Being a mother is no easy job, today’s society with everyone having an opinion on how things should be done, mothers are subject to all kinds of double standards: For example, breastfeed your children in public – only as long as you don’t make anyone uncomfortable. It’s this last belief that the Facebook group Breastfeeding Mama Talk took on in a post that’s going viral.
Often, critics claim that they aren’t against breastfeeding; they just think that women should do it more discreetly and “respectfully.” From what we can tell, that means breastfeeding under a cloak while apologizing the entire time. Why does it mean respecting the feelings of strangers who can’t mind their own business and insert sexuality into places where it doesn’t belong?
Under a photo of a mother breastfeeding her child at a store, a member of the group wrote: “This is how a mother respectfully nurses a baby, with dignity and confidence.”
“The way someone chooses to nurse a child,” she continues, “doesn’t define the amount of respect they have for themselves and doesn’t define who they are. We are all human beings and somehow we are divided by something as natural as breastfeeding. If you choose to cover up, that’s awesome. If you don’t, that’s awesome too. The purpose of nursing isn’t about who shows more boob or who doesn’t. The purpose is to feed a child. And whether it’s done covered, in a private place, or uncovered in the middle of a restaurant, does not define the amount of respect you have. The stigma needs to end. We are just trying to feed our babies.”
The public just can’t seem to get enough of shaming women for breastfeeding in public. It’s often referred to as “disgusting” and “rude” because, in order to breastfeed, women need to use their breasts. And since it’s hard for babies to get at nipples through a wool sweater which means boobs need to come out into the open air.
As with many controversies, this issue is between one group of people who are just trying to live their lives and another group of people who feel like other people’s personal lives and intimate decisions should revolve around what makes them comfortable.