another perspective on "discretion" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 02-27-2009, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(My friend Jess posted this discussion of "discretion" on our local parenting group and I found it intriguing and thought-provoking. She's given me permission to share it here. Jen)

Lactivism and the big D

It seems like whenever there is a discussion about breastfeeding in public, eventually things get down to this: somebody is offended by the sight of a breast, and they think the owner of the breast should respect their feelings by not baring their breast. Then the D word comes out: discreet. And it's almost always a breastfeeder who uses it first: *I'm* discreet, *I* don't condone those titty-flashing drama queens with their nipply agendas! It can be done modestly! Look at me, I'm a breastfeeder, I don't let it all hang out!

I've done it, too, and it galls me. We're trying to gently convince the offended person that their big bad fear of total XXX boobage doesn't reflect reality. We're trying to reassure them that really, most breastfeeders don't show that much breast, so cool it on the anti-indecent exposure campaign!

Problem is, we're shooting ourselves in the foot. By using the big D, or dancing around it in any way by trying to prove how *modest* we are, by talking about how the baby covers up the breasts, reassuring them that nothing really shows and that they've probably seen a million cases of NIP and never noticed it...we're allowing them to define modesty and discretion. We're playing their game and agreeing with them that breasts should not be seen. We're selling out our fellow breastfeeders - the ones who are unhampered by silly social conditioning and don't feel self-conscious popping a breast over the neck of a tank top, or who just can't hide those 38Gs, or who inadvertently get exposed by a curious 8 month old taking a look around. It's even worse when the pro-NIP side starts to agree with the "just be prepared with a bottle or go to the bathroom!" side by speculating about the motives of the woman in the news story du jour. We weren't there, we aren't her. Assuming that she was trying to stir up a ruckus is blaming the victim.

So, I beg of you, can we please drop the discretion language and stand up for our fellow nursing mamas, no matter how they get the milk into their baby's mouths? (I'm not pointing any fingers, just asking if you'll join me in watching what we say.) When we use it, we allow the anti-NIP people to put us on the defensive and define the terms of the debate. Our bottom line should be this: babies have a right to food and comfort when and where they need it. How much of the breast is bared in the process should matter to no one but its owner. So let's stop talking about how discreet we are, ok?
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#2 of 51 Old 02-27-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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Exactly!! :

And yes a million times to this-
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Our bottom line should be this: babies have a right to food and comfort when and where they need it. How much of the breast is bared in the process should matter to no one but its owner. So let's stop talking about how discreet we are, ok?

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#3 of 51 Old 02-27-2009, 08:58 PM
 
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Excellent!!
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#4 of 51 Old 02-27-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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Great post (er, the OP, I mean)!

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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#5 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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GREAT post.

There are wackos in ANY movement. People who go way into an extreme. But, 99.999% of the people NIP are seriously just interested in feeding their child, w/o trying to make a statement, rile passers-by. Of course there are some people who ARE drama/publicity seekers, but these are SUCH the minority.

Most people just want to live a peaceful existence without harassment.

I am so sad about that mom BF while driving ---- and there she is on the news -- she is that .001%, and now some people will extrapolate that to the rest of us normal, regular "just let us nurse in PEACE w/o stares" moms. We are so 'into' our crazy BF-agenda that we would put our child's LIFE at risk . . .
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#6 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 01:03 AM
 
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WOW thanks for posting this its really well written and makes many good points!
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#7 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 01:32 AM
 
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Very well said.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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#8 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 09:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by justJen View Post
So, I beg of you, can we please drop the discretion language and stand up for our fellow nursing mamas, no matter how they get the milk into their baby's mouths? ... When we use it, we allow the anti-NIP people to put us on the defensive and define the terms of the debate.
Thanks for sharing this post, justJen, and please convey my thanks to your friend Jess for writing it.

What really galls me about this whole "discretion" debate among lactivists around the Asheville Denny's case is that North Carolina's law explicitly states that nipple exposure doesn't matter. Yes, I know, the law is toothless without a penalty provision and does not in fact prevent any private property owner from turning a mother into a trespasser for breastfeeding ... but the language of the law is still clear on the matter of degree of breast exposure.

When a significant portion of the allegedly pro-breastfeeding community can't rally behind one of its own b/c of rumors and hearsay saying she was too exposed -- in a state with a law on the books that explicitly provides otherwise -- we are saying that we don't even believe in the toothless, ineffective law that we have. We will never get the laws we actually deserve to protect breastfeeding in public -- nor the public acceptance -- if this is our response to the Asheville Denny's case.
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#9 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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When a significant portion of the allegedly pro-breastfeeding community can't rally behind one of its own b/c of rumors and hearsay saying she was too exposed -- in a state with a law on the books that explicitly provides otherwise -- we are saying that we don't even believe in the toothless, ineffective law that we have. We will never get the laws we actually deserve to protect breastfeeding in public -- nor the public acceptance -- if this is our response to the Asheville Denny's case.

For some of us in the allegedly pro-breastfeeding community in WNC, the issue was not the big "D" but concerns over the immediate push to national nurse-in without much info to go on, or attempting other measures prior. Last I knew, our local LLL wasn't contacted and the work of First Right was openly rebuked. Yes, there were a few mamas who fit the bill you describe, but the poor turnout (for this town) may be more due to the lack of direct communication to the vast network of NFL types here. And maybe some, like me, felt uncertain that waving a sign would accomplish anything other than getting attention.

On the discretion issue, I am in agreement--we cannot define some styles of nursing as acceptable and others not. It is counterproductive to the goal of breastfeeding normalcy to draw this line. No one should be told how to nurse.

But I also think when we get into a "you are with me or against me" paradigm, we're hurting our cause. We need room for differences of opinion--an openness to various perspectives with compassionate understanding even when we disagree. Not easy, but I think the diplomatic tone of the OP here is a good start.
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#10 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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#11 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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amen sister:

Mama of 4 all born at home : Mothering
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#12 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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Hi again,

I hope I'm not crossing "the line" again, but I keep getting the feeling like I'm being misunderstood. I'll try this one more time and then I think I'm done.

Quote:
On the discretion issue, I am in agreement--we cannot define some styles of nursing as acceptable and others not. It is counterproductive to the goal of breastfeeding normalcy to draw this line. No one should be told how to nurse.
I just don't get this way of thinking. Do you (general) REALLY think that any way a mother chooses to breastfeed her baby is OK in public? What if she completely unbuttons her shirt? What if she took her shirt off completely? Is any way really OK with you (general)?

It is perfectly logical to me to be able to draw a line in what I think is acceptable in pubic and in whom I will support. I have more sympathy for a mom who is harassed while modestly breastfeeding her baby vs. a mom who bares her breast while nursing and refuses to consider the feelings, religious beliefs, etc. of those around her. Most reasonable people couldn't care less if you are breastfeeding, as long as you don't expose your breast to them (or to their DH or teenage sons - which have been used in previous examples).

Some people, for many different reasons, don't want to see someone else's breast in public. I think that's ok. I can respect that. This is why I don't unbutton or pull my shirt down from the top when I nurse my baby in public.

Quote:
But I also think when we get into a "you are with me or against me" paradigm, we're hurting our cause. (bolding & italics, mine) We need room for differences of opinion--an openness to various perspectives with compassionate understanding even when we disagree.
I appreciate this. I've definitely gotten the feeling that others on this board and their "all or nothing" point of view hurts the cause of normalizing breasteeding in general and in public specifically.

Alyssa
Mama to Scott (USAF), Katie (18), Karlie (16), Kimmy (9), Klara (4.5), and Baby Khloe (2.5)
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#13 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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I get what your saying alllyssa- but i think the position is if we put conditions about how breastfeeding is done in public, then we are never really getting to the point that breastfeeding should be a zero issue. We don't normalize the breast as normal for nursing we continue to hide it, we continue to discourage mothers who feel they might not be discreet enough and therefore give up on breastfeeding all together, not worth the hassel or the babe just won't eat under a blanket.
It's like the "don't ask don't tell" law- it just doesn't work. by and large most women I know do not get naked or mostly naked to breastfeed, but the perception by many in public is that we do or we might so we have to hide the act and that is offensive. It's a cultural shift and change we are looking for that won't come by saying it has to be "respectful" because that can be to many things to to many people.
So though I'm not going to nurse with my shirt off- I'm also not going to tell you how or if your nursing is "right" or "wrong".

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#14 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alllyssa View Post
I just don't get this way of thinking. Do you (general) REALLY think that any way a mother chooses to breastfeed her baby is OK in public? What if she completely unbuttons her shirt? What if she took her shirt off completely? Is any way really OK with you (general)?
Yes I really think any way a baby breastfeeds is OK. See, I am 100% supportive of breastfeeding period. I do not feel the need to take other peoples' hang ups into consideration before I feed my child. I am against anyone wanting to limit or control how a woman feeds her child.

Should women take into considerations others' religion when they get dressed to go out in public? Which religions guidelines should women follow? Where does it end?

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#15 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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I wanted to add that any woman can draw a line for herself and how she is comfortable (or not) breasfeeding in public. The problem comes when people try to push their preference onto all breastfeeding mothers. That is wrong for a number of reasons.

What I seriously don't get is why people who are offended by seeing some of a woman's breast while she feeds her child from said breast can't just look away. I see all kinds of things I would rather not see in public and I have always been able to look away.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#16 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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Taking your whole top off seems extreme, sure. But you know what? In my first baby's first 3-4 weeks, I HAD to take my whole top off every time. We were struggling with latch issues, and to get him latched on right I needed *nothing* in the way. That's the way it was. In those weeks, the only places I ever went were home, the midwives office, and the lactation clinics - that's it. I was fortunate enough to have my mother staying with me for part of the time and my DH home from work for 6 weeks. Fabulously lucky. Without that, I would have HAD to go to the grocery store, drug store, etc, on occasion, with a baby who needed (yes, needed) to nurse extremely frequently and for long periods. I don't know what I would have done - I would not have been at all happy to take off my shirt in public....I guess I would have used a grocery store bathroom - totally yucky, I think we can all agree. But that's what I would have done...wouldn't it be so much better if we lived in a culture/society where I did not feel so uncomfortable doing what I had to do to feed my baby that I would have resorted to feeding him in a grocery store bathroom?

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#17 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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Should women take into considerations others' religion when they get dressed to go out in public? Which religions guidelines should women follow? Where does it end?
:

I don't understand how Bfing moms are expected to "respect" others by being "discreet" or "modest" because OTHERS think that's the way it should be. Couldn't we flip that and say others should "respect" BFing moms who can't be "discreet" or who feel it is wrong because of the message it sends?

I think respect is about following the golden rule. And as far as *I'm* concerned the way *I* want to be treated is to be allowed to make choices that are best for ME and MY baby. For us that means not covering up because
1. I can't see what I'm doing well enough and it makes BFing difficult and stressful and
2. I want my DD to grow up believing that BFing is dirty.

I don't go around telling BFing moms who do cover that they need to "respect" me by doing things my way and uncovering so my daughter can grow up seeing BF as a regular and wonderful thing. I "respect" them by letting THEM decide what's best for them and their family.

I also think respect has to be earned and what we're really talking about here is not "respect" but politeness/niceness which is about making other people comfortable. I'm sorry...I'm all for politeness *until* it infringes upon my and my family's comfort. Then our needs take priority. Maybe some people think that makes me a jerk but that's the way it is.

I could say more on the issue of respect (especially concerning religion) but I'm not sure if it would violate the UA. I will say that I tend to agree with Richard Dawkins on the matter of respect regarding religion.
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#18 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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I just don't get this way of thinking. Do you (general) REALLY think that any way a mother chooses to breastfeed her baby is OK in public? What if she completely unbuttons her shirt? What if she took her shirt off completely? Is any way really OK with you (general)?
*snipped and bolding mine*

Yes, I do and yes, it sure is. All of it. Why? Because that's what breasts are FOR.
Sure, they're a sign of femininity and can be pretty to look at.. BUT.. first and foremost, they are on my body to nurse a child. That is why they are on my 11 yr old daughter's body. And I want my 15 yr old son to KNOW that is why they are on a woman's body.. I want him to be a supportive husband if his wife chooses to nurse their child(ren).

Society's oversexualization of the breast is a huge part of WHY more women don't nurse. They feel confined at home because society deems their breasts as sexual objects and can't freakin' accept them for what they're biologically designed to do. Doctors aren't knowledgeable enough about our breasts, because.. well, who cares! Formula is just as wonderful. The boobies are for the men (and some women)!

I wish so much that more women could see past this. If we can't support one another in regards to our breasts' biological function, I honestly feel that we're not going to get anywhere. Why are so many women defining how much breast is OK for another woman to show when she is using that breast to nurse her child as it's biologically designed? I will never in a million years understand that..

I nursed my children all of 6 weeks. That was it. I have no agenda for myself in this.. I haven't been harrassed. *I* don't have to worry about being humiliated. But, if things don't change, my daughter sure might. I do NOT want that to happen to her. And dam*it I want her to have to best possible chance at a successful nursing relationship, unlike I did. As long as society and other women are telling her that she can only nurse outside the home if she is "discreet", I have a feeling that she won't be having a very good chance.

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#19 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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That is a great post. ITA, especially as a big breasted woman (36J) who can only be so "discreet". Honestly, all my discretion is aimed at making sure no one sees my postpartum tummy that I'm uncomfortable with! I'd rather flash some boob than my fat and stretch marks.
That is a well written and informative post-thanks!

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#20 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alllyssa View Post
I just don't get this way of thinking. Do you (general) REALLY think that any way a mother chooses to breastfeed her baby is OK in public? What if she completely unbuttons her shirt? What if she took her shirt off completely? Is any way really OK with you (general)?

It is perfectly logical to me to be able to draw a line in what I think is acceptable in pubic and in whom I will support. I have more sympathy for a mom who is harassed while modestly breastfeeding her baby vs. a mom who bares her breast while nursing and refuses to consider the feelings, religious beliefs, etc. of those around her. Most reasonable people couldn't care less if you are breastfeeding, as long as you don't expose your breast to them (or to their DH or teenage sons - which have been used in previous examples).

Some people, for many different reasons, don't want to see someone else's breast in public. I think that's ok. I can respect that. This is why I don't unbutton or pull my shirt down from the top when I nurse my baby in public.



I appreciate this. I've definitely gotten the feeling that others on this board and their "all or nothing" point of view hurts the cause of normalizing breasteeding in general and in public specifically.
I just don't get this way of thinking. Do you (general) REALLY think that any way a mother chooses to bottlefeed her baby is OK in public? What if she completely exposes her hand? What if she took her glove off completely? Is any way really OK with you (general)?

It is perfectly logical to me to be able to draw a line in what I think is acceptable in pubic and in whom I will support. I have more sympathy for a mom who is harassed while modestly bottlefeeding her baby vs. a mom who bares her hand while formula feeding and refuses to consider the feelings, religious beliefs, etc. of those around her. Most reasonable people couldn't care less if you are bottlefeeding, as long as you don't expose your hand to them (or to their DH or teenage sons - which have been used in previous examples).

Some people, for many different reasons, don't want to see someone else's hand in public. I think that's ok. I can respect that. This is why I don't remove my glove completely when I bottlefeed my baby in public.
__________

The only reason you have a problem is because you have sexualized female breasts. Are you consistent? Do you lobby for legislation to cover mens' breasts? Or is it just the women who have to cover up?

I'm sure someone, somewhere, has tried the kinky position of "no-hands sex" but last time I checked, every single person uses their hands for sexual activity. Alone or with others. So I think if women have to cover their breasts while nursing, then women have to cover their hands while bottlefeeding. And men need to cover up, period!

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#21 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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I

I'm sure someone, somewhere, has tried the kinky position of "no-hands sex" but last time I checked, every single person uses their hands for sexual activity. Alone or with others. So I think if women have to cover their breasts while nursing, then women have to cover their hands while bottlefeeding. And men need to cover up, period!
This was VERY funny!
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#22 of 51 Old 02-28-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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OK if there are people who honestly believe that there is no difference between a woman's naked breast and a naked man's chest than we are just going to have to agree to disagree. And comparing the hand that bottlefeeds to the breast that breastfeeds is comical, but just not a part of my reality.

My reality is that while breasts are used to feed babies, I would say that they are sexual organs as well. They are used for enticement and pleasure and then (as a result of that pleasure) they are used to feed offspring.

This doesn't mean that men (and some women) stop seeing them as sexual just because you are nursing a baby. I think this is more human nature than societal influence.

Alyssa
Mama to Scott (USAF), Katie (18), Karlie (16), Kimmy (9), Klara (4.5), and Baby Khloe (2.5)
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#23 of 51 Old 03-01-2009, 01:20 AM
 
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My reality is that while breasts are used to feed babies, I would say that they are sexual organs as well. They are used for enticement and pleasure and then (as a result of that pleasure) they are used to feed offspring.
And it is many people's reality that hair, ankles, etc. are very sexual. Do you "respect" their beliefs and cover up those parts too (even when you're not using them sexually)?

I think this insistence on women covering up is a result of living in a society that is still quite patriarchal. "Oh geez! Those women breastfeeding are going to be a temptation to the men! The men might have dirty thoughts!" Well I'm sorry...but IMO women are *not* responsible for the thoughts or behavior of men.

Of course the real irony is that while real, in person, women are told that to be decent and respectful they'd better cover up (no matter what they believe or how difficult covering makes BFing) it seems perfectly acceptable for 2D women on magazine covers to be 90% naked. Actually, even in every day real life it seems more acceptable for women to bare skin for a million reasons (warm weather, looking fashionable, attracting others, etc.) but not BFing. Heaven forbid we bare skin for *that!*

ETA:

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Originally Posted by alllyssa View Post
Some people, for many different reasons, don't want to see someone else's breast in public. I think that's ok. I can respect that. This is why I don't unbutton or pull my shirt down from the top when I nurse my baby in public.
Some people, for many different reasons, don't want to see a gay couple holding hands in public.

Some people, for many different reasons, don't want to see a guy wearing an Ozzy t-shirt in public.

Some people, for many different reasons, don't want to see black people in public.

Some people, for many different reasons, don't want to see Muslims in public.

I don't think that's OK. And I can't respect that.

It does not make their reasons valid. That does not make it so that the rest of the world has to cater to their hangups.

Someone on MDC once made the point that people do *not* have a right to never be offended but babies and mamas certainly have a right to breastfeed!
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#24 of 51 Old 03-01-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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OK if there are people who honestly believe that there is no difference between a woman's naked breast and a naked man's chest than we are just going to have to agree to disagree. And comparing the hand that bottlefeeds to the breast that breastfeeds is comical, but just not a part of my reality.

My reality is that while breasts are used to feed babies, I would say that they are sexual organs as well. They are used for enticement and pleasure and then (as a result of that pleasure) they are used to feed offspring.

This doesn't mean that men (and some women) stop seeing them as sexual just because you are nursing a baby. I think this is more human nature than societal influence.
I'm just saying: to consistently argue, you need to advocate that women cover up while bottlefeeding. And that men cover up.

If you want to argue that a woman's breast has a sexual purpose and therefore should be covered, then that applies to just about every square inch of the body and to men as well.

I think you really lost your argument when you implied a woman's chest is sexually different from a man's.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#25 of 51 Old 03-01-2009, 02:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alllyssa View Post
OK if there are people who honestly believe that there is no difference between a woman's naked breast and a naked man's chest than we are just going to have to agree to disagree.
I believe that there shouldn't be, that there isn't in many cultures, and that I should be able to get past my conditioning that says otherwise.

I also agree with Krystyn:
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But I also think when we get into a "you are with me or against me" paradigm, we're hurting our cause. We need room for differences of opinion--an openness to various perspectives with compassionate understanding even when we disagree. Not easy, but I think the diplomatic tone of the OP here is a good start.
I'm not going to tell women not to care about being modest with their exposure if that's what they want to do. I think the reason the idea of being discreet comes up is that the main argument against public breastfeeding is the indecency of it and wanting to protect those who might be offended. Yet in so many of these cases, exposure is not the issue, and I *do* feel the need to point that out because I believe most people are unwilling to say that their problem is with breastfeeding itself.
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#26 of 51 Old 03-01-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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All this hypothetical discussion about discretion is fine and dandy, but in the meantime real babies are being given bottles when out in public, supplemented with formula, or, worse, weaned too early. I have to believe this is a direct result in the way breastfeeding is perceived by "society". And can we blame society for not having a clear opinion on NIP when we, so called lactivists, want to go on and on discussing the trivia details and minutia of discretion? We are a large part of this "society".

The opposition has well formed ideas and logical (to them) reasons for being against nursing and NIP. Their voice is well represented in society. We owe it to every mom who chooses to give their baby the *best* start in life to support their choice and whatever means it takes to achieve their choice. When their peers and fellow moms (especially moms who bf) pick and choose what method of nursing is acceptable to them, we are fueling the fire of the opposition. There is no benefit to the child to say my way is decent and your way is not.

The more I read and think about this topic the more incensed I get and convinced of the idea that it is not men who undermine a nursing moms rights to bf, but women. I absolutely hold fast to the belief you are for me or against me. I think it is impossible to change the way society feels about or allows BF or NIP if we ourselves have such a huge divide of opinion. If a mom is smart enough to choose to feed her baby in the best way (from the breast) and is comfortable enough to NIP it in spite of the many obvious obstacles, we should be applauding her. Period. Regardless of our own hang ups, a nursing mom needs and deserves our support. If not for her sake than for the sake of her child.

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#27 of 51 Old 03-01-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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#28 of 51 Old 03-01-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alllyssa View Post
OK if there are people who honestly believe that there is no difference between a woman's naked breast and a naked man's chest than we are just going to have to agree to disagree.
Interestingly, the law in Ontario, Canada, sees them as the same. Women have the same rights to go topless as men - meaning if a man has the right to walk down the street with a bare chest, so does a woman. They also have "anywhere anytime" breastfeeding promotion too.
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#29 of 51 Old 03-01-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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There is a gap between what is essentially true (if you believe there is any essential truth/reality--philosophy minor here...) and what is socially constructed. Yes breasts have an intrinsic purpose that is not sexual. But for ages in mainstream American culture they have been highly sexualized--these perceptions and attitudes are not going to change overnight. While I am not saying we should cater to other people's potential discomfort and put blankets over our heads, I do not think that NIP with a reasonable (i.e. still putting baby's need first) amount of consideration for others should mean extradition from the lactivist club.

There's a difference in my personal take on this and my political take. Personally, the notion of a mom NIP greatly exposed on purpose with a *screw you* in your face attitude to anyone who might not like it--ready for a fight--doesn't strike me as productive to making NIP accepted or normalized. (A tiny minority of us I'm sure.) You catch more flies with honey, is my point there. BUT, politically I will support that mom's right to NIP without restrictions because I can't disentangle that from my right to NIP. Discretion is subjective and there are certainly folks who would think I am lacking and should sit facing a wall or use a blanket or a bottle or whatever. Lots of folks would find it disgusting that I was nursing a 2 year old. And discretion is not always under our control either--with squirmy-wormies or large breasts or the early days when latching on is challenging or whatever. We cannot place any formal qualifications or limitations on the right to NIP without shooting ourselves in the foot.

When DS was still a baby I had lunch with a fairly conservative friend who was not yet a mom. DS needed to nurse, and although I didn't need to (and would never want an official rule that I had to), I asked her if she would be uncomfortable if I nursed him. She blushed a little bit and said, "No, not at all," even though I could tell it felt a little awkward for her. Frankly, I'm not sure what I would have done if she said yes--maybe moved to a different booth, but I do believe that my consideration of her feelings prompted her acceptance of NIP. Respect given encouraged respect returned in kind. This is my general rule of thumb for relating with others in all aspects of my life. Now, some would think that makes me not a lactivist, but frankly I think she is more likely to be open to NIP herself in the future than she would have if my attitude had been who cares if you feel awkward--this is my right so deal with it.

And yes, NIP and the over-sexualization of breasts is an important issue, but I'm not sure it causes the poor BFing success rates as much as lack of paid maternity leave, lack of adequate time/space for pumping in the workplace, poor birth and hospital practices, bad advice from uninformed doctors and other medical professionals, lack of postnatal support and care in general, and so on. There's a lot of work to be done and many ways we can act as lactivists--we don't all need to think alike and have the same methods.
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#30 of 51 Old 03-01-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post
Interestingly, the law in Ontario, Canada, sees them as the same. Women have the same rights to go topless as men - meaning if a man has the right to walk down the street with a bare chest, so does a woman. They also have "anywhere anytime" breastfeeding promotion too.
Exactly.

Plus, some men have larger breasts than some women. So should those men not be allowed to go topless but the women with flat chests should? It really becomes quite ridiculous when you get down to it.

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