Offense at breastfeeding in public is hypocrisy

by | Oct 3, 2014 | Opinion

alejandrafretesAlejandra Fretes
News Editor

I was shocked to see in a recent TV news segment on public breastfeeding that a majority of people, including Canadian women, were offended by the very thought of any woman baring their breasts to feed their child. Why this is six o’clock news worthy material is beyond me, but what I am also failing to grasp is how we as women are offended at the sight of another woman’s breasts.

After all, these women are using their breasts in the way they were intended — to nurse their babies.

This should hardly be treated as offensive.

At any given moment on any social media outlet, people are posting their favourite music videos, which often include scantily clad women, photos of themselves #suntanning by the pool in their bikinis, or idolizing photographs of some of the most embarrassing women in history.

It’s socially acceptable for people to enjoy the sexual antics of Miley Cyrus, and consider her to somewhat of a role model or feminist leader, yet we ostracize ordinary women for being too revealing. I’ll admit to enjoying ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ on a lazy Sunday, but I find it questionable how our society idolizes women whose principal talent is being sexual on camera. The latest video by Nicki Minaj, for example, has nearly 221 million online views, showing Nicki and several other women hardly wearing any clothing around their below-the-midriff flesh (in case you haven’t seen it).

In such a culture, however, a problem with seeing a mother breastfeed her baby in public seems entirely hypocritical.

There’s a serious problem we’re facing as women who are ‘body-shaming’ each other and I can’t help but to feel sad for my gender. At times this seems to be a lost cause amongst women, as if regardless of what we, as empowered females, do, it will never change the majority’s opinion on appropriate sexuality for us.

As females we often feel threatened by other women who might be more attractive, leaner, taller, have bigger breasts or any of the superficial elements that supposedly make women sexually attractive. But we applaud celebrities for their gender-limiting behavior when it comes to representing women as a whole through conventionally prescribed figures engaged in pelvic thrusting.

As for women who complain about breastfeeding in public, perhaps they’re unaware of the horrible wailing that emerges from a hungry baby.

I remind women we are all in this world together. We are each other’s competition and friends. We are the only ones who truly understand what it is like to be a woman, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

And whether we are looking at new mothers or reality show stars, we should respect all women’s choices.