not in Primary anymore

breastfeeding. 3 thoughts to help the men.

“why can’t we at least try to help [men] out in an area that they are naturally weak in? Why can’t we go out of our way in such a simple thing to help them out just a little?”

“Men are very visual and wired to be that way. Maybe some men aren’t affected but I think most are very affected by seeing a woman’s boobs! No matter if its a nursing mom or a porn magazine. There [sic] brain can’t differentiate.”

“Pornography is a huge issue with many men and having your breasts out for all to see just adds fuel to fire in my opinion.”

The above are some comments that took place in a Hypnobirthing support group, a group that gravitates toward all things natural-living. Generally it is a group that is very friendly toward breastfeeding mothers, but even in a group created to support mothers you can still see some pretty harmful words tossed around about how public breastfeeding somehow hurts men.

Breastfeeding should never ever ever EVER be compared to pornography. Not ever. Please do not slut shame someone who is trying to feed a baby. Also, it doesn’t help men to say that they are sex crazed animals who can’t tell the difference between breastfeeding and playboy. So here’s three thoughts that can really help men (and women!) when it comes to breastfeeding.

1. Being a mother to a newborn is crazy hard. You know what makes it harder? If you choose to breastfeed AND still be a part of American society. Newborns are supposed to nurse somewhere between 8-12 times a day. If you choose to leave your home and have a newborn, odds are that newborn is going to need to eat in that time period. As for nursing covers? Great if the mom and baby like them. However in my experience they are a complete pain in the bum and draw a helluva lot more attention to yourself. For many moms who breastfeed, wearing a cover or finding a secluded area to nurse in is not always a ‘simple thing’ to do, and perhaps at times, not even a possible thing to do.

You know what isn’t that hard? Looking in another direction if you don’t want to see a partial breast and a mother is breastfeeding. Simple as that. But I said I’d give you three thoughts. So..

2. Bodies are awesome and multi-functional. Boobs can feed babies AND can be sexual. Mouths can eat food AND can be sexual. If we expected every body part that can be sexual to be covered, we should all be wearing a lot more fabric than we’re wearing now. Context matters in relation to pornography and nudity /= pornography. For that matter breastfeeding doesn’t even equal nudity. Chances are if you stare at a breastfeeding mother, you will probably see the same amount of breast as a woman who wears a v-neck.

3. ‘Men are more visual’ is crazy talk to me. Every time that someone says that, it seems to be for the purpose of separating men from their actions. ‘Men are more visual, thus they can’t help the way they react to a unclothed shoulder, breast, ankle, etc.’ Cough-bullcrap-cough. Furthermore, according to this study that observed brain responses to different images, some of them erotic, women are just as ‘visual’. “Anokhin says the fact that the women’s brains in this study exhibited such a quick response to erotic pictures suggests that, perhaps for evolutionary reasons, our brains are programmed to preferentially respond to erotic material [….] Women have responses as strong as those seen in men” (emphasis added). I can control myself at a public pool where men have exposed chests, I expect the same of any man who sees a woman breastfeeding. I can differentiate between a man in his swimsuit and a man having sex. I can differentiate between a woman breastfeeding and a woman having sex. I imagine that most (maybe all) humans can differentiate the same way I can. So please stop with the ‘men are more visual’ talk, as if a man who sees a woman breastfeeding is suddenly going to be in fornication nation and it’s the breastfeeding mother’s fault.

So there you have it, my three thoughts to help out the men and women who think that public breastfeeding hurts men. You’re welcome world.

217 Responses to “breastfeeding. 3 thoughts to help the men.”

  1. luna6ix

    Western culture has a long standing tradition of tabooing certain body parts. When we pass these things on to our children, we haven’t been teaching them that nudity in public is improper EXCEPT… So, are you really surprised that men feel uncomfortable? In fact, there are even women out there that feel uncomfortable around breast feeding in public. Whether it be natural, or necessary is not at dispute here. Urination is natural, it’s necessary too, yet it’s not socially acceptable to pee on a tree in a public park. Note, that I have not actually supported either side with my comment. Point being: 1.) If you don’t understand why some people find it objectionable, you’re not paying attention and 2.) One blog post cannot undo several hundred years of social pruning.

  2. Joan Williams-Okon

    Sometimes people can’t separate their sexual feelings from a baby’s need to eat. The breast were created by God so a mother could feed her baby. I think the sexual thing came later or did it come first?

  3. rpward51

    I am just an old man and nobody cares what I think but seeing a baby being nursed simply warms my heart. It’s one of the most beautiful things in the world.

    • thomlucci

      I wonder what rpwards51 enjoys most: the breastfeeding or the breasts? Fine. Let him follow a woman to a private place and he can enjoy it there all by himself. Breastfeeding is still something that does not belong out in the public. There are people who are very uncomfortable with seeing it in public. It is a private thing between a mother and a child, so why does a mother insist on making this intimate action public? For spite? Because she has no regard for the rights of others? She doesn’t give a damn what others think? Why not defecate in public? Why not have sex in public? Sex is a beautiful thing, but I don’t want to see some woman being humped by a guy in the middle of a mall. Sex is a private thing. So is breastfeeding.

      Thomas CarlucciDisabled American Veteran

      Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 19:10:18 +0000 To:

      • tophat8855

        If breastfeeding is comparable to sex, then bottlefeeding is comparable to using a dildo. There are women all over the place feeding their babies with plastic, disembodied, nippled apparatuses! Won’t sometbody think of the men? And children!?

        Yeah… no. Breastfeeding in public is like eating in public. Because that’s what it is. I will not segregate my child away in another room or under a sheet while other children can eat openly. That is not ok.

      • thomlucci

        Breastfeeding a baby in public is not any different than having sex in full view of the public. They are both personal actions that the public should not have to witness. Any woman who says there is nothing wrong with either in public is 1) a woman who has absolutely no respect for anyone other than themselves and any individuals participating in the action, and 2) are not good enough for me or any man who does, indeed, respect others.I have a feeling it is not the act of breastfeeding that women think they should be allowed to do in public, but, rather, the thrill they get from exposing their milk plump breast in public. Again, breastfeeding is between the mother and child, not the public. The same concept applies with sex, except the baby is not the other sexual partner (hopefully).If a woman cannot understand this and has no respect for other people, that woman was not raised the way she should have been raised, and will never be good enough for me. I will not have any personal association with a woman who 1) pulls her breasts out in public, 2) cusses like a truck driver in public (potty mouth), 3) has sex in public, and/or 3) has no respect for anyone, but believes she can do whatever the hell she wants and the public can be damned. Those kind of women are dirt, and not good enough for me.

        Thomas CarlucciDisabled American Veteran

        Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2014 14:35:55 +0000 To:

  4. nsjs17

    Some people do make too big of a deal about this topic. Men can walk around topless (on hot summer days and at beaches), and no one makes a fuss. People really need to prioritize what’s important. Of course, there is a time and place for things, but a woman shouldn’t have to go into hiding to feed her child (like physically inconveniencing someone in a crowded subway or restaurant), but an open space should be okay. Comparing this to defecation or public urination is ridiculous. Breastfeeding hardly inconveniences the public by leaving unsanitary puddles. Besides, men are able to show their chests, and men certainly don’t mind women showing their chests in -so many- movies playing today. And art. There are statues in New York, of woman with their chests exposed.

    • thomlucci

      Continuing this thread with a blind Mormon of a much more permissive (and much less moral) generation is pointless and can reach no conclusion.

      I also find fault with the immoral display of the female body on TV and in movies.

      My generation had much more respect for others than apparently your generation has. That is evident by the public display of breastfeeding, the filthy language used not only in the presence of women but also by women, the filthy music, the very revealing clothing of women and on and on and on.

      In spite of the advancement in communication, i.e., cell phones, computers, etc., if given the opportunity to return to the world I grew up in, I wouldn’t hesitate a millisecond to accept.

      Your world today is shit compared to the world of my youth.

      Now, I am done with this conversation.

      • Dollie

        I’d just like to say, I’m glad I live in this world and not yours. Sounds like it’s full of judgmental people who obviously don’t understand the word respect, even if they use it.

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