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Lori Buckle

Guess I might as well admit that I'm a curmudgeon who hates it when women BF in public, unless they're well covered. I'm sorry, but I see enough nudity in the media (TV, movies, etc.). I don't need to see it in real life, too. The same goes for men and women who like to go around with next to no clothing on.

Pat Gundry

Isn't it interesting how culturally conditioned people can become regarding the human body. I remember thinking, as a child, how strange it was that it was OK for there to be nude statues of women outdoors and in museums and other places, and nude paintings that people stood and gazed at and that were in books, but real human beings who were nude were supposed to be shameful, embarrassing, or obscene.

Then, I wondered how a breast could be more inappropriate to look at than an ear or a toe.

I still feel the same way, that the human body isn't obscene, unless we consider it to be.

When I was in college, a friend of mine had gone to the Amazon in Peru as a missionary. He said that at first seeing native women unclothed above the waist was unsettling to him. But, that as he became accustomed to it, it didn't bother him anymore at all, it just seemed commonplace.

Not so very long ago, seeing a woman's stockinged ankle was shocking. I think it's all cultural, and the meaning we make of it.

And, I'm so glad that human breasts are now allowed back into the use that they have been primarily created for, providing the very best nourishment for babies. I'll be glad when all mothers everywhere are free to breastfeed without embarrassment or inconvenience.

Can Dance

The problem with the attitude of "I don't want to see it because I see enough" is because its normal. If you don't see what is normal, its going to be considered "weird". Bottlefeeding is not "normal". its a function born of the 20th century out of the idea the science trumped nature. Of course now we know with numerous studies that formula does not replicate human milk by a long shot.

I also consider breastfeeding a huge feminist statement. This is what our bodies were designed to do, something that was taken away and looked down upon as inferior by the male dominated medical system. so to me, my beliefs about breastfeeding are very closely aligned with my beliefs about feminism.
As for bfing in public, I am betting my bottom dollar that you have seen women nursing that you didn't know were. its very easy to be discreet and not see a lot of breast. only this is not a sexual context, they are being used for their natural function.

Anyway, I know the UK and presumably Scotland has very dismal breastfeeding rates. I have started to research the markeing of formula companies and its amazing how completely unethical and subversive they are in their messages about formula. like where did we get the idea that past 6 months it was no longer necessary to breastfeed? oh right, that was a little plant from the formula companies because somehow going on another species milk at 6 months is going to be better for our babies. huh?

Jeannie

I've seen far more nipples on the end of plastic bottles than anywhere else! For some reason, nobody seems offended by those nipples.

In fact, no one seems offended by the rounded form of a bulging breast -- so long as it is being presented as eye candy for a man rather than presented to an infant for lunch. Could it be that breastfeeding offends precisely because it is NOT sexy? Could it be that Western society can only accept a breast in its sexual context? Certainly breasts do have a sexual context.... but so do lips and hands, and no one objects to see those out in public.

Women who want to nurture their babies as God intended, find enough obstacles as it is. Breastfeeding is natural, but that does not automatically make it easy. Since breastfeeding presents such an advantage and savings (both on a personal level and a societal level), we should all do everything we can to promote it. That means legislators should consider how their policies affect mothers and babies. Retailers, restauranteers and doctor's offices should ask their clients whether their public places are baby-friendly. Hospitals should be required to protect and enhance breastfeeding, not impede and undermine the relationship. Employers should seek to promote breastfeeding through flex time, pumping rooms, or on-site daycare. Friends and relatives should endeavor to be supportive, and put a child's well-being ahead of the squeamish factor. And if you see a woman breastfeeding her child in public, for goodness sake, smile warmly and tell her how great it is to see loving parents with their children.


Lori Buckle

Sorry, but I still don't like it. I consider it to be a bodily function, and just like any other bodily function, it doesn't need to be exposed to public view. I remember when Barbara Walters made a big deal about some woman BF besided her on an airplane. Finally, somebody had the courage to say what I feel.

As for the "they do it in the jungle" argument, fine. Move to the jungle if you want to run around exposing yourself. Here in the West, however, most people prefer to remain clothed.

Jan

Lori,

Eating is a bodily function. Should we put a stop to eating in public?

Eating is a social function -- as is breastfeeding. You wouldn't eat your lunch in the bathroom -- why send a precious baby there?

As for exposing the breast to nurse a baby? There is a lot more exposed on TV, billboards and in magazines than mothers ever expose when using their breasts for their God-given function.

Can Dance

I guess I think that is sad. I feel like people who have bought into the bfing should be private argument have been sold wholesale the lie of the formula companies that artificial feeding is better. I also think its really sad when women go against women about breastfeeding in public. I feel that I should be the biggest supporter of my sisters doing what her body was created to do.
Jesus was breastfed. Moses was breastfed, probably until he was 5 or so. A very long time. I realise that you probably don't care because this is the West and we are so much more "civilized", that we can now aritifically feed our babies and that is what is normal. But its not. Its people that don't support bfing in public that discourage women from bfing at all. that makes losers on two sides, the women who are too afraid and the babies who don't get mommy's amazing milk for fear of offending someone. That is just really sad.
And in actuality the people that are most likely to bf their children are white, middle to upper class and have at least an undergraduate degree. And breastfed babies are smarter.
Frankly, if you are anti bfing in public, you are anti bfing period.

Jenna

Lori, I will make every effort not to belittle you for your beliefs, but I cannot fathom how any woman could feel the way you do. You have just LITERALLY compared breast-feeding to pissing!!! I think Jan's comeback regarding that "bodily functions" slur was quite sharp and insightful. But of course, you didn't mean a natural function like eating... you meant one of those dirty, sinful functions that should be carried on in the bathroom, away from the mortified stares of the morally righteous.

Sorry about the sarcasm. I don't want to be unkind to you for having the courage to stand alone against many and speak your mind. Since you've taken that brave step, perhaps you could go one further and explain exactly why you think the naked body is a thing to be ashamed of.

Breast milk is one power packed liquid. It offers more for your baby than formula, or any other scientific creation for that matter. As you begin to plan for the future of your baby, make a commitment to breast feeding him for as long as you possibly can - as it will do both your bodies well

Headless Unicorn Guy

The fight over breast-feeding in public has always struck me as strange. Like stepping into a South Park episode.

Perhaps the most WTF thing I've heard on the "anti" side was "Breast-feeding is Unnatural!" This from my late stepmother; I know when she grew up bottle-feeding was becoming very common and had acquired more prestige than breast-feeding (until it had become near-universal by the time I was born in 1955; see Veblein's "Theory of the Leisure Class" and "trickle-down effect"), but this was still one of those "WTF?" moments.

It also begs the question: Isn't that the original biological purpose of female breasts? I mean, isn't that what defines a mammal? And if breast-feeding is unnatural, then why breasts at all? Non-functional silicone-enhanced mating displays/erection triggers on hos & strippers? (Cue "Boobs a Lot" by the Holy Moley Rounders....)

Holly

When I was breastfeeding, everyone around me, including my ex and my mom, made me feel like I was some kind of weird semi-pervert. I still did it, but people made me feel very self-conscious, and I only did it in public when I absolutely had to.

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