Sunday, July 30, 2006

Of Breasts and Boobs

The August 2006 edition of Baby Talk magazine featured an article on breastfeeding – that should have been a big “so what?” were it not for the cover: a picture of a baby breastfeeding. The shock! The outrage! The disgust! The Horror, the horror!

Outraged babbling idiots weighed in with their puritanical profundity:

1. Noted a mother who didn’t want her 13-year-old son to see such horror, "I shredded it. A breast is a breast - it's a sexual thing. He didn't need to see that." She went on to state that while she supports breastfeeding, "I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

2. Another, engaging in significant over-generalisation based on stereotyped behaviour, noted that, "Men are very visual, when they see a woman's breast, they see a breast - regardless of what it's being used for."

3. "Gross, I am sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob,"

4. "I just think it's one of those moments that should stay between a mother and her child."

5. Additionally, in a poll taken of more than Baby Talk 4,000 readers, roughly a quarter of the responses to the cover were negative, calling the photo - a baby and part of a woman's breast, in profile - inappropriate.

Let’s take a look at those statements:

1. First, I recall being a 13-year-old boy, and I’m pretty damned sure I would’ve been able to differentiate between an image of a breast being used for breastfeeding and the image of a breast being used for titillation. Second, a breast is not inherently a sexual thing – its primary purpose is for feeding the young of the species, that it developed a secondary purpose (really an imagined purpose) of sexual titillation says more about the mind of man than about the intent of nature.

2. But men are too stupid to note the same difference I’d’ve noted as a 13-year-old? Doubtful. Moreover, if you find a man who fits that category, you might want to pay a little closer attention to him – he has issues.

3. Any grossness or obscenity is in your head honey, might want to see a shrink about that.

4. It *will* be a private moment, if you stop staring and gawking and bitching like a wounded alley cat.

5. Inappropriate? If the lead article were about quantum mechanics, they would have a point (other than the one on top of their heads), but as the lead was about breastfeeding the picture is quite appropriate.

Yet, the five above quotes from outraged prudes seem to echo those of the vox populi -- A 2004 by the American Dietetic Association, showed that only 43 percent of the 3,719 respondents said women should have the right to breast-feed in public places. One doubts that one would find the same poll results in the more intellectually developed nations of the world.

But, in all honesty, the average American is an intellectual cipher: nearly half do not know that it takes a year for the earth to orbit the sun (that is the definition of a year, by the way) and a sizable number still think the sun goes around the earth – nearly 500 years after that theory was shot to shit. Additionally, 41 percent believe, against all evidence, that dinosaurs and humans coexisted. With stupidity like that running rampant, it’s no wonder so many see breastfeeding in public as “gross”. In fact, some of these prigs have gone so far as to try to ban breastfeeding in public, or to force breastfeeding women to use the restroom when feeding.

As one mother, who regularly breastfeeds in public noted, “My kid [needs] to eat; I don't send people to the bathroom when THEY want to eat."

Think about that at your next meal. Better yet, all those opposed to breastfeeding in public should try this little experiment: eat all of your meals for the next week in the bathroom. The smell of shit mixing in with your Big Mac and fries should do wonders for your digestion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insight! I'm so happy to see a man w/a brain in his head larger than the one in his pants :) Kudos to you! Perhaps someday we will live in a world where people are as tolerant of using breasts for what they were intended as they are for using breasts to make money!
Thank you :-)

Tue Aug 01, 06:47:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right! I agree with everything you said! Breastfeeding is the best thing for a baby, how can it be gross?!?!

Wed Aug 02, 06:28:00 AM 2006  

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