Breastfeeding in Public
[back] Breastfeeding  & Bottle-feeding

[It is not as if you can actually see a breast in most cases of public breastfeeding, so it has to be, as Gabrielle Palmer points out, an unconscious reminder of the harassers own inability to get their needs met as a baby.]

Lactivists-Don't be embarrassed by a baby at a breast

Breastfeeding in Public During Social Hour

A Story Of Harassment

Breastfeeding in Public: September 1943

Discrimination Against Breastfeeding In Public

Babies tend to be loathed by many people, especially where rigidity in childcare has been well established for several generations. It seems likely that the presence of a baby stirs up feelings of a sad period in our own lives and we can project that onto the baby. People in western society get angry or upset when they think a baby is dominating the attention of an adult, perhaps because it unconsciously reminds them of their own inability to get their needs met as a baby. The 'loud noise at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other' definition of a baby denies the vulnerability of a new child. Similar factors may influence the rates of post-natal depression. Post-natal depression is considered by some to be hormonal in origin, yet why the hormonal state is assumed to precede the emotional state is unexplained. .....It is so evident in those societies where babies are nurtured, never left to cry and breastfed whenever they ask, that not only are the babies far more socially pleasing in that they are more content and alert, but also that adults in those societies do not view babies with the alarm and revulsion that so many people show in my own society. Also, where babies are cherished, children usually appear better socially integrated than in some western societies. One rarely meets the whining 'brat' who so often justifies the exclusion of children from adult company. The extremes of bitchiness and horror shown by some adults' over-attention to a baby is more than cultural habit; it has some deeper emotional cause. The Politics of Breastfeeding by Gabrielle Palmer

Breastfeeding in industrialised society is closely bound up with perceptions of sexuality. The very reason it is frowned upon in public is that breasts are perceived exclusively as objects of sexual attention. The extremity of this attitude was brought home to me when a male friend, responding to my statement that I could not see any good reason for women not being able to leave their breasts showing, stated that after all men did not walk about with their penises hanging out.The Politics of Breastfeeding by Gabrielle Palmer