Many people still fail to understand breastfeeding. They are not all grandiose males like Donald Trump, who “lost it” at an attorney who wanted to take a pre-scheduled and agreed-upon lunch break to pump her baby’s food in a private office, unwatched by anyone.
Some people who fail to understand are corporate employees, like those at a Walmart who refused to print photos showing a baby at the breast (Walmart rejects photos involving “sexual content”; it walked back from its stance and apologized to the baby’s mother, acknowledging that breastfeeding is not sexual).
Some of those who live in ignorance are even female (presumably those who fed their babies formula, or who are childfree); according to one survey, these women are apt to toss dirty looks or snide comments at those who are feeding their babies from the breast.
That we should still, in the United States, be at such woeful levels of ignorance, willing to let babies obtain less than their mothers are willing to give – in 2015! – is simply astounding.
Look, I get it, you’re all for breastfeeding . . . until it impinges on your consciousness. Until someone does it near you. Until you feel embarrassed (why?) and turn your head.
Until, that is, you see breasts being used for their designed purpose.
However you think the animal world developed (nature; one god; multiple gods; “seeding” from an alien planet; fill-in-your-theory-here), the fact is that mammary glands developed to feed mammalian babies and small offspring. That is their FUNCTION.
Now, you may find breasts attractive, especially if you are male or lesbian. That is RESPONSE, which may be sexual.
You may think breasts should never be displayed without a bra or bikini top, however skimpy it is. Or you may believe that unbound breasts belong only on glossy pages or in the pixels of online porn. That is FASHION.
When women breastfeed their babies and small children, their breasts are fulfilling the function for which they were designed. They are making no attempt to be sexual (especially if the baby has begun to bite – nothing sexual about that – or if the mother is battling infection, ditto on the lack of sexiness). If watchers who do not turn their eyes elsewhere respond in a sexual manner (not all males or lesbians do), their response is on them.
Some people believe that human breasts can be displayed for fashion (on the beach, for modeling, in low-cut dresses – Donald Trump seems to be onboard with his wife Melania’s lavish display of frontage here and here and here) but not for function.
Imagine someone insisting that your teeth are fine in a smile, but should not be used for chewing or biting, at least not within plain sight.
“I like to see your teeth, they’re beautiful, you have a gorgeous smile, but when they’re mixed up with food? With eating? God, no! Don’t show me functioning teeth!”
So is disparaging breastfeeding that’s going on near you. If you have a negative response, look away – there’s tons to see elsewhere. You’re envious, or jealous? Deal with it internally. You think the breast should be more covered, even though babies often wrench covers off because they feel hot and stifled? Look away and chill. If that woman were not breastfeeding, but instead were wearing a low-cut shirt, would you have the same reaction? You might – but that would be an objection to fashion.
Objecting to function will never make sense. Try using your teeth for smiling – only smiling – for an entire day, 24 hours. No biting, no chewing, nothing that will gain you nourishment.
Teeth are made for more than smiling. They have a function.
Breasts are made for more than pretty. Their function is to feed small humans the milk that nature intended, that is made specifically for that child’s needs. There is so much right in that, that to object to it seems irrational.