Her Stories: For Women, Finding Community Often Means Creating Your Own

Plus: The most offensive things about life for young women in 2019.

Hello, readers!

When it comes to feeding your baby, it seems like everyone whose viewpoint you value — doctors, siblings, lactation consultants — has a different opinion about what you should do. So why would someone voluntarily dive into a network of strangers to find more of them? 

Because, as is the case with so many women-oriented communities, sometimes you have to find your people. That’s certainly been a factor for women in France who are choosing to pump. They’ve found real support in a private Facebook group that gives them the kind of information they can’t find elsewhere. 

Annabel Benhaiem wrote about the group — which resonates with her personally — for HuffPost France this week.

“I breastfed my kids and when I was in front of the breast pump, I didn’t know how to use it ... and then never used it. Until I found this group,” she said.

Women in France have historically had low breastfeeding rates when compared to other developed countries, which Annabel said she believes stems from the feminist movement of the 1970s.

“Breastfeeding was seen as enslavement to their condition,” she explains. “It was a feminist lecture. Baby bottles and artificial milk were seen as liberators. It took us many years to realize how good breastfeeding was for the baby.”

while the pendulum has started swinging the other way, there’s still an element of curiosity when a woman breastfeeds in public — and “not in a nice way,” according to Annabel. 

She plans to continue her coverage of how mothers are using social networks by taking a look at a Facebook group that discusses non-chemical products. After a study found traces of dangerous materials in diapers earlier this year, it’s been a topic parents can’t help but be concerned about.

There’s been a lot of information lately about the, well, lack of information when it comes to women’s health. This story really speaks to the way in which women fill in those gaps with creativity, generosity and friendship, and I can’t wait to read more about it.

Thanks for reading,

For more from Le HuffPost, follow Annabel Benhaiem (@AnnabelBe) and HuffPost’s C’est la vie (@HuffPost_CLaVie).

Wendy Li was a candidate for Manhattan District 2 Civil Court Judge in the 2018 midterm elections.
Wendy Li was a candidate for Manhattan District 2 Civil Court Judge in the 2018 midterm elections.

Diversity hasn’t exactly been politics’ strong suit, but when it came to who ran for office — and who won — in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, the candidate pool looked a lot more interesting. Great strides were made by women and people of color. As the director of the Reflective Democracy Campaign put it, “While white men still hold a monopoly on political power, they definitely do not hold a monopoly on electability.”

You know what’s not necessary in this day and age? Being told you have childbearing hips. Or being bought a vacuum for your birthday. (Well, unless you really wanted a vacuum. That can happen.) But these were just a couple of the things British women flagged as annoyances in their day-to-day life, and they’re relatable worldwide. Another one I couldn’t help but nod my head at? Being left with the wives of your partner’s friends at dinner. Come on.

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