Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Legislation against love ~ the new INequalities law of breastfeeding in public

I’ve been left gobsmacked by this week’s news that the government is introducing legislation against loving your child: the Equalities Bill will mean that it will be an offence to stop a woman breastfeeding her child in public. Here’s the catch, though. This is ONLY valid until the child is six months of age.

At any time beyond that, a woman breastfeeding in public can be charged with INDECENCY. Yes, you read that right. In a culture of page three girls and pornographic magazines visible in shops where children can see women’s breasts being exploited for sexual gratification and lust, women who meet their child’s biological needs in public will be considered criminals.

The government apparently reckons it wants women to feel confident about breastfeeding. What rubbish! If it wants women to feel confident then the very last thing it should be introducing is a law about when you should cut off your love!

What Starched Fart in parliament came up with this madness? This is a blatant attack on a baby’s rights. This is politically-sanctioned CHILD ABUSE. Mothers, speak up about this! Don’t be bullied into closet breastfeeding and buying into the attitude that breastfeeding is still a cultural embarrassment.

Breastfeeding is what keeps humans sane, not to mention healthy! Humanity needs us to breastfeed or our children will grow up as intellectually and emotionally bankrupt as the idiots who make these laws. Am I angry? Yes, you betcha!

I can tell you right now, if I was still breastfeeding young babies or children, I would defy this law every time I was out in public. Laws are designed to protect people…this law does NOT protect babies or young children and their mothers. It makes them open to prejudice, attack and perpetuates the blind ignorance in our culture...I would fight this law to the highest judges in the land, and then some. Describing a woman as indecent for breastfeeding a baby over 6 months of age in public is undescribably stupid.

This law reveals the depth of our cultural wounding in relation to the feminine, to nurturing and to love and being loved. It also sends out the very wrong message that breastfeeding beyond six months isn’t necessary. So many people in the ‘health care’ professions are under the false illusion that breast milk is deficient in nutrients beyond six months. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We know from studies that exclusive breastfeeding for at least SEVEN months gives babies iron stores for life! And yet, what information do health visitors and the like keep passing out? Wean your baby at SIX months because there’s not enough iron in breast milk. And on it goes.

I was interviewed on BBC radio the other day and the broadcaster kept going on about the Nipple Police. Sorry, but how often do you see a nipple when a woman is breastfeeding? The nipple is the last thing you see!

If people feel offended by women who breastfeed in public, then they should look the other way. It’s not that bloody hard! I do it with things I find offensive….like butcher shops, babies plugged with dummies, babies in prams where they can't see the mother's face, parents verbally or physically abusing their children, mothers who smoke in front of their babies, toddlers in leashes, babies fed counterfeit milk which sets them up for all sorts of illnesses and diseases, and so on. If these things aren’t legislated against, then the love and nurturing of a mother certainly shouldn’t be. How crazy does our culture have to get before we wake up to ourselves?

I suppose women will start carrying birth certificates in case they’re pulled up because their chubby and healthy breastfed baby looks older than six months. Gosh, policemen might have to start carrying baby weigh scales around!

Can anyone else see the insanity of this law? All I hear are people from breastfeeding circles saying ‘it’s a good start’. BULL SHIT! This is NOT in the best interests of mothers or babies…it’s pandering to the ignorant, misinformed, uneducated and those out of touch with instinct. It will become the holy grail for all sorts of discrimination!

A baby’s need for love, comfort, warmth, security, enzyme-rich food and drink on cue from their mother does NOT change at six months.

Babies biologically expect to receive on-cue breastfeeding for at least nine months and, after that, who are we to dictate when and how they feed. It’s cruel, and the real criminal is the politician who thinks this is equality.

I make zero apologies for the depth of feeling I have for all the children who’ll suffer and be compromised by this ‘law’. I, for one, will NOT be shutting up about this.


b'earth witch said...

Oh, Veronika, I can totally understand your passion and outrage at this piece of what has now become known as Brestfeeding Insanity, well according to my mailbox :)

As you can see I figured out how to make a comment on here, I had definitely confused myself as to what was involved, I'm now blushing at being quite such a techno plonker.

You are a shining light, keep up the wonderful work ! hugs, Hx

b'earth witch said...

Oh, Veronika, I can totally understand your passion and outrage at this piece of what has now become known as Breastfeeding Insanity, well according to my mailbox :)

As you can see I figured out how to make a comment on here, I had definitely confused myself as to what was involved, I'm now blushing at being quite such a techno plonker.

You are a shining light, keep up the wonderful work ! hugs, Hx

Michelle said...

I couldn't agree more, I was really angry when I read about this new law. Personally, I don't care what the law says. My daughter is 3 in August, still happily breastfeeding and if she wants a feed in a public place, the law can get stuffed. My daughters needs come first.


Anna said...

How about a 'nurse-in'? I'm game. Anna P x

Joanne B said...

I can't believe it,- thanks for doing the petition - I'm still breastfeeding my 2 1/2 year old and in public whenever he wants. I'm still breastfeeding my 5 year old but we don't do it in public anymore, only because of the negative reaction we would probably get.

Petra said...

well i feel the same way as you do! i am sooooo peed off at this whole B@@lsh!t (sorry... i dont usually swear...)
my son is 16 mths old and he is a boobie monster if you ever saw one lol! i will be bf him whenever and wherever he wants to, be that in our bed or on the bus, the park, a restaurant... i feel sorry for the person who will ever come to me and tell me to stop breastfeeding my son. ill have some words to say!
signed your petition (obviously) keep up the good work, and if you ever need any help ill be there to help you in a flash!


I breastfed both my sons, until they were over 2 yrs of age and stopped in their own time when ready. We have allergies and asthma in both sides of the family. I know I have helped give Our sons the added immunity to have the best start. I can only imagine what their symptoms could have been if I had chosen to feed them an alternative way. Some cannot breastfeed I appreciate that, but Breastfeeding has so many benefits health wise for the children and Mothers long term.
The CRIME is this petition has even had to come about, why should any Mother be punished because she isbreastfeeding ? It's the most natural thing in the world, and its about time the narrow minded, pre concieved ideas certain people have over breasts is understood. Breasts were for feeding Our children first and foremost! Why should Our childrens health come second to breasts as sexual images? I have gone on to promote breastfeeding further by creating a educational toy for the home, medical and educational sectors to educate future generations in a fun way. Mrs. Pip Wheelwright. KENT.

Amanda said...

Hi Veronika,
With you all the way. Can't believe how child-unfriendly our country is! Indecent? How can quietly feeding your child EVER be indecent??? The lack of love & respect for our children perpetuated in our society's 'values' is indecent. It is indecent that so many young people succumb to drugs to fill the love chasm they have inside them. It is indecent that those drugs often lead to crime, to prison and for women, often suicide in prison. It is indecent that relationships break down as adults don't feel worthy of love. I could go on & on.....
Breastfeeding is natural, nurturing is a childs right. We can't wait for legislation to agree, we have to do what we feel is right for our children, the world's future lawmakers. I can't believe any judge would actually uphold a charge of indecency against a mother surely?????????? I only hope that if they did there would be a revolt on a scale to shock society back into sense.
You're fab,
Amanda, Alistair, James & Rory

Samantha Drake said...

What a disgrace! Complete and utter disgrace! I am curently sending this link to the world and his friend and shall be laughing in the face (or is that breastfeeding) in the face of any law that may or may not be passed!!! Outrageous!!! :o(

Helen said...

Um.... indecency is covered by criminal law in the UK, this white paper is dealing purely with the civil law, as it is an extension of the sexual discrimination act to include 'maternity' which they are defining as being up to 26 weeks post birth. It will not make it illegal to bf in public past the age of 6 months, but it will allow a mother to make a claim under the sexual discrimation laws, should she be refused access to goods and services by dint of her 'maternity' (and the example given is that of her bfing a child under 6 months of age being a reason to refuse her access to goods or services).

Veronika said...

Thanks for your comment Helen. All is not as it seems, and if you dig a little further you'll find we're 'not off course' on this one. Best wishes, Veronika

rachaeljohnson said...

Just wanted to say that i saw you on Tyra and i wanted to offer hugs. What an amazing woman you are to stand up for something so wonderful...and how dare the audience try and sexualize something so wonderful. Breasts were not designed for male pleasure, much to hooters suprise...i can't believe anyone would see this as wrong and not an amazing gift. How great for a child to ask for breast milk for a birthday present instead of some britney spears t-shirt or something detrimental to their self esteem. Bravo!!! If you are ever in Michigan we would love to have you come speak to our LLL! You are my hero!

Jill said...

Your fellow lactivists across the pond are shaking our fists in righteous indignation right along with you! What makes breastfeeding acceptable at 5 months and 29 days and then pornographic 24 hours later at 6 months? I don't get it!

Phoenix said...

The stuff about 'maternity' is rubbish because last year they changed maternity leave to 9 months paid, so why would they suddenly pluck 6 months as the cut off?

Totally agree with Veronika, it leaves mums with babies over 6 months (or with big 4 month olds) open to abuse and harassment if they feed their baby in public. It also continues to fuel the myth that breastfeeding is only important until 6 months.

J from USA said...

Reader from USA here - sounds like things there are about the same as here!

Boriquita said...

I also had a hard time breastfeeding my 3 year old in public in the US because of this rubbish as you may call it. My 3 year old would still be breastfeeding if I had not become pregnant. You wouldn't believe the amount of people that I thought I was insane because I thought I would tandem nurse. It didn't happen for other reasons. This political crap is not going to help matters, and you are an awesome person to write about it! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm in the US, so unfortunately I can't sign the petition, but wow, that is just terrible! What is the deal? Doesn't the UK go by WHO's standards of a 2 year minimum for breastfeeding? I guess they're logic is "If a child can have solid food, they don't need to nurse in public"? I don't think there IS any logic in that! Especially when not all 6 month olds ARE ready for solids!

Jenny said...

That is so ridiculous! I'm in the US, and in my state public breastfeeding is protected. I don't think there's any age requirement. This weekend we went to Scottish highland games and nobody said anything when I breastfed my 13-month-old, but they probably didn't notice anyway. However, there were dozens of people smoking and blowing it all over me and my family and there were several things I wanted to say to them. It's funny how people don't mind having disgusting cigarette smoke blown into their faces, but find breastfeeding too offensive to bear!