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Asia B Spinal Cord Injury Article

Public Breast Feeding : Still Taboo? Copyright 2006 Danna Schneider
In this day and age of feminism and women's liberation, it's hard to believe that public breast feeding is still considered somewhat of a "taboo". I'd like to think Americans are generally open minded and accepting, especially when ites to a mother and her child.
The sad fact is that our culture still views breast feeding in public as "indecent" because of the exposure of a woman's breast (gasp). And partial exposure, at that.
Although the vast majority of us have seen this part of the female anatomy, some would have you think of it as "vile" or "inappropriate". A perfect example of American society's reluctance to accept openly breast feeding follows.
Recently a popular, free magazine for new mothers called "Baby Talk" featured a bare breast with a baby nursing (no nipple was visible). The magazine received hundreds ofplaints about the picture. Readers felt the breast was "inappropriate" for the cover. The worst part of this whole scandal is that most of theplaints came from women. Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot, so to speak.
I was shocked that, of all people, women would be offended by a demonstration of the nurturing mother and child relationship. Should this not be regarded as a picture of beauty and healthy exposure?
Then I wonder, is it just because we as Americans tend to be uptight about nudity in general? Take the Janet Jackson Superbowl incident, now dubbed "Nipplegate", which resulted in an extreme sanitization of radio and television, having networks running scared to even accidentally show the wrong body part or say the wrong words on air.
Perhaps if breast feeding were looked at on more of an objective level, as it was meant to be, breast feeding publicly would not be such an issue. People are blurring the lines between indecent, sexually oriented exposure and the necessity of exposing one's breasts for the sake of feeding a child.
We as women are encouraged to to give our babies the most nutritionally complete food for their development - natural breast milk, straight from the breast. And yet we find ourselves struggling to find places that make it comfortable and socially acceptable to breast feed.
The most ironic part about this ongoing taboo, to me at least, is the minimal amount of exposure necessary to breast feed. Heck, many women will almost completely cover their breasts with a towel or blanket to make themselves and others more comfortable.
It's aobut time we shake the taboos, and promote tolerance and acceptance for women breast feeding in public.

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