Trials of being a parent 2: Breastfeeding in public?

To breast feed or not to breast feed, is not a question we are having. I have become a supporter of the idea behind it. It seems very logical. the problem that many people are focusing on is breastfeeding in public. Is that something that should be done in private or is it ok to do so in public?

Even though, when I see it I still get a little shocked, but not like I used to be. Of course I would never make a comment or even give a dirty look. I am a true believer in the personal rights of everyone and would never dare to infringe when it is not causing any harm. I am just naturally a private person. Maybe due to my upbringing, I just would rather do many things behind closed doors. I used to have a problem with Public displays of affection; that has changed though. I never know a good answer, other than I just am not used to it. I asked my wife if she would breast feed in public. She is also a very private person and would rather do it not in the public; we are somewhat of an introvert, but when others do it, it is of course there prerogative.

The question though is why is it such a huge discussion over should women be able to do it or not? I think the major issue is that it is not part of main culture. while it is still questioned in Europe, it is totally different than how people view breastfeeding in America, but I think it has mainly to do with how we view sexuality.  It is still a taboo subject (as well as many subjects)  in most families and schools.  We do not teach about the human body as openly as in Europe. It is obvious through the books, through family discussions, from the sex education classes in America, and the display of sexuality in the public, or lack of it. I was reading a book for children and the illustrations are more revealing than what would be allowed in America. The book was for older siblings whose parents were about to have another child and what it would be like to be a big brother/sister. The pictures showed breastfeeding as how it really is, a natural process. The milk is good for the baby and also aids in the bond between mother and child.

The first time I saw nude breast was when I was walking by a photo studio. I became bashful when I saw it. I was stunned, until I walked by the next photo studio. Every photo studio I seemed has pictures of the naked body on display. These shops do not cater to only adults but to families. A family studio in America would never display pictures like these. After seeing them in every shop, I do not think anything about it anymore. I have become desensitized to it. Just like there is argument that exposure to violence in video games leads to children being desensitized to violence, the same can be said when it comes to sexuality. I have had many other firsts like this as well. Such as the first time I was at dinner with my family, friends, and acquaintances they started discussing about bodily functions, and all of the many topics we discussed during dinner seemed to have no boundaries. it seems that all conversations skipped right past small talk, right past everything. Neither side is bad just making an observation.

I would like for America to become more open about issues at least within their family and teach about things that children need to know. Children will learn about many issues on their own, why not make sure that the children learn the correct information within safe areas. it should definitely start at home and sex education could also expand to more than just talking about abstinence.

Give it a couple of years, more families make it part of their daily lifestyles and people will start focusing on real issues, and not something that is so natural and part of life.


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