This video, shared on Facebook by WMBF news via CNN, and the comments that followed has had me sitting on my hands all day, resisting the urge to comment. Gasp, shock, faint – there is a “new” doll on the market, geared for young girls, that imitates breastfeeding. I put “new” in quotes because this doll has actually been available since 2009.
Here is a sampling of comments from the Facebook post:
“Not for a small girl.its natrual when your a grown developed woman.kids dont need to know that.let them be kids”
“while it is natural to breast feed, little girls should not know about that kind of stuff”
“I don’t think that my 5 year old should see me hang my boob out and his brother or sister sucking milk. I feel that children that young should not be introduced to that part of life yet. I think that toy makers and advertising and schools are pushing sex to much, i mean last year there was a school that was on the news for wanting to have sex ed classes for kindergarten.”
“I THINK THAT THIS IS NOT APPROPERIATE FOR A SMALL GIRL OR BOY TO BE PLAYING WITH, N SOME KIDS GROW UP WAY TO FAST NOW ADAYS!! I DON’T THINK IT’S SOME…THING THAT IS APROPERIATE FOR ALL PARENTS N TO BE SEEN BY ALL CHILDREN , SHOULD ONLY BE AVIBLE ONLINE N NOT ON STORE SHIVELS , IT NOT FOR ALL CHILDREN TOO SEE N KNOW ABOUT IT SHOULD BE UP TO THE INDIVLE PARENTS TO DECIDE THAT !! .”
Let me take a walk down memory lane with you. I breastfed both of my children, who are only 18 months apart. When the big sister saw Mommy changing her little sister’s diaper, she changed her dolly’s diaper. When big sister saw Mommy putting jammies on her little sister, she put jammies on her dolly. When big sister saw Mommy feeding little sister, big sister hiked up her shirt and fed her dolly the only way she knew how. I smiled and we all went on with our day. She hasn’t yet asked for stripper heels and a g-string, so I think she gets that feeding a baby with breasts isn’t sexual. In fact, she has no idea what “sexual” is. I’ll bet you that 99.9999999% of children who have witnessed a woman nursing a baby fall into the same category.
I shouldn’t be surprised, but do you think those comments represent how the general public of the Grand Strand feels? To me it seems so much less about the availability of a doll and more about attitudes regarding breastfeeding, in general. I also wonder if there could there a generational issue here. In the video, a middle-aged reporter gets the biggest reaction from another middle-aged woman. In my mother’s time, breastfeeding wasn’t encouraged over formula feeding. It wasn’t the common method of nourishment of most babies and if you did, the whole thing was over in a few months. The most recent data is a few years old, but of all infants born in the US between 2005 and 2006, 77% of them were breastfed. That number doesn’t account for the length of time, but more than 3/4 of mothers tried. That’s a lot! It’s not such a taboo topic anymore.
I don’t know why, but this whole thing makes me want to compile a list of the best places to publicly nurse your child out and about in the Grand Strand. *insert evil grin* There are at least five good ones in Ripley’s Aquarium, alone!
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