Whilst browsing the realms of my Facebook timeline earlier this week I came across a video of an Irishman verbally abusing and provoking an argument with a new mother on a train whilst she breastfed her tiny baby. I, like many, was stunned at how undeniably inconsiderate, rude and ignorant this man was, although I am aware that more people than not seem to have deluded views on breastfeeding in public and would side with the argumentative man in this instance.
A few days passed and a social experiment video surfaced in which a mother was breastfeeding her baby in public. With people saying things such as, “you don’t need to be doing that in public”, “do you have to do that here?”, “it’s not something you should do in public, you have to go home”, and countless other people walking away in disgust, it begs the question, why is breastfeeding such a topical issue?
I took it upon myself to ask around and try and gauge an opinion on the matter so I could see if people I knew shared the same view as me. Here are some of the repsonses:
“I’m a Muslim and by the very nature and morals of our religion we believe in modesty. However, breastfeeding is a basic human need for a child. A woman should be able to cater to her child’s needs without being shamed for it.” – F. Dhanji, drama student.
“It would make me feel slightly uncomfortable but I certainly wouldn’t confront someone about it.” – Anonymous.
“It’s natural. It shouldn’t be stigmatised. It shows society is saturated with sexualisation.” – V Tatenda, business and marketing student.
“If it was them or their partner then their reaction would be different, as it would be if they were simply flashing.” – D Simpson, new father.
It seems that breasts have been morphed into objects of sexual gratification as oppose to retaining their original (and only) purpose of nourishing new life. Breasts were not made to sexually satisfy, but to feed. Yet it seems that the one purpose they serve is not a good enough reason to validate getting them out, despite the vast majority of mothers going to great lengths to try and cover up as they tend to their child.
If I were to ask of my readers one thing right now, it would be to not be ignorant but to be respectful of nature’s will and be mindful of the purpose of the human body.
Featured Image: Cassie Ehard (PDD)