If men nursed babies instead of women, there would be a pumping room on every floor of every office building with a flat screen TV playing SportsCenter, plush couches to sit on and lots of free food -- bowls of nuts, hoagies, along with two big coolers to provide plenty of water and Gatorade to keep everyone hydrated. There would be office assistants to wash and sterilize everyone's pump parts. The company would own multiple hospital grade pumps that would be provided at no cost to employees.
If men nursed babies, everyone would nurse in public with great gusto and showmanship. Paternity leave would be a minimum of six months and babies would be brought to the office and worn in slings and carriers while men worked. There would be an entire staff at work devoted to infant care who could come to hold your baby if you needed a break.
People would nurse in important meetings; one financial advisor on Wall Street would be heard saying, "Everyone is experiencing volatility right now with this geo-political risk... hold on, Emma isn't latching properly, give me a minute... she has a bit of a cleft palate, you know how that can be... thank goodness our office has the best lactation consultant on staff. As I was saying, treasuries are at 2.39 which is in no way an indication of fundamental economic circumstances..."
If men nursed babies, airports and even some airplanes would have a pumping station. All kinds of on-the-go pumping devices would be created, hospital grade pumps would become commonplace and replaced by much more efficient pumps that only require two minutes to drain all the milk.
If men nursed babies, they wouldn't be expected to lift a finger doing any extraneous duties at home like cooking, cleaning, or changing diapers because it would be recognized that they are performing such a vital task, growing a baby, and they must reserve all their energy for the infant. They would be brought water and snacks and provided pictures of their child to look at along with relaxing music and guided meditations to listen to while nursing.
If men nursed babies, there would be a breastfeeding holiday where everyone stays home with family to honor this contribution to society. Men's capability as breastfeeders would be used implicitly as one more piece of evidence for their superiority.
And, if men nursed babies, there would be less war. All the oxytocin that they were experiencing would calm men down, plus they would be too busy with an infant to think of planning aggressive attacks.
Men don't nurse babies. Women do. And women deserve to be honored and supported for this contribution to the world.
Vanessa Loder is an entrepreneur, empowerment coach and writer whose company, Akoya Power, supports women in creating fulfilling lives aligned with their passions and values.
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