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Political Poll

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's a "poll" kind of week here at The Lactivist.

Tanya, over at the Motherwear Blog and I have long enjoyed speculating about why breastfeeding (and other parenting decisions) often transcend political leanings. She and I are perfect examples of this...Tanya leans pretty far to the left (and once worked for Grey Davis, former Democratic governor of California) and I lean way to the right (lifetime member of the NRA, conservative Christian, etc...)

While I have some theories on why political leanings don't always have a lot to do with parenting decisions (or why certain political views can lead to certain parenting decisions), both Tanya and I are curious to hear from our readers.

So please, share your leanings with us via this joint poll (same one running on both sites, so you only need to cast your vote on one of them) and then share any comments or insight you have in the comments area.



(Note: PollDaddy polls have been having some trouble lately, you may need to use IE to vote if this thing gives you fits.)

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  1. Blogger Eilat | 1:46 PM |  

    Before I became a mom I just assumed that the hard-core lactivists were all super liberal hippies.
    Then I read about Margaret Spellings, Bush's secretary of education, in the NYT:

    Margaret Spellings once described herself to a Texas reporter as "an earth-mother type of Republican."

    "I would just say that I nursed my kids for a long time; I made my own baby food," Ms. Spellings told reporters at a press breakfast. "I mean I used cloth diapers, not Pampers."

    This totally opened my eyes to the great range of parenting/political philosophies that are out there.

  2. Blogger Anna | 2:32 PM |  

    I don't really have any insights as to why political leanings and parenting styles don't seem to correlate. I guess I'm fairly left of center, although I tend toward the middle on some issues.

    My parenting style:
    I breastfeed (duh), let all three kids decide when they weaned, cloth diaper most of the time, made my own baby food, and go with most attachment parenting philosophies, although I've never successfully co-slept beyond six months.

    My political leanings:
    I'm pro-choice and reproductive rights... that issue is probably the most heavily weighted when I vote. I prefer gun control, but I recognize that it's not the end-all answer to violent crimes. I think our current tax system sucks and would love to see us convert to a flat-tax system. I believe the church and religious views have no place in government, particularly when it comes to the benefits of marriage. Laws written to protect people from themselves (such as seatbelt laws) annoy the crap out of me. Hmm... that's all I can think of at the moment. Look forward to seeing what everyone else has to say!

  3. Blogger Nevanna | 3:53 PM |  

    None of these fit me...I suppose maybe 'independent' would be a better word. My views tend to vary the spectrum, depending on the topic. ;)

  4. Blogger roxy daisy | 7:54 AM |  

    Interesting poll, Jennifer:)

    Around here, in Charleseton, WV, the moms who tend to breastfeed and babywear seem to lean to the left. I'm a registered Green Party self-labelled goth/hippy chick, so I fit the pattern pretty well.

    My area has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the US, so there are some serious gawkers when we nurse in public. I'm somewhat scared I might get CPS calls if my neighbors find out I'm still nursing at 2 or 3 like I plan to do.

  5. Blogger Diane | 9:52 AM |  

    I'm very curious about the outcome on this myself! There seem to be two definite camps for the natural mothering approach - leaning more towards the family values of the Christian right, and on the other end of the spectrum, you have the liberal left. Kinda cool that they finally agree on something!

  6. Blogger tiny-dog | 2:29 PM |  

    That 3C infant carrier looks cool... think I could stuff my 14 month old in there? :-) Maybe the next one...

    Wait, what does this have to do with your poll??

  7. Blogger Gwen | 3:34 PM |  

    I'm a moderate, and a registered Democrat; although I have voted for enough Repubicans. I am against prayer in schools unless all religions (including Buddhist, Moslem and Hindu) get to practice in schools also. Gun control? Someone once made a good point that if a person doesn't feel comfortable registering for guns, they wouldn't want that person to have guns. And I see no reason for automatic rifles except maybe by collectors. I live on a farm, and we have a need for guns.

    Breastfeeding seems prevalent in some cultures which are associated with religion, such as Mennonites and Quakers (my "church"), and I have met a lot of really fundamental Christians who feel strongly about breastfeeding. I'm glad there are such personal things we can find in common!

  8. Blogger Melissa | 4:32 PM |  

    Well, I am a Liberterian, so I am all over the place, but I voted Middle of the road, since I see benefits of both sides of the fence!

    I BF, co slept for almost a year (and still do off and on at 18 months), used a sling- and the new babies in my neighborhood are sling babies now!- made all of DD's food, used disposable diapers and worked. (Although if I hadn't worked, I wonder if I would have used cloth diapers...)

    I tend to think that anyone motivated enough to have a strong opinion about political life will be well read in other aspects of life as well. And at this point, what ever we can find that the right and left agree on is a start!!

  9. Blogger Daniela | 5:37 PM |  

    I always assumed, as eliat, that we pro-breastfeeders were of a more leftward leaning sort. I am eager to see the results of the poll (so far the left is up by a lot). I like the idea of good-parenting transcending all political definition. Thanks for the food for thought. Found you through the where you are nominated for Best Health Blog. I didn't see a "brag badge" on your site. You can definitely increase your votes by adding a one, the code is located on the same site where you reader can go to vote for you. Good luck!

  10. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:09 PM |  

    I may scew the results here, as I lean slightly left politically while still being a pro-life Christian and bf mom! Haha!

  11. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:21 AM |  

    I am a second generation breastfeeding mom of (soon-to-be) two. My daughter didn't start solids until 8.5 months, we'll continue breastfeeding until she's ready to wean (she's 15 months now and I'm looking forward to tandem nursing), and we're finally making the switch to cloth diapers. My husband and I feel very strongly about attachment parenting and gentle discipline. Dr. Sears is a god at our house, and La Leche League conferences are family events.

    My parents are both fairly liberal, but I am definitely a red state kind of girl. Once I felt my baby move inside of me, I could no longer consider myself even a spectator of the pro-choice crowd: I now stand proudly on the pro-life side of the fence. I vote Republican straight-ticket most of the time for a variety of reasons.

    I suspect that there is variety in breastfeeding mothers' political inclinations because everyone has a different slant on things. I want my children to inherit a safe, capitalistic society free from terrorist threats, but my thoughts on how to get there are probably different from a woman who considers herself a Democrat. That doesn't meant a Democratic/liberal mother wouldn't want the same end-goal, just that our methods are different. Essentially, while breastfeeding may seem like the left-leaning, hippie-style thing to do, it is possible for smart women from all ends of the political spectrum to recognize the benefits of nursing.

    A thought (that I don't have time to discuss) - what are the socioeconomic implications on political leanings and how does that correlate with breastfeeding rates?

  12. Blogger Becky Miller | 10:56 AM |  

    I'm far right. I'm a big fan of extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing...I disagree with attachment parenting on the no-spanking thing, as I believe that careful and loving discipline is a very good thing in child-training. As far as feeding myself, I lean toward natural, whole, locally-produced food, which is typically seen as a "lefty" thing to do. I'm a strongly pro-life Protestant Christian and favor the Judeo-Christian influence on our lawmaking. (It's served America well since our country's inception!)

  13. Blogger Becky Miller | 4:16 PM |  

    I've thought about this more, and I think the "Crunchy Con(servative)" idea has a lot of bearing on this discussion. The book Crunchy Consby Rod Dreher, which I haven't yet read, talks about a subgroup of people who are conservative in their ideology by feel strongly about the issues that tend to be regarded as "lefty."

  14. Blogger Ethel | 2:36 PM |  

    I'm with anonymous immediately above - I lean left, but am Christian and pro-life. I think this is actually a very common position. I run into it a lot at my church, especially.

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