Probably not in the way that you are wanting though.
Celebrating Frigga today (actually this was originally typed up on Friday but I couldn’t finish it, so pretend I posted it yesterday), so I decided to talk about a mommy issue (since she is the All Mother after all!)
So today we shall talk about what those boobs are actually supposed to be for, feeding babies!
Breastfeeding is becoming a sort of trend now. The sign of the new age mother that is more “natural”. As trends go, this is definitely a good one. At this point most people know the health benefits of breastfeeding as apposed to formula for both the mother and baby. So why is there so much controversy surrounding it. Let’s discuss!
I came across this particular sign posted on the doors of a local Michaels, and also saw one on Target’s doors. It is a sign signifying that the establishment supports breastfeeding, even in public.
Here’s the thing. That really shouldn’t be necessary.
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things a woman can do. That is how babies have been fed since the beginning of time. Saying you support breastfeeding is like saying you support feeding babies. Kind of redundant isn’t it? So if you replace “breastfeeding” with “feeding a baby” in the argument about breastfeeding in public it becomes an argument about feeding a baby in public.
First, lets take a little look at the law.
According to NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) 49 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location (meaning privately owned businesses). So all of them but one, Idaho.
29 states, District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws.
That’s where it doesn’t make much sense to me. So in the other 20 states that don’t have that exemption, you can breastfeed in public but get in trouble for public indecency?
Now lets get to the arguments against breastfeeding in public.
I came across this little nugget here. These are where I will start here and add some more.
The first one is that breastfeeding in public is indecent.
Most of the time that is about all you will see. I’ve seen women walk around in shirts that show way more than that but are still not considered “indecent”.
Hel, this shows more boob and was on national television.
Here’s the thing, breasts are not indecent, despite what modern society wants to tell you. The argument is that they are “sexual organs” so they should be covered. Umm, no they aren’t. Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a breast.
And here shows for more breastfeeding specific (and layman’s terms):
Nothing sexual about that, has nothing to do with actually creating life, they are mostly sacks of fat on our chest (that is when they aren’t actually in use). The only reason they get involved in sexual play is because of those lovely nerve endings (and boy are those nerve endings fun). The attraction to women with a larger chest is a natural thing. Bigger the breast our animalistic selves think better to feed baby with, also triggers the more fertile thought process as well, now that doesn’t mean our smaller chested friends can’t breastfeed or breastfeed as well or aren’t as fertile (like I said animalistic thinking so not based in fact). The sexualization however is a newer construct of modern society. Ever wonder why in those pictures of third world countries in Africa the women are topless?
The second reason given here really pissed me off. The public breastfeeding is dangerous.
Really? This goes based off the messed up ideology that if a man sees a boob he will completely lose his control (and sanity) and attack. Okay, that may be over dramatizing it a bit but seriously I am sick of people excusing deplorable actions by lowering men to the level of sex crazed animals. Last time I checked decent human beings have control over their sexual urges, especially in the completely nonsexual context that breastfeeding is in. And I love the “asking” for harassment. Umm no, she is feeding her child. The victim blaming is strong here. But to me this seems to be a ridiculous argument. I have not once heard of a woman getting sexually harassed or assaulted because a guy saw her breastfeeding.
The awkward social interactions thing is so dumb. Once it becomes more publically acceptable (meaning women don’t have to even worry about having this dumb debate in the first place) it will be as normal as a woman bottle feeding. It’s only awkward if you make it. I don’t understand the ‘children may ask seemingly inappropriate questions about what the mother is doing” part. The woman breastfeeding is a mother and will already understand why children ask the questions they do. And finally the “the baby may make loud sucking noises that can make others uncomfortable” part. Are you a child? You can’t handle a sucking sound? Newsflash, that is how they get their nutrition, sucking, whether on a bottle or on Mommy’s nature given bottle.
Lastly, the argument that “the act of breastfeeding is physically and emotionally intimate and, therefore, should not be done in public”. Again, just stupid. So no one should kiss, hold hands, stare into each other’s eyes, hug or anything else that could be deemed “physically and emotionally intimate” in public.
My all time favorite argument (by men) is that it’s illegal for men to whip their dick out in public so it should be for a woman to breastfeed because she is “whipping out her boob”. There is just so much umm no in that argument. First, huge difference between a penis and a boob. A penis is a sexual organ, and once again, breasts are not. You don’t feed a baby with your dick (at least I pray to the Gods you don’t, if you do please kindly turn yourself in or just off yourself). As for the whipping out the boob part, refer to the above picture. Women who breastfeed have the sense to wear clothes where her breast is very readily accessible to the baby (because you try to hold a not happy hungry baby and try to work complicated clothing), and will hold the baby in place before moving any kind of clothing out of the way. So the chances of you actually seeing breast is very minimal and only if you are really watching for it.
Trying to tell a woman that she shouldn’t breastfeed in public really is telling a woman if she wants to breastfeed she has to stay home all the time, and that really isn’t right and completely unrealistic. She can’t wait until she gets home to feed her baby, because that baby will be hungry when he or she gets hungry, they don’t stick to their mom’s
Breasts are used in advertisements all the time, so the fact that people are so disturbed when a woman actually uses them for what they were intended for is just ridiculous.
Here is a link to some tips for mother’s that aren’t that confident in breastfeeding in public but want to be.
Here is a link for some responses to people directly arguing with it ( that is I you want to be nicer than what I would be).
When it comes down to it the law is on your side on this, unless you live in Idaho.
A little disclaimer here: I have nothing against women who choose to not breastfeed. That is your body. As a matter of fact, I do have a problem with people shaming a woman for making that choice.
Until next time my loves!