Mansplaining. Good or bad?

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You might have guessed it, after all it’s in the name of this blog, but I’m a dad. SHOCK I KNOW!
As part of this blog I offer opinions and views that some even may take as advice. Some of those things I have had opinions on have been very female centric such as things like pregnancy and breastfeeding. I don’t do this because I think I know something women and mothers don’t know. I do it because I have an opinion. This is called ‘Mansplaining’
The latest example of this is Jamie Oliver and his opinion of the state of breastfeeding in this country.

I recently saw a the below headline.


Initially I didn’t know what the original comments were about and wondered what stupid things Mr Oliver had said to feel the wrath of, as the headline puts it, ‘breastfeeding mummies’.

I know from my time as a blogger and a man with more than one brain cell (There must be at least two up there), that you sometimes need to tread carefully when it comes to comments on breastfeeding, it’s a sensitive subject for some. Of course. Based on the above four letter outburst from the ‘Hello’ singer above, I was assuming the not so naked chef had declared to the world if you don’t breastfeed then you’re a horrible mother and you will burn for all eternity in hell.
As it appears only a few people have done, I tried to track down Mr Oliver’s original comments.

On a recent interview with LBC he explained that in the past two years of research he had found certain information that supported the theory that breast is best.
The celebrity chef – who won a big victory with the Sugar Tax’s introduction in the Budget yesterday – told LBC: “We have the worst breastfeeding in the world.
“If you breastfeed for more than six months, women are 50% less likely to get breast cancer. When do you ever hear that? Never.
“It’s easy, it’s more convenient, it’s more nutritious, it’s better, it’s free.”

This has led to outraged women arguing that Jamie Oliver, as a man, should hold no opinion on this whatsoever. After all, he’s a man, what does he know. With comments such as “We didn’t know what to do with our nipples until Jamie Oliver popped his head above the parapet!” and “cant wait to see Jamie breastfeeding this new baby… wots that?? he can’t?? then stop telling us we can!!!!!!”

What most of the articles seem to have missed out is that he was actually making the point that the some of the reasons the breastfeeding rate is so low in this country is because the support isn’t there. He continued in the interview to say how he feels the way the formula industry is using advertising is working against the promotion of breastfeeding and that the country needs to “support the women of Britain to breastfeed more, anywhere they want to” and for women “To be supported, to be informed”.

The comments can be heard at the beggining of this clip:

Many people have expressed the opinion that the support for breastfeeding in this country and within the NHS isn’t as good as it should be, but does that opinion mean less if it comes from a man? Should that opinion be welcomed and the fact that Jamie Oliver has a platform to bring these issues out more into the public eye be a positive thing? Would it be the same reaction if these comments were made by a woman?

Do you think ‘mansplaining’ should be made illegal or do you think having the opinions of men on female centric things is a good thing?
Do you think Jamie Oliver is right to use his platform to raise awareness of lack of support or should he simply not get involved because he will never know first hand the experience of which he is commenting?
Let me know in the comments below.

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