Home » Baby » It’s not a titty show

It’s not a titty show

As a woman who is breastfeeding, the question of breastfeeding in public has come up more than once.  People ask me if I do it, if I would do it, if I will do it, and if I’m okay doing it.  The answers are yes, yes, yes and yes.  I’ve fed my baby in other people’s homes, on park benches, in restaurants and at the mall.  I never thought twice about it.

But as I was writing my last post and trashing Giselle Bundchen, I came across this richness from Kim Kardashian.

Apparently, Kimmy K thinks it’s gross for a woman to breastfeed her child in public without covering her breasts.

Really, Kim?  REALLY???

Apparently, feeding a child from your breast – that is, using your breasts to complete the task for which they were intended – is gross.  Heaven forbid anyone should see your breasts!  What will people think?  “Look at that woman FEEDING HER CHILD.  Nasty!”

But of course, flashing your breasts here, there and everywhere to make a buck – as Kim K does every single day in magazines, on the red carpet, and on her television show, is perfectly acceptable.

Seriously, Kim.  Shove a tube of lube in it.

But this got me thinking about breastfeeding in a larger context.  Because though Kimmy K was a total boob for making this statement (oh yes I did!), we all know she’s not the only one who feels that way.  The world is full of people – my own father included – who think that while there’s no problem with a woman breastfeeding her child, there is a problem with her doing it in public, uncovered, breasts exposed for all to see.

When it came to my attention that there were those close to me who were uncomfortable with me breastfeeding in public, I had a conversation with Stu about it.  And he summed it up quite nicely: “What’s the big deal?  It’s not a titty show!  You’re feeding your child!”

But off course, there are people who can only see it as a titty show.  Because we live in a culture where breasts have been so heavily sexualized (KIMMY) that there is no other way to see them except as sexual extensions to a woman’s body.  We never consider the real reason women have breasts – that is, to feed children.  We live in a world where breasts are used to titillate, tantalize, arouse, excite, entertain, tease and thrill.  Where breasts are lifted, tucked, enlarged and adorned to entertain men – and women – and of course, to make a buck.  We don’t think twice about breasts displayed on the covers of magazines, in videos perused online, hanging out of dresses at banquets, galas and weddings, or splashed up – enlarged and in charge, on billboards like these:

What do you really think this ad is trying to sell?

So now we’ve come to this: A woman feeds a child from her breast, and the woman who makes money flashing her breasts for all the world to see complains about it.

I won’t lie – I’ll dress the girls up for a night on the town.  I’ll push the girls up and bring my neckline down and enjoy being a woman.  But enjoying them doesn’t mean dismissing the reason for their existence in the first place.  Enjoying them doesn’t mean harshing on someone else for dressing them down, and using them functionally.  AND, KIMMY K, USING YOURS TO MAKE MONEY ELIMINATES YOUR RIGHT TO TRASH ON SOMEONE FOR FEEDING HER CHILD.  If you don’t like it, look away.  But keep your trap shut.

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6 thoughts on “It’s not a titty show

  1. I am with you 100%. Around 6 months Olivia hated being under cover while nursing. So, my options were a) never leave the house or b) feed my child, sans cover, in public. I opted for B! Interestingly, whenever we were on vacation in the US during my mat leave, I had to feed in public (we needed to go out to feed ourselves and I definitely didin’t travel in order to stay locked up in a hotel room!) but never encountered any problems. Interesting given that people are less likely to continue to breastfeed past 6 weeks because of lack of maternity leave (many of my American friends pumped and bottle fed breastmilk), it really didn’t seem to be an issue.

    • I’ve never had a stranger come up to me and discuss me feeding Amira in public – though who knows what whispers are going on in the background. But you gotta do what you gotta do. I know there are those around me who think a woman should keep it private, but she’s gotta eat, and I shouldn’t be ostracized to a different room – or worse – stuck at home, because of it.

  2. Hitting the nail on the head with this one! It just all comes down to the fact that people really need to mind their own business and stop feeling like it’s their place to comment on what other people (specifically other mothers) choose to do with their own kids and their own bodies!

  3. Got into a LONG conversation about this (following your article) for the second time in the last two weeks. A boobs a boobs a boobs a boob. For most everyone its been sexualized. For a slice of that population, its ALSO mother nature. You said yourself you like to pretty em up for a night out. Naturally so. Safe to say it probably just depends on where you’re at in life.

    And while I don’t have kids, I’ve been around enough friends with boobs and babies to land on…shit, isn’t that what they’re there for? That doesn’t mean I ignore the value of a breast in baby making, but child rearing is thee reason females have breasts. Let’s take our queues from nature.

    The middle-ground conclusion of my second (and more in depth) conversation was “as long as we’re all considerate of each other”. We’re not all in the same place. I also don’t expect everyone to be wise to it, but, Fahrin, I know you’re considerate of the situation for yourself and others. I think that’s safe to say by the simple fact of this article existing.

    In the end, I agree with you. Just the same, I expect the future Mrs. Renschen to feel comfortable breastfeeding when and how she, as a mother, deems fit. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with breastfeeding a child (uncovered) in public. If it makes others uncomfortable, let it be their conversation until nature gives them the gift of a child and some “oversized” nipples.

    Just as a boobs a boob, a mom’s a mom. And a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

    You rock, Fahrin. Stu, great input. Surely you can sneak “It’s not a titty show” into some sort of copy for a client?

    • You make a good point, Ben, in that a woman (the future Mrs. Renschen and others) will determine what she is comfortable with.

      A woman I know once said to her husband – when he suggested that it would be okay for her to breastfeed in public – “It’s like you whipping out your penis in public. How would you feel?” I don’t feel that way personally (and I don’t know how men feel about whipping it out in public), but she made a choice for herself, and as long as women feel comfortable making their own choices, without being told where or what or why, I’m cool with that.

      p.s. Your “as long as we’re considerate of each other” reminded me of one of my favourite lines of all time, from Jon Stewart, when discussing the appropriate behaviour for his “Rally to Restore Sanity” last year: “When in doubt, don’t be douchy.” 🙂

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