Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mammary Meditations.

Not what you might think. Not a post about cup size or such things.

It is time that I add a new declaration to my blog: I believe firmly in a Woman's right to breastfeed Her child wherever She darn well pleases. I believe that exiling Her to a germy bathroom for that purpose is stupid, hypocritical, prudish and inexcusable. Time for us to all grow up!

I shake my head whenever I walk past the oversize Victoria's Secret posters in the mall with silicone-enhanced models leaving almost nothing to the imagination, and then consider that a Woman exposing that same amount of flesh nearby to feed Her child, would probably get a chiding by security, if not banishment.

This is one Western custom that needs to just die.

I remember a line from a book I read about Star Trek a long time ago (my parents were Trekkies) -- how the show's costumers wrestled with how much breast to show on the actresses. The producers said they could go low, low, low -- just no nipples and no underside of the breast.

"Maybe they were afraid moss grows there," the author mused.

Yes, I know the West has a breast fetish. I'm as much a guy as anyone else and a pretty set turns me on. I don't need to apologize for that. But I recognize that the mammary glands have a more important purpose which has nothing to do with me.

Feet turn some guys on, a whole lot of guys. Should we ban open-toed sandals? Forbid Women to walk?

Finally, the word, at least in English, is breast. Not boobs or worse. All parts of a Woman's body deserve to be spoken of with respect, not with playground grossness.


Dawn said...

So if I say "Ouch! Tweak you just bit my left one!" while playing tug with an exuberant Border Collie puppy, is that bad? :p

eastcoastdweller said...

I think You're okay there Dawn, since indication of location doesn't convey respect or lack of it. (o:

...Kat said...

I was listening to NPR the other day driving into work...I cannot find any trace of the item on their website right now... the story was of a famous Iranian Diva...most known for her lullabies.... she lost her sight at the age of 27 in an auto accident (shards from windshield destroyed the retinas- no safety glass laws) and went on from that to develop her singing talents....

in the piece it states how she goes abroad to make recordings as it is forbidden in her country for a woman to sing....

such would arouse men to lustful thoughts and so it is banned.....

...Kat said...


Women in modern day Iran are not allowed to sing in front of men. That's been the case ever since the 1979 Iranian revolution and the imposition of an Islamic legal code. But one Iranian diva has found a way around the prohibition. Will Everett has her story.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Yes. Excellent post. You're so right.

It's just another way to discriminate against women, and as you so ably pointed out, it's nonsensical.

Rebecca said...

I am a mother. I nursed my son. How absurd that the very function a breast is meant to serve causes such a ruckus. Breasts are not profane. They are not obscene. They are a means to feed our young, like every other mammal. That humans have so perverted it is beyond the pale.

That said, they are beautiful.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Righteous rant. Indeed, it is ridiculous that we show so much skin on even MTV and allow kids to watch people's head's blown off but feel the need to protect them from seeing breast feeding.

What we are effectively saying is lust and violence is okay but family values is offensive. How dumb.

In Malaysia, you can see some outrageous behavior on the screen but you can't show mouth to mouth kissing. Of course, there was a time when they tried to stop any public show of affection.......including holding hands.

Okay. I digress. You are right. Mom's should have the right to feed their babies anywhere.

eastcoastdweller said...

Kat: Exactly! People want to abridge the rights of others because of their own inabilities to control themselves.

If I hate the sound of clarinets playing, I don't have the right to go into Symphony Hall and beat up the woodwind section.

It's not just Women that are affected like Diva, by the way. Extreme fundamental Islam bans all music. Even the once-famous American singer Cat Stevens (and he has a wonderful voice!) shelved his career when he converted.

Susan, Rebecca, LGS: Thank you all for your comments. There's a clear consensus among sensible people on this issue -- maybe there's some actual organization somewhere to which I can lend my support.

A mother doesn't have to post a flashing sign, "Look, I'm breast-feeding!" -- doesn't have to be in-your-face about it, in other words. Who would?

She can cover Her breast with a cloth if it makes HER feel more comfortable.

The rest of us need to keep going about our business, not panic if a bit of breast flesh crosses our retinas -- and certainly, certainly, certainly,not get all huffy when we realize that feeding is going on in public. Do we eat OUR lunches in the bathroom?

Molly said...

.....only in China!

Am in total agreement. When my children were born mainstream medicine was opposed to nursing babies the way nature intended. They preferred stuff from a can. Which would allow them to be in control. Pressure was applied to dissuade anyone with such "hippie" tendencies. I wasn't a hippie but I wanted what was best for my children, so stuck to my guns, in spite of tut-tuting disapproval. LGS hit the nail on the head. Whose agenda is it to discourage family values?

leslie said...

Back in the 70's, I WAS one of those hippie breastfeeding Moms, and it was too darned easy to feed a baby without all the "warming up to the right temperature" and wondering "what's in the formula that he will be alergic to?", business. It was PEOPLE that gave me trouble.
From the moment my baby was born, I had to fight for my right to feed him in the hospital.
I was ridiculed, fought with, told I was starving my child.
People reacted with disgust, derision, and open hostility. I was told to go to the bathrooms, outside, anywhere but within sight of anyone.
Recently, my young friend was in her car, in a mall parking lot, feeding her girl, and the mall security told her she was "indecently exposed", and she was given a citation! She fought it and won, but good grief...where are our priorities in this society?
Thanks for the rant space. I guess I have been angry about that for about 30+ years :)

eastcoastdweller said...

Molly: Good for You!

Leslie: Your account is welcome, because it proves that this is a real issue, with real victims.

Sitting on a bench in the middle of the mall might be one thing -- although I still say what business is it of mine or anyone else's to complain --

but to be harassed about breastfeeding while sitting in your own car?

How irritating and senseless. I'd almost go so far as -- yes, in fact I would call that genuine sexual harassment.