Breast feeding in public – why it’s totally okay

I came across this brilliant video on Facebook at the beginning of this week, which sends an awesome and realistic message about breast feeding in public with the perfect use of sarcasm by Kristina Kuzmic. I think the most entertaining idea about this video is that although she is being sarcastic, she’s actually speaking for a large part of our societies who are completely anti-breast-feeding-in-public (I’m going to call it ABFP). Crazy right!? That ABFP people ACTUALLY exist?

This is one of those topics where I actually find it so difficult to fathom how one could be against something so natural. I’m usually great at empathy, but this is something so far from my beliefs that I can’t even begin to understand. We all know the biggest problem in our world is that it is impossible to please everyone, and I think the best solution to that is by doing whatever-the-fuck-you-want. It’s hard to say that the same should go for those who are ABFP, though.

We live in world where to some people it is absolutely okay to see a woman on the street wearing a low-cut top and obviously showing off what she’s got (this isn’t the problem by the way), it’s okay to watch porn and hang posters of half-naked women on your wall. BUT to those same people (sorry men, this is slightly a target, but obviously not directed at all) think that it is disgusting and super inappropriate for a woman to have her breast out when her child needs to eat. So it’s okay for you to suck on titties but not okay when they’re getting used for their literal biological function? It’s even more hilarious that both of those things are EQUALLY as inappropriate to see in public, to some people.

The problem is that we have been raised so wrongly to believe that the human body is something to be ashamed of, and it’s actually a fact that my generation are the most open and comfortable with our sexuality. It’s good to see that the cycle is slowly being broken, but maybe not in all societies and countries. For years the human body has be used to advertise underwear, and now is even used to advertise completely irrelevant things like Pepsi or something ridiculous. You’d think this method would help to normalise the human body, I mean, we are used to seeing it literally everywhere? But no, in turn it has had the opposite effect. It has been ingrained into our minds to believe that a half naked body is acceptable to see on billboards, posters and all over the television, but that a woman full-clothed, with one breast out, feeding her child is completely unacceptable. How fucking wrong is that?

There are mothers who will make comments such as, “I just go to the bathroom to breastfeed”, or “I go somewhere else to breastfeed”, or,  “I try to avoid breastfeeding in public because it isn’t appropriate”. And these poor women themselves have been socialised to think that feeding their child in public is not acceptable. They have been forced to go away and hide every time they are out in public with their child, when it should be as simple as staying where you are and popping your breast out for your baby to feed. Our feeding devices are attached to us for a reason right? Portable – so you can feed your child any damn time you like.

We also see other women belittling one another because they are ABFP, there are actually women who ALSO believe that it is wrong and inappropriate? That they have been raised to believe that their body is more an object than a functional organism?

We all get the message on what needs to change, and many women are in the process of standing up to these social norms and forming new ones. I chose to discuss this (although I am not a mother), because I have such a strong appreciation for motherhood. It is so complex and beautiful, and it is the most messy, yet elegant and natural thing that women are so lucky to be able to do. To see something we were literally biologically engineered to do be put down, is degrading as a woman and as a member of society.

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Author: shannonrealtalk

20, Hamilton NZ, Psychology Major at the University of Waikato

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