So, WTF is it with people objecting to breastfeeding in public?
I’ve sat extremely recently in a restaurant whilst over the way a lady was breastfeeding a little baby. What could I see? Well, err, nothing I couldn’t have seen had the lady not had a baby clamped to her breast. I could see a bit of cleavage, and absolutely no nipple. That nipple, I assume, was busy delivering sustenance to the newly alive person.
If I’m honest, I didn’t even realise that the lady was actually breastfeeding her baby. Durrr. My eyes were gently scanning around the room, as they always do, in my search for anybody about to attack me or run up to me for an autograph, and in order to check all the exits should I need extraction from an unexpected firefight, and they fell upon the lady in question. As I stared middle distance-ish, I just clocked 1) a lady and 2) a baby. The lady was just holding the baby.
‘Oh, she’s breastfeeding,’ I suddenly clicked with a jolt. She’s holding the baby in her arm and it is latched on and feeding.
“OMG” I thought. Nope, not OMG that she was breastfeeding, but OMG that it looked to anybody watching me as if I was rudely staring at her. What a prat! I felt so stupid and so embarrassed.
Luckily nobody had seen my faux pas.
I made sure I looked away for the rest of my meal, rather than giving any indication that I was some kind of nutter.
Later, when the lady, her baby, and those she was with had left, I explained the entire event to those on my table who had completely missed the fact that there was a breastfeeding event occurring (They are also the type that don’t check exits or for potential assassins). As it was, typical of the good company I keep, nobody had any issues with public breastfeeding. And why should they?
Public defecation at a restaurant dining table, yes, that would be wrong. But breastfeeding? How can that be wrong? Why do some people, notably older women, get so upset by public breastfeeding?
In so many ways it is quite a wonderful thing. To be able to all eat together at the same time as a family seems lovely and a part of parental bonding. And, there’s really nothing wrong with any of it. Even if for a moment in time the mother’s nipple had been visible pre-latching (which in this particular case, it wasn’t), how is that in any way wrong?
If she’d been using a bottle to feed the baby, nobody would have cared. Not even the mad women that hate public breastfeeding. So, how can a bottle be ok but a breast be not ok?
I don’t get it.
Me personally, I would object only if a baby was screaming continuously at an adjacent table and not responding to attempts to get it to shut the fuck up. But gently suckling, how can that ever be objectionable?