Normalize Breastfeeding and Stop the Ignorance
Recently one of my friends posted an image on FaceBook that I honestly though was a bad joke at first but once I did a little digging I realized that the organization that posted it was not joking at all and then I was just flabbergasted. For the record, my friend was appalled as well and posted in outrage.
I truly couldn’t find the words to express how I was feeling. Luckily, one of my always eloquent friends did it for me. She basically rewrote what the offending party had said and corrected all of their ignorance. Here is the offending picture and text below, and our kickass response. Why is this still a conversation we are having? Part of me feels like I’m feeding the beast by sharing a response to such ignorance but I know some women don’t know what to say when confronted with someone who objects to them breastfeeding in public so if this post can be their way of responding to even one person’s rude comment then it’s worth it.
HERE’S WHAT THE ORIGINAL POST SAID HERE’S WHAT THEY MEANT TO SAY
So, apparently, women breastfeeding in public recently has stirred up a lot of feels. It has lead to all types of trolls coming out of the woodwork and threatening to “tell” on us for not being afraid to feed our babies, asking us to remove ourselves from standard outings (we will not do it no matter how much you folks cry, threaten, or beg), and even sending us ridiculous pictures of themselves and the lengths of which they have gone to not feed their own babies in public.
This is all the evidence I need, really. What type of women would shamelessly tell complete strangers what to do over the Internet? I’ll tell you: women with no self respect, and who are actually starving for (any) attention.
Why would I assume you have husbands, or that if you do, that they dominate you? Because, I’ll tell you what: if my spouse and I spoke to one another the way you’re describing, we’d be in therapy or split up. So, not only do these actions speak volumes about these women, they also speak volumes about their abusive spouses. What type of human would let that type of behavior carry on?
So you can keep crying. Keep telling. Keep threatening. I’ll take all of it and keep on hash tagging #NORMALIZEBREASTFEEDING. It means nothing to any of the nursing mothers or their supporters around the world. And rest assured, we’ll be taking note, continuing to advocate for and encourage one another, and keep on living our lives while you make your nosy selves insane over biology.
Don’t like nursing in public? DON’T LOOK. DON’T DO IT. Problem solved. Nobody cares about your whining, your hurt feels or your desperate pleas for attention. And for our next trick? We’ll be making those things DISAPPEAR from our nurslings’ lives with the power of MAMA MILK.
We Won’t Apologize for Breastfeeding in Public
Being in 2016, it’s mind boggling that we’re still discussing breastfeeding as an offense. Why should you have to meticulously plan, pre-pump, pre-pack, buy special items or stay home when you have everything to feed your baby on-demand, anytime, anywhere? Guess what? There’s something very wrong with eating in the bathroom whether you’re an infant or an adult. Public bathrooms are not clean and sanitary – you wouldn’t allow a restaurant to prepare or serve your food in the same space so why would you expect anyone else to? I find it shameful that family bathrooms would be occupied for 30 minutes at a time to nurse a baby when there is an adult with multiple children, mixed gender caretakers and children and others who are counting on access to that bathroom for it’s SOLE purpose which is to take a child or children to the restroom for pottying. It’s not just a room, that’s like saying it’s just a parking space when it’s handicapped. It’s just a room (usually just ONE) that serves a very specific population for a very specific purpose. You’ll notice there is never a photo of a breastfeeding mother on the door.
The minimal amount of skin that can even be seen during open feeding and nurturing of your child doesn’t even compare to the cut of many women’s shirts, ads, or any other portrayal of women as sexualized objects and yet this is something someone finds outrage worthwhile spent on? Why is that?
Look at the way women and children are treated globally. There are serious issues regarding access to safety, health, education, and so much more, even in developed nations. Is breastfeeding REALLY a concern? What would any of your higher powers say? Hearts are desperately what? What comes from your hearts? There is no reason given thus far in support of those who would have us believe that we are not EACH responsible for ourselves, regardless of gender, nor that we deserve or provoke the unacceptable actions of those around us. There’s just no reason for it.
Everyone belongs to a family, to a group of friends. Each of these mothers and babies should be able to nurse without rolling eyes no matter what the excuse. Each person has authority over their own body and we would do well to honor that.
All I’m saying is that from a practical perspective, women and men should be concerned with raising children in a healthy way which includes them learning the respectful boundaries of living in a diverse community. For one, as to respect the safe and inclusive environment. For two, so as to respect others as individuals. For three, so as to respect themselves.
It’s really not that difficult to grasp!