Got Breast Milk?

Usually when we are out and about, whether it be shopping or going for a walk, it is typical that we get hungry and just maybe be close to one local Mexican restaurant or next to the really good vegan bakery, we all know it’s just a lot more convenient to dine out. It’s easier and most of the time quick.

As grown adults the same thing goes for infants, but we have the tolerance to be able to hold down our hunger until we reach a certain time or location. Babies need to be fed every 2-3 hours, and locations may vary, but what is clear is a mother will stop wherever and whenever to make sure their child gets fed, and many will agree they would prefer their shopping experience isn’t interrupted by the uncontrollable screams of a child.

When it comes time to raising awareness for breast cancer it seems as if there is complete unity. However, when the idea of a woman nursing her child in public is brought up, the amount of negativity it receives is astounding. But the absurdity doesn’t stop there. A poll taken by Medical News Today suggested that 41 percent of women are not on board for public breastfeeding. This statistic shows how women shows that even women have a difficult time accepting the issue” either that or take out the whole sentence.

There is a strong community when it comes to defending the rights of those who breastfeed. Countless people stand behind every mother’s right to decide because it comes with many benefits; physical, emotional, and financial. It is said infants who are breastfed have lower rates of being hospitalized and are less likely to get all the other health problems caused by the generic infant formulas, such as Ear infections, Diarrhea, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  This is due to the infant immune systems benefiting from the nutrients provided by natural breast milk.

Over the years the female body have always been sexualized and simple tasks like breastfeeding is shamed.

“It is illegal for women to go topless in most cities, yet you can buy a magazine of a woman without her top on at any 7-11 store. So, you can sell breasts, but you cannot wear breasts, in America.” Author and Feminist Commentator stated.

Jordan Salads, known mostly for his social experiments, posted a video online where it shows a mother sitting outside the mall on a bench breastfeeding her baby. Throughout the video the mother is given dirty looks and is told by a woman walking out of the store, with a disgusted look on her face, “Eww that is so gross.” The only person who appeared to want to sit with her was a pregnant woman who asked the mom questions about her breastfeeding experience.

“You know it’s crazy that something as humanly natural as this can be shamed. Women are the reason we are here, they nurtured us for many years and men all of a sudden feel like they are entitled to disrespect one, but it’s not only men it’s women too and that’s the sad part. I believe it was important for me to create this video to raise awareness to such a powerful topic,” Salads says.

Then another woman was sent out to sit in the same bench, and this woman was a totally different story. She wasn’t breastfeeding, she just sat there in a low cut shirt clearly exposing the same amount of cleavage the mom did. However the women received smiles, smirks, and was even approached by a man who asked for her social media names.

The idea that “sex sells” seems to be the exception and justification given when it comes to women being put on display; in Victoria’s Secret Campaigns, beer commercials, and the infamous male gazed Carl’s Jr. Ads.

“I had no idea what a culture of shame had been created around breastfeeding until I had my second daughter. Women are urged to breastfeed yet are treated like lepers if they do it in public. What is the alternative? Total isolation as our children need to eat every 2-3 hours,” says Jacqueline Raw a mother of two.

Then another woman was sent out to sit in the same bench, and this woman was a totally different story. She wasn’t breastfeeding, she just sat there in a low cut shirt clearly exposing the same amount of cleavage the mom did. However the women received smiles, smirks, and was even approached by a man who asked for her social media names.

“You know it’s crazy that something as humanly natural as this can be shamed. Women are the reason we are here, they nurtured us for many years and men all of a sudden feel like they are entitled to disrespect one, but it’s not only men it’s women too and that’s the sad part. I believe it was important for me to create this video to raise awareness to such a powerful topic,” Salads says.

Salads isn’t the only person who was struck by the topic. The news and social activism site, attn.com, created a video, in which many facts and videos are combined together to illustrated how women are attacked on a daily basis for something as natural as breathing.

“If a law banning women from exposing their breasts didn’t go through, I should have a free pass to grab their nipples and that includes  women who were breastfeeding out in public,” says misogynist New Hampshire Rep. Josh Moore, a so-called “pro-family” man.

“The very least you can do, is protect a mother’s right to feed her child,” says New Hampshire Rep. Amanda Bouldin in response to  Moore. In New Hampshire it is currently legal for both genders to be topless, the proposed bill would make it punishable for a women to show her nipple and would classify as “Indecent Exposure”. This legislation action was a response to the “Free the Nipple” campaign. Bouldin plans to fight the bill in 2016 to create a safe and equal standing ground for all women.

But the problem doesn’t end with men, as shown by the woman who was cruel to the breastfeeding mother on the mall bench in Salad’s video, there is also a lack support from the female community. As odd as it may sound, breastfeeding in public is not supported by all women and their reasoning behind it is unfounded and due to internalized misogyny . Although when i tried to speak to women who felt strongly against public breastfeeding, nobody wanted to talk to me about the topic or even give me a quote out of fear of criticism. Upon researching why women think it’s wrong to breastfeed in public and I discovered many feel it’s very uncomfortable to be put in awkward social interactions. Women are more likely to confront other women publically breastfeeding, according to a recent poll done by PSA.Gov.

Women already face enough discrimination and inequality. If we can not all come together for something as natural as breastfeeding, then we’re in for quite a future. If we can’t reach a compromise, we might never reach social and gender equality.

The amount of hypocrisy is overwhelming. It’s unfair that women can wear low cut shirts and be objectified, yet when a mother does something completely natural  she is disrespected and harmed. Having to conform to society a mother must feed their baby in a secluded area, even sometimes forcing the baby wait in agonizing hunger.

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Ice Coffee addict, Disneyland lover, Pop Punk and Hardcore (or anything sad tbh) listener, Horror Movie fanatic , with career goals to be a music journalist.

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