A Response to Breastfeeding in Public
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Politics and Activism

A Response to Breastfeeding in Public

Should women be allowed to show their breasts when publicly nursing?

A Response to Breastfeeding in Public

Among the many topics of controversy that are constantly circulating the internet and mass media is that of women breastfeeding in public. There are several different opinions on the matter, all ranging from the idea that women shouldn't need to ever cover up their breasts to the idea that in no situation whatsoever should a woman's breast be exposed to the rest of the world. My opinion lies on its own spectrum; I don't get to decide.

How does this make sense? For starters, I am not a mother. I do not need to breastfeed. So who am I to decide whether it is "proper" or not for a breastfeeding mother to do so in public?

Our society keeps getting so caught up in deciding matters that do not even concern them, and the reason why escapes me. Is it because we are so caught up in everybody else's business that we must make decisions that don't actually affect us?

It shouldn't be up to society to decide whether or not women should breastfeed in public. Actions like murder or theft or crime? Yeah, those things society should be able to deem as wrong and improper. Breastfeeding in public... shouldn't that be up to the mother? You know, the mother who is trying to provide essential nourishment for another human being?

I would be able to better understand people who do not want to see a breastfeeding woman if their stance held up in all aspects of life. I am sorry, but if Victoria's Secret can have glorified, photoshopped breasts on every billboard and magazine, shouldn't nursing mothers be able to show their breasts as well?

The Huffington Post nailed it with their article "If You Don't Support Breastfeeding in Public, You Don't Support Breastfeeding" when they argue several public opinions that are very anti-public breastfeeding. These include "Just go in another room. Stay home. Nobody wants to see that," "That's what breast pumps are for," "Just bring formula," and several others. All of these insinuate that breastfeeding in public is about as vile as you can get, when, in all reality, moms just want to feed their babies-end of story. Another article over at The Concordiangoes into more depth on the pro-public breastfeeding argument. On the flip side of things, "Breastfeeding in Public: Why This Mama Believes in Covering Up" shows a mother's opinion on covering up when breastfeeding in public, which is an opinion shared by many mothers who breastfeed in public.

By all of this, I do not mean that all women should be expected to tear open their shirts and be free anytime their baby is hungry. If a woman wishes to nurse in private, let her. If a woman wishes to breastfeed in public, let her. The decision of if a woman should breastfeed in public needs to be up to each individual woman on a case-specific basis.

You can disagree with me, but that's the beautiful thing about opinions. We are all entitled to our own. There is nothing telling us that we have to all have to have the same views on topics. This is a double-edged sword, however, because just as you are entitled to your opinion, so is everybody who has a different opinion than you. We all have different opinions, and that's okay. What isn't okay, though, is not allowing anyone other than yourself to have an opinion.

When it comes to controversial, heated topics, there are bound to be conflicting opinions. There is always going to be a fight to be had when people get emotional about something. This is even truer when it could put them at risk of being ridiculed or being told that they are the ones standing on the wrong side of the issue. We are all so convinced that we are in the right and that there is no way that anyone else's opinion could possibly be correct, but why don't we consider the possibility that we can all be right?

Can we not all mind our own business and take care of ourselves? If everyone were to take a step back and only worry about their own life, consider how many problems would be eliminated. There is so much time wasted every day on petty things when all of that energy would be much better spent on other things, like family or friends or a hobby or helping people.

Whether it's something small like breastfeeding in public or something even more controversial like same-sex marriage or abortion, we all are entitled to our own opinions. We need to respect the fact that we all have different experiences and personalities that make up the beliefs that we live by. Without a mutual respect and understanding for our differences, we will never be able to exist peacefully amongst each other. That, my friends, is a silly thing to not strive for in this life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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