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Old 07-11-2011, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,352 posts, read 3,904,435 times
Reputation: 3033

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
Remember, it is -illegal- for women to expose their breasts in public. <snip> Like it or not, breasts are not ONLY for breastfeeding; they are also a part of a woman's sexuality. Most people can't just shut off the concept of sexuality when they see a breastfeeding mother, unless they also breastfeed or were brought up in the company of breastfeeders who didn't prefer a bit of modesty when feeding their baby.

This is the mentality we grow up with, the mentality we absorb into our minds. And then, we go to the mall one day, see Mamma Earth whipping it out for her baby, and our brains implode.

THAT is why many of us are uncomfortable with the whole exposed breast in public thing. Because we are TAUGHT to be uncomfortable with it.
It's not illegal! Not in NC, at least, not if one is nursing their baby: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast feed in any public or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast feeding."

It is a *choice* to be uncomfortable about something - hence the bf truck. It's not about "look at meeeee", it's about "look at how screwed up people's views are about something as elemental as feeding a child".

The fact that breastfeeding was equated with urination in this thread (and I've seen it elsewhere, too) reveals the depth of ignorance about this.

I think the hope of the person with the breastfeeding truck is that it will bring more awareness and, maybe, make someone rethink their views. "Hmmm... the breast is sexual AND it's for nurturing a baby! Go figure."

I don't see it working that way, but more power to 'em. I wish women would NOT feel they have to cover up in public when nursing - it should be at their own discretion, not that they're covering up in shame because people around them are ignorant.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,937,594 times
Reputation: 2620
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
It's not the feeding that makes people uncomfortable in our culture. It's the exposure of the breast in public that makes people uncomfortable in our culture.
I disagree with this statement. I know that many people make this statement, but in my experience it is not accurate. I have heard too many stories from women who were harassed for BF, even when they were using a coverup. I was, myself, harassed for BF when my breast was not exposed at all - though I wasn't using a blanket to cover my baby's head, my breast was completely covered (between my nursing shirt, my baby's head, and the burp cloth I had placed on the top of my breast). I think that it is the feeding itself that makes people uncomfortable, but they use the exposure issue as an excuse.

Quote:
Remember, it is -illegal- for women to expose their breasts in public. That's why women -don't- expose their breasts in public.
But the law also exempts breastfeeding from indecent exposure laws (in most US states).
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,352 posts, read 3,904,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
I was, myself, harassed for BF when my breast was not exposed at all - though I wasn't using a blanket to cover my baby's head, my breast was completely covered (between my nursing shirt, my baby's head, and the burp cloth I had placed on the top of my breast).
How dare you make someone even think of breasts! And in public, too! *tsk, tsk*

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Old 07-11-2011, 11:50 AM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,199,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
I was, myself, harassed for BF when my breast was not exposed at all - though I wasn't using a blanket to cover my baby's head, my breast was completely covered (between my nursing shirt, my baby's head, and the burp cloth I had placed on the top of my breast). I think that it is the feeding itself that makes people uncomfortable, but they use the exposure issue as an excuse.
As always, ADVentive, I'm curious. Who harassed you and where were you? Not trying to give you a hard time just interested.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,937,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Re: the bold-your five year old is quite precocious if she "knows" that people should be married before they have a baby, knows people who are in jail and knows that certain people don't have jobs/homes/food.
My 5yo assumed that you needed a mommy and a daddy to make a baby (as I would think many 5yos would), but then my sister went and had a baby without being married. This was confusing to my 5yo and brought up several questions about when my sister would get married and if the baby would have a daddy. She has other friends who also don't have a daddy - L has only his mommy, and K has two mommies and no daddy, etc.

My 5yo has a friend whose father was in jail for about a year and a half. It came up several times because friend went to visit his dad sometimes, or he and his mom were sad and missing dad. The dad is now out of jail and we attended his welcome home party. So yes, my daughter knows someone who was in jail.

My 5yo sees people panhandling on the side of the road and asks questions about them. We have stopped so that she could give away her snack a few times because she is concerned that people are hungry. She has had many questions about the homeless people we see.

I don't know, I don't really consider those situations to be that unusual. I don't consider her very wordly for her age. If anything, I might have said she was more on the sheltered side. Though she absolutely knows all about breastfeeding and mammals!
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:05 PM
 
4,267 posts, read 5,126,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
I don't know, I don't really consider those situations to be that unusual. I don't consider her very wordly for her age. If anything, I might have said she was more on the sheltered side. Though she absolutely knows all about breastfeeding and mammals!
I agree. I didn't see anything unusual about those questions. My 5 year old asks questions like that all of the time.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,937,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
As always, ADVentive, I'm curious. Who harassed you and where were you? Not trying to give you a hard time just interested.
I've posted the whole story here before, probably more than once - haha. My first was just 5-weeks-old. I was at the mall with my husband and another couple. We were in the Sharper Image store. The store manager told me that I couldn't do that in his store. I told him that actually, there is a law that I can. He said he didn't know of any such law and that he was the manager and I was in his store and he said no. I was very upset and went home and researched to find out about the exact law. I went back the next day with a printout. He didn't even apologize, just said now he knows.

I had known there was a law because the hospital where I gave birth had given me a little card with the law on it to carry around in my diaper bag, but I had lost it. I really wished I had had that card with me then. So I went online and made my own cards with the law on them in case it ever happened again. But it hasn't in the 5 years since. Now I mostly just give them out to other nursing mothers, since there were like 400 cards in the box and I had plenty! It was because of this incident that I researched the issue and got upset and started reading other mothers' stories - it started me down the path to breastfeeding activism.

ETA: This is a picture of me nursing my 2nd baby at 4 weeks old in public, but it is essentially exactly how I was nursing my 1st at Sharper Image, as far as exposure. I preferred to use a burp cloth on top of my breast rather than cover my baby's head.
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v4143/209/90/627079802/n627079802_1726563_6591067.jpg (broken link)

Last edited by ADVentive; 07-11-2011 at 12:20 PM.. Reason: to add picture
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:20 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,199,750 times
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I hadn't read your story ADVentive. Thanks for taking the time to explain it once again. You'll be glad to know that had I seen that happen I'd have probably told the store manager to back off. Especially now that I'm older. (I saw a nursing mother in a shoe store the other day. I felt very motherly towars her and was kind of half waiting to see if someone bothered her. No one did. It was pretty much ho-hum. Baby needs lunch.)

I'm all for support for nursing mothers. I just don't like the idea of the circus truck with the boob on top.

Beautiful baby, BTW! Oh, to have had a little girl to dress up in frills and laces.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:51 PM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,958,298 times
Reputation: 5471
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADVentive View Post
To be clear, I've been nursing for 5+ years straight now and have only been harassed that once. It just happened to be when my first was only 5-weeks-old and I was feeling especially new and vulnerable about nursing. But in the next 5+ years I have nursed so many times in so many places, and never had another problem. I wouldn't say that the problem is so pervasive that it happens all the time to every nursing mother. But it still happens enough to be an issue in our culture.

Our culture is giving the message that "Breast is best, but not in front of me. Keep it at home, and if you must do it in public, then use a cover or pump a bottle." This is exhibited by the common "I'm all for breastfeeding, BUT..." comments. We put so much pressure on moms to breastfeed, and then give them so little support when they do and act like they are doing something gross or dirty. My opinion is that a breastfeeding mother should be able to feel comfortable feeding her child in any location, and with as much discretion, as would a bottle-feeding mother. This will not be a reality as long as mothers continue to be harassed for breastfeeding in public at the current rate.
I agree we should support breastfeeding mothers. I breastfed, as did a number of my friends, and it was never a big deal, a crusade, or a call for battle. No one ever bothered me or anyone I know for breastfeeding their child in public. I'm sure it has happened. People get harassed for all kinds of reasons. But I think the issue here is the people who do it in an attention getting way, for the express reason of creating a stir. Hence the ice cream breastfeeding truck. Anytime I nursed in public, no one ever knew what I was doing unless they were staring at me. I didn't cover up because I was ashamed or embarrassed. I covered up because my breasts are a part of my body that I naturally keep covered. People can say that breasts are for ONLY for feeding all they want, but if that's really the way we thought in this society then women would walk around topless like they do in some third world countries.

Most of the stories I see about controversy and breastfeeding involve extreme, attention grabbing stories, like nursing a school age child, or nursing in a unusual place. I once saw a story where a mom was outraged at being arrested for driving and nursing her child at the same time! If I remember correctly, I think she was suing the city for the arrest, because they violated her RIGHT to nurse her hungry child. I remember her saying something like ANYTIME her child is hungry, she has the right to nurse. Never mind the safety of her child in the driver's seat, in her lap, while she was driving. It was all about HER rights. Stuff like this is beyond ridiculous to me. If breastfeeding is something a mother chooses to do in the best interest of her child, why go out of your way to draw the most attention you can about it? Just do it.

The only cases I have any sympathy for are the ones like yours, where you were simply nursing, minding your own business, and not going out of your way to create a stir. That's not the case with most of the stories you hear on the news.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:27 PM
 
12,312 posts, read 14,458,337 times
Reputation: 13930
Quote:
Originally Posted by CancerianMoonPrincess View Post
Yep, contradictions. What I don't understand is why some BF moms just can't use a pump and a bottle. I'm sure there are places that sell them for reasonable prices.
Wait till you're a mom CancerianMoonPrincess......you won't believe what you've just said....are you repulsed at the sight of other animals feeding their young as well???...I personally find the sight a natural and very beautiful thing........I'm amazed that some people are actually offended at it.
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