I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now

June 22, 2010

So apparently Kim Kardashian has been saying – or, rather, tweeting – some silly things about breastfeeding. You know,the usual stuff: ew, some woman has her boobies out, she should cover up, yuck, blech, ugh, etc. This, of course, begs a very simple – I would, and will, argue, too simple – response: HYPOCRITE AHOY! Who is Kim Kardashian, she who has profited from her oft-exposed bosoms, to demand that a nursing mother cover herself while nursing? Does Kim Kardashian not show more booby on one page in Us Magazine than the average nursing mom does in a year? Let us all point our fingers! BOO, KIM KARDASHIAN! BOO! You cover up!

This makes us feel better, of course. It’s gratifying when the biases and hypocrisies of cultural discourse come neatly packaged in such transparent wrapping. All we have to do is point at them and shout LOOK! Kim Kardashian recoils from a nursing boob as crumbs from the cake that she has and is eating spill ironically into her own exposed bosom! It’s so much easier to point at such an example of cultural hypocrisy in action – or to the 140 character tweet that describes it – than it is to lower one’s voice to a serious register and intone: hark ye listeners and note well the dissonance! Society accepts – nay, celebrates and rewards! – the exposing of boobies as sexually desirable subjects of the cultural gaze, but rejects exposure of boobies when such exposure denies or precludes titillation! Oppressed wymmins of the world, unite and revolt! I personally find that no one really listens to me when I do that.

But here’s the thing: it’s too easy (it also veers dangerously into slut-shaming territory, but I’ll come back to that). It reduces the argument to HA! Just that – HA! – with a footnote stating TOLD YOU SO! Which doesn’t really get us anywhere, because – as anyone who has ever argued with a four year old will tell you – neither HA! nor TOLD YOU SO! resolve questions or controversies.

We know that there’s a double cultural standard when it comes to women’s bodies. We know that nursing mothers continue to experience public shaming while the Kim Kardashians of the world expose their cleavage with (for the most part) impunity. We know that our culture promotes the sexualization of women and girls and that it disdains any aspects of womanhood (weight, reproductive cycles, childbirth, nursing, aging, etc) that do not lend themselves to sexualization, or that problematize such sexualization (childbirth and nursing do this, arguably, inasmuch as they assert non-sexual functions – some might say, counter-sexual [hard to fetishize boobs or nethers when an infant's head is in the way] – for sexualized parts.) The real question is, what are we going to do about it? And – arguably more importantly – how are we going to do something about it without rejecting those aspects of sexuality that we value, and without belittling each other?

I wasn’t going to write about Kim Kardashian’s unfortunate tweets for this very reason: I wasn’t sure how to comment without falling into the trap that I’m describing. I get outraged when I hear about nursing-shaming, and my impulse is always to shout loudly and slap hands. And rightly so, I think: we won’t see an end to nursing-shaming unless we persist in calling it out wherever we see it. But in this case I was concerned that my outrage at Kim Kardashian’s nursing-shaming would tip too easily into counter-shaming, into some variation on slut-shaming, into me wagging my fingers and deploring her boobs and her cleavage and her seeming inability to keep her puppies contained and who wants to see the great bare prow of her chest spilling over onto a plate of carbonara, readers of Cracked.com and Maxim excluded?

Because, why should I deplore that? Why should I suggest – even by implication – that she cover up? Because that’s what it amounts to, doesn’t it, when we snort derisively at any woman baring her cleavage for fun or profit? When we assert the moral superiority of nursing in public to wearing a low-cut shirt in public? I’ll be the first to say that I think that nursing babies is more important, more necessary, more deserving of public support than is exposing one’s breastal units to sunlight and the public gaze, but I don’t know that I want my right to nurse in public to come at the cost of Kim Kardashian’s, or any woman’s, right to feel comfortable dressing however she likes and to not face censure for doing whatever it is that she does that causes us to shout YO HYPOCRITE when she expresses discomfort with the exposed nursing boob.

Because, I think that we need to have it both ways. Or, that we should want to have it both ways. Maybe not to the extent that we covet the Kardashian style credo – I certainly don’t, and I cling to the (possibly hypocritical) hope that my daughter won’t, either – but at least to such a degree that we’re comfortable acknowledging that while nursing boobs are awesome, sexy boobs are awesome, too, and that there’s not necessarily anything counter-feminist or counter-maternalist or counter-lady-power-in-general about that. Maybe this is too much to hope for in a culture where the sexualization of women’s bodies has been taken to absurd and oppressive extremes, extremes that have served to make us wary, in some degree, of anything that gives any ground to that sexualization, I don’t know.

What I do know – or, at least, suspect – is that reducing debates about public breastfeeding to ‘Smart Feminists And Noble Mothers Against Scantily Dressed Skank-Hos Who Don’t Realize They’re Oppressed By Their Heaving Cleavage’ obscures what’s really at stake in this issue: our right and freedom to define the terms and practices of our own womanhood, and to not only resist but reject such false, culturally-imposed dichotomies as Madonna/Whore, Smarty-Pants Feminist/Unthinking Tart, Dutiful Asexual Mom/Lusty Young Woman. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m much more complicated than that. And I like my boobs in a whole variety of ways, that includes their life-sustaining baby-feeding superpower but also their pleasing appearance (they cut a smaller profile post-nursing, but are nonetheless charming and also indispensable as sweater-fillers) and their none-too-insignificant role as (forgive me) sexual playthings, and I’m not comfortable with any discourse that suggests that they can only be one or some of these at once. And I worry that when these discussions get oversimplified (Bad Tarty Lady With Unseemly Cleavage Disses Noble And Totally Unsexy Nursing Boobs, Lo The Hypocrisy) we promote a discourse that does exactly that. Sexy Boobs Bad; Nursing Boobs Good. Nursing Mom Good; Cleavage-Barer Bad. Babies On Boobs Good; Tight T-Shirt On Boobs, Bad. Why can’t all those things be good? Why can’t all those things co-exist? (An aside, that maybe warrants further discussion: is the nursing boob never sexy? The nursing mom never alluring? Why does the very idea seem to cause discomfort? Does it compromise our cause? At what cost?) Why can we not have our sexy cakes and our nurturing-mama cakes and eat them, too?

I’m not suggesting that we let Kim Kardashian off the hook for shaming nursing moms, which is exactly what she did when she made a public statement to the effect that she found public nursing disgusting, nor am I suggesting that we accept the sexualization of women and girls uncritically. And I don’t know if it’s really possible to reconcile the polarized stereotypes that I outlined above. But I do think that we serve our cause, and ourselves, by resisting the temptation – and believe me, I understand that temptation well – to perpetuate those stereotypes. And by reminding ourselves that we are, and Kim Kardashian is (don’t laugh), complicated creatures, that we are infinite and contain multitudes, that we can be and should be many contradictory things all at once, and this is our strength, and our magic.

That, and that our boobs are awesome.

(Am I right? What do you think? Should we just keep chasing her with pitchforks, mocking her cleavage? Or?)

(And I’m not the only one who thought that her own nursing boobs were kind of sexy, right? I mean, after they recovered from being ravaged and bleeding and all. No?)

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    { 123 comments }

    Adventures In Babywearing June 23, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I have yet to comment on the whole issue (aside from a tiny rant on twitter that we can’t ALWAYS only shout about the awful N.I.P comments- I think Moms (especially new Moms) should be hearing about the positive experiences, too.)

    I’m kind of tired of all the pitchforking, to be honest, when YES- everyone knows how it is. It’s obvs.

    I agree with you so much BECAUSE I AM on both sides. I nurse in public, most often uncovered but always modest for my own comfort. But also, I have large breasts that, in summertime, are hard to contain in tops or dresses without wearing something absolutely unflattering and not my style. I TRY! But sometimes, I can not help it, and I’m busty and it shows. I don’t mean to show off, it’s just there and honestly, I am woman, I do NOT want to feel like I have to hide them.

    Sheesh I just want to be able to RELAX and not think about how my body is bothering or turning on or WHATEVER someone else.

    Steph
    .-= Adventures In Babywearing´s last blog ..M e t a =-.

    Angela June 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    There’s enough room in this world for all kinds of boobs. For example, my husband has been extremely supportive of my nursing our twins as much as I can, and yet he just took a photo of my cleavage and made it his desktop wallpaper. LOL. I think I’m flattered.
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..This morning’s feeding =-.

    Her Bad Mother June 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Be flattered ;)

    Rbelle June 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    While I agree that the “sluts show more boob than nursing mothers, so there” argument is really unhelpful and divisive, I think we have to be careful about framing *any* choice a woman makes as an empowering or feminist one.

    For example, I certainly dress in ways I think are flattering – I wear shirts that show cleavage sometimes, pants and shoes that make my legs look longer, haircuts that work best with my face. Now pregnant, I roll my eyes at my mother’s pearl clutching that I might wear a tight shirt in public or even a swimsuit that shows my belly because, unlike her, I don’t find said belly unappealing. In fact, I think it’s kind of cute right now, and I don’t think I should be forced to hide it, as if pregnancy is somehow something to be ashamed of.

    But I have to keep in mind that “flattering” in most cases is defined completely by the society in which I live, a paternalistic society that defines what is and isn’t sexy in our culture – boobs, butts, bare stomachs, long legs, tans, smaller waists, what have you (even bare pregnant bellies, though traditionally not considered sexy, are being viewed differently now mainly because of celebrities, I think). By baring my navel, say, I may think I’m defining the terms and practices of my own womanhood, as Catherine said, but how convenient that those practices highlight those parts of my body society tells my husband (and other men) he should be attracted to. As much as some westerners decry that Islam makes women “cover up” – and I agree that when it’s mandated, it’s oppressive – many Islamic women with the freedom to choose prefer the traditional dress because it frees them from objectification.

    I don’t believe in slut shaming at all, but I do worry about whether the Kim Kardashians of the world realize that the power they’re wielding with their boobs isn’t really changing the view that women are nothing MORE than boobs. It’s self-objectification and while I don’t believe it’s inherently WRONG – we all do it, even men – I do think we need to be aware when we’re doing it. Yes I will dress sexily for my husband because I like the drooling mass it makes him. But that isn’t and shouldn’t be the only power I wield in my relationship … and I’m not sure many girls and younger women realize that. I guess I just think there’s a fine line between “comfortable with my sexuality and in my own skin” and “on display.” One gives us power, the other only the illusion of it. When, like Kim, you can only view breasts in one way – the sexualized one – it makes me think you really have fallen into the latter trap – and I think maybe *that’s* what she should be called on.

    Her Bad Mother June 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I think that it’s more about framing the CHOICE as empowering. And you’re right, for some women – at all points on the spectrum – there’s no choice, or little choice, or choice is compromised. But we have to keep championing it. Complicated to do, sometimes, given how murky it can be, but still.

    Alicia June 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I’d argue that these conversations HAVE to be held together and balanced.
    We have to teach people what breasts SHOULD be thought of instead of wagging a finger when they use them in a way that we disapprove of.
    I look at this from a nutrition/food standpoint, but it makes sense on any level: if you really want to change people’s minds, you have to first meet them where they are.
    Insisting that they’re miles away from where they should be and are idiots for it just produces extreme reactions which are generally counterproductive.
    Many of us have seen the light about breastfeeding long ago, but it’s ignorant to think all people, famous social networkers or not, have made the same discovery.

    Her Bad Mother June 23, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    “If you really want to change people’s minds, you have to first meet them where they are. Insisting that they’re miles away from where they should be and are idiots for it just produces extreme reactions which are generally counterproductive.”

    THIS. Perfectly said.

    margaret owen June 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Oh gosh thank you so much for this. Thank you. So satisfying to see that all written out.
    .-= margaret owen´s last blog ..Daily Painting #91 =-.

    Ahdra June 23, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    It’s deplorably late for someone who has to get up with the chickens (aka small children), so I don’t have time to scan the comments to see if this has already been covered, but YO! does anyone remember that completely spectacular shot of Angelina Jolie NURSING ONE OF HER TWINS with partially exposed boobie/nipple on the cover of W shot by none other than Brad Friggin Pitt?

    That has to count for something right?!

    Her Bad Mother June 23, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    yes! someone mentioned it above, but it is SO worth mentioning again, because, YES.

    EarnestGirl June 24, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Boobs from ALL sides (I read this article & thought, ah – Catherine should read this too. Little did I know you were likely penning this very post as I was having my little cleavage/power, virgin/whore, eve/mother, Beauvoir/Sartre money/boobs GaGa AhHa): http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/lady-power/?hp

    Just what you need. A little more fodder.

    Nice work. The boobs and the post.
    .-= EarnestGirl´s last blog ..Radical Housekeeping =-.

    Mahalo June 24, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Hi All,

    I’m sure we all agree that changing a diaper in a dining room table change was wrong, but why exactly is public breastfeeding not the same as public sex, public urination, and other “natural acts”.

    Why can’t breastfeeding mothers pump a bottle at home or in private for a baby’s public feedings?

    I can’t help but wonder if some mothers who advocate public breastfeeding so adamantly are actually exhibitionists.

    zchamu June 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    @Mahalo, tell you what. How about you take care of a newborn on your own for a few days/weeks/months. Ensure you take care of the little creature’s every need, like food and clothing and diapers and cradling and soothing and everything else. While doing that, ensure you make time to hook yourself up to a breast pump every few hours, otherwise, no no! you don’t get the privilege of leaving the house. Then come back and talk to me, OK?
    .-= zchamu´s last blog ..Oh god, what have I done. =-.

    BoobiesnBabies June 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    @Mahalo,

    I advocate for mothers to be able to feed their children anywhere and anyway they deem necessary. It is not about exhibition. Breastfeeding mothers range in modesty – Some dress more conservative, some use covers, some dress relaxed, but many will agree that something that is normal should be accepted as a norm. Breastfeeding is Normal. Why should we and our children hide? Breastfeeding is not a sexual act. Breastfeeding is not a health risk, such as using the street to urinate or have a BM. In fact, not breastfeeding causes many deaths and health risks. In addition, a child needs to eat when they are hungry. Nobody asks you to go home to eat or to put a blanket over your head or to go eat where you take a poop or to process your food and bottle it up because it is more appropriate. Children deserve the best, with them in mind, giving them what nature intended from mammals, milk, in the case of the human mammal – human milk, straight from the source. I support a mother’s and a child’s right to get what is best for them straight from the source wherever and whenever it is good for them. If you dislike it, I suggest you learn to look away. We are protected by the law.
    .-= BoobiesnBabies´s last blog ..Do Not Eat At Red Robin Restaurants =-.

    Natalie June 24, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    @Mahalo, I have two small children. It is enough of a challenge having them both clean, dressed, fed, and packing the diaper bag (oh, and brushing my teeth before I leave might be nice), without having to have clean bottles, coordinating pumping around my baby’s nursing needs, transporting the milk at a safe temperature (and remembering it on the way out the door!). I assure you, I would not have been able to leave the house for months after I had my second child if I had had to pump a bottle every time I did so, especially since I live in a rural area and would have to have multiple bottles pumped before doing any major shopping.

    So no, putting nursing moms on house arrest isn’t a good solution.
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Babywearing in Botswana =-.

    Yahee June 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    @Mahalo,

    Public sex? Really? Are you seriously comparing the natural, pure, beautiful act of nourishing a child with public sex? I don’t really even know what to say to that, other than I am embarrassed for you. Fortunately the 2 first comments say exactly what needs to be said in a respectful, educated manner.
    .-= Yahee´s last blog ..Friendship =-.

    Teresa June 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    @Mahalo,

    Well the main reason why I have post partum depression (PPD) is because I NEVERRRR got out of the house for the first 3 months…breast-feeding every 2-3 hours for the very survival of a little infant takes a LOTTTTTTTT of time and energy and demand on mothers…!!!

    So rather than take PPD medication (although i’m still weighing this decision) I GOT OUT OF MY HOUSE! Getting out has helped me TREMENDOUSLY! I ALMOST feel like a human being again, rather than a milking cow (no offense to my child)!! This does require me, however, to feed my little guy in public! So go put a blanket over YOUR head if YOU want to look at my boobies so bad!! UGH!

    Our society is made up of many twits….unfortunately for the many mothers of our land.

    Lauren Hale June 24, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    @Mahalo,

    I’ve pumped for a child and breastfed in public. When I was pumping, Exclusively, I might add, because my daughter was physically incapable of nursing, I could NOT leave my home. By the time I pumped, fed her, and cleaned all my supplies, it was time for me to pump again. I was chained to my home. I would have given anything to be able to leave the house and give her a bottle. But I could not do so.

    No one forces people to watch in public as a mother nurses her baby. When I did nurse my first daughter in public, she was in a sling and I wore nursing tops. No one could tell what I was doing. More often than not, many mothers who DO nurse in public do so discreetly. And even if they don’t want to be discreet about it, Mothers in most states and countries are protected by LAW to nurse their children in public whereas the acts you mentioned are illegal to perform in public.

    A woman’s breasts are not designed to be just sexual. They are fantastically engineered to sustain human life for quite some time with the most perfect food on the face of the earth. It’s unfortunate that many people cannot get past the hyper-sexualization of the female breast to accept a woman feeding her infant as normal.

    Oh, and next time you decide YOU want to drink – Put it in a bottle and drink it that way. While sitting in a bathroom stall. As the person next to you poops. Not as easy but visible lip residue totally grosses me out. What? That’s unavoidable? You’re not gonna do it the hard way? Hrmmmm. Well, for a breastfeeding baby, straight from the boob is easiest, best, and safest.

    P.S. If you feel breastfeeding mamas are exhibitionists, then those who kvetch about us nursing in public all the time must be be voyeurs. And that’s really disturbing.
    .-= Lauren Hale´s last blog ..Postpartum Voice of the Week: Allison from O My Family =-.

    Jo June 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    @Mahalo,

    This is exactly the argument that we are trying to eradicate. Let me make sure I understand, you argue that breastfeeding should be included in the indecent exposure sector of public sex and urination. That yes, it is natural, but like sex, the nourishment of a baby from the actual source (breasts) shouldn’t be seen by unwilling eyes.

    May I suggest educating yourself in what it is like to actually breastfeed a child and may I also question your reasoning that breastfeeding is something that should be hidden? Some babies will not feed under a cover, it is very difficult to correctly position a baby when you can’t see him, and mainly, breasts were made to feed children. In every other country outside of the Western world, it is common to see women openly feeding a child and it isn’t even closely related to a sexually indecent act. The very fact that some do see it as a sexually indecent act actually says more about the accuser than anything else. Yes, breasts can also be secondary sexual characteristics, but their main function is to nourish babies.

    And no, breastfeeding in public is not done for personal gratification or to fulfill some deep-seated exhibitionist tendency. When a small baby is screaming in hunger and his mother (remember, it has been proven that a babies cry produces stress hormones in their mothers to cause them to react quickly) offers him a breast to soothe and feed, it is not done for any other reason than to pacify and nourish. Covering up (or uncovering) is the last thing on her mind.

    I do hope you read this and change your mind. I also hope any breastfeeding mothers out there reading this realise the comment is not a normal or accepted reaction to breastfeeding in public.

    Tammy June 28, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    @Mahalo, your observations sadden me: I remember how hard it was for me to get anything out pumping. I went through 4 different machines, upgrading each time. And even then, I can assure you, I so heartily disliked the whole process–the cold sounds of the machine, the tubes, the unnatural, uncomfortable form of sucking. But I did this knee-deep in a severe post-partum depression, because I wanted the best for my baby and I(illogically, irrationally) felt I would break into a million, irreparable pieces if someone looked at me with disgust and assumed that my breastfeeding my hungry child, in a corner, was innappropriate and on a par with someone urinating in said space. Is it so difficult to understand the requirements of an infant-sized belly and the basic feeding function of a breast? Is it so difficult to accept that it is public eating, rather than public peeing?
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..I ask you =-.

    Cobblestone June 24, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I like pretty boobs. I nursed my son – occasionally in public.

    I am uncomfortable around other nursing moms because it is SO INTIMATE, so connected, so intense. I am also uncomfortable around public displays of affection, people saying loving & tearful good-byes at the airport and things like that for those same reasons.

    I know that it is the intensity of the act which makes me uncomfortable. I think I know that because I look past being startled, past doing the double take because my brain didn’t automatically recognize what I saw, and recognized that I felt like an intruder for being on the scene where a child was eating. It would be easier FOR ME if she covered up.

    What if Kim’s reaction, if so many people’s reactions, were about discomfort about being present where something so intimate were happening?

    What if the reaction is about the fact that sexualization is inseperable from boobs for people who haven’t nursed, and that just is what it is? How would someone who hasn’t nursed understand that so much nipple stimulation isn’t sexual. How do you even describe it without the sexually loaded word stimulation?

    I don’t know a solution but boobs are pretty and they work well – most of the time – when they need to.

    Mahalo June 24, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    OK, sorry about the comparison between breastfeeding and sex. Didn’t mean to get everyone so heated on that.

    But I still don’t understand why breastfeeders won’t use a bottle of breast milk in public, just like the formula moms do.

    Just because something is legal doesn’t make it decent.

    Her Bad Mother June 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Not all moms can pump successfully (I couldn’t). Not all babies take a bottle. Not all babies can alternate between breast and bottle. Many, many moms simply need to breastfeed exclusively. And in any case, their choice in how to best nourish their children should be theirs, and should take priority over the squeamishness of anyone who is bothered by it. It’s easier for you to look away than it is for the mother to try to adapt to your squeamishness.

    But the real issue is, why should nurturing one’s child be seen as indecent? The breast’s primary purpose is nursing. Nothing indecent about it.

    BoobiesnBabies June 24, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    @Mahalo,

    We tried giving my youngest pumped breast milk. She refused the bottle. I tried different bottle, nope, she wasn’t having it. She was simply a breast only baby. To this day, she is still mainly a breast baby and she is 2 1/2 years old. Some children are just like that.
    .-= BoobiesnBabies´s last blog ..Do Not Eat At Red Robin Restaurants =-.

    alexistlesa June 27, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    @Mahalo, i am a very modest woman. i do not wear shorts, short dresses, or even sleeveless tops, unless i’m at the beach/pool or working out. but i nursed both of my children in public. yes, i used a nursing cover or a blanket to be more discreet, but i nursed in the library, at restaurants, church, where ever i needed to. and i hated it.

    it was because of people like you that i felt embarrassed. to FEED MY OWN CHILD. forget about slut-shaming. shame on you.
    .-= alexistlesa´s last blog ..proud to be a theta mom =-.

    Maegan June 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    @Mahalo, in addition to some of the things these other women have pointed out…If one expresses milk, & puts it in a bottle, it will begin to degrade from the moment it’s out of mom. Just like you can’t leave cow’s milk or other dairy products out for very long, you can’t leave breastmilk out. In order to keep it fresh, it should be chilled. This means a cooler of some kind. And sure…even a small lunchbox with an icepack would work…but if you’ve ever toted a newborn around, you know that adding ONE MORE THING is going to slow the whole process down.

    The body also responds to nursing & pumping by producing milk at a regular time.

    Think of it a little like your bladder…You peed when you got out of bed…you might also do it again after you have coffee. Now…suppose you have an extra cup of coffee & chug a water bottle during a meeting. But then, instead of taking your regular lunch break at the office, your boss asks you to drive an important document across town! There’s no time to stop! How does your bladder feel after missing just ONE chance to use the restroom? Pretty full? The breasts will also react that way. They become engorged & can even become infected (just like holding your pee in can cause a UTI!). Except to fix a UTI, you spend 10 days on antibiotics. To fix breast engorgement or mastitis, you could be in pain for DAYS waiting for relief…even after you have let the baby nurse or pumped out the excess milk.

    So it becomes a process…a long, involved process. You could do all these things…or you could simply lift your shirt. I’m all for convenience (I even buy my cheese pre-sliced & pre-shredded to save me the work!)…so for me, it’s convenient to do that. I carry around less crap…my boobies feel better…everyone around me doesn’t have to listen to my baby scream. I think it’s a win for everyone. :)
    .-= Maegan´s last blog ..A Day to Remember =-.

    Tammy June 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    @Mahalo, please see what I wrote regarding your first comment. I’m a bit shocked that you seem to imply nursing an infant in public is indecent. Might burkas be the way to go, when bottles aren’t an option?
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..I ask you =-.

    Steph June 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Because I couldn’t breastfeed I don’t get so inflamed when people say things like this but I have found a couple of times I just went rabid. Someone recently dug up an old article from a Rabbi who’s a complete tool. I actually commented on his response to the article because it so inflamed me. His seeming suggestion was that to breastfeed was to put your marriage in jeopardy by de-sexualizing (that’s a word I swear) yourself. He said as much about child birth itself. My husband has told me I was never sexier than when I was pregnant. So the entire argument can boil down to who is doing the talking. In most cases those bitching about breastfeeding in public or childbirth ruining a woman are those who are too young to know better or those who don’t want kids. I personally stop to consider the source before I get in a huff because often the argument boils down to simple ignorance and just isn’t worth my time.
    .-= Steph´s last blog ..Good Friends =-.

    Rae June 25, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    I breastfed. Sometimes, you absolutely have to in public, no matter how you feel about it. And I covered up.

    I’m not saying it’s not natural. Breasts themselves are natural. I just don’t know how I feel about seeing them hanging out all the time. Which, if we say that’s okay when breastfeeding, then we should be saying it’s ok to have the girls free all the time. Next thing you know, boys want their balls swingin’ free, and we’re ALL gonna regret that.

    And quite frankly, I got the feeling that the issue was the diaper change, even from the tweet… it sounded like she was saving the worst for last.

    Quite frankly, breastfeeding was very personal, and I didn’t like other people gawking at us. Believe me, I’m not shy,unless I don’t know whether or not that guy switches seats to have a better view of the game or of my boob.

    Also, I don’t like seeing boobs hanging out in videos. I don’t like seeing them in public. I’m freakin’ sick of boobs already. Let’s all put ‘em away and get some of the mystery back already.

    Jenna June 26, 2010 at 6:59 am

    This is really all about nips, is it not?? It seems cleavage is one thing but catch sight of a nipple as a baby is pulling off and OH NOES.
    .-= Jenna´s last blog ..Now I get to update my blog =-.

    Sarah Denley June 26, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Okay, I breastfed and I managed to never have to do it in public and I was not tied to my house. However, I realize that is not the case for everyone. And I’m not going to go around asking other women to duck into a nasty bathroom or throw a blanket over their babe. However, what I do wish for would be a little common courtesy.

    Although the PETA example that the guy (I think?) used above was a bit extreme, I can totally see his point. What I hate to see is when a breastfeeding mom purposely draws attention to herself and makes a show of the thing to prove a point. Think it doesn’t happen? It does.

    I lifeguarded at a pool in high school and their was a woman there who would pick the lounge chair in the middle of everything and make a huge production out of it. Now, while I’m sure it wasn’t super exciting for all the teenage boys gawking at her, she was clearly doing it for attention. Why not choose a nice table in the shade?

    While I’m not going to call anyone a slut, I am opposed to a woman exploiting her body to further her career and I’m also opposed to a woman exploiting her baby to further her cause.

    Bryony Boxer June 27, 2010 at 4:07 am

    I like the balanced way you’ve approached this issue.

    Debbie, i obsess June 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Catherine, I really, *really* wanted to read through all of the comments, especially because you rejoined on a lot of the ones I *did* get to read, but DANGIT if my kiddo doesn’t have fever and vomitousness. So I’m crunched for time. All I get to throw into the ring is my devotion to your open-mindedness, and also to suggest that I agree on several levels (see here for clarification of what I mean, and I hate so VERY much to link back to myself and wouldn’t if I didn’t have to take the short cut ’cause of meu filhinho gripado, but – sigh. And:

    http://i-obsess.typepad.com/i_obsess/2010/04/when-you-find-its-good-to-delight-in-your-former-stripper-self.html

    Please forgive me for dropping a link here. I hate myself for doing it. WHY IS THERE NOT MORE TIME.)

    Argh and also THANK YOU LORD BLESS YOU YOU DIVINE CREATURE, YOU, Catherine, this is so very much what I’ve been striving for with regards to this topic, only, you’re relating it to current events and, uh, stuff, and also, you just generally rule and I’m gonna shut up now.

    xooxoxoxo
    .-= Debbie, i obsess´s last blog ..Do NOT Get Me Started =-.

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