Oh look! Someone told me to shut up!


(In response to this post I made last week)

I have a big problem with the response to this response.

First of all, as I assumed from actually using my brain after reading this ad, the woman featured is an actress. I had to look it up on the Googles because she doesn’t look familiar to me, but the caption of “best role ever” makes it sound like she’s someone who acts for a living. And I was right, she does. Her name is Lucy Lawless, and she is apparently a big icon in New Zealand (she’s in lots and lots of television shows here in the US, I guess, but nothing I would really know her from). So anyway, back to my problem. What this ad implies to me after reading it is that this woman, the actress, is very happy she decided to breast feed her child (or children, who knows. Again, not familiar with Lawless and certainly not her personal life). Saying it’s her “best role ever” makes it sound to me that she feels it was an extremely good decision to breast feed and encourages others to do the same. And of course, this is just a poorly thought through slogan for some World Something or Other Week (I can’t read the small print). But the point is they want you to breast feed. Okay, that’s great. And, breast feeding can, in some cases, be good. After all, that’s the whole point of your boobs. Boobs are there to hold mammary glands. Mammary glands are there to produce milk. Milk is meant to feed babies. I don’t think the ad is there to slam, per say, people who can not or choose not to breast feed. It’s just trying to be creative and has caused some apparent problems unintentionally. 

Now, redlightpolitics, your response to the ad is a perfect example of what the whole discussion on the Jezebel article is about. You calling the ad “vomit inducing” is telling me that you obviously don’t fully understand breast feeding or anything about breast feeding. Should that woman have been asked to leave the chocolate shop? Why? Was she asked to leave because there was some discrimination against breast feeding going on on the grounds that people think it’s “gross”, or because she was not properly covered and people were ogling her breasts? Obviously there was staring going on of some sort. Remember what I said about boobies? Boobs are there to hold mammary glands. Mammary glands are there to make milk. Milk is there to feed babies.

Tell me, redlightpolitics, why is this so gross to you? Are you afraid of boobs? Should babies not be allowed to eat naturally? Other animals suckle from the teats of their mothers, and we simply look away and ignore it, or we think nothing of it. Why is this so wrong? None of this is to say I am for or against breast feeding, because honestly, I don’t know what I will personally do if I decide to have children. There are serious health benefits to both sides. But, a mother should have the right to do so if she so chooses. 

So, my point is, your response is as poorly thought through as the original response. You clearly didn’t think about what the ad was attempting to say, just as the original Jezebel poster didn’t think about what the ad was accidentally also implying. Now, please stop talking before you think things through. 

I did think things through. To me, personally, breasts are not for breastfeeding. By choice. Because I don’t want children and because my breasts are mine and I get to decide what to do with them. You, on the other hand, decided breasts are mammary glands. I sure hope you mean your breasts are to be viewed exclusively as mammary glands and not the breasts of every women on Earth. Because for some women, breasts are just a part of the anatomy to derive pleasure from. That is something we hardly ever hear because the discussion on “breasts” has been completely appropriated by those who want to view them exclusively in a context of motherhood. Sure, that’s one of the possible contexts but not the only one. And I take offense at anyone implying my breasts are meant to perform some motherhood related task because I personally choose not to. The implication that breasts are purely meant for that purpose denies my stance that they are meant to further express my sexuality.

And I think herein rests part of the problem in this whole discussion: to acknowledge that breasts can be exclusively used for pleasure is to acknowledge that those who don’t want to view a woman breastfeeding because they put it in a sexual context might have a point. Would it be far fetched to think that those who view breasts in a sexual context should just shut the fuck up when they see a woman breast feed? Or is it impossible to think that some aspect of motherhood (i.e. breastfeeding) can be perceived as sexual? That doesn’t give those people the right to deny the woman the right to breastfeed in public, but I think many people are just terrified of the implication that for some, breasts are purely sexual organs.

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