There's something about seeing someone feed a baby that causes people to lose their sense of what's appropriate or polite to say. In my experience, people can say some seriously rude and creepy things to moms when they're breastfeeding. It's so annoying. But, if there's anything worse than saying creepy things to a breastfeeding mom, it's saying those things to their male partner instead. You would not believe the things people actually said to my husband when I was breastfeeding.
For one, saying anything at all about my choice to breastfeed, where I am breastfeeding, or how my body looks or works is creepy. Full stop. And not only does it give me the shivers, but the entire discussion is served with a side of misogyny when someone decides to talk to the man standing next to me, instead of me, about it. Not only is it inappropriate to make an assumption about our perceived relationship, but I am a human, dammit. If you have something to say about me, you can address me directly. Besides, if you don't feel comfortable saying something to me, chances are it's better left unsaid.
For the record, my husband doesn't have a say about what I do with my body, including breastfeeding. Why do people think they should say anything to him about it? Or worse, imply that he can or should try to control me and my breastfeeding boobs? No one should say anything to a mom who is trying to feed her damn baby, and they definitely shouldn't say creepy things to her husband. But, in my experience, they totally and absolutely do. Ugh.
"Does She Have To Do That?"
I have no clue why people feel the need to comment about people feeding their baby in the first place. It's none of their business, and certainly not something to address with their male-appearing companion.
My husband's answer to this question was always, "Doing what? Feeding the baby?" But, again, why did people think it was appropriate to ask him? Also, yes, if the baby was hungry, I did actually "need to do that." What was I supposed to do, not feed him?
"Are Her Boobs Bigger?"
No. Just no. Please don't. My breasts are not here for your gaze, and their size, shape, feel, and growth, are certainly not open for discussion, especially with my husband. Creepy.
"You Let Her Do That In Public?"
Um. My husband doesn't "let me" or "not let me" do anything. I am a grown-ass adult, and I make my own choices, especially when those choices involve my body. It is super creepy, sexist, and inappropriate to ask a guy if he controls his partner's body. In fact, it's downright dangerous.
"Aren't You Jealous?"
Can we please stop sexualizing breastfeeding? Why the hell would my husband be "jealous" of my child feeding? Breastfeeding has nothing to do with sex or sexual pleasure. It's feeding a baby. Period. End of discussion. Story over.
This question assumes that a part of my body, my breasts, always belong to my husband. No. My body belongs to me, and only me.
My body is not here for your viewing pleasure, especially when I am breastfeeding. It's so gross, creepy, and objectifying to comment to my husband that you like what you see. Not to mention inappropriate to be looking in the first place.
"Have You Tried It?"
Asking me if my husband has tried my breast milk or breastfed from me is not only not funny, and super personal, but totally creepy and none of your business. The idea that these people feel entitled to ask such intrusive questions makes me nauseous.
"What Is She Doing!?"
If there's anything worse than a creepy person staring at you while you breastfeed in public, it's one who is shocked and appalled enough to say something rude to you about it. If you can't figure out what I am doing when I'm feeding my kid, well, that's your problem. I don't owe you an explanation, and neither does my husband.
"I Can See Her Nipple"
I promise you that most moms are not trying to show off their nipples when they're breastfeeding in public, but it totally happens. Getting the perfect latch is difficult, covers slips off, and curious babies unlatch. It's not like they are deliberately trying to give you a show, but even if they were, I can guarantee they don't need or want your attention or comments. It's uncool to point out that you can see my nipple. It's disgustingly dehumanizing, and creepy, to say this to this out to my husband, not to mention possibly embarrassing for all of us. And I mean, it's a nipple, people. We've all seen them. We all have them. Get over it.
Next time you see a nursing mom, let their baby eat in peace, avert your eyes, and don't say anything to her or her partner. Don't be creepy.
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