PUBLIC BREASTFEEDING – shame on you

BREASTFEEDING IS MAKING HEADLINES!!!!

Breastfeeding Mom Kicked Out Of McDonald’s

” Woman kicked off plane for breast-feeding baby “

” Kicked out for breastfeeding? A St. Paul mother takes issue with the treatment she got at restaurant

” Arkansas Woman Kicked Out of Courtroom for Breastfeeding

” Breastfeeding Mom Kicked Out of the Y’s Child Watch Area: Y, Why?

” Target Calls Cops On Breastfeeding Shoppers ”


Let’s explore your fear of breastfeeding for a moment, shall we? Here in the US, where we pride ourselves on being free-thinking and more advanced than so many other countries….where we laugh at our puritan forefathers for their ridiculously restrictive ideas when it comes to bodies and sexuality, judge other cultures for the way they hide their women in Burkas and other traditional dressings to hide ‘offensive’ parts of her body like her legs and even face. Here in the United States, where we balk at the censorship of other nations and wave our flag and claim that it stands for freedom – it is here that the above headlines have appeared.

Women being sneered, judged, and even chastised and shoo’d out of public areas all because they are breastfeeding a baby. No, it’s not because they are showing their breasts! Don’t give me that….that’s just what you’re telling yourself to avoid the truth! The truth is that they were chased off for BREASTFEEDING! How do I know that? Well…think about it for a while. WHAT are you finding offensive about this situation?

A woman can walk into that restaurant wearing a top that reveals most of her breast and, while men may oogle and women roll their eyes and wonder how much she’s charging, she will not be approached and told to ‘put those things away!’. So long as her nipples are hidden from sight, she can be as revealing as she wants to be. Bikini tops and barely-there shirts…heck, cleavage has been perfectly acceptable since breasts were shoved into corsets and shoved up to their throats to show them off! So cleavage isn’t the problem.



A man can walk around topless – he will either get ‘eewwww’ looks if he’s older, not physically fit, or furry…or he will get nods of approval and flirty eyes and smiling stares if he’s young, buff, and tan. Nobody is looking at his nipples…they are looking at his BODY. Nobody will tell HIM to “cover those up!”

Okay…so cleavage is okay…and nipples are okay, so long as they are male. Female nipples? OHHHHH NO! RUN FOR COVER!! AAAAHHH…..she’s letting them OUT!

(sorry, had a panic moment there at just the thought of a female nipple. I can get control of myself – sorry about that.)

So it seems we have narrowed it down to only the female nipple that is objectionable. The problem that we will run into at this point is one of hypocrisy – we will claim that female nipples are the taboo that’s being breeched, and that she simply can NOT show her nipple in public! Problem is that a nursing baby is covering the nipple so it can not be seen! It’s physically impossible for a nipple to be seen while a woman is actively breastfeeding a baby! While baby is happily eating, you MIGHT see cleavage (even that is usually not visible), but we’ve already determined that cleavage is fine in this culture.

So if you can’t see her nipple, then what’s your problem with it? The milk? You’re worried about the sanitation of the milk? I’m confused, because you’ve suggested many times that she pump and bottlefed her expressed breastmilk…? If that’s acceptable, then it can’t be the sanitation of the milk, but must be the delivery method. And it’s not the visibility of the nipple, it’s the mental thought that she is breastfeeding a baby.

I know it is hard to change cultural views…it is that which is the core of how we’ve been raised. If you are raised to believe that breasts are only sexual, if that’s their only reference in your past, that is their sole known function – I understand that it can be challenging to grow up, think outside of your culture and upbringing and see the world differently. I had a grandmother that was a wonderful woman who lived many many years in her youth in the south. She loved all people and gave everyone an equal chance….but yes, the word “nigger” would come out of her mouth occasionally and there were hidden prejudices that she had been raised with that she fought against – because she felt that what she was raised to believe was wrong. She wouldn’t mistreat someone because of skin color, and would struggle against her upbringing to give everyone as fair of a chance as she could – but culture can go to the core!

I understand that you were raised to think that breasts were only for sexual purposes. In our culture, children and sexuality are required to be so distantly separated that even the idea of a baby coming out of the vagina or of a baby eating at a breast is becoming culturally taboo. Doesn’t make it right. You can do better than that. You have the ability to see the dual purpose, remove the sexual connotation of the breast and to see them as functional as well. It might hurt at first, but I know you can do it! Just as my grandmother admitted that blacks are equal and deserving of respect despite being raised to believe differently, you can admit that breasts can be used to feed a baby despite your culture.

Blacks needed people like my grandmother to believe in them and support them in their obtaining freedom – and our babies need people like you to believe in their right to the healthiest start that we can give them.

I promise you….it is much easier for you to look away than it is for that baby and mother to pack up and leave every time that baby needs to eat.  It’s much easier for the white person to ignore the black sitting at the corner restaurant sipping his coffee than it is for the black person to find somewhere else to eat his meal.  I look away when you are talking with your mouth full, I don’t say anything when you fart in the store I’m shopping in, and I forgive you when you wear clothes that are too tight, too low, in colors that clash.

Yet you would kick me out for keeping my baby healthy and happy and quiet by breastfeeding? Shame on you…you can be better than that.

24 Comments

  1. Diana J. wrote:

    Dang it, Stephanie! I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages, and you wrote it before I could get to it! :) Well, I might write my own post sometime, but this was AWESOME anyway! Thanks!!!

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Tangie wrote:

    Smiles very very big!!! hahaha no tears this time…you go get em’

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  3. Brealin wrote:

    VERY well said! I can’t think of much else that gets me more fired up than the ignorance of people when it comes to breastfeeding! I was the FIRST in my family to breastfeed and have taught everyone the benefits..I still have family members who ask me to step out of the room and it’s so irritating. American’s are too sexual and there is more breast exposure in ads than while a mom is breastfeeding! UGH! Ok vent over! Thanks for posting this!

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  4. Matthew wrote:

    My wife breastfed until my oldest daughter was 4 1/2. I’m a fan of breastfeeding and pumps and supporting breastfeeding and I think it makes kids smarter and healthier.

    That being said, I disagree with pieces of your article. Specifically, in paragraph six you make a jump from what I consider to be fairly reasonable assertions that lead to your finding that the female nipple is the societal taboo. I agree with that finding, though I’m not saying that I agree that the female nipple *should* be taboo.

    The problem with paragraph six is that you add a modifier to the term breastfeeding for the first time and that weakens some of the points you’ll continue to make throughout this paragraph and the article as a whole. The modifier is “actively.” I agree that an actively breastfeeding child covers up one of the nipples completely with his/her mouth. Discussing the modifier “actively” in detail would require you to discuss the following points:

    1) Infants do not actively breastfeed at all times
    2) Infants release the nipple to breathe when they aren’t able to breathe through their nose (too close to the mother’s breast or a stuffy nose)
    3) Infants release the nipple to look around; many mothers will tell you that some of the best bonding occurs because feeding isn’t a 1-2-3 process. Infants will switch from nipple to nipple, will want to play with the other nipple with their fingers while they suckle the one in their mouth. They’ll release the nipple to smile at mommy or say something–really beautiful bonding stuff, but it validates some of the concerns of people in your hypothetical restaurant.

    Our society has established guidelines for what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior to the majority of people. Some of these guidelines are rigid–you violate them and you can be imprisoned, refused service, fined, sued etc. Some of these guidelines are more flexible. You generally won’t be cited for exposing your breast while breastfeeding, but you may receive lash-back from other patrons or societal pressure to conform. If you do not conform, you’ve consciously accepted that pressure.

    Reproduction is just as natural as breastfeeding. Yet I think you would find it uncomfortable for a man and woman to engage in sex under a blanket at your restaurant. If I’m wrong, please correct me and I’ll concede your are consistent in your application of your beliefs. Semen isn’t dirtier than breast milk. Sex isn’t dirtier than breastfeeding. Would you agree?

    In any case, requiring a majority of people to change their beliefs and alter their actions (whole restaurant should avert their eyes vs 1 mother/baby moves to the corner of restaurant) is selfish. The preferences of the few in any civilized society should not outweigh the preferences of the many. We’re not talking about a situation that is depriving anyone of their life or basic liberty.

    As a white person, it’s offensive for you to compare segregation based on the color of someone’s skin to societal pressure to not expose yourself, or engage in an activity in public that makes the majority feel uncomfortable, even if you are covered. I understand that you’re frustrated because this is something you feel you should be able to do without societal pressure not to, but that’s your value and you shouldn’t visit your value on other people without their request.

    Again, I hope you take this in the respectful way I intended. I do think that we are too Puritanical in this country–but I also think that it’s wrong to legislate intent or thoughts–we can only really legislate actions. If I have to to help my wife to the corner to feed or watch our other daughter while she goes to the bathroom change a diaper (urine is sterile) and this is my sacrifice so that I don’t have to avert my eyes from people changing clothes in public (a mere seconds of swinging penis that I would have to avoid in your restaurant) or having sex in public at the beach (totally covered, under a towel, but still painfully obvious) or people urinating wherever is convenient (totally natural, not dirty at all unless they’ve got some serious problems with blood in their urine)–I’m okay with that minor inconvenience. We’re always part of the majority and minority in different situations.

    I let me 2 year old run around naked at the beach. The 5 year old doesn’t. Why is that? I don’t know, but I *feel* the societal pressure start around age 2 to clothe my kids. I’m okay with ignoring it if I want that pressure, or conforming if if I don’t. I don’t really want 11 year old boys running around naked with erections and you’ve got to draw a line somewhere. There will always be a minority of people that disagree with the values of the larger group. In this instance, that happens to be the minority of breastfeeding women who, like you, feel discriminated against by being asked to discreetly feed in private areas of public venues.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
  5. Amey wrote:

    LOVE IT!!!!! SHARING IT!

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
  6. Melissa P wrote:

    Wow!!! This was well said! I am so glad someone has the guts to say this to society!!!! Good for you! :o)

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink
  7. elfanie wrote:

    Matthew:
    I specifically used the modifier “actively” in acknowledgment that if you watch closely you MIGHT see a nipple before and after baby latches. I, personally, have never met a woman who allowed some of the other common activities (nipple twiddling) to be done in a public setting – they don’t breastfeeding in public as a bonding or playing experience, but as a feeding experience. Our society has established guidelines – but sometimes those guidelines are WRONG!

    Accepting that others might disapprove is one thing…harassment and banishment is another thing entirely.

    You compare breastfeeding to sex….but it’s NOT SEXUAL! It’s feeding a baby…in NO WAY SEXUAL! My argument was not and won’t ever be that it’s “natural” – my argument is that it isn’t sexual, indecent, or unsanitary…it’s feeding a baby.

    I challenge those whose response to breastfeeding is repulsion to change their belief (not the majority of people as I do not believe that the majority feel that way) – and I think it’s about as selfish as expecting those who have other prejudices to hold those beliefs to themselves (such as racism, sexism, etc). If you find that offensive then I apologize that you are offended, but not for the sentiment. I have seen prejudice (I have mexican family members, and black family members) and I feel that this is no different. And this isn’t just a “value” – it effects the health of MILLIONS of babies!! (UNICEF estimates that over a million babies DIE every single year BECAUSE they are not breastfed! You don’t find that appalling??)

    beyond that – our societal judgment is incredibly hypocritical. It is only breastfeeding that is discriminated against, not breasts. I respectfully disagree with your support of discriminating against publicly breastfeeding moms and babies and feel that in order to be consistent with the already present standards of public decency and health of babies we should all make an effort to see beyond our own rediculously hypocritical offense and allow ourselves to become accustom to the normalcy of the act.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  8. Gina wrote:

    I have no problem with breastfeeding in public as long as the mum is decent to look at. When she has nipple hair and armpit hair sprouting all over the shop, breasts that sag to china… that is when I throw up. The same goes with cleavage and guys running around topless. I’m shallow enough to admit that I like looking at beautiful naked body parts, and not the uglies.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink
  9. elfanie wrote:

    Gina –
    ugly people roam the planet all over the place – we all like to look at beautiful things (including people). That is irrelevant to the breastfeeding topic, however.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Permalink
  10. hilary wrote:

    i think i know what part of the controversy is about. i know this may sound racy but worth considering. what if our breastfeeding children is taboo because men see children suckling at our breasts and become aroused because many men can only see breasts as sexual objects. on one level this goes against their raised view of sexuality, and seeing a child feeding from a “sexual object” brings up feelings of sexual discomfort. its kind of like mixing in images of babies with porn for a lot of them (i have listened in to many shocking college-male discussions. this does sound disgusting… it is disturbing. yet i cannot be worried whether or not a man is having a self-hating fantasy about my breasts while im nursing my child. it has to do with perversion and repression. little did they know that many of them were sustained at the breasts of their mothers. we have good ol’ american sex-pop culture to thank for this. sigmund freud were he alive today, would probably have some interesting insights on the breastfeeding taboo and americans! lol

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
  11. Matthew wrote:

    Elfanie:

    I agree that the guidelines may be wrong, and society as a whole may be too sensitive the act of breastfeeding.

    My disagreement is that its not always in the interests of the greater good to accommodate each and every minority request. Racism, violence, discrimination based upon things that we have no power to change in ourselves–yes, we should protect the minority from the mob.

    In this specific matter, I disagree that this form of oppression (I concede that it’s oppressive) rises to that level.

    The statistic about UNICEF is misleading, although sensational. My response would be that if 1M babies are dying because their mothers refused to move 30 meters across a restaurant (again I’m trying to use your hypothetical) to a restroom, private sitting area, or corner booth, I’d lay that blame at the foot of mothers, not the rest of society for their lack of accommodation.

    It seems that SEXUAL is the keyword that you’re discriminating against, as if that word is somehow more tawdry or unnatural that something that isn’t sexual. So please consider the other example that I specifically included for that reason–a mother changing a child at a restaurant, or a grown person urinating (while remaining covered for almost all of the time) in public. Is that something that violates health codees—urine is deemed by the USMDA as sterile, and if we have my hypothetical man urinating outside on the street we eliminate any health risks you might cite (waste/proximity to food). I don’t think there are health risk associated with changing a diaper at the table at a restaurant. The feces aren’t going to fly near my plate any more than breast-milk could inadvertently spray (happens, but not dangerous and travels only short distances). So why should mothers be oppressed similarly into going to the bathroom to change their infants? Why should adults be oppressed into using public restrooms instead of the gutter? Walking in sterile urine on the sidewalk is not nearly as dirty as stepping in mucus or spit or a cigarette butt or dog feces.

    The answer is because most people don’t want to see someone urinating in public, and most people don’t want to see a baby’s diaper (poo or pee) on the table next to them. They figure that the placement of public bathrooms, changing tables, and waste bins give them a reasonable expectation of having this preference met. At the end of the day, we are a democracy and that means that the majority wins (usually Al, usually).

    I do find the UNICEF statistic appalling, but not in support of your argument. I still feel you didn’t address the times when the nipple is exposed–you used the modifier “actively” only to say that by definition the nipple wouldn’t be exposed. I’m sorry, and I really enjoyed the article, but that was the first time where I felt like you were “selling” me as opposed to the first 5 character where I felt it was fairly objective for an editorial piece. I felt like you couldn’t not put that modifer in to that statement because it would make the statement false. But before and after that sentence you didn’t address the scenarios where the mom could be exposed–and this allowed you to continue the straw-man argument that it had to be discrimination against the philosophy of breastfeeding. (You may be right on that point btw, but you being right doesn’t invalidate my contention that majority rules, so I’m not really delving into it.) I’m holding to you a high standard in your editorial composition only because I enjoyed your writing so much. Please take this nit-picking as the compliment that it’s intended to be. I mean, I post on blogs about 2 times a year. This is both of those times. :)

    As far as the other comments, I don’t need to stop people from peeing on the street because I’m afraid of their penises giving me fantasies, and calling people who don’t agree with you perverted or repressed is probably counterproductive towards getting those opponents who you must convince in order to win (not this argument, but the overall battle) to see your side.

    If it was me, I’d work to promote fellow outspoken moms to have sensitivity towards other people’s comfort and ask people if it’s okay for you to breastfeed before you do. It’s a disarming tactic to engage people in the decision making process and you’ll likely to get improved results. If this is truly about making the situation better for breastfeeding moms, and not about venting frustration at the society which oppresses you, you’ll get better results with a deferential approach.

    That’s all for me, but I’ll read the reply. Enjoyed the debate a lot! And remember, this is coming from someone who had to explain repeatedly until last December why my 4 1/2 year old was still nursing, although not in public.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink
  12. Kelli wrote:

    Oh this is WHY I won’t use a nursing cover. And honestly its not the adults I want to see its the kids, I want little girls to see whats NORMAL, I hope little boys grow up aware of what women have breast FOR. I hold more hope in opening the hearts and minds of our children than changing the culturally brainwashed adults. I will not sit in a stinky bathroom to breastfeed unless the man or woman bottle feeding will.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Permalink
  13. Amy Lynn Drorbaugh wrote:

    To Matthew- I don’t believe breastfeeding is a “minority request” as you put it. Quite the opposite I believe it is only a small number of extremely vocal people who have a problem with breastfeeding in public to the point of discrimination or harassment. In my 4 years of breastfeeding I have NEVER encountered any problem even though I frequently breastfeed in public. If your supposition was true that the majority of people are opposed to breastfeeding surely in that time frame someone would have said something to me. And I will never ask anyone’s permission to feed my child. That is just ridiculous. If they are uncomfortable they have MY permission to excuse themselves to your “corner” until I am done.

    Stephanie – I love your style of writing and the clarity of your points. Through the years I have only had one problem with nursing and it comes from a very shocking source. I have taken a lot of criticism from other moms who breastfeed for covering while I nurse. They claim I am damaging the “cause” of breastfeeding by acting like I am ashamed. It is exactly the opposite in my mind. Breastfeeding is a special bond my child and I share. I don’t care to share that moment with others and being an extremely modest person even when not breastfeeding I want to keep my body covered. This isn’t because I’m ashamed of breastfeeding. It’s how I’m comfortable and I would love if other moms would allow me the same respect for covering that I allow them for not covering.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 12:04 am | Permalink
  14. Allyson wrote:

    Ok, as I loved your article there was a few problems… 1) I have never heard of a breastfeeding mom to be drug out of his/her home and hung from a tree like a deer. 2.) Some moms can’t breatfeed due to health issues so are they part of the majority or minority, since seeing other women feeding their babies like they wish they could hurts and they tend to not want to see it. 3) There has to be balance in every society. Pumps were made for breastfed babies to still get the nutritional needs and very healthy milk to be able to go out to the mall or a restaurant. I tried breastfeeding my son but he starting losing weight and I found out from the experience that I have MS. So, if you want to come out in town and breastfeed send me your address and I will mail you a pump. Your baby isn’t going to miss one time at your nipple if the milk is the same. If the child would always be drinking pumped milk then maybe you should stay home a little more instead of keeping the roads hot. And again, I was a breastfed baby and so was my son until he wasn’t getting the nutrients he needed. So, before you say or think I am against it I AM NOT.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 2:07 am | Permalink
  15. Allyson wrote:

    Sorry, my first point was to your racial view of your grandmother. I am from the south and the word has never came out of my mouth! Nor will it. My kids who the oldest being 18 will tell you that it is a curse word. T.v. has nothing to do with why you are asked to cover up or go to the restrooms, it is to make the atmosphere settling for all parties. If it hurts you to walk 30 feet at the most you also need to visit your doctor. I am not trying to bash you but you brought the first draw by referring a breastfed baby to a black man in the south many many years ago. I have black friends, white friends, and black and white couple friends who would object to your use of slavery and segregation as the same as a breastfed child!

    Oh, and Matthew… Don’t you think 4 is a bit old for a child to be breastfeeding?? I mean how does that work with school?? And … never mind… I don’t want to know.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 2:19 am | Permalink
  16. elfanie wrote:

    Allyson:
    I have black family members, too….and you don’t have to be dragged out of your home and hung from a tree to experience racism (unless your intent was to say that unless it is to that extreme, it’s acceptable – but I can’t imagine that was your intent). I do believe that asking a woman to leave a restaurant because she is breastfeeding her child is equal to asking a person to leave a restaurant because s/he is black (or gay, or jewish, or…)

    discrimination is discrimination and doesn’t have to get to the point of being lethal before people should stand up and declare it wrong!

    Pumps were not made so that you could go to the mall without breastfeeding – they were made for those times when you would be separated from your baby. If you are more comfortable bottlefeeding then that’s one thing – but I can’t imagine why I should be FORCED to bottlefeed my baby when s/he is in my arms! (and you have the highly inaccurate assumption that the baby is willing to take a bottle, which many many breastfed babies are not)

    I’m sorry it bothers you to see other women nursing out of being envious….I remember how I felt seeing loving couples when I had just lost a long-term relationship. It can be challenging to see someone with something you desire – I am confused, however, why you would begrudge THEM the right to do what you, yourself, are saying you wish you could do? That doesn’t make sense to me.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink
  17. Enjoy Birth wrote:

    Wonderful post. I would like to add that we need to also teach our kids about the normalcy of breastfeeding, then maybe in 10-15 years everyone will be cool with breastfeeding in public!

    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  18. Matthew wrote:

    Allyson:

    I think it’s a personal choice for the child and the mom, and while our society doesn’t feel comfortable with it, it’s totally acceptable to feed much later in other cultures–here we would be part of the minority. :)

    We lost our oldest daughter Kaia to SIDS when she was 6 months old about 4 years ago, a few days before Christmas in 2005. Cessa is her younger identical twin, and it was difficult for my wife to let go because it’s such a fleeting and wonderful bonding experience.

    Logistically, at 2, 3, and 4 Cessa was only breastfeeding for comfort and connection, not for any substantial nutrition. She only fed in the morning when the 3 would sit in bed reading stories and at night before sleeping. Her younger sister (the current 2 year old who stopped feeding at about the same time) was feeding regularly and this allowed my wife to easily produce milk for both as she’d once done with our two twins. Ultimately it was her way of coping with an extraordinary loss, and I tried to support her in that coping mechanism because I didn’t feel like it was causing anyone any harm. And, she did use a coverup :)

    Amy–I just meant that the small group of breastfeeding mothers who are actively pursuing the ability to breastfeed in public without the use of a cover-up or blanket, not the greater breastfeeding community. I think that was the focus of the editorial because 4 out of the 6 articles Elfanie referenced involved that scenario. These women refused, as is their right–I just think that “Right to Breastfeed in Private Establishments without any type of cover-up” is different than “Right to Breastfeed in Private Establishments.” My sense is that less women would identify with the cause if it was described as the former. We, like Elfanie, have never had any problems with breastfeeding in public and my guess is that it’s due in no small part to using a feeding blanket or small towel or extra cloth diaper as cover.

    Maybe I was unclear in my posts, but all of those options (booth, quiet corner, bathroom) were suggestions for the situations where a mom didn’t want to use a cover-up–that seems to the be the vocal minority.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  19. Amy Drorbaugh wrote:

    At Matthew – Oh I’m sorry, I did misunderstand your post. I don’t necessarily agree with the argument but I can appreciate your point of view. I know as a breastfeeding mom I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and I try to be inconspicuous when I can but I also know that if someone is feeling uncomfortable that is their choice, not mine. I do feel that there are a VERY small number of moms who damage the right to breastfeed in public by turning it into a crusade rather than a beautiful experience between mother and child.

    I’m so sorry for you and your wife’s loss. I had a stillbirth in 2007 so I know how hard that is. I, too, am holding my next baby a little tighter because of it.

    Monday, August 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  20. Enjoy Birth wrote:

    I loved this post and it inspired a post on my blog. Where I link to the nurse-in they have planned in Phoenix. http://enjoybirth.com/blog/2010/08/19/breasts-not-for-entertainment-purposes/

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink
  21. Kami wrote:

    Loved this! I think the craziest thing is…look how sexual and inappropriate (in my opinion) those pictures are of the immodest women, and then look at the pictures of the breastfeeding women…what do you see? If she is nursing discreetly, nothing! I use a nursing cover in certain situations but I also am becoming more and more comfortable with nursing sans cover, and do not feel like I expose myself at all, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that. I am all for discreet nursing and acceptance of breastfeeding in general instead of the usual “EWWW! Sick!” I hate that attitude.

    Friday, September 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink
  22. Sue wrote:

    I strongly agree with Mathew on this debate. I nursed my children, but never in public, and I find it very disturbing and uncomforable when a woman whips out her boob in public; especially in front of my children because I don’t want them to see that. I think this is a matter of opinion, not what is right or wrong.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  23. Tiffonie wrote:

    I have to wonder at all the judgements and negativity on here about seeing a woman breastfeeding In public.

    To the mother concerned about what her child sees, let me understand you completely.  You are concerned about your child observing a woman providing nourishment and nuturing care to her infant. Ok…  I wonder if you let your child EVER watch TV.  That’s a whole lot I don’t want my son to see.  From the overcommercialisation of everything, to the violence and sex.  Even billboards on the side of the highway with women as sexual objects are much more a concern to me about my son seeing than a woman nurturing her child.  Any of these things will be seen if you venture into society at all.  Why not talk to your kids about what they are seeing and the values you want to instill in them? Might be a great opportunity to tech your kids that boobs are for babies, not just sex objects…

    For the bathroom argument, I have to say huh?  Adults go to the privacy of a bathroom to eliminate.  Changing a diaper in the bathroom follows.  The smell of poop, child or adult’s is small particles of feces in the air.  Adults eat in front of others.  Why should an infant not?  Smelling someone elses food and someone elses bodily waste is not the same.  Bad analogy.

    Let’s talk about the “judgment” of the mother who is feeding her child somewhere inconvenient.  Really, sorry, but I have to ask if you question the judgement of a mother whose teenage daughter has on shorts with words on the butt?  Last time I checked, sexualizing your minor child was illegal.  What else could you be doing by putting “juicy” on your daughter’s backside?  Or any other word for that matter.  Let’s get ticked about harmful things if we are going to get ticked!!  

    While we are on the topic of inappropriate clothing, if you see an inappropriately clad individual in public, do you think they should be ordered to dress appropriately?  Probably not in our society as long as certain “bits” are covered.  This over sexualization of bodies in public is not good for the stability of society.  Modesty aside, it’s just degrading the wearer and reducing them to sex object instead of person.  Yet this habit is common and generally accepted in out society.  But the society has a problem with seeing something that is GOOD for it.  Breastfed babies are healthier in their infancy and are establishing a great foundation for being productive citizens later by being able to bond first with mom, and building the ability to interact in a healthy way with the rest of society.  So why tolerate behavior that is  counter productive to a healthy society, but then complain about seeing behavior that is good for society?

    Really folks, there is so much WRONG with modern society.  Let’s just leave breast feeding moms alone.  She’s trying to do whats best for her kid.  Shes probably tired and might not be able to hide her nipple from you all the time, but in the grand scheme of things, why should it bother you?           

    Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Permalink
  24. comadrona wrote:

    Fascinating how this topic got everyone going! I must take issue (respectfully) with the writer who states that urine is sterile and that social attitudes are what keep everyone from peeing where they please. It is sterile immediately after leaving the body but rapidly becomes a noxious, bacteria-ridden substance, as well as changing its composition to ammonia which is toxic (and which creates the unpleasant smell). The reason humans and many animals segregate our waste is because it is harmful to us – which is why many types of diseases faded away when sewerage came on board in cities. Second point: the writer who says breastfeeding is in NO WAY sexual is mistaken. It certainly is – for the mother/baby couple and perhaps for some onlookers. I think that this inherent sexuality is at the core of what makes so many people uncomfortable with seeing it. Though of course in many cultures, the breast is not as sexy as an ankle, for example,and so ankles are taboo and breasts are OK to see. It is all in the context of the culture. We in Australia have similar taboos to Americans and thus the same draconian caveats on breastfeeding women, despite laws which say it’s our right to feed in public. Culture, right or wrong, is deeply ingrained and can’t be changed quickly.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 6:59 am | Permalink

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