Social Question

Rangie's avatar

Do you agree with your State, on the rights of a breast feeding mom in public?

Asked by Rangie (3620 points ) April 15th, 2010

A mom breast feeding her baby in a restaurant was ask to leave. What are her rights?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

94 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

I think it is repugnant that breast feeding should meet with any disapproval anywhere. Why are we not mature enough not to confuse the nurturing function of the breast with its erotic status in some people’s minds?

chyna's avatar

Not to be a jerk, but we have covered this topic on Fluther at least 10 different times.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Yes, but California is awesome in so many ways.

Rangie's avatar

@chyna so sorry, I haven’t, and perhaps some others have not. You’re not a jerk, just informing me and I appreciate it. If it is not interesting to folks, I expect they will either not get involved or Fluther will remove it. Thanks.

Response moderated
Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Read the details.

rebbel's avatar

“What are her rights?”
To publicate the name of that restaurant on the world wide web, local-, national- and international newspapers.

Pathetic.

Judi's avatar

My mother in law tried to get my daughter to feed her baby in the bathroom at her country club.
My daughter said “How would you like to eat in the bathroom?”

u am a fan on facebook of the group “If breastfeeding offends you put a blanket over your head.”

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie I did read the detalis, my point is that if there are 2 separate functions of the breast erotic and nutritional, would feeding a homeless guy (i.e. nutritional) be any different than feeding a baby?

Judi's avatar

Darned iPhone! “I am,” not “u am.”

Rangie's avatar

@gorillapaws Not so sure I am following your thinking, but if you are saying: Nutritionally feeding anyone in public is a normal thing. I just don’t get the “breastfeeding a homeless guy” having anything to do with feeding her baby in public. Sorry for my lack of understanding your point.

Trissinger's avatar

In Ontario, its very screwed up: women are permitted to go topless anytime, anywhere legally, yet not if they’re breastfeeding in public. Not surprisingly, this has led to an uprising of women who will have “breastfeeding sit-ins”: if someone tells you you can’t breastfeed your baby in public, you call this network of breastfeeding women who will come to where you are and begin to breastfeed their babies alongside of you. The jerk who complained shuts up and babies are happy.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Rangie I’m saying that if it’s ok for the breast to be used in a “nutrition-giving” manner in public but not in it’s erotic function in public, then it should theoretically be ok to feed a homeless person in public as well. Obviously, it would probably be weird for this to be an acceptable behavior, so that would seem to indicate a problem with the original idea of breast being used for feeding in public.

28lorelei's avatar

I think women should be allowed to breastfeed their babies in public. People are allowed to eat in public, so why should babies have this right taken away from them?

Rangie's avatar

@Trissinger Maybe they should advertise all over the US.

Trissinger's avatar

@Rangie About going topless or about the “breastfeeding sitins?” Not kidding! Don’t know which you’re referring to…

(Not that Ontarian women do go around topless——we’re just permitted to legally, unless an establishment posts a sign that disallows this, which would be respected anyways, in all likelihood.)

28lorelei's avatar

also, now that I think of it, this whole “breastfeeding in public” and being topless in public-thing is very different in Scandinavia. For example, in Sweden, on hot summer days, women just take their tops off. No issues whatsoever. Of course, in the US, this would cause issues…

bobbinhood's avatar

@gorillapaws Your idea is weird not because it’s in public, but because it’s breastfeeding an adult. Babies and adults have different nutritional needs. Thus, adults eat food, while babies get their best nutrition from breastmilk. Your argument does not really make the point you’re trying to get it to make.

MagsRags's avatar

In John Steinbeck’s novel, Grapes of Wrath, Rose of Sharon breastfeeds a dying stranger, so @gorillapaws comment is not quite as weird as it sounds.

But it seems obvious to say that there is a range of possible nutrition-giving behaviors, with nursing your own infant falling well within what ought to be acceptable in modern society.

Trissinger's avatar

@MagsRags I was thinking of that example of breastfeeding a man, too, though that’s not exactly “in public”—-more in a corner of a barn & it helps Rose deal with the death of her baby, as well.

Rangie's avatar

@Trissinger I love the idea of a breastfeeding sitin. People need to lighten up. I have see some people eat, causing me to almost loose my appetite. Why aren’t they asked to leave?

Trissinger's avatar

@Rangie I’ll look up the ‘official’ name of this organization on the net. Its not only in Ontario.

ucme's avatar

Okay this won’t take long,mother breast feeding, perfectly natural, leave well alone.

Rangie's avatar

@ucme Apparently the law is on her side, but the restaurant asked her to leave anyway. Now saying the boyfriend was irate, after mom was asked to cover her babies head.

gorillapaws's avatar

My point is simply this, if a woman wanted to breastfeed a homeless guy (not that any/many would), she would be expected to do it in private. To me this means that the issue is more complicated than using the breast erotically or using it to provide nutrition, because there are edge cases where it’s inappropriate to use the breast in public for nutrition.

Oftentimes you learn more about a thing by seeing what it isn’t and why it isn’t a certain way than you do, looking at the obvious cases.

wilma's avatar

In my state, it’s illegal to harass a mother who is breastfeeding her child, in public.
The entire breast including the nipple and areola, can be exposed during the act of breast feeding as well as getting ready to feed and finishing the task.
I know this because I had to defend my right to breastfeed my infant in a public place, and I was completely covered the entire time.
There nearly was a breastfeeding sit-in

ucme's avatar

@Rangie Whoever made that crass decision they are the tit.

Trissinger's avatar

…Couldn’t find the name of this breastfeeding sit-in organization, but there’s plenty on the net about mothers who have called their La Leche League friends (breastfeeding support group friends) to come & have a sit-in, like the one that happened at a Mc Donald’s, & low & behold, the management backs down in a flash.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Trissinger not that I would, but if I wanted to discourage women from doing a breastfeeding sit-in, I would have a photographer taking pictures and posting them online.

ubersiren's avatar

In Maryland, it’s perfectly legal for a mother to breastfeed her baby in any public or private place that she is legally permitted to be.

My opinion is this. I feel that owners of restaurants, stores, parks, etc. should have a right to say what happens in their facilities. BUT, since breastfeeding is something that happens naturally and spontaneously (the urge from both mother and baby can happen at any time, much like having to go to the bathroom, moms will back me up on this) that if the owners don’t want people breastfeeding (or pooping!) in front of other patrons, then they should put up money for a separate, private room for this to happen in.

If you don’t have a nursing room, I’m gonna do it in the booth at your establishment. If you don’t have a bathroom, I’m gonna crap in the booth at your establishment.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ubersiren would you REALLY crap in the booth of a restaurant that didn’t have a public restroom?

ubersiren's avatar

@gorillapaws I clench for NO ONE!

gorillapaws's avatar

I would say you’re full, of shit, but apparently you’re NEVER full of shit.

wilma's avatar

I’m backing you all the way @ubersiren , but equating nursing a baby and pooping?
Not the same thing at all in my mind. One should be done in private, (pooping) the other should be done when necessary and for me, discreetly (although with no shame) and with joy.
by the way I think I felt some “let down” when I looked at your baby’s picture!

Trillian's avatar

I breast fed all three of my kids, and sometimes they got hungry in public. That said, I never felt the need to ram it down other peoples throats. Some people are not comfortable with it and I respect that. I always covered my breast with a baby blanket while I “had it out”.

tranquilsea's avatar

In my province women are pretty tuned into their right to breastfeed where ever they need to. There is no longer much of a backlash, thank god. Anyone who has been out and about with a nursing baby knows that sometimes you just have to drop everything and feed the poor child.

If people are uncomfortable with it, they can not look. It isn’t that hard to do.

Rangie's avatar

@Trillian I totally respect your answer. I couldn’t agree more.

rooeytoo's avatar

I won’t comment on the legality of it, but I personally would not feel comfortable sitting in a location in the middle of everything, baring my breasts for any reason. Perhaps it is a sense of propriety that goes with my age and the atmosphere in which I grew up.

I would not like to go into a rest room to feed a child but neither would I sit in the middle of a restaurant. There is usually an out of the way corner or somewhere out of the flow of traffic to retreat.

It is like there is a militant fringe who demand the right to do what they want any where they want. And I have often seen women put a towel or a cloth diaper over themselves and the child while they are nursing, it doesn’t seem to bother the child. Here in Australia they always put a cloth over prams outside so the babies don’t get too much sun.

Trillian's avatar

@rooeytoo “It is like there is a militant fringe who demand the right to do what they want any where they want.” Exactly. it’s like “I’m going to do this and if you don;t like it, you don’t have to look.” As if. It’s combative, adversarial, and pretty childish in my opinion. And also totally unnecessary.

gorillapaws's avatar

@tranquilsea “if people are uncomfortable with it, the can not look. It isn’t that hard to do.” Surely you don’t feel like this about public masturbation?

I’m not saying breastfeeding is an equivalent to masturbation, just that if a society deems an act indecent, then expecting people to “look away” isn’t really an appropriate solution. Not that I’m saying breastfeeding children is indecent, I’m still trying to understand what it is that makes breastfeeding babies in public ok, but breastfeeding homeless people in public not ok.

casheroo's avatar

I breastfeed in public every day. I don’t use a cover, since I carry my child in an Ergo…so my nipple is usually covered by his mouth, but if you look from the side..you’d probably see a lot of boobage. I don’t care. My husband doesn’t care either..we have things to do, and since I babywear, I can breastfeed and get things done (for example, I breastfed while grocery shopping today..)
I’d probably try not to overreact if someone told me to stop, I’d remain calm and let them know the law is on my side..and if they call the cops, then I’ll remind the cops that the law is on my side (it seems with situations like these, cops side with the establishment even if they’re wrong)

bea2345's avatar

@casheroo – Think of this – the feeding time is usually short, so by the time the commotion is over, the baby has been burped and is fast asleep (and mother is decent again). People worry over the wrong things.

ubersiren's avatar

@wilma Key phrase is “in my mind.” We shouldn’t be able to tell anyone what is appropriate to do only in private, provided it’s legal anyway. That’s why I say leave it up to the business owner.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@gorillapaws Breastfeeding a baby vs breastfeeding a homeless person is completely different. An infant needs the food to survive, is your child, and shouldn’t have to wait to eat because a mother is in public.

Your statements are completely ridiculous. And I’m sure if you took pictures of mothers breastfeeding and posted them online, your ass would be sent to jail.

deni's avatar

i also find it ridiculous that breastfeeding is banned in certain places. seriously? this is how we are supposed to survive as babies.

Rangie's avatar

I have heard of NO shirt, NO shoes, NO service. But never have I seen, NO breastfeeding. There is a “discreet” way, and there is an “in your face” way to do this.
I believe most women are very discreet. So what is the problem?

wilma's avatar

I agree @Rangie I fed my children in all kinds of public places. No one ever saw my exposed breast. I am much too modest to just whip it out and let the kid suckle in full view. I didn’t care if anyone knew what I was doing, just as long as they couldn’t see my boobage.
Most people are great about it.
A few are rude.

MagsRags's avatar

@gorillapaws -

Not that I’m saying breastfeeding children is indecent and

I’m not saying breastfeeding is an equivalent to masturbation and

not that I would, but if I wanted to discourage women from doing a breastfeeding sit-in, I would have a photographer taking pictures and posting them online.

What are you saying? And please don’t explain it using homeless people as a rhetorical device.

gorillapaws's avatar

@MagsRags I’m saying I don’t really have a firm belief here either way because I’m not completely sure I truly understand what it is that is or isn’t offensive. I brought in the homeless thing as a logical tool to try to figure out the boundary of when things become indecent or not and to help figure out why it’s so.

It’s like discussing the right to bear arms. For arguments sake if you say that someone has the right to bear arms, pretty-much everyone would agree that that doesn’t include the right for an individual to own a nuclear device. By examining an extreme example it tells you more about the nature of that right in less extreme circumstances.

@DrasticDreamer What is it about breastfeeding the homeless person that is completely different? Say it’s a non-lesbian homeless woman who is hungry, why would it be so different to breastfeed her than to wet nurse a baby?

As for the photo thing, if a woman doesn’t have a problem breastfeeding in public, why would she be embarrassed with them on the internet? Is breastfeeding something to be embarrassed about or not?

MagsRags's avatar

@gorillapaws a nuclear device bears some relationship to a hangun in that they are both weapons. What does a mother’s own infant have in common with your homeless man other than the fact that they are both human beings? Sorry, but your high school debate teacher would never let you get away with that. If you wanted to substitute a mother breast feeding her 12 year old son, you’d have better grounds for an argument.

And about photos on the internet? I would object for the same reason I would object if a photographer posted photos of my six year old daughter in a bathing suit. The act of posting the photos suggests that there is something dirty and sexy that other likeminded creeps can use to get aroused. Ew.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@gorillapaws It’s different because a homeless woman or person is not your child or your responsibility. If they’re that starving and you’re that willing to help them, buy them something to eat. It’s different, not only for that reason, but also because breasts are meant to nourish babies, not adults, and especially not adults that are complete strangers.

Regarding the pictures: Just because a woman wants to have the right to breastfeed her baby in public does not mean that anyone else has a right to take a picture of her doing so. Especially because in most situations, a stranger taking a picture of a mother breastfeeding would be doing so for creepy sexual reasons. It’s not about being embarrassed to breastfeed. It’s about the right to do so and be respected while doing so. If a woman chooses to do so, it doesn’t mean she has to be ogled.

casheroo's avatar

@gorillapaws You’ve got issues, dude.

I nurse where and whenever I need to. I don’t care if people look, especially women. I hope it gives them courage to breastfeed because formula is shoved down your throat from day 1 of giving birth.

Also, breastfeeding is not always a short thing… my son uses me as a pacifier so it can take up to three hours of nursing! I’m not even kidding. So, given that, I’m not going to leave the dinner table at a restaurant to breastfeed.

note: i’m actually breastfeeding right now! lol

gorillapaws's avatar

@MagsRags the point was initially made by @dpworkin that using the breast in a manner for providing nutrition was acceptable. The homeless person example points out that it’s more complex than simply using a breast for feeding or not. A homeless person and a baby are both hungry human beings who can receive nutrition from a breast, as such the comparison is reasonable (if a bit extreme).

It seems like you both are drawing the distinction at it being your child vs. not your child, so you don’t think a woman has the right to wet-nurse another woman’s baby in public?

Let me put it another way:
– A woman has the right to use her breast for feeding whomever she chooses because it’s her body, right?

- A woman has the right to feed her own child in public, right?

- So why can’t she choose to feed someone else in public (even something as ridiculous as a homeless person)? Get it?

- And just for argument’s sake, what if it were her own 25-year-old daughter, would that really make a difference? (say she gave birth at 15, and again at 40)

Also, it might be worth considering why a woman doesn’t have the right to expose her chest publicly when not breastfeeding.

As for the photo arguments, I think you make a fair point there.

ubersiren's avatar

@gorillapaws Because feeding someone, anyone other than your baby (or another infant in need) on the breast is not a necessity. This is a ridiculous argument. A woman has a right to masturbate, and it’s her body, but I would be a little distracted if I was sitting beside her at the Chinese buffet going at it.

The 25 year old daughter wouldn’t need to be breastfed. She has other options for nutrition. Same for the homeless man… they have teeth and muscle coordination that allows them to eat as adults. Babies do not. If an adult child chose to drink breast milk, it would be her preference and not necessity, and she would be old enough to drink from a glass.

It is actually legal for women to bare their chests in public in some areas. New York City, for one. This should also be a non issue. Our culture is so retarded.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ubersiren so you’re saying that a woman’s right to breastfeeding in public is only ok insofar as it is necessary to the child? A mother can pump her breasts and feed the baby with a bottle though right? strictly speaking, the baby doesn’t NEED to be be breast fed, it can be fed in other ways right?

I’m still having a hard time making sense of it to be honest lol. I’ve been thinking more about it and have started thinking that it’s ok for a woman to expose her breasts if she wants to for breastfeeding or just for fun. If she wants to be weird and breastfeed homeless guys on the street, or her 25-year-old daughter then that’s her right. Perhaps on the other side of the equation though, private businesses should have the right to prohibit certain behaviors if they choose (they can require you to smoke in certain areas, wear jackets/collars, use cellphones in designated areas). And if someone doesn’t like their policies, they can choose to go elsewhere.

ubersiren's avatar

@gorillapaws And the mother, I said that, too.Sometimes, you need to get that milk out. Nursing or pumping the milk must come out. And formula is not acceptable nourishment to many parents.

If you read my original answer, I said it should be up to the owner, but it would be in his/her best interest to allow it.

Quiz time! What’s the difference between smoking, dress code, using a cell phone, and breastfeeding? One of these things is not like the others! One is a natural, nutrient-rich substance unmatchable by science which sustains the life of human babies, and the others are petty, poisonous, superficial bull shit. You can’t really compare.

filmfann's avatar

When I am out to dinner nipple, it can be a little boobie distracting to have some strange big tittied woman magnificently exposing herself while feeding a child i would give a months salary to be right now.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@filmfann That’s exactly the kind of creepy attention that I was talking about. No offense.

But men can’t seem to think about boobs as anything other than sexual objects – and that’s extremely sad.

filmfann's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Exactly my point.

gorillapaws's avatar

At what point in western history did female breasts become associated as erotic sexual objects? Women were expected to “cover up” back in Greek/Roman times so it had to have been before that. Any idea when it became ok to sunbathe topless in Europe? Is that something that has a long history? or a fairly recent trend?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@filmfann What exactly is your point? That’s it’s sad that men can’t see boobs as a form of nourishment for a baby? Or is your point that it’s for that reason that you think women shouldn’t breastfeed in public?

filmfann's avatar

My point is guys are so completely obsessed with breasts, that they cannot contain themselves when a woman’s breast is exposed, even when doing the most natural thing in the world.
I think women should be able to feed their children openly in public. Guys, however, make this difficult, and will stare. Men are pigs.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@filmfann Okay, thanks for clarifying. (Although I don’t believe that all men are pigs.) :P

tranquilsea's avatar

@gorillapaws “Surely you don’t feel like this about public masturbation? I’m not saying breastfeeding is an equivalent to masturbation”

Um, actually, yes you did just parallel breastfeeding with public masturbation. Just as you are repeatedly parallelling the right to breastfeed dependent babies with the wholly fictional, you made it up in your own disturbing mind, breastfeeding of homeless people. Is this rampant in your town? Your arguments are ridiculous and I don’t think you are trying to understand a damn thing. I think you are going for shock value.

gorillapaws's avatar

@tranquilsea if a society considers an act obscene then your argument: “If people are uncomfortable with it, they can not look. It isn’t that hard to do.” is crap because it doesn’t apply to other obscene acts (e.g. public masturbation). This is NOT saying that breastfeeding and public masturbation are equivalent acts, it’s say that IF public breastfeeding is considered obscene (which I’m beginning to think isn’t the case), then we would should have the same rules apply to it as to other obscene behaviors.

I think it’s childish that you make personal attacks calling me disturbed, but I assume this is do to the fact that you are likely ignorant of how a thought experiment works. They do it all the time in philosophy, law school and in sciences.

An example that might be easier for you to wrap your head around is one we did in a undergraduate law class. We were given the definition of burglary and we explored all kinds of senerios of what it would mean to break into a home. Is it breaking into a home if you perch a heavy object that will actually break the window once a gust of wind picks up and breaks the glass for you? What if you used a trained animal to break in?

This may come as a shock to you, but NOBODY IN THE CLASS WANTED TO BURGLARIZE THE FICTIONAL HOUSE, we were coming up with weird scenarios so we could better understand the nature of burglary not because we wanted to start a life of crime.

tranquilsea's avatar

@gorillapaws Breastfeeding is not an obscene act and in my province it is a right protected by law. And yes, I think that parallelling breastfeeding to public masturbation and breastfeeding homeless people is a little disturbed.

gorillapaws's avatar

@tranquilsea do you understand what a thought experiment is?

casheroo's avatar

@gorillapaws Do you know anything about breastfeeding, or exclusively pumping? Exclusive pumping is extremely time consuming. You have to pump minimum every two hours when the baby is first born (because thats pretty much how often a baby breastfeeds) A pump will never be effective as a babies mouth, their instinct is perfect and made to breastfeed. A pump cannot drain a breast of milk like a baby can.
So, technically, your pumping argument isn’t strong since it’s not the same.

I think it’s just so sad to even have this discussion because people literally debate whether a baby should be allowed to eat in public. It’s just bizarre.

gorillapaws's avatar

@casheroo I was responding to the analysis that breastfeeding children was NECESSARY. It may be preferable for the various reasons you an others have put forth, but that’s very different from being necessary.

As I’ve said earlier, I’m beginning to think the nature of the controversy has more to do with the essence of obscenity than with the mechanics of the act itself. Why is the female breast considered an erotic organ? In many tribal cultures I don’t believe it’s considered a particularly erotic organ (I might be wrong about this), but it’s certainly not considered obscene to walk around with the breast exposed. In Europe, topless sunbathing is considered normal. There’s actually a lot of dimensions to the issue.

wilma's avatar

There are a couple of things I have learned in my life.
One is that, breastfeeding your child is not obscene, another is, breastfeeding your child is often necessary, not just a preference, but a need that cannot be met in any other way. Would it be less offensive to some people to see a woman pumping milk from her breast?

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s no big deal in most European countries. And most women do it in a discreet way.

I think of it as a basic human right.

gorillapaws's avatar

@mattbrowne has it always been acceptable for women to sunbathe topless in Europe or is that a more recent thing?

casheroo's avatar

@gorillapaws It is a necessity. I don’t see how there is any way around that. Yes, there are other options for women who medically cannot breastfeed, and nowadays, women just choose not to. But, regardless of that, it is necessary.

wilma's avatar

Perhaps @gorillapaws doesn’t understand the physiology of lactation. That fact that when a woman is lactating the milk will be produced and has to me withdrawn in a timely manner, or the consequences are painful and could also be harmful.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@gorillapaws says:
This may come as a shock to you, but NOBODY IN THE CLASS WANTED TO BURGLARIZE THE FICTIONAL HOUSE, we were coming up with weird scenarios so we could better understand the nature of burglary not because we wanted to start a life of crime.

Insert lawyer joke here… :-)

wilma's avatar

Oops that should be “has to be withdrawn…

gorillapaws's avatar

@wilma yeah, I didn’t know that it could cause pain/harm. Knowing this changes the issue somewhat I think. What do women with HIV or other diseases that prevent them from breastfeeding do in this situation?

@Dr Dredd lol, that was a good one. luvre.

wilma's avatar

@gorillapaws If a woman chooses not to breastfeed her newborn then usually she is given some drugs that will suppress lactation. If she isn’t, she probably will have a few very uncomfortable days when her milk comes in. If milk is produced and then isn’t withdrawn, she will ultimately stop producing. This is what happens when a woman chooses to bottle feed.

If a woman is already fully lactating and then all of a sudden stops nursing or pumping, the resulting engorgement is extremely painful and can also have serious side effects, such as mastitis (a breast infection ) and lowered milk production. After a while the body will stop producing, but in the mean time, the woman is at risk.
If lactation is to continue, regular emptying of the breast must happen.
If a mother and her baby are not together for a feeding then she must get rid of the produced milk by manual expression, or pumping.
Of course her baby suckling is absolutely the best and most efficient method of sustaining quality milk production. If too many feedings are missed then the result is lowered milk production and that is not good for the child.
In natural weaning the feedings get shorter, fewer and farther apart and less milk is produced. This usually happens over a long period of time.

Another comment from me.
This is what happens when we get away from the natural way things are meant to be done.
@gorillapaws seems like an educated fellow, but he had no idea about the consequences of what he was suggesting. If he had seen the women around him when he was growing up nursing their babies, he would be familiar with how it works.
Or am I way off base here?

off my soapbox now

gorillapaws's avatar

@wilma thanks for sharing the information. As to not being familiar with how breastfeeding works, I’m not sure I fully agree. I was breastfed, and I have a reasonably good understanding of what goes where. I don’t see how growing up with lots of breastfeeding women around me would teach me about the pain/potential medical problems that can result from a mother who isn’t releasing the excess milk though.

That said, I’m starting to think of it a bit like diabetes. While some may not like the sight of needles, people have a right to inject themselves with insulin for their own health, the need arises unpredictably and is therefore a perfectly acceptable thing to do in public. Is that a reasonable analogy?

On the obscenity side of things, perhaps we ought to think of the female breast in the same manner that we do the mouth. Sure it can be used for erotic purposes, but it’s primary function isn’t erotic and thus shouldn’t be considered an erotic organ. Therefore the bare female breast isn’t inherently obscene, but our culture only views it as such because it’s based on a tradition that was based on flawed reasoning. This is just a working hypothesis, but I think it’s what I’m going with for now.

tranquilsea's avatar

@gorillapaws I was holding my breath through many of your posts as they were extreme in their comparisons. All I could think of was some poor mom reading these posts and feeling bad, or dirty, about breastfeeding in public. There are too many negative pressures in life to add to anymore.

My apologies for the personal attack, it was unwarranted and rather unlike me.

I have breastfed three babies and if a feeding time was skipped it was hellish for me, and as @wilma so eloquently put it, too many skipped feedings and your milk production does go down. Add to that the periodic worry that they weren’t getting enough to eat. I was uncomfortable breastfeeding in public and spent most of my time trying to keep a blanket over my kids. As they got to be 4/5/6 months old, this was a losing battle.

I have a lot of respect for women who can breastfeed in public. The alternative is to be housebound which is ridiculous.

wilma's avatar

@gorillapaws Being breastfed yourself doesn’t teach you much about it, unless you were nursing until you were old enough to understand your mom telling you why she needed you to stop playing and come and nurse.
Being around mothers nursing, like growing up with younger siblings, teaches you about how things are done and why. My older children have a much better concept of what having a baby around means than does my youngest child.
I think I can go with your analogy of the mouth, “can be used for erotic purposes, but it’s primary function isn’t erotic and therefore shouldn’t be considered an erotic organ.”
and I’m not sure about the needles but it would seem like a necessary thing. I haven’t seen a lot of them is use that way, and I wouldn’t complain if I did.

ubersiren's avatar

Having breasts full of milk is what I imagine blue balls feel like. Have you ever jumped off something onto concrete and gotten that stinging pain in your feet? That’s what my boobs feel like if I don’t nurse every two hours. Achy concrete sting, only it’s constant. It doesn’t go away unless I get the milk out. Ouch!

bea2345's avatar

Once or twice, the milk came down when I forgot the time. My mother was scandalized at the waste.

tranquilsea's avatar

I had that happen too the few times I would head out without the baby. All it would take is one baby crying somewhere and whoosh! I had to get an arm across my boobs asap.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ubersiren blue balls isn’t a stinging pain at all. It’s an overwhelmingly dull achy pain that wracks you to the core. You know how an orgasm is like an outward explosion of joy? Blueballs are more like an inward implosion of agony that cause you to crumple over like you’ve been kicked in the nuts. I kind of imagine it’s how debilitating menstrual cramps might feel, but in you balls. Sorry, that was pretty off topic.

MagsRags's avatar

I think your perceptions are headed in the right direction @gorillapaws . And when you take your analogy of the mouth potentially being an erotic organ to its extreme conclusion, you end up with women in burkahs because the men in their culture have decided they can’t control their own erotic impulses if they see more than a woman’s eyes through a slit in a shapeless heap of black fabric.

bea2345's avatar

@MagsRags – and that’s the truth.

mattbrowne's avatar

@gorillapaws – Widespread topless sunbathing in Europe didn’t exist before 1968. The student revolution changed everything. Today in most European countries (not all) it’s no big deal, both in public pools or at the beach.

But breastfeeding is about the needs of babies and should be handled differently from topless sunbathing.

tranquilsea's avatar

This YouTube video is informative, but what made me laugh out loud was this comment left below:

“YEAH!! If people are offending by seeing a baby feeding they should put a blanket over THEIR head”

ubersiren's avatar

@casheroo Fantastic link.

Something to add, a few weeks ago, I had to formula feed for three days because I was on a medication, and my baby was not even the same baby. He didn’t poop the entire three days, he was fussy, he was grumpy, and he didn’t sleep as well. I will never put that crap into my babies.

wilma's avatar

@casheroo That was an excellent link!

bea2345's avatar

@casheroo – there was something I forgot, it was so long ago: when my daughter was born, we were broke and in debt. Breastfeeding made elegant sense. For a whole year I spent nothing on milk or formula. Both are expensive foods where I live. mind you, the experience of breastfeeding is something I will always remember.

28lorelei's avatar

Breastfeeding is healthier for the baby than formula, and it’s the way it’s supposed to be. The rights of breastfeeding mothers shouldn’t be infringed upon.

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