In Honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Let Us Celebrate This Small Victory
August 1 marks the start of Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2018. Now, you might be wondering, are we not aware of breastfeeding? Well, try this on for size: up until a couple of weeks ago, it wasn’t actually legal to breastfeed in public in all 50 states. In 2018. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say … maybe we need to be more aware? Utah and Idaho finally joined the rest of the country in making it legal earlier this month. But, predictably, it didn’t exactly sit well with some menfolk in the government in those states. Because having men decide how and where women can feed their fucking babies is so on-trend for 2018 it’s almost funny.
First off, I want to say (as I’ve said before): feed your babies. Just feed them! From your boob, from a bottle, from a can or pouch of formula. Even during Breastfeeding Awareness Month (maybe especially during this month?), we need to make sure that is the priority.
But it’s never been more apparent that we still need Breastfeeding Awareness Month than now. Women still get shamed on a daily basis for breastfeeding their kids in public. They’re still called voyeurs, attention-seekers, and worse. It seems like we read stories nearly every day about women being asked to cover up or leave an establishment because they had the audacity to feed their kid in public.
On the flip-side of that, women are shamed for NOT breastfeeding their babies. For making a choice, whatever their reasons or motivations, to use another completely safe and acceptable form of feeding. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, it seems.
But regardless of which side of the feeding debate you stand on, we can all agree that the fact that it JUST became legal in all 50 states to breastfeed in public is some bullshit, right?
In Utah, Rep. Justin Fawson sponsored the Breastfeeding Protection Act earlier this year, which would protect women from legal ramifications for nursing in public spaces. The legislation was introduced in February of this year, and was passed by a vote of 66-5 (the holdouts were all male, color me shocked). The original language in the bill made it legal for women to breastfeed in public without covering up. But in response to that little tidbit, Rep. R. Curt Webb had some thoughts. Some very male, very stupid thoughts.
Webb said of the covered up portion of the bill, “But this seems to say you don’t have to cover up at all. [I’m] not comfortable with that at all, I’m just not. It’s really in your face.” OK, ‘fess up: who whipped out their tit and squirted poor Mr. Webb in the eye with a stream of booby milk? You can tell me, I won’t rat you out. Sadly, the only reason the bill passed was because that language making uncovered breastfeeding totally legal was removed from the bill. IT IS 2018, YOU GUYS.
Idaho is the other state that decided to, you know, let its female constituents just feed their babies. So nice of you, Idaho.
Rep. Paul Amador introduced the amendment to protect breastfeeding moms from obscenity and indecent exposure laws. That’s right: breastfeeding moms were STILL subject to arrest and prosecution for obscenity and indecent exposure. Rep. Amador is a father of a 5-month-old, so he seems to get it. After the amendment passed the House unanimously, Rep. Amador said, “I think we can take a proactive stance here through legislation to promote the natural bond and health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child. I also believe the health and nutritional choices of our families are best left as decisions for our families, not our government.” We’ve been saying that for years, but thanks! No seriously, thank you.
So this Breastfeeding Awareness Month, let us celebrate that men in positions of power have finally bestowed upon us the ability to feed our babies when they’re hungry. One small step for woman, one giant-ish step for womankind. Except for that Webb shitstick, let’s not celebrate him. He can fall in a hole. A boob-shaped hole.
(Image: iStock / lolostock)