It is fine to be offended by public breastfeeding...

It is fine to be offended by public breastfeeding...or any breastfeeding.
You can be repulsed by it, loathe it, find it vile and disgusting.
You may if you like actually feel physically sick when you see a woman breastfeeding.
That is your right.
I myself find spiders to be loathsome and vile.
Everyone has a right to be disgusted by anything.
We can't help it.

I could tell you that breastfeeding is natural (it is), beautiful (it is), that it is brilliant for both mum and baby (it is), I could tell you that it can be hard and that mums need a medal even for trying to breastfeed in many cases (they do) but just as you could tell me that spiders are harmless (yeah yeah) that they are miracles of nature (I hear you) that they rid the house of nasty dirty flies (yep again) and neither of us would be convinced. I would still feel disgust when i see an arachnid and you would still feel ill seeing a woman breastfeeding. It's your right of course, I can't tell you how to feel. Neither can any one else.

You are allowed to be disgusted by a perfectly natural and beautiful thing.

What you are NOT ALLOWED to do is ask a woman to stop, to ask her to 'be more discreet' or to 'cover up'. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED to ask a cafe owner to move the lady to another table 'at the back' YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED to ask her to feed her baby in the toilet, or to point at her, to make a fuss, to embarrass her. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED to complain to her or those around you, to harass her.

You are allowed to look away. To move away, to use another cafe, to eat your sandwiches in the toilet.

You are free to be disgusted, just as I am of spiders, but you are not suddenly allowed to assume the world is an adult only space, or that a baby eating should be hidden away.

And to all breastfeeding mums reading this. I salute you.

oh and I don't kill spiders - I know it's my problem, not theirs

Awarded 5th April 2012


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