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. Ryan

    To men who are bothered by a woman breastfeeding, I have two words. One is YOU, the other starts with the letter F. This is from a proud father of a breast fed daughter and yes, sometimes in public.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      WOMEN THESE DAYS ARE NOT WOMEN .
      — DOUBLE STANDERS —

      THEY DID HAVE RESPECT FOR THEIR BODIES
      WITCH MADE MEN RESPECT THEM TO .

      MEN THESE DAYS ARE NOT MEN
      WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF A MAN ???????

      Reply
    • marylied

      just because this woman writing this blog says “this is how it is” does NOT make it so, it’s just her opinion. men for the most part do not associate breast feeding with sex, so stop making stuff up just for the sake of a controversial blog post.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        A man is not bonded to a child like a woman is. men have their own emotions in their own kind of way. that they go through just like a women. they do not broadcast it either, they bottle it up in side but they are still dealing with it. And a comment about breast feeding. Think about this . a women s body is a temple and is posse to be cherished and protected. Men are chemically designed to do this. just because modern times have come . the chemicals in a mans body has not. It is natural for a man to feel uncomfortable to see a women breastfeed in public. Take this in mind I am a proud father of a breast feed baby girl who just turned one . so I have dealt with this for a year now , and my son was also breast fed. women use the word , pig , a****Hol**, deadbeat, not a real man, showvenist , and many others. Has any one thought , that is is mother nature , desire To have a man protect a women just because the news and TV and other times have changed the chemical make up of a man and woman have not . think about this one, men love breast it is sexual part of the body , no one can disagree with that . When a woman will openly breast feed it boggles the mind of a man most know its not sexual . but the thought crosses the mind. To cut to the bottom line if women have issues with this. where is the respect for men. No man can say a positive remark about what men do- do. with out someone commenting and trying to knock them down . Men now . are have trouble with women because most flaunt their bodies in a sexual way the clothes they wear , the things they do . to broad cast their bodies in a sexual way. And alot of women will use it to get what they want . AND A LOT OF MEN JUST COMPLETELY LOST ANY KIND OF RESPECT FOR A WOMEN . DUE TO THIS REMEMBER IT IS HARD WIRED IN A MAN TO CHERISH AND PROTECT A WOMEN. A MAN HAS A HARD TIME MAKING A DIFFERENCE OUT OF BREAST FEEDING AND A WOMEN JUST PULLING THEIR BREAST OUT . I HAVE COME TO SEE ALOT OF MEN LOSE INTEREST SEXUALLY IN THEIR WOMEN BECAUSE OF THIS . AND I WILL LET YOU IN ON A SECRET . IF YOU BROADCAST YOUR BODY TO THE WORLD A MAN WILL FEEL IT IS NOT SECRET NO MORE, SO THEN WILL THE MYSTERY IS GONE WITCH THE LUST AND FEELINGS FOR IT GO TO . ITS BREAST FEEDING OR NOT OUR BODIES ARE DIFFERENT.. ONE QUESTION FOR ALL THE WOMEN WHO READ THIS BEFORE YOU START BASHING ME FOR SOME THING I SAID .. NOW PLEASE THINK ABOUT THIS VERY HARD AND DO IT WITH A OPEN THINKING.
        You are walking down the street with your man. some one pulls a gun out and attempts to rob you and is paying you special attention as the female , what would you think if your man . 1. sat their and let it happen with out a word 2. step in and protect you 3. run away or hide behind you . ???? Think of this as a open mind . woman want to feel safe when they are with their men. and men want to protect their women. MEN ARE LOSING THEIR RESPECT FOR WOMEN BECAUSE THE TEMPLE OF LIFE HAS BEEN DISRESPECTED .

    • Anonymous

      It is not natural for a woman wanting to flaunt their breast in public . it is a conscious decision made by the women. I bet your going to say !!!!! . its not flaunting it is feeding a child . YES I KNOW THIS . In a sexual encounter do you ever have the other play with your breast ??? just because women have the capability of turning their sexual drive on and off at the drop of a dime . dose not mean a man can. because if they could. they would not be a man . Gods will… make a man hardened to emotions , men had to die and suffer the consequence of war . NOT FOR POWER. but just to keep their children and women safe. MEN HAVE BEEN PROTECTING WOMEN FOREVER! FEEDING OR NOT . YOU ALLOWING PUBLIC VIEWING/ PUBLIC NOTIFICATION . JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT TO STAND WOMEN STRONG , TO WHO EVER MAY BE WATCHING . SHOWS HOW LOSE THINGS ARE WITH YOU AND MEN SENSE THIS . BIOLOGICALLY/ NATURES 6TH SENSE OF A MAN. ALL THAT MEN WANT ,IS WOMEN TO CHERISH THEIR TEMPLES AND KEEP IT A SECRET AND PROTECTED FROM THOSE WHO WILL WANT TO DEFECATE IT .
      WHY HAS THE DIVORCE RATE GONE OUT OF CONTROL ?? THE GATE KEEPERS NEED TO CONTROL THE GATES SO OTHERS CAN RESPECT THE GATED.
      MEN CAN NOT RESPECT THAT IS HARD WIRED IN THEM. WE ARE DRIVEN TO PROTECT IT IS OUR NATURAL STATE.
      WOMEN CAN NOT CONTROL THEIR TIME OF MONTH.
      A MAN CAN NOT CONTROL THEIR DRIVE TO PROTECT AND SHELTER .
      WHAT SHOULD BE PROTECTED A THING CALLED SEXUALITY …
      DIVORCE / FATHER LESS BABIES, CHEATING, HAS HAD MAJOR OUT BREAK AND IT IS DUE TO 100% OF THE LACK OF KEEPING SEXUAL IDEAS CONTAINED,

      SORRY WOMEN BUT THIS IS YOUR FAULT.. PROTECT THE GATES AND MEN WILL RESPECT THEM MORE. IT MESSES OUR HEADS UP WHEN WE THINK THAT YOU A CAPABLE OF GIVING IT TO ANY ONE. AT ANY TIME AND IF YOUR ARE MENTALLY CAPABLE OF PULLING YOUR BREAST OUT IN PUBLIC . WHEN ANY ONE CAN WITNESS THIS. IT IS A THOUGHT PATTERN THAT IS DEVOLVED LOOSENESS A GATE KEEPER CAN NOT ALLOW THE GATES TO BE OPEN OFF A WIM AND LET ANY ONE WITH A KEY OPEN IT . PROTECT WHAT YOU HAVE WOMEN AND MEN WILL SHOW MORE RESPECT . OR YOU GET THE CRAZY WE HAVE NOW

      Reply
  2. dreamerrambling

    Honestly, it’s natural and a mother should have the right to feed her baby without receiving dirty looks. This post was the best thing I read all day. Good on you.

    Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      Thanks dreamerrambling! I hope that with time our culture will get more used to the idea of breastfeeding and thus the dirty looks will go away.

      Reply
  3. gangtokay

    I don’t get the whole “find a private room if you want to breast feed” thing. I’m a guy, and being a guy, I would’nt mind a littke peek at the supple breasts of a lactating mother. Perverse as it may sound. Also, in our culture, women don’t really care who’s looking when they are breastfeeding. Dad, brother, complete strangers, what have you. My married sisters breast feed in front me like its the most natural thing to do, which by the way, it is. Do I feel anything sexual seeing that? Not at all. Indeed, all breast feeding women do it out in the open if the need arises, in our culture. I have never found it to be sexual. A little sensual perhaps, sometimes. But, hey, that’s just me.

    Reply
  4. ifacedownworship

    Breasyfeeding is ALWAYS good. For men who could not help but sin while seeing breastfeeding mothers, they should GO AWAY to a place where they could not see breastfeeding.

    Reply
  5. kermitro

    I all of my 70+ years I have never realized an erotic moment when seeing a Mother breastfeeding her nursing baby. This is only normal behavior and probably better for the baby and possibly the Mother.

    Reply
  6. harolde82

    I have no problem with a woman breast feeding.To think that every man may is wrong.I think a woman’s breast is beautiful and although I may not look at it in the same sense in this case Inone the less think the woman;’s body is lovely,in any sense of the word……………………:)

    Reply
  7. wolfmoonpressblog

    It’s just the brainwashing that men get when they are boys about ‘women this, women that, naughty this, naughty that’. If – and I use that word with caution – If we ever get past the silly attitude toward the human body – that we have to hide it from sight, that it has only two functions, that it isn’t nice to look at it – someone please let me know.

    The female breats is a gland that feeds a baby. If it makes someone uncomfortable to see it happening, with a smiling mom and a happy baby, then the discomfort has everything to do with what kids are told when they are young and how they are raised. I’ ve seen women nursing on the bus on the way to work. They don’t try to hide it. Why should they? It only becomes ‘abnormal’ to see it in action when someone infers that it is. And I’m not saying “Ladies, flaunt it!” either.

    If you, as a ‘guy’, find it uncomfortable to see this kind of thing, then take a figure drawing class with nude models, male and female both, and get over your fear of the human body. In fact, take several. It will do you good.

    Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      It seems there has been some misunderstanding about me solely addressing men. I think there are plenty of women who are uncomfortable with the breastfeeding/human body stuff too. There seems to be a lot of brainwashing all around, that nakedness=porn.

      I love your advice of taking a figure drawing class to get comfortable with the beauty of the human body. I wish this was a prerequisite for humanity or something.

      Reply
  8. sew6anna

    As a breastfeeding mother of a very active two year old boy who not only nurses on one breast but also wants to fondle the other of his loves. . .practicing private breastfeeding is a joke. So I don’t give shit. Not that I particularly love the extra attention of my son, rather it’s practice in tuning out, tho now I use it as an opportunity to teach him to respect my body, when I say no. . .it’s no. Same goes to anyone who is bothered by breastfeeding. If someone were to make a fuss, I’d more likely flash them than cover up!

    Reply
  9. danicelegon

    Fabulous post. I’m a breastfeeding mum (tandem at the moment) and don’t have an issue feeding in public. It’s other people who have a problem! Like the ones who suggest you feed your baby in the bathroom. I can’t imagine people who think that a baby should be fed in a toilet would want to eat their lunch in a bathroom. These are probably the same people who couldn’t stand to see a woman breastfeeding a baby in public but a semi-naked woman in a billboard advertisement would seem more natural to them. Our society has been conditioned to believe that boobs are only sexual – but in fact their purpose is to sustain a baby. The more people are exposed to public breastfeeding, the more normal it becomes.

    Well done for standing up for breastfeeding mums everywhere. And kudos to you for using the term “breastfeeding” rather than the more euphemistic “nursing.”

    Reply
  10. randyman5775

    First I want to say that I have seen many women breastfeed their babes, both covered and uncovered. Yes, It’s a beautiful, natural thing. BUT … I wouldn’t worry about this as much 30-40 years ago as I do today. Pop-psychology today protects the leering pervert more than the nursing mother, and instead of respecting beautiful young mothers many young men refer to them as MILF’s. I respect you standing up for your rights, but I would caution you to temper that with the sense to protect yourself. Even though pedestrians have the right of way, is it wise to walk out in front of a car in a crosswalk? Please think more about protecting you and your child from what could be a bad situation instead of thinking it’s your right no matter what.

    Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      In the spirit of Charlie Brown, I say “good grief!”

      “Please think more about protecting you and your child.” So how is breastfeeding in public akin to say, walking into a street irresponsibly as a pedestrian? Are you trying to imply that a mother who breastfeeds her child is deserving of any assault because she should have known better? Are you familiar with victim blaming? That’s kinda what is going on here, and it is not okay with me.

      Reply
      • randyman5775

        I’m not blaming the women at all. You are saying that it’s a woman’s right so everyone around her has to deal with it. My comment was not to blame the victim. It was to say that you don’t live in a dream world where everyone respects others rights. I’m saying that if you’re opening your shirt and feeding your kid to make a statement, then you’re no smarter than someone who walks into traffic and expects not to get hit. You are obviously more intent on defending your point than just interested in being able to feed your babe when needed. If you were honest in your intent, then you would not be so defensive. “Methinks she doth protest too much.” ~ William Shakespeare

      • Rachel Mitchell

        “I’m not blaming the women at all [….] you’re no smarter than someone who walks into traffic and expects not to get hit.” Randyman THIS IS VICTIM BLAMING. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_blaming

        And women do not breastfeed to make a statement, they breastfeed to feed a child.

        I’m saying that it’s a women’s right BECAUSE IT IS A WOMEN’S RIGHT! It’s not my opinion, randyman, it is fact.

        Also is that even a thing? assault on breastfeeding mothers?

      • Laura

        Lol he wasn’t implying that.. it’s more like…
        There are different situations…and don’t let your breastfeeding ego get in the way of your very own safety! Lol

    • Laura

      Well put..Randyman. there are some men out there that can’t help but look at a woman sexually.. it’s just the way it is. Your boob is out in public..it’s breastfeeding..yes…but what do you expect? Theres always going to be creeps in the world. If you can’t understand this,then Rachel u are kinda naive ( I read your whole argument, Randy.)

      Reply
      • Rachel Mitchell

        I understand that there are creeps in the world. Catcalling/street harassment happens to women no matter what they are wearing or doing. So let’s stop blaming women for whatever they are doing/wearing. Let’s blame the creepers and let women live their lives.

      • Michael Farkness

        This is the worst kind of argument. It seems a lot like rape apologism to me. You’re saying that men can’t be responsible for ourselves. It is also incredibly patronizing toward men. If someone can’t separate sexuality from breastfeeding, they need to get a clue. Women’s bodies are not permanently, ubiquitously sexual. To me you are taking the side of sexual predation, and the mere fact that feeding a baby inspires these feelings in people is to me insidious and symptomatic of the wider, abusive attitude toward women–that even some women hold–in our society.

      • Laura

        No need to cast blame upon anybody. It’s not going to change the fact that there ARE creeps out there. Of course they shouldn’t be thinking this way towards women..but it happens. It is a fact!

  11. harolde82

    Wow…………….who’d have thought this would evolve into this eh?All for moving on raise their hands????………….NOW,let’s talk about something really important.If anyone generally is concerned for men’s health and mental well being over-all I think I can speak freely for the majority here when I say we surely could use a few more “blowjobs” thrown in here and there thru-out the day or evening hrs……………….:)

    Reply
  12. randyman5775

    Your friend Harold is making my point for me. He’s turned this conversation into something sexual. You can call this victim blaming if you want, but I would be the guy coming to your rescue when this creep starts making lewd remarks to you when he sees you feeding your babe in public. All I’m saying is that your women’s rights views need to be tempered with common sense, because not everyone will treat you respectfully in public.

    Reply
    • harolde82

      Creep? First of all I could care what your ass thinks….. And # 2, don’t get pissed at me because CVS ran out of fucking disposable razors .i don’t work there doing the ordering…:)

      Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      Lewd remarks are not cool, but that’s not exactly ‘stepping out in front of a car’ is it? On top of that, I think I have a bit more experience breastfeeding than you and I have yet to witness a lewd remark come my way (in real life that is, not counting internet trollers, like Harold). I don’t think that’s as popular as you think it is. So I hope you’ll stop promoting fear in regards to moms who want to breastfeed their babies/kids.

      Reply
      • randyman5775

        I’m sorry I’ve wasted your time. most bloggers are interested in honest conversation. aparently all you want is for your views to be validated, and any MAN that doesn’t agree with you must be a woman hating moron. I gladly accept my position in life. Oh, but if you don’t get remarks from people, then apparently all this article was to you is a political statement, because no one has given you grief about breastfeeding in public. All the best to you and your robotic followers – oh, and your good friend Harold.

      • Rachel Mitchell

        randyman, did you actually read what I wrote? I am not complaining about people making lewd comments, I am saying that I hate when people tell women to not breastfeed in public because they think it’s sexual or causing someone to have sexual thoughts, thus forcing women out of public places. That is something that happens. Lewd comments to mothers while they breastfeed is something that I am not aware happens. If it does ever happen, then I think it is insulting of you to say that the mother is to blame.

        I wish I did have some robotic followers, maybe they’d do my dishes.

        peace out randyman.

      • randyman5775

        Let me see if I can say this a more simpler way.
        I never said that the mother is to blame. When I gave the analogy of walking out into a crosswalk even when cars are coming, I was trying to say that the chances of getting hurt are extremely high. That’s why we are taught to use our judgment to determine if it’s safe or not. The comparison with breast feeding openly in public is simply that men have sexual thoughts — and always have. It’s part of human nature. That is the part that I’m trying to make you aware of — men are as god made us. It’s up to us to overcome those natural urges, and there are more men that don’t than do to the greater extent. That’s why most religions recommend modest dress. Men are going to think sexual thoughts about good looking women no matter what they wear, but fuel is added to the fire when women aren’t modest. No, it’s not the woman’s fault, but the woman ends up paying the greater price for the insult. I apologize if I still haven’t made that clear. Yes, I did read your whole post, and I only disagree with your position because you’re wishing for something that will never come about in this world as it is.

  13. αNaturist

    this article implies that only mean aren’t ok with public breastfeeding, but unfortunately there are many women who don’t accept it either. there are also women who complain about others wearing mini-skirts… you should address that too

    Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      For sure there are women who are uncomfortable with breastfeeding. My title is meant to correlate to the above comment that we help men by covering up when breastfeeding. I argue that we help men and women by the three thoughts. I didn’t mean to only address men, as my thesis and conclusion expressly address men and women who are uncomfortable with breastfeeding. I see how the title has made this misleading to several people, but that wasn’t my intent.

      Reply
  14. kldawson

    We should pay no mind to the intolerent, sexist fartknockers who complain about such things. They are cowards afraid of the realities of life that threaten their own puny world views.

    Reply
  15. fireandair

    Any man who reacts like that to the sight of a baby getting tit when he can’t is JEALOUS. And any man who is jealous of an infant isn’t a man.

    Any man who doesn’t react to the sight of a baby being provided for with satisfaction isn’t a man, either.

    Reply
  16. Taylor Clarke

    Great post! I’ve nursed all my babies and, in my experience, a nursing cover (even just a blanket) not only screams, “Hey world, nursing here!” but the baby hates it. So I end up with a frustrated, fussy baby instead of a happy, well-fed one. And all because someone MAY be offended at a few inches of skin? I can’t believe otherwise rational adults actually encourage scenario #1! That said, if a women (and baby!) prefer a nursing cover, I say go for it! If a women and baby prefer uncovered nursing, then men and women who feel uncomfortable at this perfectly natural act take the OP’s great advice and simply not look. (And, if a women gives her baby a bottle, that’s her choice too–I’m just a huge fan of happy, well-fed babies!)

    Reply
  17. In Light Of The Cross

    I grew up helping my parents babysit in a church nursery. Mothers would come in occasionally when it was time to breastfeed. I only remember once my dad and I being asked to leave. Later in my early 20’s I dated a lady who was breastfeeding, and when she was nursing I saw her as a mother. It took me a while to realize how the Western world was sexualizing the breast and perverting it. But it does not surprise me. The Western culture likes to pervert a lot of things, and make innocent things evil and evil things innocent. In the Western world we let a girl bounce up and down on the beach in her skimpy bikini and don’t bat an eye, but then a mother takes our her breast to nurse her child and people throw a fit. Seriously, which do you think God intended? I’m pretty sure he intended for the mother to breastfeed.

    Reply
  18. kldawson

    I have always wondered just how sick can people be to find ‘smut’ in everything. They think about it more than perverts do.

    Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      I think you’re on to something. I don’t know how many people actually see breastfeeding and think SEX!! But there’s a lot of breastfeed-shaming that goes on to protect people from thinking about sex.

      Reply
      • kldawson

        I don’t see the erotic attraction in breast feeding either, but I grew up in the Bible Belt South and know there are plenty of people, particularly sour old Christian white people, who find ‘filth’ and ‘sin’ in everything and I mean everything. Their brains are so conditioned and fixated that they see evil everywhere. Personally, I think it’s a form of insanity. Before anybody jumps me for being racist, I’m a sour old white guy myself, but not Christian.

  19. David Price

    As a father I think breastfeeding (private or public) is amazing. I smile a little smile every time I see it… and then I carry on doing whatever it was I was doing. It’s beautiful.

    Reply
  20. maryanne28

    I breast fed both my children. Back then you did it in private because it was expected. It could be my age (probably is) but I have mixed feelings about breast feeding in public. If you can’t find a quiet place somewhere do it with other people’s comfort in mind. There’s nothing more wonderful than breast feeding, I know. My memories are of me and my children bonding at midnight, and two in the morning and four in the morning. I was exhausted, but the closeness it brought more than made up for it. (Especially when I look back down the decades)
    I’m not saying give it up, but I do suggest that not all men are ogling and that some may feel uncomfortable. They can look away, as you suggest but couldn’t there be a middle ground? I do know that there are electric pumps these days and I do know that breast milk can keep for a couple of months in the freezer and for a week in the fridge.
    I don’t know how to end this, except to say that breast feed in public is already legal and mostly acceptable. I just wish that everyone could be comfortable with it.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I think we’ve ALREADY made too big of a deal of this and just drop it people……..

      Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      Thanks for your comment Maryanne.

      I understand that both sexes, male and female, can feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding. And if a mother wants a quiet place to breastfeed, I am all for that. I want us to realize that that is not always an available option. I think you are right that breastfeeding is mostly acceptable. However, breastfeeding mothers are still frequently kicked out of public places and for that reason, we still need to address this issue. Breastfeeding is legal, but there are no legal repercussions for a person who harasses and forces a breastfeeding mother to leave.

      P.S. I’m sorry for the trollers who are trying to silence you. Your voice is welcome here and you haven’t offended.

      Reply
      • Laura

        Because it makes some people uncomfortable..wouldn’t you want to cover up? As somebody who breastfeeds, you shouldn’t put yourself in a situation where it wouldn’t be good to bf at that moment or place….it’s a touchy subject you cannot change either.

  21. McD

    Who exactly is complaining? Perhaps I’ve lived abroad for too long, but are you protesting against the fact that men (and perhaps some women) simply react to breastfeeding? (which is genetic btw. A dangling boob will catch my attention whoever’s mouth it’s feeding) Or is there this group of “civility” police that are creating this fuss you are challenging against?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for breast-feeding in public. (not in the dirty sense, I mean it genuinely) Just curious who we are protesting against here, and would enjoy the proper information.

    Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      I suppose I am challenging the ‘civility police’, people who tell women that public breastfeeding (especially public breastfeeding w/o a cover) is shameful. Even though in the US public breastfeeding is legal, there are no legal consequences if someone bullies a breastfeeding mother or forces her to leave. And stuff like that happens pretty frequently. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2387670/Caught-camera-The-moment-breastfeeding-mother-takes-recreation-centre-employee-told-cover-up.html . I love this example because the mother knows her rights and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. But not every mother is so assertive. So I write this with the hope that society (especially American society) will stop the breastfeeding shame and understand that women breastfeed to feed a baby, not to ‘show-off’ a boob. Does that answer your question? Did I get to rambley?

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
      • McD

        No, you answered it perfectly well! Thanks for the insight. I do certainly agree with you in this case. Certainly no harm done with breast-feeding.

  22. baileyrbelgarde

    Reblogged this on Writing for Myself and commented:
    Women are given a hard time for breastfeeding in public, and yet in some of those places, you can buy a pornography magazine with a picture of bare breasts on the cover. So, in conclusion, you can sell breasts, but you can not have them or use them.

    Reply
  23. Michael Farkness

    “Please do not slut shame someone who is trying to feed a baby.”
    It really can’t be put any better. People make excuses for forcing women’s bodies into a 24-hour-a-day state of sexuality. If you cannot look upon a woman’s body without seeing it sexually, that is no different to me than looking at a child’s body, seeing it sexually and saying “but it’s okay, because men are men, and some of them can’t help but see children sexually.” Seriously. There is zero difference. If you cannot control your mind, you need to get a clue. And insulting us men by saying we can’t help ourselves gets you nowhere. The truth is, it is women’s bodies that bother people the most. Because the world feels entitled to women’s bodies, and because many men are not comfortable with women being viewed as full persons. It is why men can show their chests, and women cannot. It is why it is okay for men to masturbate and be promiscuous, but women are supposed to feel ashamed of these things. People need to get a clue, if you can’t handle public breastfeeding, you need to do some serious self-evaluation.

    Reply
    • Laura

      Yeah those people do need serious evaluation..but it doesn’t change the fact that there are pervs out there!

      Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      Thanks for reading and for your comment Michael.

      Also, I checked out your CNW blog and the article about conservative gifts to buy liberals brought a smile to my face. “War on the war on Christmas,” is classic. Definitely good therapy for me from some comments that have been showing up around here.

      Reply
      • Michael Farkness

        I’m glad it made you smile, Rachel. Keep at it, because when people like that start showing up you know you’re being effective and making a difference.

  24. colonelklebb

    I’m wondering where the discomfort about breast feeding comes from.

    You say some, ‘some pretty harmful words [were] tossed around about how public breastfeeding somehow hurts men’ in your hypnobirthing session. Were they tossed about by men there or other pregnant women?

    How many men have you spoken to who say they’re uncomfortable about this? We mustn’t confuse hearsay with truth…

    Breasts have deep connotations for men, recalling their own early years, their mothers maybe, their own approach to sexuality/women. You could get increasingly analytical about this issue but maybe not here.

    But the one phrase which I find hugely offensive (and remember you’re talking about people’s discomfort/embarrassment/judging of a very natural occurrence is ‘slut shame’. I haven’t come across this before.

    What is the meaning of this? Are you referring to some people’s profession? Are you using that to compare the feeling nursing mothers might have in public? Or just trying to denigrate a whole industry which let’s face it, is as established as motherhood itself?

    I resent this use – though reading your piece, it seems you’re trying to innovate and create new little phrases (which don’t even make sense (‘suddenly going to be in fornication nation’… what?!)

    I’d hoped for a more considered article and am disappointed.

    As a former ‘slut’ myself, be prepared for an onslaught against ‘straight’ women…

    Reply
    • Rachel Mitchell

      Hi colonelklebb, thanks for reading.

      ‘Slut-shame’ is not a phrase I made up. According to this feminism 101 blog, “slut-shaming happens when a person ‘publicly or privately [insults] a woman because she expressed her sexuality in a way that does not conform with patriarchal expectations for women.'” http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/what-is-slut-shaming/. So I agree with you, I don’t like the insult ‘slut’. Perhaps ‘slut-shame’ wasn’t even the correct terminology to use here, since breast-feeding as I point out, is not sexual, but since people (the people that I’m responding to in particular) see anything involving the naked body to be sexual, then maybe it is the right term to use?

      Reply
  25. Jessica Berg

    Amen! Thanks for this blog post. I am a mother of a 5 month old and have two older children. Breast milk is the best for baby, so I’d really wish everyone would be for breastfeeding whether in public or private.

    Reply
  26. erincita33

    I once lived in Bolivia. In Bolivia men have the charming tradition of pulling their pants down, wherever they may be in the street, and peeing.

    I can truly say I was never turned on by witnessing this. There is nothing unholy about peeing. There is nothing shameful about it. One could argue that it is actually quite a beautiful thing that the body rids itself of toxins to remain pure. I simply would much rather NOT see it.

    I was in a foreign land. It was not my culture to change. But if someone here tried to just pee in front of me, I would let them know that I did not appreciate it. It was not something I wanted to see. I’m glad they can pee. I want them to pee. I hope very much they will find joy in peeing. I just don’t want to SEE it. It’s natural. The body is beautiful. Nature is beautiful. But seeing drop their pants and pee right in front of me makes me very uncomfortable. I would hope any nice person would respect that request if I made it and choose to pee somewhere in private.

    It’s a matter or respecting people who you are making uncomfortable. I could bring a bucket into sacrament meeting and pee very carefully so that I didn’t miss any of the meeting. People would object? It’s gross they would say. That is completely innapropriate. Do that in private. Is it gross? It’s natural. Should I be ashamed that I pee? No. Should I be ashamed of my body? No.

    It’s simply a matter of RESPECTING other people.

    Reply
  27. erincita33

    If you are completely covered up that is one thing. There are a lot of options for breastfeeding in ways that do not require exposing your body to those around you.

    But to argue that women have the right to disrobe in Sacrament Meeting in front of everyone to breastfeed because it is natural and beautiful- use common sense. The purpose of Sacrament Meeting is very sacred and it is for 75 minutes out of every week. Surely we women can agree that for 75 minutes out of the week we will not expose our bodies to those around us. If we want to breastfeed we can do it without showing our bodies or we can go somewhere private. Surely that is not too much to give those around us.

    Reply
  28. R. Vazquez

    I read this post and got wonder why was not shown in full here. I found nothing objectionable in it, unless the subject matter hit some censorious ears in here.
    Speaking of breastfeeding… from where I come from… breastfeed was part of every day living, nothing to be ashamed of.
    I still remember me, playing with my next door friend he and I were about 4 years old. he would stop playing and walk up to his mother to get breastfeed. Then we would return to keep on playing with me. We knew some how, that, that was mothers did for her little kids.
    Perhaps we need to teach little boys and girls that breastfeeding is what mothers do for their little kids, and to teach it as a fact of life.
    My own mother taught me to all ways respect, a woman’s breast, because they are the baby’s source of life. I believe that it is time to teach that kind of respect to the new generations.
    A fact of life that got lost among bottles of baby formula.

    Reply
  29. trailingspouseurope

    You have very good insight into the issue. Thanks for making things a lot clearer for both the sake of men and women. Very cool! Where I live, to confuse breast-feeding with anything related to sex would strike most as kind of vulgar. As you point out, sight is not the only sense connected to men’s sex drive, and none are more or less powerful. If a woman are more or les discrete about the act of breastfeeding than it mostly speaks to that woman’s temperament than to the act itself. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Reply

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