Whenever I see or experience people debating, or arguing the point of breastfeeding in public, as of late I think of those memes that have been floating around on Facebook and the like. Those picture memes where there is a series of about 6 photos representing a particular idea, with subtitles under each, “What Mom thinks I do, What Society thinks I do..” etc.
Now, I’m no activist. I believe strongly about some things, sure. But I’m not crazy, I’m not some kind of leftist hippy, no matter what some people in my life might say. Though, the image of that makes me giggle.
But I do get extremely offended when people equate breastfeeding/breastfeeding in public with lewd, sexual acts or things like urinating or defecating in public.
Sure, if you want to get into semantics (which I do love to do quite often) breast milk is indeed a product of the body as much as semen, urine or fecal matter is. But contrary to fecal matter and urine, it’s not a waste. It’s not dirty (and yes, I know urine is pretty sterile). But I’m also not spraying breast milk everywhere for no reason or because I’m engorged, with my teat hanging out. And yes, I did just say teat. Deal.
Having a tiny human being, my baby, a product of a medical miracle on my teat, COVERED, giving life to my progeny when they need it (and yes, sometimes that’s in “public”) is not the same thing as having sex in public, even under a blanket. Sure, sex produces babies. But only if you’re either not careful, or planning it. Sex is largely done for pleasure. I don’t breastfeed for pleasure alone. I’m not sitting there with my husband playing with my teat. I’m sitting there feeding my child. It’s a NECESSITY to feed my child. Having sex in public, even covered is not a necessity to the health and welfare of the people involved the way breastfeeding my child is.
As for those people that tell mothers to go feed their babies in PUBLIC BATHROOMS…
Do you eat in the bathroom? Any bathroom? Probably not. You probably think that’s really gross. (Guess what? You brush your teeth in there.) But despite the whole teeth brushing thing you and nearly all of us, don’t think that eating in the bathroom is a good idea, or sanitary. So why do you tell mothers to feed their babies in bathrooms? Would YOU have fed your babies in bathrooms? Would you feed babies in bathrooms if you had children? How would you feel to be told that?
Being a breast feeding mom shouldn’t be shamed. It shouldn’t be discriminated against. It should not be compared to gross, unsanitary, lewd things. Sure, some people aren’t afraid to whip out a little bewb to feed their kid, but the majority of people are as discreet as possible about it. They find a quiet place to sit down, and get covered up. They aren’t flashing their chest to people, or children. They aren’t announcing the fact that they are doing this, they want to be able to do it in peace, and making a huge to-do about it isn’t going to give them that peace. They aren’t getting half-naked in public to do this. They aren’t whipping out their milk-filled jugs and practicing their aim at innocent passersby. They aren’t sitting there having orgasms and writhing in pleasure.
They are providing sustenance to something they grew inside of them. Something that will grow up to be one of us. Adults. Hopefully mature adults, with open minds and the willingness to see things in a rational fashion. We can only hope we can instill that in our progeny, but only if we ourselves strive to BE that, and to be able to pass that along.
No, covered breastfeeding is not the same as covered sex in a park.
No, covered breastfeeding is not the same as pissing on a streetcorner. (I’m not against emergency wizzing in bushes away from people.)
No, covered breastfeeding is not the same as taking a dump like a dog on the grass.
There are places for sex. Your home. Hotels. Private property. All-adult properties.
There are places for urination. Bathrooms. Woods far away from picnicing families, away from children’s play spaces.
There are places for defecation. Bathrooms. Woods far away from picnicing families, away from children’s play spaces.
There are even places to eat. Restaurants. Our homes. Parks for picnics. Walking down the street. Movie theaters..hell damned near anywhere.
Yet, a baby eating, unless being fed from a bottle…is often seen as not allowed nearly everywhere but a private home. Even then, you can’t do it in front of other people (friends/family) without getting shit for it.
How is this rational to you? It’s not rational to me.