Column: Cut the crude commentary about breast feeding moms
By Ruth Butler | The Grand Rapids Press
December 13, 2009, 5:14AM
A proposed bill to help mothers feed their babies is giving people fits?
I guess folks would prefer mothers with babies stay home - drapes closed, if possible - until the child is old enough to scarf burgers at Mickey Ds the way God intended. Isn’t that, after all, why he created formula via his humble servant Justus von Liebig in 1867? (Thanks, Wiki.)
Whether the bill protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed in public passes through the state House has become secondary. What’s appalling is the reaction of those who are a) offended and/or b) driven to crude commentaries at the prospect of moms offering nutrition to children - the ones who are America’s future and the crux of every really important protest. Cue the “What About the Children?” chorus.
Everyone needs to calm down and accept breasts make people crazy. They are sexual, they are signs of womanhood (ask any 12-year-old girl - or boy.)
They are - insert giggle here - titillating.
Yet, I’ve never met a nursing mother who viewed feeding time with her child as an equivalent to foreplay or exhibitionism.
Sure, those who think mothers caught with a hungry child in public should do it in private - ever eaten your lunch in a bathroom stall? - also claim to have seen examples of flashing during the meal. But having been one, and seen many more nursing mothers, I testify most women are discreet. They cover themselves and focus on the wonderful task at hand, rather than take feeding time as a chance to put it out there for evaluation.
Where are the howls of protest for women who do just that? Why do you think they call it Hooters? Because only wise old owls eat there? Isn’t more being offered than what’s on the menu, in a look-don’t-touch sort of way?
Seriously. Strut your stuff at the beach, on the dance floor, in situations where cleavage is expected. But feeding time? It’s among the least sexual moments of a human’s life.
The only sexual thing going on at nursing time is in the minds of others. Making it their, not the mother’s, problem. Unless, of course, she’s kicked out of a building or the police are called (Google Target, breastfeeding.)
Of course, we could follow the example of other countries that see this and other ways women weave their seductive webs as way too provocative.
Burkas all around! Cover the hair, the lips, the body. Save the weak from themselves.