10 Things People Say To Breastfeeding Moms That Are Actually Creepy
Call it luck or good karma or, "You live in a liberal, metropolitan area and attitudes are more inclined to provide a positive experience," but I had extraordinarily good luck when it came to breastfeeding. I nursed my son and daughter for 17 and 21 months, respectively. I nursed in public, completely uncovered, pretty much everywhere. If I ever got comments from strangers or family members, they were usually positive. That's not to say, though, that I haven't experienced the things people say to breastfeeding moms that are actually creepy. Friends, family members, and the all-to-frequent Internet meme has assured me that the practice of other people projecting their creepy issues onto breastfeeding mothers is alive and well.
Oftentimes, I've found that the creepiest encounters come in the form of questions. On one hand, I'm all about educating people about breastfeeding and being honest and open about experiences. On the other hand, so many of the questions a breastfeeding mother receives are riddled with unspoken judgments and a proverbial buttload of sexist preconceived notions and I (and many others) simply can't even deal with. It's like, I'm sorry, but did you ask intimate my questions about my breasts, sex life, and relationships before I was nursing? This is weird. You're weird. Stop being weird.
So, with that in mind, here are the questions/statements about breastfeeding that are actually really freakin' creepy. The best defense is a good offense, right?!
"What Does Your Partner Think?"
Why do you care about what my partner thinks about my boobs and/or what I choose to do with them? Ultimately, their opinion doesn't have anything to do with me and if breastfeeding is a source of unhappiness or tension within my relationship, it's really none of your business. This question implies that my partner has a level of ownership over my body and that makes me really uncomfortable.
"Are They Bigger?"
They're currently size None-Of-Your-business, up from size Never-Any-Of-Your-Business. And, again because apparently it must be repeated: what do you care?
"Does It Ever Feel Good?"
I'm sorry, but are you actually asking me if breastfeeding my child in any way gets me off? That is not only creepy, but deeply super-ultra-creepy and inappropriate and just all of the worst things. Believe it or not, not everything that goes on with breasts, including physical sensations associated with them, has to do with sex.
"What Is Sex Like Now?"
Again with the weird sex questions. Sorry not sorry, but I have no interest in talking to you about how lactating has or has not affected my sex life.
"Aren't You Worried You're Ruining Your Boobs?"
As much as I really love discussing bullshit beauty standards, you're actually being really crazy insulting right now, which disinclines me to drop knowledge on your ignorant ass. It is truly creepy that people actually think breasts can be "ruined" by simply looking different. Never mind that breastfeeding is mutually beneficial act for mother and baby and that breastfeeding lowers a woman's risk for breast cancer, which is basically the opposite of ruining your boobs.
"Are You Going To Get A Boob Lift After You're Done?"
I don't know. Are you going to get that surgery where they permanently seal your mouth shut so that you never say creepy or rude things ever again? Why would you assume that this is something I'm contemplating? Because you think breasts are required to look a particular way? And even if I do want to get cosmetic surgery at any point, if I want to discuss it with you I will bring it up. Until then, sit on any questions you may have.
"Could You Cover Up?"
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooope! Nope nope nope. Look, it's not entirely your fault that you can't see a breast without thinking it's somehow naughty or sexual or inherently bad to the point that it should be covered at all times (#thankspatriarchy), but that doesn't mean your attitude isn't creepy. I'm not going entertain the weird idea that I'm doing anything other than feeding my child when I'm, in fact, feeding my child. So, I don't particularly care to hide what I'm doing under a blanket to cater to the fantasy that I'm not using my breasts for one of their primary purposes.
"Why Are You Covering Up? Don't Cover Up! It's Totally Natural!"
Again, what I'm doing with my body is my business and if I don't feel like showing parts of it in public, I don't have to; not even to make some sort of larger social point and educate the masses. Personally, I don't use a cover when I nurse, but I know a lot of women who wouldn't feel comfortable doing that, so they have a cute breastfeeding cover and they go about their business. It's not up to anyone to tell them what they should be doing, because guess what: that's still attempting to control a woman's body which is, you guessed it, creepy.
No. It's milk. It's bizarre and unfortunate that you are so sketched out by this because, again, it's just milk.
"Can I Touch Them?"
Are you freakin' serious right now? No. A million times no. Always and forever no.