Problems That The Other America Has
The reader who sent this in says, “I can’t even.” Nope, neither can I. Excerpt from The Atlantic.com’s piece:
When Trevor MacDonald started chestfeeding about five years ago, he didn’t know anyone who had attempted it, nor had any of his doctors ever encountered someone who had. In fact, he was shocked that his body could even produce milk. As a trans man—someone who was assigned female at birth but has transitioned to identifying as male—he was born with the mammary glands and milk ducts required for lactation, but he’d had his breasts removed. Once he had his baby, his care providers supported his desire to nurse, but it was up to him figure out how.
MacDonald began blogging about chestfeeding from his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and soon discovered a whole community of transmasculine people around the world in the same boat, looking for guidance. For trans men and transmasculine folks, putting a baby to their chest to suckle can lead to complicated feelings about their gender. Many lactation support services are available for “nursing mothers,” which sounds unwelcoming to men and non-binary individuals. And many trans people say doctors don’t understand their bodies or experiences.
I am not interested in understanding the bodies or experiences of women who think they’re men who are bitching because nobody understands what it’s like to want to suckle your child at the breast you had cut off.
What I am interested in is trying to get inside the head of a coastal elite media that is obsessed with decadent crap like this. I think we can safely say that the people in J.D. Vance’s book aren’t readers of The Atlantic.com (one of my favorite websites, by the way), nor are most people in my part of the world who are out there mucking houses, feeding flood victims and doing their laundry. I get that. No magazine or web publication can be all things to all people all the time, nor should it try to be.
But if you read The Atlantic, The New York Times, and other publications edited by coastal elites, you would think that the travails of transgenders was the worst social problem facing America today. The bizarre degree of coverage and interest says little about transgenders and everything about the priorities of the media gatekeepers.
The American public estimates on average that 23% of Americans are gay or lesbian, little changed from Americans’ 25% estimate in 2011, and only slightly higher than separate 2002 estimates of the gay and lesbian population. These estimates are many times higher than the 3.8% of the adult population who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in Gallup Daily tracking in the first four months of this year.
Well, yeah, of course. Because the news media are disproportionately interested, even obsessed, with all things LGBT, you can hardly blame people for assuming that.
I’m not trying to pick on The Atlantic, which publishes a huge variety of articles daily, and which publishes the great Emma Green, though I imagine an LGBT person is far more likely to see himself or herself in the pages of that site than any of my neighbors here on the bayou are. And this is true of the elite media, period. I’m very sensitive to it right now because I keep hearing from readers and friends all over the country that if it weren’t for this blog and for reports from Facebookers in south Louisiana, they would have no idea how bad things are here on the ground, and what people are struggling with.
I submit to you that most people in the elite media are far more concerned about the difficulties of a breastfeeding transman than they are with the struggles of a single mom in Appalachia trying to keep her kids from falling into opioid addiction, or the flood victims from Livingston Parish who tear up when you give them a package of toilet paper (this really happened), because they have nothing, not even that. I believe that our colleges are turning out graduates who are trained in the obsessions of the professoriat, such that they cannot even see their own country anymore.
As I keep saying, I am not for Donald Trump, and think he does not have what it takes to be president. And I’m certainly not for Hillary Clinton, who is the epitome of what’s wrong with our Establishment. But this kind of thing — showcasing the woes of the chestfeeding freakshow — is what makes me glad that the Trump people are throwing a brick through the Establishment’s window. Elites in Washington, New York, Boston, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood spend more time worrying about whether or not a transman can get his (“his”) baby to suckle at his absent breast, and society’s shameful indifference to that, than they do worrying about most any struggle in the daily lives of poor dumb rednecks and coonasses in Jesus Land.