Tag Archives: Exposure

Breastfeeding in Public: It’s a Women’s Right

I follow a fair number of Mom bloggers, both through my feed reader and on Twitter. I also participate in a number of online blog and Twitter events. Through one, I got to know Jen from Liv, Laugh, Love. I found her through a Twitter follow thread on Facebook, and we were asked to engage with the particcipating tweeps. This could be as simple as retweeting some of their tweets, which I did with some, but it could also be starting real conversation. Jen’s first tweet I came across mentioned her blog post on public breastfeeding. Jen is a passionate breastfeeding advocate. I am not, and yet I wholeheartedly agree with her point in this post.

I don’t honestly think that “breast is best”. For some, it is, but other mothers cannot breastfeed due to taking certain medications, not being able to nurse a baby for whatever reason, etc. Still others choose not to breastfeed, and that’s fine with me too. There is probably research backing both sides of the breastfeeding/formula debate.

That being said, this post is about whether women are allowed to breastfeed in public, and my answer is a resounding “YES”. It’s not about whether breast milk is better than formula. It’s about whether women should be allowed to expose their boobs. And I would say as general rule they should.

I can see why exposure of some body parts would not be allowed. Genitalia, notably. Still, this is more to do with the nature of the exposure than the nature of the body part. If a person exposes their genitalia, it’s usually to shock other people. When a woman shoves her breasts in someone’s face so to speak, same. That is sexual harassment. However, breastfeeding in public isn’t intended to shock others. It merely serves the purpose of breastfeeding.

Also, of course, men expose their chests all the time, but that’s not a problem because they don’t have breasts, I suppose. This may sound logical, but in reality, women are just held to a higher standard of cover-up than men. A fomrer fellow patient was one day caught wearing only underwear and a T-shirt. The others commented that, had she been male, it would’ve been acceptable. Why? I believe male genitalia get more exposed when covered only by underwear than female genitalia. The only thing I can make of it is that women are not supposed to expose themselves, while men can go pretty far before their self-exposure is seen as indecent.

Need Care? Be a Pain in the Neck

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty fearful of losing my autism diagnosis now that the DID/PTSD was changed to BPD. I’ve had a number of arguments with various people over whether certain aspects of me, like my inability to live on y own or with little support, are due to autism or due to BPD. The answer matters in some way, because, as I said a couple of weeks ago, if it’s BPD, it means it can be treated with cognitive therapy.

Now I have always been very adamant that my inability to live on my own is due to autistic organizing and processing difficulties. To the person believing the inability is due to BPD, this comes across as defensiveness: I’m just scared to take responsibility for my own life and I use autism as an excuse.

Unfortunately with this comes the idea that this fear will go away if I just get enough kicks in the butt. I know that flooding is used in anxiety treatment, but is it truly the most appropriate way of treating the fear of taking responsibility for your own life, assuming this is indeed what is going on?

I’ve often wondered and worried how people are going to tell that they are wrong in assuming that all my inabilities (except for those that are obviously due to blindness) are just insecurities. I mean, the only time I succesfully signaled that I needed more support, in 2007, I did so in a very much borderline way, ie. by threatening suicide in a public place. It is easy to say that this is my BPD acting up and I need to be ignored.

Of course, the currently mentally healthy person would say, why don’t you just ask for more help in an appropriate way? Now I will tell you something about the way the care system works here: depression, anxiety or other emotinal problems are no grounds for care. Only behavioral problems are. In other words, if you need help, you’ve got to be a pain in the ass. Now please untangle this reality for me: if you’re still well-behaved enough to signal you need help without destructive actions, you’re obviously healthy enough not to need this help. Now if that isn’t reinforcing behavior problems, I don’t know what is.