A tale of two breastfeeding pictures

Let us know when you see/hear of breastfeeding, or ABA, mentioned in the media
Post Reply
User avatar
Mummy Latte
Posts: 1122
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:47 pm
Location: Melbourne

A tale of two breastfeeding pictures

Post by Mummy Latte » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:48 pm

http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-vi ... 1i9y2.html

I thought this article was interesting to start with, although as an opinion piece in an Australian newspaper it was completely lacking in awareness of breastfeeding culture in Australia. A comparison of breastfeeding culture in America vs Australia would have been far more accurate than using it to jumble together American and Australian racist bias based on crime, attitudes to sexuality, and American newspaper articles - that bit made me :evil:

Quite simply, the Australian mum was celebrated quite publicly by her uni for having succeeded in her studies and raising a family, and her breastfeeding graduation photo demonstrated this. We don't know what negative comments the American mum had, but she clearly had no support from her uni for posting her breastfeeding photo, and the criticism must have been quite strong for her to remove the photo. To me this demonstrates that Australia has a supportive breastfeeding culture that is different to the US. I'm quite sure that if the Australian woman had had darker skin or been wearing clothes from a particular culture she would have been treated the same.

Both pictures are beautiful and inspiring in equal measure.

User avatar
Mummy woo!
Site Admin
Posts: 13644
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:23 am
Location: NSW

Re: A tale of two breastfeeding pictures

Post by Mummy woo! » Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:20 am

I saw that article too. I agree with you that the difference in breastfeeding culture makes a difference (although I'm sure Kochie thinks she should have been more discreet).

But I also agreed with the points made in the article about the sexualisation and objectification of black women and how that means their experiences of public breastfeeding (and breastfeeding in general) are significantly different to those of a white woman. I can't speak for indigenous women here in Australia but I would not be surprised to find there are significant issues for them too. While our breastfeeding culture is generally more supportive, and we have better legislative protections, we also have a sorry history of treating indigenous mums poorly compared to other mums and I don't see why that would be different for breastfeeding.
It's OK Pluto, I'm not a planet either

User avatar
Posts: 10031
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:21 pm

Re: A tale of two breastfeeding pictures

Post by Penguin » Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:29 am

Karleen mentioned something similar on FB - differences between US and Oz, but also the way in which the level of social power plays on how a woman's bf is interpreted by society.

I know I've posted this before (and for heaven's sake don't read it if you're somewhere where you can't blub your way through it) http://thesinglecrunch.com/2014/02/12/g ... stfeeding/
There are some things I never told you about.

People tried to discourage me from letting you in, Breastfeeding.

Can you believe that?!

Yeah, they said that I was in the wrong socioeconomic class.

That black girls don’t breastfeed,

That single moms don’t breastfeed,

That I had nothing to prove.

They said all that and more, Breastfeeding.

And when Logan turned 1, and then 2, and then 3 –

So many people didn’t get it.

But I’d known from the first day you came into our lives, Breastfeeding.
DD1 May 2011
Super baby Dec 2013
DD2 Feb 2015 Storked by Parla.
Proud storker: michansam's DS3, katsbi's DD3 and Gwen's mum's DS

User avatar
Posts: 1973
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 10:25 pm
Location: Northern Tasmania

Re: A tale of two breastfeeding pictures

Post by PellyintheWilderness » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:51 pm

Great find, Mummy Latte, very thought-provoking and thank you for posting it!
I'm afraid I don't share your confidence that a non-white Australian woman would be treated in the same way as a white one. We know that in Australia educated white middle-class women are more likely to breastfeed than others. I think that's at least partly because this group is more likely to have the knowledge and self-confidence required to persist in the face of misinformation and disapproval. Non-white Australian women, particularly indigenous and Muslim women, are already so vulnerable to criticism and discrimination that I fear they would be quite unlikely to breastfeed in public, and I think they would be criticised more harshly than a white woman would be (it wouldn't necessarily be directly about the fact that they were breastfeeding). The same probably applies to white women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Proud co-storker for AndyPandy (with mooki)
Proud co-storker for Jenbt85 (with AussieBritLu)

DD May 2005 bf 12 months
DS1 May 2005 bf 37 months
DS2 Nov 2011 bf 36 months
DS3 Nov 2011 bf 38 months

Post Reply