Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for another edition of He Said, She Said. This occasional Georgia Mae feature allows our resident man blogger and I to discuss different, though not necessarily opposing, thoughts on different issues. This time around, though, our our opinions are at odds. Read on to find out what we both think about breast feeding in public.
In the three-plus years of my marriage, I’ve learned to make compromises. For example, when the wifey and I ride around town together, I’m often subjected to listening to the whiny Christian rock songs she likes. Some of ’em sound like T-Pain WITHOUT using a vocoder.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Lord’s music, but some of those nasally singers make a brother want to lose his religion. But the music inspires the wifey, so I endure it.
That’s what makes me a good husband, you see.
However, one issue that we have yet to find a middle ground on is breast feeding. She’s made it clear that if we ever have a little Edd Jr or Edwina that she’ll whip out her mammaries in public if the little one is ready to get his or her grub on.
Listen, I’m not against breast feeding. Nor am I a knuckle-dragging cretin who wants to keep his woman in the kitchen (we’re in a recession – I’m more than happy for her to get a check). But some things need to be kept at home. I don’t see breast feeding as a disgusting act, but I do not want some weirdo leering at my woman while she bares her goodies.
For those of you saying “no one would do that,” trust me. There are some sickos out there. I should know, I’m friends with at least four of ’em.
If Lil’ Edmond is hungry while he’s in Wal-Mart, hook that dude up with a bottle. That’s what they’re made for. There is no need for him to be nibbling on nipples in a department store.
Breast feeding is a beautiful, intimate act between mother and child, and the sanctity of that act should remain private and not be on display for the world to see.
It’s so hard for me to debate the issue of breast feeding in public because I can’t even wrap my brain around why people are so weird about it when, to me, it’s such a natural act.
Edd, I know you’re probably picturing me stripping from the waist up in the middle of Target to feed our little one (who will not be named Edwina, by the way), but there are ways to breast feed in public without exposing the girls. Some women practice indiscreet public nursing as a way to push the public into accepting it, but others believe the best way to promote change is to quietly nurse everywhere you go so people will realize just how natural it is and stop treating it as some obscene act. You’ll be happy to know I fall in the latter category.
If doctors are telling women that it’s best to breast feed exclusively for the first six months, but society is calling them lewd for nursing in public we’re almost leaving new mothers housebound.
Breast feeding is at the center of much debate right now as some women are beginning to question just how beneficial it is and are pointing out some of the problems with breast feeding exclusively, such as: it cuts men out of the feeding process (which reinforces the sexist notion that caring for the baby is the woman’s job), it makes it difficult for women to return to work (unless they opt to use a breast pump throughout the work day, something that’s nearly impossible for some women working blue collar jobs), and some folks who are pro-breast feeding have a tendency to look down on women who choose not to breast feed as bad mothers. And that’s just lame and unfair.
Nonetheless, just as women should be able to freely decide not to breast feed, we should also be able to freely breast feed without stigma.
I have yet to decide if I’ll breast feed exclusively because, well, I have yet to decide if I want to give birth to a little rugrat in the first place. But if Baby Jae gets hungry while we’re dining at Applebee’s I have no qualms about pulling out a bosom buddy for her. Whether it makes people uncomfortable or not, I have a legal right to do so and that’s the bottom line.
Now it’s your turn. What do you think about breast feeding and nursing in public?