I generally stay away from controversy on here, because I really don’t like confrontation. But, I think I might have to break my rule today.
Joe, the kids, and I went out to eat on Saturday evening. While we were waiting for our food, I casually checked Facebook on my cell phone and saw a post from some group about how there is controversy surrounding Beyonce breastfeeding in a restaurant. I think the title was “Beyonce Caught Breastfeeding in Public”. Caught. Like she was doing something wrong. The irony of the situation? This is what I was doing when I read it:
I quickly handed Joe my phone and said, “Please take a picture, I’ll be blogging about this.”
Later that night, I got on the computer and read a few articles about it - and made the mistake of reading the comments at the end of one of them…
That is a pretty good representation of the opinions I’ve seen. When I read the comments similar to that of the second one, it made me so sad and angry… and I even started to question my own actions. Had I done anything to make anyone uncomfortable? Was I oblivious to people around me giving me mean looks for feeding my baby? How many people feel this way? Should I even CARE what these people think? If I waited to leave the house in between feedings, I would never leave, and if I hid in a bathroom every time Jace was hungry when we were out of the house, I might as well pay rent for a stall.
I can somewhat understand why people have conflicting opinions about this. Joe is a plumber, and goes in countless houses every day. He has told me that on more than one occasion, he was discussing something with a customer, and she started breastfeeding mid-sentence. My first reaction is that of a wife. “You mean some woman showed you her boob?!” But then the mother in me, and common sense, quickly took over. “Well I’m sure her baby was hungry. I doubt enticing you with her leaky breast was her goal. Breastfeeding! Yea!”
Personally, I always cover up when I’m not at home. I feel more comfortable doing so. I think it’s a natural reaction to feel shocked with you see a breast in a place you wouldn’t normally. But that is where I feel like common sense has to prevail. Breastfeeding is the most natural act in the world. Breasts have been sexualized in our culture, but their true purpose is to feed babies, and I can assure you that showing off our chest is NOT on our mind when we are unhooking our nursing bra. If it’s not okay for women to breastfeed their children in public, how is it okay for the lady at the table across from you in the restaurant to wear a super low-cut shirt with her cleavage hanging out all over the place?
I know I haven’t said anything that hasn’t been said before, but I needed to vent. Breastfeeding Jace has been a wonderful experience that I want every mother to have if she chooses to. If there wasn’t such a stigma attached, and more women in the public eye breastfed openly, maybe more women would. So, GO BEYONCE!
I’ll leave you with what I posted on Facebook after reading this article…
“Wth? I've nurse Jace at the park, walking around Target, Kroger, the furniture store, the mall, just about every other store in Louisville, sitting on the floor of Summer's kindergarten classroom, at our table at restaurants, at my friends' work, at countless relatives houses, at McDonalds while the kids played, I could go on... when a baby is hungry, they're hungry. I don't understand the comments on this article and I don't understand people's bizarre attitudes about the most natural thing on the planet…”