Historical Evidence of How People Didn’t Use to Freak Out About Breastfeeding in Public

In case you hadn’t noticed from all of my other posts about things like girl power, women in STEM, feminism, etc., I kinda have this thing about women’s rights.  One of the biggies is breastfeeding, and I could go on and on about the benefits, but I wont.  Mostly because that’s already been done a lot.  The short version: it’s really good for babies and moms alike.  It’s also not something that should be forced on anyone, and something that women should not be shamed for choosing – or not choosing – to do.

One of the best things about this newfangled and super-modern era we live in is that we are blessed with a lot of choices.  What really rankles, though, is how many people think it’s indecent or gross or inappropriate for public consumption and feel the need to loudly and obnoxiously force that uneducated and historically inaccurate opinion on mothers who really have enough going on.  They shouldn’t have to deal with rude, intrusive, ill-informed nasty busybodies on top of being new moms.

Uh… what do you think people did for thousands of years to feed babies, before the nice men and women in white coats came up with fancier and fancier versions of formula?  Oh, right.  They used their mammary glands for their actual function.  They do have a purpose, you know.  One that’s not recreational.  I can one hundred percent guarantee you that Jesus himself was breastfed.

So calm down about a nipple slip or a little side boob showing.  To back this argument up, I give you this awesome collection of historical images showing just how normal it was in lots of cultures – and still is, in many.  It was normal here until very recently.  It basically took only one generation to almost wipe out breastfeeding in the U.S.  Don’t be the generation that keeps it from coming back despite a whole bunch of scientific and historical evidence that shows it’s a good thing.

As further evidence of the normalcy and non-gross-ness of breastfeeding, there is also this breastfeeding segment from Mister Rogers.  Seriously, who can possibly argue that something featured on Mister Rogers is obscene?

Not a Mister Rogers fan?  Check out the Sesame Street versions, then.  They featured breastfeeding not once, but twice!

By the way, if you found yourself squirming uncomfortably every time you read the word ‘breastfeeding’ in this post or looked at one of the pictures or videos, please take some time to reconsider how you think about human female mammary glands.   You might just be one of the people who has forgotten their true purpose and bought the media’s portrayal of them as purely recreational and at the same time shameful.

Also, kudos to facebook for finally admitting this week that pictures of breastfeeding aren’t ‘obscene’ and changing their policy.  Took ya long enough.

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Filed under Equality, Opinion pieces

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