stand up

July 5, 2010

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public
This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at the new NursingFreedom.org.  All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public ("NIP"). See the bottom of this post for more information.

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this week we're celebrating the carnival of nursing in public- a blogging festival hoping to raise awareness about breastfeeding– wherever it may be.  it's a topic near and dear to my heart.  i've written time and time again about my own issues with public nursing.  basically, it terrifies me.  i do it, but man, the nerves.

some would say, "You're just feeding a baby.  Who cares, right?" or,  "Why do you need to raise awareness about this? It's no big deal." or,  "Why do you get all stressed out about it?"

i hear more and more stories on the news every week:  nursing women asked to leave, confronted and shamed.  studies that reveal fewer women choose to nurse because like me, they're intimidated.

so, you might not understand why this is important, why i'm afraid.  these are comments from twitter.  just from this week.  some that i read, not that i went searching for:

Breast feeding in public? Some say its ok cause it's natural..but so is eating pussy, but I dont see every1 doing that ; ) lol

it grosses a lot of people out. I would never wip my nipple out in public so some 12 yr old boy can fap to it later

so??? one is a baby sucking nasty smelling milk out of a broads nipple...the same nipple a man would suck on

breastfeeding in public is gross. Yes, it's natural, but so is cancer.

there are a thousand things i could would like to say to these people, that i think they're wrong, immature, that it's ridiculous– and it is.  but that's not my point.  they're unfortunately just products of the culture we live in... which doesn't include nursing.  there's an incredible level of hate that exists, it's beyond oh, well i chose to feed my kid formula or even i don't want to see your boobs.  those are reasonable statements.  but to know that there are people who think that breastfeeding, and especially doing it in public, is akin to fucking cancer?  yeah, it gives me second thoughts about doing it in front of strangers.

it's easy to say this doesn't affect you.  maybe you're not a nursing mom.  maybe you don't have kids or don't ever plan to.  maybe you're a guy.  you can say that you've personally never encountered this problem so why bother taking a stand?

no matter what method we use to feed our children they deserve the right to be fed, as needed, in whatever respectful way we choose.  not in a bathroom or under a blanket.  bottle or breast it really doesn't matter– it's just babies eating.

this week i'll be working as part of the carnival to raise awareness through posts and tweets and other outreach efforts.  there are some pretty bad attitudes about it floating around about breastfeeding, whether you want to acknowledge them or not.  stand up for the rights of your children to be respected.  stand up for the rights of your mothers and sisters and daughters bodies to be more than just sex objects.  stand up for me.  i nurse in public.

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Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/
Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit NursingFreedom.org any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts - new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 - Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

12 comments:

Metacognitive Musings

Thank you for sharing this. As a nursing mother I will be checking out the website and blogs.

I nurse in public when it is necessary and am VERY aware of all of the glances that are shot my way.

Somehow me nursing my son while wearing a nursing cover is scandilous but a picture in the mall of a Victoria's Secret model wearing VERY little is a normal, accepted scene in public.

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama

Those tweets make me ill. There are a few people on Twitter who I really admire for engaging some of these people in respectful ways, but I usually can't stand getting into a back-and-forth with them. As with many trollish people online, they are just trying to get a rise out of us. Many of them will be ashamed one day when they have their own kids.

melissa joanne

Thank you for sharing this! Sadly, I can absolutely relate. Fortunately, thanks to things like this carnival, I think that attitude is changing - slowly, but surely.

AthenaBee

I love love love this!

I can't help but wonder if I SHOULD be a little more aware of other people's feelings, but for some reason I'm just plain not. I will feed Zofia anywhere, anytime, in front of anyone. It's just the way it is. I'm completely oblivious to others and I can guarantee that any dirty look or snide remark made will pale in comparison to what I'm capable of. I GUARANTEE IT. Who can make a grown man cry? This gal. Zofia and I are trying to learn to be a little more discreet, but we're just not good at it. Deal with it.

Rebekah C

I can't even get over how immature and ridiculous people can be. My brother once told me "Ok, so breastfeeding is natural...so is peeing but I'm not going to do that in front of you!"

It so upsets me that my mind goes blank! Like, the ridiculousness, the willful ignorance of a comment like that just fries my brain.

oursentiments

Comments really get me angry, in the beginning DH told me that I NIP to get people going. Yup, because the crying of our daughter does not matter to me, it's how many faces I can make go red....

navelgazingbajan

By the logic of some of those trolls all things that are natural are equal hence...

We should never eat, sleep, laugh, talk, walk, sit, stand etc. in public.

You know what, we should just sequester ourselves and only interact online... oh wait...

Erin

Oh goodness, who ARE those people on Twitter making those awful comments? I will consider myself blessed to have not been told anything so awful.

The one I do read in comments a lot (usually in the comments following news stories about women being asked to stop NIP somewhere) is the popular, "Well, peeing is a natural function too, but I'm not allowed to do it in public!" I can't stand that comment! The people who make it fail to take into account that for a baby or toddler, it IS acceptable to urinate in public (not to mention that it is unsanitary to just urinate on the floor in a public building, that adults can wait until they find a bathroom, it smells bead, etc.), so their argument doesn't hold water.

Oh, when people make such horribly immature comments, what can be done to normalize breastfeeding for people like that? It's like they have not even a basic understanding of biology or babies... so sad.

Thanks for doing your part in helping to make breastfeeding seen as normal!

Biscuit

When I saw that shit on Twitter I literally wanted to get on a plane, go beat that woman's ass, and make her mom cry. YES IT WAS A WOMAN THAT WAS MAKING THOSE COMMENTS>

It all boils down to ignorant, unedcuated, crackheads looking for attention. She even started her tirade with, "I know I'm going to catch a lot of crap for saying this but..." WELL THEN SHUT UP.

Arrrggghhh. I fed W wherever the hell he got hungry and I would have dared someone to say something to me. I nursed in a FUCKING JANITOR'S CLOSET ONCE, and cried the whole time. NEVER AGAIN, people can suck it. My baby was hungry, we shouldn't be punished.

Shew, shit like to get me whipped up.

Melissa

Ugh!!! Those comments make me ill. I am a mother of a 6 month old little boy, and we NIP. While I know I have made some people uncomfortable, I count myself lucky that I have not been exposed to such hate as you saw and shared with us. Nursing is beautiful... I wish everybody could open their minds and see it for what it truly is.

RedPowerLady

You make such a good point:
"nursing women asked to leave, confronted and shamed. studies that reveal fewer women choose to nurse because like me, they're intimidated."

It is sad but true. Thanks for joining the fight to make it easier to NIP.

Anonymous

I have nursed all 7 of my children whenever they needed to eat. I have unfortunately had to nurse in bathrooms out of fear of people accusing me of being immodest and I hated it. I am so discreet usually that the waiter doesn't even know so after 7 babies I don't worry as much about it. Honestly at home I am not discreet at all...it is my home and I am relaxing and feeding my baby there is nothing wrong with it. All my girls breastfed their dollies which my MIL found disgusting even though she nursed!

Funny how the same society used the renaissance art work to make porn and sexuality in public dress A-Ok have an issue with breast feeding....which in my opinion is much closer to the renaissance art than porn is...sheesh people need to grow up...I swear there are too many immature adult kids in heat!

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