|Check it out, HERE.|
The thing that jumped out at me was one of the comments I read from a man- it was....sexual in nature. He seemed to find the picture erotic. And I am cynical enough to believe that THAT (sexualizing this act, the act of nursing) is EXACTLY what this magazine was going for.
My breasts are so very....functional these days. Sure, they can be sexual- but so can your hands or your mouth. But washing dishes isn't SEXY just because you could use your hands for "other stuff." (Now if my husband actually washed dishes.....well.....)
I am sure that TIME is just trying to get people to buy this issue and talk about it. And it worked, I am sure. So, go them.
But breastfeeding isn't sexual. Even if you nurse an older child- it isn't sexual. I breastfeed in the middle of church. Nobody even looks at me sideways. Sure, it is a beautiful thing and a special relationship- but it is also VERY functional and totally normal.
I applaud this mother for parenting how she wants and nursing to what point she and her child feel comfortable.
Still, TIME magazine kind of makes me gag. I don't really know if this is good for the breastfeeding mothers of the world. It tries once again to shock people into thinking that the act of breastfeeding should be controversial or even sexy. It isn't really. This is just how we feed our babies, and for some, their toddlers.
It even seems to purposely pit mothers against one another. Are you good enough? Mom enough? Probably NOT!, screams the title.
How does this make it easier for women to nurse in public without a cover?
Answer: it doesn't.
The perception of breastfeeding that this picture tries to portray (to sexualize it for optimal media exposure) works against what nursing moms want. In fact, I think it works against what any mom wants, no matter how she feeds her child.
In my mind at least, I don't see breastfeeding as any kind of statement. It is just how I feed my kids. It is normal and natural. It isn't revolutionary. It isn't sexual. It isn't bad for relationships with our children OR our spouse. It is functional.
|Find this fab photographer here.|
We are women. We are multi-talented and multifunctional and so are our bodies. We can be fabulous partners and still nurture our children. We can use our "lady parts" for nourishment and birth and they can also be sexual with our partners. But I think the media just wants to see us as sex objects- and sex objects only. Even nurturing our children can be sexualized and co-opted so that some dude can make a buck and so that some other dude will buy a magazine.
I continue to be disappointed that feeding our children is seen in our culture as a statement, or sexual or something that people are "activists" or "lactivists" if they do. Why can't we just DO IT and be left alone? All this cover does is freak people out and feed the "cover 'em up crowd."
Let's start embracing the talents of women. They CAN be mothers AND nurturing AND strong AND beautiful AND smart. We are not one thing. And we will not be bought and sold and seen as merely objects by a media who can't see past our breasts as play toys. We will not allow it.
(Disclaimer- Maybe you are thinking, "This Mama Birth chick probably looks awful in skinny jeans." Well, you would be RIGHT! I have never even had the nerve to try on a pair. I keep hoping the skinny jean trend goes away, but so far, I appear to be out of luck. But that woman- on the cover, SHE is proof that even mothers can wear skinny jeans. GO HER! And I am not jealous.)