Breastfeeding In Public - What's The Big Deal?
You may or may not have seen the new "breastfeeding doll" in the news lately - but there's huge controversy over its "appropriateness" here in the U.S. The doll works like this: your child wears an apron/halter type top over their clothing that has two flowers (yes, near where their nipples would be) and the flowers have sensors. When the doll is brought near the sensors, it makes a suckling action and sound. It also cries to be fed, then burps after feeding.
This doll has been a huge hit overseas, but it came to the U.S. and has met a lot of opposition. I'm not a huge fan of plastic battery operated toys to begin with, but I'm greatly bothered when I look at the reasons why this doll is meeting such criticism.
It seems the doll is "too much too soon" or just making people uncomfortable. The implication is that it's sexualizing girls too young and to that I have to laugh and cringe.
Of all the things that sexualize our girls way too soon - pop stars, magazines and television, scantily clad dolls (Bratz, anyone?), sexy Barbie, skimpy swim suits, etc...is breastfeeding really a part of that category?
The problem isn't with this doll, it's with the ongoing problem of breastfeeding being generally an unacceptable thing to do in public. It needs to be covered up, and we should just all act like it doesn't exist.
Why? Because women's breasts have turned into nothing but sexual objects - a far cry from their main purpose which is to nourish children.
Is it really so bad to let young girls understand that their body parts are not made up of only sexual items? How terrible is it *really* for young girls to be pretending to nurse?
I know even my boys, when they were very young, would pretend to nurse, and would be a little heartbroken when one of their brothers would say "only girls get to do that".
The ongoing debate about public breastfeeding just got an ugly look in the mirror when this doll came out - I hope we're all paying attention. Let's allow breasts to nourish babies, let mothers feed their babies wherever and whenever they want, and if parents want to buy a plastic toy that teaches their kids about nursing in a healthy way - so be it!