This New Hampshire representative’s comments about breastfeeding are totally unacceptable.
It’s about to be 2016, yet we’re still arguing about public breastfeeding, and despicable comments like the ones made by this politician are the reason why.
According to the Huffington Post, the New Hampshire State House Of Representatives is currently embroiled in a debate over a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for women to expose their nipples in public. Breastfeeding mothers are understandably troubled by the bill, and State Representative Amanda Bouldin took to Facebook Tuesday to make their voices heard. In a post directed at the bill’s sponsor, Representative Josh Moore, Bouldin wrote that the “very least” lawmakers could do is “protect a mother’s right to FEED her child.”
Moore responded by being a complete pig. In a now-deleted comment, he wrote that he does support a mother’s right to feed her baby, but “if it’s a woman’s natural inclination to pull her nipple out in public and you support that, than [sic] you should have no problem with a mans inclantion [sic] to stare at it and grab it.” No, really. He said that:
Bouldin argued with Moore about his gross and sexist statement, and that’s when another representative, Al Baldasaro, jumped in and wrote, “Amanda, no disrespect, but your nipple would be the last one I would want to see. You want to turn our family beach’s [sic] into a pervert show.”
Um, what? These are state representatives? For a second I thought I stumbled into the comments section of a BuzzFeed post. Actually, I think Buzzfeed comments might be a little more civilized than what those legislators wrote, and they’d definitely have better spelling and punctuation.
As tired as we all get of reading stories about public breastfeeding and a woman’s right to feed her child however and wherever she chooses, situations like this are the reason we must keep talking about it. These attitudes about women, our breasts, and our sexuality are the grim reality for far too many people, and it’s going to take continually calling people out on their bullshit for their minds to begin to change.
What these politicians said is rooted in ignorance, plain and simple. There is nothing perverted about a breastfeeding mother, and certainly any woman — breastfeeding or not — should be able to exist in public without the threat of some out of control man staring at her breasts or grabbing her nipples. In fact, I’d venture to say men who have that little control over their impulses are the people legislators should really be worried about.
The Huffington Post reports that the bill in question actually would include a provision for breastfeeding mothers, and Bouldin acknowledged her oversight, but that is no longer the point. The issue now is sexist and uninformed legislators promoting gross ideas about women’s bodies, and it’s something we should all be outraged about. Anyone who sexualizes breastfeeding moms or views women in such a gross and demeaning way has no business “representing” people in a public office.