subscribe: Posts | Comments

Making a (breastfeeding) tit of ourselves?

4 comments

Sarah Cheverton
WVoN co-editor

Alright, quit your noise already, Interpipe. We’re owning it.

We ran a story from a satire site alleging Newt Gingrich’s wife caused the arrest of a breastfeeding woman on the grounds of obscenity.

The story was barely up a few hours before we first removed, then corrected it. Yet over 200 of you eagle-eyed readers got in touch.

Not everyone spotted the joke.

This may have something to do with the natural links many of us make between the Republican Party and hysterical insanity.

As one of you pointed out:

“Apparently, this is a satire. Says a lot about the GOP that everyone thinks it’s news!”

Sure does.

But it’s not just the Republicans. Breastfeeding is still ridiculously controversial.

Yes, I know it’s 2012.

Society has had well over 2,000 years to get over this.

Yet we can still expect trouble should a mother feed her child in public.

Often, along the lines of: Oh my God, that woman has breasts. And a baby is sucking one of them.

Call an exorcist, for surely Satan is freed from Hell and running amok over the Earth.

I can report – this time with authority – that for our readers supporting the right to breast-feed is a given. Not one of you opposed it.

Heart-warming news to de-chafe the nipples of any nursing mater.

This was my favourite reader comment, possibly of all time:

Kids gotta eat. It’s not as if she let the girls out for a good time. Those breasts are working breasts. Employed breasts. At least they have a job. Not like some of those other ones I’ve seen hanging around.

Though this was a close second:

We do have to make sure we don’t clutter up the idea that breasts are sexual with the idea that they are, before that, functional. Let’s not put anyone’s erections at risk.

So ladies, remember, a breast is a perfectly fine thing to show off, as long as you don’t cross a line into indecency by sticking a baby on the end of it.

To most feminists, irrational beliefs and Republicanism (or Conservatism, my side of the water) go hand in hand.

We are talking about people like Rick Santorum after all.

This is someone on record as stating that there are no circumstances where abortion is necessary to protect the life of the mother, yet believes the theory of evolution is controversial.

Is it really surprising that people believe Republicans would oppose breast-feeding in public? Really?

As one of you mentioned:

I’m not exactly shocked. They don’t even consider us (women) people, why would they support us having even the tiniest of rights?

I really loved this comment too – both an indictment of the ridiculousness of finding breast-feeding obscene, and a comment on a temporary sense of humour failure:

WHAT KIND OF BULLSHIT IS THIS REALLY!?

Indeed.

  1. Very entertaining article Sarah, those first two comments are brilliant.

    I think it’s great that the response to the initial story was so positive. There’s been a big push to increase the number of breastfeeding mothers in the UK and according a survey last year saw an increase to 81% and the US sees similar figures. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that the majority of people think breastfeeding in public is not a problem!

    You raised some interesting points about our willingness to accept such a story and what that says about our view of some of the Republican candidates. Question is, is it a good or a bad thing? ;)

  2. vicki wharton says:

    Another point I would like to add is that a number of breastfeeding mothers are made to feel highly uncomfortable when breastfeeding their babies in public from members of the community, particularly men who tut, look at us stony faced or show some other sign of disapproval. Indeed, I was discreetly feeding my daughter in my car a few years ago when the car was attacked by 3 teenage boys who banged on the windows and shouted abuse and mockery at me and my daughter. That was a very vivid experience for me and one witnessed by a number of females waiting in a nearby post office queue.

  3. Is it a good or bad thing that people find it plausible that Republican candidates wouldn’t approve of breastfeeding in public? I guess it depends where you stand…. I think for the left it’s probably a good thing, but you’d need to know whether the majority of Republican voters felt the same!

    I was surprised in the small amount of research I did on breastfeeding in public how easy it is to find accounts similar to Vicki’s, about mothers being hassled for breastfeeding in public places.

    I was really chuffed that NOT ONE reader sent in anything negative about breastfeeding in public – awesome. To be clear, not all the comments were generally positive though, particularly about us posting from a satire site…

    Actually, another WVoN Co-editor and I have been Twitter joking (Twoking?) about ‘fake’ breastfeeding with dolls in public places to see what the reaction is like.

    What do you think, a step too far? :)

  4. I think it could make for an interesting article for sure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>