Friday, September 4, 2009

In which we discuss the nature of breasts

(previous title Let's talk about boobs)

Recently there has been a lot of to do about breastfeeding in public. I heard a piece on talk radio (agh, don't ask, it was a long, trafficy commute day) about a proposed law requiring women to cover when they nurse in public. And yesterday, Tyler asked me if I'd seen the poll on Facebook about the same issue.

So let's talk about boobs. Because that's what this is about. It has nothing to do with a child getting sustenance. It has everything to do with boobs. Breasts. Melons. Jugs.

It's about people seeing a breast and thinking about sex.

So let's talk about boobs.

These are mine:

They are large, not as big as when I was still nursing, but larger than before I had children.
They have stretch marks from pregnancy. Because it's not just your stomach and ass that grow at alarming speeds.
Without the appropriate, 3 hook bra, they sag. The girls just aren't what they used to be.
They cannot be unrestrained. It's terrifying to small children and dogs alike.
Two weeks out of the month, they hurt like a son of a bitch. They ache and pull.
They are often in the way. I cannot sleep on my stomach.
They catch stains, thus showing their only true usefulness - preventing me from spilling quite so much shit on my lap.
They are too large for most shirts. Meaning I am left to a) wear clothes that are just too big or b) look like a Porny Princess.
When it is hot, they sweat.
Despite the fact that I have not done nursed for almost 2 years, they still contain milk.
When I was nursing, I suffered painful vasospasms and plugged ducts.

Tell me, does any of this sound sexy to you?

And all of this is completely normal. Well, maybe not the size things, most women end up smaller and flatter post-pregnancy. I was looking forward to that and got hit by the bigger boob stick instead.

For some reason that I cannot comprehend, related to the way that we have been conditioned to view breasts, the sight of a nursing mother offends people.

And so we are asked to cover ourselves. To drape a blanket or other wrap over our nursing child when we are in public.

Have you ever tried to eat with a bag on your head? Have you ever been asked to? What about on a sweltering day, when all you wanted was to have a drink - would you wrap a fleece blanket about yourself?

If I asked a mother giving her child a bottle to cover up, because it offended me, I would, in all fairness, be accused of being a judgemental bitch who should mind her own business.

Nursing a child is no different than that. To me, these breasts are not sexual objects. And the fact that so many in the general public view them that way is offensive.


angeldevil said...

goddamn I love you. I can't wait for the first person to ask me to take Kiara to the bathroom to nurse her - I'll ask them to join me with their food in the adjacent stall.... these are my boobs, they feed my baby.

Megan said...

Awesome post. Now that I'm finally able to nurse Liam without a) dropping him b) squirting him in the eye or c) crying because I'm so frustrated, ain't no one going to make me cover these suckers (literally) up.