The illogical, sexist and patriarchal belief that women (and specially their bodies) exist to serve some purpose in men’s lives is brought into focus when we claim discomfort at the sight of something as nonsexual, natural and normal as breast feeding.
We seem to forget that the primary purpose of a woman’s breasts is to feed a baby. Sexualising women’s breasts is like being embarrassed by eyes ‘seeing’; or feeling uncomfortable by the sight of a woman moving – using her legs!
Any body part can be sexualised, and once sexualised it ceases to belong to the person it … err belongs to.
We seem convinced that the sexualised body parts were created for men and society – to view, approve, own, disown, love, hate, honor, decide whether they are obscene or graceful, whether they look more attractive (to men) covered or uncovered, and how much covered or revealed.
How can this sexualisation be rejected or disallowed?
Recently, I fed my baby in full public view in a Starbucks outlet, and Mister clicked a picture of us. I loved how we looked in the photo, so I posted it on my real-life (for want of a better word) Facebook account. In fact, it is now my profile picture.
My newly-addicted-to-Facebook-but-not-that-savvy mom was quick to comment that I shouldn’t have posted the picture, which was expected because in her fifty something years, she hasn’t ever seen anyone do this. I politely (I hope) explained that there was a need to normalize breastfeeding so people get used to women nursing in public. I think my exact words were – Breasts are meant to feed babies, not to sell cement and chips and cold drinks.
So far, life was good.
And then, I got “advice” from several people, which was basically smooth talk asking me to take the photo down because…
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