When I saw that the Washington Post featured a video clip of Australian Senator Larissa Waters breastfeeding her daughter while moving a motion in Parliament, my first thought was: awesome. Good for her.
I mean, reflecting back to my own first few months post-natal, I felt like a hot mess. My son had trouble latching, I had had a wicked 32 hour labour, and to boot, I tore in enough places that I didn't feel right about sitting down for MONTHS. Larissa Waters clearly had everything all together and was literally getting shit done. WITH a cute nursing baby in tow, no less.
Good for her.
10 seconds later I thought: Wait. Why the fuck is this in the news?
My third thought was: It's news because it involves a working woman getting her boobs out in public. Oh, the humanity.
It's 2017, and we're still getting antsy about a woman's boobs-as-sex-objects.
Suddenly, I felt tired AF.
You know what, I get that there are some parts of a human being that people are going to find attractive for various reasons. A tall dude with a broad set of shoulders and a trim V waist can get my motor running. What high heels do for a woman's body is totally known phenomena. Some people are into hands or feet. So yeah, I can get that a nice set of tits can have some special meaning, especially given the whole biological imperatives and the fertility connotations and the yadda yadda. Even hetero women admire the racks of other women from time to time (YOU KNOW THIS IS TRUE).
But you know what? I don't trip over my dangling, drooling tongue when I'm around firefighters (DAT UNIFORM, THOUGH), and I don't hurl sweaters at a hunk wearing a speedo and tell him to cover himself up because he looks like a slut.
No, I have this little thing called self-control and sense. It's a body part, and I am fully capable of controlling of how I act pubclicly in response to it.
We're built to be attracted to things about people's physiology to help us make a judgment about them and get down to business, if you know what I'm sayin'.
Now that we know this cute little factoid, can we grow the hell up? Tits are not a big deal, and neither is feeding a kid. We shouldn't NEED to celebrate that a woman wasn't chased from the room for doing what (LITERALLY) comes naturally.
Or maybe not so naturally. I certainly had my own struggles with breastfeeding and ended up going to formula at 6 months after a painful exhausting struggle. No big deal. But that's another, unrelated story.
My point is, she was feeding her kid. B. F. D. I don't think that's any reason to celebrate a news story.
You know what I think is the real story here? Not that she was feeding her kid, but that she was not shamed into leaving her kid in the care of someone else while she worked or told to stay home and come back only after she was feeling less maternal. She's clearly not one of the women in the world who are either stuffed into the closet of their home for the duration of a maternity leave or who are forced to come back to work and conceal evidence of the fact that they're trying to pump by hiding in washroom stalls.
This badass politician brought her kid along with her and continued life, uninterrupted.
Why can't we have more news stories about this?