Friday June 10, 2005

Express Yourself

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

They call themselves Lactivists,
and their thing is, they claim a right to breast-feed in public. Recently they captured some spotlight when talking head Baba Wawa commented how sitting aside a breast-feeder on an airplane ride “made her uncomfortable.” As a result, ordes of milking mothers marched in protest on the streets outside ABC studios in Noo Yawk.

(It probably made the nursing baby a bit queasy, too: Baba Wawa’s face and voice have been known to curdle dairy products at 50 paces.)

It is almost unanimously agreed that in terms of babies’ health, breast-feeding is a good idea. The American Academy of Pediatrics bestows considerable praise on the practice and offers nifty tips on how-to and how often, and even how to prevent “spillage.” Impassioned websites affirm a god-given right to suckle and feed, citing constitutional authority and references in the hallowed Federalist Papers. And Lactivists liken the discomfort experienced by spectators to that of observers unnerved by the sight of mixed-race couples years ago. “Breast feeding is the most natural act on earth,” sniffed one irked Feedist, “and these vicious ignorant attacks against nursing are blind, stupid prejudice.”

With all due respect, mom, shitting is a natural act, too, but I doubt the world would be better off if people resumed its practice “on the sides of roads / as in days of old / ’for toilets were invented.” Picking your nose at the dinner table is pretty natural, too: will its execution by your partner enhance your dining experience? And what about exuberant expressions of love and affection? Wanna turn around on the bus and see grandpa teabagging grandma? It’s only natural.

It’s real simple. Even if the right to breast-feed existed (and it doesn’t), and even if it’s good for the little toothless product of your loins (ok, it is) it still doesn’t mean the rest of the world wants to see it, or needs to. Babies are sufficiently ghastly creatures even when they’re not gnawing on tits, drooling lactose, and yakking up furballs. At long last, have some fucking decency. Most of us find breast-feeding an appalling, nauseating spectacle akin to farting in a crowded elevator and about that sexy – another natural act; a perfectly normal scatological function – but nothing anybody else wants any part of no matter how great if makes you feel, and how good it is for your digestion.

Of course, I’d feel entirely different about this if instead of milk, young mothers’ breasts were filled with ice cold beer available on draft directly from the glorious moist red nipple or conveniently expressed into frozen mugs. (Naturally, the drinking age would remain at 21.)
You’d find me out there sweating on the protest line with the other Maltivists, thirsty for jusice and fore, er, fair play.

[See all Articles by Steve]

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  1. Kathleen    Fri Jun 10, 11:14 AM #  

    I’m a breastfeeding mom.

    You seem to have no problem with the sexualized and fetishized breast, given your beer fantasy. So you are enthusiastic about naked boobies as long as they are not feeding a baby, I guess, which is pretty sad.

    The majority of images of women in our modern culture glorify the sexual role of breasts and leave the nurturing function by the wayside. The word “bosom” used to convey the idea of home and belonging associated with woman’s nurturing breast. Full breasts used to evoke bounty, goodness and health (check art history), not because they were large, but because they were full: filled with milk.

    You do not present a particularly well-adjusted picture of yourself by likening nursing to shitting. In fact, there is no other bodily function like that performed by the breasts, and to suggest that shitting, belching, farting and nursing are like seems to indicate that further studies in biology on your part are warranted. If you mean to say that it is a private or socially indiscreet act, then please explain why an act of nurturing and providing sustenance should be something hidden. The prevalence of restaurants indicates that such acts are culturally supported, even when the sustenance is being provided by strangers.

    One wonders whether or not the rise in focus on the sexual breast instead of the nurturing breast is not linked to a particular form of infantilization. That is to say, as the nurturing breast is less a part of our culture it is missed more greatly, and becomes part of society’s collective fantasy, albeit a sexual fantasy, as that seems to be what our society values and promotes most.

    The matter is more complex than your glib gloss belies. Your text may make for an entertaining read, but it’s not very thoughtful.

  2. harumi    Fri Jun 10, 11:45 AM #  

    Baba Wawa’s face reminds me Starbucks.

  3. harumi    Fri Jun 10, 11:47 AM #  

    oops not baba wawa thing. the image up there.

  4. huminah    Fri Jun 10, 12:54 PM #  

    is this facetious? i don’t think a person could straight-up compare breastfeeding to taking a shit by the side of the road, if not in jest. and if it is in all seriousness – what a little frat boy mentality we have.

    if i was all lactating and what not, i don’t think i’d bust out some tit for suckling, in the middle of the tony roma’s or anything. that’s just me. but mamas i have seen breastfeeding in public have been very discreet about it, covering themselves and the baby.

  5. cohen    Sat Jun 11, 02:59 PM #  

    oh please steve keep on blogging , your insight is what will help this blog find its true voice

  6. Tanya    Sun Jun 12, 09:04 PM #  

    I WAS a breastfeeding mom. (Now he’s a teenager—he’s on his own when it comes to breasts!). Feeding was a wonderful experience, and healthy for my child, but I never indulged in public places where it might cause others discomfort. On those occasions when it was time, and we would have been exposed, I kept it as discrete as possible, covering myself, facing a wall, keeping the pricacy and intimacy that the practice demands.

    It’s a big world, and not everybody wants to rub up against the needs of parenting. I know it’s been said before, but why can’t we all just get along?

  7. Sean    Sun Jun 12, 09:14 PM #  

    Yeah!! And if god was Irish, young mamma’s big tits would be Guiness taps. And I’d be in church every Sunday.

  8. cohen    Mon Jun 13, 02:23 PM #  

    yes, beer, babies, tits

  9. Shlomo & Sal    Mon Jun 13, 10:16 PM #  

    Well, Cohen, for that you need to go somewhere else. Try:

  10. The ass pube    Fri Jun 24, 05:43 PM #  

    If God didn’t want us to pick our nose, he wouldn’t have made the finger fit it so perfectly. He would have given us much larger fingers or much smaller nostrils.
    Hail to the moms of the world who show off their tits daily in this natural act. What happens when we discover gay male babies….oh how the complaints will start