Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Breastfeeding: A Social Norm or Taboo?

A trending topic in today’s news is the story of a mother who was in a court and began breastfeeding her 5 month old, only to be “called out” by the judge for being “inappropriate”. Mom Natalie Hegudus had brought her newborn with her to the court hearing because the child had an ear infection, and when he became hungry, she moved to the back of the courtroom, covered her breasts and began feeding. When the court bailiff noticed what she was doing, he wrote a note to the judge. When Hegudus was called up, the judge condemned her behavior and asked if she thought it was appropriate. The mother responded, “Considering the fact that my son is hungry, and he's sick, and the fact that it's not illegal, I don't find it inappropriate ... And the judge said something to the effect of 'It's my court, it's my decision and I do find it inappropriate.’”
This topic of breastfeeding in public is something that I never really agreed with. Although it is totally legal to do so, I never felt it was socially acceptable for women to expose themselves in public. Even if a mother is covered up, I still always find it a tad awkward.
For people who are in support of breastfeeding in public, there is an organization called National Alliance of Breastfeeding Advocacy. This group advocates for women at the state and federal levels and gathers statistical information from reports of women who have felt discriminated against because they choose to nurse in public.
So what’s your feeling on this subject? Is women breastfeeding in public totally normal or a taboo?

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