This is an area where I’m undecided. While I know the medical benefits of breastfeeding, I don’t know all of the ins and outs because, well, I’m not a woman and don’t have first-hand experience.
I tend to lean on the side of believing society just needs to get over it. It’s a natural human function. On the other hand, it’s not socially acceptable to just go the bathroom wherever. It’s also a natural human function. Yes, there’s sanitary issues there so perhaps it’s not the best devil’s advocate argument I can come up with.
There’s also cultural differences to consider. Sabine, you’re a Canadian (yes?) living in Germany so perhaps you’ve got some great insight here. My assumption would be that North Americans would be more squeamish about public breastfeeding whereas Europeans would be more accepting of it. I know nudity isn’t as big of a deal in Europe as it is here (and really, it isn’t a big deal if you ask me) so maybe it’s more inline with that?
Did you seriously just compare urinating and defecating with breastfeeding?
That would be fine if you were asking me to not change my baby’s stink-filled diaper in public, but we’re not. We’re talking about feeding my baby. You eat in plain view of other people, why can’t my baby?
This isn’t even an issue of nudity. Is one semi-exposed breast considered nudity? A thong bikini isn’t considered nudity so why should this? If you look at the above picture, I see more boobs from the blonde on the left than I do of the breastfeeding mother.
My theory is this: Breasts have become over-sexualized. Seeing a breast makes you think of sex because that’s what everything around you tells you. Cleavage is sexy. Nipples are hot. Side boob is the best! And you know what isn’t sexy? Your mom. At least not to you. Seeing someone’s mom’s boob outside of their shirt makes you think of sex and thinking of sex when looking at an infant and at someone’s mom makes you uncomfortable. Also, its weird to see something that you, as a man, get so much pleasure out of being used for utilitarian purposes.
In VB speak: it’s like watching a Porsche go the speed limit as a commuter vehicle and never driving above the speed limit. (Is that a good analogy? I don’t know. Just go with it!)
Here in Europe, nudity isn’t as directly tied to sex as it is in North America. Nudity simply is what you have to be in between clothes. Modesty has nothing to do with covering up. And since the naked human form isn’t as sexualised here — and I’m not saying that sex doesn’t sell in Europe, it’s just not the only thing that does — seeing the top of a breast with an infant attached to it is no big deal here. It is what it is. It’s a boob.