Thursday, February 12, 2009

Breasts!

I’m pissed off at yet another example of discrimination against a nursing mom.

Dear America, What The Fuck???




This is a teeny, tiny fraction of ads that are out there. Ads that we see every day. That our children see. Ads for products that rarely have anything to do with breasts. And yet there they are, everywhere. Oiled and pushed up and smooshed together and fairy-dusted and tanned and thrust into your face. And it’s all OK, apparently.

But let someone see a tiny sliver of a breast being used for the very thing they were created for, and hoo-boy! Instead of admiring looks and rich ad execs slapping each other on the back for their “genius”, we have insults and accusations and removals from property and threats of criminal charges. CRIMINAL CHARGES, people!

For this:




I am sick to death of people sexualizing and criminalizing it and turning something beautiful and natural into something dirty or gross.

People are having a fit because Salma Hayek nursed a baby that is not her own on a recent UNICEF trip to Africa. I don’t get the big damned deal. She was feeding a starving infant (STARVING INFANT) with the very substance that is best for him. I would have done it myself without a second thought.

Many, many years ago, my Nana (great-grandma) did the very same thing. A neighbor’s milk had dried up and her baby was not thriving. Just a couple short decades after slavery ended, my Nana took a tiny, hungry, African baby in her arms and did the one thing she could do. And my Nana was a beautiful woman. It wasn’t gross and it wasn’t sexual.

And yet, even all the way across the world, breasts are so sexualized that babies are starving over it. Because the men in Sierra Leone are forcing their wives to quit breastfeeding their babies because of social mores that say it’s wrong to have sex with a nursing women. Nothing keeps a woman down like declaring her unclean and rendering her helpless to save her own children’s lives.

Now, I realize that Sierra Leone is a far cry from the United States, both in distance and in culture. Here, no one says we’re not allowed to breastfeed our children. No, here, we just have to hide to do it so as not to offend anyone.

I don’t happen to have any breastfeeding photos, but if I did, you could be damned sure I’d post one. But I am so damned sick and tired of this shit that instead, I give you my big, baby-feeding-created, besaggified rack. Go ahead, America, GET OFFENDED:

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28 comments:

Michelle said...

It's funny... I just came from a meeting tonight where someone mentioned the Selma Hayak thing -- which I hadn't heard before. And we were all so proud that she did what she could to help. It's all about helping where we can with what we can and ... this baby needed it. I don't get people.

Veronica said...

You? Are awesome.

Veronica said...

Sorry, I meant that in a totally non creepy way, it's just that I was typing one handed while I fed my son.

Karen said...

You go, girl! I get so sick of seeing boobs where they shouldn't be (can adolescent boys not even venture from their bedrooms anymore) and yet feeding your own child is nearly banned. What the heck is wrong with people?!

Mom101 said...

I'm with Veronica: You're awesome.

Burgh Baby said...

Hear that? It's me applauding.

Well said.

LaskiGal said...

Oh, I totally hear you and YOU are NOT alone. Not so sure if I can put Thelma and Louise out there (they are camera-shy and saggy), but hell, they are gutsy!

Bravo!

justmylife said...

I am applauding too! Well said!

ClumberKim said...

Bravo!!! Once upon a time, not long after Hurrican Katrina, I said I wouldn't hesitate to nurse a baby that wasn't my own in the event of a natural disaster. Took no end of crap for it. Ridiculous!

How about a challenge to those who have breastfeeding photos to post 'em and link back to this post?

PSU Mom said...

Amen, sister!

leanie08 said...

i stumbled across this page and the only reason i decided to join this site was to leave you a comment and tell you that you are absolutely correct on this issue. breastfeeding is more natural than formula, and even the milk that comes from cows these days. my daughter was born with pneumonia and she got better in about a week, and the doctor said it was because of me breastfeeding her.

Amanda said...

You're absolutely right. Why is it ok to bare all in everyday advertising, but it's a MORTAL SIN for a woman to breastfeed in public?

Best post ever. Thank you. :)

Ed Snyder said...

I liked her before, but I totally love Selma Hayek now. When my wife was breastfeeding, I had to stare down a few idiots (I'm a large guy and a bit intimidating, so I didn't mind) who feigned offense at my babies eating. And my wife was always very discrete due to her own misplaced embarrassment.

Schmutzie said...

You are being featured on Five Star Friday!
http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2009/02/five-star-friday-edition-41.html

Tanyetta said...

You freaking rock and roll. :)

Chris said...

I would applaud too but it is hard with 1 hand. Also sitting here 1 hand typing while nursing.

It would be awesome to set up some sort of breastfeeding sit in all over America. Millions of moms nursing in public at the same time.

Karly said...

Well, holy crap. I just saw your boobies.

And, yeah, I'm with you. Totally over seeing boobs on EVERYTHING so long as no baby is attached. WTF?

Magpie said...

First of all, I love that picture of you - the angles of the arms and the breasts and stuff - it's very cool and kind of stylized.

Second - I hadn't heard that story about Hayak, but it is fascinating.

People should just get over themselves about breastfeeding - the more you and I and everyone else speak out, the better.

meno said...

I've posted my breast feeding picture before. I might have to dig ut up and post it again.

K said...

You ROCK!!

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

Bravo Gina.

IGNORAMOUS that think Selma shouldn't have done it --- Read one of the greatest novels in american history EVA! Grapes of Wrath. The young girl lost her baby but she nursed a dying man. A MAN! Still not gross ... life giving. beautiful. he would have died. READ IT YOU SICK F*CKS ... it sucks to STARVE. Try going a night without dinner? How about a week without food. Starving is a difficult thing to watch and if you had the power/ability to save someone from that awful fate - wouldn't YOU? No matter what it entailed?

Recently seen another movie about starvation ... Hunger (course that was a hunger strike)...still hard to watch.

Bethtastic said...

Awesome. And I thought it couldn't get better...you love the Steelers, you write hilarious stories about dog poo...now, you're an advocate for the most normal of human interactions!!

Keep on, Gina!!

Gwen said...

Well said. I just wrote a post about breastfeeding myself. I don't understand the disgust people feel at breastfeeding. It's a beautiful act. It's a natural act. And what Salma Hayak did was wonderful, in my opinion. Thanks for your well-written, candid post on this issue.

Ginny Marie said...

Thank you for your post! I watched a video of Salma Hayek nursing the baby in Sierra Leone, and it wasn't creepy or weird; it was beautiful in a nurturing and caring way. I love nursing my baby; there is nothing better!

Sprite's Keeper said...

Bravo! Here from Text Imps. I've made the comment before that I'm not sure I have the moxie to nurse someone else's child, but if it came down to saving the child, put my own stupid fears aside and whip the girls out. Bravo to you for showing the world what breasts are meant for and shame on other people who put their own unrealistic "morals" over the life of a child.

i am the diva said...

as a nursing mom i say: HELL YES! this is a fabulous post. Thank you!! and that makes me want to take a few shots nursing my little man while i still can.

alyssa said...

You rock. Thanks for standing up for all of us. I nurse my son every day in public. Sometime people are rude, sometimes thye make me uncomfortable but society needs to see it and so I do it. My son needs to eat and I am giving him the best of the best. To hell with them...

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

I salute you and your boobs.