Shaming Women For Breastfeeding ‘Discreetly’ Is Just As Bad As Telling Them To Cover Up

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If you want to fight the societal pressure put on women to see their breasts as objects that exist solely for the sexual gratification of others, by all means do that. Don’t victim blame the women who succumb to those pressures, and even beyond that, don’t assume a woman who feels more comfortable covering up while feeding is doing so because she’s some sad creature who needs your pity or reassurance or to be taken under your powerful earth mama wings.

Breastfeeding is natural and beautiful, but it’s also incredibly personal and a woman’s decision to do it does not give anyone — even fellow breastfeeders —  ownership over her body. There’s nothing wrong with a woman who feels uncomfortable exposing parts of her breast in public, just as there is nothing wrong with a woman who feels fully comfortable feeding anywhere and everywhere without a cover. I’m sure neither one wants to hear how “heartbroken” they make someone feel.

If you have a problem with the way society polices women’s bodies, attack society. Don’t try to police their bodies in the opposite direction. All that does is shame those for whom you’re most hoping to advocate. If we want women to feel truly empowered, we must give them the freedom to write their own narratives about their bodies and their experiences, even if the finished product ends up looking nothing like our own.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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