By Kevin Glancy
Think I’m stretching things with that headline? I don’t think so given the views expressed by at least three female media commentators on Channel Seven’s Sunrise panel today and the congregation of breast feeding mothers protesting outside the studio this morning.
Let’s get this straight. Where did this all start? A women was at a public swimming pool in Queensland and decided to sit on the edge of the pool to breastfeed her 11 month old baby.
Putting aside the fact that as far as the water is concerned, the leading cause of children’s’ deaths by drowning in Australia is still the swimming pool and she was putting her baby’s life at risk. Accidents happen and in a public place designed so that people and children can have fun – anything could happen. If something had occurred to cause an injury to herself or her baby, who would she have blamed?
In any event, those enjoying the pool obviously felt some discomfort or perhaps felt that sitting on the edge of the pool was not the only location choice the woman had to breast feed her baby. They might have also been concerned about the baby’s safety and that therefore they would need to confine their activities for fear of splashing the child. The money they had spent to enter the pool would, to some extent be wasted.
So they complained to the management. The management asked the mother would she mind doing it somewhere else within the pool complex, not necessarily the baby room allocated for that purpose, but anywhere within the complex – even just a short distance away from the edge of the pool. Probably something they might say to someone eating a sandwich while sitting on the edge of a pool. Nothing dramatic or unreasonable about such a request.
But oops! Bad move! The battle is on, the self-righteous, breast feeding army of mothers are up in arms. ‘How dare the pool folk complain? It’s our right to breastfeed wherever we want and when we do – you have no rights whatsoever.
If we want to do it in a crowded lift, at the movies, in church, at a funeral or at work or even if we want to risk our baby’s life, sitting on a window ledge on the top of tall building or whilst bungee-jumping and so on…when we choose to breast feed our rights come before yours and you simply don’t exist.’
‘If I’m serving you in a shop and my baby needs feeding you can forget buying anything here. If I’m driving the bus and my baby’s hungry sorry, but this bus isn’t going anywhere’.
Yes! I’m exaggerating to make a point.
I have no problem with mums breast feeding pretty much where ever they want to but the experience I have had when witnessing such an event was not at all pleasant and spoilt my day.
Let me reminisce. It’s a familiar but true story and I’m sure, typical of that experienced amongst many decent, law-abiding menfolk.
It was a beautiful non-summer day. I was at a quiet beach in Sydney, (Nielsen Park) sitting at an outdoor table, taking in the view and enjoying a coffee. I was the only person there until a woman came and sat just a few tables away from me. She positioned herself so that she was in my line of sight as I enjoyed the view along the beach to the north.
She began to breast feed her baby. I was sensitive and wanted to observe her rights to do so however, my view of the northern scenery was now confined unless I looked in her direction and as a gentleman, I of course resisted the urge to look in that direction.
After a while I decided this is ridiculous. Why should I be denied a section of the beautiful beach view? Particularly, when this woman could have sat at any other table (they were all empty) and enjoyed a view without imposing on my space. In fairness, I was there first, she could have sat anywhere she liked and no sacrifice on my part would have been required.
Any thought that this woman may not care which way I looked was soon shattered. It would soon be revealed that this was obviously a woman who believed that her right to breast feed wherever she damn well please trumped any right that I might have in our supposed democracy.
So I thought, ‘What the…’ and began looking to the north and I tried to show her, using body language of sorts, that I wasn’t looking at her but beyond her.
But no, that wasn’t good enough as I noticed in the corner of my eye that she was now staring at me with a scornful look in her eye. Suddenly I was now a dirty old man a ‘perve’ as they say and did she scowl and tut tut. Despite the fact that I was in a public place, a taxpayer trying to mind my own business, I was now intruding on her self-created private space. As unimportant as it may have been in the scheme of things, my day at the beach was ruined. My sensitivities mattered not to this selfish woman, my rights no longer existed. I did not like feeling like a heel when it was an unfair perspective. I had been tried by this woman, found guilty without a chance to defend myself.
Ladies, many men will tell you of the same sense of shame they have experienced through no fault of their own due to their own sensitivities but never the less, rammed down their throats when they were trying to accommodate the breast feeding mother in public.
Fortunately, I am sure that there are many women out there who don’t share that kind of selfish point of view however, the comments of many women who are up in arms about this issue exposes and highlights the kind of selfish behaviour of many females that we can well do without. These days nothing is good enough for them – it’s all about them and their needs.
It also highlights this annoying trend of non-stop complaining by many women who have an opportunity to air their views on television. Annoyingly, they do it in their quest, not for reasons of equality but for superiority and it’s an attitude exemplified and led by our first female PM and supported by many females employed in the media,. There are exceptions in the media but many are women who cannot think beyond their own selfish and emotional perspective of the world. They should understand that the sign of an intelligent person is not marked by a narrow view and gender, even theirs, does not excuse incompetence or their lack of tolerance. These are the women who have gone on endlessly sneering about men and budgie smugglers, who with unashamed hypocrisy will then be outraged if a man in turn criticises or discusses what they wear.
Their leader of course, is obvious, it’s the woman who sought the lowest refuge a woman can find to defend guilt and incompetence when she played the gender card. Julia Gillard led the way, as she lied in parliament labelling Tony Abbott a misogynist and a woman hater without one shred of evidence. A woman disgracefully using her gender like no other Prime Minister before, in a 15 minute rant against a man who has raised in excess of $250,000 for women’s support groups. All done in his own private time, without any fanfare.
The man she was bullying, Tony Abbott has provided far more real, meaningful, on-ground support for women than Gillard will ever achieve in her lifetime. But she’s a woman and therefore can lie about or offend anyone she likes. It’s an aspect of her failed leadership that has clearly influenced the attitude of the breast feeders at Channel Seven this morning.
Typically in this day and age, this type of woman seeks vengeance for some imagined wrong perpetrated on her very being. We are supposed to be living in a tolerant society so I say unto them – show some tolerance for other views that may differ to your own. Some people are sensitive to the sight of a woman’s breast in public on the other hand, some people will sacrifice a part of the day their day out so you can breast feed wherever you damn please, but don’t presume; we all have rights and when you start respecting ours – we will respect yours.
And one more thing to consider if you are of that selfish breast feeding view – many of your sisters sadly cannot breast feed their new born as much as they might want to and all your ranting doesn’t help them either. There are many, many women out there who don’t agree with your rudeness and selfish behaviour – women who are far more intelligent and considerate of others than you will ever be with your thoughtless indulgent behaviour.
If you want to complain and protest about something in defence of women’s’ rights – do something you should be doing – something meaningful that men can’t do because we are not allowed to comment on what women wear, do or say.
Forget criticising budgie-smugglers, go and defend the rights of the millions of women who are discriminated against and treated as second class citizens in many countries around the globe – forced to cover their bodies from head to toe no matter how hot it may be outdoors and who may well be stoned by a rabid mob for showing their breasts in public. Stop condoning the use of that garb in Australia because the wearing of it symbolises such disgraceful treatment of women elsewhere.
Don’t forget also that there are many natural things we could all be doing in public, so should I decide to pull my ‘member’ out in front of you because nature calls and like your baby’s needs, my member can’t wait – look the other way and don’t complain. Sure it might offend some folk’s sensitivities but you don’t care do you? What the heck! It’s a natural thing we do.