@Fynns Mommy: Thanks for clearing up the quoting on the entire sentence.. Yes for me and my transformation, exposure to breastfeeding and seeing nipples as functional instead of sexual changed a lot in my thinking and I think Ina May Gaskin does a really good job talking about this and Nipple Phobia in her books.
More than taking a particular stand on this, I really am looking to hear everyone's POV and delve into the why's of that POV. I respect anyone's answer from yes to no, I just want to hear the why behind the answer. I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
@Kerynna: I really appreciate your thoughts as it's inspired a lot of discussion over here.
The comment about all nipples looking pretty much the same regardless of gender actually came from a lactivist blog I read the other day and I've seen that thinking broadcast in a number of places since. I think the sentiment of it is more like saying everyone's fingerprints look the same. Everyone's fingerprints have their own beautiful uniqueness. After all we use them as a means of identifying people. You could even insert snowflakes or apples in here as other examples away from the human body. In all cases however, we don't look at a particular group of features of one of those and say they are so different as needing to be called something different. I think the point of the idea was the same goes for a nipple regardless of it's gender. Though, I'd really rather leave this discussion as being a tangent that I don't want hijacking this thread.
My larger point in how I attempted to frame this discussion is to really focus on the functional aspect of a woman's breast in feeding a baby and how that knowledge may or may not shape your own perspectives on breasts and how that relates to how you choose to feed your baby.
The thing I'd like to understand better from your comments is what makes the nipple the intimate part which should be respected or even regarded as sacred? Is it simply that our society decided it to be that way and we all need to follow that? Is it because of the nipple's function in nourishing a baby? Is it because sexual stimulation can occur there and thus we'd call it sexual?
In thinking that nipples are an intimate part and should be respected, I wonder what point is it no longer appropriate for a child to see his mother's nipples, despite having drank his nourishment from them since birth? How about other people's breastfeeding kids? Why is it ok in most circles of our culture for fellow women to see other's breasts/nipples but not for grown men? In thinking nipples are an intimate part why can other women see them? If they are intimate, wouldn't that preclude anyone except your husband/boyfriend/significant other from seeing them?
I'm also wondering about your perspective on the "mounds of flesh" given that it seems most people who objectify breasts focus most of their energy on lusting after and enhancing those very mounds?
I'm sorry if that's a lot of questions as you got me thinking a lot about this. Please help me understand your perspective better.