Breastfeeding In Uniform
The latest battle in America's War On Women? Creation Date Tuesday, 05 June 2012. Hits 1274
This is the declaration from "The New Civil Rights Movement", a website of the liberal idiot, by the liberal idiot, and for the liberal idiot. But what actually happened here? Recently, two women who are in the Air Force decided to have themselves photographed breastfeeding their babies (pictured right) and posted the image to Mom2Mom, a support group on facebook for breastfeeding mothers. The image was, and still is up on the site. The women were, and still are actively serving in the Air Force. The police did not, and are not moving in to arrest the women for indecency. So how exactly is this a "battle in America's War On Women?" From what I can gather, it is such because some people didn't like the picture and publicly said so.
There are a wide range of views expressed in the comments below the image, so before I get to my views on the idiots over at the new civil rights movement, let me give my view on the image. I understand that these women serve in the Air Force, but since I am a former Marine I will point to our regulations on the wearing of the uniform.
1003. RESTRICTIONS ON WEARING UNIFORMS
1. Members of the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve, including retired Marines, are prohibited from wearing the Marine Corps uniform while engaged in any of the following activities, functions or circumstances unless specifically authorized by the CMC (Public Affairs(PA):
a. Soliciting funds for any purpose from the public outside of a military base or establishment.
b. Participating in any type of show or event which is commercially sponsored for advertising purposes, where it could be implied or construed that the Marine Corps "endorses" the product advertised.
c. "Endorsing" commercial products in such ways as to involve the uniform, title, grade or rate, or in any way establish or imply their military affiliation with such products.
d. Appearing or participating in any event in public that would compromise the dignity of the uniform.
Based on these regulations alone, I think that any Marine would know that this picture would clearly be unacceptable. The point of the picture is to associate the breastfeeding with the act of wearing the uniform. Furthermore, Marines know that the uniform is to be worn in it's entirety with specific exceptions for indoors (removing the cover) or physical training (removing the blouse) but at no time is a state of the blouse being on and opened with the t shirt pulled up acceptable.
Now that having been said, obviously there are times when the uniform will be partially removed when participating in some necessary activities such as changing in or out of uniform or using the head (bathroom). And while these activities are necessary and unavoidable, it is not a normal nor acceptable part of the routine to photograph the process. So let's take a look at this from a slightly different perspective. Let's suppose these women had photographed themselves with their trousers around their ankles while they sat on the can dropping a log. The same defense would apply. It's a natural thing to do, after all. It certainly is healthy to pass along your waste products. They shouldn't be made to feel shame or embarrassment for having to use the bathroom, right? But there is something else that these two occasions should share, and that is privacy.
I don't disagree with any of the arguments being made in defense of these women. In fact, I think they should be allowed to feed their children while in uniform. I think they might be wise to consider using a pump and having a supply ready in bottles, but I am in no position to dictate that. But is it too much to ask that this type of thing be done in a more private setting?
I can't speak for the Air Force on the matter, but as for the Marine Corps these women would be in violation for these photographs. It is obvious that them being in uniform is part of the statement that they are making, and thus it is against regulation for the statement to be made. Furthermore, there is no such thing as being halfway in uniform. You are either in the uniform of the day and wearing it properly, or you are out of uniform. These two ladies are out of uniform. Case closed.
Now to the bigger picture here. I don't think that women should breastfeed in public, but I don't think that it is the place of the Government to make laws against it. So how does a guy like myself handle this type of situation? Simply put, ogling. Yes, you read that right. If you don't like women whipping one out to feed a kid in public, then make her as uncomfortable as she makes you. Observe the process. Ask her questions about it. Things like "Does it make your nipples tender when he sucks on them like that" or "Is that the normal size of your breasts or do they swell up with the milk production?" Yes, this will cause her to pull away and cover her breasts. It may even cause her to make some type of comment about how rude and vulgar you are. At that point, you should inform her that there is nothing sexual about breastfeeding and that it is a beautiful thing that she shouldn't feel so uncomfortable about. Turnabout, as they say, is fair play.
As for the new civil rights movement, this is not an attack on women. This is just another left wing assault on free speech. Using the guise of political correctness, liberals try to discourage you from speaking out about issues that affect your daily life. I don't think that anyone is suggesting that women shouldn't breastfeed their babies. But is asking for a little bit of modesty some type of crime? If so, I think we can find a happy medium. When the ladies breastfeed in a discreet and private manner, then the rest of us will make our comments the same way. Fair enough? But as long as they chose to put it out there for public observation, try to be a little bit understanding when we do the same with our opinions.