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9/17/2007
A Radical Act (Or Suck It, Bill Maher!)
Have you heard about Bill Maher's latest rant? My buddy Pundit Mom posted about it on DC Metro Moms today. Apparently Bill thinks that breastfeeding moms who do so in public are lazy and narcissistic.

It gets better. David of It's Not A Lecture, just wrote about Facebook's deletion of breastfeeding pictures it considers obscene.

Obscene.

I breastfed both of my boys. I'm a big advocate. I wish I could say that I have had only positive experiences as a breastfeeding mother. But I haven't. Unfortunately, I faced quite a bit of censure for breastfeeding Holden in public. Nonetheless, Holden and I made it a year. That's right, "we" made it a year. Holden and I were a breastfeeding team. It was a wonderful, beautiful experience. It was about bonding and love and food. That's it.

Occasionally it was necessary for me to feed Holden in public. No, I couldn't always cover up. Like many, many babies, Holden did not enjoy having his face covered while eating. If I covered him, even if I tucked, he could whip that sucker off in 2.3 seconds by the time he was two and a half months old.

But even uncovered, breastfeeding Holden was never obscene. No one was ever treated to so much as a millisecond glance of nipple unless they were intently staring at me and Holden. In fact, you'd see a hell of a lot more boob if you went to the beach or stood by the magazines in line to check out at the grocery store.

There is nothing disgusting or immodest or even bold about breastfeeding. It is not akin to urinating in public. Nor is it, as Bill Maher declared, akin to masturbating in public. It's necessary and natural. I feel so strongly about this, that you're about to witness a radical act.

I've posted a picture of me breastfeeding Holden right here on my blog. If you think the sight of a woman's breast doing what nature intended is obscene, then click that little x up there in the corner.


That's right, folks. That's my boob. That's my baby doing what came naturally.

Eating.



Those pictures you see above are some of the most treasured photos I have of Holden. They remind me of a special time in his life, and in mine. When I look at those pictures, I see his milk drunk smile and soulful eyes and I am transported back in time. I smell that milky, baby Holden smell and I feel the intense, all encompassing grip of new mama love all over again.

If you can look at those pictures and tell me that there is something wrong or perverted or disgusting about breastfeeding, then there's something wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with me.


That's right, Bill. Those tatas are for me. "Suck" that!


I did actually post something today before I realized that I had a rant to get out on my blog. If you'd like to view a post that doesn't contain Lawyer Mama nudity, look below.

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64 Comments:

Blogger Busy Momma said...

I love this post. I can't stand anyone that puts down breastfeeding. I completely agree, it's the way women have been nurturing their children for years-many, many years!
Anyone that has a problem with it should just turn their head.

Blogger Jen M. said...

Woman - fellow lactivist over here. I want to like Bill Maher - really I do. But the man can be an idiot. If breastfeeding were obscene, or sexual, why isn't Playboy featuring spreads of nursing bunnies in the barn? Or naked nymphs on horseback with a baby latched on? Oh.

Blogger blooming desertpea said...

I wonder why this is a topic over and over again. A few weeks ago, a woman here made headlines as she was banned from a restaurant because she breadfed her baby! Our liberal party got in uproar about that and created stickers saying "breastfeeding moms welcome" and many restaurants are showing these on their door now. Ha!

Blogger bubandpie said...

I don't have any photos of my babies breastfeeding - I think nursing was too stressful when they were newborn for anyone to think about whipping out a camera, and later they were too distractible. I wish I had, though - that photo brought the memories back so vividly - that look of intense concentration, the fierce little side-to-side shake of the head... sigh.

Blogger Christine said...

you go lady!!!!!!!!!

I always breastfed in public. i never considered putting a blanket on my baby's head. I want someone to stick a blanket over Bill's head next time her eats lunch then ask him to go eat it in a toilet stall!

Blogger Christine said...

ok--i just took the time to look at the video. . .and i am MAD!!! breastfeeding is narcissism? asshat.

Blogger WorksForMom said...

I also breastfed and just don't get it. i think it's either (1) bill's looking for publicity / attention or (2) ignorant. possibly both.

Blogger Sunshine said...

I commented on PM's post about this yesterday.

Ole Bill is a tool, and having nursed four babies, his suggestions are so whacked I'm agog. Nursing has so much less to do with mom being any kind of personality type than it does, uh, have to do with the baby needing a food source. Hello, McFly, anybody home???

Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Damn straight woman. I think I'll post the pic I have of Miss M nursing.

People can be so stupid. Seriously.

Blogger Treadmillista said...

Don't you think that Bill Maher typically says stuff just to stir up controversy? I certainly don't agree with him here, but isn't linking to his uneducated rant just giving his message more views? Don't you think he expected to be called out on this, and wanted to see a fallout?

I had to stop watching Real Time a long time ago, because even though I am a liberal I can't take listening to things through Bill Maher as a messenger...sometimes things can be better expressed in a less confrontational manner, but not by him! He really seems to have a "look at me" complex.

As for breastfeeding in public, I did my share when bfing my youngest (she weaned at 15 months old). Covering up was basically futile after she was about 4 months old, but I agree that typically nobody even knew she was bfing...they figured she was just snuggled close to me.

I wouldn't call myself a lactivist though. Coming from the point of view of someone who was unable to breastfeed her first child (I pumped for him) I felt very judged (self-inferred judgement) for not breastfeeding him. At this point in my life I'm all about supporting whatever choice a woman makes in feeding her babies. If she wants to breastfeed fine, but if she never even wants to try it then fine too. I refuse to make someone fell like less of a mother because she doesn't breastfeed!

Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

Treadmillista - You may be right about giving him what he wants - more publicity. But the Facebook thing on top of it was too much for me. If I'm pissed, I'm going to talk about it.

I pumped with both my kiddos. It was a necessity because I work full time. With Hollis I only breastfed (and pumped) for 3 months. That was a whole long story in and of itself. With Holden I was much more successful, so I hear you. No one should be judged for their breastfeeding/bottle feeding choices. Period.
It's just a bit sad because I know so many women who don't have the ability to say "fuck it" to themselves when they see those judgmental eyes in public. Society needs to support breastfeeding mothers, not make them feel ashamed.

Blogger slouching mom said...

That first picture is so damn gorgeous.

Blogger DD said...

I have to admit that I never encountered judgement about BS or not until I started blogging. No one asked me either way with my son except his pediatrician.

I instantly get defensive NOW when I am asked if I breastfed even though my son is five. It has no relevance so I honestly can't understand why anyone like Bill M. would care about it when it affects him NOT.

What I find truly insulting about him with this new publicity stunt, is here's a man who openly admits to getting high, a known unhealthy habit (not to mention illegal) and he dares to get on a high horse about breastfeeding?

He is 100 different degress of ignorant.

Anonymous arlingtonmom said...

The problem with people like BM is that he wants the attention and we give it to him by talking about his insanity. But, on the other hand I feel like we need to address these topics or people begin to believe them. Personally, when my daughter was nursing, I always tried to be discreet in public. I did not cover her head but I would always try to cover myself as much as possible. It just made me more comfortable. Pumping is not always easy or practical, so what your baby should go hungry or you should never leave your house? This is just so stupid it is painful to talk about!

Blogger David said...

Bill Maher is a dork. I don't watch him. Jon Stewart is much better.

Thanks so much for linking to me - but I think my wife's stuff is much more valuable. I rant, she finds constructive solutions and looks at real research.

http://womenshealthmatters.blogspot.com/2007/09/pro-anorexia-websites-bad-on-all-counts.html

Blogger PunditMom said...

Amen, LawyerMama! Beautiful photos. And I'm going to have to rethink tuning in to Bill Maher.

Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

Bill's an idiot. Your son at the breast is beautiful.

Blogger Gunfighter said...

I don't watch Maher's show, so I only came across this a few hours ago at someone else's blog.

Breast feeding is about FEEDING. A food dispenser. I have seen women breastfeed in public with their whole (large) breast exposed and you know something? It doesn't turn me on (nor should it), and it doesn't disgust me (no should it), it doesn't make me want to call the cops about "indecency", and it doesn't make me want to pat the mom on the back and say "aww ain't you special"

Food. Thats it.

Eat up kid.

Anonymous Jenny from Chicago said...

Awesome. I love the title of this post.

I posted on this today too. Please check it out.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I breastfed for almost 7 months, body couldn't keep going, and I have done it in a parking lot, bathroom, and I think a few other places in public. While I had a cover up if I hadn't I would've done it irregardless. My son and his needs supercede (is that the right word) the feelings of those around me. And trying to compare it to masturbating? I-DON'T-THINK-SO!

Go Boob Power!

Down with dumb people!

Blogger moosh in indy. said...

Boobs run the earth, you think Bill would know at least that.

Blogger QT said...

If men had to breast feed, there would be special rooms in every restaurant, gas station, etc specifically for that task, and they would be clean and comfortable.

Only in this stupid country do we seem to have a problem with breasts being used for what they were intended - feeding.

Blogger Mad Hatter said...

I just posted a pic for you.

Blogger painted maypole said...

sing it, sister! I am so baffled by this breastfeeding uproar. I really did not have any problems breastfeeding in public (I discreetly fed at the mall, at parks, in restaurants, in churches, in friend's homes...) I feel for anyone who did. And that is what our breasts are FOR! not for men to masturbate over in nudie magazines or whatever. They are designed to feed our offspring! To tell someone that they can't do that, or have to hide it. ARg.

Blogger Sarcasta-Mom said...

Comparing breast feeding to masturbating? Disturbed. Sounds like good 'ol BM didn't get breast fed as a child....

Beautiful photos, as always. Nothing like a contented, milk-drunk baby :)

Blogger ExPatSW said...

BM's mother should be so proud! All of the punishment she dished out when she caught BM sneaking looks at the naked women in the National Geographic has really paid off.

What an arse!

Do people like Bill Maher actually think we get a kick out of nursing in public? It's called necessity hello.

Anonymous Emily said...

Dude. After about 3 months, I had to breastfeed in a silent, dim room. Both kids got so distracted they couldn't focus. I'd have loved to have breastfed them in Applebees.

I tried to put up my only breastfeeding pic, but I spent 20 minutes and still couldn't upload the damned thing.

Blogger Kevin said...

Great post! This is something that needs to stay at the forefront of public attention.

Did you know in Tennessee that legally you can be charged with indecent exposure if you are breastfeeding a child older than one in public?

It is ridiculous.

Since I have never had boobies, I was never huge on boobie issues. But with the birth of my son, I have become a bit maniacal about the boobies!

Sorry for the shameless self-promotion, but you might be interested in these posts:

Corporations Hate Babies

Breastfeeding Soapbox, or F**k Nestle

I Support My Little Man (and My Sexy Woman Too)!

Give It Up For The Booby, Y'All

Blogger Shari said...

Bill Maher is an idiot. I unfortunately was not able to breastfeed my children. It just didn't work for me... but I just don't think there is anything more ignorant than saying a woman shouldn't breastfeed in public. It's their own insecurities and immaturity that make them unable to handle it.

Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Amen, lady! Now I'm off to hate on ol' Billy boy.

Blogger Kyla said...

Great post! GREAT!!

Anonymous alejna said...

I came by way of Mad's place. I'm so glad to read your post. You rock for writing about this, and for posting the photo of you nursing.

I can't believe what idiotic things Bill Maher said. Lazy and narcissistic? My ass.

Blogger Nancy said...

Bill probably wasn't breast fed.

Or

He's just ignorant.

I adore the photos. I'm still nursing my Goose and I will miss these moments so much.

I've added you to my rolling blogroll of posts on this subject, as well as Stumbled and sk*rted your post. Keep it rolling. Desensitize these real babies.

Blogger Ally said...

You tell it, LM! Great post, great pics. Bill? What is he THINKING?

Blogger KC said...

Amen! As a woman who's breastfed in the communal dressing room at Loehmann's, Bill can go suck it.

Blogger VDog said...

I'm glad you weighed in on this one. The more we get the word out, the more mothers will feel comfortable doing what they need to do -- feed their baby whenever and wherever.

My post is here.

LOVE your nursing pic. I only have ones on my cell phone. You have inspired me to take some pics with the real camera.

Blogger Jen said...

I love this post! It just makes me sad that I don't have s single pic of me nursing my little one.

Anyway, awesome post!

Blogger mo-wo said...

Maybe masturbating is necessary for Bill Mahr.. sounds like the guy has turned 100% wanker.

I really appreciate your rant. If I can dig up a photo I'll post in solidarity like Mad.

Anonymous Emily said...

I posted in response today.

Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

Hear, hear.

Blogger Karen said...

thank you! thank you! I should post some too! Today my husband made great art of giant baby sucking on a boob - Bill Maher's head- come see!

Blogger Brillig said...

I'm a little late to this party, but I just had to throw in a vehement AMEN.

Anonymous SuburbanOblivion said...

I'm adding you to the list I've started of bloggers covering this topic, hope that's ok! Also, just to let you know some bloggy friends and I will be covering this on our BlogTalk Radio show tonight at 8pm central time, you can find us here-

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/TheBOOB

Hope to see you there!

Blogger Bon said...

late to this, but love those photos...and so bummed about the turd Bill Maher's brain seems to have morphed into.

Blogger NotSoSage said...

Beautiful. I haven't read the rant, I've only read all the backlash...what a ridiculous comparison.

Does he think that saying this will bring his career back?

Good for you, LM.

Blogger PinkPowerSuit said...

Bill Maher is a narcissist idiot. He holds these views because he doesn't know how to look at women as anything but sex toys for him because he's so *choke* *cough*... hot.

Anyone who's ever seen his show with female guests should have plainly see, as well as I did, how patronizing and disrespectful he can be to anything a woman says.

Bill Maher and Ann Coulter should marry each other.

Blogger PinkPowerSuit said...

Oh, and what's really sad about all of this talk is that the common denominator is that the shocked puritans with liberal definitions for "masturbation" are Americans. I have never, in Canada, had a negative comment or glare while nursing in public which I did with confidence, using only my shirt as a sheild, with all four of my kids, for a total of 68 months.

Blogger Magpie said...

Rock on! Great post, lovely photo.

Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

Rant on, Mama, rant on!

you go girl! we should have a great blogger sit in where we all post pics of ourselves breastfeeding as a sign of protest for this kind of stuff. The more boob in the picture, the better, I say! :)

Blogger Mom101 said...

Whoo whoo whoo!!!

The way I see it is, we go through too much pain through the course of breastfeeding to also have to endure the mocking of 20-something single comedy writers.

I tend to like Mahar's tell-it-like-it-is style but in this case I think he's just telling-it-like-he-has-no-idea.

Blogger Amanda said...

Great job, for a year and for the post.

Anonymous andi said...

What a beautiful post! I really must remember to take some pictures of my son nursing. Oh, and what Mom101 said...

Anonymous Jenny said...

Hell yes, motherfucker!

Oh...damn...sorry, I got kind of carried away.

Breastfeeding is beautiful.

Blogger Catherine said...

I left my emotion-laden responses on Julie's post, but to sum up:

Do people realize that this "debate" is about feeding babies? Are we really so out of touch we've forgotten that this is about feeding babies? This is literally the most natural thing in the world.

-And-

Why do men like Maher think that this is about them? I know that men have some association with breasts, but that's a side deal. The main show is feeding the babies. Feeding the babies!

Blogger Alex Elliot said...

Beautiful pictures! I really don't get why some people act as if breastfeeding in public is the same thing as putting on a lap dance. Idiots! Furthermore, if you don't like it then, don't look. Personally for the short time I was able to breastfeed I was never able to do it while covering up and I think it's ridiculous that a woman should be made to feel that she has to coverup.

Blogger Alpha DogMa said...

Bill Maher is an idiot. Ever seen the women he dates? Strippers. Really really young strippers. Barely-legal strippers with re-dunk-ulously large fake boobs. The man has issues. Issues, a plenty.

Also, was I suppose to take a photo of myself while breastfeeding? I never did. Was there a memo about this? I admit, I mostly just skimmed through The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - was it mentioned in there? So while I can not post along - I salute your photos. And damn, that is one well fed cute baby!

Blogger Justice Jones said...

Congrats to you on this post! Well said. I breastfeed my three and with each child I had more success, making it to a few months past a year with Youngest. Anyhow, I will say that with my first child I was not very confident with feeding in public. But as I got older and more comfortable in motherhood, I really didn't care and enjoyed the freedom of being able to satisfy my child's needs immediatly. I would sit at the airport terminal or at a restaurant and feel completely happy with myself. And I agree, if you saw something, it's cuz you were looking too hard! And if I could tell someone was looking too hard, I glared back!

My only regret is not taking a picture of myself and the babe, DARN!

Anonymous Anna said...

Love it! Hooray for breastfeeding teams! Henry and I are still going at 15 months, and I treasure every day. Even the pumping, my god.

Blogger ewe are here said...

Bill Maher is clearly a major idiot. And I suspect a lot of future google searches he may conduct re himself will let him know this many, many times because of these comments.



And this is an absolutely brilliant post. How anyone can find breastfeeding repulsive or akin to masturbating is, well, again, a major idiot.

Anonymous Brandie said...

Good post.

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