Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Speaking of Breasts...

We are SO repressed in the United States. It would almost be amusing
if it wasn't so absolutely absurd. Apparently, many readers of "Baby
Talk" a magazine about all things baby, had a complete come-apart be-
cause the magazine had the bold effrontery to put a photo of a woman
breastfeeding on its cover.

See Article HERE

Mind you, there is no nipplage involved here, just a baby who appears
to be breastfeeding from a part of the human anatomy that looks, in
the photo, as though it might easily be a knee or the curve of a shoulder,
rather than a female breast. By the way, I break here for a moment to
say that if it IS a breast then I'd just like to shout out a "nice tits" to the
model because the breast in question is rather nice and well-formed.

But that aside, subscribers to the magazine are apparently going ape-
shit about the cover photo. Here are some of the more interesting com-

From the article:

"I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine,"
one person wrote. "I immediately turned the magazine face down,"
wrote another. "Gross," said a third.

Right. Because we all know that breastfeeding is an unnatural act. Not
only unnatural but apparently, disgusting as well.

Another reader was apparently concerned about the possible moral de-
cay faced by her 13 yr old son if he were to have been exposed the ma-
gazine's cover:

"I shredded it," said Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas, in a telephone interview.
"A breast is a breast - it's a sexual thing. He didn't need to see that."

Seriously? She shredded it?! She's acting as though someone sent a
Penthouse to her children's daycare for reading time. (I suppose her son
will now be stuck regaling himself with past issues of National Geogra-
phic and Victoria's Secret.)

This same mother, who by the way BREASTFED her own children finally
said what I think is really at the heart of the issue for people who oppose

women's right to breastfeed their children when and where they want to
do so:

"I'm totally supportive of it - I just don't like the flashing," she says. "I
don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't
want to see."

Flashing? I doubt many breastfeeding mothers purposely flash others.
And I doubt her son and husband are ever going to accidentally see a
breast they don't WANT to see and come crying home to her. Because

no matter what they tell her and no matter what posture the moral ma-
jority takes on breastfeeding in public, I've met very few guys who were
'offended' and/or irreparably damaged somehow by the occasionally
flash of some chick's breasts. Otherwise, how do you explain mardi
gras? They don't hand out those mardi gras beads for nothing...

But this is America once again, where for some reason we equate breast-
feeding with sex. Apparently, if a baby is hungry his nursing mother just
needs to wait until she gets back home (where many of these people pro-
bably think she belongs anyway) so that she can crawl into the darkest
room in the deepest portion of her house in order to feed her baby with-
out risking the catastrophic devastation an accidental glimpse of her
"gross" bare bosom would visit upon society at large.

In this country we seem to have many people who are uncomfortable
with their own sexuality and unable to deal well with or to understand
women's roles as both mother and lover in a marriage. For some reason,
not only men, but women also still carry the Puritanical idea that sex is
"bad" or sinful. That there is some form of shame involved. And there-
fore, exposing various parts of the body that are seen as relating to the
sex act and to lovemaking must be "bad" and "shameful" as well.

In many cases it seems really that our discomfort about our own bodies,
or at least certain parts of our bodies is at the root of all of this hype
over breastfeeding and where it should and should not be accomplished.
The saddest part of this article to me is that it is women, MOTHERS in
fact, who have responded to the cover photo with such vehemence. Cal-
ling it gross? Boy, that's a healthy way to bring up your children. Telling
them that certain parts of their anatomy are "gross."

It seems as though women in the United States really are conflicted
about the difference between what is sexual and what is merely caring
for and providing for your child in the natural manner that God intend-
ed. Remember Ms. Ash's quote in the article:

"A breast is a breast - it's a sexual thing."

Apparently, even some nursing mothers just can't seem to get it
straight. Breasts are not just sexual. They are actually fairly utilitar-
ian when you get right down to it. A sort of built-in manufacturer
and reservoir for the very substance that gives new babies the best
and healthiest nutrition available.

In most other countries this hue and cry over breastfeeding (which
by the way goes on far longer in a child's life than it does here in the
West) would be laughable, if not just bizarre.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful act of caring for one's child. It is much more
natural than throwing the kid a b0ttle of similac. What an odd thing
that our shame and disgust over what is a completely natural and
wholesome process compels us to create formulas that mimic mother's
milk when we can produce the real thing. (And I am casting no asper-
sions on women who choose to bottlefeed. There are situations where
breastfeeding may not the right choice for some mothers and babies
and that decision is best left to the woman, her baby and her doctor.)

But by God when my son was a baby and was hungry I fed him. Obvious-
ly, I tried to be discreet in public by covering with a blanket but I'm
sure someone out there probably copped the occasional glance. There
is no way I would have made my infant son wait to be fed until I could
retreat into some dark closet in my home just to appease some repressed
strangers who might have a problem with when and where I chose to
feed my child. The answer to which was - the nearest comfortable place
around when he cried because he needed to be fed.

His health and comfort were far more paramount to me than worrying
about what someone else might consider offensive due to their own dis-
comfort with viewing women as more than just sex objects, and breasts
as more than just an item women put on display to entice men.

Boycotting "Baby Talk" because of a cover that promotes breastfeeding?
How stupid. Get over it America.


DrDiSaia said...

You are in true form with this one.


Nit Wit said...

Maybe they thought it was disgusting because the baby was peeking. I don't think I have ever met a heterosexual male who objected to a women’s exposed breast but then again I tend to avoid repressed fanatics. Hell when my female blog friends put up pictures of the current male hunk I don't object even though it offends me (I get jealous of the killer abs that I never had on my best day). Besides breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world.
I think a huge percentage of the problems people have in this country stem from hiding sex and other natural functions from children as if there evil. It just makes them obsess about it and find answers elsewhere. Off the soapbox.
On another subject, I like you to get implants too. Not really I don't understand why women get them.
I much prefer the natural look in its infinite variety.

Icewind said...

Hi Syd, Hope all is well and you're feeling better.

It is interesting how screwed up we have become. One of the most natural things in our society get twisted around by the paranoid masses.

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor so it's no wonder we got messed up so badly along the way.

I always try to remember,

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

but by the moments that take our breath away.

Be well, I'm watching your back from the far north.


Hazy said...

I have this copy of Baby Talk at home. I was not offended by the photo. It's natural. I breastfed my son and intend on breastfeeding the twins when they are born...although breastfeeding the girls in public will be a bit harder, lol. People need to get over it....

How the heck have you been Syd? Hope all is well...take care!