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Women! Stop upsetting the Internet with your breastfeeding!

By Alice Bradley

As you may have heard, the League of Maternal Justice put a breastfeeding video up on YouTube, and the video was taken down. Not just flagged, like so many “inappropriate” videos are. Taken down.
The video was a tender slideshow of babies nursing. Such filth! Can you imagine such a thing!
This is getting to be silly. It’s one thing when Bill Maher comes out against breastfeeding in public: he’s confused and titillated (pun intended) by the workings of the female body. He likened breastfeeding to masturbation, which shows you how hazy his thinking is. But then Facebook takes down breastfeeding images and MySpace does the same thing, and has the world gone insane? These are pictures mostly of babies. Yes, you can see the curve of some breasts, and sometimes—gasp!—a sliver of nipple. But there’s a lot more boob to be found out there, and those pictures seem to be safe from deletion. As it should be! This is the Internet. And if I know anything, I know that the Internet is for porn.
And there’s the rub: while oiled-up breasts on display are perfectly acceptable, breasts used for their intended purpose are not porny enough—and thus, are deemed offensive. Wrap your brains around that one, if you dare.
It’s so desperately odd that people who are all for ogling breasts in various stages of undress would be disgusted and offended if they happened upon a breast being used for its intended purpose. That while women are told by every authority that breastfeeding is best for their baby, they’re treated like they’re doing something criminal if they attempt to feed their child in public. They should hide in shame, while feeding their child! And why, again? Because breasts are sexy! Now show us your tits! Get that baby out of the way, first!
Many other body parts are considered sexy, and we let some of those parade around in public. Men fetishize women’s legs, but if they saw those legs walking, would they be outraged? And what of butts, pray tell? What of butts? Should women be forced to hide the lower half of their bodies? Lips are considered pretty sexy, but if you saw someone eating or talking–displaying their sexy parts where anyone could see–would that be okay?
In some cultures, it’s not. But we’re not one of those cultures. Uh, right?
Did you notice how many question marks are in this post? It has not escaped my attention. There are going to be more. I have no answers, only questions. Exasperated questions.
It seems so asinine that breastfeeding in public is even a topic of discussion. What’s up with this, guys? Is it that your breasts aren’t good for anything? Does it enrage you that your nipples are just sitting there, mocking you with their vestigiality?
I know, I know, it’s not only men who are against public breastfeeding. Which really makes this so much sadder. We’ve internalized so much shame about our own bodies that we turn against other women who dare to use theirs with pride. Bleagh.
What kills me are all the people who wonder why breastfeeding pictures or videos are “necessary,” who say that if nursing women didn’t “flaunt” their breastfeeding, there wouldn’t be a problem. These images are on the Internet—where you actually have to seek them out to be insulted. These women are proud of their ability to feed their children, and rightly so. Breastfeeding isn’t easy. I couldn’t do it for as long as I would have liked. (I probably would have benefited from watching some videos, come to think of it.) And when you’re doing something so difficult and so good for your kid, and you’re being vilified for it, how could you not respond?
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About the Author

Alice Bradley

Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.


Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.

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