Saturday, July 29, 2006

Babytalk's Breast Cover

The current issue of Babytalk magazine has a cover that has people talking. It is a close-up of a baby's head nursing in which you can see breast and baby. They have gotten a lot of flack from women who apparently think that their husbands and sons will be deeply scarred by exposure to a breast. I wonder where these women keep their menfolk secluded so that they will not be damaged by the deluge of popular media and fashion featuring bra- and bikini-clad breasts that show more than this photo (which shows a good bit) even approaches showing, what with the baby's head covering the nipple and all. There's tons more of that to see out in public than there is public breastfeeding, or even public depictions of breastfeeding.

Somehow, I bet they don't even give that much thought.

For all of the misplaced ardor of people claiming that breasts are sexual (a social construct, people, and one that many cultures would consider nauseating) and therefore private, people only seem to get in a tizzy when breasts are being used for their God-given purpose of nursing a child. No one seems to care very much when they really are flaunted as sexual objects, but people seem mortally offended when they are being used to keep babies healthy. Does anyone else think this is insane?

Very few women are going to be able to keep up breastfeeding for the duration needed by children for maximum health and development if they feel they cannot do it in public. Women stop nursing and babies become more prone to all kinds of illness, not to mention that they lose IQ points, because of these Puritanical attitudes about breastfeeding in public. People who give breastfeeding mothers this kind of shit should be ashamed of themselves for the true harm they are doing to defenseless little babies and to our nation's future. They really should be.

Jesus was breastfed, people, and he was doubtless breastfed in front of shepherds and Magi and a whole caravan of folks all the way to Egypt and possibly all the way back to Nazareth. Was Mary wrong to do this? I don't think so. Get over it.


8 comments:

Brad the Gorilla said...

I was breastfed, too! I am a mammal, after all. And hey, I'm on the cover of the August issue of GQ (not breast-feeding, though).

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I've got to admit that ever since I had a baby, I've found the concept of breasts as "sexy" weirds me out. I wish it didn't, but it does.

Lone Star Ma said...

And as you know, Brad, gorillas, who are among humanity's closest cousins, are nursed for three to seven years, as big-bodied primates are meant to be.

Lone Star Ma said...

Alkelda- you and much of the world, despite the peculiarities of Western culture.

Isabella's Mom said...

Lone Star Ma, I wish you weren't so many states over. Seven years ago, when my daughter was small and I had to return to work, the site of the breast pump would send people scurrying to their desks, eye's were averted, I was shunned in the kitchen and people expressed uneasyness at me storing the milk in the refrigerator. You would have thought I was pumping radiation into those small, plastic, teddy bear embossed bottles.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Here is a delightful urban legend collected by Snopes.com:

Lait for work

It's the last line that just slays me every time.

Lone Star Ma said...

Welcome, Isabella's Mom! I know what you mean. I have quite a few pumping-at-work stories...quite a few. Once I stopped to talk to some co-workers only to find their eyes glued in fascination to the little baby bottle I was still carrying in my hand. One kind of awkwardly commented that that was "fresh from the source, huh?" or something like that. I said "Yes, it's still warm. Want to feel it?" They declined but you know they were wondering.

Cute urban legend, Alkelda. Thanks for the link. (I could have done w/out the history from snopes that went on to connect the story with urine samples...sigh...)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Yeah... urine and breastmilk have SO much in common. (Okay, so breastmilk turns into urine eventually, but... oh please, I shall stop now.)