Something to get off my chest

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Hello three readers!

Sorry, it’s been a while. It’s not you. It’s me. I’ve been busy.
But yesterday, I read a blog post on the Internet that got me so incensed I feel there is no other option but to get it off my chest.

The article that has steam coming out of my lugholes is this one:

http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Covering-Up-When-Breastfeeding-37695809

This is the start of the article:

“Dear Breastfeeding Moms,

Okay, I’m just going to say what everyone’s thinking.

What’s with all the controversy about nursing in public?

I mean, seriously.

Is it really that hard to cover up?

Here’s the deal: Strangers don’t want to see your areola. (Yeah, that’s it.)”

The author, Janie Porter, a mother who breast fed her child, goes on to to say that while she doesn’t want to start a war on breast feeding,  she thinks women should cover up.
And she certainly doesn’t want her husband or pre-schooler son to see a flash of nip.
Sorry Janie, who gave you permission to speak for us all?
You know what everyone is thinking? Get real.
I’ll tell you what I’m thinking: your letter directed at breastfeeding Mums was nothing more than a passive aggressive rant.
It was wholly unnecessary.
You got my back up.
So now, the gloves bras are off.

Here’s the deal: you say nowadays women are applauded for breastfeeding and that there’s no stigma attached to it.
Can you spot the irony there?
Sorry to be the one to point it out to you, but your letter reeks of hypocrisy, worse than a  nursing bra stained in three-week-old breast milk.

Here’s why I’m mad: As women, we get shamed enough.
And by penning that letter, you highlighted that sadly, most shaming comes from women taking vicious snipes at each other: Slut shaming, frigid shaming, body shaming, hair shaming (as a dame with a ‘tache bushier than Tom Selleck I know all about that one), the list is endless.
We heap shame and judgement on each other for everything from our parenting skills to our feminist views and now, Janie, we can add breast feeding to the list.

You’re right about one thing, the right to breast feed and the dialogue surrounding it, has come a long way.
But for all the years that took,  along comes a post like yours, dressed up in a “Oh I don’t mean any harm” veil and unfortunately, it undoes a lot of hard work.

Why would you do that?

If you see a nature show on TV with an baby suckling its mother, is that abhorrent to you too?
Or do you just draw the line at our species?
I have some advice for you. Just like a nature show, if you don’t like what you see, look away.
Nursing mothers are hurting no one. You included.

Here’s the thing: making Mums feel uncomfortable about baring their boobs to breastfeed in public is way more disgraceful than a full tit exposed with a child attached to it.
Because it’s hard to breast feed fully covered. I should know. I nursed all three of my shiny diamonds.
Back when they were a newborns, it was easy. All they thought about was the task at hand:

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Flash forward a few months and the newborns who were totally focused, now hop on and off my breast more frequently than a carnie, working on a merry go round ride.

Full disclosure: I did my best to cover up. I’m British. We’re a bunch of prudes.
We make you look open minded.
But I envied those Mums who sat in full view, proud, feeding their kids, worrying about nothing.

Why is there such a dysfunctional culture surrounding breasts in North America?
There are so many contradictions about what’s acceptable.
But that’s another article entirely.

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time on the beaches of Europe.
Topless women of all shapes, ages, colours and sizes strutted without a care.
And what happened at such a flesh parade?
I’ll tell you.
Women rarely got a second glance.
I’m glad I got exposed to such a relaxed view about our bodies from such an early age. Pun intended.
It’s wonderfully liberating to understand that the human body is something to be proud of.

I’m sad for you that you don’t want your son to see Mums breastfeeding. I’m happy if my kids encounter a nursing mum. Its a chance to marvel at the wonder of human life. A chance to have a quick conversation about it being one of the best gifts in the world, a miracle that is also no big deal…how many others things can you say that about?
I don’t want my children to have hang ups about breasts, bare or otherwise.
In some cultures women can’t breastfeed publicly at all, whilst in many other countries it’s encouraged for women to do so openly, without shame.
As it should be.

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One thought on “Something to get off my chest

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