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Thursday, September 7 • 4:10pm - 4:50pm
How the 'New Man' inadvertently sabotages the first ancestral food

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Until the arrival of forceps and the “male midwife”, men in traditional societies had little role in the birth and early feeding of infants. Women used traditional models of co-nursing, peer-support and matriarchal custom to help establish breastfeeding. From the 19th century, men inserted themselves insistently into the birthing process. Some interventions saved lives; others damaged early mother-child bonding. In the 20th century, men (largely) promoted formula as “scientific” and superior to breastfeeding. When this was revealed as profoundly inaccurate, cynical exploitation of the “New Man” as a model of nurturing masculinity - from dad in the birthing room to his “heroically” doing the night feeds - ironically undermined further the important physiological role of women in feeding infants. This talk examines how to resolve this mismatch between ancestral expectations and the laudable desire for gender equality, and discusses helpful roles men can undertake in an infant’s crucial early months.

avatar for Nick Mailer

Nick Mailer

After obtaining a degree from the University of Leeds in English and Philosophy, Nick co-authored the first book in the UK on the education possibilities of the Internet. He co-founded The Positive Internet Company, UK's premier open-source managed services organisation. He also founded... Read More →

Thursday September 7, 2017 4:10pm - 4:50pm PDT
210 Kane Hall