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And it happened to me. Update on post 96

post #1 of 192
Thread Starter 
A while back, I read a thread about a mother and her friend who were acosted by their church over nursing myspace photos. These wonderful mommas were accused of "mentally raping" the men in their congregation by having "pornographic" pictures on their personal myspace accounts and nursing in church. I was so upset for them and proud of how they handled the attacks. Privately, I was so relieved that it wasn't me.

It is me now. I just recieved a visit from a member of my congregation. She (a woman, no less) came bearing cookies and the news that I was corrupting the "young men" in my congregation by nursing around them. She told me that even our bishop (head of the congregation) has been made "uncomfortable" and didn't feel up to telling me himself. After repeating that she is "all for nursing - nursed 4 children myself", I was left wondering - "why then did you not tell him to stop sexualizing the nursing of my children"? Or in other words - go stuff it! No, she left begging me not to be offended. Apparently there have been several calls to the bishop by women in the congregation that they were concerned for their son's eternal salvation. (Ok, I don't really know what they said to him, but that's the gist of it.) All of the offended parties wanted her to ask me to hide my dirty self and my dirty act of nursing away from their precious son's pure eyes. Um, those are my words, again - you get the gist.

How did I handle this? I refused to agree to nurse in the bathroom - excuse me, "mothers lounge". I insisted that I was doing nothing wrong, immoral or pornographic. I replied that it was very sad indeed that me doing the most natural thing in the world and using my breasts for their God given purpose was bothering them so much. I said that they need to see people breastfeeding as it is NORMAL!! I told her to consider me asked and after she left, I promptly threw the cookies into the trash.

I have called the bishop and left a message that my dh and I need to meet with him. I need some help though. I don't want to disolve into angry tears in front of him. I want to be calm, collected and get my point across. I guess I need ammo! Thanks so much for your cyber support - it means the world to me.
post #2 of 192
I don't realy have any advice, I just wanted to offer support!
post #3 of 192
Oh, man I'd be a shaky mess, so sorry you are going through this!! Kudos on keeping your cool during that conversation! I can't help but think now you have a more serious complaint than she did - now you have a complaint that you've heard that men in the congregation are thinking impure thoughts at the sight of children eating... what kind of strange fetish is this, and how can it be allowed in our congregation... Half serious here.

I agree that preparation for your meeting with the bishop will be your best bet for staying cool and being able to say what you need to. If you find it helpful you may use text from my site. I hope the mamas who have been through this will jump in, I am sure they will have much support and info for you.
post #4 of 192
oh my goodness That's just wrong!

I agree...maybe approach it from the angle of "How can these men be thinking this?!?"
post #5 of 192

I would be so angry! I think you should try not to assess the situation until you've spoken to the bishop, though. You know how some people have a knack for blowing things out of proportion and "exaggerating." The cookie lady may well be part of a very small minority. I think I would approach him as if cookie lady's request was just really bizarre and naturally he wouldn't see anything wrong with you FEEDING your BABY, but has anyone approached him about this?

If he shares cookie lady's unfortunate stance, I would just have to leave that church. I mean, you don't need that kind of ridiculous censure for doing something so wonderful and NORMAL.
post #6 of 192
What did they do, send the RS president after you? :
post #7 of 192
What state are you in?
post #8 of 192
[QUOTE=velcromom;7353958]I can't help but think now you have a more serious complaint than she did - now you have a complaint that you've heard that men in the congregation are thinking impure thoughts at the sight of children eating... what kind of strange fetish is this, and how can it be allowed in our congregation... Half serious here.
QUOTE]

I think this is a great idea. In all seriousness. It apporaches the problem from a totally different perspective. If you defend your right to nurse, even if you are able to do so in a competent, calm, tear and angerless way, your are still in the defensive. If you take the offensive by reversing the complaint you put the defensiveness where it belongs - in the laps of those having immoral/impure thoughts about your breasts!
post #9 of 192
If the bishop feels so outraged, he should have the leadership to sit down and express his concern to you and your dh(?).

Is it possible this is just one nosy busybody who's got her knickers twisted?
In churches I have been a member of, there is often some older lady who keeps herself busy by butting into other peoples' business under the guise of "helping." Many times I have heard people spreading gossip so that "others can pray for" the person in question. (I was probaby the subject of some 'prayer group' concern myself at various times!)

If in fact you do get a call from the bishop, try not to get sucked into a debate on the phone. Have a meeting with him as a family.

Have you visited http://www.gentlechristianmothers.co...astfeeding.php ? (I'm basing all this on the assumption you're talking about a Christian church.)

You're doing the best thing for your child. Are there no poor and homeless in your town that this woman has nothing better to do than harrass you? Grrr!

Go get'em momma!
post #10 of 192
Oh my... hugs to you momma.

I'd definitely go the "why are they looking lustfully as my child eating" bit. That's perverse, not nursing.

I don't have much advice for you, I wish I did. I would act very offended at your meeting though. I'd act offended as all get-out that a) not only were you asked to not feed your child, b: the women in the congregation are acting so disrespectfully by gossiping behind your back, and c) the so-called men of the congregation are watching you nurse your child while they should be paying attention to the sermon.

Big, big hugs... Please update us with what happens, hopefully it's resolved fairly!
post #11 of 192
I'd approach it from a religious perspective. How can they call the method that Jesus was fed immoral? If not a Christian, weren't Moses and Mohammed breastfed too?
post #12 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksera05 View Post
oh my goodness That's just wrong!

I agree...maybe approach it from the angle of "How can these men be thinking this?!?"



Flip the tables on them. You are shocked, offended, and very concerned that teenage boys could possibly find breastfeeding to be sexual. You really hope that the clergy will consider meeting with their parents and talking to them about why they might be having these thoughts about something as innocent as feeding a child.
post #13 of 192
I agree with the PP, but this back on the men in the congregation you're "corrupting". THEY'RE the ones with the problem, not you.
post #14 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherHeather View Post
What state are you in?
I am in Idaho.

Thanks for the good advice. I definately would rather not be on the defense about my normal actions. But I feel a bit anxious about talking with him because not only does he agree w/ "cookie lady" (RS pres) but he has always been very patriarchal around me.

I also nurse my 2 yr old in church and I wonder if that might not also be something they're not coming right out and saying is part of this.
post #15 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamohumm6 View Post


Flip the tables on them. You are shocked, offended, and very concerned that teenage boys could possibly find breastfeeding to be sexual. You really hope that the clergy will consider meeting with their parents and talking to them about why they might be having these thoughts about something as innocent as feeding a child.

What she said.
post #16 of 192


honey i'm so sorry
post #17 of 192

Stand strong momma

You stand strong Momma, you are NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG.

YOU ARE RIGHT! You and DH need to have a serious confrontation with your BISHOP - afterall, who's the one who has a problem, - you who is doing someting natural.... and beautiful.

Or are THEY the ones with the problem- sexualizing something perfectly natural. Are the offended by dogs or cats nursing their puppies/kittens, do they hide their sons eyes from that!

Do not back down for any reason. Put the focus of THEM!

This judging is comming from HUMAN BEINGS THAT HAVE A SERIOUS ISSUE THEMSELVES NOT GOD. Remember that.

Warm hugs from CALIFORNIA!
post #18 of 192
Wow. If you tithe, I would stop that first. They don't need your money or support if they refuse to support YOU. It is ridiculous to think that religious leaders appear to be in serious need of sensitivity training re: breastfeeding. Kindly remind them that this is the 21st century and women are PROTECTED BY LAW to breastfeed in public.
post #19 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuansprincess View Post
I am in Idaho.

Thanks for the good advice. I definately would rather not be on the defense about my normal actions. But I feel a bit anxious about talking with him because not only does he agree w/ "cookie lady" (RS pres) but he has always been very patriarchal around me.

I also nurse my 2 yr old in church and I wonder if that might not also be something they're not coming right out and saying is part of this.
I figured that's who they sent. Perhaps we should come to your ward one Sunday. I don't have a nursing toddler right now but I do have my wiggly miss Kara. I could corrupt some souls with you.
post #20 of 192
I don't understand how these patriarchal religions think they actually have the right to interfere with children's needs. :
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