Not long ago my wife and I went out to breakfast at a nice little mom & pop restaurant, a luxury we sometimes afford ourselves. After a nice breakfast, a couple cups of tea, a glass of water and a bit of orange juice nature signals to my wife that it’s time to recycle the liquids – if you get my drift.
My wife returns to the table with her mouth agape because a woman in the next stall was obviously breastfeeding her baby – in the BATHROOM! My wife wasn’t irked because the woman was feeding her baby in there, she was irked because the woman felt forced to feed her baby in there. Seriously folks, without going into the gory details, is there even one of us, if given the choice, would choose to eat in the bathroom? Could we possibly find a dirtier, smellier or more disgusting place for anyone to eat, much less a baby?
As a man, I completely don’t get the American aversion to breastfeeding in public. I was told that I was breast fed and, although I don’t remember it, I’m sure it was a pleasurable experience – at least being on the receiving end of it. Thanks Mom!
I find it strange, and I’m sure you’ll agree, that once we go beyond the breastfeeding issue, America seems to be more than enamored with breasts. And, because guys are shallow and obviously infatuated with breasts, many, some, a few women choose to help us out by giving us a better view of them. Showing off their wares to thankful admirers, who are window shopping, if you will. Think not? Picture 25 thousand women on the beach at Ocean City in August. Are they trying to cover them up? Not in my world.
Further, while I’m sure many men are still wistful of the “ban the bra” era, we still have plenty of scoop and V-neck tops replete with padded push-up bras leading to more cleavage than a butcher shop. Personally, I’m okay with it and not in any way complaining.
Now before you go heaving all kinds of accusations of misogyny on me, hear me out. As Americans, we love boobs! There, I said it. Because we love them, we have all kinds of cute names for them, the twins, the girls, twin peaks, the pointer sisters and it only goes down-hill from there, so let’s just move on.
What exactly is it that we don’t want to see in public? In all cases, save one, of public breastfeeding I’ve ever seen, they went way overboard being discreet, inconveniencing themselves in the process. I applaud them!
We would be hard pressed to name anything more natural than breastfeeding, except the baby-making process – which, by the way, I don’t suggest we do in public. The breast is the first place a baby wants to go after being born and, dare I say, where most men want to go (admit it or not) for the rest of their lives.
In the case of this restaurant, I can’t imagine why anyone should have complained if this mother would have breast fed at her table, or as a temporary gesture of comprise, in a corner table or booth.
In our history there have been many wrongs which were a long time in being righted. However, once righted, we found out that it’s okay to have black people ride the bus, it’s a good thing that women vote, gays in the military haven’t caused the demise of our national security and same sex marriage won’t be the demise of our nation either.
The time has come for us to not only allow, but to encourage, discreet breastfeeding in public. I really don’t think the discreet part will be an issue because of all of the women I know, I can’t think of one that would just pull up her shirt and attach the baby. And, if she did, so what? We’re adults, we don’t tee-hee like kindergartners when someone says “underwear”, and we certainly shouldn’t be offended by something as natural as breast feeding. I’m sorry, but if the sight of a mother breastfeeding a baby offends you – then just don’t look!
My mother-in-law, a nurse, apparently used to tout all of the benefits of a mother’s breast milk, but the best part, according to her was that it came in such cute containers. I couldn’t agree more.