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The Sexualization of Breastfeeding

Photo Credit: Malia Schlaefer

Before you became pregnant, did you have a strict “no touching” policy when it came to your breasts?

Did you say “hands off” because you wouldn’t want to sexualize a part of your body that may some day provide nourishment for your child?

For most women I would guess that answer is no. When we first start exploring our sexuality, how many of us are really thinking about how that might relate to the public’s perception of breast feeding—positive or negative? I certainly wasn’t.

Currently, Madison Young is dealing with that issue. Sure, her situation is somewhat different than mine. Along with being a mother, a writer and a sex educator, Young is also an adult film star. Something I am definitely not.

Her breasts have become inherently sexualized as a result of her occupation. As a result, she has come under fire for breastfeeding in public.

What I find interesting is that Madison Young isn’t being criticized by conservatives that are against the adult film industry. Instead, she is being criticized by another porn star and sex activist who goes by the name of Furry Girl.

Furry Girl criticized Young on Twitter stating that “only ‘creeps & pedophiles’ are interested in seeing a porn star breast-feed”.

Pedophiles? I have to ask, how is breastfeeding—regardless of the mother’s occupation—an act that would get a rise out of pedophiles? How is feeding your child sexualizing them? Should that keep women from breastfeeding in public?

One of the things that Furry Girl finds so offensive is a photograph of Young looking like a breastfeeding Marilyn Monroe—which I personally think is stunning and reminiscent of Cindy Sherman’s work (who happens to be one of my favorite photographers). Furry Girl is also offended by a vlog Young breastfeeding “while talking about an upcoming event where she would be speaking about breast health”.

Neither of these activities scream sexualization to me.

Madison Young seems to feel the same way. She replied to Furry Girl on Twitter by saying, “the only one sexualizing this image of me breastfeeding is you. Which makes me feel truly disgusted and violated”.

What do you think? Should Young shy away from breastfeeding in public because of her occupation?

Moms share real stories of breastfeeding

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