Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Breastfeeding and Men

I do not own rights to this cartoon.

Something that has been grabbing my attention as of late has been that there a lot of men who are for breastfeeding. I mean A LOT! This is fantastic and beyond fabulous. There are still a lot comparatively who are still mixed about it and a degree are still against it. I'm just going to ignore those confused lot for a moment, because the point I'm going for doesn't have to do with the mixed up men.

Quoting the most important man in my life growing up (my father) he simply stated that "It's natural, it's what they are designed for. There is nothing sexual about it."

I grew up in a very forward thinking group as a child. All of the friends I had as a little girl had been breastfed, their siblings were breastfeed and I often saw breastfeeding happening. It was natural. I was shocked when I got into school and social media, to find that not every woman nursed her baby.
Then, as I grew through the school system, and through my open minded opinions (my big mouth) I found out that the majority of my classmates who were for breastfeeding, were the boys. This opinion continued into college, in my places of work, etc.
Recently, on Facebook, my mother had posted a link about how people were talking about breastfeeding so much as of late. In response to this link, was a very intelligent response from a young man who is recently married. He is the son of one of my mom's friends, who when I saw him last, was still a nursling.

What struck me most suddenly is this thought. "If men aren't the problem here, who is?"
Then the depressing part struck me. We are. The women. We are the very reason we don't breastfeed. We are the ones who have bought into the crap of being sexualized. We are the ones who think of our cycles as nothing else other than something we just have to deal with. We are the ones who have bought the bull and we are the ones who are depriving and denying our children. We believe that all men want is sex, because that is what is broadcast to us. We buy the bras that say 'Sexy'. We buy the thongs and skimpy bikinis because they produce the image of sexy. We starve ourselves, cut ourselves(surgery), dye our hair and shave/wax places that don't see the sun, because we are sexy that way. Yet who are we really pleasing? Do men really care about all that? Do our husbands?

I have ceased to be amazed at the number of woman I have come across that are literally either repulshed by the idea of something/someone sucking on their nipples. That despite knowing how beneficial it is for the baby and themselves, they won't do it because it's just gross. When did breastfeeding become more taboo than sex? Why is breastfeeding and our periods suddenly on the same level of disgust and repulsive? The things we don't talk about are the things we NEED to talk about the most. With Sex still being thrown at us from every angle, we need to talk about breastfeeding. DESPERATELY SO! It needs to be talked about without rolled eyes, slights of hand, detratmental comments, and anything that involves sex.
At the nurse-in I attended, I was very surprised when I talked to other moms, who also had friends who felt that nursing was an intimate act that should be done in a private place. Granted I don't think it's ok for moms to have their shirts up around their necks to nurse, but I don't think a mother should feel she has to hide in order to give her baby a drink.
When did something that is innocent turn into something intimate? Breastfeeding is NOT a Sexual act. It does not need to be hidden away and we as woman need to stop feeling embarressed about people seeing our breasts doing what they are designed to do.

To quote from the bible "...let her breasts always satisfy you.." Some may look at this and say that it is all about sex. But lets look at it again. If that man has been breastfeed, then they nourished and satisfied his basic needs as a baby, as a man he covets after what he knows will bring nourishment and saite his children. This is what is sexy about breasts. Their basic function makes them sexy.

Think of breastmilk as chocolate, it soothes and comforts as well as sates and satisfies, yet chocolate is very sexy.

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