web analytics


Whose boobs are they anyway?

I’m currently spending much more time commuting – I’ve a new project which adds a long tube journey to my usual daily trip and the unfortunate side effect of this extra bit, along with the lack of a seat, is that I get much more time to stand up close to my fellow passengers and ponder the more important questions in life

The important questions like ‘did I remember to put on any make up?’, ‘is my phone charger still on the side in the kitchen?’ and ‘what’s the best design for flamingo croquet mallets*?’

Having noodled these to extinction (as I said, it is a LONG journey) I’ve found myself pondering other things

This morning’s thought was triggered by getting an eyeful of page 3 – why on earth is a full frontal of Fiona from Watford’s busty bust acceptable but nursing in public isn’t?

If you look closely at a nursing mother what do you actually see?  A mother holding a baby and possibly a little sliver of boob although that might be a vest or a bra. 

Compare to the jiggly boobie girlie shots – there’s skimpy panties, no nipples, no creatively mussed hair, no faux sexy gaze.

It struck me that perhaps this wasn’t about nursing mothers daring to bare in public but about the target audience of those come-here-boy poses.

Page 3 and other nipple-centric shots are surely generally intended to titillate the average red blooded man – irrespective of what some feminists may tell you about women ‘owning’ and ‘being enfranchised’ by that nudity, their purpose is to engender a bit of a frisson and a phwoar

A breastfeeding boob has not a lot to do with your average red blooded man – it is focused on providing what the baby or babies in question need, anything sexual is probably a (very?) distant second – the boob is going back to basics and doing what boobs were put on chests to do, keep human babies fed.

Is this whole debate not about what is publicly acceptable or what is offensive but actually about a set of men who have got all dog-in-the-manger about these being breasts that don’t give a stuff about them? 

Is this an extension of the ‘men feel left out when women have babies’ argument? 

Is this about them trying to take control of the breasts by making them be hidden away because they can’t cope with the fact that this is no longer about them and they are now no longer the primary focus of those mammaries?

I admit this may be taking a thought a logic step too far but what do you think?   



*there may be a birthday party coming up for someone, it may or may not have an Alice in Wonderland theme, it may or may not drive me over the edge into insanity

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

9 comments to Whose boobs are they anyway?

  • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s about the function of the boobs not boobs per se. And as an extension it is about the function of women and their bodies…

  • Quite agree actually.Jealous whingey men who’ve had their toys pinched

  • I know I should be focusing on the boobs, in a purely professional manner and without staring, obviously… but I’m curiouser (and curiouser) about the croquet mallets. Sounds like a brilliant theme for a party! Are you going to have lots of eat me / drink me party food? And do you get to dress up as the red queen?

  • Yes, and maybe not quite. I find that the negativity/questioning comes often from other women, not men. Women who see breasts as sexual, and BECAUSE OF THIS struggle to also see them as milk providers to their baby, or accept women nursing in public. It’s acceptable in our society to see the sexualised boob, the problem is with the breastfeeding boob being desexualised.

    My take on this is that sexual organs in general are sexual to insure we procreate after all. So breast are sexual because they provide nutrition to the baby, as primary sexual organs are sexual because they contribute towards making offspring. So while I find nothing sexual about breastfeeding, I also believe that there’s nothing wrong with confusion breastfeeding and sexualised boobs. What may be the problem though is that a image of sexy boobs prevents women from breastfeeding for fear of losing this association – fear of saggy boobs, even disgust at the bodily function of milk production. If we embraced both functions as two sides of the same coin, maybe breastfeeding wouldn’t be so offputting to especially younger mums? Just a thought. I may be totally wrong.

  • I don’t think this has anything at all to to with a baby being fed, and whether or not this is the right way to nourish a child. But all to do with, ‘ Why can’t I have a bit of that boob!” As you say the same men are probably jealous of their children taking the spotlight off them.

    I have breastfed my 3 children until each was 3 years of age and the only negative or stupid comments I had were from macho males.

    Confident, centred men never passed comment.

    • Hannah Brewer

      EXACTLY the real macho man is one who has evolved far enough to be comfortable with nursing and female sexuality and not to see if as someone else having dibs on his bits

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>