Public breastfeeding gone too far

Opinion
Natalie Shirvanian Sports Editor yeran.shirvanian@apps.schoolcraft.edu
Natalie Shirvanian
Sports Editor
yeran.shirvanian@apps.schoolcraft.edu

Living in a nation sensitized to feeding a baby

In recent years, public breastfeeding has gradually become normal to society; however, some mothers do not show any modesty when feeding their infants.

There are many countries that have become desensitized to public breastfeeding because it is not sexualized; however, we live in a country where the sexualization of women has progressed rapidly, especially because of social media and the Internet.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with breastfeeding; yet, it is often viewed as inappropriate and shameful when done publicly. A mother is feeding her baby, as anyone would eat food when they are hungry, but in this case, a breast is exposed. While some mothers find the decency to cover up in a public place or go to a more secluded area, some mothers do not care.

Legal cases throughout our nation, such as a Detroit mother who was told to get off of a public transit bus for breastfeeding her baby in 2011, have stirred up controversy. This case changed Michigan in 2013 when a state Senate committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 674 with bipartisan support. “The Breastfeeding Anti-Discrimination Act” offers improved protection for breastfeeding mothers in public, as they cannot be asked to leave an establishment or public transportation.

While understood that babies must eat and mothers nurse them, not everyone in public wants to see this. The honest truth is we live in a nation where everything is unfortunately sexualized.

When walking through the park or eating at a restaurant, a breast is exposed while a mother is feeding her baby, and it is not the mother’s fault that they have nowhere else to go. Laws are being passed to allow public breastfeeding, but private areas can and should be developed for mothers to not only make them more comfortable, but others as well.

Some mothers have created a nurse-in, which is a form of protesting with other breastfeeding mothers at a location in which a mother was asked to cover up or leave. Honestly, it seems somewhat absurd to protest as such. Where is the modesty?

Not only are mothers creating nurse-ins, there is now a new trend floating around called “brelfies.” Breastfeeding mothers take selfies while breastfeeding and post them on social media sites, almost shaming non-breastfeeding mothers. This is where someone should draw the line. They are sexualizing themselves by posting these obnoxious brelfies for the world to see.

When it comes to breastfeeding, it is not something that a young child knows anything about, and is not even taught about during sex education. If our education system progresses with sex education to teach children about breastfeeding, we can only hope that that can help desensitize our nation over time. There are many steps and paths we can take to normalize public breastfeeding, but that is something that will take time. In the meantime, breastfeeding can be done privately and more modestly.