I want to take a moment to thank everyone for their support in this video. It's been both thrilling and overwhelming. To the moms who were brave enough to share their stories and the ones who acted out those stories so their identity could remain secret. You are amazing. We clearly struck a nerve. I hope that this video helps inspire change on some level. And I believe it will. As a ENTP personality type, aka 'the debater' I am going to address some common push back comments the video has received.
"Breastfeeding in public is one thing, but when you're at someones house respect their wishes."
Lets pretend for a second that I called my aunt and told her I was coming to Thanksgiving with my new boyfriend, who happened to be black. Let's also pretend her response was she is uncomfortable with a black man in her home, and therefore he isn't welcome. Should I cater to her discomfort, respect her and her home and tell my friend he is not welcome? No. Catering to that disrespect and discrimination is unacceptable, because those views are unacceptable. If I were to leave said boyfriend home to comfort my aunt I would be approving her mindset. On the flip side by catering to my aunts notion that breastfeeding around others makes her uncomfortable because public breastfeeding is like pornography I am condoning those thoughts. And I do not condone racism, or the sexualization of child feeding or the objectification of women. And I'm not saying breastfeeding mothers have it nearly as bad as those in the face of racism- just that some views aren't worthy of respect. I think it's important for people to see how their 'values' are hurting the people they claim to love.
"I'm all for breastfeeding, just be modest. You don't need to whip your whole breast out"
I am top heavy. By top heavy I mean a G cup. There is no being discrete when I am breastfeeding. I pull my shirt down to access my breast and it's a long way down before you reach my nipple. Pulling my shirt the opposite direction and exposing my pale plus sized stomach would without a doubt be considered offensive to many . 'Just wear two shirts'. I live in Florida - not going to happen. But larger than those justifications, being discrete again assumes that there is something worthy of discretion. Assuming women should hide their breasts while feeding their children is once again assuming that there is something offensive about breastfeeding. It's further objectifying female breasts. What other reason is there for this train of thought that one should be discrete? It makes people uncomfortable? See above.
"What about the shame formula mothers experience? We're shamed too/ moms can't win."
I was a formula mom myself and have addressed the issue of placing guilt on formula mommas several times throughout the years. It's ridiculous and unacceptable. However the two are not mutually exclusive. Supporting a nursing mother does not mean you are shaming a formula feeding one, and the same is true in reverse. And this video is not to push mothers to breastfeed - I've made that very clear in all of my interviews and previous projects I've done. It is a simple plea that if one chooses and is able to breastfeed, we should not make them feel ashamed for it.
"We're tired of hearing about this. It's a non issue."
I actually was starting to believe this sentiment until this holiday season. I think our generations effort's to normalize public breastfeeding have been extremely effective. Heck - even I was offended by breastfeeding a few short years ago. But I learned in a very real and incredibly hurtful way that we still have much work to do. People are aware that approaching a stranger in public is inappropriate - but as with all things we're far more inappropriate behind closed doors in the company of those closest to us. And when we peek at the comments made behind closed doors by family members it is clear that much of the harmful sentiment regarding breastfeeding remains. We need to get to the root of the problem before we can honestly declare it a non-issue.
"You don't pee in public/ I don't want to see your naked breast"
Breastmilk is not urine. Urine is waste, breastmilk is the liquid of life. Breasts are not genitalia. They are not sex organs. Can they be used during sex and in a sexually pleasing way? Absolutely! But their primary function/ reason for their creation is to nourish offspring. Imagine a society where the only time we saw hands was in a sexual setting when they are fondeling ones partner or self. In all other instances hands were hidden via mittens. Imagine a society in which the only time we saw mouths was when they were passionately kissing their partner or engaged in sexual activity. All other times mouths must remain covered. These body parts, which have other functions than just sexual enhancement, would be sexualized. This is exactly what we have done with female breasts in our society. We've deemed feeding as an acceptable social behavior, and breastfeeding is an act of feeding, not sex.