A New Zealand rugby player was featured in an ad about not smoking around kids. Piri Weepu posed feeding his infant daughter a bottle.
Well the La Leche League in New Zealand didn’t like this because they said the ad didn’t send the message that breastfeeding was best.
“Weepu found himself in a breastfeeding firestorm recently when the New Zealand government put him in an anti-smoking public service announcement. The ad initially included an endearing two-second shot of him feeding his 6-month-old daughter from a bottle. However, the country’s Health Sponsorship Council bowed to pressure from La Leche League and other motherhood advocacy groups, which claimed that the image didn’t mesh with its core message: that breastfeeding is best for children. ‘It’s really important that those messages are consistent across the board,’ New Zealand La Leche League director Alison Stanton said.”
“Here, you can see both the anti-smoking ad and the image of Weepu giving his daughter a bottle that was edited out of the spot. I must warn you, though: Click on that link only if you have the stomach to see something as alien, evil and corrupt as A FATHER FEEDING HIS CHILD. I hope you can fight off the urge to wail uncontrollably and smash any furniture within reach.”
Trott goes onto say that in this particular case the baby had difficulty breastfeeding and that is why she is taking a bottle, but that isn’t really the point. Trott feels that the La Leche League has lost sight of bigger issues facing the promotion of breastfeeding.
“The saddest thing is that the real breastfeeding issue of the day is whether moms should be able to pump and feed in public or at work. Bans on public breastfeeding are ridiculous – the idea that a woman feeding her child is offensive or indecent or inappropriate is, I think, offensive, indecent and inappropriate. And new mothers should have spots in their workplaces where they can pump or feed in privacy.”
“There’s a lot of work to do in those areas, and La Leche League shouldn’t lose focus of that by being shrill and overreaching. How can anyone keep a straight face while arguing that, on the one hand, women should be seen breastfeeding in public, and that there’s no shame or indecency in it, yet men shouldn’t be seen bottle-feeding their children?”
What do you think: Has the New Zealand La Leche League missed the point on this? Should they be working toward other goals? Do they have a fair complaint about the ad? Does a protest like this hurt their other work?