when i was in the second grade we learned about greek mythology. to this day it was one of my favorite parts of school. there's something about the gods and goddesses and stories from that time that capture imaginations. and, even freaking better, as part of the unit we got to watch clash of the titans at school. a movie?! in school?! ZOMGF DEAD. pure awesome.
but there was a catch. our parents had to sign a release form that we could watch it because the movie "contained nudity." specifically, at the very beginning of the movie baby perseus is nursed by his mom.
my parents were kind enough to sign my form and i went on to watch what remains to this day to be one of my all-time favorite movies. but the first part of the movie was punctuated with lots of second grader giggles because . . . it's boobies!
STOP RIGHT THERE.
we have discovered what's wrong with america.
i am a genius. i love you, clash of the titans.
instead of someone just speaking up and explaining to the very giggly second graders that the woman was just feeding her baby and it was nothing to feel funny about, it became this entire production. the talking with the parents. the signing of the forms. the whispers between the kids about what scandalous things we would get to see. i understand that the school was probably just trying to cover it's ass but THIS! THIS is how this problem with nursing in public happened!
loosen it up, uptight puritan americans!
think about this with me for a second- the top of a bottle- it's called a nipple right? i wonder why? (ok, i don't, but we don't think about that enough, do we?) rubber nipples, invented in 1845, were created to mimic the flow of the breast. for every single year of humanity before that? breastfeeding. in public. in the relative timetable of human existence bottles as we know them have only been around for a fraction history. so how did we go from breast being the norm to the complete opposite and how the hell do we try to get some balance up in here? because bottles are undoubtedly and awesome invention. we just need to find some kind of middle ground.
here's a little challenge that i read about- the next time you go to buy a gift for a baby shower look around and make a conscious effort to notice . . . bottles. because you'll be shocked. they're on patterned fabrics, in baby books, on toys, on cards and bags and wrapping paper. the iconic image of the bottle has become synonymous with "baby" and over time . . . we know nothing else. there aren't boobs on everything for babies, there are bottles. subconsciously this sends a message of what's right, of what's normal.
the outcry against breastfeeding in public is just a symptom of the problem. people don't know anything about breastfeeding anymore. they don't see it, they don't learn it, they don't know it. i can raise my hand and say yes, i was one of them. completely ignorant about it until i did it. it's about time for some greater education. back to the second grade basics: mammals nurse their young.
We are proud to host today's guest post from the grumbles. the grumbles writes about her son jude and her new parenting journey over at grumbles and grunts. she's also really weird and afraid of strangers. shhhhh! be very very quiet– you'll scare it.