I hope everyone is happy.
The message about it being ok to breastfeed in public is getting through.
And it is, quite frankly, a shit message that’s being received.
I can already hear the undulating cry from hoards of breastfeeding advocates and their followers the world over.
This lunatic must be stopped!
Just stop your tits from getting in a knot for a second …
A couple of days ago I was in the car with a number of others. Something came on the radio that had the word “breastfeeding” in it … I didn’t really catch it, car load of people and all that.
I was asked this:
“Why do so many people hate breastfeeding?
My enquirer clarified.
“Most people don’t like other people breastfeeding in public,” they said. “Most people think it is wrong and mother’s shouldn’t do it. Why?”
I got a little cross, but held myself.
“Actually,” I replied calmly. “Most people don’t.”
“Oh,” came the reply. “But that organisation, that breastfeeding one who talk about breastfeeding and making it acceptable say that most people do. They’re always going on about it.”
This afforded me my soapbox.
“Well, I don’ t know why they say that and why they focus on the negative. The research they and others have done show that something like 27-29% of people have a problem with other’s breastfeeding in public. Which is less than 30% of the population. Which is less than one-third of people, which is not ‘most’.
“Most people are actually fanatically for it, supporting it, accepting of it, ok with it or don’t care one way or another and happy to let it go ahead without them. Over 70% of our society fall into one of those categories. That is most. Most people are for it, or ambivalent/oblivious to it, not against it.
“Don’t get me wrong,” I continued. “Just less than 30% is still far too high, but it’s still not ‘most’.”
It has been a reporting of the issue that has riled me for a long time.
It’s not the first time I have spoken of this issue, and the desire to report the negative aspect of it. My main argument has been if you constantly talk about how many don’t like something, regardless of whether the number is 0.03% or 30%, people will feel as though it is the ‘done’ thing, that it’s what society expects of them; and people don’t like being the odd one out or left behind. It is human nature to be ‘part of the pack’ and will subconsciously lean towards what they majority think and do.
Or, in some cases, what they perceive is what the majority think and do.
Please, please note that this is not a post about whether breastfeeding is better or worse than any other form of feeding your bubs, it’s not a debate about whether you should or shouldn’t breastfeed, in public or otherwise. Personally, I don’t care what you do.
It is a post about how the issue of breastfeeding in public is reported, the messages it is sending and how it has the opportunity to influence society.
I would really, really like to see more public commentary on what is actually happening,what most people think, rather than what is in the minority. I’d rather see “well, most people are ok with it, but the number that don’t is still to high – let’s get them thinking like most people”.
Or even about how great it is that most people are in the ‘for’ category and just focus on that.
As it stands, well done mainstream media and “that organisation that promotes breastfeeding” … you have a twelve year old boy starting to think that breastfeeding in public is ‘wrong’. A boy who has been exposed to mothers breastfeeding as though it were the most natural thing to do in public.
I’m only thankful that he can think for himself, to not blindly follow the crowd and to ask questions, and that he has a mother, an aunt and various others in his life who can answer his questions with facts based on research and science.
I just hate to think how many young minds have taken on this information and how many believe now, and will continue to believe, that breastfeeding in wrong is a social taboo … I hope it can be addressed and changed in time.