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BS: Breastfeeding In Public

GUEST,Eliza 20 Mar 14 - 10:27 AM
Rapparee 20 Mar 14 - 10:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Mar 14 - 10:32 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Mar 14 - 10:56 AM
Greg F. 20 Mar 14 - 11:03 AM
KB in Iowa 20 Mar 14 - 11:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Mar 14 - 11:39 AM
KB in Iowa 20 Mar 14 - 12:08 PM
Jack Campin 20 Mar 14 - 12:21 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 14 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Mar 14 - 01:01 PM
Bert 20 Mar 14 - 01:07 PM
frogprince 20 Mar 14 - 01:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Mar 14 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Mar 14 - 01:20 PM
Dave the Gnome 20 Mar 14 - 01:34 PM
akenaton 20 Mar 14 - 01:36 PM
mg 20 Mar 14 - 01:45 PM
KB in Iowa 20 Mar 14 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Mar 14 - 02:53 PM
gnu 20 Mar 14 - 03:51 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Mar 14 - 03:54 PM
Musket 20 Mar 14 - 04:05 PM
Greg F. 20 Mar 14 - 04:28 PM
Penny S. 20 Mar 14 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Major Mustard 20 Mar 14 - 05:10 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Mar 14 - 05:11 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Mar 14 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Mar 14 - 06:49 PM
Greg F. 20 Mar 14 - 07:09 PM
Raedwulf 20 Mar 14 - 07:39 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Mar 14 - 08:12 PM
Noreen 20 Mar 14 - 08:52 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Mar 14 - 08:55 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Mar 14 - 09:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Mar 14 - 09:41 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Mar 14 - 09:49 PM
frogprince 20 Mar 14 - 10:19 PM
Janie 20 Mar 14 - 10:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Mar 14 - 10:48 PM
GUEST,bbc on vacation 20 Mar 14 - 11:04 PM
Janie 20 Mar 14 - 11:22 PM
GUEST,Eliza 21 Mar 14 - 03:49 AM
Musket 21 Mar 14 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,Eliza 21 Mar 14 - 06:10 AM
Musket 21 Mar 14 - 06:30 AM
eddie1 21 Mar 14 - 06:49 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Mar 14 - 09:12 AM
akenaton 21 Mar 14 - 09:33 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Mar 14 - 10:38 AM
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Subject: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 10:27 AM

There's quite a fracas going on here in UK at the moment about women breastfeeding their babies in full view of the public. A woman was asked to remove herself from view outside a pub, and another from a hospital department. We have a Law which forbids discriminatory actions against mothers, but many people feel the sight is distasteful. There have been vituperative complaints from both sides. Personally I think there's no sight more tender and delightful than seeing a woman suckling her child, and I wouldn't care wherever she did so. IMV we need to encourage young mums to offer the breast as it's so much better for the child's health and well-being. I suppose we just aren't used to it. In Africa of course, breasts are no big deal. Even without a baby attached, ladies go about 'topless' if the day is particularly hot. I never minded this either. Most babies in hot countries are breast fed as it prevents germs from bottles getting into the little one's system. Anyone got any views either way?


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 10:30 AM

A light blanket goes a long way to protecting both the mother and the baby from chilling drafts and stares.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 10:32 AM

"Many people feel the sight is distasteful . . . " Too bad for them, they are in need of rewiring their understanding of what is natural and appropriate. It's one of the most beautiful things to participate in or to view. I agree with Eliza.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 10:56 AM

I certainly have no issue with it and actively campaigned for when my little 'uns were little enough to benefit. However, I am not fully convinced that it is OK simply because it is natural. It is perfectly natural to perform other bodily functions too, procreation and defecation springing to mind immediately, but I don't think many would really want to witness either in public. It is a very fine line as to where rights stop and sensitivities begin. Maybe all things need to be considered rather than have a blanket (no pun intended, Rap) rule that covers all?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 11:03 AM

If the breastfeeding mothers would display a little restraint, common sense and respect for others, there would be no problem & breast feeding could go on unimpeded.

However, I expect that's too much to hope for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 11:33 AM

IOf the breastfeeding mothers would display a little restraint, common sense and respect for others, there would be no problem & breast feding could go on unimpeded.

This is not always true. A while back at a restaurant nearby a woman was breastfeeding in a very discreet way (that was never debated) and she was still asked to leave. She was out of the way and covered up.

It is purely social convention that makes it taboo and that would take time to change but change it could. DtG compared it to defecating in public, I don't think they are quite the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 11:39 AM

DtG compared it to defecating in public

No I didn't! I said feeding, procreating and defecating are all natural functions. As is, apparently, getting hold of the wrong end of the stick :-(

You are quite right about social convention though and the point I was trying to make is that it is a very fine line between what is and what is not socially acceptable.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 12:08 PM

Sorry, DtG but when I reread your comment I still think you were making a comparison. You mention two other bodily functions that many people don't want to see, just like many people don't want to see breastfeeding. How is that not a comparison?


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 12:21 PM

The situation has improved in Scotland:

Breastfeeding Act (2005)


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 12:47 PM

Someday I would like to interview... at length... someone who is 'offended' by the practice. I'd like to know exactly what they are upset over. Surely it is not hungry babies. I assume it is an obsession with the *idea* of a breast being 'exposed'... and even if there is no exposure, they seem to be uncomfortable with the fact that the baby is making them 'aware' of a breast. And this indicates to me that those who object have likely categorized breasts as *primarily* sexual objects and can't get out of that mindset, even when it is not relevant.

Somehow, it reminds me of the old joke about the guy taking the Rorschach ink blot test and seeing naughty images in each one... and when asked why, replies, "But doctor, you're the one with the dirty pictures."


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:01 PM

Social conventions can change over time. After all, the Victorians were shocked if they saw an ankle, but one wouldn't march topless into M&S (although having seen their spring collection, it might cheer things up a bit) But I feel so sorry for these little mums being tutted at and disparaged simply for feeding their babies. Why should they hide 'it' under a blanket? People who are embarrassed should just look at something else while they pass. No-one is asking them to go up and look. I remember in the sixties when topless sunbathing came into fashion on Mediterranean beaches. I was all for it and got amazed stares from some Moroccan camel-ride chaps. It was inappropriate in a Muslim country, but they accepted it on the beach. I just wish people would be more tolerant generally. If I saw anyone being nasty to a feeding mum. I'd have something to say. People should try a bit of kindness and understanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Bert
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:07 PM

I'm with you Eliza, it is quite normal. I thought it was culturally acceptable in England, I know it used to be when I was there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: frogprince
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:18 PM

One of our nieces was in the peace corp in Africa for awhile just before she got married; when she became a mom, she just pushed her top up or down as convenient and fed the little one. The wife of one of our nephews strolled around talking with people at his cousins pre-wedding dinner with their little son openly attached. They're the only two women I've seen breastfeed that openly in many years. In either instance, my only problem was keeping from making an idiot of myself by burbling something about how beautiful it was.

Some Mudcat folks helped me title this carving a few years ago


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:20 PM

Back in the 1930s I remember that a few of the Indian women who came to sell their wares in my home town, Santa Fe, would nurse in public. The Anglo and old Latino population to which I belonged regarded it as a primitive expression.

Today, the Indians no longer do it, bending to the "societal norm."

A silly convention, but one inherited from our Western European origins.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:20 PM

Well, it is and it isn't, if you know what I mean Bert. This poor lady was asked by the pub manager to go away and do 'it' somewhere in private (such as the toilet!!) Another was chased out of a hospital dept where she was having a blood test. Her husband was with her and could hold the baby while she gave the blood, however the newborn little one was screaming hungry and needed a feed. But the dept secretary told her off. A passing nurse found her a private room to do the dirty deed in. But she was in tears. I do admire the Scots, Jack. I've read your link and that's a good Law.
NHS advisors are trying to promote 'breast is best' but it's no good IMO treating it like a rather distasteful and embarrassing act, needing a special place for it to happen. Babies should be popped on the breast whenever and wherever they need a feed. Why not? I don't see it as being in the same category as defecating or weeing in public, which presents a health risk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:34 PM

I am not arguing, KB. I was not attempting to make a comparison. If that is how you saw it I apologise for my poor Iowan :-) If you do not accept that, fair enough, but please don't try to tell me what I meant to say.

Thanks

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: akenaton
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:36 PM

I think many silly women turn this into a "feminist" issue, just to cause a fuss.
I agree with Bill AND Dave here, babies need to be fed, but it is not unreasonable to pay attention to the feelings of others in society.
My wife breast fed our children, but would never have done so in public, she considered it a very private and personal time between mother and child.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: mg
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:45 PM

I believe in being able to do it in public spaces, but I think that the mother should attempt modesty as well...different if you are just with friends etc. Modesty is easy in cool weather with a tiny baby and as things get warmer and baby gets bigger it gets more difficult but you can still turn to the side or whatever usually. When the kid gets old enough to have a conversation about it...might be an idea to reserve for nighttime feedings..but that is up to parents. Some women can be pretty blatant...and anthropologists have pointed out that nursing is not the only major purpose of the breast...otherwise humans would be sort of like apes..not too much there..it has evolved as a strong visual cue to inspire mating behavior and to dismiss that aspect of it is ignoring biology.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 02:01 PM

Fair enough DtG. I am not looking for an argument either, that was just how I read it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 02:53 PM

Having seen babies in Africa spend the first 18 months of their lives on their mums' back, being swung round to feed at any time, and while their mothers are seated, being held within inches of the breast for comfort as well as for suckling, I feel that anthropologists should consider the basic animal need of a baby (of any mammalian species) for this access and reassurance. If strident feminists are making an issue of it all, perhaps the best way to defuse their capers is to make no fuss at all about nursing mums. That way, the activists wouldn't have anything to demonstrate about. (Rather like the Suffragettes. Once they got the vote, all went quiet.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: gnu
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 03:51 PM

I read as far as the third post which was by SRS. I ditto SRS.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 03:54 PM

More power to the strident feminists. And a pox on repressionists like Akenhateon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Musket
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 04:05 PM

Silly women. Feminists....

Leopards and spots spring to mind.

I reckon the threads on creationism have forget a factor. Dinosaurs haven't died just yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 04:28 PM

So Gnu- one need not consider the sensibilities of others?

Whu Gnu!


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 04:56 PM

Plenty of adult men do not consider the sensibilities of others when needing to pee. Though I haven't seen one doing it in a restaurant - and it never used to happen when I was younger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: GUEST,Major Mustard
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 05:10 PM

Natural?its natural for Homo Sapiens to walk around naked.
But society does not allow it, thank god, Tunbridge Wells would be disgusting if they allowed it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 05:11 PM

I think many silly women turn this into a "feminist" issue, just to cause a fuss.
I agree with Bill AND Dave here, babies need to be fed, but it is not unreasonable to pay attention to the feelings of others in society.
My wife breast fed our children, but would never have done so in public, she considered it a very private and personal time between mother and child.


How nice of you to agree that babies need to be fed. You are a complete and utter disgrace. You shouldn't be allowed out of your bloody house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 06:05 PM

Like, Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 06:49 PM

To be fair to akenaton, perhaps he's talking about a time some years ago, when, as his wife found, breast-feeding in public wasn't quite so acceptable. Another point I feel needs to be made is that young babies get very distressed and frantic when hungry. It can be upsetting for the mother when her baby is screaming for a feed. One can't tell the little scrap to wait until nobody's looking! I also get annoyed when people suggest the mum heads for a public toilet. I couldn't think of a more ghastly place to sit and feed one's baby. I admit that I've never been blessed with a child, so can't speak from personal experience, but it only requires a modicum of kindness and concern to sympathise with mums and babies in this situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 07:09 PM

Plenty of adult men do not consider the sensibilities of others when needing to pee.

So one group of insensitive assholes legitimizes another group of the same?

Wonderful. Or fascinating, as Mr. Spock would say.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Raedwulf
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 07:39 PM

Alternatively, perhaps one group of insensitive assholes demanding everyone else conforms to their view of the world... Every coin has two sides, Greg.

As Eliza has already pointed out, tits (yes, I'm being deliberately spiky) are no big deal in Africa. Defecation is no big deal in some parts of the world either. I seem to remember something I once read about Japanese parents lifting their small son up so he could crap out of the window of a moving train. Shit is clean, or words to that effect, was the explanation i.e. it's no big deal; certainly much more polite than trampling through many fellow commuters on a crowded train. So they thought...

In other words, attitudes are not absolute, they are culturally ingrained. So who is the one with the problem? The one doing what comes naturally, or the one who, as a result of their cultural conditioning, finds it offensive?

I'm not subscribing to any particular point of view here. I'm a bloke. If I need to pee, I'll pee as discreetly as I possibly can. In a toilet for preference; up a dark alleyway, in the bushes, or as close to the tree trunk as I can get, if that's what available & I'm busting. What's the big deal?

Why anyone feels the need to fuss about breast-feeding is beyond me. If you don't like it, look away. Is that so hard? Who is the one being inconsiderate?

It's about the 5th most natural function in the world. You can't get by without sleeping, eating, and defecating. Shagging is optional, but necessary from the point of view of the species. No breast-feeding without shagging.

If you see what I mean... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 08:12 PM

"The sensitivities of others" - who choose to be offended. I don't give them the time of day.

Human are mammals and mammals feed their babies milk. It's that simple. And when you add in the human development benefits of the eye contact between a nursing child and mother, nothing is more natural or perfect. those who choose to get bent out of shape make that choice based upon flawed understanding of how important it is for babies to nurse at their mothers' breasts.

Years ago now, in Central Texas, my husband and I had our daughter with us at a friend's restaurant one evening. A Chinese restaurant. My daughter was fussing and my friend (from Taiwan) came by to point out that she gave us that booth so we had some privacy because in China it was perfectly acceptable for mothers to nurse children in public. I could nurse and eat and talk with others, and my daughter was pretty much hidden by both the table and a small blanket I carried in her diaper bag. Not only did my my friend make it possible, she made it clear that in parts of the world it is expected that you nurse a hungry baby when they are hungry.

Those of us who successfully nursed children for a long period of time until the child was ready to be weaned (about 2 1/2 years) owe it to other mothers to be supportive and offer helpful advice, or run interference, as needed.

Salma Hayek has a great, and very natural attitude toward nursing.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Noreen
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 08:52 PM

I think many silly women turn this into a "feminist" issue, just to cause a fuss.

Who? When? I have NEVER seen or heard of this happening. You mean many "silly" women have a baby just so they can cause a fuss over feeding in public?

I have on the other hand, heard of others choosing to turn this into an "issue, just to cause a fuss", when the mum quietly feeding her baby was nothing whatever to do with them.

And that makes me very angry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 08:55 PM

In other words, attitudes are not absolute, they are culturally ingrained. So who is the one with the problem? The one doing what comes naturally, or the one who, as a result of their cultural conditioning, finds it offensive?

Just a couple of rather basic points here. First, babies need feeding. Second, no-one on this planet has the right to be not offended. The very best way to feed a baby is by breast-feeding. Substitutes just don't measure up. If you see a woman breast-feeding, you are one hundred and ten percent at liberty to not watch. If you watch, then complain, you are a bloody pervert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 09:02 PM

I think many silly women turn this into a "feminist" issue, just to cause a fuss.

Who? When? I have NEVER seen or heard of this happening. You mean many "silly" women have a baby just so they can cause a fuss over feeding in public?

I have on the other hand, heard of others choosing to turn this into an "issue, just to cause a fuss", when the mum quietly feeding her baby was nothing whatever to do with them.

And that makes me very angry.


So it should. But I should like to point out, lest it be overlooked, that the perpetrator of the post you quite rightly take exception to (as do I) is Akenaton. A man who is well-known here for his illiberal (aka homophobic) views on gay people and on gay marriage and on anything else, it appears, that impinges on bodies and sex and caring properly for infants. Very, very nasty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 09:41 PM

Ake said his wife nursed their children. That she wouldn't do it in public - I think she is also a generation or two older than the women nursing today, a more modest generation. My mother didn't have enough information or help from the doctor and didn't nurse any of us for more than a couple of weeks ("you don't have enough milk, give them a bottle" was his answer, instead of understanding that babies go through growth spurts and you nurse through them extra for a few days and then everything is fine - it's a demand and supply system). More power to Ake's wife for nursing her children in a time when a lot of women didn't know how. I suspect he enjoyed watching them - because it is pretty amazing to watch a child nurse at it's mother's breast.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 09:49 PM

I find it pretty normal myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: frogprince
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 10:19 PM

Actually I still like nibbling on those things, but my wife won't let me do it in public...


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Janie
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 10:35 PM

I guess I'm quite surprised this is still, on occasion, an issue. I was 42 when I had my kid, who is now a young man, and never encountered any problems or askance glances when I was breast feeding, lo! those many years ago.

Never made a public spectacle of it, never seemed to attract much attention. It is really very easy to breast feed an infant in a public space while remaining modest and/or respecting the reasonably modest sensibilities that one might anticipate other, perhaps more conservative, folks might have when breastfeeding in public. (not the same as surreptitious, btw.)

I understand that cultural norms vary. I don't know the circumstances that have resulted in the uproar to which Eliza refers and don't want to make assumptions. I suppose it is possible that some folks want to make a "statement" and may be rather exhibitionist about breast feeding. Also, in places much more diverse in terms of nationalities and immigrants than where I have lived, there may be some cultural differences of which an immigrant to more western puritan environs may be unaware.

Where I lived and where I went at that time, which is all I know about, there perhaps were and still are people who were/are outraged by a woman breastfeeding an infant in public under any circumstance, but I never had anyone comment or complain "to management" in a public place, and I don't think that is the norm in most places and venues I am likely to find myself.   

Dress appropriately for the occasion, I always say, and when breast feeding, wear a nice scarf for insurance. Takes just a little education to understand what to wear on the upper torso to make breast feeding in public a discreet enterprise.

I also would think that most folks in a public place would prefer to share space with a quiet, nursing child in the booth, on the bus, or at the table beside them than to a screaming, hungry infant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 10:48 PM

Well Pope Francis recently told mother in the Sistine Chapel to go ahead and breastfeed them.

"Today the choir will sing, but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise. Some will cry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry," Francis said, according to Reuters. "If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here."


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: GUEST,bbc on vacation
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 11:04 PM

My kids are now 29 & 32, but, when they were babies, I nursed each of them for an extended time. I fed them when they needed to be fed (or for comfort), regardless of where we were. I did, however, wear loose tops that would "blouse" over my breast, for modesty's sake. In this, as in many things, I think some balance makes sense.

Best,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Janie
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 11:22 PM

I hope this isn't too much thread drift. I think it is related. I used the word 'conservative' above and also 'puritan.' Now realizing those are not necessarily the salient descriptors, based on my own experience.

My grandparents were United/Old Regular Baptists, through and through. Folks in the USA will probably know what that means, though maybe not folks from across the pond. Very strict/ modest/this is right this is wrong. Morally very conservative though not politically conservative. And very practical people. My grandmother died at age 93 exactly 2 months after my son was born. The entire time at her wake, he was on my breast - he was colickly and fussy otherwise. The deacon had us form a prayer circle - intense and fervent experience with Old Regular Baptists - and my gassy infant kept cadence with the prayer, farting more frequently and loudly as the fervor of the prayer intensified. We heathens and the old-line old Testament, and mostly quite elderly Christians smiled and giggled throughout without embarrassment or condemnation. After the prayer circle I retreated a little bit to a quiet corner and kept my son at my breast - he was content latched on to my breast, whether snoozing or actively nursing - as opposed to squalling like a banshee otherwise at that tender time of his gastric and attachment development. I was discreet and respectful and also obviously had a baby at my breast. All those country folks, 'conservative' as can be, 'puritan' as can be by conventional definition, but especially the eldest or the 'countriest', made sure to seek me out to offer their condolences, and to comment on and admire the youngest of my grandmother's line without exhibiting any discomfort or inhibition whatsoever at approaching a mother with a child at her breast. Maybe it is the difference between country folks and city folks, I don't know. But I do know how very morally conservative and biblically literal were the tribe and church of my grandparents. But to them, a babe at the breast of a mother was nothing to shun or to avert one's eyes from - at least providing there is nothing exhibitionist in the 'tableau.' A nursing mother was as normal and natural to them as a nursing calf or sheep.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 03:49 AM

Perhaps I should have added to my original post that the 'fracas' here in UK started when a mum breastfed outside a pub and the manager came out and chased her away. The upshot was that a large (20 or so) angry group of militant mums arrived and overtly breastfed their babies on the same spot. Apparently, this has happened a few times when a mum has been made to feel ashamed like this; a Swat team of nursing militants arrive in droves and do the deed waving placards and flaunting slogan-printed T shirts etc. I find this amusing and quite see their point of view. If people continue to persecute a lone mum in this way, then maybe a huge group of insistent ladies will turn the tide. I'm really heartened by the responses here on Mudcat. And I'm delighted with the 2005 Scottish Law enacted to protect mums from persecution. Having experienced the African way of life, I can see how daft our Westernised uptight attitudes actually are. I'm not sure about weeing in public, although in W Africa it's always accepted any old where. I had to quickly explain to my husband when he arrived in UK that he must not have a casual wee on the street. But that's different because it's unhygienic. I suppose the bottom line is, I hate to see anyone made to feel ashamed and upset for merely tending to her child and doing nobody any harm. By the way, my husband assures me that breasts are of absolutely no interest to men there. They are not a sexual turn on, any more than one's nose or one's ears! It's bottoms they like. Interesting that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Musket
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 06:00 AM

Don't mention that men like bottoms Eliza! You'll have our resident Major Misunderstanding embarrass himself again by taking it out of context ;-)

It has to be said though. It is commendable to remove stigma and nonsense over offence in this necessary function. But what you can't either legislate for nor socially condition is the reflex action of most men to quickly cast a glance. Sorry, it is instinct not conscious action. It ain't going alter either. So long as we don't exacerbate our position by asking that if you are selling those puppies, I'll have the one with the pink nose, I am sure we can reach a consensus.

Funnily enough, at the time most of us actually think women are impressed that our eyes are cast slightly downwards when chatting them up.

Granted, we have much to learn.









Officer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 06:10 AM

Well, there again Musket, men's interest is also entirely natural. What I dislike is people tutting and moving the poor little mum on, or shoving her into a toilet in disgrace to nurse. I can't see why people get their knickers in such a twist. (Oh dear, mustn't mention knickers either I suppose! tee hee) Luckily for me I am very well-endowed in the bottom department, so my husband is quite content!


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Musket
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 06:30 AM

Men's interest is entirely natural, as you say.

I am full square behind any attempt to shout down people who enjoy being outraged. They love controlling others and a plague on their houses.

I just needed to point out that no matter how much it is a norm, feeding mothers will always have to put up with the odd glance. I don't see how instinct can be removed. Breasts are objects of supreme fascination to many men. I even went as far as marrying a breast surgeon!

For the record, legs, bums and red high heels have to be factored in too with most of us.

We are simple souls at heart.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: eddie1
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 06:49 AM

I had a studio guest + baby on my radio programme. The baby was getting a bit fractious (and probably bored). In the middle of the interview, and without a break in her contribution, she breast fed her baby.
I actually felt quite privileged that she considered this OK in my presence!

The baby does not have too much choice in deciding when she/he is going to be hungry and can't be talked out of it. Provided the mother is not driving or in any other potentially dangerous situation - go for it! If anyone is offended, look away or go somewhere else!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 09:12 AM

Another one of those silly feminists I suppose :-S

Absolutely preposterous.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: akenaton
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 09:33 AM

I'm not THAT bloody old Eliza. :0)

The point I was making was explained to me by my wife, who reckons that breast feeding is part of the mother and child bonding process, and involves much more than just filling the child's belly.
It is and very personal relationship, giving both to mother AND child, and involving touch, sounds and satisfaction through feeding.
It should not be used as a political weapon to gain feminist status, to do so is a form of abuse.
The ideology of "self" seems to be everywhere, look how the gang of three can't wait to dive on every remark or statement that they think they can demonise.....pitiful.
I like to discuss all issues, this thread has nothing to do with homosexuality , but the "liberal" doctrine hides in every thread, waiting to pounce.

These issues are always much more complex than we think, and involve complex emotional reactions....certainly too complex to be pigeon holed by idiotic political activists.....male or female.


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Subject: RE: BS: Breastfeeding In Public
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 10:38 AM

It is not a complex issue at all. A complex issue is sterilising a bottle, having a supply of sterile water at just the right temperature, especially if you're out and about, measuring the right amount of (second-rate) feed to mix, making sure the teat is germ-free and holding it at the correct angle to the baby's mouth until your arm nearly drops off. That's what I call complex. Alternatively, you expose your breast and put the baby to it. That's what I call simple. So simple, in fact, that even a baby can do it. And I can't remember ever seeing a woman whip out her breast for her baby in order to use it as a political weapon. Generally speaking, they seem to do it in order to feed the baby. It's illiberal people like you who turn perfectly natural things into "political issues".


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