Unless you live under a rock you know about Brock Turner by now. My news feed has been blowing up with a nation emotionally triggered by a disgusting act of the legal system. I have so many thoughts, so many angles to take with this, I am also overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure I should say anything at all until this evening when I checked the comments of a photo that I shared to find a troll saying something along the lines that, “at least she ain’t a nasty hairy bitch, yet, why don’t you show me your jugs without the baby.” I decided I would go ahead and share one small sliver of a point that I’d like to express.
How one person’s experiences with sexual assault and nursing-in-public harassment helped her to draw obvious parallels – and find healing
By Jill A. DeLorenzo
April can be both a tough and an empowering time. It is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and it is also the time of the Nationwide Nurse-In. Yet it is a time when I need to reflect on the many reasons why we need these events. [Read more…]
I recently thought I’d like to start watching a TV show. I don’t watch much, but thought it might be fun to get into something regularly (besides Seinfeld reruns). I tried a couple of those prime time dramas and every time I had to turn it off after 10 minutes and was left emotionally triggered the rest of the evening. It seems we’ve become completely desensitized to rape, murder, beating, blood, gore, etc. Some of the plot lines were so outrageous, so violent that my mouth literally hung open. It’s always the same cheesy lines, void of any human emotion and more excessive violence. Yet I regularly receive messages over social media that I’m, “gross,” “disgusting,” or “harming” my children in response to my breastfeeding or gentle parenting posts. Get a clue, people. What is harming our children? What is harming the world? Breastfeeding and co-sleeping? Or glamorized violence, violence in our neighborhoods, free-walking abusers, intolerance, hate and fear?
Breastfeeding isn’t private for me. At all. It’s no more private for me than eating, sipping water, holding my husband’s hand or hugging friends. It’s private for some people and that’s totally cool. That’s just not my personal story. No one would ever interrupt my husband and I holding hands while eating dinner to tell us we were being inappropriate. I don’t see any reason to do this to a breastfeeding mother. Ever. There is never a reason to treat a breastfeeding mother any different than anyone else on the street. Unless she is about to wander into traffic just let her be.
If a woman decides that her breasts are sexual then we have to accept that. If she decides that her breasts are purely for feeding her baby and that they lack any sexual meaning whatsoever, then that’s her truth. Breasts are whatever we want them to be. “We” as in the owners of them. Society has decided that we are not the owners of our breasts and that they are sexual because everyone else wants them to be. This is how a woman’s body becomes sexualized, and it’s not about sex, it’s about control. This way we remain sexual in the eyes of society and our primary purpose is to sell products and satisfy sexual fantasies. [Read more…]
You will most likely not have a negative breastfeeding incident in your life. But that means nothing really. You live in a world where this happens and we all suffer the consequences of misogyny. Breastfeeding incidents occur often. Most of them are not reported. (Sound familiar?) Women are left humiliated, frightened and broken. Something is taken from women when this occurs; a sense of safety and innocence. These are not isolated incidents. They are part of a pattern of hatred of women, violence against women, abuse of women, shaming of women. Where porn is a billion dollar industry, where we pay a ton of money to see women take their clothes off, but women are told to cover up and go to the bathroom when breastfeeding their babies. There is a sickness in our society. One rooted in misogyny and double standards. One that hurts women and children everyday. One that must be cured. Cured by speaking up, speaking out, speaking often, making waves, not shutting up, not waiting for it to get better, breastfeeding whenever and wherever, shouting for each other and not giving up ever, ever, ever.
By Abby Theuring, MSW
The longer I work at breastfeeding advocacy and activism the harder it becomes to separate issues surrounding breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public from larger feminist issues. Intrigued by the connection I started reading feminist essays and picked up Rebecca Solnit’s book Men Explain Things to Me. I worked up an appetite to [Read more…]
Jack (4.5 years) and I started a game where we fell into the foam pit backwards. Exley (18 months) started to join in. One of the times Exley came over and flopped onto my chest. He pulled at my shirt, Jack saw this and yelled, “boobie time!” They both latched on for about a minute and then I said, “ok, that’s good!” And then we started to play again. [Read more…]
The Double Standard Bar, Part 1: My Body Is Not a Crime
I stand here on a beach in Chicago with my shirt off. I am breaking the law. Chicago has a ban on the exposure of female nipples. My male counterparts can expose their nipples at will.
You don’t want to walk to around topless, you say? I don’t either.
THAT IS NOT THE POINT. [Read more…]
My name is Paola and I’m 26. I’m a single mother to my two year old, Daenerys. We have been nursing since she was three days old and when I saw your post today on Instagram about nursing in public, I felt really excited about that. I do have a blog on Tumblr but I thought I’d write something new about it rather than send you a link to something old. My feelings about it are different now that we’ve done this so long.
Before I begin about our journey to nursing in public, I think it’s important to note how we started. Daenerys was born with the cord round her neck and they swiftly pried her away to the NICU. A nurse wrongfully recorded she had gone five minutes without breathing and I met my baby two hours after she was born. She had tubes everywhere and I couldn’t hold her.