This story is doing the rounds at the moment. A mother in London’s Claridge’s Hotel was asked to cover her breastfeeding baby with a giant napkin recently, because, you know, BREASTS.
The Sun, a UK paper, published the above in response to the matter.
The Sun said this. The Sun, infamous for it’s Page 3 pictures – you know, photographs of topless female models. Because naked breasts for your viewing pleasure are totally fine in their “natural” environment on Page 3.
Heaven forbid you use them for their biological purpose!
“Men do not find breastfeeding natural. We find it deeply disturbing. This is because men do not see breasts as part of the reproductive process. We see them as a plaything, a toy.”
More on Lactaboobiephobia here at The Milk Meg
Thankfully, he doesn’t speak for any men that I know.
Anyway, on to the comparison. This is far from the first time I’ve seen breastfeeding compared to urinating (or worse). Sigh.
Breastfeeding is natural, yes. So is urinating. But two things being natural does not make them equal. For example, water is natural. You know what else occurs in nature? Uranium. Want a cup of uranium to wash down your meal?
Of course you fecking don’t.
Both urinating and the production of human milk are functions of the body. However, that’s about where the similarities end. Urine is a waste product we all produce. It vacates our bodies at regular intervals from the genital region.
Mature human milk is generally produced after childbirth and continues to be produced, in most cases, when there is a baby or child being regularly breastfed. Breast milk is not a waste product, it is a substance that sustains life and provides a complete form of nutrition for a baby. It’s also doesn’t come out of the genital area. Yes, breasts can have their place in the bedroom etc- but this is a secondary function. They are there to feed and comfort children.
Also, the right to breastfeed in public in the UK is protected by law whereas a public wee is a lot more frowned upon, legally speaking.
The comparison is nothing but an ignorant and offensive way for people to try to shame mothers to preserve their own backwards views.
Now that I’ve cleared that up for you (if you needed clarification, that is), I can’t help but mention that the Leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, has weighed in on the matter, saying:
“I’m not particularly bothered about it, but I know a lot of people do feel very uncomfortable, and look, this is just a matter of common sense, isn’t it? I think that, given that some people feel very embarrassed by it, it isn’t too difficult to breastfeed a baby in a way that’s not openly ostentatious.
Frankly, that’s up to Claridge’s, and I very much take the view that if you’re running an establishment you should have rules.”
It IS a matter of common sense, Nige, on that we agree!
Now, I’m glad for Nige in that he isn’t bothered. But I’m puzzled by the rest of his comment. See, this a shot of Lou Burns, the mum who was made to cover up, before she did so:
— Lou Burns (@Andysrelation)
Firstly, I’d be interested to know how many babies Nige has breastfed for him to be able to decide how easy or difficult any manner of breastfeeding is and secondly, I fail to see how the above is ostentatious.
Is this (below) REALLY more discreet?
— Lou Burns (@Andysrelation)
Frankly, I agree that Claridge’s has the right to have rules. What they don’t have is the right to make rules that breach laws and discriminate against nursing mums.
Good old Nigel Farage should look into that.
Like many others, I’m heartily sick of the idea that a mum who needs to breastfeed must cover up, sit in another room (or worse- a toilet *gags*) or hide away in a corner. Mothers are human beings and so are babies and toddlers and children. None should be excluded from public life because some ninny can’t accept that breasts serve a biological purpose beyond sexual gratification.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it. Someone’s right to feel comfortable doesn’t trump someone else’s right to feed their baby.
The best place to breastfeed your kid is the place where you are when they need to be breastfed. Obviously not while driving or doing trapeze or something, but you get the point.
If you aren’t comfortable seeing someone breastfeeding, may I suggest the following breastfeeding cover? It’s one I made myself and I’m thinking of selling them.
They can be taken anywhere and are simple to use. If the sight of someone breastfeeding is bothering you, simply pop on your cover. It’s even roomy enough to accommodate your lunch or newspaper or whatever. Let me know if you’d like to order!
Linking up with Emily at Have a Laugh on Me for Laugh Link