There has been so much buzz swarming around the internet this week, what with the virtual boob fest aimed at Facebook and Bill Maher.
While I have read, and fully support and are not offended in any way by breastfeeding, so many of your posts on the subject, I have to admit that there is no way that I would be able (hypothetically, since I am a few years past my breastfeeding days) to join in this virtual breast fest.
Admittedly, I have never even checked Facebook out, so while I don't support their new policies regarding nursing mothers, it really doesn't affect me. But any entity that tries to take away an individuals right does offend me, so I'm glad that they've been called out on their conservatism regarding this issue.
Bill Maher is a comedian. I've seen the show in which he offended all of you a few times and tried, really, really tried, to get all fired up. I even commented that he was a jerk on a few of your blogs before I'd seen the piece, a mistake that I am sorry for. But it is comedy people. It is meant to evoke strong feelings in us so that we will react. While I don't agree 100% with what he said, he did have some valid points and even though some (okay, a lot) may not agree with him, he is not campaigning to change the law to outlaw breastfeeding in public. He just prefers not to see full-on boobage while he's dining, and I don't blame him. If you don't agree with him, don't watch. I choose not to watch Rush Limbaugh (is he even still on?) or Bill O'Reiley for these very reasons. It's my choice.
Which brings me to the point I am trying (and I am not doing a very good job at this) to make. We have choices.
Every day, we have choices, and I am thankful that we live in a country that lets us have them, freely.
But we also must be aware of the people around us.
For the same reason that I try to teach my children not to say "God!" and "Jesus Christ!" in public (even though we, ourselves aren't religious) and I dont' swear like a sailor in front of my grandmother, I would not (unless I was at Mardi Gras) and did not whip my breast out without any care to those around me. I tried to be discreet and comfortable. Did it always work? Of course not, but the point is that I was trying. Did I feel frustrated? Yes. Did I accidentally offend someone? Probably. But it was not my intention.
If I travelled to another country, my breastfeeding may have been viewed in many other ways, by another completely different set of cultural "rules". And I would have tried to honor them. There are other socially acceptable behaviors that offend me much worse than breastfeeding (spitting, urinating in public) and in which case if I were travelling in a country where those were considered normal, I'd have to adjust, or look the other way. But I would not let it wreck my life.
Yes, feeding a baby is important. Yes, breastfeeding is natural. Yes, it is a woman's right and should not be governed. But choosing not to expose myself in an obvious manner had nothing to do with my own insecurities (although those were there too) and more to do with keeping in mind that I am a part of this bigger world, where people have all kinds of different views. And I respect that. I feel like I have a responsponsibility to respect that and I just feel like the other side of this issue is not being heard.
To each, their own.