Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Excuse Me While I Have Sex, I Mean—Nurse My Baby…

It’s the old double-standard, or is it?

After I read about James Hazell, a BBC radio host, comparing breastfeeding in public to him having sex with his wife in a restaurant, I had to look into what his comments were. I felt outraged if what I heard was true, that women shouldn’t be allowed to breastfeed in public because, just like sex, it’s something that should be done in private.

After reading this article, I feel his comments may have been taken slightly out of context. While it is true that he doesn’t feel comfortable with public nursing, his comment about sex was in response to a woman saying breastfeeding was: “the most natural thing in the world.”

While I agree, Hazell’s comment makes sense in context: “Next time you are out having a meal at a restaurant, on the basis that it [breastfeeding] is the most natural thing in the world, I will come in there with my wife and then make love right in front of you. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, and that is fine, but there are a lot of natural things we don’t do in public.”

Yes, Mr. Hazell, I see your point. The “it’s natural” argument could open the door for people doing many socially-unaccepted things in public (masturbation, picking one’s nose, farting loudly, etc.), but when it comes to breastfeeding, it’s about nourishing a child; it’s not about satisfying some personal compulsion or something that could be put on hold until later.

When a child is hungry, he or she needs to eat. When one feels like having sex, one can (hopefully) wait until a room becomes available.