biotech, bono, and boobs

it was a good week for monsanto, the thuggish biotech company that is the leading producer of genetically modified seed as well as bovine growth hormone.  they are also the illustrious company that brought us DDT and agent orange.  this week, the supreme court overruled a lower court's ban on genetically modified alfalpha--even though cross contamination (even with organic seed) is inevitable.

in the US, it is not required that companies disclose that foods are genetically modified organisms (GMOs.)  this is CRAZY.  companies like monsanto introduce animal or bacteria strains into seeds to make them resistant to herbicides or pesticide.  we don't know the long term consequences of this practice, and monsanto doesn't exactly have a great track record on health, safety, land protection, or playing fair.

monsanto was also in the news for donating hybrid seed to haiti, but that donation carries a hefty price tag for local agriculture.  10,000 protesting haitian farmers don't want anything to do with monsanto seed (which cannot be saved from year to year and threatens indigenous varietals). worst.

(find more about monsanto in the book in defense of food or the movies the corporation or food inc.)

those of you who know me know i love all things u2.  on facebook this week a friend linked to this vintage article from christianity today about the u2 frontman's faith, with excerpts from bono: in conversation with michka assayasit's a good read.


finally, reality tv star kim kardashian thinks public breastfeeding is gross. she tweeted:
"EWW Im at lunch,the woman at the table next 2 me is breast feeding her baby w no coverup."
you cannot open a magazine, walk down a street, or turn on the tv without being bombarded by hyper-sexualized images of women's bodies, but God forbid a woman use her breasts to nourish a child.

would kim really rather hear a hungry baby wail in a restaurant? 

her bad mother has a valuable take on the whole thing titled "i've looked at boobs from both sides now."
reducing debates about public breastfeeding to ‘Smart Feminists And Noble Mothers Against Scantily Dressed [...] Who Don’t Realize They’re Oppressed By Their Heaving Cleavage’ obscures what’s really at stake in this issue: our right and freedom to define the terms and practices of our own womanhood, and to not only resist but reject such false, culturally-imposed dichotomies as Madonna/Whore, Smarty-Pants Feminist/Unthinking Tart, Dutiful Asexual Mom/Lusty Young Woman. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m much more complicated than that. And I like my boobs in a whole variety of ways, that includes their life-sustaining baby-feeding superpower but also their pleasing appearance...And I worry that when these discussions get oversimplified...we promote a discourse that does exactly that. Sexy Boobs Bad; Nursing Boobs Good. Nursing Mom Good; Cleavage-Barer Bad. Babies On Boobs Good; Tight T-Shirt On Boobs, Bad. Why can’t all those things be good?"
i appreciate the point she's making about honoring women's agency to inhabit their bodies in varied and nuance ways. what do you think?


Kelly Irene said...

oh wow...what a can of worms you open here! haha!
First off with the whole monsanto mess, I'm so confused right now! I haven't had the time to actually sit down and figure this out but I read two articles claiming exact opposites regarding the outcome of the Supreme Court hearing...on the agenda this weekend is to dig deeper!

Regarding Bono...I like that article too!

and boobs. I nursed my daughter and had a really hard time working through how I was going to deal with these issues. I ended up not taking it one circumstance at a time...sometimes breastfeeding in public and sometimes bringing the bottle. I hope we can get to a place as a society where it doesn't have to be one or the other.

Trisha said...

I am always offended when I hear people complain about moms nursing in public. I always used a nursing cover in public but that was just my preference. Thankfully I was never made to feel uncomfortable and nothing was ever said to me. My extended family at first was the most weirded out and they just got over it! Today girls walk around with their boobs and butts hanging out and we are offended by a nursing mother?! It gets me fired up every time! :)

Karen said...

I had to laugh too that Kim Kardashian was offended by a nursing mother. Come on now! I can't go through a grocery checkout without her goodies staring me in the face.

I've nursed all my children up until they were about 14 months old. I'm currently nursing baby #4 (He's 6 mos.). I do try to be discreet when I nurse in public. And, if I'm in the presence of men who I think may be uncomfortable I try to find a different location. But, around women, I don't think about it as much.

I've actually had a couple creepy experiences while nursing. Once I found a quiet spot away from the public eye to nurse & there was this man that kept lurking in the same area. I started to feel very weird, so I got up and left.

m said...

suzannah, did you hear about haitian farmers and monsanto? im not sure of all the details, but basically 10000 of them refused to accept monsanto's donations, because they would be unable to save the seeds and use them in the coming years. they marched against dependence on monsanto. pretty awesome.

Old Southern Garden said...

Dear Suzannah, thank you for the Monsanto update. I am a close follower of agribusiness, and I appreciate your attention to it. Thank you for visiting my blog. I look forward to reading more of yours, and I especially look forward to your reviews.

Kelly Miller said...

Monsanto is crazy ridiculous. Only here could someone "own" a plant. Ugh.

As for the Kardishian, she's ridiculous too. Didn't she become famous because of a sex tape? Enough said.

I do think the dichotomy of good vs bad isn't as cut and dry as many try to make it. But a mother nursing in public is not flashing her tatas for fun, so there is a difference.

Katie Jones said...

For the record, I'd love to come weed your garden for you.

GMOs frighten me a bit. Ira Glass did an episode on This American Life about a farm with genetically modified pigs. It was unbiased for the most part but still a bit horrifying, and one of the crewmen became a vegetarian after that experience.

Wendy (The Local Cook) said...

bah, down with Monsanto. About the boobs . . . if there is at least some attempt at modesty I don't mind, but seriously some people are like "look at me! I'm nursing and you can't stop me and you are a beyotch for even suggesting that I make any attempt whatsoever at covering up! So I'm whipping them both out and flopping them in your face even though my child isn't even eating!"

In other countries for some reason it doesn't bother me . . . they are used like pacifiers in the developing world. Maybe because the mothers aren't sporting a 'tude? I dunno.

AprilDawn said...

The entire tweet that kim posted said she was in a restaurant and the mother was feeding her toddler without covering up (which does offend a lot of people) and then (this is the ewww part) the mother changed the childs diaper ON THE TABLE! She wasn't complaining about breastfeeding, her sister breastfeeds, she was compaining about the fact that the womans breasts were showing at a very nice, expensive restaurant (sorry but I believe in covering up while nursing unless at home) and then she changed a diaper on an eating surface. That is gross! I breastfed all 5 of my children!! But I never, ever did it in public without a cover-up. Mostly bc of my own modesty.... But I nursed my children everywhere, even in church, and never in a bathroom! I think people are taking Kim's words out of context and misunderstanding them.....

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