Sunday, 25 November 2012

Breastfeeding Nazis, the Breastapo and Godwin's Law

There are some terms which are used to describe women who are passionate about breastfeeding. They are used in various places including online forums, as well as in the mainstream media, newspapers and other sites which I am not going to link to, but google the terms "Breastfeeding Nazi" and "Breastapo" (from Gestapo) and you'll see a whole range of familar sites come up.

These terms are extremely offensive, and I am going to explain why.

The Nazis were a political party in Germany, full name National Socialist German Workers Party. They are famous because among their policies were the eradication of impure races and peoples, including most notably Jews, but also including Roma/Gypsy people, black people and homosexuals as well as people suffering from various degrees of mental or physical disabilities.

The Gestapo were the Secret Police of Nazi Germany, and were responsible for carrying out many of the atrocities perpetrated by that state against its own and other peoples.

Breastfeeding mums do not wish to put formula feeding mums in gas chambers and kill them. This is what the Nazis and Gestapo did. They killed people who were different to them, who acted differently, who thought differently, had different ideas about what society should be like. I repeat, they killed them.

 People who do not breastfeed may find that those who do are smug and self-righteous - personally I disagree or think that at most, this is a very small minority of breastfeeding mothers - but absolutely no one can claim that they aim to eradicate mums who artificially feed their children.

The terms are therefore extremely offensive. Not just to breastfeeding mothers, who do not deserve their comparison with such horrible figures from history. No, the worst offence is to all those people who died or suffered terribly under the Nazi regime. Those who died in the gas chambers, those who died in the camps of disease and starvation, those who died on the roads, those who fell ill and suffered, those who were forever traumatised by the fact that they survived and others didn't, and that they had seen such horrors.

To call someone who you simply disagree with, or who disagrees with you, a Nazi or compare them to the Gestapo, is disgraceful behaviour. Open a history book or turn on the Discovery channel and watch a documentary. Learn what these terms really mean before you throw them out there. It is scary that this is addressed to professional journalists as well as everyday women.

There is an internet phenomenon known as Godwin's Law - that in any argument, eventually someone will compare the other side to the Nazis, and because this is such a worthless argument, the person who does so is automatically judged to have lost the argument.

Please think about the people who died before throwing a term such as Nazi into a conversation, argument or debate. It is not one to be used lightly without denigrating the victims of that awful ideology.

No comments:

Post a Comment