Sunday, 12 June 2011

Keeping abreast of the matter

I want to talk about a view boys have of breasts and how I feel it affects breastfeeding!  

This example that I'm about to share contains language I wouldn't ordinarily use, but in order for the story to sound 'right', I've had to keep the original phrase.

I read a story on a parenting forum about a woman breastfeeding in the local coffee shop.  There were many breastfeeding mums in that day.  Two young lads walked in and the first said, "Blimey mate, look at all them tits", to which the second lad said "Don't be silly mate, them's feeding tits, not w***ing tits'.

Now I've been thinking about this a lot just recently.  I have an 18 year old son (Number One Son) and a 7 year old son (Wee Weapon 2/Boy Child).  Getting Number One Son to 18 has been no easy task.  We have had talks about sex, pornography and all the relevant in between conversations.  So as you can imagine boys and breasts are something that I'm relatively familiar with and it seems to me that for some, the whole breast issue is a minefield.

I was out to dinner with some friends when one of them told me that she was concerned about the images that her son was seeing on my Facebook page.  Now as far as I remember, I had no nude shots on it and I'm reasonably sure that there are no "ooh drunken Doula not on call" shots.  Her concern was the amount of breasts that her 15 year old son was seeing on my page.  Now I've looked through my page/my wall/my links etc etc and I don't see anything perverted there.  And so of course the initial story flew back into my  head.  

There are a lot of sexual images out there for young boys (yes, I'm aware of the imagery for girls, but at the moment I'm talking boys… oh man, I'm going to have to write again on the subject of girls.  I have three girls!).  Young boys, old boys, men, all of us, have breasts thrust at us from every angle.  Want to advertise a car?  A nice buxom woman reclining on the bonnet should do the trick.  Want to advertise perfume?  Let's have a beautiful  young woman strip as she walks towards the camera.  Want to advertise aftershave?  A couple of squirts and women will throw their clothes off.  At least the Wonderbra ad was advertising bras and so one might reasonably expect to see bosoms.  Perhaps the "Hello boys" was little more than an invitation to 'dive right in' but hey, if we're going to advertise women's products to women, we must make sure that they will become more attractive to men.  And so, our little boys grow up knowing that 'tits and arse' are what they should expect and the idea that a woman's breasts might not primarily be there for a man's pleasure comes as a bit of a shock.  

Facebook, of course, does not help here.  Pretty much every day another account and/or page is deleted for 'obscene imagery'.  Pole dancing is fine.  Breast enlargement is fine.  In fact pretty much every image of breasts is fine until there is a baby nursing from them.  Comments from Joe Public aren't always good/kind/helpful.  Shock horror reverberates through people when they realise that a baby is about to be or is being fed.  Summer will be interesting.  All the spaghetti tops will be out, the low hips, low necklines and highly visible breasts.  There will be many photos on Facebook that will cause excitement and pleasure.  But a feeding baby, well that's really rather disgusting.  Imagine using the breasts as they were intended.  Feeding tits!

One of my very lovely twin mums

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