I’ve been taking part in a discussion about the lack of diverse representation within the breastfeeding world. This particular conversation came about after a breastfeeding ad was created. None of the images were diverse.
Sadly, when something like this is challenged, anger flows. It flows from the defensive. That was seen when the issue was first raised, and illustrated by the comments made about how people were trying to destroy something that others had worked hard on. The simple question ‘Where am I in your message for all?’ caused the person asking to be attacked and accused of trying to spoil something positive.
Let’s think about anger. What kind of anger do we think will flow when more and more people become aware of the issue? What’s the answer to it?
- Will it be defensive? If so, then challenge it head on.
- Ask, ‘Why does this make you angry? Is it an unreasonable question and if so, why?’
- What will you do now that you’ve been challenged? Will you remain where you are, or will it cause you to move and make change?’
- Will it be ‘righteous anger’? Then encourage it and challenge it to be a force for change.
- Ask, ‘What changes can you make to turn this anger into something positive?’
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa
As part of this conversation, different breastfeeding organisations are beginning to recognise that it is something that they have ignored for far too long. A couple of IBCLCs (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants) have begun to change the images on their websites and blogs. They have begun a journey that they hadn’t known they needed to take. They are questioning themselves as to why they didn’t notice the lack. These are the positive actions, these are the types of things that I would hope to see when a much needed question is asked.
What I personally feel that we need at this point are words of challenge. Words of change. There will be those that do not see and will not see the need, because they see themselves and do not miss us when they do not see us. But there will be some who rise to the challenge and say ‘Damn! We got that wrong. Let’s make it right.‘ But please, let us not forget what this is about. It’s not about ‘ah well… at least they…’ ‘At least they’ helps no one but those with privilege who can smile and think that the job is done.
Contact us here and come join us, as we become part of the conversation and look for ways to make the change.