Seriously, Ladies? Is There No More Pressing Issue Than This ‘Fight for Public Breastfeeding’?

Written by Steve Pauwels on November 30, 2017

So, the sinister North Korean regime test-fired another intercontinental ballistic missile this week — one they claim can reach the continental United States. America’s national debt recently crested twenty trillion dollars, the spendaholic, year-to-year handiwork of Republican- and Democratic-controlled governments, including the current one. On their current trajectory, Social security, Medicare and Medicaid are facing crisis-level financial shortfalls in mere decades. Conditions in many of our nation’s major cities are mimicking shooting galleries: St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago doubling as killing-fields. The stability of the American family is in free-fall: marriage under attack, children raised sans father or mother or passed back-and-forth between them as weekend’s dictate. No enduring solution to America’s outlaw border dilemma is anywhere in sight.

These would be serious challenges for any people, the U.S. not excluded. And innumerable others loom.

And what does California mother Brittni Medina decide to make her issue? A cause taken to national prominence by certain media outlets? Why, a nursing woman’s “right” to splash out her lactation-swollen bosom for the whole wide world to see – whether or not they want an eyeful.

Apparently, Mrs. Medina, her husband and their little one were visiting Disneyland not long ago, surrounded by other park-goers waiting in line, when a couple of ladies took visible exception to her revealing herself in order to feed the child. Medina’s response? Pose for a photo with her baby, her breasts essentially bared, as the scowling bystanders look on in the background. (The feasting little one’s head and shoulder are strategically obscuring part of the offending mammaries.) It was her hubby, his own chest puffed up, too — in his case, with pride — capturing the scene for posterity; social media posterity, it turns out. Mom plastered the image on Facebook where, reportedly, it’s gone “viral”, garnering lots of you-go-girl support, not to mention a bit of blowback.

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Speaking bluntly, pardon me for not being impressed with this young mother’s milking — sorry — this dust-up for its fifteen minutes of fame. As already noted, there’s a glut of matters to occupy serious people’s attention nowadays; some of literally existential gravity. And she’s going to go with the cherished “right” to openly breastfeed her child at a world-renowned amusement park in a way to generate maximum umbrage?

The words accompanying her FB image fairly ring with stentorian nobility: She just had to disseminate that shot “[n]ot for attention for me but attention to the fact NO WOMEN SHOULD BE SHAMED FOR FEEDING THEIR BABY UNCOVERED.” (Caps in original).

So, I am woman, watch me nurse?

I understand Medina was irked by those fellow park-attendees who were irked by her dubious Disneyland decorum, but seriously: wasn’t there another solution to this fuss? One short of sparking an international, freedom-to-display-my-dairy-dilated-décolletage crusade? In her remarks, she mentions removing her “first top before nursing”. So there was a shirt-sized piece of material available? Great, here’s an idea: how’s about discretely draping that same garment over child and breast while the mama-provided meal was being served? Personal deprivation to mom in that compromise? Minimal. Inconvenience?
Infinitesimal. Admittedly, it wouldn’t have made for as sensational a Facebook post, but presumably it would have encouraged tranquility to reign there in the Magic Kingdom.

This alternate response, of course, would’ve required from the lactating lady a dash of humility, a skoche of solicitude, a modicum of sympathy for the other ladies’ perspectives. Instead, quoth Brittni Medina: “”I was tired of hiding to make others happy. My son … knows I would never deny him to make others comfortable.”

Making “others happy … comfortable”? Great balls of fire, those are some revolutionary concepts! We’d never want a fellow human being to consider either of those options! Instead: Screw everyone else! Strike a blow for the reassurance of my ten-month-old! (Mind you, he likely was in a happy-tummy-induced semi-coma throughout most of the episode, so … lesson probably missed.)

Is Mrs. Medina merely disquieting confirmation that twenty-first century, my-way-or-the-highway Americans have become so inured against others’ sensitivities that we can’t — won’t — ever adjust our conduct out of respect for them? Not EVER? Not even at a renowned entertainment spot, teeming with inquisitive children, wives and mothers; and yes, lots of men who actually might be tempted to ogle an uncovered breast or two but who’d prefer not confronting the enticement while en route to the cotton candy booth?

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” That admonition is from the Bible (Philippians 2:4) — a book, recall, which is definitely pro-breastfeeders (1 Thessalonians 2:7). It’s just not only pro-breastfeeders. Seems like other folks matter, too.

And true enough, some quarters were effusing over Medina’s clothing-optional stand. She really dissed the disapprovers, the puritans, the bluenoses, didn’t she! The notion of a nipples-exposed warrior princess sticking it to “the man” – although, let it be noted, it’s a female duo looking on disapprovingly who are the “villains” here — was too much for some of her cheerleaders to resist getting their hackles up.

Call me paranoid, but I’m guessing not a few of this nursing mom’s fan-base, perhaps most, are of the leftist, conventions-trashing, modern feminist variety. Which additionally means a degree of irony is involved here: Doubtless, lots of those rooting for her in these circumstances wouldn’t balk a millisecond doing the same if, ten months-and one week previously, she’d elected to end the life of the same child; even as he was emerging from her womb. Brazenly suckle ’em! Unless you choose to kill ’em first.

There’s patently nothing shameful about the woman who brought a child into the world wanting to nourish him/her. Yet, regarding the Disneyland tiff, Judeo-Christian principles – and common sense – arguably suggest that’s not the end of the matter. They recommend an approach which, unsurprisingly, is the confrontational opposite of contemporary attitudes: Keeping some wonderful things mildly private is, in fact, a form of honoring them. Indiscriminately spilling everything out in the open only cheapens some of it.

Modesty might be viewed a quaint antique nowadays — but somewhere between burka and string bikini, between binding women like mummies and letting it all hang-out whenever/wherever, exists a sensible standard that reasonable people ought to be able to observe amicably.

At which point, we adults can refocus on issues that carry some significance – instead of looking like a self-centered, petty bunch of … boobs.

Image: Excerpted from:

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Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.