overall point but wanted to say I think those that people forget the comment Xnazi (feminazi, breastfeeding nazi, officenazi etc) is more in reference to the fact that Nazis were blindly obediant to an ideal/person NOT in reference to what that particular ideal/person inevitable led to (genocide among other horrors). In all the times I've heard Xnazi used (usually hear femnazi but have heard others as well) its always in reference to a belief that the aforementioned person is a unthinking and/or blind follower of the movement or person. I'm sure there is someone out there that means "this person is as bad as genocide", but I think rather, if we experiance someone referencing nazis in conversation we should rather look at our word choice and make sure we aren't unintentionally coming across too emphatically, judgementally, and/or firmly, or that we aren't coming across as just mindlessly paroting a position we can't intelectually defend.

  7. According to almost all respected dictionaries, there are two meanings of the word Nazi. The first is a member of the German fascist party and the second is as follows: a harshly domineering, dictatorial, or intolerant person. I stand by the fact that the use of the word Nazi to describe those in our population who feel the need to impose their views on others is legitimate.

  8. What are you, some kind of DICTIONARY NAZI? ;O)