A friend of mine, Gina at The Feminist Breeder, got booted off of Facebook recently for posting this HILARIOUS photo of her baby girl, with a caption explaining that the kid swiped bacon off her plate and was alternately nursing and dining on swine (in my Future voice) at the same damn time. When the little lady bit her mother, Gina told the little lady she had to choose one or the other—boob or bacon. Baby girl chose bacon!
Well, some 1500 people on Gina’s popular The Feminist Breeder Facebook page found the picture as hysterical as I did, but one troll took to Gina’s timeline to proclaim breastfeeding a “sexual act” and insisting that kids who breastfeed will grow up to be sex offenders.
Dead. Fish. Eyes.
The troll went on to report Gina to Facebook, which, in turn, suspended The Feminist Breeder Facebook page for three days. One, two, three days. In violation of their own policy, which clearly states that pictures of breastfeeding are okay, so long as there is no nipple showing. Um, there is no nipple showing. Lots of bacon. But no nip.
So, in awesome Feminist Breeder fashion, Gina’s got a little somethin’ somethin’ for Facebook (and the trolls who think breastfeeding is a sexual act). She’s collecting pictures of breastfeeding moms and, when her Facebook page is reinstated, will upload every last one of them every hour until she runs out. Word.
I mean, we all know where I stand on breastfeeding. From the moment I founded MyBrownBaby five years ago, I made clear that I’m a huge proponent of breastfeeding, chronicled my breastfeeding journey with my own two daughters, and supported black mothers who breastfeed, like Kimberly Allers, who runs the Breastfeeding 360 project, Elita at Blacktating, and The Brown Mamas Breastfeed Project, run by SoulVegMama’s own Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka. (Please note: I am not suggesting for one moment that a mother who chooses not to or cannot breastfeed is a bad mom. You have the right to feed your baby as you see fit. My choice was to breastfeed. You own your choice, I own mine.)
I realized, though, as I was sending to Gina pictures of me breastfeeding my babies that I’ve never run them on MyBrownBaby—just on other people’s sites. So, with a fist raised in the air for all mamas who breastfeed and in solidarity with The Feminist Breeder and anyone else who knows for sure that breastfeeding in no sane, rational way should ever be equated with a “sexual act,” here are pictures of me feeding my children. (You’ll have to forgive the quality; I was breastfeeding when digital cameras were non-existent, Instagram wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind and breastfeeding, particularly in public, was still considered weird and disgusting. Which I guess means that we’ve come a long way, I guess. But we still have a long way to go.)
Here’s what I wrote when I submitted these pictures to The Brown Mamas Breastfeed project:
The photo of me breastfeeding in the striped shirt is of me with Lila, at about age two months. I breastfed her for over 10 months and pumped for an additional two. The second picture is of me breastfeeding my daughter Mari, at about age four months. I breastfed her for 12 months and pumped for an additional two.
I chose to breastfeed my babies because I knew that it was best for them. I wanted nothing more than to give them the very best of everything, and securing a healthy future for them by giving them the best of ME just made sense. No one I knew had done it, and I got little support from anyone (hospital doctors and nurses included!) except my husband, my mother, and my best friend/sister-in-law, Angelou, who stuck up for me when friends and family questioned why I “still had that baby sucking on my ninny.” I’d feel so embarrassed about feeding her around these people, but the pull of making sure she and her sister, Lila, whom I breastfed for 10 months, got what was best for them far outweighed the slick comments I’d get when I breastfed my girls. I’m so glad I did it.
When I breastfed my girls, there was a connection between me and my babies that is incalculable; the sweetness, the warmth, the cuddling, the staring into each other’s eyes—it was an incredible feeling, one that simply can not be duplicated. There was also a sense of power—that my body, solely, could nourish my children, was, simply, a mind-blowing thing. The more I gave of myself to them, the bigger, stronger and healthier they got. It was truly a miracle of God—spiritual. And I’m so grateful that I was able to do it.
If you have pictures of yourself breastfeeding and you’re willing to share them with Gina for her Facebook Boobathon, tweet them to her at @FeministBreeder. She put it best in this tweet last night: “I can’t wait to start my 72 hour Facebook Boobathon! If I’m getting kicked off facebook for bfing pics, I’m going DOWN in a BLAZE OF GLORY!” Let’s support a fellow mom who supports us!