Thursday, July 27


The breastfeeding wars rage on. The latest battle is over a recent cover of BabyTalk Magazine, a magazine that presumably talks a lot about babies and things babies are into, like being fed and stuff.

It seems some readers of this magazine -- parents, presumably -- got a little hot and bothered by this:

And BabyTalk received a heap of letters from disgruntled readers:

"I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine," one person wrote. "I immediately turned the magazine face down," wrote another. "Gross," said a third.


Babytalk is a free magazine whose readership is overwhelmingly mothers of babies. Yet in a poll of more than 4,000 readers, a quarter of responses to the cover were negative, calling the photo -- a baby and part of a woman's breast, in profile -- inappropriate.


Not a fleshy mound of socially constructed slutbagitude attached to something pure and holy and innocent on the cover of a magazine about sweet little know-nothing babies who haven't yet been taught to simultaneously fetishize the breast as a sex object while scoffing at its importance as a source of nourishment for new life!! How could BabyTalk betray its readers' good taste by depicting something so depraved as a human actually using a boob as something other than a receptacle for hastily delivered jiz?

One mother who didn't like the cover explains she was concerned about her 13-year-old son seeing it.

"I shredded it," said Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas, in a telephone interview. "A breast is a breast -- it's a sexual thing. He didn't need to see that."

It's the same reason that Ash, 41, who nursed all three of her children, is cautious about breast-feeding in public -- a subject of enormous debate among women, which has even spawned a new term: "lactivists," meaning those who advocate for a woman's right to nurse wherever she needs to.

"I'm totally supportive of it -- I just don't like the flashing," she says. "I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

I sure hope Parent of the Year Gayle Ash clawed out her son's eyes when she nursed him. Because if she didn't, she's got a lot of explaining to do, seeing as how she's so set on seeing breasts as completely sexualized. I mean, how did she square that in her mind when she shoved her boob in junior's mouth for the first, second, and fiftieth times?

And, let's face it, Gayle. Are you so sure you don't want your husband and son to see a breast they didn't want to see? Or are you just trying to control the boob intake of your bepenised housemates? Because, um, you should really get a frigging life if your time spent on Batshit Boob Patrol means that some exhausted nursing mother, carrying around a diaper bag and stroller and a fragile little mound of soul and some pretty heavy emotional weight, has to shuffle her way into a damp stinky restroom to feed her baby just so you don't have to think about your dirty boys having naughty thoughts about boobies that aren't yours.

Yeesh, lady. Yeesh!

And then Kelly Wheatley, bless her, wrote to applaud the cover "because, she says, it helps educate people that breasts are more than sex objects," but she ends up just making me sad.

And yet Wheatley, 40, who's still nursing her 3-year-old daughter, rarely breast-feeds in public, partly because it's more comfortable in the car, and partly because her husband is uncomfortable with other men seeing her breast.

"Men are very visual," says Wheatley, 40, of Amarillo, Texas. "When they see a woman's breast, they see a breast — regardless of what it's being used for."

What is this "men are visual" crap I hear so much about? Like women see things in monochrome and infrared pixels, like dogs or Predator. People with eyes are very visual. And people with eyes who see a woman's breast see a breast -- regardless of what it's being used for.

Some people, see, when confronted with something so natural and non-titillating (sorry, had to) as a woman breast-feeding her baby, are able to continue functioning like rational higher apes and not break down into fits about the supposed social consequences of such a tarty act.

People, I say this with as much love as I can muster, grow up.

*Yeah, I went there.


Blogger Rachel said...

I couldn't resist using "titillating" in my post on this, either. :)

Fri Jul 28, 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger theogeo said...

It writes itself, I swear!

Fri Jul 28, 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Brandonian said...

With apologies to the Simpsons...

"Boobies, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

/ Yeah, I'm that guy, I'll start looking for more original content now...

Fri Jul 28, 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous another breastfeeding radical feminist said...

Sister, i couldn't have said it any better than you did. Thanks for saying it!

Mon Jul 31, 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger Leigh said...

One of those CSI shows had a human head floating in a pot of boiling water. You could very clearly see this on primetime TV. I would much rather have my children see a nursing woman and her breasts than to watch the violence out there on television.

What is with people ? There is something very wrong with people who spend that much time fuming over a child nursing in public. Or fuming over a magazine cover of a child nursing.

These people are beyond prudish. They are emotionally disturbed.

Mon Jul 31, 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger phallicpen said...

Three things:

First, the OED says your word for spunky funk needs one more z.

Second, I think the "men are visual" bullcraparama comes straight from Hugh Hefner's marketing headquarters.

Third, fuck.

Tue Aug 01, 01:20:00 AM  
Anonymous St. Chris said...

Note that the photograph does not unambiguously show a breast. It could just as easily be a knee. Who's got the dirty minds?

If Kelly "Men are very visual" Wheatley isn't walking around in a full burqa, I don't want to hear it. I mean, I don't want to hear it anyway, but practice what you preach, lady.

More power to you, Lindsey.

Mon Aug 07, 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Brandy said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. When I saw the cover in my mailbox, I was ecstatic, then when I saw they were asking for people's opinions on the cover, I groaned. I knew what would happen. Thanks for laying it out like it should be. I mean, you see more skin at the beach, heck, these days, you see more skin on the average teenager at the mall!! Americans, GET A GRIP!!! I am moving to Norway.

Mon Aug 07, 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Thanks to everyone for your kind words. I just remain mindboggled by the idiotic natures of some people. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Mon Aug 07, 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous christie said...

I'd just like to say how proud I am that women are repeatedly giving men an excuse to be complete and total cheating, lying bastards (not all of 'em, but a big chunk) 'cuz, OH MY GOD HOW CAN THEY BE EXPECTED TO JUST SLEEP WITH ME WHEN ALL THESE SLUTTY WHOREBAG CHEERLEADING HOS ARE RUNNING AROUND IN SHORTS AND FLIP FLOP SHOWING TOES AND BUTT CRACK AND CLEAVAGE. Of COURSE they're going to screw around, because, you know, men are men, and they are so very visual, and well, they just can't help themselves.


The photo was beautiful. Anyone who finds anything offensive or arousing in that picture needs serious, serious therapy. I guess they'd rather look at the hairy asscracks of all the teenage boys running around these days with their pants bagging down around their knees.

Why back in my day...(said in best old lady voice).

Sat Aug 12, 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous St. Chris said...


Mon Aug 14, 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous The Dairy Queen said...

I really hope that the negative responses don't keep them from posting more nursing babies. I think that the picture was very cute, and I was not offended at all. I am teaching my daughters that breasts are first used for nursing children. I also think that people who complain about breastfeeding mothers should first get rid of all the naked bodies and sex symbols flashed all over the world.

Wed May 30, 01:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100%. Personally, I think people have to take responsibility for their own emotions rather than trying to blame them on someone else. Huge Teen Tits

Sun Apr 20, 08:50:00 PM  

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