Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Public breastfeeding shouldn't be taboo
By Justin Prochaska
Published March 23, 2010
Zach Callaway/Graphic Designer
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Last Friday, The Maneater ran a letter to the editor about an incident that occurred at the Student Recreation Complex regarding a woman and her young child.
Apparently, this woman was breastfeeding her child by the pool when an employee told her she was not allowed to breastfeed there and asked the woman to move.
I read this and couldn't believe it. Last time I checked, this was still America.
It is ridiculous mothers are not able to feed their children wherever they go.
I understand some people are prudes and find offense by exposed "private parts" in public, but the world doesn't revolve around them. I can see why people wouldn't want to walk around and see bare breasts all around, but this should be a non-issue.
I know I can't tell people what should offend them, but the fact is breastfeeding is a natural and healthy way to feed a newborn child. There is no reason mothers shouldn't be able to feed their kids in public. It isn't fair to exile new mothers who want to keep their children healthy.
It's not like breastfeeding is pornography. How much can you actually see anyway? I'm not a mother, obviously, but I would expect most women would probably make an effort to cover themselves to a certain degree.
The mother should be able to feed her child without any type of hassle. A woman and her baby have the right to breastfeed wherever they please.
If the baby doesn't eat, he or she probably won't be too happy. I would much rather let a woman feed her child than listen to a crying baby for hours on end, and I'm fairly positive in thinking most of you out there would agree with me.
Unlike smoking, a breastfeeding mother doesn't harm innocent passers-by. Public breastfeeding isn't dangerous or hazardous to anybody. All mothers should be able to feed their children, and all kids should have the right to eat in peace.
In the past, people have said public breastfeeding is obscene and should be done in the privacy of the home. Well, here's an idea: If public breastfeeding is insulting and offensive to you, don't look at it. Nobody is forcing you to watch it. Just turn your head and move on with your life.
It's funny, though. We live in such a double standard society. In this country, it is frowned upon to publicly breastfeed, because bare breasts are vulgar and crude. Yet, it is perfectly fine for men to walk around wearing oversized pants down to their waists with their cracks hanging out. Please.
We also don't bat an eye when a well-endowed woman gets on TV, shows her cleavage and persuades us to buy beer, adopt a puppy or join a cult. Of course, the moment a woman pulls out her breast to nurture a young child, everyone freaks out.
The woman who wrote the letter to the editor should not have been asked to move. It isn't illegal to breastfeed. It isn't illegal for the child to eat. In fact, as the writer referenced, Missouri law allows public breastfeeding.
The woman said she would not be "marginalized into silence by any ignorant staff person again." Good for her. She has every right to be upset.
This is the 21st century. Our society is way too conservative. We need to stop being appalled by any sight of breasts in public. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean the world should stop and cater to you.
America prides itself on its freedoms, but if a woman can't feed her own child in public without causing commotion, what freedoms do we really have?