Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bombs over Boobs

A Very Nice Fake Ad.
I like breasts. There; I said it….I like pretty much every part of a woman, though, so saying, “I like breasts” is like saying, “I like the three sprinkles on this cupcake”. If we’re all being honest, most heterosexual men (and probably a few women) in this country like breasts, whether they say they’re “leg men” or not.

There has been a lot of fuss on The Internet about an article that addressed a bill in Texas that would protect women from being harassed when they feed their infant children in public directly via mammary glands. Fortunately, under Texas State Law Section 165, women ARE protected to feed their children wherever the hell they want. The ad campaign was an art project by two very talented artists/graphic designers, and was likely meant to stoke a little controversy. Whoo boy, did it do its job! The Internet’s angrection™ nearly caused itself to pass out! The Internet got is such a frenzy, you’d think that a white owner of a mostly-black sports team got caught on tape saying racist shi-...ohhhhh.

I am not sure what the origin of wanting to force women to hide in closets and empty rooms and restrooms is. Perhaps it was the 5000+ year tradition of systematically treating women like they are property and breeders. Perhaps it was the formula and medical industry’s convincing people in the 20th Century that formula is superior to breast milk. Maybe it was the fetishization/commercialization of the breast by everyone from ad makers to film and TV show makers so much so that the show of a nipple is like the fruit just hanging over Tantalus's head. It could be the general shaming of women’s bodies by Puritans and and other religions and...EVERYONE; really, who knows? Regardless, we are at an impasse where we have to pass laws to make sure women who want/need to feed their babies can do it without harassment.

Romans really shot the shit.

Someone actually compared breastfeeding to a dog licking himself or publicly taking a dump.(Actually, taking a dump was a social event as well originally.) Admonishing people for breastfeeding is a time-honoured tradition. It used to be so looked down upon that people who could afford it would hire wet nurses. Many slaves were wet nurses to their masters’ children, which is a little bit confusing. If you find someone to be less than human, why would you have them feed your child with her own bodily fluids?

How is this not okay...
...yet this is?
The US is leading the way in making the breast more a pornographic prop than just part of a person’s body. We smush them together to make smaller ones look bigger, we insert potentially dangerous sacks of fluid in them to make them larger, we show everything but an ariola in adverts for everything from beer to butter. Yet we make people cover them up or be ashamed of themselves if they’re showing cleavage at all. It’s no wonder views on the act of feeding a baby are so dichotomous. Breastfeeding is so controversial in this country because we’ve successfully made the female nipple such a fetishized taboo, that TV stations get fined hundreds of thousands of dollars if there is so much as a minor “wardrobe malfunction”. People act like seeing breasts will corrupt their children and turn them into horny, slobbering imps. What is so funny is that by banning the view of the body, we are turning our children into horny, slobbering imps. I’m not the only teenager in the world who snuck a Playboy in my mattress as if it were the Hope Diamond. Conversely, I can see as many decapitations, bomb explosions, gunfire, superhero-related violence (which usually ends in a leveled major city, insinuating countless deaths) as I want. I can see all that in a PG-13 film. But should there be one nipple popping out, we’d better just wait for the End of Times and kiss our asses goodbye! Our children are forever tarnished! It’s even okay to show the torso of a woman pregnant with a CAT, as long as the nipple is blurred out!

I hope that the 21st century will yield a LOT more progress in the problem of body shaming, but specifically women’s. For people who are are so grossed out or disturbed by women feeding their children, I’d like to follow them around, and when they start eating something like a candy bar or a sandwich, I’d wretch in horror and insist they go to the nearest bathroom or hide under the table until they are finished. Formula or natural milk, no one should be admonished for taking care of her child as she sees fit. Babies need food when they need it, and there should be no shame or shaming in feeding a hungry child. That’s called being a good mother, not being scandalous or attempting get attention. For crying out loud, it’s just milk. Let’s not forget what the human breast’s primary function is: feeding babies. This goes for all mammals, but you should know that if you took middle school biology.

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