It wasn’t until today that I realized the reason I’m so nervous about breastfeeding in public is that I’m scared of being slutshamed.
Slut shaming is when a woman is made to feel as though she’s been inappropriately sexual when she hasn’t been (among other definitions, but when discussing breastfeeding, this is the right definition to use).
If you want to see negative comments about breastfeeding in public, you only need read any article about it or a board that mentions it. Someone will inevitably accuse the mom of wanting to flaunt her breasts, of her finding sexual enjoyment from “exhibitionism”, misunderstandings about how much breast is actually exposed, and so forth. Asking a woman to cover up implies that she’s doing something wrong, that she needs to hide her breasts from the licentious eyes of the men around her, lest she inflame their lust…it is slut shaming.
As a mom who supports the rights of women to breastfeed publicly, and without a cover if that is their or their baby’s preference, I support slutwalk.
I attended slutwalk in Singapore with BG and the LM. They were the only children there, and sure, both were too young to know what the day was about, but they were there. As they grow older I’ll have to explain the knife’s edge dance all women do when it comes to sexuality…walking the line between frigid and slutty, madonna and whore…but at least when I do, I can also tell them that they’ve been fighting against that since the inception of slutwalk, and their mother even before that.
I’m not covering up, and you can’t slut shame me into doing it.