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.