I, like a lot of Australians, have followed the story of the careless, ignorant remarks made by David Koch regarding breastfeeding.
As a mother this naturally rankles me & makes me want to throw things at the TV in rage.
Fortunately for my TV I don’t actually watch the drivel that is Sunrise so have managed to save myself the expense of having to purchase a new one.
This hasn’t stopped me being inundated via my newsfeeds on both Facebook & Twitter with much outpouring of disgust & outrage at what was clearly a VERY FUCKING STUPID THING TO SAY!
I have 2 children. My first-born was a nightmare baby from the moment my labour started. Seriously. I knew then we were in for a rocky ride.
And I was right. He had trouble attaching, I had trouble feeding. I wasn’t one of those mothers that could just pop out a boob & feed whilst hanging washing/cooking dinner/in line at the supermarket (Really???? I take my nursing bra off to you!!).
I was more the give-me-five-pillows-prop-me-up-don’t-talk-to-me-don’t-disturbthebabyorIwillkillyou kind of breastfeeders. And lying down…nope I only ever succeeded in feeding either hubbys back or the pillow.
But, I persevered until at 9 months to the day, my baby boy weaned himself. I’m sure he woke up that morning & thought…hmmmm things have been a bit too quiet lately, I think I’ll ramp it up a notch. I was shattered & rang an older friend of mine who had 4 kids & cried over the phone. And then I moved on.
Second child was a different kettle of fish. I breastfed him for 3 weeks. A combination of multiple infections, nipple thrush (which for those unfamiliar is akin to having hot knives thrust into ones breast whilst bubs is feeding) & complete & utter exhaustion I put him on the bottle.
That was my decision & mine alone.
As it was my decision to not try feeding whilst doing the vacuuming. (I may inadvertently suck up my nipple or something)
And as a woman I am allowed these rights. The right to choose how, where & when I feed my baby. To be told by anyone that something so completely natural & normal should be hidden away is offensive.
And herein lies my problem. I don’t actually care that it was A MAN that said it. I care that it was said at all.
Increasingly I have noticed an increasing trend in women claiming that men aren’t entitled to an opinion on something that they are unable to achieve themselves. That it is women’s business.
Does that mean as women we aren’t entitled to have opinions on circumcision because we’re not walking around with dangly bits between our legs?
Or am I not allowed to have an opinion on the rights of minority groups, whether they be disabled, gay, black…because I’m not one?
I am constantly telling my children they have the right to their own opinion & they have to learn to respect the rights of others.
I’m sure had ole Kochie come out & said he thought it was a wonderful thing that women were comfortable feeding in public that his ‘opinion’ would be considered a lot more highly & his gender would have heralded as one of the NEW BREED OF MEN (or some such shit).
My point is, you can’t have it both ways. Gender bashing goes both ways & I see this as another way for certain sectors of the very loud feminist movement to further alienate themselves from the opposite sex.
Stupid people say stupid things – not just men.
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT