When a radio show mentioned that breastfeeding moms should at least “cover up” while feeding their kids in public, it quickly realized that maybe that wasn’t the right thing to do once the wrath descended upon it.
But its subsequent apology fell quite short of the mark.
Yes, it’s excellent that they took the time to backtrack — a little — and acknowledge that they were prime dickheads for saying this in the first place. And that yes, they were condescending and disrespectful, as they said.
The apology is pretty much a non-apology. They are still agreeing that breastfeeding moms should be discreet and not only consider the delicate constitutions of those around them, but shield themselves from staring perverts.
The first order of business here is to mention that breastfeeding is a simple act of a mother feeding her child. She is not doing so to flash her boobs around. She is not interested in becoming a public spectacle, to flop them out or to gain attention. Her kid is hungry, and she feeds it. End of story.
Next, breastfeeding in public is legal, as it’s legally protected in many states and countries around the world. In fact, it looks like KC Montero is located in the Philippines, where women are legally allowed to nurse in public. So the radio show decided to talk about and place conditions on women who practice a legally protected right. All righty, then.
Listen. We understand that breastfeeding makes some people uncomfortable. And that even though boobs have been used to sell everything from hamburgers to ear buds to cars, people still seem to lose their minds when a woman chooses to use her mammaries for what they were really designed for.
The bottom line is that when you say that breastfeeding is great, but then you continue your sentence with a hearty “but” followed by some ridiculous condition that must be met to garner your approval, you really don’t support breastfeeding at all. Because if a mother satisfied the conditions of every single person she might encounter while she’s out and about and feeding her kid, then she probably wouldn’t breastfeed at all.
The stance that moms need to be discreet, modest or classy to be socially acceptable when they nurse their babies is actually quite harmful. Yes, some moms do prefer to cover, and that’s fine. But you can’t expect every mom to be able to abide by your specific set of rules or conditions so you are spared seeing a bit of mom-flesh — the exact parts that you’re fine with seeing in a bikini or even a low-cut top.
It’s harmful because it indicates that breastfeeding is somehow shameful. And moms who feel that what they’re doing is shameful may not have the confidence to nurse in public, covered or not. It also doesn’t give the public a chance to see breastfeeding in action, and kids may grow up thinking that breastfeeding is weird, gross or must be done out of sight, which perpetuates this damaging mindset generation to generation.
So, it’s great that KC Montero and the rest of the staff realize that their radio show goofed up, but their apology has quite a ways to go.