There was a recent story in the news informing Americans that it is now legal to breastfeed in public in all 50 states. Now, if you’re anything like me, you may have thought: Was it illegal?
If you’ve spent enough time on the internet, you’ve probably sometimes come across social commentary videos about public breastfeeding. The narrator or host performs an experiment to show that people, specifically men are more comfortable with breasts on display from a sexy woman than a woman simply feeding her child. These videos intend to show the double standard society often has about breasts in public; some people find it more socially acceptable to see breasts in a sexual setting, than breastfeeding a baby.
Some arguments against public breastfeeding include: it’s inappropriate for children to watch; it makes men uncomfortable; or it’s nasty. As much as I don’t want to address these ludicrous claims, I know there really are people in this world who believe these things wholeheartedly. They believe that it is inappropriate for a woman to breastfeed in public, and it should be done in a dirty bathroom, or with a suffocating blanket over her child’s face. Well, I’m here to tell you, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Not to mention, the idea that it is inappropriate for children, is also disturbing. If a child sees a woman breastfeeding they will learn that breasts are for feeding babies and are not sex objects.
If a mother wants privacy while she feeds, she is entitled to that. However, it is ludicrous when rude strangers feel emboldened enough to approach mothers and tell them to “cover up”. Believe it or not, breasts were designed to breastfeed, not for men to ogle. Public breastfeeding makes you uncomfortable because the media sexualize and objectify women.
If you oppose public breastfeeding, ask yourself why. Why are you uncomfortable with a woman feeding her child? I know some of you are thinking that perhaps mothers simply shouldn’t bring their infants in public, they should leave them at home. However, that is insane, as it is 2018 and mothers have errands to run. Many women simply cannot leave their infant at home while they go outside.
Whether they can’t afford to pump, or simply cannot bear to be away from their child. It is preposterous to suggest that they should go into a dirty bathroom to feed their child; since you didn’t remember, public bathrooms are dirty and disgusting.
It is insane how comfortable men feel sexualizing breasts, while being disgusted at their natural intended use. Most countries are fine with women breastfeeding in public, and even if they weren’t, would not go as far as to make it illegal.
The United States of America is an interesting country, in both good and bad ways. They have the highest women childbirth mortality rate of any developed country and refuse to acknowledge that poor healthcare might be the culprit. The irony is not lost on me; they have become so “civilized” with their laws and customs that it’s hurting their citizens. Fortunately, there seems to be more people who care, than those who do not. Slowly the country is working away at their archaic laws for the betterment of their citizens.
Always remember, the next time you see a woman breastfeeding in public, mind your damn business.
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