breastfeeding in church and in public
#31
(05-18-2014, 08:16 PM)divinesilence80 Wrote:
(05-18-2014, 06:58 PM)austenbosten Wrote: Can one be okay with breastfeed, but at least wish for a little modesty?

I mean some women (and they tend to be feminists) think that they can whip out their bare breasts and men are just supposed to shut off their libidos. I see people praise Moslem cultures for encouraging breastfeeding, but they also demand that they remain modest in public...in private you can go completely commando...since it's only your husband there :P

No problem with a mother feeding her child in Mass, cause I'd rather have a suckling child under a blanket...than a loud screaming baby during the homily.

There is your answer right there Austen. Feminists want to shove everything (mainly their ego) in your face and down your throat. Breastfeeding to them has a purpose beyond feeding a baby. It's about "fighting the patriarchy" in their twisted psychotic minds. That is where the immodesty is and why a guy might react to it. It's being used to challenge you.

Now, a decent Catholic woman who will have nothing to do with the feminism and just cares about her baby is far from immodesty. I mean if the Blessed Mother was nursing Our Lord in front of you, would that be a problem? I tend to think not because her heart is not a rebellious one hence you need not be threatened.

I am inferring here then that modest is, at least in part, attitude. I don't cover my babies when I nurse (because nothing calls attention to a nursing baby like one who refuses to be covered up... LOL), but I don't consider how I nurse immodest. You can see very little, if anything. And I have to tell you, 90% of nursing mothers out there are not there to threaten you or to be rebellious... well, at least the ones I know personally!

I just want to point out here, however, that breastfeeding isn't just about feeding your child. I know that militant feminists will put politics etc into it, but it's actually a way to nurture and comfort a child too, and extends into an entire way of parenting. Our cultural perceptions about breastfeeding tend to be very narrow when in reality it has a very broad purpose.

/offsoapbox
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#32
(05-19-2014, 01:53 AM)PrairieMom Wrote:
(05-18-2014, 08:16 PM)divinesilence80 Wrote: There is your answer right there Austen. Feminists want to shove everything (mainly their ego) in your face and down your throat. Breastfeeding to them has a purpose beyond feeding a baby. It's about "fighting the patriarchy" in their twisted psychotic minds. That is where the immodesty is and why a guy might react to it. It's being used to challenge you.

Now, a decent Catholic woman who will have nothing to do with the feminism and just cares about her baby is far from immodesty. I mean if the Blessed Mother was nursing Our Lord in front of you, would that be a problem? I tend to think not because her heart is not a rebellious one hence you need not be threatened.

I am inferring here then that modest is, at least in part, attitude. I don't cover my babies when I nurse (because nothing calls attention to a nursing baby like one who refuses to be covered up... LOL), but I don't consider how I nurse immodest. You can see very little, if anything. And I have to tell you, 90% of nursing mothers out there are not there to threaten you or to be rebellious... well, at least the ones I know personally!

I just want to point out here, however, that breastfeeding isn't just about feeding your child. I know that militant feminists will put politics etc into it, but it's actually a way to nurture and comfort a child too, and extends into an entire way of parenting. Our cultural perceptions about breastfeeding tend to be very narrow when in reality it has a very broad purpose.

/offsoapbox

I would say attitude is the majority of it. As I said, most Catholic women you know probably are not the "I'm a psycho who believes in patriarchal conspiracies to oppress women" types. This attitude however is a spectrum and lukewarm / secular women are influenced by it even if they aren't militant feminists. A lot of women have the "its my body and I will show it off how I want!" This is their attitude. They use breastfeeding as an excuse to justify their attitude and use the baby as a political tool to exploit emotion much like the media does. 

I don't think guys are threatened by breastfeeding mothers. We are threatened however by women with the attitudes I've described above because you darn well know if a guy turns around not realizing a boob is about to be exposed and the woman gets startled his rear end is on the line for a sexual crime that he has the burden of proof in defending against. Personally, if I'm sitting on a park bench and a woman whopped out a boob to feed the baby next to me it would be awkward. It wouldn't be awkward because I might see her, but because I don't know how she's going to respond if she realizes I saw what she did. Some people freak if you see them naked and for guys that comes with potential legal action from hysteria alone.
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#33
Men who are turned on by the sight of a mother breastfeeding her child have issues that should be dealt with in prayer.
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#34


I'm posting this again -- a link to a pretty large gallery of "Maria Lactans" -- paintings of Our Lady nursing the Baby Jesus: http://www.fisheaters.com/marialactans.html

A few samples:

[Image: ml56.jpg]

[Image: ml4.jpg]

[Image: ml23.jpg]

[Image: VirginAndChild-FollowerOfLeonardoDaVinci-After1510.jpg]

[Image: ml69.jpg]

[Image: marialactanscleve12.jpg]

[Image: ml17.jpg]

And here's "The Miraculous Lactation of St. Bernard." This painting depicts the spiritual nourishing of St. Bernard by the milk of Our Lady, based on this legendary mystical experience: Bernard prayed before a statue of the Madonna, asking her, "Show yourself a mother" ("Monstra te esse Matrem"). The statue came to life and and squirted milk from the breast onto the Saint's lips. Artist: Alonso Cano, A.D. 1650

[Image: marialactans-miraculouslactationofstbernard.jpg]

Really, we need a cultural change. Folks need to grow up about this issue. Men need to stop thinking women feeding their children is about them somehow.  From that Maria Lactans page:

"Many years ago, I saw Joan Rivers on a TV show introduce a year's worth of "'Playboy Playmates.' Miss Rivers gushed over them, lauding them for their beauty, brains, talent, and 'wisdom' in using their bodies to make a living. Then she introduced actress Connie Selleca who'd recently given birth to a child. "'Oh, I hope you're not one of those women who breastfeeds in public!' she said."

Wow.

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#35
(05-19-2014, 09:36 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Really, we need a cultural change. Folks need to grow up about this issue. Men need to stop thinking women feeding their children is about them somehow.  From that Maria Lactans page:

"Many years ago, I saw Joan Rivers on a TV show introduce a year's worth of "'Playboy Playmates.' Miss Rivers gushed over them, lauding them for their beauty, brains, talent, and 'wisdom' in using their bodies to make a living. Then she introduced actress Connie Selleca who'd recently given birth to a child. "'Oh, I hope you're not one of those women who breastfeeds in public!' she said."

Wow.

Except when it comes to feminists or feminist-influenced women it IS about a subscription to being a victim of patriarchy (read men) that one needs to fight to be free of. The pitfall is that in most old school "patriarchal societies" breastfeeding was really a non-issue. If feminists bothered to read historical facts instead of viewing everything through a lens of feminism coated with raging emotion they would see their arguments hold no water and are fighting the wrong enemy.
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#36
(05-19-2014, 10:34 PM)divinesilence80 Wrote:
(05-19-2014, 09:36 PM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Really, we need a cultural change. Folks need to grow up about this issue. Men need to stop thinking women feeding their children is about them somehow.  From that Maria Lactans page:

"Many years ago, I saw Joan Rivers on a TV show introduce a year's worth of "'Playboy Playmates.' Miss Rivers gushed over them, lauding them for their beauty, brains, talent, and 'wisdom' in using their bodies to make a living. Then she introduced actress Connie Selleca who'd recently given birth to a child. "'Oh, I hope you're not one of those women who breastfeeds in public!' she said."

Wow.

Except when it comes to feminists or feminist-influenced women it IS about a subscription to being a victim of patriarchy (read men) that one needs to fight to be free of. The pitfall is that in most old school "patriarchal societies" breastfeeding was really a non-issue. If feminists bothered to read historical facts instead of viewing everything through a lens of feminism coated with raging emotion they would see their arguments hold no water and are fighting the wrong enemy.

The thing is, though, that too many men do act as if breastfeeding is about them -- going on about how it might turn them on, make them uncomfortable, or whatever. That is a real phenomenon that breastfeeding women have to endure. That type of man (which is NOT all men by any means) tell women to go into a bathroom to do that (as if they'd eat lunch in a toilet! And how are women supposed to do that anyway? Standing there against the wall for 20 minutes, while holding a baby and trying to make things work? Sitting on a fillthy public toilet with their clothes on?), thereby taking the act of feeding a baby and turning it into a dirty, embarrassing "bathroom function," like pooping or peeing.

This kind of guy has an "eeeeeeeeeeeeew" attitude toward the natural, normal, God-created primary function of the female breast (and I'd bet that most guys like that, like Joan Rivers as described above, have no problems with the porno-chicks) OR won't control his own eyeballs and lust, preferring to put the burden of his weakness onto women and babies. The female breast itself becomes about him, and his not encountering it the way he likes it -- dressed up in lingerie, squeezing out of a bikini top, getting mauled by a lipstick lesbian, squeezed together and pushed up by Wonder Bras, maybe with a pierced nipple, or whatever his trip is -- causes him to make his attitude problem into a problem for women and babies, putting women in the position of feeling as if they have to run and hide in order to feed their children lest they get called names, be referred to as "disgusting," and what not. It really is a vile attitude.

There are some women who think along the same lines (I've actually seen that -- e.g., Joan Rivers above!), though the attitude is definitely more common among men. And it's got to go.

As an aside:  even the radical, man-hating gender-feminists have to feed their babies, too :P  Hopefully their doing so will help the kids' brains be nice and healthy so they can grow up and disavow their mothers' nastiness!

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#37
(05-20-2014, 07:42 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: The thing is, though, that too many men do act as if breastfeeding is about them -- going on about how it might turn them on, make them uncomfortable, or whatever. That is a real phenomenon that breastfeeding women have to endure. That type of man (which is NOT all men by any means) tell women to go into a bathroom to do that (as if they'd eat lunch in a toilet! And how are women supposed to do that anyway? Standing there against the wall for 20 minutes, while holding a baby and trying to make things work? Sitting on a fillthy public toilet with their clothes on?), thereby taking the act of feeding a baby and turning it into a dirty, embarrassing "bathroom function," like pooping or peeing.

This kind of guy has an "eeeeeeeeeeeeew" attitude toward the natural, normal, God-created primary function of the female breast (and I'd bet that most guys like that, like Joan Rivers as described above, have no problems with the porno-chicks) OR won't control his own eyeballs and lust, preferring to put the burden of his weakness onto women and babies. The female breast itself becomes about him, and his not encountering it the way he likes it -- dressed up in lingerie, squeezing out of a bikini top, getting mauled by a lipstick lesbian, squeezed together and pushed up by Wonder Bras, maybe with a pierced nipple, or whatever his trip is -- causes him to make his attitude problem into a problem for women and babies, putting women in the position of feeling as if they have to run and hide in order to feed their children lest they get called names, be referred to as "disgusting," and what not. It really is a vile attitude.

There are some women who think along the same lines (I've actually seen that -- e.g., Joan Rivers above!), though the attitude is definitely more common among men. And it's got to go.

As an aside:  even the radical, man-hating gender-feminists have to feed their babies, too :P  Hopefully their doing so will help the kids' brains be nice and healthy so they can grow up and disavow their mothers' nastiness!

I'm not saying its right to use avoidance of arousal as an excuse, but if a man gets aroused in public it is quite embarrassing since the "effect" can be obviously visible. I think we should be a bit charitable towards such a guy and not assume the worst about him. I think the real problem is that from a young age we groom boys to see female nudity as a trophy to be won which pretty much translate into "you are unworthy to see her." We sure as heck don't do the same to young girls and in fact we teach young girls to pretty much run in fear of a naked man. A man changing in a window is "flashing" but a woman changing in a window makes the viewer a "peeper." If women out there didn't make such a big thing about being seen by their kids when they have eyes of youthful innocence I don't think nudity would be so arousing.

Secondly, there is a legal reality that does impact men therefore we do have say in the matter. Suppose I'm sitting on a park bench again and there is a woman sitting on another bench across from me. I'm looking at something in the distance but she thinks I'm staring at her. If she decides to make a scene out of it who do you think is going to get the benefit of the doubt? I can tell you it wouldn't be me.

Also, suppose a guy is innocently awed by a breastfeeding mother much like a person would be by the grand canyon. A guy can never experience or appreciate a mother-child bond directly, but has to do through a woman. There is a natural artistic beauty to a mother nurturing a child and condemning a man for wanting to admire that is quite contrary to the pro-breastfeeding arguments I've heard yet I could easily see women freaking out if a guy "looked at her for too long." We don't have the same parts you do which leaves us curious about them. Of coarse titillating them is not the answer but neither is putting them out there and expecting us to ignore them.

Yes, feminists have to feed their babies but when they use their babies / breasts as political weapons for powers sake that is an immodest use. Moreover, when they create a strawman argument and attack it, that helps no one. I have no problem with women who want to breastfeed in public. What I do have a problem with is people wanting to have a 1-sided discussion in the media where man = bad and woman = good is the thesis.
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#38
I think a lot of this boils down to the incontrovertible fact that man = physical threat in the minds of many, not least 21st century men themselves. The natural strength of most men undermines the artifice of law and custom that we've built up around ourselves in terms of equality on every level. We are equal, fundamentally, in Christ - in the image of God. The fact that men are constantly degraded on one hand and feared on the other is what shows up a lot of radical feminism for the despairing and neurotic philosophy that it is. But then again, we can say that for most anything that is not centred on Christ, and certainly everything that doesn't ground itself in some natural form of reason engaging our intellect with God's creation (rather than our own "virtual" models of the world).
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#39
(05-20-2014, 10:11 AM)divinesilence80 Wrote: I'm not saying its right to use avoidance of arousal as an excuse, but if a man gets aroused in public it is quite embarrassing since the "effect" can be obviously visible.

Only if you're looking in the direction of his crotch. 

(05-20-2014, 10:11 AM)divinesilence80 Wrote: \
Also, suppose a guy is innocently awed by a breastfeeding mother much like a person would be by the grand canyon.

Then he ought to avoid staring, because it's rude, the same way anyone else ought to avoid staring at others. 

(05-20-2014, 10:11 AM)divinesilence80 Wrote: \
We don't have the same parts you do which leaves us curious about them. Of coarse titillating them is not the answer but neither is putting them out there and expecting us to ignore them.

People are curious about all kinds of things.  One time, I was out with my son at the playground... he must have been about 2.  Another boy had befriended him and kept asking all these questions about my wheelchair.  "What happened to your legs?"  "Can you walk at all?"  "how fast does it go?" etc.  His mother was humiliated and kept apologizing for her very curious child.  What I told her was, "I'd rather he ask all the questions he wants and get answers that satisfy his curiosity while he's still little, than grow up to see people with disabilities as an "other" and make fun of them."

Perhaps a grown man wouldn't be so compelled to stare at a breastfeeding woman if he grew up being exposed to nursing mothers.  I'm the oldest of four children, and my mother breastfed all of my siblings, so as a young boy I remember sitting near my mother while she nursed our siblings and watching it.  It's a lot more OK for a 6 year old boy to stare at his mother nursing, making sense of what she's doing and seeing a younger sibling/cousin/friend of the family grow because of their mother's milk, than it is for a grown man to stare.  My natural curiosity was satisfied because I saw women doing it at a young age, not just my mother but friends of my mom, aunts, etc.  There are a lot of communities where breastfeeding isn't as common.  A lot of people grew up on formula and never saw a woman breastfeed.  Plus, people are having smaller families, fewer babies & there are fewer children who remember watching their mother breastfeed.  So put all those cultural factors together and you have a lot of grown men, and grown women, that are not that familiar with breastfeeding.

But when it's something you grow up seeing, by the time you're an adult, it's nothing new.  "Move along, nothing to see here." 

(05-20-2014, 10:11 AM)divinesilence80 Wrote: \
A guy can never experience or appreciate a mother-child bond directly, but has to do through a woman. There is a natural artistic beauty to a mother nurturing a child and condemning a man for wanting to admire that is quite contrary to the pro-breastfeeding arguments I've heard yet I could easily see women freaking out if a guy "looked at her for too long."

that actually sounds like something out of Mulieris Dignitatem... I always thought you skipped over the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store and instead stocked your lavatory with printed out pages of that document.   :LOL:
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#40
(05-20-2014, 10:11 AM)divinesilence80 Wrote: I'm not saying its right to use avoidance of arousal as an excuse, but if a man gets aroused in public it is quite embarrassing since the "effect" can be obviously visible. I think we should be a bit charitable towards such a guy and not assume the worst about him.

I wouldn't assume the worst about a guy who inadvertently got an erection seeing the sight of a woman feeding her baby. But if he were to try to thwart the woman's actions because of his erection, I would tell him it's his problem.  And, as Chestertonian said, he shouldn't be staring at the scene or anything. A simple recognition of what's going on, followed by being a polite, decent human being is all that's required, not running to legislators because he got an erection, or shaming the woman because of it.

Quote:  I think the real problem is that from a young age we groom boys to see female nudity as a trophy to be won which pretty much translate into "you are unworthy to see her." We sure as heck don't do the same to young girls and in fact we teach young girls to pretty much run in fear of a naked man. A man changing in a window is "flashing" but a woman changing in a window makes the viewer a "peeper." If women out there didn't make such a big thing about being seen by their kids when they have eyes of youthful innocence I don't think nudity would be so arousing.

Well, the Church has teachings about modesty, so...  But discretely feeding a baby doesn't break the rules of modesty. The problem goes back to the over-sexualization of the breast.

And there is a physical power disparity between men and women, generally speaking. Most any man could kick most any woman's ass. And women know it. But our culture now has so villainized masculinity and decried the idea of women's need for male protectiveness, that men's strength isn't something to be admired and desired by a woman, but something to be feared. (and it is to be feared when it comes to very small minority of men who are, in fact, dangerous to women -- e.g., the physical power of the rapists out there).  It's the radical feminists who want to wish this physical disparity away -- while also "having their cake" by also recognizing that difference when it makes women the victims. Me, I see the difference and like it, but that means I also see the difference between a man exposing himself and a woman exposing herself. Both would be immodest acts, but one is more "threatening" because men are physically powerful in terms of strength, and women aren't. Women are "the weaker sex" in terms of physical strength. The problems come in when those differences are ignored or wished away at the expense of men, and when the sexes are treated socially as absolutely equal when they're not. Our differences do lead to the fact that there are situations in which a man's doing X and a woman's doing X have different effects and meanings. But the gender feminists only honor those differences when it ends with women gaining more power while simultaneously being the eternal victim. But you can't effectively fight those gender feminists using their premises.

Quote: Secondly, there is a legal reality that does impact men therefore we do have say in the matter. Suppose I'm sitting on a park bench again and there is a woman sitting on another bench across from me. I'm looking at something in the distance but she thinks I'm staring at her. If she decides to make a scene out of it who do you think is going to get the benefit of the doubt? I can tell you it wouldn't be me.

There's no doubt that men get the short end of the legal stick just about every single time. But if a woman breastfeeds in public, anyone can look in her direction without legal reprisal. A person could even take pictures legally. Those people would be tacky and rude if they were to do so without permission, but that's the law.

Quote: Also, suppose a guy is innocently awed by a breastfeeding mother much like a person would be by the grand canyon. A guy can never experience or appreciate a mother-child bond directly, but has to do through a woman. There is a natural artistic beauty to a mother nurturing a child and condemning a man for wanting to admire that is quite contrary to the pro-breastfeeding arguments I've heard yet I could easily see women freaking out if a guy "looked at her for too long." We don't have the same parts you do which leaves us curious about them. Of coarse titillating them is not the answer but neither is putting them out there and expecting us to ignore them.

No one wants to be stared at, obviously. And given our culture and the hyper-sexualization of the breast, women should be as discrete as possible when breastfeeding.

No woman wants to feel as if she's a piece of public property or publicly-commissioned work of art, either. Pregnant women, for ex., all the time get their bellies touched by complete strangers. In a low-touch culture like that of the U.S., that's a very off-putting thing for most women. A woman feeding her baby just wants to feed her baby, not function as a work of art inspiring others as the beauty of it all. KWIM?

Quote: Yes, feminists have to feed their babies but when they use their babies / breasts as political weapons for powers sake that is an immodest use. Moreover, when they create a strawman argument and attack it, that helps no one. I have no problem with women who want to breastfeed in public. What I do have a problem with is people wanting to have a 1-sided discussion in the media where man = bad and woman = good is the thesis.

You'd never get an argument from me where "man=bad" and "woman=good," that's for sure. I adore men!

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