The simplest and most basic meaning of the symbol of the Goddess is the acknowledgment of the legitimacy of female power as a beneficent and independent power.
Carol P. Christ
The breastfeeding issue is actually very, very deep-rooted. The squeamishness on nursing the baby in public is totally the result of social conditioning. Primarily, a new mom feels uneasy to nurse her baby in public because quite often someone would raise an opposition citing ‘vulgar nudity’!
To understand how deep rooted the issue is, remember that the popular social media Facebook had barred breastfeeding pictures from their guidelines of images! However, FB got a tight hit when women recently rose to the occasion and the social media site very silently relaxed its guidelines. (Will come to that victory story, but first please note the basic reasons.) About being hard-hitting, you ought to know about the FEMEN also (will come to that as well, please keep reading.) Find below the stepwise breakdown of the issue, and the different ways to deal with it.
Why the guilt?
It is not your fault. You do not feel it wrong or vulgar inherently in any way to nurse in public! After all, baby is hungry! However, you naturally cannot stand it when someone just cites vulgarity and nudity! So, new moms have to go great lengths when moving out with their babies. Either you have to find a discreet corner or you have to wear layers of clothes. The public restroom is in no ways the proper space for a mother to feed her newborn! It is unacceptable.
You have to do nothing of these! All you have to say to the other person is, “Look around.” In this world of materializing the feminine, her nude body is used to sell almost anything! She is made to bear vulgarity and it is sold at the market rampantly in every freaking moment!
Complex layers of the problem
Then why is breastfeeding so much of a taboo? In fact, mothers actually show less cleavage and nipples than women at the beach (unless of course you are nursing your child wearing a bikini)! The issue is not in the skin display. It is in the deep rooted disdain to visualize woman’s bodies as anything but sex objects.
You can call it male chauvinistic, but sometimes women also become a part of the opposition. In fact, quite often, it is some random woman telling you to hide nursing your baby. Dealing with females on this aspect has to be different from dealing with males.
How to handle an annoying man
Sorry to be that succinct above, but it is the reality unfortunately. Well, reality can be changed! You can change it! All you have to do is summon the courage to be yourself when you are at confrontation with some typical moralist. Just shout! If you can keep your voice calm but deliver pure anger in a smiling tone, then do that! Fight it with words for you must. It is a matter of being who you are, respecting your own feminine energy, taking care of your baby, and smacking the sexist twisted mindset right on face!
Is aggressiveness necessary?
Unfortunately, yes. The opposition you are receiving is hardwired into the core mentality of the other person. The problem is in the way he sees things, and his constant urge to ride on top of you, here verbally. Do you need to accept this kind of BS? Breastfeeding is divine. You can feel it yourself. The pure innocence of baring the bosoms to a child’s pink lips is unmatched, and has been the epitome of motherhood. You are the Virgin Mary, for every infant is Jesus!
Look at the Renaissance era. It was totally one of the most beautiful phases of humanity with artists like Leonardo da Vinci creating timeless masterpieces. The Masters of the Time painted the divine innocence of infant Jesus and Madonna breastfeeding! Some of the most exquisite paintings from the time include:
- ‘Madonna and the Child’ but no one else but da Vinci
- Madonna Che Allatta II Bambino by Bartolomeo Veneto
- Solario Andrea by Veneto again
- Madonna Nursing the Child by Deomenico Panetti
The point is that saying breastfeeding is vulgar is actually vulgar itself. No one should be able to get away saying that!
Dealing with women in opposition
Most women opposing breastfeeding in public (or in Facebook) are actually totally against the idea of womanhood, in diametrically different intentions. For the abusive ones, you have no other option but to treat her just like you would treat a man in the same category. However, some women want to warn you because they don’t want you to be harassed. Appreciate their concern, but tell them politely that you can handle it well.
Very recently, a very big victory was achieved in the virtual reality. After Emma Bond’s pic with her premature baby was published, it was shortly after removed on grounds of nudity. Mums world over took notice and as the outrage grew, the pic was shared about 22,000 times and liked 166,000 times at a pro-breastfeeding page. FB ultimately backed down and republished the photos! Emma was joined by other (celebrity) mothers Alyssa Milano, Miranda Kerr, Gwen Stefani and Soutzen Kroes.
By the way, FEMEN is a Paris based radical feminist group known for vehement topless public protests on social issues. They only wear a flowery wreath and denim.