This is one of those three way mirrors kind of posts. I am reply -turned – posting to a reply – turned – post. PhD in Parenting has a post about a post on Blog it out, Bitch about how breastfeeding in public somehow forces disapproving parents to talk about breastfeeding with their children before they are ready and willing.
My response (with a few typo / grammar edits *twitch twitch*):
I really have a problem with the idea that breastfeeding in public is forcing parents to discuss something with their children before they are willing. It is the same exact argument being used by parents protesting a host on a British children’s show who has a congenital deformity of one of her arms.
No one can force someone to have a discussion with her child before she is ready. I have an IUD pin on my white coat (I am a medical student who plans to practice Ob/gyn.) . When my son said “You have a pogo stick on your white coat!” I said “Yes I do!” because I didn’t think a discussion on birth control was age appropriate. I make these sorts of judgment calls every day. A parent who doesn’t want to discuss the TV host with the different arm can turn off the TV, say “I don’t want to talk about that” and stick her head in the sand all she wants.
Parents DO get to choose what they discuss and what they ignore. What they cannot control is the entire world around them, and the sooner they learn that, the better. And, the sooner they stop using “But what about the CHILDREN??” as an excuse to cover up their own biases and fears, the better we will all be.
Breastfeeding is in absolutely no way disgusting, sexual, inappropriate, or wrong, and I refuse to defend or accept the defense of someone who tries to pretend it is. Neither is seeing a biracial or homosexual couple together (I am not talking about sex here, but holding hands or in a book or something), a TV host with a differently abled body, or a myriad of other examples of biases people have.
I will judge women who go to restaurants with their breasts, midriffs, thongs or buttcheeks hanging out of their clothes in a sexual manner. (I live near South Beach in Miami. Not only have I seen all this at restaurants, I have seen mothers dropping off their children at school dressed like this. No kidding.) I do not pretend that there won’t be groups of parents who think my breastfeeding in restaurants was obscene, just like there are apparently people who think my judgment of women who walk around like they are auditioning for a porno is some sort of wrong attitude toward a sex positive ideal.
We don’t agree, and I can live with that. I don’t have to defned their point of view, however.