First, I regret that it turned a bit into a rag on my mom. I was worried that would happen and almost didn't publish that post for that very reason. My mom is really an extraordinary woman. Anyone who can double major in English and biology, commute 4 hours a day on public transportation, and be pregnant at the same time deserves applause. I should have been more careful in how I worded my post. (Mom, if you're reading this, I'm glad you're reading my blog and I am sorry if some of the discussion veered away from its original path.)
Second, let me summarize some fascinating questions the discussions raised:
- Does nudity always have the potential to become pornography? In other words, is pornography in the eye of the beholder, or in the eye of the creator?
- Is breastfeeding openly in public a sexual (ie, provocative, inappropriate) act? And why does our society see it as such?
- Does covering up reinforce the taboo on breastfeeding? Do you prefer to cover up or not? Is covering up being prudish? respectful? etc...
- What are the dangers of posting intimate pictures, such as ones of breastfeeding and birthing, on the internet? Several comments alluded to such dangers, but only in a general fashion.
The first memory I have of "indiscreet" breastfeeding is when I visited Germany in 9th grade. My host mother lifted her shirt and nursed her baby. At one point that baby bit her, and she said something like "ouch, that hurt!" (in German of course). The other family members acted very matter-of-fact, even though you could see her breast. After a few seconds, I was like "okay, that's what they're for anyway, I'm cool." And that was that. I took my cue from the others around me; since they seemed completely unfazed by the sight of an exposed breast, I learned to do the same. Voila! Another public nurser was born.