This photo was originally posted on facebook in protest at the banning, by facebook, of breastfeeding photos taken by a wonderful photographer, Christopher Rimmer. That caused quite an international media storm! My friend has given permission for the photo to be used here. You can see some of Christopher’s stunning work here.
Breasts. What are they for? For FEEDING babies. Yesterday the following status was floating around facebook (I’ve just noticed there are no capital letters in facebook, so that is not a typo ) and I was reminded that in 2011 it seems we are still freaked out about a woman doing the most natural thing in the world – feeding a child. The status was:
So I was on the toilet this morning, eating toast with Vegemite and a bowl of muesli and…What? You think there’s something wrong with eating in the toilet? Did that irk you a little? Then why do people suggest breastfeeding mothers feed their babies in the toilet? If you’re a fan of brestfeeders’ rights, I DARE you to put this up as your status.
Why all the hullabaloo about women feeding their children where ever it is necessary? Sex. Western civilisation particularly has this “thing” about breasts almost being classed as genitals. They aren’t. Do people get aroused over the sight of a cow’s udder? No? Human breasts are for the SAME purpose. To produce milk to feed offspring. Yet from all the hype around the topic of where and when it is appropriate to feed a child, one would think this was an insult to humankind. Or an invitation to have sex. I do not get it.
If anything, the situation seems to have got worse, rather than better, in the years since I had babies (over 30 years ago). I remember a fuss over women breastfeeding on planes in the USA just last year. So are mothers supposed to starve their children while flying? I’ve yet to see any breastfeeding mother actually flaunt her breasts while feeding. Miranda Kerr posted a photo of her feeding her new baby and congratulations to her for doing so. Other celebrity mothers have done similar recently. We need more of it. Yet they cop criticism for doing so. I applaud them for raising the profile of the debate.
Debate? There should be no debate. Strangely for me, I haven’t researched if trying to restrict breastfeeding is in contravention of any human or civil rights international conventions or convenants, but morally it certainly is.
Surely feeding a child is a basic, almost THE most basic, human right. It should most certainly be a civil right. I’d love to see a precedent case!
Breast milk is the most appropriate food for a baby. Some women can’t breastfeed and have no option but to bottle feed. We certainly should not be almost criminalising those mothers who do breastfeed. I could cite a string of articles about the benefits of breastfeeding, but you can all Google as well as I can and I’m sure if you are reading this, you already have an interest, one way or the other, in the topic. I’m simply looking at the question from the perspective of human and civil rights.
I’m almost sorry I am not going to be breastfeeding any more children, because I’d love to give some of the anti-breastfeeding brigade a run for their money.