Posted in Motherhood, Parenting

Tit For Tat

I was thinking of writing about breastfeeding rights (again) last few weeks because I came across (yet another) article about how mothers are still having issues about being able to breastfeed in public.

Then I thought there’re already so much written on it that maybe if I do, it’s just going to be another disgruntled mother’s rant about breastfeeding and no one would really care.

Then I realized that it’s not.

I realized that it’s not going to be just another mother’s disgruntled rant about breastfeeding in public because mothers are still taking the brunt of hostility towards breastfeeding. It is still hard for many people to detach sexual association when it comes to women’s breasts.

That is why it is easier and more comfortable for most, not only for men but some women alike, to think of breasts as sexual objects rather than their other functional purpose.

I saw this photo on Facebook.

A friend shared it and everyone thought it was funny and naturally sexually insinuated comments followed.

At one glance it looks like a finger was holding the labia of a woman’s shaven vagina open.

Upon closer look it obviously is not.

It’s just a sideways photo of a man hooking his finger at one corner of his mouth.

The fact that this photo was not offensive to so many disgusts me. What’s worse is that when I tried to report this photo as inappropriate, the page was unavailable. Apparently it has got something to do with time-out issue or link broken or something like that.

I have made several reports of inappropriate contents material on Facebook before and there was no problem. But this one, even after several hours, the page was still unavailable. It could be of real issue but I find it annoying.

Then today, two of my friends on Facebook were voicing out their dissatisfaction about how they still feel chided for breastfeeding in public. Some of the comments they received said that most men are okay with breastfeeding in public.

As long as nursing cover is used. Or otherwise women should go to a nursing room.

And I thought, What does that got to do with anything?

Some babies do not like to be covered at all. Like Sophia. She hates having her head covered while I breastfeed her. She likes to look around and tug at things near her when she nurses. And for some women it’s just too bushing to go to a nursing room when your baby wants to be fed right away.

It’s just amazing (and pathetic) to know that people are so used to breasts if they’re behind low-cut blouses with plunging necklines or bursting out of the push-up bra but not when there’s a baby suckling from them.

Maggie Gyllenhaal breastfeeds in public while chatting nonchalantly with friends.

I admit that some women do have more modesty than others where they do feel shy about breastfeeding so openly in public.

For these women, maybe the issue of breastfeeding in public isn’t so pronounced because they can understand why they don’t need to do it in public but I’m sure as mothers, they too would feel the pang of criticism towards other women who choose to breastfeed in public.

It caused an uproar when Facebook deactivated accounts of mothers who posted photos of them breastfeeding their child on the grounds that these photos contained inappropriate content. When the same mothers got their account back and posted photos of them in bras and/or skimpy tops just to prove their point, you guessed it! Facebook didn’t do anything about it.

You can see why these mothers are enraged, can’t you?

Shouldn’t photos of girls in bras or in one of those slit-down-the-middle tops to show off cleavage or even the ones who used their arms to cover their nipples be the ones that are taken down? Shouldn’t the accounts of these girls get deactivated instead of the account of breastfeeding mothers?

When I commented on the “labia” photo above on my friend’s wall, one of the replies I got was that our society is sick so I should just deal with it. I can’t believe that I should just “deal with it” when it comes to women being disgraced and made into obscene jokes.

Breast Milk Baby doll by Berjuan Toys

I  just read that the Breast Milk Baby doll is causing quite a stir. The concept of a doll making suckling sound when placed at the chest is thought to be creepy.

Kids need to be exposed to breastfeeding so they learn that there is nothing to be embarrassed about, nothing to hide about and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the act of breastfeeding, either at home or publicly.

The more kids learn how natural breastfeeding is the less sexual connotation is associated with breasts and hence making them accept and indifferent towards breastfeeding women in public.

Multi-tasking Breasts Campaign Posters – The Independent

As much as people are aware about breasts being functional in breastfeeding, to accept their multi-tasking concept is perhaps a little too much when it’s being done in public.

It shouldn’t be.

If people can see girls go out in skimpy clothes, then they can very well accept a decently clothed mother breastfeeding her child on a bench in a shopping mall.

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Author:

A feminist mother of 3 who thinks she can write.

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