Call to action: radio personality would murder his wife if she breastfed too long

Amy McCabe submitted this link for LoGI, but I think it deserves it own article and a call to action. You really should read the whole article, but the gist of the story is this: a radio personality who calls himself “Coop” was ranting about a Time Magazine cover of a woman breast-feeding her three year old. He said:

“What I blame is the husband-or should I say domestic partner since they’re in California. But I blame the man. He should keep better control of his woman and get his boy to grow some hair down there. If that wouldn’t fly. If that was my wife, they’d find her in a suitcase in my basement.”

In this short snippet, this creature advocates:

  • Men controlling their female sex partners
  • Shaping all your parenting decisions around your tremendous fear that your son will turn out gay.
  • Men murdering women they can’t control

Coop’s boss, Aaron Hyland, did not immediately demonstrate an understanding of why these remarks were problematic, so the article I linked above urged people to email him. I did, and I was pretty cold. He already responded and said they’re reviewing the matter internally, and thanked me for taking the time to write.

I encourage you to write him as well, if you find Coop’s remarks unacceptable, so he can begin to assess just how many people feel that way. Since many of you are short on time or may not be sure what to say, I suggest something like this, and you’re welcome to cut and paste it:

I’m writing you regarding this article. http://ayellowgiraffe.blogspot.com/2012/05/violence-against-women-for-extended_11.html. Coop’s comments were absolutely unacceptable and appalling.

I really think that’s sufficient, though of course you should say whatever you want (I certainly did). The important thing is the number of emails they receive against Coop’s comments, not the exact content of them.

Email them to aaron.hyland@cumulus.com. You can also phone or mail:

WPDH (845) 471-1500
2 Pendell Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12602
VP / Market Manager: Aaron Hyland x150

One of the points Hyland made in his response to the above-linked blogger was that Coop feels breast-feeding for that length of time is mental abuse. [Update: Hyland just wrote me, denying he ever said this. Mea culpa – someone did tell Amy McCabe this when she called the station, and I assumed it was Hyland, but don’t know who it actually was.] As y’all know, mental abuse is a subject I’m passionate about, and have bothered to educate myself on. The irony here is staggering, and frightening, because Coop is actually calling on men to abuse women and children, and someone at the radio station is excusing it by saying it was said to prevent mental abuse. Dear God.

A few relevant notes:

  • No one really knows how long humans should breastfeed. Proper studies haven’t been done (and honestly, how would you go about doing them?). Even the Bible is silent. We humans really just have to guess about this, so no one can say that someone else is breastfeeding for too short or long a time. It’s a matter of opinion.
  • The idea that this is mental abuse is entirely predicated on an unfounded assumption that breastfeeding kids of a certain age will derail their sexual development in some way.
  • But we’ve also all heard how if a kid winds up in jail, it’s because Mama didn’t breastfeed him or breastfeed him long enough. Damn mothers.

Coop supports abuse. Abuse includes things like “controlling your woman” or terrorizing your sons every time you see them doing something not exceedingly butch. Coop is calling for men to abuse women and children. Rapists and domestic abusers will hear his words and believe he is their ally.

In addition to emailing Mr. Hyland, please spread the word about this. If you’re on social media, you can click one of the buttons at the top to share it. Please don’t repost this entire article word for word, but do feel free to repost chunks of it wherever people are listening.

Comments

  1. Amy McCabe says

    Thank you so much for doing this. Here is my letter.

    Mr. Hyland,

    Listening to the Coop & Kricket show this morning, I heard one of your radio personalities rant against extended breastfeeding (and the woman on Time Magazine). After calling her a media whore he went on a rant. What he said was horrific.

    He first stated that he blamed the husband for not taking appropriate control of his wife. Let me stop and break down the full implications of that. It implies that women are to be controlled, can’t be considered responsible enough to make their own decisions. In that statement alone, he denied me personhood. He denied that women, myself included, were capable of taking responsibility. Like an animal, I need to be controlled. I can only imagine what he thinks of the fact that I do things like vote or hold a full time job.

    He went on to some nonsense that the kid on the cover needed to get some hair “down there” as if breastfeeding was a barrier to maturity? When did 3 year olds get public hair?

    Then he went on to say “if that was my wife, they’d find her in a suitcase in the basement.” Apparently he feels he has a right to decide if women (his wife!) lives or dies. He feels women should be killed for extended breastfeeding. I’m nursing a toddler. He feels I deserve to die.

    I called your station earlier today to complain. I was told that Coop was a kind and loving husband, but considered extended breastfeeding mental abuse. I was encouraged to call in on the show Monday. I was told I was the only one to call.

    But, you see, I know people who had already called. We had talked about it and compared notes before calling. I know others called before me. And some of them went online and spread what was said. Those that decided to call rather than email were told we were the only one to take issue with the program. So I know I was lied too. Granted, after what was said on air, I wasn’t shocked that the station’s reaction toward a women was one of condensation.

    Given that Coop already signaled to me that I was not consider equal to him (or men in general) and that he already proved that he felt I deserve to die for how I choose to raise my son, I had no interest in directly confronting such an individual. Moreover, I had no interest in being called abusive and mocked on air. Quite frankly, given what was said on air, I would be afraid to be in close vicinity with him. If he said that to me in personal conversation, I would have called the police.

    I know you are likely to send me the same form letter everyone else received. Just know that I will not listen to your station again. I have made note of your sponsors and have begun contacting them to state why I shall not be making use of their services.

  2. Leanne says

    I actually think plenty of research has been done and full-term breastfeeding has many benefits (for the physical and mental health of mother and child) while nursing through toddlerhood has never been linked to any negative effects. There is no exact best time though as you say! This guy however sounds appalling. I’m off to email.

  3. says

    This is really all just “blame Mama for everything.” Did you end up in prison? Mama must not have breastfed you. Did you turn out gay? Mama must have breastfed you too long. That bitch! And you just KNOW these fools don’t even have in their own minds an exact right length of time we’re supposed to breastfeed – no, they’re gonna move those goalposts on a case by case basis because what it’s really about is blaming mothers for everything.

    Misogyny at its finest. Maybe if “Coop’s” dad had been a little more concerned about whether his parenting choices would turn his boy into a rapist, serial killer or general misogynist from hell than he was about whether they would turn his boy gay, we wouldn’t be having to deal with this asshole encouraging rapists, serial killers and the like in their thinking.

  4. LarrydaLaptop says

    Wow. It just blows me away that Coop thought he would get away with this. Even if I were twisted enough to put my hypothetical wife in a suitcase in my basement, I wouldn’t say that on the radio. Does he want to cause controversy and get fired?
    On a related note, I wouldn’t equate breast-feeding to mental health. Blaming that for anything seems like a major leap in logic to me. Then again, I’m probably the least educated person here on that subject.

  5. says

    LarrydaLaptop,

    He may want to cause controversy on the basis that no publicity is bad publicity. But it’s a huge lapse in judgment, whatever his motive.

    You’re correct in not blaming breastfeeding for anyone’s mental health issues (or crediting it for anyone’s lack of issues, for that matter). There’s absolutely no evidence that lack of breastfeeding causes mental health problems. I suspect a simple survey, over a large study group, would find that lots of people who were breastfed have mental health problems, and lots who weren’t breastfed do not have mental health problems. There’s usually more than one factor behind mental illness.

    I just found a study that is reported as showing that breastfeeding for longer reduces the likelihood of aggressive behavior and other potential mental health issues. But check out this quote: “The mothers who breastfed for less than six months were younger, less educated, poorer and more stressed than the mothers who breastfed longer. They were also more likely to suffer from post-partum depression.”

    Right. Gotta be the short-term breastfeeding causing the problems, then, because lord knows being less qualified for good jobs, poor, stressed or depressed never, ever caused anyone to transmit a feeling of insecurity or anxiety to their infant. Seriously, they state this and give NO INDICATION WHATSOEVER that they have just named four other factors which are kind of, I dunno, PROVEN to make people miserable. *grimLOL*

  6. SunlessNick says

    Amy McCabe,

    But, you see, I know people who had already called. We had talked about it and compared notes before calling. I know others called before me. And some of them went online and spread what was said. Those that decided to call rather than email were told we were the only one to take issue with the program. So I know I was lied too. Granted, after what was said on air, I wasn’t shocked that the station’s reaction toward a women was one of condensation.

    Why am I not surprised?

  7. SunlessNick says

    On reflection and second thoughts, I think I reacted too weakly to what Amy McCabe said there. I know gaslighting is a fraught term sometimes, but “no one agrees with you,” when said by someone who knows differently, must be heading down that slope – a dishonest attempt to isolate someone and their opinion.

  8. says

    SunlessNick, I think it’s so common that we lose the impact of how vile it is.

    These men are just trying to save face, and engaging in the direct mistreatment of women to do it. So, we should cut them slack and assume they are decent human beings why? They’ve already demonstrated they’re not.

  9. Xiao Mao says

    SunlessNick,

    It’s not ‘heading down that slope’. It IS gaslighting. It IS crazymaking, and it is something that men do to women every single day.

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