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About Everything Wiki » Author's Column » Why public breastfeeding is OK: the opinion of feminist Zalina Marshenkulova

Why public breastfeeding is OK: the opinion of feminist Zalina Marshenkulova

27 Jan 2024, 12:07, parser
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Why is it OK to breastfeed in a public place

Public breastfeeding is absolutely normal. There is not a single adequate argument why this should not be done, but there are enough arguments for it.

This is a woman's responsibility

Feeding is both a basic right and a mother's duty. This is not done because someone decided to just bare their breasts and show them or make a political statement, but because the child wanted to eat. The baby can get hungry unpredictably. And you need to give him a breast whenever he wants. You can't explain to him that we're going to eat in an hour.

In addition, for a small child, the breast is also a source of safety and contact with the mother, which he needs.

Breasts are not a sexual object, they are needed primarily to feed a child. Many people are confused that someone's husband or adult son will see their mother's naked breasts, which is strange. So what if he sees it? What will happen to them? Her mother doesn't make her look at her, just turn away. In addition, nothing is particularly visible during feeding.

This is not prohibited by law

In general, public breastfeeding does not contradict any laws. Although, of course, it is already forbidden to be a feminist in our country, it will soon be forbidden to be a woman at all.

But so far, breastfeeding in public places is not prohibited. Therefore, somewhere in the mall they cannot forbid a woman to feed a child, it does not violate public order.

However, the specific right to breastfeed anywhere is also not fixed by law. But if you ask a mother to stop doing this when her child is crying and needs food, this can be considered a violation of human rights and freedoms.

Insufficient infrastructure for mothers and babies

Many, even very progressive mothers are ready to breastfeed on the sidelines, in specially designated places. The problem is that we often do not have such places or they are poorly equipped. Or the mother and child's room is somewhere in the toilet. No one wants to feed and eat there. Therefore, we have to feed where we can.

If you really don't want your mother to feed in the middle of the room, give her a room. This is the difference with progressive countries. For example, in Iceland, where feminism has won, the whole approach is to help women, mothers, and not to bully them. There is an excellent infrastructure for feeding, for the maintenance of a child. For example, universities have specially equipped rooms where a student — a young mother can leave her baby while she is in pairs. In our country, pregnant students are more often just bullied. There's a big difference.

Why does this infuriate many people

The problem is that in our country, a woman is under great pressure with childbirth, but as soon as a child appears, the mother is not allowed to perform her direct duties, for example, to feed the child in the place and at the time when he is hungry.

This is because we have a very misogynistic patriarchal society, absolutely misogynistic. Misogyny permeates all aspects of life. This is the contradiction of patriarchy: on the one hand, give birth, and on the other hand, when you give birth, you have to bury yourself, stay at home with the child all the time.

Many people are very annoyed with mothers and children in public places. It is easiest to extrapolate your negative emotions to women. It is dangerous to do this for men, and it is very easy to drain your irritation on the most vulnerable segments of the population — mothers with children.

The paradox is that many, in particular men, like to look at bare breasts: they are erotic and attractive in themselves. But as soon as the mother begins to feed, it angers many, hatred pours out on her. It can also be poured out on those who just show this breast in social networks , for example. That is, they look at her, everyone likes her, but the woman herself can be branded a whore. This is how misogyny manifests itself again. There is no logic here. There is only a centuries-old hatred of women.

It's terrible that women themselves often react the same way to other women, including nursing mothers.

Because there is also an inner misogyny. You grow up in a society where women are treated badly, you constantly hear that girls can't do something, mental work is not for them and they are generally second‑rate creatures. In such an environment, you also begin to develop a disregard for women, and you begin to hate yourself for being a woman. As a result, you try to separate yourself from other women. You can say, "I'm not as stupid as they are, I won't feed on the street." So you're trying to earn the approval of a patriarchal society because you've been taught that women are something bad.

At the same time, children are hated in our country. No one thinks about what the child wants to eat. Of course, everyone understands this, but it annoys everyone. In a patriarchal society, everyone is hated. Including myself.

Our society is deeply hurt. When people, as in Russia, have to survive rather than live, there is absolutely no time for reflection to understand why a baby and his mother cause you to hate.

How to react and what will happen next

The defense against misogyny, misogyny, and childishness is that you need to stop hating yourself first. A healthy person should not care at all whether someone is breastfeeding or not. A mentally healthy person sees that the mother is breastfeeding, and just passes by. It's none of his business, no one asks his opinion. And if they start to get angry, to express something is a sign that a person has something wrong with himself.

It is advisable not to react in any way to this aggression. People who show negativity, in general, are waiting for a reaction. Mom doesn't have the resources at the moment to defend her position anymore. If a person is aggressive, you can move away, if they make a remark to you and say, "Aren't you ashamed?", you can say, "I'm not ashamed."

Another very important point is that the mother does not have to explain anything to anyone.

The whole point of women's existence is that we don't have to make excuses and report to fools.

But if breastfeeding were entrusted to a man, everything would be fine. Men can do anything, we would have breast pumps at every gas station, there would be a feeding room in every bar.

Everything is gradually changing. I like to use Twitter as an example. If I wrote five years ago that a woman does not have to cook, it caused a wave of negativity. Now many people have begun to support this idea. Therefore, everything is changing, but slowly. Including the efforts of activists and educators.

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