Okay, so Brad (friend, editor, and Nerd) doesn’t like for me to talk about my breasts in the Mommyhood blog and usually I try to respect that, limiting my breast-talk to the other 98% of my time. But, I really feel the need to speak up LOUDLY about a link that fellow Mommy blogger Cara posted on Facebook yesterday. The link is here, but the gist of the post is that women are still being given a hard time about breastfeeding in public. Which, in my opinion, is total crap.
My first reaction to this post and to related stories about nursing mothers being asked to please go away was to write something thoughtful and educational. I wanted to write a well-considered piece outlining, in a calm and coherent manner, why breastfeeding in public is not obscene, gross, or indecent. I wanted to extol the virtues of breast milk in a way that shows that I am a rational proponent of breastfeeding and not some holier-than-thou Mommy medal winner who thinks it’s the only choice. I wanted to write about my own wonderful experiences with breastfeeding, while reflecting on the challenges of lactation, too.
But, frankly, I’m too pissed off to write anything that nice. Instead, I’ll make an impassioned plea to those who continue to perpetuate the ridiculous notion that women’s breasts are to be gawked at, groped, pawed, shown on demand, rated, complimented, ridiculed, exploited, used to sell everything from beer to domain names to … well, “better” breasts, but absolutely must not be exposed in the pursuit of nourishing an infant.
Ah, well, what am I getting so upset about? I should take comfort that at least women who breastfeed are protected by Federal and State laws so that they can nurse in any public or private location without fear of being harassed. Oh, but wait! What’s that you say? That’s not the case here in West Virginia- one of only five states (that’s out of 50, you know) that doesn’t have a law on the books to afford that right to its citizens?!
Luckily, though, if you’re upset by this, you can head to any one of three Hooters within an hour’s drive of the Capitol and tie one on.
Or, better yet, contact the West Virginia Breastfeeding Alliance at www.wvbfa.com and find out what’s happening at the state level.
(This post was originally published on the Charleston Daily Mail’s Mommyhood blog.)