In honor of Breastfeeding Week, mothers around the world banded together on Saturday, August 3, to nurse in public. The group, Big Latch On, has many international locations, including “Pat’s Lawn” in Inwood Hill Park, in New York City.
Together, these women are challenging the idea that mothers need to hide when nursing their children. Many people consider this indecent, and some have even reported pictures of breastfeeding mothers on Facebook. Instead of seeing breastfeeding as feeding and nurturing, these people see breastfeeding as a public sexual act.
Unfortunately, this stems from the idea that women should not be topless in public. In this society, the female body is so objectified that the female breast is inherently considered sexual. In a society where sexuality is stigmatized, a bare breast will always be considered indecent. Breastfeeding a child is a nurturing act that has a very strong effect on both mother and child. There are many cases where mothers cannot or choose not to breastfeed, and that is the mother’s choice. But the mothers who choose to breastfeed should not be ostracized when they have to nourish their children.
I will forever be inspired by these women. Happy Breastfeeding Week!