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Fear of the boobie, part 2

This image generated over 700 protest letters to the editor of BabyTalk magazine. Some of the comments:

“I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine.

“I immediately turned the magazine face down”


“I shredded it. A breast is a breast — it’s a sexual thing. He didn’t need to see that.”

“Gross, I am sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob.”

A poll of more than 4,000 readers showed that, 25% of responses to the above cover were negative, citing the photo inappropriate.

The sorry thing is that most of the above quotes were from boobie-phobic women, who are as brainwashed as men about the sexualization of the act of feeding a baby. This isn’t a titty show to give guys a woody, as the magazine editor points out, and these American prudes can’t separate feeding an infant with s-e-x:

Babytalk editor Susan Kane says the mixed response to the cover clearly echoes the larger debate over breast-feeding in public. “There’s a huge Puritanical streak in Americans,” she said, “and there’s a squeamishness about seeing a body part — even part of a body part.”

It’s not like women are whipping them out with tassels on them,” she added. “Mostly, they are trying to be discreet.”

I blogged about this topic last year, when a similar article on public breastfeeding in the ballpark caused an eruption in Freeperland, with the knuckle-draggers equating breastfeeding with urination or worse — that pretty much says it all.

Incidentally, there are battles over this topic in FR fairly regularly; in a more recent thread when an Illinois woman was booted from a Target for breastfeeding in a dressing room. one of the Freepi actually posted “I wonder if the morons equating breastfeeding with urinating, defecating and masturbating will show up on this one? Bet they will, you just watch….

Earlier this year, a Michigan mom got in hot water when she exposed a boobie to feed her child at the local Y pool, and she was told by a lifeguard at the org that her nursing “created a distraction to lifeguards.” An even more unhinged excuse was given by the senior programs director at the Y, who said for the article that there is no food or water allowed in the pool area and there would be no exceptions.

It’s now come down to the categorization of feeding moms as a vending machines/public milk dispensers, and monitoring all the kids jumping and playing in the pool is less of of a distraction for a lifeguard than a mother sitting quietly by the pool breastfeeding.

Wouldn’t this gal sitting poolside serve as an equal distraction to a lifeguard or a gal with a bathing suit on that is barely covering the areolae? Of course not, this is the proper use and display of the titty, or perhaps the objecting letter-writers to Babytalk see this as the only use of the titty, and that’s why they are wigged out by a nursing mom. Shakes Sis:

There are people who are uncomfortable with seeing women breastfeed in public, people who are not evil or intolerant or think boobies are dirty—they just get a little squigged out by it. But most of them don’t think nursing in public should be banned, and I bet most of them wouldn’t have the slightest objection to this magazine cover, either. It tends to be men and women who are extremely conservative, who worry about boys and men seeing errant breasts in public, who think that the body is sacred but its functions aren’t, who rail against stem cell research and abortion because “every life is precious” but don’t care to see that precious life being nurtured. Tiresome, that lot.

Yes — after all, it’s only been a short while since the boobage of the Spirit of Justice statue was covered up in the Justice Department by former Attorney General John Ashcroft because it offended him.

Hat tip to Chris Howard.

* Freeper debate: nursing in the ballpark
* The AmTaliban influence continues: nipples are the new WMD

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding