I just saw in the news this morning an article that Forest Park has put restrictions on public breastfeeding. Why are they doing this? In order to prevent public nudity. That's right - public nudity. But it's only public nudity when it's feeding a child older than two.
I'll be the first to say that I never enjoyed breastfeeding. My experiences weren't the happy stories of babies cooing with Mommy milk bubbles. Mine were long, painful, drawn out experiences most at the pump. However, I still kept on producing because I wholeheartedly believe that breast is best. I'm not the only person that feels that way; and yet, breastfeeding still remains a hot button.
When people are asked how they feel about it, I've seen remarks like, "Cover up" or "Feed the baby in the bathroom." Why, why, why? Have people that say the bathroom remark actually smelled public restrooms? I'm not going to say that they're unclean; but let's face it - the air quality is less than fresh. And people think that it's okay for a baby to eat in that when I'm betting they wouldn't dare.
And then there's the cover up group. What is really the deal here? Are they self-conscious? Is it that they don't want their significant others seeing another woman's breast? Or is it that they think their children will somehow become traumatized by seeing one? At the core, it's an issue to me that the breast has become sexualized to the point that laws would need to be passed putting limitations on breastfeeding. The law states it's nudity when a woman is breastfeeding a child older than two. I can't help but wonder if women are going to have to carry around a birth certificate to prove their child's age. Will there be a breastfeeding license issued? I know it sounds ridiculous, but so is the entire issue at hand.
City manager, John Parker stated, “[The ordinance] sets up a process whereby we can try to control nudity throughout the entire city. My best advice is that if you know someone in Forest Park that is breastfeeding at any age, give them the gift Mr. Parker will love -- "nudity" he can't control.