SEATTLE, Washington –
There have been many news stories as of late regarding public breastfeeding, and the issues that arise when mothers are caught feeding their children in view of others. Many people feel that breastfeeding is a natural act and should be allowed and respected in any forum, while others are of the opinion that breastfeeding should be done in a more private setting.
With all the attention as of late, one public breastfeeding activist group has decided that it is time to take a stand. Patricia Oseland, president of ‘Mommy’s Milk’, a national public breastfeeding awareness group based in Seattle, Washington, has called her members into action. The women of the group are staging a ‘Bare Your Breasts At Work Day’.
“The idea is simple,” Oseland said in a Youtube video that already has over one million views. “Breasts are a mother’s way of feeding her children, but they have been sexualized by men, and we are forced to cover them up. ‘Bare Your Breasts At Work Day’ is our chance to take back our breasts from the perverts in society and use them in the way they were intended to be used – as a source of nutrition for our offspring.
“On Monday, September twenty-second, I ask all of you to bare your breasts at your job. If you are not employed, go shopping, go to the zoo with the kids, go anywhere; but whatever you do, do it with bare breasts. The goal, no, the calling, of ‘Mommy’s Milk’ is to escape the stigma of our sexualized bodies and normalize the sight of bare breasts in public. We realize that we will not receive a positive reaction from everyone regarding our decision, but we do not care. We will not abandon our ideals. We will not be defeated. We will never give up. Breasts will be a normal part of our everyday lives once again.”
Supporters of public breastfeeding are voicing their support, and thousands of women have committed themselves to the cause. Youtube user Hippychik69 expressed her support in the video’s comments.
“I am not a mother, but I am lending my breasts to your cause. I will be working topless. I hope many more join us. We can make a difference ladies!”
On the other side of the coin, there are many people who feel that the move goes beyond activism and is more pornographic than it is educational. Madeline Smith, a mother of four and grandmother of seven doesn’t feel like the event is going to have any positive effect on public opinion regarding breastfeeding.
“I’ve been on this Earth for seventy-three years. I know people. You don’t sway others to your cause by forcing your beliefs down their throats. All that will happen here is that the opposition will grow more militant and set in their ways. If these women want to look like cheap floozies all day and lose their jobs in the process, that’s fine, but it won’t do anything but make them look stupid.”
‘Bare Your Breasts At Work Day’ has plenty of support from young mothers, but seems to be most popular with males age thirteen to forty-nine. Mark Harmon, a sophomore at Seattle Community College, says he is ‘pretty excited’ about the whole thing.
“Personally, I don’t care what they are ‘raising awareness’ for.” Harmon told a Seattle reporter. “If they want to take their shirts off, I am going to enjoy every minute of it. I’m not going to lie, it’s certainly going to ‘raise a little awareness’ in me, if you know what I mean.”
Seattle authorities, along with other police forces in other cities, have promised indecent exposure arrests if ‘Mommy’s Milk’ does not call off their demonstration. Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole is not amused by the movement.
“I am a mother, and I support breastfeeding, but this is taking things too far. If my officers see you in public with exposed breasts, you WILL go to jail, and your babies will be drinking formula for awhile.”