I am a married male and I feel nothing awkward about breastfeeding in public.
I was conducting a social experiment. My assignment was – asking new mothers about their ideas on breastfeeding in public. I boarded the train. It was not so packed. From the next stop, I had a co-passenger; a mother with her infant. Before I could ask her any of my questions, she loosened her blouse and started to feed her baby.
Honestly; in the beginning, I felt little awkward. I got a baby too and I always vote against public breastfeeding. But, that lady gave me a smile and her baby looked at me like she knows me.
Suddenly, I noticed a strange kind of uneasiness on that lady’s face. Believe me, for the first time, I saw pigs traveling in the train and staring at her half-opened blouse.
She was scrubbing her ears, stealing her eyes and doing everything that she can, to make them understand about her nervousness, but these so-called lady protectors were watching at her like she is going to show some sort of magic.
And, I was thinking, “for God’s sake, your mothers fed you the same way. Stop staring.”
Before I could ask her anything, she gave a booklet of questions to solve. “Am I offending them? Am I doing some kind of indecency? Am I doing some kind of ostentatious demonstration of my breasts? What do I do?
Am I supposed to leave my kid hungry or should I not give a damn to these ugly pieces of trash?” She further asked me, “you are male too, would you help me understand the thing?”
How could I explain to her? Before getting married, when I see a mother breastfeeding in public, I always preferred to look elsewhere because I feel a certain uneasiness that makes me do everything I can, to not to make that mother any sort of discomfort.
After her baby was done, she tightened up her blouse. She was now talking to me. “We live in a society that censors breast image if it is not somehow directly related to sex! So, we always represented breasts as a sexual object, be it mothers’ breasts.”
How can someone think of sex, when they see a child eating. I think, if you see something objectionable in feeding a child, you should immediately visit the office of a therapist – the problem is only in their head.
For the first time, everything she said about breastfeeding in public was making perfect sense to me. I asked her, why don’t you use something to cover it. “Blankets are going to attract more attention. And, why do I need a cover? Why don’t these dirty pigs can buy an eye mask.”
Okay! But, how about using a bottle? She replied, “if breastfeeding is objectionable, then the bottle is a dildo.” The bottle is imitation / replacement of a breast. In fact, the breast is a traditional bottle.
Just like the breast, a bottle is a container for milk, which has a nipple to suck. The only difference is – it’s not sticking to the mother and is probably Made in China.
You can refuse to breastfeed in public for the sake of strangers, but you are fine exposing your baby to a container filled with bacteria, diarrhea, and many more health hazards. Are you serious? Pity on you. No offense, but I would rather say, shame on you.
When is it about breastfeeding, why mothers’ and kids have to face a certain kind of public disapproval? The mother is treated / regarded as a woman of loose morals. Why do you start treating us as a woman of loose morals? How come you don’t see a crying kid and only our breasts?
Observing the emotion between a mother and his child during breastfeeding is hard for those people, who might have observed her mother and sister the same way. For those, breastfeeding is a matter of endowment. She was talking like a public prosecutor.
She continued. Women in Britain and Australia are encouraged to breastfeed their own children publicly, protected by legislative act campaigning against sexual discrimination. I think we need such legal barriers in our country too.
There were days when ankle’s glimpse was almost a crime. Females were not allowed to wear trousers. But, nowadays, we can see even 50-80 years’ old women are wearing pants or skirts to the knees. I hope with the passage of time, more and more people will be accustomed to breastfeeding.
Any mother should be able to breastfeed whenever and wherever. I feel sorry for those ladies, who feel shy while doing this in public. This is your right and you must not enter into inadequate spaces (toilets of restaurants), or cover the child with clothing to make breastfeeding possible.
In between, the train driver made an announcement and she collected her things. “I can go on and on about this, but I think, there is no use of teaching a pig how to sing. It is not only going to annoy the pig but also going to waste my time.” Finally, there was a period (full-stop).
She changed my opinion about breastfeeding in the public. I was little embarrassed too because until today, I was against breastfeeding in public. I actually risked my daughter’s health by exposing her to the bottle-milk. But, now I am in favor or breastfeeding in public.
Thank you lady!
All you guys with lousy mentality out there; get a life. Stop giving dirty looks to the mothers feeding their infants because one day your wife, sister or daughter is going to face the same discomfort.