Wednesday, May 09, 2007

We must, we must

Some hoopla was raised when a picture of Maggie Gyllenhaal surfaced earlier this week - her breast bare, nursing her daughter, Ramona.

The emotional reactions were all over the place. There is a movement afoot, and the lines are being drawn.

It all seems silly to me. I, for one, am quite familiar with Maggie's boobs. I saw them in all their free-range glory on the big screen. And as for breastfeeding in public, I've done it. It wasn't a statement or a political move. I had babies and I wasn't under house arrest. I 'practiced' this nonstop feeding with modesty, because that was how I was raised and how I felt comfortable. But I never hid in a bathroom stall, straddling the pot, in fear of offending someone.

Zack was a newborn when I started attending yet another church on my way to finding my religion again. Lexi settled into the preschool room with ease and I discovered they had a room for mothers with babies located on the side of the sanctuary. I thought this was brilliant. The room was empty and Zack was fussing and ready to eat. I settled in behind the two-way mirror, and preceded to set Zack up, without feeling the need to rustle behind a blanket. Once, he was comfortable, I looked up and noticed some congregants were not just looking my direction, but staring right at me. I quickly realized that the window was simply shaded; I had just whipped it out in front of the devout. The door opened moments later and I was served my directions to the nursing mothers' room, with a side of shame.

I imagine I got mentioned over lunch.

I tried to laugh it off, and I did. It was funny. I could laugh because in a world full of real problems and real suffering, all this drama over how we feed our kids seems like a distraction, keeping us from substantive conversations.

And I want to fill my plate with things that matter. I want my kids to move past the breast, the belly and long for something more.

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problem? what problem? said...

Funny story Lisa. What is funny is that they were looking at you rather than the service. It is sort of like getting 'caught' by someone else not bowing their head at prayer when they were not bowing their heads either.

Personally I am for bare breasts in public. But, hey I am just that sort of guy ;) Go crazy ladies. Though after watching Sherry Baby...


SusieJ said...

It's food -- the baby needs to eat. I actually love to watch a mother nursing her baby. I think it's beautiful.

scribbit said...

That was my first thought, "Hasn't she done nude scenes?" Because I certainly didn't see anyone upset over that.

I'm actually not comfortable myself with breast feeding in public--my own children--but it really bothers me that a woman can be naked nearly anywhere or anyway she chooses without arousing anyone's dander but attach a baby to her, let her do her job as a mother, and suddenly she's a target. What's up with that? It's as if it's more of an uproar against maternity than nudity.