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Breastfeeding as a Women's Issue - Pro Choice with a Different Topic


I identify as a feminist for a variety of reasons, but I haven't participated in any feminist groups besides this one.  I am curious about what the various perspectives on breastfeeding are within this group.


I breastfed my two children for a total of about 3 years.  I worked for about half of that three years.  I was in a situation where my work was located very close to my daycare provider, and I could go nurse my babies on my lunch break.  I had to work, as my hubby was on disability, and I also had to take care of my little guy. We could travel easily, as all my supplies for feeding baby were in me, not in my diaper bag.  For someone who isn't a natural organizer by nature, I never had to wonder if I had enough milk packed along.  It was always very important to me to provide the best start for my kids, but I also found it terrifically convenient and practical.  I figured out how to carry and breastfeed my little baby in a sling while doing other things, and I also figured out how to night-time feed by co-sleeping.  My son got most of his nutrition at night when I was sleeping or the next thing to it. It also meant that I had to eat like a horse and lost baby weight at the same time.


I ran into a lot of women who wouldn't consider breastfeeding because it made them feel like a cow.  It took too much time and it prevented the Dad from being able to do it.  I always took the approach that I am a mammal and breastfeeding was a skill I intended to master. It made it an easier choice for me, and I had more support than some since I had a Mom who bucked the trend and breastfed all of her children.  It has been considered 'low class' for decades.  Only poor, ignorant, or immigrant women would do it.  There is still a big taboo around it and I know a lot of women who breastfeed but are confined to their homes for feeding times because of the taboo around it. They start bottle feeding so that they don't feel so stuck in their homes.  Public breastfeeding is something that I support wholeheartedly. It's just something that after a while people get used to.  Usually it's the women who are freaked that their husbands will be tempted to look at boob who object most strongly.  And this in a culture that's saturated with images of boobs. 

So when boobs are doing some job besides making men drool, why is that taboo?  And where are the non-lactating women who will support other women in feeding their children where and when they need fed?



On a totally different tack Fatwa on Breastfeeding Co-Workers

An islamic cleric has suggested that if women want to be out of their homes more or join the workforce, that they should breastfeed their male associates or co-workers so that they can't have sex with them.  I find this profoundly disgusting and counter-intuitive.  As if exposing my breasts to a man and letting him suck on them would make him in any way less likely to seduce or rape me. 


Any thoughts?

Tags: breastfeeding, feminism, taboo

Views: 207

Replies to This Discussion

I'll never understand the disconnect.  We're saturated with women's breasts in daily life through skimpy attire and the media.  Meanwhile people have the vapors if they see a woman breastfeeding an infant because it's somehow "indecent".    I'm childfree and I fully support the right of mothers to breastfeed their babies whenever and wherever they need to.
Interesting point, as well.  As long as the nipple is covered up, you can have your breast pretty much completely exposed ... unless it's a baby that's hiding the nipple.  I'm confused.


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