This past weekend my daughter Christine with her son, my grandson, Ethan participated in a public breastfeeding awareness event at Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna. By Christine's account there were 65 babies latched on and having lunch. Yay.
I did find it odd though, I mean --we have been on this planet a damn long time and our biological systems are specifically designed to feed our babies this way, so why do we need such demonstrations?
The answer is two. One is that many a young mother may feel a certain lack of confidence in her ability to feed her baby this way, and no wonder. Companies like Nestlé have made a fortune convincing mothers that if they really loved their baby they would use formula. Nestlé markets using this strategy in the first, second and third worlds, even where there is a shortage of clean water with which to mix the formula. Bastards.
The other is the ill informed.
I have a short story for you. A few years back Sharlene and I visited Niagara Falls with a friend of Sharlene's from NY along with her friend's niece.. perhaps 25, college educated. After a few hours of doing the tourist thing.. and having seen one too many naval lint museums, both the niece and I opted to remain out of the sidewalk instead of entering the next tourist trap du jour.
I was shortly afterwards as the niece and I chatted about the mundane that a bare breast caught my peripheral vision, left side, back about 10 feet. It's just the way men are, a bare breast can be detected by a blind man in a dark room.
My head turned for a quick gaze, where I saw a baby latch on. Oh.. non-sexual breast, resume convo.
That's disgusting!, the niece bellows. The breastfeeding?, I query.
N: Yes. Why is she doing that here.
Me: Because here is where she is (a minor tautology).
N: Yes, but why isn't she in a bathroom.
Me: Do you eat your lunch in a bathroom?
N: It should be against the law.
Me: I believe your attitude may lead to behaviour that is against the law.
N: There should be places out of the public for things like that.
Me: I agree, but for the mother and child's comfort, not for yours.
N: Well it should be against the law.
Me: Why as a woman are you so quick to have the state pass laws about your biological processes?
I think right around then then conversation ended and all that remained was a scowl on both our faces.
A moment later Sharlene and her friend returned and on Sharlene noticing the scowls simply asked, "Making friends honey?".
Have a good day. Got Milk?