Friday, July 28, 2006

PC Bollocks, call the breast police!


I am not the most PC person in the whole world, I'm fond of calling something bullshit if I think it is bullshit. The following is bullshit of the stinkiest order. Please look at today's photo.


"I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine," one person wrote. "I immediately turned the magazine face down," wrote another. "Gross," said a third.

These readers weren't complaining about a sexually explicit cover, but rather one of a baby nursing, on a wholesome parenting magazine — yet another sign that Americans are squeamish over the sight of a nursing breast, even as breast-feeding itself gains greater support from the government and medical community.

Babytalk is a free magazine whose readership is overwhelmingly mothers of babies. Yet in a poll of more than 4,000 readers, a quarter of responses to the cover were negative, calling the photo — a baby and part of a woman's breast, in profile — inappropriate.ne mother who didn't like the cover explains she was concerned about her 13-year-old son seeing it.

"I shredded it," said Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas, in a telephone interview. "A breast is a breast — it's a sexual thing. He didn't need to see that."

It's the same reason that Ash, 41, who nursed all three of her children, is cautious about breast-feeding in public — a subject of enormous debate among women, which has even spawned a new term: "lactivists," meaning those who advocate for a woman's right to nurse wherever she needs to.

"I'm totally supportive of it — I just don't like the flashing," she says. "I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

Another mother, Kelly Wheatley, wrote Babytalk to applaud the cover, precisely because, she says, it helps educate people that breasts are more than sex objects. And yet Wheatley, 40, who's still nursing her 3-year-old daughter, rarely breast-feeds in public, partly because it's more comfortable in the car, and partly because her husband is uncomfortable with other men seeing her breast.

"Men are very visual," says Wheatley, 40, of Amarillo, Texas. "When they see a woman's breast, they see a breast — regardless of what it's being used for."

Babytalk editor Susan Kane says the mixed response to the cover clearly echoes the larger debate over breast-feeding in public. "There's a huge Puritanical streak in Americans," she says, "and there's a squeamishness about seeing a body part — even part of a body part."

Puritanical? Puritanical? This kind of bullshit makes me weak at the knees it really does. Look at that baby's little face. For Christ sake it's a BREAST FEEDING MAGAZINE!
If I was a breatfeeding mother and some one told me I was being offensive by feeding-in a most natural way- my child, I would yank my boob out and jet spray that preson straight in the chops.

45 Comments:

Blogger beezer said...

I am sooo with you on this one FMC. I can't understand people's attitudes to this topic at all. I have had rows with so many other women on this very topic who think that breast feeding a baby in public amounts to sexually flaunting themselves in an underhand way!!! Jesus wept. Funnily it is a topic that men (of my acquaintance anyway) keep very quiet about. Honestly, women are each other's biggest enemy these days.

11:35 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

It's ridiculous, that's what it is.
The woman who said she doesn't want her son to see it makes me laugh. You know lady, if he did see it and you said, 'yes son it's perfectly natural for a woman to breast feed her child, have a good look, isn't that beautiful?' he might not grow up going 'ah-hur' everytime he sees a breast.
Oh, and welcome aboard beezer.

11:43 a.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Although I remember seeing a programme about this ex-ITV newsreader who was still breastfeeding her 5 year old son.

"Bitty?"

11:43 a.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

You know lady, if he did see it and you said, 'yes son it's perfectly natural for a woman to breast feed her child, have a good look, isn't that beautiful?' he might not grow up going 'ah-hur' everytime he sees a breast.

Nah, that'd never happen. Unless he was a benny.

11:44 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Right, but why make it into something that needs to be hidden? What is so offensive about a woman's breast? Janet Jackson's breast on display at the super bowl, okay, I understand that might have caused offense, but a mother quietly sitting somewhere feeding her child...
What the hell is wrong with people? Do they just wander around waiting to be offended?

11:48 a.m.  
Blogger beezer said...

Morons, the lot of them...if there was a famine they would change their feckin minds quick enough!
Thanks for the welcome FMC!

12:03 p.m.  
Blogger SheBah said...

To me the sight of a mother breastfeeding her child is a beautiful image. However, I have had many uncomfortable moments seeing women do it in public places. Once in an airport lounge a woman opposite me started breastfeeding, only for two men seated behind me to move closer to get a better look. She carried on regardless, no doubt she wanted to make a point, while they made whispered lewd comments (within my hearing) and enjoyed the spectacle, I do feel the interaction between mother and baby during breastfeeding is an important, private, bonding moment for both, and she should find a quiet corner with no “viewers”! Unfortunately in the West, breasts are irrevocably linked with sexuality, and where even the lustiest male could walk through an African village of breast feeding mothers and accept the complete naturalness, the same reaction would not apply in Bond Street, O’Connell Street, or 5th Avenue. I do think magazines can play a good role in trying to educate the next generation, but alas, for the current one, all is lost! As a woman, I have to confess that I also find it distasteful seeing a woman breastfeed an older child with teeth, who could use a knife, fork and spoon.

12:19 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Right, if your child can chew steak chances are he/she doesn't need breast milk to sustain it.
That's very vile, those two men making lewd comments about a mother nursing her child. I would have said something to them about it.
You know, the hang up about breasts is a strange one. On the beaches in Spain it's quite natural to see topless women, of all ages sauntering about and nobody bats and eye at them. There are countless nautural beaches where fok of all ages and walks of life strip off and swim and eat and chat. But if you were to whip off a top say while laying about in Brittas or Dollymount you can be sure someone's going to comment.
Breast feed a baby in France and people divert their eyes in respect, but in Dublin and obviously Texas, folk start tittering and getting their dander up.
I'll say it again, a mother breast feeding her child is a thing of beauty, and one of the last places it should offend is on the cover of a magazine aimed at mothers and babies.

1:02 p.m.  
Anonymous emma kaufmann said...

Too too ridiculous FMC. America is frankly bonkers. Until recently it was illegal to breastfeed in Baltimore. I think it's been overturned now, but, my God!! Since this is one of the more liberal states I wonder how bad it is in the right wing ones.

1:17 p.m.  
Anonymous emma kaufmann said...

I meant breastfeed in public in Baltimore...

1:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Illegal to breastfeed in public Balitmore? Illegal? And if you were somewhere and your baby was screaming and starving and you had no option but to feed what would they do? Throw you in jail? Give you a fine? Boggling, I'm boggling again, second time this week.

1:37 p.m.  
Blogger Boliath said...

Looks like (from the previous comments) I'm the only one who has actually been there done that in this case.
I breastfed my child in public many times, in airports, on planes, in malls, in Dublin, even in Mayo god help us. I did get some looks and the occasional disapproving comment, but hey if you want to hear a screaming hungry baby sure I'll wait to find a more appropriate spot...my arse!
The simple fact is, in my opinion which probably doesn't make it a fact but I digress, a hungry child needs feeding, a breastfeeding mother feeds with her breasts, if you find something sexual in it there's something a bit off with you. I found most places to be fine with it, it was suggested, by the people at the next table in a restaurant one time, that I should go to the bathroom to feed the baby, to which I replied, sure would you like to join me and eat your lunch in there too?
An experienced breast feeder does not bare all to the world, sure in the first few weeks when you don't know which end is up and everything hurts it's all hands and pillows and nipples and screaming babies with suction so powerful it makes you wince or cry (I'll spare you the details) but after a while you get the hang of it and apart from a bit of belly where you've pulled your shirt up and the baby isn't covering it no flesh is to be seen. I've always thought women with the big blankets covering themselves and the child to hide what they are doing make themselves more conspicuous.
Breastfeeding childer who are toilet trained does lead me into the bitty territory but I prefer not to judge.
The quiet bonding of breastfeeding lasts oh about 1 second, it might be a little like that in the middle of the night or just before bed or something but generally it's just something you do, as fast as possible, hungry children have no patience.
Calling it nursing is like calling a toilet a bathroom in my opinion, it's a north american way of avoiding saying breast, ooh nursing is so much nicer, nursing was a profession last time I looked, attaching a wiggly infant to your nipple was feeding with your breast - breastfeeding.
Anyway sorry for the rant, I wish more women would choose to breastfeed, I wish there was more support for it, my Ma kept asking me in a very worried tone, but how do you know how much he's getting, or demanding that I give him a bottle because that child is hungry. Not really what you want or need when you're trying to cope with it all yourself and I know I'm not alone in that regard. Our Mammies seem t have been brainwashed by the Catholic church - no breasts anywhere except for husband and even then in eth dark, but by all means continue to have children every year because not breastfeeding will ensure that your fertility will resume quickly, if you were to breastfeed nature would space your children out and we wouldn't want that oh no no no - and by society in general, formula companies wanting the dosh, and "them" you know "they" who decide what is right and what isn't, seems they decided that it was uncivilised to breastfeed. "They" are over in Africa now working on the women there who mix the formula with filthy water and kill their babies, nice one "them" c'mere till I knock your bollix in will ya?
One last point - the breastfeeding nazis need a quick mention, breastfeeding is not easy at first, it's damn hard, some babies don't latch or suck well, some women get infections or their milk is delayed or something there are millions of reasons breastfeeding doesn't work out for a lot of women, it's true I think that if there was more education, more support more women would be successful at it but still some women don't manage to do it. In the old days back in the cave, one of the other women would have helped out - no bother, now you can buy formula, ease off on these women people, for a women who wants to breastfeed, not being able to can be devastating, the last thing they need to be tut tutted at by some freak in tie dye with 15 year old twins at her swaying bosom - mmkay?

2:52 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

My eldest sister breast fed her first two children and endured cracked nipples, mastitis, blisters and all manner of things, but eventually she and the babies got the wong of it. And she can tell some horro stories about what people said, including one old bitch in a bridal shop(where she was with a friend who getting fitted) who actually tutted and said 'this is not the place for that sort of thing.' THAT SORT OF THING! MY sister said 'fuck off.' (she si a cat family member after all) But she was very upsetby it.
Oh, sorry about the nursing thing, it is an actual correct-if old fashioned term. Sorry it made steam come out of your ears, but that's good coz ranting makes me laugh.

3:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

For wong-read swing, sometimes I get distracted and odd words get typed.

3:16 p.m.  
Blogger SheBah said...

FMC - you have certainly hit a nerve or two with this topic! I enjoyed Boliath's rant, but can't help taking issue with one comment she made
" a breastfeeding mother feeds with her breasts, if you find something sexual in it there's something a bit off with you."

I'm sorry, Boliath, but boys/men are bombarded with the breast in every shape and form as a sexual image - in magazines, page 3 etc. etc. and just because there's a baby on it doesn't change things. They even get turned on by silicone ones for Gawds sake. So I don't thinks there is anything off about a guy finding a sexual element. I asked around among my male colleagues, and a couple rather shamefacedly admitted that they had wished to change places with the baby! One said he would be severely pissed off at anyone ogling his wife breastfeeding, but admitted he ogled his mate's wife. I think we have to accept that breastfeeding very overtly in public is not to everyone's taste. I might be put of my spaghetti bol. if there was a large blue veined breast on show at an adjacent restaurant table - but I reserve the right to change my mind if/when I come to doing it myself!

4:37 p.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

My wife breastfed all our 3 kids until they were a year old, (the benefits to the kid wear of after about 6 - 9months, but there is a huge inverse correlation between the amount of time a women breastfeeds, and her likelyhood of getting breast cancer). Now, we live in hippy dippy San Francisco, where you could probably walk naked down the street and not get a second glance, but we found Ireland to be much more backward in terms of attitudes to breastfeeding that our here. It has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the Western World. On several occasions friends and relatives inquired as to why my wife breastfed. One more than one occasion it was suggested that breastfeeding was "pushed on you" in the US. The only argument that made sense to them, was that she was burning off 500 -100 0 extra calories a day and was losing the baby weight really fast! My cousin, who was pregnant and horrified at the thought of breastfeeding perked up when she heard that, ( the health issues meant nothing to her), and breastfed her baby when he arrived!

5:45 p.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

by the way boliath was totally right - its pretty hard to actually see a boob with a baby attached, AND engorged boobs dripping with milk ain't at all sexy! Also re public places, who wants to hear a hungry baby scream, not to mention as any women who as done this will tell you, engorged boobs are very painful, ma nature thought this one out.

5:48 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

A repressed person doesn't want to look at boobs in any context. A prude doesn't want anybody else to want to look at boobs in any context.

As a profoundly repressed person, I don't want to look at it, but I don't go over the line into prudery. I can look away. If you don't like it, you can look away too. Or don't buy the fucking magazine!

I think I'll just adopt one that's old enough to open his own beer.

8:42 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

...which is just my way of saying that I agree with you, FMC. It's a boob, big deal.

Remember Rick on the YOung Ones?

"They're called brrrrreasts and everybody's got them."

8:44 p.m.  
Blogger Springfield said...

breastfeeding your baby in public is fine, i agree...

but there is one time i have a problem with it... when it occurs in a bar. i shit you not, the lovely state of wisconsin (i'm a transplant from boston) allows not only babies, but small children in bars. and when i'm pushing out drinks, the last thing the bar needs is a mother breastfeeding her child.

it gives a whole new meaning to 'on tap'.

8:45 p.m.  
Anonymous ainelivia said...

Talking of calling a breast a breast and a toilet a toilet. It's called sexual repression, and with the help of many religions it's been around for a long time. The cause of lots of nasties sexual repression is, including war; wonder if there is a connection there, USA, religion, sexual repression and somebody starting a war about two weeks ago....

1:03 a.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

I agree with you completely on this subject FMC.
What is wrong with these people?
I think people who get "offended" by a breastfeeding mother must be even more sick in their heads than I am.
For f*ck's sake.

I bet these people are the same people who get put into jail for sex offences.
In my experience people - in general - that are very passionately opposing an issue of this kind (i.e be it in any way even VAGUELY sexually controversial), are so upset only because they get sick thoughts into own their heads.
Ah.
But even so - so what?
Doesn't everybody from time to time get sick, stomach-churning thoughts into their heads?
I certainly do! A natural thing. So?
Why get upset?
And why oh why give a big speech?
I'm suspiscious of prude people. Same as I am of religious people.
Hypo-f*cking-critical people.
Alright, so I won't get started.
Sorry, I'm a cynic.

People are sick and ignorant f*ckers.

F*CK OFF to all of them!!!

2:46 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Ooookkkaayyy then, so breastfeeding, we can all agree, is a good thing. and People who think otherwise should shut their yaps and get over it.
Hi Eva welcome.

6:01 p.m.  
Blogger Sassy Sistah said...

A day late and a dollar short, as they say - but wanted to cheer you on FMC - and totally agree with you.

I breastfed my babies 20+ years ago and I've never regretted it. It was a wonderful thing for me and for the babies.

Funny, maybe because I live in a more rural area of North Carolina, or maybe times were just different then, but I didn't get the nasty comments or the stares of disapproval. It all seemed quite natural to me. Or if there was any of that negativity, I was too stupid at the time to notice it. That's quite possible too, I suppose.

I didn't really give a flying fig what anybody thought when it came to the way I rasied my boys. I always tried to be discreet when breastfeeding in public but if the baby was hungry, the baby got fed. There was nothing sexual about it.

8:38 p.m.  
Blogger grimsaburger said...

I'm far more than a day late (and far more than a dollar short) but this topic struck me particularly because a few weeks ago I was reading an interesting take on the shock and horror of the naked breast in the context of public nursing in the States (I myself like to call it boob-feeding). When you really get to the heart of the matter, it's a problem of definition of function. My girls are included in that part of my body having to do with sex, and they serve that function by helping to attract a mate and eventually reproduce. But once you have a baby who needs to eat, they're no longer there merely to attract a mate--they're there to solve the problem of a hungry baby. The boob no longer belongs to the opposite sex, it belongs to the baby. I can't help but to think it's a matter of getting all het up (add that to your southern American vocab list) about a woman being so bold as to display that part of her body that's no longer available to men. I can't help but to think it's about trying to maintain control of some part of a woman's body (hence shebah's comment above about a husband saying 'don't look at MY wife, but I'm still going to look at yours.') And the women who get more pissed off than men are, indeed, their own worst enemies by buying into the breasts-are-only-for-those-
special-nighttime-moments lie. Or maybe I've been thinking too many deep thoughts lately.

1:44 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Well said ducky, and no you haven't.

9:57 p.m.  
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