Thursday, May 4, 2017

Boobs are for breastfeeding...

A small, but entertaining, shitstorm erupted on my Facebook feed last night when I shared a post about breastfeeding in public.  Avery Lane, age 28, just had a baby boy two months ago.  Recently, she and her husband were visiting H&R Block on Fort Gordon in Georgia.  When Avery's son got hungry, Avery offered him her breast.  Before long, a manager came over and asked her to cover up.  Avery told the man that she has a perfect right to breastfeed in public.

Since Avery was at H&R Block with a friend, the manager asked her to leave.  So she called the military police and they came over and explained to the manager that breastfeeding in public is completely legal and they could not ask Avery to leave for that reason.  The manager claimed that Avery's decision to breastfeed openly was making other patrons uncomfortable, but apparently he was the only one who had a problem with it.  Avery's story ended up on TODAY Parents and, I'm assuming, the H&R Block manager was suitably chastened.

One of my friends commented that he doesn't think women should be exposing their breasts in public, even if it is so they can feed a baby.  I'm not sure why, but I felt the need to call him out... and so did a whole lot of my female friends.  It was like a swarm of estrogen on that thread!  I was glad to see it.

Seriously?  What the hell is the big deal?

Even when I was a little kid, I never understood what the big deal is about a woman showing her breasts.  A man can walk down the street shirtless and no one cares.  If a woman does it, she endures nasty looks and rude comments, even if she's only doing it so she can nourish her baby.  I like the standard retorts to people who insist on forcing women to nurse in private, too.  Like, "Do you want to eat your lunch in a public restroom?"  Or "Next time you eat, put a blanket over your head and see how you like it."

Here in Germany, I have observed nursing mothers whip out their boobs and no one bats an eye.  I must say, it's a very refreshing thing to see.  Breasts are first and foremost intended to feed babies.  People who have sexualized breasts should not be allowed to dictate that mothers can't feed their babies in public.  What's more, women nursing in public is becoming the norm in the western world.  It's not going to go away.  So people who have issues with public breastfeeding would do well to get over themselves.  It's becoming the way of the world.

As for my male friend, he pretty much stated his opinion and bailed because so many of my feminist friends came out in droves to set him straight.  Americans are so weird about nudity, especially when it involves breasts.  There is no reason to be ashamed of the body parts specifically engineered for mothers to take care of their babies.  If you don't want to see some mother's breast, simply turn away or avert your eyes.  It's that simple.  

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