Sunday, August 22, 2010

It is 2010 right?

Cause here I thought in "this day and age" we Americans would be so much more enlightened than our historical counterparts.  Apparently I was wrong.  This week, a woman here in Phoenix was asked to leave a McDonalds because she was breastfeeding.  Sadly, this is not the first incident here in the valley like this.  Its happened before and its what ultimately ended up getting a law passed  protecting mothers for just such an occurrence.  Now we know that businesses who do this are ignorant of the law, or at least claim to be.  And they always issue an apology.  As if that makes it all better.  Regardless, this isn't about McD's or any other place stupid enough to do this sort of thing.  What this is really about is the comments, the common people who pass us as we breastfeed and what they really think.  Its about the attitude people have towards breastfeeding.  Not breastfeeding in public.  Just breastfeeding. 

People are woefully uninformed and misinformed about breastfeeding.  Take this comment as an example:

Put your kid on a feeding schedule and nurse before you leave the house. If you feel that you can't do that then stay home until the kid can feed itself.
Breastfeeding and Scheduling do not go hand in hand.  In fact it can be down right dangerous.  While some people have success with scheduling their breastfed babies feeds others have discovered it was totally ruinous.  One web search for breastfeeding and Ezzo will make you never ever want to schedule your babies feeds.  Not to mention the little logistical problem of not getting home when you planned, leaving earlier than planned or worse, not even going home at all.  For those that actually vacation, should we retreat to our hotel room every 2 hours to nurse our baby?  That would make for a splendid vacation. 

Or this comment from another poster:

Simply pump a bottle at home if you're going out or be sensible and discreet if you must in public. But don't just whip 'em out and expect no one around you to notice or "just not look"
If pumping were so "simple" then there would be far more working mothers asking businesses to accomodate them to pump while at work.  If it were so simple there would be no empty milk banks.  Further, most breastfeed babies will not take a bottle and if done too early can totally ruin a breastfeeding relationship.  If you don't know what that means, it means the baby will refuse the breast and only want the bottle.  Further, a little fact, this mother was covered.  And in phoenix on a 110 day, that is a mighty act of modesty there let me tell you.  I love how everyone just assumes breastfeeders whip it out.  I've been  breastfeeding for 12 years, 8 kids and I have NEVER EVER seen a woman whip it out.  I have never seen a bare breast.  I have barely even seen a breastfeeder in public.  And I look.  Cause typically I am sitting there doing the same thing!

Now on a couple of points that always bother me about these types of stories.  #1 - I have seen more ass cracks on women and fat men in public than I could count in a lifetime.  Hairy, sweaty, thongs, so low I wasn't sure if they were wearing bottom at all.  One look through People of Walmart is enough to make me retch.  Do I see people posting comments about how gross and awful that is?  No.  But I get 55 pages of comments about Breastfeeding with a Cover. 

#2 - Don't even cite modesty in 2010.  When you can get an iPhone app for porn, saw a commercial for it last night actually, I would say modesty has gone right out the window.  When you can view porn in McDs on your iphone but I can't nurse there, I would say thats a problem.  We had the sexual revolution, we've had ground breaking displays of sexuality on television from the first full rear nudity shot to obviously naked man and woman simulated sex, we can see nipples on magazine racks all across this country, but a woman gets kicked out of a store for breastfeeding with a cover.  Modesty?  Cover it?  Cover everything else first and we can talk. 

#3 - We have actually gone BACKWARDS as far as modesty and breastfeeding goes.  Before bottles and formula were standards for babies women had to breastfeed.  There was no 2 ways about it. If they couldn't another woman would.  These women did not stay home till their little one was weaned (often after the age of 2 or later), and they certainly didn't walk around with a blanket draped on them all the time.  No, they really did whip it out.  Where ever they were, whenever they needed to. A great example was posted by Rixa just yesterday.  For hundreds of years women have whipped it out and yet today in 2010 we can't do that anymore.

#4 - If you are a man, who feels he might sin if he sees a woman breastfeeding in public, then you have a problem.  Instead of blaming women, please seek help, as you obviously have a problem.  And avoidance is not the solution. 

 Oh, and just to prove how imodest we breastfeeders are here is a series of pictures that show you how I am just letting it all hang out.  Be sure to watch the background. 

Aren't I so indecent?  And thats at home where I don't even try to cover up.  Out in public I don't let my kids lift my shirt over my shoulder.  And notice how much is going on in the picture.  In public there is as much if not more going on.  Are we really that distracting? 

Now, one last bit of advice.  Don't poke the momma bear.  We tend to defend our young to the death.  Just back away slowly and no one will get their heads bit off. 

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