Social Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Why is breastfeeding in public frowned upon yet men will pay to see breasts in strip clubs?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) September 11th, 2009

I asked this question earlier today and it turned into an interesting debate about breastfeeding in public. I would hate for others to miss out on this discussion.

How can a mother feeding her child be such a terrible thing that someone would ask her to do this in private? I just don’t understand.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

99 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Men who frequent strip clubs usually aren’t the ones who are likely to be offended by public breastfeeding.

I think the cloth or napkin over the baby and breast is a good compromise. If people still have an issue with that, they need to order a nice tall glass of “chill the hell out”.

Sarcasm's avatar

Strip clubs are special places specific for seeing breasts.
Just as nudity is frowned upon, but if you’re in a public shower or at a nude beach, it’s okay.

And for the record, no I have never gone to a strip club and don’t plan to

Facade's avatar

Because people like to complain.

Allie's avatar

Because the people who don’t go to strip clubs still have to see the breastfeeding. Going to a strip club is a choice.

Edit: I don’t really care if a woman is breastfeeding in public, but yeah, having a towel would probably be a good idea.

DominicX's avatar

I do not frown upon it. It’s just not something that bothers me (and yes, I’ve seen it). I just asked my mom “Breastfeeding in public: evil or okay?” and she says “of course it’s okay”.

I agree that the cloth thing is a good compromise and you’d have to be pretty annoying to frown upon that.

Not to get too personal here, but my mom likes to bring up stuff: she told me that I was breastfed in public a few times, but always with a blanket over me and her. I have seen that in public and I have also seen without a blanket or cloth. Neither one bothers me personally.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Its not that it bothers me, it is a bit odd when you see someone chillin in the middle of some highly public place with their boobs hanging out. If theyre rockin a cloth or something though its all gravy.

its also worth noting that the boobs one sees in a stripe club generally look 8 thousand times better than those found on the women publicly breast feeding.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Allie I know I could have worded the question differently. I just don’t understand why it’s such a terrible thing for some people. If you don’t like it, don’t look. Right?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@jonsblond dont like, dont look sure. But you have to initially look and see it to know its even going on, right?

Aethelwine's avatar

@uberbatman Just like a plumber’s crack.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@jonsblond id prefer to not see that either…. whats your point?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Devil’s advocate speaking:
@jonsblond I’d object to seeing plumber’s crack while eating.

eponymoushipster's avatar

because they have to take the tassles off for the baby to latch on?

Darwin's avatar

I suspect that if you choose to go to a strip club (or a topless beach), then you have chosen to look at breasts. However, if you are in a public place you have a reasonable expectation not to be shocked by body parts not generally considered acceptable to display.

And while many of us would say either “Who cares?” or “That’s nice.” and move on, some people get offended by things that break their own moral code, which they consider should be everyone’s.

When I worked in a public museum I generally offered women who wished to breastfeed a spot in a living room-like private lounge. All were most appreciative (the couch was very comfortable).

SeventhSense's avatar

Breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing in the world and the most beneficial thing a mother can do for her children. A women should never feel the least ashamed and if people are, they should turn their heads. She should be on the altar of churches…oh ya she is

Aethelwine's avatar

@uberbatman My point is that some things are just natural. If you don’t like it, don’t look.

Sarcasm's avatar

@SeventhSense “Most beautiful” is pretty subjective.
Nobody says they should be ashamed. Just that it’s something that shouldn’t be done right out in the public eye.
and well let’s not bring churches or religions into this

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@SeventhSense Is breastfeeding during church acceptable according to the church’s social mores?

Allie's avatar

@jonsblond Having sex is natural. Should that be acceptable in public?

A bit extreme, I know. Just saying.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@jonsblond sure its natural, so is taking a crap, but im sure youd be a bit thrown off if you saw me taking a shit in the middle of the park.

bennihan's avatar

Because not everyone can go into a strip club you have to be 18+ and want to see breasts. Doing it in public can show off to people who have no interest in your boobs.

Facade's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. Then again churches hold the most hypocritical and judgmental people.

eponymoushipster's avatar

im all for breastfeeding in public. i’ve been in other countries and they have no problem with this at all.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Darwin
The fact that we find them not acceptable to display says much about our “civilized” society. The most beneficial thing for our future is not acceptable?
@The_Compassionate_Heretic
I guess it depends on the church. .

DominicX's avatar

I’m wondering: are more women or more men bothered by public breastfeeding?

Just a question that’s popped into my head.

casheroo's avatar

@uberbatman I think your comment has offended me the most. My breast are fantastic while pregnant and breastfeeding. I think it’s a misconception that boobs fall to the floor just because you have children, mine are perkier than ever and I’m damn proud of them and I’ll breastfeed without a cover whenever the hell I please.
I am not exposing myself. My breast are covered by the child who is feeding. I also tend to “babywear” which means I keep them on a sling close to my body, and that happens to make breastfeeding easier. I have a thing called a moby wrap that is great for infants to be secured against your body. It does provide privacy.
But, I have nursed freely in public, and I have not been ashamed. Heck, one lady was even sprayed with my breastmilk, because she was sitting next to me and my son pulled off quickly…she laughed it off. You have to have a sense of humor.

I do not think you can compare strip clubs and breastfeeding. It’s just two totally different types of nudity. One is sexual, and the other is just…nonsexual.

@The_Compassionate_Heretic I do not attend church, but a lot of my friends do..they have nurseries where you can go with little ones, who usually cannot keep quiet during the service. They have tv’s and monitors so the women can still watch and listen to the sermon, and so they can feed or keep the children quiet. They usually have babysitters there as well. Churches are usually widely accepting of breastfeeding. It’s natural.

eponymoushipster's avatar

i think this is yet another example of people sexualizing something that isn’t sexual at all.

chyna's avatar

It is breast feeding. It’s not showing off your breasts. I have never seen a woman show her breast while feeding her baby. The baby is usually in the way and if you are looking that close, then you are a perv.

Darwin's avatar

@SeventhSense – I didn’t say “we” find them not acceptable for display, but that some find them not acceptable for display. Unfortunately, those offended tend to speak up very loudly.

SeventhSense's avatar

@uberbatman
Equating waste removal to life giving?
That’s a stretch

arnbev959's avatar

Strip clubs and breast feeding are completely unrelated.

Men will pay to go to strip clubs because in that environment the viewing of female mammary glands elicits a sexual response. (Even though breasts are not sexual organs.)

A woman feeding her child has a certain kind of beauty in itself, but there is nothing sexual about it. It is a completely natural human phenomenon, and I don’t see how it’s much different than a woman holding her baby in her arms, or kissing it on the forehead.

I’m not sure what Society’s objection to certain body parts is in the first place. Perhaps I don’t want to see another person’s knee. That isn’t reason enough for me to get upset or feel offended if I do happen to glance at one.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@casheroo I’m just curious if the churchgoers would be ok with it if a woman breastfed in the pews during a sermon.
My parents are big churchgoers and many there are very uptight about such things.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@casheroo my point exactly, you got nice boobs and you dont expose them. Im just saying from my general experience, those ive seen breast feeding werent the nicest looking, it has nothing to do with the pregnancy, im sure they werent nice to begin with.

@SeventhSense stretch sure, but the point was its natural.

Darwin's avatar

@petethepothead – Actually, at one point it was considered unacceptable to see women’s knees, and a glimpse of a woman’s ankle was a major sexual turn on. Our culture has changed, and it will probably continue changing.

SeventhSense's avatar

@casheroo
Good for you. Bravo

sjmc1989's avatar

@SeventhSense Very impressed with your response GA

Sarcasm's avatar

@SeventhSense The most beneficial thing for our future is not acceptable?
you’re missing the point.
It’s not “Not acceptable”. It’s “Not acceptable in public”.
Sex is acceptable. Pooping is acceptable. Masturbating is acceptable. Listening to unnecessarily loud music is acceptable.
But at home. Or in a private room.

Anyhow, there are alternatives. Such as a bottle. Bottles don’t require you to whip out yo’ titty in public. And heck, you can even put breast milk in the bottle! Get that done at home!

Facade's avatar

@uberbatman “Nice looking”? Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. Congratulations for allow the media to brainwash you.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Sarcasm breast feeding is not a sex act, like masturbating. it’s not something dirty, like “pooping”. and it’s not intrusive, like loud music. it’s a natural thing.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Facade are you kidding me? You can seriously say you find ALLLL men attractive? gtfo. Some tickle your fancy, some dont.

casheroo's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Well, I attended a UU church with a newborn, and kept him with me at all times, so did another mother..no one ever said anything to me. It’s a very very liberal church though. My husband was raised Catholic, he says his church “allowed” it, as in there was no objections.

SeventhSense's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic
It’s more cultural rather than religious. The Western world is really where the issue is.
@Sarcasm
Why should a woman ever be forced to use a bottle when she has the perfect container and the act of nursing is more than feeding. It bonds a child to his/her mother and improves their sense of safety and attachment allowing them to grow healthier socially and mentally.

chyna's avatar

@Sarcasm I think you are missing the point. Breast feeding is natural. The women I have seen that do this are always discreet about it. It is necessary and women can’t always be at home when the need arises.

eponymoushipster's avatar

isn’t breast feeding better for the child emotionally and physically?

Allie's avatar

[mod says:] Focus on the question at hand. This is not about whether or not boobs are pretty. Thanks.

Facade's avatar

@eponymoushipster Yes it is. And the longer the mother breast feeds, the better so I’ve heard

Aethelwine's avatar

@uberbatman & @Allie Yes. Both taking a crap and having sex are natural, but you can control those urges. You can’t control a hungry baby and leaking nipples.

casheroo's avatar

@uberbatman The fact that you are judging the breast of a breastfeeding women is sort of creepy to me. I mean, it’s NOT a sexual act…why turn it into one? Also, there’s a reason for all those not so nice looking parts of breastfeeding…the large dark nipples? So the baby can find the nipple…sounds silly to us, but it’s just what our bodies do.

@Sarcasm Your views on breastfeeding are so freaking skewed. Honestly, what is the big deal? Also, sucking on an actual breast nipple is healthier for a child’s developing mouth. That’s just one small benefit.

MissAnthrope's avatar

People are weird. I don’t get what the big deal is. It’s a boob. The boob’s primary function is to feed a baby. The sexualization of women’s breasts developed well after the breastfeeding function did. Babies benefit from the closeness to the mother and the antibodies in the breast milk.

You don’t have to watch, in fact, I’m sure the mother would prefer you didn’t. Just avert your eyes and let nature happen.. I don’t get why it’s so offensive.

casheroo's avatar

@eponymoushipster In my personal opinion, the emotional benefits are bull. I formula fed because of my lack of supply after two months…but I’m still extremely close to my son, and I know plenty of parents, adoptive or just formula feeding parents who still bond very closely. But yes, there are a lot of physical and they say it helps intelligence.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@casheroo well, i mean, if it drives up, there’s nothing you can do, i suppose. but i heard it was just a way to develop bonds with the child.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@casheroo do you enjoy seeing a really fat hairy guy with his shirt off? Kind of the same point im getting at.

Cover up. kthnxbye

chyna's avatar

Exactly as in @SeventhSense link. If you aren’t really looking, you have no idea what is going on. And if you are, then look away.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@casheroo i don’t even see anything in those pics. those are tamer than a Victoria’s Secret catalog, and everyone gets those in the mail.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I’d rather see a woman breastfeed in public than listen to that child scream endlessly because it’s hungry.

El_Cadejo's avatar

i agree, theres really nothing wrong with either of those pictures.

Facade's avatar

@casheroo You can’t even see a boob :|

SeventhSense's avatar

@DominicX
I’m wondering: are more women or more men bothered by public breastfeeding?Just a question that’s popped into my head.
I’m guessing men.
It’s like the abortion issue. If men needed to get abortions, there wouldn’t even be a Pro Life movement.

casheroo's avatar

@Facade You sound disappointed ;)

@uberbatman Because there’s nothing wrong with breastfeeding.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@casheroo i know i was….j/k~

Darwin's avatar

@casheroo – Damn, that kid looks hungry!

SeventhSense's avatar

@casheroo
What a tender and loving image of hope, love, compassion and tenderness.
How dare you corrupt society.~_~

El_Cadejo's avatar

@casheroo or because as stated by others NOTHING IS SHOWING! :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Sarcasm why, why must I take the extra time to put it into a bottle (which would have meant, for me, an extra 20 mins of pumping at home…time away from baby, which isn’t possible always…) then have to put it into a cooler, then bring a thermos with hot water as well so I can then heat it to a proper temperature and give it to an infant who’s not used to a bottle nipple and may not take it ALL so that you, someone who has NO clue, clearly, may walk by and not be bothered…why? I wouldn’t and didn’t…and yes, @ whomever above said it’s all right in other countries…yeah, it is because they’re not fucking crazy

Allie's avatar

[mod says:] On….topic…. please.

casheroo's avatar

@Allie I’m sorry Allie :( I was getting all worked up and the boobies came flying out.

SeventhSense's avatar

Who cares if both breasts are showing. That’s life it’s natural and there’s nothing wrong with it. And I’m certainly not promoting this level of exposure in public but it’s nature and it’s healthy and it’s right. Here’s a view from Bulgaria WARNING NUDITY
We are just seriously confused in this country.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir
Exactly. Americans are on par with China and Iran on some of the most basic of human rights. It’s seriously twisted.

Response moderated
Response moderated
Response moderated
kevbo's avatar

I didn’t read any of the above and won’t read anything below.

I just want to say I’m all for free boob.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I believe that breastfeeding in public is frowned upon here because breasts are seen, more and more, as nothing but sexual objects. Women are made to feel ashamed if they expose them, though the entire function of a breast is to feed a baby.

The reason certain men who go to strip clubs get disgusted when seeing a woman breastfeed in public is because they’re forced to see breasts as something other than a sexual object – and it pisses them off and disgusts them. Unfortunately, I know a lot of women (younger generations, especially) that feel the exact same way.

The entire thing, in my opinion, ties into how much sexual control men have over women. They want it how they want it, period. Until more women stand up and say, “Fuck off, asshole”, things will never change. Women can’t take their shirts off when it’s hot in the summer or feed their baby in public, but it’s perfectly okay to expose them and get paid to do so, where and when a lot of men deem acceptable? Fuck that!

Bottle-feed your baby in public, just because you’re around other people who don’t like it? Fuck that. Cover your boob up when breastfeeding in public because other people don’t have the ability to view breasts as anything other than sexual objects? Fuck. That.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SeventhSense that’s an awesome video, thank you

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I don’t think any woman breastfeeding her child wants to be ogled and sexualized at that moment. Strip clubs are for being comfortable to sexualize the naked body.
I hear people go on and on about the beauty of this act but really, it’s a baby sucking a teat.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
My pleasure.

I think what it does is strike at the heart of the matter. It’s beautiful. It’s sensual and it’s healthy. What I think people have a problem is that they may actually elicit pleasure from seeing a women having an intimate moment with her child. And what is wrong with that? I suppose if one is compelled to jump her and start nursing yourself it may be an issue but what is wrong with allowing your heart to feel tenderness and pleasure from a woman’s love expressed to her baby. There is nothing that can elicit a deeper response of tenderness from me than that. I think it is the hope of humanity. I think it is the birth right of all people. I think it is the highest representation of love. It’s the purest love and that is breathtaking.

Supacase's avatar

I have no problem with public breastfeeding. Just out of curiosity on the “beautiful” argument, though… would the average breastfeeding woman be angered or flattered by someone watching, in a totally non-sexual way, the beauty of her feeding her child in the most natural way? I’m not being a smart ass – honestly. I just think the likelihood is that she would be mad if someone watched for an extended period of time, yet a person would not be condemned for stopping to look at other naturally beautiful things like a flower,a sunset, a woman laughing with abandon, a child’s eyes wide with wonder, or an elderly couple holding hands? How about a photographer taking a photo? AFAIK, it is okay to take a photo of someone sitting on a public park bench.

@casheroo I am sorry, but I would be disgusted by being sprayed with a stranger’s bodily fluid, breast milk or not.

casheroo's avatar

@Supacase I think it was a “you had to be there” situation. To answer your questions..I’d be creeped out if someone was blatantly staring at me breastfeed. It’s one thing to glance once or twice, maybe give a smile of encouragement..but staring seems weird. I mean you don’t go staring at anyone in public, because that’s just frowned upon in general. Also, I don’t think you can take pictures of a stranger without permission…I could be wrong.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Supacase Though I’m not a mother right now, if I knew for sure that someone was watching me feed my baby in a completely non-sexual way, it wouldn’t bother me at all. It may very well, however, bother a lot of other women. And honestly, I couldn’t blame them for feeling that way.

I think the important thing to keep in mind when talking about public breastfeeding is that it’s highly convenient for both mom and baby. Women should feel comfortable enough to do it public without being condemned or ogled. Though it is beautiful, there’s no guarantee that a pervert won’t stop and stare. The entire issue boils down to respect and what is natural. I honestly believe the ideal world would be so used to it that the public A) wouldn’t get mad and B) wouldn’t stare – because it should be such a common occurrence that people don’t think to look twice.

Aethelwine's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Beautiful answer. Thank you. :) You say “ideal world”. I wonder if this is something that is just looked down upon in the states?

SeventhSense's avatar

@DrasticDreamer
Well said. When its common it won’t be an issue. It perpetuates because it’s so vehemently opposed
@Supacase
I think it’s just good manners not to stare at a stranger.
And I’m sure that @casheroo is not doing drive by splatters for shits and giggles.
as funny as that might be :)

cyn's avatar

They complain, but they still like it.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@SeventhSense you’d be surprised what is considered “acceptable” in West Philly

SeventhSense's avatar

Ya, I’m sure it’s not far from NYC.

Supacase's avatar

You’re telling me none of you have ever watched the complete joy on a child’s face while he or she is running around in circles giggling? Not staring but a lingering appreciative look. I give cute babies a look and a smile all the time in stores. I’m not talking about settling in for the duration of the feeding.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Supacase I do the same thing all the time. Nothing wrong with it. Partly why there’s nothing wrong with it is because it won’t make the child uncomfortable.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Supacase
Of course. I think the question is just what’s natural or what’s rude. I will not watch a woman nurse in public or stare at her. I also won’t watch someone make out. It’s an intimacy I can appreciate and I’m not uncomfortable with but doesn’t involve me.

ratboy's avatar

When you happen upon a nursing mom in public, put her at ease by requesting “just a tiny taste.”

Aethelwine's avatar

@ratboy lol That would be better than the evil stares!

SeventhSense's avatar

@ratboy
Have you been watching Jim Carey?

mponochie's avatar

Not to mention take a WHIZ (pee) in public.

sandystrachan's avatar

Most guys only see breasts as sexual objects , not as what they were produced for i.e feeding babies . Sorry if i repeated anything , i skipped alll the past posts first

tb1570's avatar

I’ve got no problem with breast feeding in public, and I don’t care for strip clubs at all. And I feel OPs original question should make use of the word “some.” (as in some men will pay to see breasts in strip clubs.) Otherwise, I find it a little offensive and sexist.

ubersiren's avatar

Some people feed their babies with bottles and some people feed them with their breasts. I bet if that baby was crying his head off because he was hungry, those who oppose public breastfeeding would be thankful if the mom stuck a nipple in it.

@casheroo, how on Earth did those pictures get banned? Ridiculous…

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s not frowned upon where I live. Breastfeeding in public is a basic human right.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther