"Couldn't she have done it in the car on the way there?"
That comment was probably the worst from Lisa of the Russ and Lisa Morning Show after witnessing a woman breastfeeding her baby at a Chick Fill A restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina.
She seems to be suggesting we take our babies out of their carseats and put them in the front seat of the car with us, risking that they might fly through the window in the event of an accident... all to spare someone the discomfort of witnessing them feed in a restaurant. She also said "why isn't this indecent exposure? I think there should be indecency laws." Perhaps we should make it public indecency, on par with exposing one's genitals in a restaurant, then hire a special division of the police force... let's call them the Boob Squad. They can keep all the women and children in line.
She suggested that her views might have something to do with the way she was raised, that someone with more traditional values might be more discreet than to nurse in public.
She also suggested women stay at home rather than expose the public to an "intimate moment" like breastfeeding. Her suggestion implies that a breastfeeding mothers in the past would have to stay at home rather than participate in public life. Certainly this would be their only option, before formula was widely available...
She suggested mothers come prepared, pump and bring a bottle rather than breastfeed. She told one caller that pumping is no more difficult than preparing a bottle of formula and bringing it to the restaurant. One caller commented that "If you wouldn't do it in the front pew of a church, then don't do it in a restaurant."
What about this church? Surely the mother of God might object if you didn't use a bottle, come prepared as she suggested. Jesus himself would certainly object to public breastfeeding, wouldn't he?
What Lisa fails to realize is that bottle feeding as a conservative value is actually fairly recent. Women never used to feel shame at public breastfeeding, nor were they pressured by their communities to keep "such an intimate act" private. Breastfeeding was considered to be quite matter of fact most of the time, and rather beautiful and womanly some of the time. It wasn't equated with sexuality as it is now, or else we would never see an icon of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding
in a church.
Or perhaps she's suggesting that the mother of God was a little loose in her morals?
A blog on art, roller derby and life.
I'm an artist and mother of two in Courtenay, BC. I've completed a project called the "Madonna and Child Project," and I'm now working on a series of roller derby inspired drawings. In my spare time I play roller derby with the Brick House Betties.