Over the weekend I came across a piece in People magazine about a mom named Conner Kendall , who was breastfeeding her baby in a Friday’s restaurant and was unknowingly photographed by a male patron who uploaded the photograph to social media so that he could publicly shame her for breastfeeding her baby.
Why when a woman is photographed while openly breastfeeding her baby the world skips on its axis? What is so out of the ordinary about such a sight? Its just a boob with a baby on it. In case some people forgot – the #1 job of boobs, is to feed babies. Sexual pleasure is a distant second.
It never ceases to amaze me how society will deem it okay for a woman to expose her breasts for the purposes of getting free shit, ad campaigns, landing a man or to get out of a ticket. But when a breast is partially exposed for its intended use society all of a sudden wants the woman to have decorum and cover up. Hypocrisy much?
For Conner, when she discovered the photo floating around the internet she took to her Facebook page to rightfully blast the man who took the photograph. She stated the man has since given her a half-assed apology. Of course he would, as he’s clearly oblivious as to why he was wrong for doing what he did in the first place. What kind of a world do we live in where people think that its acceptable to secretly photograph a mother and her baby for the purpose of belittling her? It’s a fucking sad one if you ask me.
And if taking the photo and posting it on the internet wasn’t bad enough, it’s the comments that follow that really make it a travesty. You would think the person who took the photo would be ripped to shreds for violating a strangers privacy. Nope. Those comments are only a sprinkle in the sea of, “cover up, it’s making me uncomfortable“, “how do I explain that to my children?“, “put a blanket over yourself“, “go in the bathroom” and “just stay home“. Let me tell you something, if you’re out in public, say at a restaurant and you take issue with seeing a mother uncovered while breastfeeding maybe YOU should take your plate the bathroom to eat. Oh, and if the smell of urine and feces is too much for you, just put a blanket over your head. How does that sound? Probably stupid and none too appealing. So, if its not appealing to you as an adult, why would you want to subject a baby to that? Is your creep out factor of a little side boob so great that you would prefer to see a mother feeding a baby in a dirty stinky public bathroom? What if that woman forced into a bathroom was was your wife and the baby sweating under a blanket was your child?
But what I really want to know is, what does societies inability to see breasts as anything other than sexual fun bags me and my baby’s problem? I find it hilarious that there’s supposedly more difficulty in explaining to a child that mommy’s boobs feed babies (see how easy that was), over trying to explain a 50 foot tall billboard displaying an orgy for a Calvin Klein jean ad.
If my child asked me what was happening in that picture I would be dumbfounded. Could you explain it?
I’ve lived in NYC for 15 years and have seen a number of things that have been an assault on my senses (that billboard included), and I can safely tell you uncovered breastfeeding has never been one of them. You know why? 1. I don’t care. 2. It’s not my business. And 3. I look away. It’s funny how the latter is the most difficult for people to do considering its the easiest. No mother should be ridiculed for openly breastfeeding nor should she delay feeding her child in order to think of ways to cover up to make those around her more comfortable. Instead of publicly putting a mother down for openly and proudly providing her baby its most basic need, how about we rally behind her and show her we support her decision to feed her baby in the manner that’s best for both of them. Most importantly, how about we stop the oversexualization of breasts (and the female body as a whole), and start embracing breasts for their main purpose, which is, feeding babies.