So I got some bees in my mama bonnet this week and they have really made me grumble. As you know I don’t usually speak about much in this area on my blog.
It’s not that I feel it’s not important, it is, but a lot of the time I feel my opinion has been covered by many others and I feel I’m just hashing over the same content.
Today isn’t any different in relation to content. It’s all been said before and eloquently at that but you see if I don’t write this out I may well just blow a fuse.
There are two issues. Unrelated, but pressing my buttons all the same.
I opened my email account yesterday and a post by Michelle (@mamabook) from 4 kids, a dog and a blog entitled “the ultimate comfort food” I was nodding in agreement from the start. I then reviewed the tweet stream of the account she suggested and this is where I got my back up.
I thought we were progressing as a society in relation to all of this breastfeeding in public, cover or not etc.. It appears not, when late teens and early twenties are tweeting their disgust at seeing a mother breastfeed her baby in a food court. Are we serious?
Now this isn’t a post about breast is best. For most issues I am someone who is pro-choice. I wouldn’t want someone telling me what to do so why would I tell another the best decision to make on any issue.
The reason I am getting so angry is that this is taking the issue of public breastfeeding to ridiculous levels. If you wish to cover up or feed in private all well and good, that was actually me. I just preferred it that way. But others do not and should not have to hide themselves to perform a natural feeding and mothering act.
I expressed my support to Michelle on twitter and it followed a conversation where I asked what can be done about this societal belief? A serious change needs to occur in people’s responses to breastfeeding. As mandala journey and the leaky boob expressed (no pun intended) last year and again Edenland this year on Facebook that breastfeeding is not a sexual behaviour and should not be treated as offensive. Yes breasts can obviously be enjoyed during other activities but babies are entitled to use them for nourishment just as much, even more so.
Michelle suggested awareness needed to be community based and not only pregnant women but educating in schools and other areas also. I totally agree and maybe it’s time to take some action. Slowly and unfortunately we are moving away and it appears regressing back to historical attitudes of caring for pregnant mama and baby. Why?! It’s a natural part in life.
Again this isn’t telling people what’s right or wrong, do as you will but the pressure to cover up should not be present, it’s the point that if it’s natural, that if it’s something inoffensive like that of feeding and nourishing a hungry infant then why all the hoo-har about “indecent exposure” as I saw mentioned. Really?
Let me know if you have any ideas. I think it’s something that needs to be addressed on behalf of those who have the right to perform such an act.
As I said lets not confuse this issue with the breast/bottle discussion. In no way am I making comment as to this. This is about the right to feed naturally in any environment without having to feel like a mother is doing the wrong thing if she is choosing not to be covered up or in “a tent” as Michelle put it.
Mama bee in bonnet number 2 is about my eldest little person.
Mr 7 has just gone into grade 2. Gradually over the last few years he has said occasional statements such as “no I’m not having pink that’s a girls colour” or “that’s a girls toy, I can’t play with that”. Say what? Where has this come from I would ask myself. In our household I/we have always been parents to provide various toys that I refuse to place gender specific connotations to.
So I was then upset when Mr 7 stated “I can’t take those squinkies to school as people will laugh. They are a girls toy” followed by “people laughed today at the pink beanie kid” a discussion followed where I clumsily tried to balance getting Mr 7 to stand up for what he wanted, to ignore their behaviour as they were being judgmental and to reinforce that it was not he in the wrong as children can play with whatever toys they wish.
Man, when your own children are in question it makes scenarios so much more difficult. I don’t want him to be ridiculed and have inappropriate attention given to him but by hell am I going to stand by and not encourage him to stand up for himself or more the point feel intimidated.
And what makes me most angry? Who decides what are girl and boy toys? And seriously toy makers I know it’s to make more money but you irritate me when you bring out zhu zhu pets, squinkies, littlest pet shop, kitchens, tea sets all in PINK. Boys play with these too yet they have to wait for a “boy” version to be released. Argh. Mr 7 gets whatever version he wants I will clarify.
Again, I am not saying that children don’t tend to go to the usual toys their gender plays with or that they cant. But why can those children who want and like what they like be subject to such outdated modes of thinking and behaviour. Mr 7’s peers have learnt it from somewhere. Why do we let this ridiculous idea perpetuate still? Bueller, bueller?
End of my rants. Deep breath. Full stop.