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The Common Sense Of Breastfeeding In Public

‘I’m going to keep breastfeeding [Elizabella], maybe even until she’s 6,’ said Alyssa Milano in an interview, and one wonders what she was thinking. (How to kill your own credibility and taint everything you just said about breastfeeding in public with a generous serving of I’m-a-kook?)

It was a bizarre turn of events, hardly anticipated. Alyssa Milano started off the interview well, saying ‘I think people are more comfortable sexualizing breasts than relating them to what they were made for, which is feeding another human. It’s crazy.’ And she was right. But then she went off the rails, saying she’d like to keep breastfeeding her daughter till she’s six years old, and one wonders.

Why did she say that? For kicks probably, to get people riled up about something that truly isn’t their business. Which goes to show how much ego is involved in this topic, how it’s messing with the common sense argument Milano first made about breasts and breastfeeding, one that could have won the day — and plenty more supporters for the cause — had it been left at that, in common sense. If Milano were so inclined.

But she wasn’t. She set out to make her case: I can do whatever I want, just because.

Bad choice, weak argument. When making a case on nature and civility you don’t go leveling everything.

Thankfully there’s practical people out there, you know, non-kooks and non-entitleds who make the same argument about breastfeeding-in-public in better ways. They remind us, with eloquence, logic, or humor, that getting your knickers and ballsacks in a twist every time you see a baby on a teat is stupid and wrong. Breastfeeding is a natural thing, and no one should be shamed for doing it.

Of course — and here’s the caveat — in venues where people are eating, drinking, hanging out, spending time with their kids, friends, or business associates, or simply on their own, it might be appropriate to be discreet. Not everyone is obliged to deal with a baby salivating on a nipple in full panorama mode, with the audio amped up, no matter how natural the function is. Blowing one’s nose is natural too, but you do it in the bathroom. There are boundaries to all natural functions. Breastfeeding a baby is, of course, more palatable than blowing one’s nose, and one can never be asked to do it in the lavatories. But some kind of discretion would be wise.

Like I said, a little common sense would go a long way, much farther than entitled, self-righteous ideology which bulldozes its way through everyone’s space and time ‘just because.’ We haven’t gotten rid of looney religions and their freakish entitled attitudes to replace them with looney humanism, naturism, or whatever-you-call-it-ism. If it’s entitled and one-sided, it has no place on the table. If it positions itself above EVERYONE ELSE, wagging its finger at you, there’s the door.

There, I did it. I equated self-righteous moms with religious kooks and jihadists. Because, when you boil down to it, they all have one thing in common. They deem themselves better than everyone else, demanding that their needs be met only on their terms, everyone else be damned. Calling those who disagree with them names. Not even listening to anyone who raises an issue, even if there’s merit to it. Not even discussing the matter.

Self-righteousness and bigotry. Not religion’s monopoly. It always starts from something good, something wholesome and right, until the mad get hold of it and ruin everything.

I hope the common-sense moms out there will eventually make their case heard, pushing for breastfeeding in public on grounds of logic and mutual respect, shutting out of the conversation the self-righteous and their nasty vibrations, both critics and zealots alike, doing what they do in a way that makes sense, and not just because.

From your tempestuous Spin Doctor,

Eyes open, mind sharp.

For the Huffpost article, click here: