Breastfeeding in Public: It’s EXTREME EXHIBITIONISM .To Think That There are Even Those Who Dare Do It in Church…

Breastfeeding in Public: It’s EXTREME EXHIBITIONISM .To Think That There are Even Those Who Dare Do It in Church…

I recently WITNESSED a horrible CRITICISM towards a breastfeeding mama. 

And just as I did before, I retaliated. Because it was the right thing to do. 

Not my first time standing up to someone shaming breastfeeding, but my first time been able to be so articulate and sure of myself.

A nice sunny afternoon, this mama was sitting on a bench in a park, sipping what it looked like a mixture of herbs, with a little baby peacefully attached to her breast.

A SCARF resting on her shoulders as a sign of “discretion”.

At one point something that felt very much like a STAB in the back, for me and for her: an unmistakable female VOICE, sitting on a close bench behind us, sentencing:

“Did you see that woman? Breastfeeding in public it’s really EXTREME EXHIBITIONISM . To think that there are even those who dare to do it at a bus stop or in church. They should be ASHAMED of themselves”.

The nursing mama heard, we exchanged looks.

She knew I supported her.

She did not have the COURAGE to turn around and look at the woman’s face. 
Perhaps because she was so HURT that she would have started crying, or maybe SHE would have thrown the woman across the park with all the bench.

Who knows…

“What really BOTHERS you? 
YOU and all those like YOU, who find it reprehensible to NURSE a child in public?

I guess in doubt she remained petrified, still. Seeking the comfort for this humiliation suffered, in the blissful gaze of her BABY, latched on to her breast.

Among other things, it would have been enough to look a little bit further, to see two young women, whose BOOBS were certainly “freer” and more exposed than this mama’s.

A thousand thoughts were piled up in my mind, and this phrase “extreme EXHIBITIONISM” was exploding in my head.

I couldn’t stay silent. This was the time to put in practice the SUPPORT I always talk about. ( mind you, I am NOT confrontational by nature).

I addressed the woman. I was nervous though, to be honest.

“Ashamed? Really? I wonder, WHAT should she ever be ashamed of? 
And by the way, did I miss a sign to the park entrance with the words “forbidden to enter to nursing mothers?”

“Maybe she should have stayed at home to be ashamed? Would she have to go to the public toilet and faint for the smell to avoid that one of her boob could be glimpsed by your man? To make you happy?”

“What really BOTHERS you? 
YOU and all those like YOU, who find it reprehensible to NURSE a child in public?
Please tell me what issues you have so I can help you solve them.”

Was the only response I got! She was clearly lost for words. And red in the face.
In the end I stopped asking questions, and I only wondered what mother this woman could have ever been.

I will never forget her spiteful voice…

Perhaps NOT a mother after all. Or a mother who is too strict with herself, the victim of unfounded prejudices perhaps?
I know, I shouldn’t judge. But I couldn’t help but WONDER.

Breastfeeding in public is EXHIBITIONISM? ?
What are the reasons that can explain the aversion to this natural act that is considered INDECENT, almost obscene, if not done in the privacy of your home? 
These too common reactions to the sight of a breastfeeding woman, seem to indicate that our current culture is no longer able to DISTINGUISH an unequivocal MATERNAL gesture of care, from that of showing the breasts for the purpose of seduction.

In other words, the female breast seems to have LOST its maternal function in the eyes of many, both men and women, and having maintained only the sexual one.
Consequently, its public exposure is censored as inappropriate, with these impulsive reactions of automatic REFUSAL

We Westerners, so progressed and civilised, are so used to looking at the female breasts in exclusively sexual terms that we can no longer see it in any other way, in its obvious function of NOURISHMENT for a child. 
To refuse and offend a nursing mother, it is an act of MORTIFICATION towards a woman, who is SEEN limited to her sexual role.
Claiming back our right to breastfeed, does not only mean encouraging a baby-care act, it also means, more generally, remembering that women do NOT EXHAUST their identity in their sexuality: 
They CAN also be mothers, and much, MUCH MORE…
It means remembering that BOOBS can yes, be sexual, 
but not ALWAYS, not ALL THE TIME.

Certainly NOT when they are fulfilling their original PURPOSE. 


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