Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sucking mummy

My sister used to be a prude. She used to get embarrassed about sex. She used to get embarrassed about her gay brother and his boyfriend. She was a locked in the closet dyke.

She and her new girlfriend, the bone doctor, came to a barbecue we put on for friends. We used to have many barbecues for friends when we lived in a house. It is perhaps one thing I miss a bit since we moved to an apartment. R does too, but then as I mentioned to him, we had pretty well stopped having barbies anyway in the couple of years before we moved here. We were running out of friends.

Computers were a bit new then and I had put myself in an 'interesting' outfit up as a wallpaper. Everyone had something to say about it, except sister. Eventually, after a few glasses of Yalumba Classic Dry Red, I mentioned it to her. 'Yes, I saw it', and she rolled her eyes.

Later I had a 'deep and meaningful' with the bone doctor and she suggested I just give my sister more time to get used to being open about her sexuality. She had already improved, said the bone doctor. She is not as hung up as she used to be.

I better get to the point. I thought this banning of pictures of mothers breastfeeding on Facebook was pretty bad form. Ah well, I am sure it is US based company and we all know what the religious right in the US is like and how powerful they are.

Well, the problem was not with my sister who readily lobbed out her tits and fed little Joannna. The problem was with me. I had to talk to my sister and concentrate on looking at her face and not little Joanna sucking away.

There are still vestiges of discrimination against women breastfeeding in public and I expect it comes more from men who feel uncomfortable that their objects of desire are out there and exposed rather than hidden away.

Little Joanna fed for forty five minutes and I started to feel a bit more relaxed about it as time went on.

In my defence, I have seen my sis in law breast feed once. The time before that would have been seeing my sister being breast fed by my mother. Apart from that, I have not seen any public breastfeeding.

So girls, the more you do it, the less of a big deal it will be. Lob them out and feed the sucker. We blokes will get used to it.


  1. The banning is pretty silly, but also considering the whole blanket idea of internet censorship, it "has" to be done. If they make that exception, they will have to allow others and so on.
    One couple in my group of friends (what is it about BBQs and breasts?) would just whip them out and off they went. Honestly, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I find it odd that some people can sexualise it.

  2. I think breast feeding in public is fine. As long as it's done discreetly and the kid isn't about to get his drivers licence ;)

    I felt very uncomfortable when I was at Playgroup a few years ago with my little ones. A kid of about 2 and a half walked up to his Mum who was sitting in a circle of other mothers having a chat and proceeded to lift up her shirt, undo her bra and help himself to a drink! Ewwwww!

  3. i don't particularly want to see breast feeding, but i'm firmly of the opnion that all babies should be breast fed.

    and when a baby wants food, you give it food.
    if it's in a public place, then everyone should have to deal with it.

  4. Andrew I'm curious. What do you as a gay man think of boobs. Do they look nice at all or just bits of flesh?

    i gotta ask this at work tomorrow, never really thought of it before.

    Oh and about breastfeeding in public, why not? It's what boobs were created for.

  5. The way it should be I guess Rob. Whip them out.

    Who Me, that is ah, making people feel very uncomfortable. I have heard of kids feeding till the age of four.

    Yep Kiki, other peoples problems.

    Bits of excess flesh Steph. I don't mind small neat ones that are kinda self supporting. S'pose they are like male chests and nipples, which I adore, only bigger. Better stop thinking about male nipples immediately! I feel a stirring.

  6. The girls would like to do more of it Andrew, but men make rules about where we can do it. It's always done discretely but Who me?is right about older children using Mum as a milk bar. I watched a program recently about this and three of the six mothers had breastfed their kids up to the age of five. All I could think of was teeth and gnawing.

    Steph, I hope you're going to publish the results of your quiz?

  7. FYI, Facebook is a British company.

    Jahteh - men might make the rules but I've seen many older women express disgust at mother's feeding in public. No doubt they are projecting their own hang-ups.

    Why is the "problem" of watching Joanna feeding? It is natural. Or is the problem seeing your sister's breast. Have you asked your sister questions about what it feels like to breastfeed etc.

  8. I stand corrected about Facebook being British. I just received an e-mail from a friend telling me they've added me as a friend. At the bottom of the e-mail it said this:

    "Facebook's offices are located at 156 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301." So there you go.

  9. I think many men don't like it because boobs are usually in the category of "sexual" rather than "functional". It confuddles them, the poor dears.


    I'm all for breastfeeding, so long as the Boob Nazis leave those who don't well enough alone. I have friends with infants who have no trouble whipping it out in public, either discreetly under a blanket or way out in the open.

    Totally against it if the kid is old enough to ask for the breast, as in "Mummy, whip your tit out now please". They're too old to be breastfed. There is a reason why animals don't continue feeding their babies when they have teeth. At two years of age, babies have teeth. Lots of them.

  10. I know what you mean about the boob nazis. I heard a doctor say that six weeks of mother's milk is enough. But if they can't do it, then they can't do it.

    Good take on it Ren. Teeth. That should be the natural end.

  11. I'll go a bit with Firehorse on this Jahteh. I reckon it is as much older women, obviously not you younger than older women types. I don't think men care much past societal conditioning.

    I did not actually check the facts Firehorse. I never spoil a post with facts, but it just had to come from the US.

    We need to pester Steph to conduct her office survey Jahteh. I too would be interested.

  12. I breastfed all 4 of my children. I would only spend all day out in public if I had to with the babies when I was comfortable that my breastfeeding relationship with my baby was compatible. Meaning, each child was different and just like their personalities differ, their feeding techniques differ. There are many ways to hold a baby when you feed. The hugging type of feed hold, the footy hold and so on. With Tom, I was only ever comfortable lying down with him next to me to feed. So, until he was 9weeks old or so that is what I did..even if I was visiting a friend I would take a blanket to lye down on and do it. By the time I had Mia, baby number 4, well, she had to get used to getting up and sleeping and feeding on the run.
    I could effectively feed them without people even knowing I was in the process of it. I could be at a cafe and sit there having some refreshments and you would think I was just nursing and not feeding them.
    I think most of it is in the approach you have to breastfeeding, the relationship you have with the baby and the places you are in to feed..oh, and the age of the baby. As they get on in months, alot of things distract them from their "food". They pull away to have a look at what is going on around them and they have milk dripping out their mouth and you have exposed "bits, LOL.
    Best time to go out is just after the baby has had a feed, they are content. You can shop and relax...well, not you..the mum.
    I did only ever have one person comment on my feeding whilst out. I was in the only place I could find to feed Tom, it was the ladies toilet a sort of foyer of it, with a chair there. Some 40ish year old lady says to her friend right in front of me, "Oh, thank God I could not breastfeed my babies, I bottle fed and that saved me having to sit there and show my boob to everyone". It did upset me, as I know I had a blanket over Tom and over my shoulder so she couldn't have seen anything. He was only 4 weeks old, it was at Jeff's shed for the Annual Boat Show in 97.

    I guess you could try to focus on the goodness little Jo is getting. She is one lucky little girl. Not every mum can feed..and it does not come naturally at first.

  13. Older women who make comments like that, Cazzie, just irritate me beyond everything. So many babies have died in Africa and Asia because companies like Nestle pushed bottle feeding ahead of breasts as a status symbol and women went along with it.

  14. She was clearly jealous of your pert young breasts Cazzie.

    You recall the boycott of Nestle Jahteh?

  15. Don't worry Andrew, the battle is still raging with other companies.

  16. Yeah - "lob them out"
    serve an ace.
    two aces.
    nothing like a bit of boob.

    I think breasts should be lobbed out even by women not feeding anyone with them.
    so many dull occasions would be livened up.

  17. No no. Keep them locked away and strapped down. I dun wanna see them.

  18. Funny enough I heard a young mum on the radio who was marketing her home sewn garment that provides breastfeeding mums with ease to check their babie's feeding progress and with discretion when feeding in an awkward place. I think it must be not dissimilar to a smock worn at the hair dresser. HArd to tell as she was describing it on the radio..a good invention on her behalf I think.
    I read what you said above Jahteh..and I do remember this fiasco... sad and true.

  19. Fine for those who want it Cazzie, but I don't believe it is necessary and as I said, the more women who openly feed, the less of a deal it will be.