Tuesday, October 9, 2007

An uh-oh

I wrote this woman after seeing this article linked in the breastfeeding community on lj.

I said:

"Dear Jeannie Babb Taylor,

I loved every last word of your article on breastfeeding. I write a column called "Mama Talk" for the newspaper I work at in Aberdeen, Wash., and occasionally mention that my 22-month-old is still nursing. No one has specifically said that they have a problem with my writing about it, but I know I get funny looks sometimes. And outside of the office, coworkers occasionally say things like, "Oh, that's right, you're still nursing ..."

I am so glad that someone educated and respectable has spoken up on this vital topic. Your column was filled with more than just the grim statistics, but witty observations about why it is that this problem persists even though, especially as a society, we all should know better. Thank you so very much for becoming a voice for all of us underground "boob nazis." (Maybe someday, that horribly offensive term will be replaced with something that mainstream America can embrace.) Your article was an inspiration and I plan to spread it as far as I can reach."

What I meant was linking it all over the intrawebz, but I didn't realize that I had accidentally written her from my work email. (I clicked on of those "contact the author" buttons and that's where it took me. It was late at night and I wasn't paying much attention. Opps.)

Well, she wrote back,

Suzanne, thank you so much for the encouraging email. Congratulations on nursing your little guy for 22 months. That’s wonderful! My children have nursed anywhere from 14 months to 4 years. Did you know some women have begun calling it “full-term breastfeeding” instead of “extended breastfeeding” -- to get away from the idea that they are extending (dragging out) the breastfeeding relationship. I really hope that we will see breastfeeding normalized, as you say. It should be bottlefeeding that is exceptional, not breastfeeding. I’ve heard worse terms of address than “boob nazis” – How about “nipple nazis?” Personally, I prefer lactivist!

Anyway, thanks for writing! It’s always exciting to hear from other columnists.

Oh, I see that you are also an editor for the paper. If you’d like to use the article as a “guest columnist” submission, I’d be honored to send you the Word file.


Jeannie Babb Taylor

Yipes! Do I tell her I meant to contact her as a fellow blogger and not as a fellow journalist? Do I actually bring up the idea of running the column with my bosses? (They're all guys!) or do I tell her we're not interested. We are! I am , anyway. I guess I could just not reply, but that seems lame too. Man, I so did not mean to mix blogging and work like this!


*Kate said...

I don't have any advice for you other than I definitely think you should write her back.

But I wanted to say thanks for the link, it is a great article.

thesynergizer said...

I talked to the big boss about it. i have no idea what he'll say. he told me to send it to him. gulp.

MissMeliss said...

This isn't "mixing blogging with work" (as if there's something wrong with that - there really isn't, as long as you're careful not to publically blog about anything you don't want in the media) it's "networking."

It's good that you went for it.

thesynergizer said...

yeah, i fail life at that kind of "careful" ... anyway, my boss was nice while i talked to him about it, but then ended up not being interested ... oh well.