In light of the countless number of women using the hashtag #MeToo to share their stories of sexual harassment, one woman has turned attention to one form of harassment that is often overlooked: shaming breastfeeding moms.
"Speaking of sexual violence how is telling a woman and child to cover up not sexual violence? Stop sexualizing breastfeeding," mom Diana Channing wrote on Instagram. "Motherhood is so fucking fierce. What could be more perverse than asking a woman to feel shame for nurturing an innocent life in the way she was biologically designed to do?"
Since boobs are considered a sexual body part, breastfeeding in public has become taboo because people sexualize the act.
Thus, Channing notes that shaming mothers for nursing their babies can be considered sexual harassment because the comments are not only unwanted, but uncalled for — similar to comments made to women who are catcalled.
We should start to question why we continue to see so many of these stories in the news and why we allow this behaviour to continue.
While Channing applauded the hashtag #MeToo for shedding light on obvious forms of sexual harassment — such as when a coworker touches you inappropriately at work — she noted that the movement "should have you going deeper pushing past the norms."
"I was thinking a lot about what we allow and subscribe to in the media, circumcision of course and now breastfeeding," she wrote.
Channing's note about the media is an important one, as many things seen in the news, magazines or movies should be questioned rather than simply accepted. Bustle, for instance, created a list of famous rom-com "heroes" who actually sexually harassed their love interest, such as Noah from "The Notebook," shedding light on what unacceptable behaviour is when it comes to dating.
But digging deeper, as the mom says, we should now turn our attention to breastfeeding shaming and start to question why we continue to see so many of these stories in the news and why we allow this behaviour to continue.
When we speak up we make the world a safer place.
"When we speak up we make the world a safer place," she concluded.
Breastfeeding mamas should never be made to feel ashamed, unsafe or uncomfortable simply because they are nursing their babies. In Canada, it is also legal for mothers to nurse in public, and women should know their rights.
British Columbia and Ontario are the two provinces that have laws specifically to protect women's breastfeeding rights, stating that it is discriminatory to ask them to "cover up" or be more "discreet."
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