bra sale breast feeding

[feminist] breastfeeding in public: it’s normal



Lately on facebook we’ve been talking a lot about breastfeeding in public. Many people in American society find it to be “disgusting” “gross” “nudity” or “insensitive”–

Kim: Not going to lie, even as a female I seriously don’t want to see anyone nursing. Can’t they just put in a nice little room in the malls, with some carpet and a few sofas for moms?

Yvette: One of the biggest complainers about women publicly feeding a child are young women who have never chosen to breast feed or don’t have children. What kind of society do we have when we teach young women to hate one of their own natural abilities? Only in America.

Dana: Yes, nursing is natural. You need to be tasteful though. I wouldn’t want my ten year old son gawking at it. 

Wendy: Honestly, I don’t want to see either one in front of my face when I am trying to eat. I’m sorry, but as a non-child bearing woman with absolutely NO DESIRE to have children, I am tired of self righteous mother throwing their breasts in my face everywhere I turn.

These were just a few of the many comments on the images above, but what I’m wondering is how our society got to this point. Why did boobs become so sexualized in America that women can’t feed their children in public without risk of being harassed, chastised, or even told to go feed their child in the bathroom. It’s not just men saying no to public breastfeeding, it’s also a lot of women.

Arab, 1925
East Indian, 1950
painting by Mary Cassatt
Moroccan, 1909

Why do you think American women’s breasts are so sexualized? When did this happen? Why do you think we have become a society in which this is even a topic of debate, instead of a socially accepted norm for all people? 

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8 thoughts on “[feminist] breastfeeding in public: it’s normal”

  1. I am 100% in support but it's quite a fight. A very large number of my intelligent and sensible friends seem to believe that breastfeeding in public is disgusting.

    More often they say, "But I would not want my 10 year old child to see it". What's all that about?

    Sometimes I despair of my fellow humans. How did so many get so screwed up?

  2. I've never wanted to be a mother, but I think all these photos of women breastfeeding their children are absolutely stunning.

    I'm for it. It's natural. It's beautiful.

    Whip 'em out, ladies. Make the prudes squirm.

  3. I ask of these mothers who do not want their 10 year old sons to see women's breasts used this way, would they prefer that the first image of a woman's breast they see is one that has been medically enhanced, airbrushed, or glamorized as the woman herself is second-class from the breast portrayed as a sexual object as dipicted in most magazines and pornography? I personally, would rather my children grow up with a holistic view of people and our bodies-not unattaible perfection that is depicted through media.

  4. When thinking about the "issue" that public breastfeeding has become, I keep coming back to the fact that the entire purpose of breasts are to feed one's young. The highly sexualized notion of female breasts has been generated by us in society. If there is anything to find disgusting within this situation it is the sexualization of women's bodies and especially breasts.

  5. We are a terminally ill society if we think that using breasts to feed a baby is "disgusting."

    What is WRONG with people?

    To sell cars or hamburgers or porn? No prob.
    To feed babies? Eeuwww!! Icky!!!

    Idiots. Like the dinosaurs, I'm beginning to suspect that our brains are too small to enable us to survive the challenges that are coming. If over half of us are THIS inflexible about something so totally positive and natural, what hope is there for us?

  6. No child of any age should be 'gawking' at a women breast feeding, please teach your children what breast are supposed to be for. And as far as covers; none of my babies would put up with being covered while they nursed, each of them pulled them off or fussed and wouldn't latch with it on.

  7. The only reason it makes me feel weird is because i don't see it often… But I think it should be allowed for the same reason that breast/cleavage advertisement is allowed. Then we can all get used to it/over it. Keeping in mind that I hope we then stop hearing complaints like "HEY! stop staring at my boobs!" Cause y'know, it goes both ways.

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