There comes a time in every mummy bloggers blog that she writes ‘the boob post’ so in the spirit of many ladies before me (apologies Jess, Emily, Kelly, Catherine , Danya for using the search box on your blog to search for boobs) I’ve decided why not.
Some of you are obviously thinking “About time! Your thoughts about breasts are an important contribution to the body of knowledge that is the internet”. Others (especially those that arrived at this blog with search terms such as “raunchy homophones”, “kingnap sextube”, “sex mummers picture [sic]”) are leaning closer to your monitors, eyes wide, breathless with expectation however most of you are probably thinking, “Hold on Kev! You’re a guy! How do I know this isn’t a gratuitous attempt to fill your blog with searchable key words?”
To answer the last question yes, I’m a guy and yes, there will be gratuitous mentions of boobs but there is actually a legitimate reason behind the post. You see the reason I’ve decided to write this, apart from the it being a right of passage (see above) is because of everyone’s favorite breakfast television host – David Koch, aka Kochy. (David, just contact me via the facebook page when you get round to reading this)
Previously, you probably had very little to be thankful to Kochie for (the obvious exception being when he broke the big news about Bieber not wanting to be touched by girls when he was in Australia) but after his comments about breastfeeding the other day he’s given anyone with a keyboard the excuse to talk at length about breasts and breast feeding and baring breasts (ok, slightly gratuitous there).
To his defense, the conversations about bare breasts came second to his initial comments about breast feeding in public but to sum it up, Kochy was of the opinion that if your going to breast feed, do it so not many people can see you or what your actually doing. In his words, be “classy” about it.
Anyway, back to my boob post… I’ll start by saying that I disagree with Kochy. Society is way to hung up on how it ‘looks’ when women do something that is completely natural. I’ve read some interesting commentary on the topic today, one particular post made a good point about society being more prepared to see breasts shown in a sexual nature than doing what they were actually designed for.
However I need to balance my disagreement with an insight into the complex world that is Kev. You see as much as I know, on a rational level that it’s not big deal, it’s hard as a guy to avert your eyes from an area of the female body you’ve spent the better part of 25 years trying to see (and 20 years trying to touch). Matt at daddydownunder put it well in his boob post (another mummy milestone reacher) saying that “It’s as if their boobs are giant magnets and my eyes are a couple of innocent little ball bearings pulled against their will“. Although I have learned to employ the looking-at-the-sun method I’m sure that at some point I have inadvertently, innocently and unintentionally made a breast feeding mum feel slightly uncomfortable.
So with my less rational thoughts in mind, I wonder if Mr Koch’s comments are more to do with his (and my) hangups. And it’s not just guys. My thorough research tonight (ie asking Mrs Illiterate Infant what she thinks) came up with some interesting findings. She mentioned that even as a woman, it takes her a second to refocus when she see a woman breast feeding. It’s not uncomfortable, just unexpected.
So, what do you think? Was Kochy out of line? Is it any of his business what breast feeding mums do? Is breast feeding anywhere a right or should you act in what others may think? What did you do? Did you cover up? And lastly… feel free to add your own boob post to the comments below.
As always, linking up this Tuesday with Jess’ IBOT at essentiallyjess
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Ah, Kev. We must have been typing “boobs” concurrently tonight! (http://www.danyabanya.com/2013/01/Getting-my-boobs-out-response-to-kochie-breastfeeding-discretely.html)
There’s defintely a connection here ;-
It’s great to get the male perspective and congrats on your first boob post! Definitely a right of passage.
I fed everywhere and didn’t cover up, only had a few issues (one with a friend, one with some people at the table next to us in a restaurant and once an older lady in a cafe who tutted).
I think that the most alarming thing to come out of the Koch debates is the number of people who don’t know that a woman’s right to breastfeed in public is protected by law.
I got to say, I had no idea about the legal right to breastfeed however, based on the fact it is completely natural and normal, it makes sense.
I actually agree with you, my first instinct is to stare at a breastfeeding mum, even though I have done it for years in the past. While I’m not defending Kochie I think he suffers from foot-in-mouth sometimes and being a man doesn’t think ahead of what he’s saying and if it will upset someone. As women we tend to talk about sensitive subjects with more of a feather than sledge hammer approach. In saying that this is not always true and I’ve been known to call a spade a spade and even a diamond!!!! Great post! Emily
Cheers Em, and thatnks to contributing to my detailed research (that’s two ladies I’ve heard from now about the looking).
Sometimes it’s just too hot to cover up. Breastfeeding in the heat of Summer is horrendous – I don’t know if you heat up when you lactate, but it sure feels like it. Add that to the heat of snuggling your offspring in close and, when, there’s sweat beading on my top lip just thinking about it.
The lady who was sitting on the edge of the pool at the Bribie Island Aquatic Centre has my support – if it were me, there’s a very good chance I would have been feeding *in* the pool!
As for Kochie, he’s an accountant right? Aren’t they supposed to have limited social skills and awkward turns of phrase?
“limited social skills and awkward turns of phrase?” – he he
I don’t actually watch Kochie nor do I particularly value his opinion (sorry Kochie …. nothing personal … I just don’t watch morning television) but I personally preferred a little discretion about breast feeding. I would do it in public for sure, but I would usually use a throw or muslin wrap to lightly cover the bare breast for my own comfort, my husband’s comfort and the comfort of people who may not realise I was feeding and wander over for a chat.
Loved your boob post!
Mine these days are usually centred around the sagging boobs, misdirected headlights (get your nipples in line ladies!) and the fact that golf is near impossible when you’ve got a set.
Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
Hey Leanne, thanks for a typically hilarious comment.
I breastfed for around 9 years, (well.. not one child.. but 4 over those years, each around 2 years each).
I didn’t give too hoots about who saw what, my main concern was for family members (ie Father in Law and friends husbands) that may come over for a chat like Leanne said, and would feel awkward and uncomfortable when they clued in what was going on. I didn’t care, but the thought that they might think I care.. if you know what I mean.
I must admit, your tweet had me a little worried… “He’s writing about my boobs?!”
And I don’t think it’s a guy thing, I can’t help but look if I see a woman breastfeeding, as much as I know it makes me uncomfortable when I’m in the same boat. But unlike a man, I can give a reassuring smile, a “You’re awesome!” nod, without being too creepy. I think.
I think this has all been blown way out of proportion. But that’s just me.
Agree whole heartedly with the “out of proportion” comment
I’d do a boob post but I’d only get an inch of text. 😉 My husband thinks Kochie is an idiot. He believes the baring of breasts in public should be mandatory.
Don’t watch the show, nor do I care what his opinion is but I am amazed at the furore (if only we’d get as worked up about climate change or lack of funding in public education!). Is the problem he said to be discrete or his use of the word ‘classy’? If the latter, which I’m guessing is the offending word, may I remind people this is the guy who jumped in the back of the ambulance. Classy!
Discreet, unless from Crete…S
It is natural, but there is no reason to not try and be discreet. Some women are just looking make a big point out of their “natural process” with that “What are you staring at additude” personally I avert my eyes and do not think it is a big deal. My point is cover up and smile, lose the chip on your shoulder and the additude, often it is only a big deal because some women look to make it a big deal.
I just don’t understand why he had to say anything at all. Does he think breastfeeding mothers are TRYING to flash their boobs all over the place? Every breastfeeding mother I know tries to cover up, but sometimes they just have a mind of their own.
I read a comment at the Hoopla that summed it up best for me. If someone was bottle-feeding in the same situation, would you be offended? If not, then there’s no issue. Just don’t look.
Congrats on your first boob post!
I’ve stayed away from this conversation because I think Kochie actually meant well and it got blown out of proportion.
I have breast fed for over 4 years of my life, and a lot of that publicly, but I’ve always tried to do it discreetly. I also don’t wear bikini’s and try not to show too much cleavage. My motivation is the fact that my boobs, (and everything else for that matter), are for my husband and no one else. Secondly, I don’t want him looking at other boobs (and like you said that’s not always easy for a dude), so it’s then my responsibility to make sure I’m not making it hard for other guys to just admire their partners.
Great post Kev. 🙂
not that there was any doubt but you are definitely a woman for others Jess. Thanks as always for popping in
I think for me the issue is the assumption that breastfeeding women are not discreet or ‘classy’ (God, could he have chosen a more inflammatory word?!) . I don’t know a single woman who isn’t discreet when breastfeeding in public. If there are women out there who aren’t discreet I’ve never seen them and I would say the number of women who aren’t is 1 in a million, quite literally! I can’t tell you the amount of times people have come over and started talking to me and we’ve had a whole conversation while I’ve been breastfeeding, and it’s only at the very end when I have re-arranged the flap in my top that they have even noticed what I was doing, and they often haven’t even noticed that!
I would argue that these very people arguing for women to be discreet while breastfeeding don’t even know how many times that have walked past a breastfeeding mother without realising that is what she is actually doing, that is how ‘classy’ most women are about it!
There has been so much media about this issue. I breast feed but do try to do it discreetly because I know people are trying to be kind and not look so I try to make everyone as comfortable as possible (but baby comes first). I’m the ministers wife at our church and I am always just popping the baby on for a feed in the middle of church. I figure that I will do my best to be discrete but if someone happens to get a look I really don’t care.
Ive got to say that I cant help to look at a breastfeeding Mother either. Am always quick to look away out of fear of upsetting the Mother or appearing like I am judging. But my glances in their direction comes from no such place. I look because I am in awe. I didnt get to do it and I see strength and power and beauty when I see a Mother feeding her child… its a beautiful thing
I think he did as he usually does, said something stupid and didn’t know when to stop. That’s why I avoid the whole show. As I had trouble breastfeeding, i’m always in awe of mums who can manage it for more than a few weeks. When that baby’s hungry, you do what you gotta do.
Great boob post Kev!
I was only able to breastfeed for a very short period with each of my kids and never had the confidence to do so publicly so I support those who can. Most women do it without you even noticing so I’m not even sure what Kochie was on about – probably why I no longer watch morning TV (quite frankly, I get more from Peppa Pig in the mornings!)
Hot topic. I didn’t like that Kochie said that mothers should ‘be discreet and respect others’ when breastfeeding in public. Why should we have to worry about other people’s hang ups. We are thinking about our babies. As for your first boob post, well done. I’m yet to venture there. Thanks for your perspective 🙂
Niiiiiice Kev! Your milkshakes will bring all the boys to the yard! Haven’t got my boobs out on the blog yet, or in real life. I was always the cover-up type of feeder, but only because I’m crap at confrontation and didn’t get tougher just because I sprung a hungry baby. Plus… The awkward second eye flash look then look away thing… Their discomfort made me uncomfortable too.
When I breastfed in public my mum would always try to cover me with a blanket and I have a go at her. I was quite descreet but I certainly wasn’t going to hide the fact that I was feeding a baby. And I have been that woman standing in a non moving queue with a baby screaming her lungs out and promptly shut her up by sticking on the boob. It wouldn’t be my preference to feed in that situation but it probably was the preference of the people around me.
Unfortunately, with most of being a mum and parenting…. There are many debates and sides and judgements and it’s so booody exhausting. Hence why we only have a fur child. Thank you for a great post about the whole bru ha ha 🙂 # teamIBOT
Nice post Kev. I’ve been caught out more than once, sitting in a cafe or what-not, smiling at the lady at the next table THEN realising she is breast feeding. Uh, where do I look now? As my wife didn’t breast feed for very long my experience is limited so I usually just end up blushing and turning back to my coffee! As a guy, it is a fine line between being “cool” and “creepy”!
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I’m sure you got a lot of hits on this one Kev. Good on you, as a man, for speaking out so honestly in favour of breastfeeding. Maybe if more women had their boobs out, people wouldn’t need to gaze at the sun, or refocus. We’d just be used to seeing them. Like where I live – boobs are out a plenty, and it’s cool. You sort of expect it. I have never felt uncomfortable breastfeeding here. The first time I did was on a tram in Melbourne, and only because my child was a large 15-month old. I felt self conscious. My child didn’t understand why – how could she? It was some unspoken social pressure getting under my skin. She was just hungry.
I wrote about this at Mumgo this week if you are interested. https://www.mumgo.com.au/blog.php?article=1054
I read your article earlier – it was good.
I did get some hits on this one. I also got a lot of disappointed google-ers. I agree with you that it shouldn’t be the big deal that it is. I read a great comment on one of the many posts about the subject that said “I just wish the media (paid and social) could get this fired up about a subject that mattered”
Yes. It matters in kind though. It matters that some women still feel uncomfortable feeding publicly, and comments like Kochie’s confirm their hesitance. “Breastfeed, but be discreet” the commenters say…I haven’t seen breasts being flung about though. Usually covered by children. Feeding. Kind of normal I would have thought 🙂
Hmm. Seems like such a no-brainer. High-profile man speaks not about making breastfeeding easier & being more accommodating, but rather to reinforce out-dated artificial restrictions expecting breastfeeding mothers—who are perhaps the least empowered to do what they want, when & where they want—to take into account the feelings of others who are perfectly free to get up and move if they have a problem (and it is their problem).