Sunday, February 27, 2011

Covering Up is a Feminist Issue

Hello World! I’m alive and, thankfully, well again. I wanted to start the week by sharing this fabulous video created by Annie of PhD in Parenting. It touches two issues near and dear to my heart – feminism and parenting – in particular, breastfeeding.

I breastfed exclusively for the first year of SchmoopyBoy’s life. (Well, I introduced solids around 6 months, but breastmilk was still his primary source of nutrition.) During that first year, I did venture out in public and I did not hesitate to nurse him wherever I happened to be. I almost always used a cover when I nursed in public. There were a few instances that I let slide if I was wearing a nursing top and knew I wasn’t going to be flashing everyone, but really I was more comfortable keeping myself covered.

No one ever confronted me anywhere I went. Not a single person in any restaurant ever asked me to leave and feed my child somewhere else. Would that have been the case if I were not to have used a cover? I have no idea. It’s not like no one could tell what I was doing, either. When a woman is making googly eyes down towards her shirt, and a tiny hand is reaching up touching her face, it’s pretty obvious what’s going on.

What is my point? My point is that covering up was MY choice. It was about MY comfort level. If a woman is comfortable nursing in public without a cover, more power to her. It is not for me to judge another woman’s comfort with her body. It is not for anyone to judge a woman’s comfort with her body. The choice is with the individual woman, which is why covering up is a feminist issue.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! Good point! I mostly think of other people's comfort level when I do cover. We're entering month 18 and I rarely have a cover or even a spare diaper with me anymore.

    I recently nursed through the big grocery store and it was my husband who seemed most uncomfortable. He did alright, though. I don't think of it as any major thing, so I tend to not notice people's reactions (if they have any).