Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The blog post YOU are going to write.

I watched a compelling video on Monday, fully intending to have a blog post published about it by the end of the day.

Then, I deleted everything I wrote and started over on Tuesday.

Today -- Wednesday -- I deleted everything again. And here we are.

I have so many thoughts, but I'm having trouble organizing them without sounding ranty and long-winded. And I've got a lot going on this week (I know, excuses!).

SO. I'm enlisting your help.

Pretend you're walking down the street in Times Square. I'm in a cute blazer and heels, hanging out with a videographer next to a fancy news fan, and I stop you and ask you to watch this video:


You comply, because you're a decent person who still values journalism.

Afterward, I ask you this:

What social problems does this video reveal? And what can we do to fix it?

And don't just be like, "WE NEED FEMINISM!" or "PORN IS EVIL!" or "KYLO REN IS GOING TO TURN BACK TO THE LIGHT SIDE!*" because you know I'm not going to accept vapid answers like those. You must elaborate.

Watch the video and think about it what it's showing us. Tell me what it made you feel, and not just "good" or "bad."

I shall then take your responses and compile them into a beautiful news story/blog post.

You may leave them in the comments section here or on my Facebook pages.



*Kylo Ren does not make an appearance in this video. But he does make one here, and it's funny.

24 comments:

  1. I was upset by this video. I was upset that people called breastfeeding disgusting. I was upset that people felt they had a right to be so vocal about their "disgust". I was upset that that model had her boobs on display and no one commented in the negative. She was "hot", it was "hot", it was "How her shirt is". As the wife of a porn addict and the mother of a boy, this bothers me so much. The way society deems certain things acceptable and others not...astounds me. On the other hand. As a woman, a wife, and a mother (who breastfed...well I pumped but still) I don't love women whipping their boobs out. How hard is it to throw a lightweight breathable blanket over your shoulder? I did it. I also was in public, breast pumping (which is wonderfully awkward!) But I wasn't exposing my chest at all. I was still a part of things. I fed my baby on demand. I had no restrictions other than I needed to be where there was an electrical outlet.

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  3. To me this video makes me quite angry. Not angry for myself, but angry for the women around me. Angry that something so natural can cause so much disgust in others. Breasts are NOT sexual organs as so many individuals will argue. Breasts are fatty tissue with milk ducts in them to feed the young our bodies produce. Society has taken our bodies as women and warped them into something we are not. We have been sexualized and objectified. We have been told what our bodies should look like while also demanding that we adhear to what other individuals deem "Acceptable". I will NEVER shame another woman for feeding her baby. I have watched my close friends and family members hesitantly and often with shame and apprehension ask if I mind if they nurse. To which every time I respond, "I don't mind at all that's what god made boobs for." We as society need to stop looking at womens bodies and practices and demand that we conform to the comfort of others. When a baby needs to eat it needs to eat. And I for one don't enjoy eating with a blanket over my face or head. I would never expect a mother to do the same for her baby. If we teach our children at a young age EXACTLY what breasts are for biologically there is no need for the "What am I supposed to tell my children when they see a mother's breast while she's nursing?" If your kid is staring at a woman due to her nursing, you have not taught them what they are for and instead have continued the stigma that breasts are sexual organs. They are not. Boobies feed babies!

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    1. While you and I are undoubtedly on the same side of this debate, I've got to say that I disagree with this argument. Breasts are erogenous parts of the body and as such, elicit a sexual response when stimulated. Not to mention, breasts are sexual things in our culture. Whether or not it's right or wrong...it's true. And if they are not, we should be perfectly okay with cleavage, nudity, lingerie ads, etc., since those things are all just showcasing non-sexual body parts.

      Additionally, just because something is natural or purposeful does not mean that it is not sexual. One could easily argue that the "main" purpose of the vagina is reproduction and childbirth, both of which are incredibly natural, beneficial, and necessary things, but that doesn't mean it is or should be acceptable to do those things in public. If a man and a woman decide to, um, "get busy" in public, I'm not going to say to them, "I don't mind at all; that's what God made those parts for."

      I recognize that that's an extreme example, and again, I don't agree with anyone shaming a mother for feeding her baby anywhere and any way she wants, but to say "Everyone should be okay with breastfeeding because breasts aren't sexy and the mom is just doing what breasts were made to do" isn't, in my opinion, the best argument.

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    2. I think you and I are on the same page Katie!

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  4. I feel like it might have been fake? It just doesn't seem genuine to me. Perhaps because I see nursing mamas all the time and have never seen a person approach them. Granted most of the time I'm with my mom friends we are just hanging out or with mostly other women. That being said I have a hard time really buying that people are that disgusted by breast feeding. :/

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    1. They are. It was never evident to me until I was the one being judged.

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  5. I get angry about the broader picture. Why does society think they have the right to dictate how good mom's (or dads) parent their children. If nobody is being physically hurt, then I have no business forcing my parenting ideals on anybody else. It takes some serious stones to presume you know how to parent a child (a stranger) better than the child's actual parents! We all have different situations, and different children. Society needs to get off their judgmental high horse!

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  6. So. What an interesting video! As a currently breastfeeding mom, to a very demanding and opinionated 5 month old, (no covers ever or else rage ensues) I have actually been thinking about this topic a lot. And my immediate and be homage response to aggression regarding breastfeeding is: if you don't want to see it, look away. Yes, even in public. While I don't believe it's disgusting, AT ALL, EVER, I also recognize that we are all operating on different tolerance, acceptance, and repugnance levels. Indeed, I am often required to look away from that which "disgusts" me in public. A person leaving their dog's crap on the sidewalk, for example. Or the person smearing mayonnaise all over their sandwich, (shudder) to the child happily picking their nose and eating the boogers. Frankly, we are free to do what we will where we will, and especially when it comes to public breastfeeding, which is largely protected by law.

    Additionally, there is an undercurrent here that is even more disturbing. I could go on about feminism, body over-sexualization, and public shaming. But I think the biggest thing that makes me uncomfortable is that people are responding largely to both women based solely on their bodies, and not them as human beings. As in, what is seen of both women is merely "her tits," and not her humanity.

    Additionally, while I cannot vet this specific video, I would add this:

    I have had a young man at church refuse to give me the sacrament because of was breastfeeding (told the bishop nicely, apparently it was handled). I have had a woman at target scoff, roll her eyes, and tell me to use a dressing room while nursing. I had a friend tell her son that he had to pick up his toys and play in his room not her living room while I nursed, because she didn't want him (age 5) to see me nurse (I'm pretty discreet folks). I had a man at Costco say loudly to his friend, don't stare too hard at her boobs, man," while I nursed in the food court. And I've had multiple conversations with women at church who have similar aged babies tell me that they feed weird nursing at church, and the one woman said she went to nurse in the bathroom because of a comment someone made to her.

    And then there's me: literally nursing uncovered on the Provo city center temple open house tour. And you know what? I felt like an absolute queen doing so.

    Ultimately I think the video identifies a fundamental cultural disconnect not just with our bodies and what they can be used for, or that the people whose bodies we judge for good or ill are actually souls beyond the body. I think there's also a real disconnect. Between people and children, specifically infants. Infants are so "other," to some people, that they fail to see the baby as a person with real and immediate needs. Needs a loving mom is seeking to meet by breastfeeding. Nursing is about the baby, not the boobs. Maybe we need a PR campaign of sorts to remind people of that. A "free/feed the baby" campaign as much or more than a "free the nipple" one. Although, haha. I don't have a problem with the nip either.

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    1. Love this, Amanda. I also nursed Clara in the waiting room of the Gilbert Temple, uncovered, after a family wedding. I felt like it was the perfect setting for the activity. It was a really special moment for me.

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  7. It saddens me that the mother was shamed for breastfeeding when she wasn't drawing undue attention to herself, she hadn't "whipped her breast out," she was being quiet and discreet, minding her own business, and not a single one of the people who shamed her had any right to do so.

    It saddens me that the model was used for her body only to prove a point. That she was willing to expose herself to that extent and seemed not to have a problem with it. what are we teaching young girls by doing that?

    It angers me that this is still a thing we need to talk about. But the bigger picture angers me as well: why do we, as a society, feel we have ANY right at all to tell someone what they should or shouldn't be doing in public? Logically, if you think someone is guilty of indecent exposure you would alert the police. I guarantee you the police won't bother with a breastfeeding mother, but hey, you can try. Knock yourself out.

    Breasts are sexual by nature, yes, and they are also tools by nature. I personally always tried to cover myself while nursing, whether with a shirt or a blanket, because I teach my kids, "any part of our bodies that we wear a swimsuit over, should stay covered and private." But is it mine or anyone's place to instruct other women on how they should use their bodies? No. Is it my place to tell a person that what they're doing is "disgusting" or "rude?" No. I think smoking is disgusting and rude, but it's LEGAL and it's not my place to tell a smoker, "you shouldn't do that here in public. It's disgusting."

    Summary: Not your body, not your business.
    /rant

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    1. BOOM. Mic dropped.

      I agree. Thanks, Darci!

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  8. The more I think about this, the more I think that there are really two separate issues here: breastfeeding acceptance, and modesty/objectification of the female body. I don't think that people are rude about breastfeeding because they think it's indecent and the woman should cover herself. That is the easiest, most "righteous" sounding excuse that people can come up with, but it obviously falls apart when challenged even a little bit. I honestly think the breastfeeding issue can be explained by misunderstanding/lack of education.

    Case in point: when I worked retail about 10 years ago, a woman asked to breastfeed in one of our fitting rooms. My manager, an awesome lady, let her. But when she told me that a woman was breastfeeding in the fitting room, I was grossed out. Or freaked out. Or something. I honestly didn't like it and didn't understand why she had to do it there. I was not yet a mother, and my own mother had not been a breastfeeder. I had no exposure to any family members who breastfed. I just wasn't around it, ever, and it admittedly rubbed me the wrong way, for reasons I couldn't really explain. And this was for a woman who was going to be in a secluded fitting room!

    Obviously, I'm pretty ashamed to fess up to those feelings now. Once I became pregnant with my first child, the benefits of breastfeeding became obvious. And once she was born, the challenges became even more obvious. But people that haven't been around it don't know. They don't know that breastfeeding protects children from getting sick. They don't know that some children won't take a bottle. They don't know that some babies cannot wait to eat, not even for a minute. They don't know that some babies won't eat when they're covered. People just don't know these things. I know I didn't.

    I do think breastfeeding needs to be normalized, but not in a "I can pull my boob out whenever I want because there's a CHILD TO FEED" sort of way. I think women can and should be discreet about breastfeeding, because whether we like it or not, breasts are already sexual body parts and should not be flaunted. But nursing discreetly, even without a cover, is totally possible. THAT should be normalized. And people need to be educated about the benefits and challenges of breastfeeding, so that they don't judge anyone who breastfeeds whenever, wherever, and however she needs to.

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    1. I completely understand. I wasn't excited to breastfeed before I became a mom because my own mother didn't nurse any of us. I thought it was weird, too. But once I was actually faced with the opportunity, I took it. It was cheaper, easier and better than formula. The lack of education and experience is what made it weird for me.

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    2. Again, Katie, you put my thoughts into words. 🙂

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  9. okay. This pisses me off. It's almost always a man that stops and says something. I literally cannot believe that people can be this rude.
    I feel like public breastfeeding awareness should be advertised on websites that men frequent. We see a ton of stuff on facebook and mom blogs, but that's about it. If there were commercials on TV about it, or maybe if young kids were taught about it in school, then we might get somewhere.
    I fed Gwen once in public, last spring at the zoo. I got a few looks from people, but they quickly looked away when they realized what I was doing. Why can't everyone just do that?

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  10. this video seems super fake, so it really doesn't rile me up. i have nursed in public all over the place with both my kids, and seen others nursing, and never had anyone say anything or even give me looks. and i really doubt that complete strangers would walk up to a woman breastfeeding and say "that's disgusting" to her face out of nowhere. i'm sure some people are disgusted by it, but who cares. some people just don't understand things that they have no experience with.
    i feel like this video is just fueling the "get offended by everything" culture problem in america.

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    1. The "get offended by everything" culture. THAT'S the problem! Right on!

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  11. I wrote an amazing reply, and lost half of it. Let's see if I can make it as flawless as before ;)

    There are two rules in society:

    1. What you wear is your choice. If you have an outfit you want to wear, then wear it. Women can (and should) wear clothing because it is sexy, comfortable, cooler.

    It is acceptable for the media to have half-dressed men and women in ads. The media, has played their part well in this particular societal rule. Modesty on TV shows, commercials, and movies is not what it once was. We have main characters showing they are comfortable with the sexualization of their bodies. We watch as characters bump their breasts up in order to manipulate men. We watch men willing to take off their shirts to manipulate women. The media tells us, not only is it OK to dress immodestly (for whatever reason), but it is OK to look! No one would dare walk up to someone and tell them they should cover up their 'sexy' cleavage (or rarely), but there are people willing to tell others to show some skin. I've had it said to me, and it has been said on TV shows, to modest characters, on a regular basis. The media, and often times society, does not remember the value of a modestly dressed person. They do not realize the modest people in society not only have value, but can also have a larger impact on society because they recognize their value. Society has learned to value the sexualization of the body. Interestingly, as sexualization of the body has gone up, the value of religion has dropped. In this case, they are tied together. People no longer look at a breastfeeding woman and realize she is using her body in the way God intended her to, instead, they see a woman using her body in a way unrelated to sexual desire or one of the other appropriate reasons for immodest dress (comfort, temperature, etc).

    2. It is never appropriate to tell someone what they are doing is inappropriate, unless society says it is. We all know it is inappropriate to tell someone they are not dressed correctly. While an occasion person may make a comment, most of us know it is considered rude. The media's coverage of breastfeeding in public tells society it may be appropriate to be involved in the breastfeeding in public war - if you have an opinion. Of course, now everyone has an opinion. This country offers freedom of speech, and as TV programs, movie stars, and people on Facebook offer their opinions on the matter, the people of society feel strong enough to voice theirs. There is always strength in numbers. Now it is OK to tell a breastfeeding mother your thoughts on her actions, even though it is not OK to tell a woman showing more breast she should cover up.

    Both of these societal laws are revealed in the video. Some would say these laws work. I do not. How do we make it end? We use the media and our personal stories to show modest men and women are valued, and in some cases, more valued, in society. We show we are more than the curve of our bodies and created as God intended: with godly attributes and gifts we can share with our children. A father may share his physical ability to perform physical labor (as may a mother), a mother may choose to share her ability to feed her child. Once the sexualization of the physical body has ended, then the beauty of breastfeeding will become more evident. People will not be filled with pride after telling a mother to feed her baby on a toilet, and mothers will not be filled with pride after telling (or showing) others it is her right to show her entire breast while feeding her baby.

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    1. Jenna, This is Kami, apparently I didn't log in or something - LOL!

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  12. I know that I am late to the party but I noticed a serious lack of male opinions in the comments above. while I am pretty sure the video was all fake ( at least I hope so) it's upsetting to think that some people are so self-righteous to tell women that breastfeeding is disgusting. Like Amanda and others were saying there are lots of things people do in public that we find disgusting and offensive or even illegal. I don't remember it but this sort of thing used to happen with interracial relationships. Smoking in restaurants is a recent change. Drinking in public or women going topless on the beach... lots of things are disgusting and offensive depending on your point of view. As a man, I find some modest and fully clothed women as well well as breastfeeding women to be sexy and attractive. Good luck stopping men from looking at women and not linking it to sex. On the flip side there are a lot of people clothed and unclothed that I am not attracted to. my point is that sexyness and attraction should have no bearing on someone feeding their child. I demand freedom and accept the consequnces of allowing everyone else to have freedom. My freedom ends when I start controlling what other people look like in public.

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  13. I know that I am late to the party but I noticed a serious lack of male opinions in the comments above. while I am pretty sure the video was all fake ( at least I hope so) it's upsetting to think that some people are so self-righteous to tell women that breastfeeding is disgusting. Like Amanda and others were saying there are lots of things people do in public that we find disgusting and offensive or even illegal. I don't remember it but this sort of thing used to happen with interracial relationships. Smoking in restaurants is a recent change. Drinking in public or women going topless on the beach... lots of things are disgusting and offensive depending on your point of view. As a man, I find some modest and fully clothed women as well well as breastfeeding women to be sexy and attractive. Good luck stopping men from looking at women and not linking it to sex. On the flip side there are a lot of people clothed and unclothed that I am not attracted to. my point is that sexyness and attraction should have no bearing on someone feeding their child. I demand freedom and accept the consequnces of allowing everyone else to have freedom. My freedom ends when I start controlling what other people look like in public.

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    1. Thanks, Mark!! Appreciate this a lot.

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    2. Also, I don't have a lot of male readers. But I wish Dillon had chimed in, too.

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I like feedback almost as much as I like food.