Women are extremely sexualized all throughout our culture: television, advertising, restaurants, video games, etc. Take Hooters for an example, or how difficult it is to miss the gigantic posters of women wearing lingerie when walking down the hallway of a shopping mall. Despite the massive bombardment of sexualized women and girls we encounter on a daily basis, how is public breastfeeding considered a controversy?
Breastfeeding an infant who requires the nutrients of his/her mother’s milk, whilst remaining mostly covered-up and not revealing nipples is considered public indecency in the eyes of many. Have people forgotten that the actual purpose of breasts is feeding babies and not entertainment for men?
This article’s point of view is that the complete sexualization of women in girls is the reason why many Americans are uncomfortable with public breastfeeding. “…When a woman breastfeeds, we are forced to see the reality of her body… Breastfeeding women are real women – lingerie models are fantasies. And as a culture, we still have a less than healthy relationship with the sexuality of real women.”
Many of the people who claim that breastfeeding is indecent say women should do so in bathrooms. In this case, in which a woman was kicked out of a store for breastfeeding, the mother said “What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to go to the bathroom? I mean, do you eat where you go to the bathroom? I wouldn’t make my baby do that.” I don’t think that statement could be any more reasonable.
To those who think breastfeeding is disgusting or inappropriate (especially those who enjoy/don’t mind/ignore the sexualization of females in American culture), be aware that it is natural. What’s there to be disgusted about? Witnessing a woman breastfeeding her child has no effect on your life.