Published on October 22nd, 2013 | by Rayne


Breastfeeding in public – why mothers shouldn’t cover up

The day has come! When a childfree by choice person calls bullshit on the childfree communities crap.

It’s about fucking time.

There are a few things about some parents I dislike as a childfree by choice person. I dislike insecure parents who troll CF blogs and assert the CF people are selfish. I dislike parents who are insecure about their choices, who try to validate their life choice by attempting to convince you (using bingos) to make the same choice as them  – often with little regard to your life circumstances or wants and needs. I also dislike martyring parents with an overinflated sense of entitlement who act like the fact they have bred makes them the epitome of selflessness. I dislike parents who use their children as weapons or as a way to get what they want or abuse their children.

If you take away the very few parents who are jerks – the rest are okay.

There are also things about the childfree community that I vehemently disagree with. There seems to be a consensus within the community that somehow breastfeeding in public is a bad thing and should NEVER EVER EVER be done. I dislike this attitude especially since it seems to stem from the simple fact that it is a mother doing a thing with their child.

Recently a discussion was started on a forum around breastfeeding in public and the consensus was “No, it shouldn’t be done” but for the most stupidest reasons.

Let’s laugh at some highlights, shall we?

“As I’ve posted on the topic before…I fucking HATE it, unless it’s covered up. I don’t want to see any stringy tit-milk strands. It’s gross. I feel that way about anyone with poor eating manners (like those endless vids of kids smeared with food).”

Maybe, just maybe – turn your head away. Your head isn’t in a vice grip where it can’t move. Honestly I don’t like hairy legs but people have them and they are allowed to have them. So I turn my head away and allow them to be hairy.

And some people think it should be covered up because breasts have nerves endings:

“And I thought it was an errogenous zone too, designed for pleasure (I’m reminded of Arcane Rose’s sig line). Breasts aren’t just for feeding babies they can and often do form part of the sexuality of the individual, so this argument that says ‘they’re just feedbags’ is simplistic. They are but they are so much more as well and the public breastfeeding argument always ignores that to suit it’s own purpose. To me it’s like saying ‘well a c0ck is just for peeing through, or is just a delivery mechanism for sperm’ it ignores a whole cultural, sexual and private context.”

My reply:
What a revelation, breasts have nerve endings on them that make them feel good when they are being sucked on. There is a large difference between your newborn sucking on a nipple to get food and your partner sucking on your nipple in private as a form of foreplay. What a load of bullshit. Erogenous zones don’t exist as a constant, they’re a variable. Not everyone gets sexually stimulation from their breasts. Sexual arousal is contextual. Feeding your child is not foreplay. By your logic, eyelids aren’t purely designed to keep dirt out of our eyes because some people get sexually aroused by them getting kissed. Just because a body part helps you get sexually stimulated doesn’t mean it happens all the time. I love getting my arse slapped, doesn’t mean I get sexually aroused when random fuckwits do it in public.

“I think I’d prefer people shagging in public to someone whipping it out. I don’t care as long as I don’t have to see/smell/hear it as I might vomit on public and really all I want is for people to kep their fluids to themselves.”

My reply:
Again, turn your fucking head away. The undeserved sense of entitlement hurts my sense of decorum around not being a wankjob to other people. Basically what the people on the thread were saying that they would rather a kid be covered up while it’s feeding or even regulated to a parents room because they can’t handle their emotions when they see someone breastfeeding. From what I understand from some of the replies on the forum thread is “I find breastfeeding gross so instead of doing the adult thing and looking away, I want to inconvenience another’s life so I don’t have to deal with my feelings of grossness”?

Why should a breastfeeding mother cover up? It’s a breast, it’s not like anyone’s shagging in public. A kid is feeding. Anyone who is weirded out by a breast seriously needs to re-evaluate their lives. It’s a piece of flesh purely designed to feed a child with the added bonus of aiding sexual stimulation in an intimate setting, an intimate setting that generally isn’t a public place with hundreds of people around. We don’t ask any other human being to throw a towel over their head while eating. Look away, turn around and/or walk away. Be an adult and do the mature thing and remove yourself from the situation. Don’t inconvenience others who aren’t hurting anyone because you didn’t think to walk away and look elsewhere.

If I were to hazardous a guess, I would guess that not all breatfeeding mothers will get sexually stimulated by a feeding child. Not all breastfeeding mothers are going to do crazy shit like masturbate while breastfeeding either.

Not surprisingly, the moderators issued me with a warning for my comments about growing the fuck up and doing the mature thing and walking away from a situation that makes you uncomfortable. It’s a sad state of hypocrisy when the childfree community can bitch all day about parents but suspend one of their own when they are called out on their bullshit. Granted I probably could have said it a little nicer but sometimes people need a virtual slap around the back of the head.

So mothers, please continue to feed your children in public. Please don’t regulate yourself to a mothers room because a person can’t handle the fact you have  boob out in public.

If you like some of the things I say – feel free to add me to your RSS feed, comment or email me: rayne@insufferableintolerance.com. I now have a facebook page! Feel free to like my page by clicking here!

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11 Responses to Breastfeeding in public – why mothers shouldn’t cover up

  1. Vanessa says:

    Nice post! I think it all boils down to mutual respect for each other – Whether you choose to breastfeed, Nurse in public, nurse in private, have 10 children, have no children. It’s no one’s business but yours. I agree, people should grow up, or at the very least learn to handle their emotions like an adult would be expected to do.

  2. Bec says:

    I was not aware that there are CF blogs or even a CF community. That is great! <3

    I have read comments which border on the abusive against parents in lots of media forums. Breastfeeding brings out some of the worst comments, but apparently using public transport, cafes and restaurants should be off limits to adults with kids. They attack parents for ignoring children who are tantruming, families who are too noisy, those with very young messy children, or simply because they are 'spawn'. They attack parents because apparently once you have children everything in life is handed to you on a platter. lol. This attitude is sad, everyone was a kid once and I am sure we all acted up at times when we were out. People need to stop finding things to get offended at perhaps and just enjoy their own lives and choices. <3 I have friends who are childfree by choice and others who would like children but cannot have them. Everyone deserves respect no matter which group you sit in.

  3. EuToteu says:

    I understand your point of view, but…
    Are you saying you are also alright with people spitting, blowing their noses (without a tissue), urinating, etc in a restaurant, in front of you? After all, they are just offending your sensibilities… just turn your head, right?
    If you look into biology, the sense of disgust evolved to help protect us from potential sources of germs. And the most obvious source of germs dangerous to a human is…. another human. Bodily fluids are disgusting, in any shape and form.
    Obviously breast feeding in public doesn’t hurt anyone, but it’s simply rude, just like dropping pants in the street and taking a s***t is.
    Respect must go both ways.

    ( I hope you, as a childfree person, won’t be as offended that I dared to compare the “sanctity” of breast feeding with urinating 🙂 )

    • Rayne says:

      Unless you plan on sucking on the mothers tit yourself, breastfeeding poses no biological hazard. Sneezing and blowing your nose isn’t gross and is easily contained therefore not a biological hazard.

      Pissing and shitting in the street is a biological hazard which is why it isn’t acceptable.

      Try again.

      • EuToteu says:

        Sneezing and blowing of the nose are NOT easily contained, and they the main method of transmitting all kinds of diseases, from the flu to anthrax. Same as breast milk, piss and shit are only biological hazards if you plan on eating them. That is not the point.

        I was trying to explain why humans find ALL kinds of bodily fluids disgusting and how some behavior patterns originate from evolved instincts to avoid danger. This could be a reason why most people don’t find breast feeding in public to be socially acceptable.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s a sad day when feeding a child is socially unacceptable.

          One would hope that if a person was sick, they would sneeze away from people. Rarely do people go around maliciously sneezing on others – and sneezing presents a good indicator when it’s about to happen anyway.

          Your comparison of sneezing to breadtfeeding is inadequate. Sneezing is a biological response to nose pollution, it gives us warning when it is going to happen – breastfeeding isn’t something that just happens. Milk doesn’t just shoot out of a mothers nipple.

          Some people are squirmy around bodily fluids – still no justification for regulating mothers to a bathroom or breastpump. Why? Because denying a mother the ability to feed her child because a person isn’t mature enough to handle a few gross feelings in their stomach is a dick move.

          I hate peanut butter. I gag at the smell of it. It makes me ill. My partner loves peanut butter. Do I ban peanut butter from the house? No. Do I say that she can never eat it? No. I leave the room when I smell it. Why? Because she has the right to eat.

  4. Scott says:

    I know this post was in reply to a childfree site, but to be fair, there are lots of *parents* out there who have stupid ideas they use against mothers breastfeeding in public. It’s not just a rant by childfree people.

    My favorite story about this happened a few years ago in the city where I live. A woman took her baby with her when she accompanied her friend who was getting a tattoo. While the mother was waiting in the tattoo/piercing shop for her friend, she breastfed her baby in the waiting area.

    The tattoo artist told her she couldn’t do that in there and she had to go somewhere else. He said it would alienate his customers and no one wanted to see that in his shop.

    Meanwhile, right there in the waiting area, not three feet away from the breastfeeding mother, was a lifelike, topless female manikin with pierced nipples for all to see. It was in the shop window, part of an advertisement for what the shop did. So, somehow showing pierced nipples is totally cool, and sticking metal rods through tender flesh is just fine, but heaven forbid anyone see breastfeeding babies!

  5. Scott says:

    P.S. If bodily fluids really were an issue, and if we really could compare it to sneezing, then it would actually be BETTER for a baby to be breastfeeding than not. Feeding means his/her face is turned towards the breast, instead of facing out into public. Would you rather a baby sneezed on his/her mom or sneezed on you?

    Besides, if breastfeeding keeps your baby from screaming in my ear, then please breastfeed all you want.

  6. Megan says:

    I am childfree and I have two issues with breastfeeding in public:

    1. I believe women should be able to be topless if men can be topless. Therefore, I believe all women should be able to display their breasts in public if breastfeeding women can display their breasts in public. There are breastfeeding women who intentionally display their breasts and nipples or make no effort to make breastfeeding as quiet as possible (the sound of the baby suckling or women even saying as loud as possible “baby wants breast milk? Mommy doesn’t use a bottle”). So if breastfeeding women can display breasts and do so whenever and wherever possible, let’s challenge all laws prohibiting women from being topless.

    2. Some breastfeeding women are so entitled and smug. Anything done in excess can become annoying, including the Breast Milk Militia.

    3. It also goes back to definitions of womanhood. For some people this has become yet another reason women such as myself are labeled as not a real woman and not a real adult. I am in my 40s, I am proudly not a mother (proudly have no close, nurturing relationships with anyone under age of 18), and I have never breastfed. Despite my successful life and career with my own type of family, I am considered to not be a real woman and adult.

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