Friday, July 28, 2006
Which of these pictures is gross? Can you believe that nearly 1000 readers of Babytalk magazine found the cover picture of a mother breastfeeding her baby inappropriate? One mother, a mother who breastfed all three of her children, trashed the magazine because she didn't want her son to see the sexually explicit breast. I'm sure none of her kids ever saw her breasts when she breastfed her children. And I'm especially sure her 13-year-old son has never had an occasion to see a picture of breasts.
I don't have a problem with women breastfeeding in public. It is a normal, natural thing and people should see it as such. If men can't get past the idea that there is a semi-naked breast in front of them, then they need to grow the fuck up. What gets me is the fact that every day Americans look at images like the BBC shot of the bombing above - demolished buildings, fleeing refugees, wounded civilians - and never think to be offended or react to those images as gross. Nothing about war, famine, destruction, blood or death is shocking to the American public. But by god if a woman chooses to breastfeed her baby in public it is a moral travesty.
I'm not saying the images of war or destruction should be censored or removed from the press. But when I see such pictures, it gives me pause. I look at the shattered remains of a residential area in Lebanon and think about the people that lived there, what their lives were like, what they are like now, and it saddens me. I look at a picture of wounded Israeli soldier and wonder what he or she is thinking, what their life will be like now, how serious the injury is, and whether or not they think it was all worth it. These pictures grip me. These pictures are the ones that are gross and horrifying. Not a picture of a woman feeding her child. That picture simply makes me smile.