• Tue, Jan 22 2013

I Almost Chose Not To Breastfeed Because Of The Sexualization Of My Breasts

chose not to breastfeed

My first weekend visiting the university where I would eventually earn my graduate degree, I went to a pub with a friend. The place was packed to the gills and folks were crammed into a tiny waiting area with those foolish buzzing contraptions waiting to vibrate. Bored, my eyes wandered over to a woman with a strange bundle clutched to her chest under a calico sheet. I couldn’t figure out what it was she was holding until a tiny hand protruded from a fold in the fabric. Girlfriend was breastfeeding. Right there– in public. I lost my appetite and we left quietly in search of another venue to eat.

Fast forward a couple years and I am in labor waiting to be admitted to my birthing room with my husband and the intake room has a giant poster of a gal breastfeeding. Like, naked boob and all. No calico sheet. Nothing to cover a baby on a nipple. I couldn’t look at it; it was like nails on a chalkboard-awful, just gross, vile even.

But when my baby was born a few hours later, healthy and hungry, I scooted him right over to my own breast and winced slightly as he clamped down (it wasn’t THAT bad), seeking the very first comfort he would experience after moving from a snuggly womb to a cold hospital room. Three months later, we are still breastfeeding. It feels normal, natural and the most important piece: it feels nonsexual.

You heard me. See, when I really thought about why breastfeeding turned my stomach, the reason boiled down to something so simple and so heart wrenching, that I became angry.

I feel so sexualized by this culture that I have internalized the notion that my body is for MEN to be enjoyed by MEN and to be appraised by MEN. My breasts? Definitely belong to me, but they only do so insofar as I agree that they are sexual tools…for MEN. See the trend here? Sucking on a boob is something a man does, certainly not a baby. Are you with me thus far?  It’s like placing the words “newborn” and “dildo” in the same sentence: it’s just not OK  It’s kind of nasty. That was my perspective before having my son.

Though once my hormones kicked in, reminding me that my body can have many purposes, specifically nurturing a baby, nursing felt marvelous but not in a sexual way.

Thing is, I can’t always make my baby happy. Immunizations, diaper changes with cold wipe, gas: there are a million things that can and do annoy him to tears. But give him some warm milk and skin to snuggle against, and he holds his little fists up against his own chest and his eyes roll back in his head. Yeah—he is that happy. In turn, I’m relieved to be able to give him that moment of reprieve and I get a subsequent does of oxytocin. Good shit.  No men involved; no sexualization necessary. Breastfeeding wasn’t about that at all.

What infuriates me is how hetero-normative sexualization interfered with my self-image, my ability to process a natural function many babies benefit from (in addition to the benefits moms can enjoy if they choose to breastfeed).

Is this a platform to push breastfeeding? Not really. I know outstanding moms who chose not to breastfeed for medical, personal reasons that are none of my damn business.

Rather what irks me deeply is the notion that male oppression can sneak into the choices I might make about someone so vulnerable, my baby. He didn’t ask for this bullshit. He just wants to feel loved and to have a full belly. I would hate to have chosen to not to breastfeed because male oppression told me not to. I would hate to not breastfeed because I thought my breasts belonged to my husband or that they was reserved for sex.

When I think about the way breastfeeding turned my stomach before, I’m ashamed, to be honest. These women were feeding their kids, maintaining a bond and providing comfort in their own ways and I couldn’t understand it, couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t show some damned solidarity, and that really bugs me.

Moving forward? I am learning to respect the mom-code: judge not lest ye have a paltry circle of mom-friends.

(photo: ra2studio / Shutterstock)

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  • HaydenT

    I definitely had a similar challenge. My husband is a total breast man and, while I am glad he still finds me sexy, I do not enjoy the confusion I feel over just how much my breasts exist for other people.

  • http://twitter.com/SomebodysParent Somebody’s Parent

    I was the EXACT same way. The thought grossed me out. I couldn’t stand the thought of saliva on my breasts, I couldn’t stand the thought of a pump, all of it. It makes me sad to think about that now. Breastfeeding became so normal and I can’t imagine NOT doing it. It was the most normal thing in the world. Weird, right?! Great post!

  • Amanda

    I feel the same way right now, and I’m often embarrassed to admit so. I’m only 19, and I won’t be having children until I’m older and married, but I really hope I have the same realization as you have. I want to be able to want to breastfeed, but right now the thought of it churns my stomach, especially when someone is doing it right in front of me. I don’t know, I think its mostly because my nipples are EXTREMELY sensitive. I can climax just from nipple stimulation, so they are a very large part of my sex life, and I think that makes me sexualize my breasts even more. I feel very guilty thinking that way, but I’m sure once those mommy hormones kick in someday I’ll probably feel otherwise and choose to breastfeed my child, if I’m physically able to.

    • Amanda

      Also, I am very, very insecure with my breasts and have been since about 13 years old. I’ve wanted a breast augmentation for as long as I can remember. I think that plays a factor into it, as well. Like I said before, I do hope that I can overcome these emotions one day when I have children.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

      DON’T GET A BREAST AUGMENTATION!!! Don’t do it. You can completely lose feeling in your nipples. If you can climax from nipple stimulation alone (Lucky girl) then getting a breast augmentation could ruin that.

    • meteor_echo

      Besides, it needs corrective surgery every once in a while. A) dangerous for health, b) expensive as heck.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

      Not to mention, if you’re a smoker, you can actually have your nipples fall off after an augmentation.

  • meteor_echo

    Though, to be honest, there is nothing wrong about sexualizing your breasts for yourself. I’m childfree, and, even if I were EVER to have a child, I would not breastfeed, because I am the one to decide what to do with my body parts. Though I am happy for all the women for whom breastfeeding is a positive experience and bonds them with their children.

    • Katia

      Me me me, right? Who cares about the baby

    • meteor_echo

      The baby would get pumped milk or formula, but I’m not one of the people who believe that, once you’re pregnant, you turn into nothing more than an incubator/feeding machine/diaper change station. I’m a firm believer in bodily autonomy. What about you?

      Besides, why do you worry? I’m not going to have one of those precious babies to *GASP* formula-feed it. My mammary glands serve only for aesthetic purposes, and that’s the way I like ‘em. You choose what to do with yours.

    • J

      You sound extremely vain. Good luck to you. Those months of Breastfeeding go by so fast, autonomy comes back. I wonder if you’ll be less narrowly focused once you have kids.

    • meteor_echo

      I think you didn’t read my original comment at all, did you? Here, quote for you: ” I’m childfree”. So no, my uterus is going to stay all barren and sad and closed for business until the day I die :)

    • J

      If your childless by choice and tend to be forever, why are you talking about how your going to feed your hypothetical baby? I assumed you didn’t have children yet, but were open to it. If you dont want children, of course Breastfeeding would be unappealing.

    • meteor_echo

      Because I’m free to shell out hypotheses?

    • J

      If you have no desire to ever be a parent of course you wouldn’t consider sacrificing bodily autonomy. Sacrificing any personal autonomy for a baby is usually unappealing to those who would rather not have children, period. For a person who wants to be a parent this stance is more interesting to discuss. I have close friends who are great moms that just hate the sensation, want to reserve breasts for their sexual identity, etc. With woman who don’t want to ever take on the identity of a mom, wanting to breastfeed would just be odd.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      J you seriously need to lay off of meteor_echo. You just keep harping on about something that is besides the point. Meteor_echo is not attacking your choice or any other mother’s choice, she’s talking about herself. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And choosing not to breastfeed from the boob doesn’t mean that you are not fit to raise a child. Geez louise, talk about an overreaction…

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      You sound extremely priggish and judgmental. I wonder if you’ll be less of a jerk once your kids leave home.

    • Counterculturalist

      Yeah you’re one of those stupid people of this generation’s ‘sociopathic narcissists’ you know those people who so obsessed with themselves that even their needs come before their children? Pumping exclusively hardly works because it’s unnatural, the baby gets less heath benefits because it’s unnatural, and the baby is forced to wait for it’s food because the moms are stupid and selfish. Furthermore it pollutes the world with access baby bottles because stupid people like yourself rather watch anime than feed your kids the way you’re suppose to.

    • meteor_echo

      Honey, my own needs are always the most important to me. Are you or anyone else going to tend to my needs? No? Thought so.
      And I think you forgot to notice the part where I say I’m not planning to have any kids ever, which means I’m free to do whatever I want with my SO, whether it’s watching anime or having loud sex whenever we want. Or sitting together and chuckling at one annoying lady’s comments.
      Also, why so hung up on this particular article, Ms. Armchair Psychologist? Do you know what a sociopathic narcissist really is? Can you list me the actual definition from a psychology textbook before you throw diagnoses right and left?

      Go tend to your baybees, they don’t need a mother who tries to troll people online.

    • Counterculturalist

      Oh thank goodness! The last thing we need is some disgusting stupid selfish creature like yourself reproducing! :)

      Go back to playing video games, and having all the sex you want! Who knows maybe you’ll catch a STD and die! That would be wonderful. Keep spreading your legs open, twat. I bet that hole is so stretched out it probably doesn’t know a reality any different.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      And you’re some kind of prize, lady? Your mean-girl bullshit is so junior-high.

    • meteor_echo

      Nah, she’s just a pissed-off sanctimoo. “Counterculturalist”, my ass :)

    • Counterculturalist

      Mean girl bullshit? I call it telling it as it is. lol. Baby, I’m a grown lady. I ain’t got time. Go cry a river somewhere else.

    • meteor_echo

      No, the last thing we need is keeping children around the cunttastic bitchzillas like yourself – you might turn them into your own kind. I’m doing my nonexistent offspring a massive favor by not birthing them into a world with people like you around.
      Also, you still haven’t answered my question, little troll – what is a sociopathic narcissist? Can you at least copypaste a definition, or does your brood take up so much time of yours that you can only write a small and unoriginal angry comment, but you can’t even google stuff up?
      Also, the virginity insult was so pathetic that it is hilarious. Prude-shaming and trying to mock someone’s hobby is basically a middle school level insult. Though, seeing as how your brain probably fell out with your placenta, it might be the best you’re capable of and I should actually give you a reward for trying to come up with something creative for once.

    • Counterculturalist

      1. You can’t spell bitch. Which is quite pathetic. The last time I heard someone mix bitch and Godzilla, it was some 6th grader throwing a temper tantrum.

      2. Little troll? Please. If you hadn’t been making stupid comments in the first place you wouldn’t got someone to shut you up.

      3. If you don’t know what a ‘sociopathic narcissist ‘ is then you have proven that you’re way too young and immature to be in this conversation in the first place. And like I said you should really go play your video games, and leave health and nutrition to the people who actually know how to take care of children.

      4. I found it hilarious too. It’s really true and that’s why it really hurts.

      5. I’m pretty sure brains don’t fall out of a birth canal, if you weren’t as stupid as you give yourself credit you would have probably known that too.

    • meteor_echo

      Nope, I was aiming to spell “bitchzilla”, which I did correctly. The fact that you bitchzillate about it proves the application of the term quite right.
      And you still haven’t answered my question. Either copypaste a single definition, or GTFO :)

    • Counterculturalist

      1. You can’t read “The last time I heard someone mix bitch and Godzilla, it was some 6th grader throwing a temper tantrum.”

      2. I don’t *answer* stupid questions. Esp. to people who’ve been on the internet long enough to know how to use a google search engine. I don’t get it: you use it to look up porn and video games, why can’t you use to actually grow your pathetic vocabulary of self-made words?

      You honestly think I have time to copy and paste definitions just for you? Really? How cute. Get a life, kid.

    • meteor_echo

      And you can’t read a comment without trying to throw a cute little mommy temper tantrum. It’s very sweet, but not very informative.

      You surely do have time to comment on my things. Go feed your kids instead, breeder-not-parent.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      BNP indeed…

    • Counterculturalist

      Breeder-not-parent? Eh? Yep, you’re an idiot. My case rested. Enjoy your ongoing virginity, kid.

    • meteor_echo

      Keep digging yourself a hole, lady <3

    • Counterculturalist

      Is that your way of admitting you have nothing intelligent to say? You already didn’t start off too hot to start with.

    • meteor_echo

      Nope, it’s my way of admiring your attempts to produce a semi-creative insult. Not that it’s going well so far.

    • Counterculturalist

      It seems like a cop-out, a very pathetic one at that. Though in retrospect it was very expected. You’ve already shown the damage of video-gaming, media, and typical teenage stupidity put together.

    • meteor_echo

      Nope. Either play hard or go home :)

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Yeah, we must be teenagers, because a “real” “mature” woman would have popped out a whole litter by the age of 30…

      *eyeroll*

    • Counterculturalist

      I know right?

    • Once upon a time

      Oh my gosh, you want to exercise your right to your own body and not breastfeeding the hypothetical children you’ll probably never have?! I bet you kick puppies too.

    • meteor_echo

      And I’m so VAIN and NARROWLY FOCUSED. Gotta repent!

    • J

      I think lots of people should never have kids, and am happy when people make that choice. You sound like kids would be a bad idea at least at his point in your life. That said, if you don’t want kids, wanting to Breastfeed would be odd. I find it odd that a person who never wants kids would want to discuss how she wouldn’t Breastfeed the kids she’s never having, but spend your time however you’d like. Take care.

    • meteor_echo

      You really don’t get it. This article talks about how sexualization of breasts is entirely bad and does not have any merits and it’s a tool of “male oppression”.

      1) I am trying to make a point that breasts also have a sexual function – if they didn’t, we wouldn’t be the only mammals that have visible mammary glands when we are not breastfeeding, and nipples would not be sensitive.

      2) People, with children or without, have the right to do whatever they want with any of their body parts. I choose to use my breasts as purely sexual, somebody may be repulsed by the sexual usage of breasts and may only use them for feeding babies. Pressuring someone into one choice or the other is wrong and harmful.

      Also, stop trying to bingo me, would you? It’s like you saw that the “once you will have your own” card doesn’t fly, so you’re using things like “at least in this point in your life”. I’m not using my uterus, sorry if it annoys or disappoints you somehow.

    • J

      I am very happy that you are not having children and unless something dramatically changes in your views, it is best you don’t procreate, (people sometimes change, they often don’t :) stay strong in your views.

    • meteor_echo

      Holy passive aggressive bingo, Batman.

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      Perhaps it is best that you don’t set yourself up as the procreation police.

    • Counterculturalist

      I won’t take you seriously because your avatar is a animation character that my ten year old nephew watches. Obviously you’re very young. That’s ok. Read a book and don’t be selfish, K? Every health organization recognized world wide recommends feeding babies with breast-milk into and past toddlerhood.

    • meteor_echo

      Wow. There’s “late to the party”, and then there’s this. Also, there’s condescension, and then there’s self-fueling smugness that I see in this comment. Yes, dear unknown Internet stranger, my userpic is of Sailor Pluto. Unlike yours, it’s a picture of a pretty damn badass character. Though, maybe I should switch it to Sailor Saturn.

      Also, I don’t give a twat’s twitch about the opinion of someone who doesn’t know that the “past toddlerhood” thing is for the third world countries, where something like clean, drinkable water is a rarity and a child would be safer drinking breast milk than eating food cooked with unclean water (hello, disentheria). It’s not a problem in the first world countries, isn’t it? Also, do you talk like this to those who choose to formula-feed because they can’t produce enough breast milk as well?

    • Counterculturalist

      Yep. Most definitely a child. As said keep reading, it’ll do you wonders. . Drinkable or undrinkable water in third world countries has nothing to do with breastfeeding. The promotion for toddlers to breastfeed are written in the AAP and not just the WHO, doll-face. A lot of pediatricians state that a child being extensively breastfed through the entire first year can be even more advantageous to their development, than being fed for only 6 months. Care to actually read?

      http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/files/pdf/Breastfeeding2012ExecSum.pdf

      http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/delay-solids/

      The superior health advantages that are standard for a developing human being since the dawn of our evolution, are not found in synthetic animal milk. Go figure.

      I’m not going to argue with you anymore, Dearie. Just read kid

    • meteor_echo

      I love how it took you 22 days to respond a single comment – I suppose it’s hard to type when you’re nailed to the Grand Sanctimommy Wooden Cross.
      And you didn’t really answer my question – are you this smug when you talk to women who can’t produce enough breastmilk to feed their babies, or are you afraid that you might lose an eye or two after trying to throw arguments at them?
      Also, quit with the “doll-face”, “kid” and “dearie”. I don’t even allow my lovers to call me that, and you’re most certainly the last person I’d want to fuck, ever.

    • Counterculturalist

      I believe it’s called “having a life outside the internet” but I could be wrong, others call it “not checking your disqus every 38 seconds, because you have others things to do”. Shocking! People do these things, because they have other things to do!!! OMG!!!!

      No, I’m not afraid of women with lactation issues.
      -http://www.childrensmercy.org/content/uploadedFiles/Care_Cards/CMH-95-044p.pdf

      And, I can call you whatever the hell I want, boo.

    • meteor_echo

      There’s a thing called “Google Talk”, which notifies you with a pop-up immediately after you receive an e-mail. Please get this thing installed for the sake of brevity.

      I don’t particularly care about your links, because you cannot hold a constructive argument, and, if you’re trying to call me demeaning cutesy names, I can keep calling you a breederific sanctimonious ass :)

    • Counterculturalist

      You think calling people breeder-not-parents, bitchzillas, and talking about how you wouldn’t want to f–k with me, a constructive professional argument about the importance of breastfeeding? Omg!! Thank god you aren’t breeding!!

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      …this from the woman who has followed me to other sites…

      Fucking hypocrite. Stop following me.

    • Counterculturalist

      Omg, it’s meteor_echo! So you’re the creepy stalker who posted me out of nowhere on that pro-abortion disqus. I could have sworn to god I saw your avatar before, but I was like “There is no way in hell that stupid bitch from the breastfeeding post could randomly follow me on my posts” but hey, I’m wrong sometimes. Wow. And now you’re stalking me again on these posts too?

    • meteor_echo

      What the hell, lady. I have a lot of more interesting things to do than stalking some creep on Disqus. Get a life.

    • Counterculturalist

      Then do so and stop fucking following me around

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      No, asshole, I’m pointing out that you’re a fucked up creep who follows people around the internet. I’ve been posting here and on Friendly Atheist for quite a while (ask around!), and YOU are the one that showed up out of the blue to argue that “embryos are people, so pro-lifers are right! hurr”.

      YOU. FOLLOWED. ME.

      Now either fuck off, or… no. No. Just fuck off.

    • meteor_echo

      She’s pro-life too? I should’ve expected that.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Yeah. Posted three badly-sourced walls-o-text at me, all supposedly citing “leading” embryologists stating that “life begins at conception”. *giant eyeroll*

    • Counterculturalist

      You like talking to yourself too? wow.

    • Counterculturalist

      It’s called credibility, in all your posts you lacked it

      Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote.”[England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996, p.31]“Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception). Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.” [Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]“Embryo: the developing organism from the time of fertilization until significant differentiation has occurred, when the organism becomes known as a fetus.”
      [Cloning Human Beings. Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Rockville, MD: GPO, 1997, Appendix-2.]“Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus.”
      [Dox, Ida G. et al. The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993, p. 146]“Embryo: The early developing fertilized egg that is growing into another individual of the species. In man the term ‘embryo’ is usually restricted to the period of development from fertilization until the end of the eighth week of pregnancy.” [Walters, William and Singer, Peter (eds.). Test-Tube Babies. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 160]“The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.” [Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]“Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism…. At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun…. The term embryo covers the several stages of early development from conception to the ninth or tenth week of life.” [Considine, Douglas (ed.). Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943]“I would say that among most scientists, the word ‘embryo’ includes the time from after fertilization…”
      [Dr. John Eppig, Senior Staff Scientist, Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, Maine) and Member of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 31]“The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.” [Sadler, T.W. Langman's Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins 1995, p. 3]“The question came up of what is an embryo, when does an embryo exist, when does it occur. I think, as you know, that in development, life is a continuum…. But I think one of the useful definitions that has come out, especially from Germany, has been the stage at which these two nuclei [from sperm and egg] come together and the membranes between the two break down.” [Jonathan Van Blerkom of University of Colorado, expert witness on human embryology before the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 63]“Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression ‘fertilized ovum’ refers to the zygote.” [Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]“The chromosomes of the oocyte and sperm are…respectively enclosed within female and male pronuclei. These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.” [Larsen, William J. Human Embryology. 2nd edition. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 17]“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed…. The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.” [O'Rahilly, Ronan and M�ller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29. This textbook lists "pre-embryo" among "discarded and replaced terms" in modern embryology, describing it as "ill-defined and inaccurate" (p. 12}]“Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.” [Carlson, Bruce M. Patten's Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3]“[A]nimal biologists use the term embryo to describe the single cell stage, the two-cell stage, and all subsequent stages up until a time when recognizable humanlike limbs and facial features begin to appear between six to eight weeks after fertilization….[A] number of specialists working in the field of human reproduction have suggested that we stop using the word embryo to describe the developing entity that exists for the first two weeks after fertilization. In its place, they proposed the term pre-embryo….I’ll let you in on a secret. The term pre-embryo has been embraced wholeheartedly by IVF practitioners for reasons that are political, not scientific. The new term is used to provide the illusion that there is something profoundly different between what we nonmedical biologists still call a six-day-old embryo and what we and everyone else call a sixteen-day-old embryo. The term pre-embryo is useful in the political arena — where decisions are made about whether to allow early embryo (now called pre-embryo) experimentation — as well as in the confines of a doctor’s office, where it can be used to allay moral concerns that might be expressed by IVF patients. ‘Don’t worry,’ a doctor might say, ‘it’s only pre-embryos that we’re manipulating or freezing. They won’t turn into real human embryos until after we’ve put them back into your body.’” [Silver, Lee M. Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World. New York: Avon Books, 1997, p. 39]

    • Counterculturalist

      I cited from both textbooks , first wave feminist, and physicians. You quoted from no one but your fine white ass.

      ___________________________________________
      Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote.”
      [England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996, p.31]

      “Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).
      “Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.”
      [Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]

      “Embryo: the developing organism from the time of fertilization until significant differentiation has occurred, when the organism becomes known as a fetus.”
      [Cloning Human Beings. Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Rockville, MD: GPO, 1997, Appendix-2.]

      “Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus.”
      [Dox, Ida G. et al. The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993, p. 146]

      “Embryo: The early developing fertilized egg that is growing into another individual of the species. In man the term ‘embryo’ is usually restricted to the period of development from fertilization until the end of the eighth week of pregnancy.”
      [Walters, William and Singer, Peter (eds.). Test-Tube Babies. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 160]

      “The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
      [Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]

      “Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism…. At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun…. The term embryo covers the several stages of early development from conception to the ninth or tenth week of life.”
      [Considine, Douglas (ed.). Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943]

      “I would say that among most scientists, the word ‘embryo’ includes the time from after fertilization…”
      [Dr. John Eppig, Senior Staff Scientist, Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, Maine) and Member of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 31]

      “The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
      [Sadler, T.W. Langman's Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins 1995, p. 3]

      “The question came up of what is an embryo, when does an embryo exist, when does it occur. I think, as you know, that in development, life is a continuum…. But I think one of the useful definitions that has come out, especially from Germany, has been the stage at which these two nuclei [from sperm and egg] come together and the membranes between the two break down.”
      [Jonathan Van Blerkom of University of Colorado, expert witness on human embryology before the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 63]

      “Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression ‘fertilized ovum’ refers to the zygote.”
      [Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]

      “The chromosomes of the oocyte and sperm are…respectively enclosed within female and male pronuclei. These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”
      [Larsen, William J. Human Embryology. 2nd edition. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 17]

      “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed…. The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.”
      [O'Rahilly, Ronan and M�ller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29. This textbook lists "pre-embryo" among "discarded and replaced terms" in modern embryology, describing it as "ill-defined and inaccurate" (p. 12}]

      “Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”
      [Carlson, Bruce M. Patten's Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3]

      “[A]nimal biologists use the term embryo to describe the single cell stage, the two-cell stage, and all subsequent stages up until a time when recognizable humanlike limbs and facial features begin to appear between six to eight weeks after fertilization….
      “[A] number of specialists working in the field of human reproduction have suggested that we stop using the word embryo to describe the developing entity that exists for the first two weeks after fertilization. In its place, they proposed the term pre-embryo….

      “I’ll let you in on a secret. The term pre-embryo has been embraced wholeheartedly by IVF practitioners for reasons that are political, not scientific. The new term is used to provide the illusion that there is something profoundly different between what we nonmedical biologists still call a six-day-old embryo and what we and everyone else call a sixteen-day-old embryo.
      “The term pre-embryo is useful in the political arena — where decisions are made about whether to allow early embryo (now called pre-embryo) experimentation — as well as in the confines of a doctor’s office, where it can be used to allay moral concerns that might be expressed by IVF patients. ‘Don’t worry,’ a doctor might say, ‘it’s only pre-embryos that we’re manipulating or freezing. They won’t turn into real human embryos until after we’ve put them back into your body.’”
      [Silver, Lee M. Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World. New York: Avon Books, 1997, p. 39]

    • meteor_echo

      Well color me shocked.

    • Counterculturalist

      And I’m saying that you have mental problems because not only can’t you make a clear example of me following you, you FOLLOWED ME TO TELL ME THAT I’M FOLLOWING YOU.

      Take your meds and go to sleep. PS: Obviously you’re meteor_eco, you’ve proven that you have no life.

    • Counterculturalist

      I quoted from doctors, physicians, universities. and feminists, you quoted from no one, dearie. And your post is laughable because it clearly demonstrates that you don’t even know the first feminists in the history of the women’s rights movement were against abortion, and you’re probable too uneducated to know that nearly all sophisticated citation and knowledge about embryology clearly state that “human life starts at conception” as seen bellow. Plz, child, stop being so stupid. Learn something a change

      ______________________________________
      Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote.”
      [England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996, p.31]

      “Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).
      “Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.”
      [Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]

      “Embryo: the developing organism from the time of fertilization until significant differentiation has occurred, when the organism becomes known as a fetus.”
      [Cloning Human Beings. Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Rockville, MD: GPO, 1997, Appendix-2.]

      “Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus.”
      [Dox, Ida G. et al. The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993, p. 146]

      “Embryo: The early developing fertilized egg that is growing into another individual of the species. In man the term ‘embryo’ is usually restricted to the period of development from fertilization until the end of the eighth week of pregnancy.”
      [Walters, William and Singer, Peter (eds.). Test-Tube Babies. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 160]

      “The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
      [Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]

      “Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism…. At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun…. The term embryo covers the several stages of early development from conception to the ninth or tenth week of life.”
      [Considine, Douglas (ed.). Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943]

      “I would say that among most scientists, the word ‘embryo’ includes the time from after fertilization…”
      [Dr. John Eppig, Senior Staff Scientist, Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, Maine) and Member of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 31]

      “The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
      [Sadler, T.W. Langman's Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins 1995, p. 3]

      “The question came up of what is an embryo, when does an embryo exist, when does it occur. I think, as you know, that in development, life is a continuum…. But I think one of the useful definitions that has come out, especially from Germany, has been the stage at which these two nuclei [from sperm and egg] come together and the membranes between the two break down.”
      [Jonathan Van Blerkom of University of Colorado, expert witness on human embryology before the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 63]

      “Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression ‘fertilized ovum’ refers to the zygote.”
      [Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]

      “The chromosomes of the oocyte and sperm are…respectively enclosed within female and male pronuclei. These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”
      [Larsen, William J. Human Embryology. 2nd edition. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 17]

      “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed…. The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.”
      [O'Rahilly, Ronan and M�ller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29. This textbook lists "pre-embryo" among "discarded and replaced terms" in modern embryology, describing it as "ill-defined and inaccurate" (p. 12}]

      “Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”
      [Carlson, Bruce M. Patten's Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3]

      “[A]nimal biologists use the term embryo to describe the single cell stage, the two-cell stage, and all subsequent stages up until a time when recognizable humanlike limbs and facial features begin to appear between six to eight weeks after fertilization….
      “[A] number of specialists working in the field of human reproduction have suggested that we stop using the word embryo to describe the developing entity that exists for the first two weeks after fertilization. In its place, they proposed the term pre-embryo….

      “I’ll let you in on a secret. The term pre-embryo has been embraced wholeheartedly by IVF practitioners for reasons that are political, not scientific. The new term is used to provide the illusion that there is something profoundly different between what we nonmedical biologists still call a six-day-old embryo and what we and everyone else call a sixteen-day-old embryo.
      “The term pre-embryo is useful in the political arena — where decisions are made about whether to allow early embryo (now called pre-embryo) experimentation — as well as in the confines of a doctor’s office, where it can be used to allay moral concerns that might be expressed by IVF patients. ‘Don’t worry,’ a doctor might say, ‘it’s only pre-embryos that we’re manipulating or freezing. They won’t turn into real human embryos until after we’ve put them back into your body.’”
      [Silver, Lee M. Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World. New York: Avon Books, 1997, p. 39]

    • Counterculturalist

      And I’m saying that you have mental problems because not only can’t you make a clear example of me following you, you FOLLOWED ME TO TELL ME THAT I’M FOLLOWING YOU.

      Take your meds and go to sleep. PS: Obviously you’re meteor_eco, you’ve proven that you have no life.

    • meteor_echo

      Ohgod, you can’t even differentiate between two different accounts by two different people. I’m done here.

    • Erin Murphy

      Sorry…. I’m WAY late to the party but I find “twat’s twitch” both humorous and comment worthy!

    • Counterculturalist

      Great hopefully you’ve learn something about first wave feminism and breastfeeding. Have a good day.

  • Smalls

    I’m confused about how “male oppression” got into the mix here. Isn’t it also normal for women to get sexual pleasure out of breasts (and therefore be weirded out when thinking about a baby being on there)? And what about lesbians? I get a TON of sexual pleasure out of my breasts, and I knew that before I had any sexual experience with a man. Sexual identity and your identity as a mother need to be reconciled, for sure, and I’m glad you reconciled them. It’s not always easy for people, and some people won’t ever when it comes to breastfeeding. There’s also no problem with that, by the way.

  • Byron

    I am confused. Why is breastfeeding “more natural” than sex? Why is sexualization something that “men” cause?

    No “man” is responsible that YOU, specifically, found breastfeeding akin to engaging in sexual acts with an infant. Maybe if a man suckled on your breasts in a way that is similar to how infants do it I guess I could understand putting some of the blame on them but breastfeeding and breast-sex-play are so very different that it’s just silly to think of them as identical acts.

    Like, think of this for a second. Guys pee from their penises, not from a different hole in them like how women do it, the same one semen goes through, you know, semen, as in the stuff that comes out during sex. I have never heard of a guy who was turned off from sex because of “being reminded of going to the bathroom” or anything like that because, yeah, body-parts can have various functions and it is natural, just as natural as breastfeeding, for that to be the case.

    Don’t blame others for your own complexes, don’t attribute responsibility to a culture which is to be thanked for the progress we have made as a species that originated as apes, just open your mind and grow up some.

    A man wanting to play with breasts and being aroused by them is one of the 3 main urges people have. Food, refuge and sex. For babies you fulfill the refuge and food ones when you offer them breasts, for men the sex and sometimes the refuge one too. Sexualixation and sex isn’t this evil thing, it’s natural and it’s how the babies which you hold into such high esteem so that you feel fine about making your breasts into their food-objects, are made. Neither primal urge is inferior to the rest, none are artificially enforced by culture or “men”. It’s just how nature is.

  • Ana

    Did you have a really conservative and/or religious upbringing? To find breastfeeding vile and disgusting seems like such an overreaction to me… unless maybe you were raised to think of sex or your body as shameful. Perhaps some of the blame lies with our American puritanical background and less with “men” in general.

  • Molly

    Am I the only one that wishes I had a rack like that photo? :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      I”m pretty sure that you can buy the same or similar, just like she did. :)

    • Rachel

      I don’t think they’re fake. I can make my boobs look like that with a good push-up bra.

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      Helen turns green with envy. ;)

  • http://www.makingloveinthemicrowave.com/ Aja Jackson

    Breasts are sexy. And they are for babies to eat from. Much in the same way that you can use your vagina to have sex with a man and use the same vagina to have a baby. Its okay for body parts to serve different purposes. I don’t necessarily think that we should “fault” men for liking to look at them as much as we just need to accept that they can do multiple things. In addition, I don’t think its that weird to think breastfeeding is weird until you actually do it. I mean, it is kind of weird to think of your body as being able to make food and to have somebody eat from it. Even while I was doing it I kind of felt like a cow. I guess I’m just saying I don’t know why this was such a big deal. You thought it was weird and then you had a baby and got over it.

    • Katia

      That’s a good point. I mean why not think of it/plan it like, I’ll have the baby and the nurse will teach me to breastfeed. You don’t have to imagine how it feels, and you can’t, right? For me it hurt at the beginning then feels like nothing. It’s not in any way like having sex with any man…
      I wish everyone would try it, it’s good for babies and moms.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      Dude, I even think that the whole concept of growing a child inside your body is weird ;) and I have a child! I agree with your point.

  • Jenna

    It’s a pretty big and awesome thing to be able to change your mind so dramatically, and even more so to admit it. Congratulations on the baby and good luck on your journey into motherhood! :)

  • heather

    I think a lot of things seem weird when you aren’t at the point to do them yet. most of us go through a time when the idea of sex seems icky, weird, or scary…. “some guy is going to put WHAT WHERE?!” and then when you get to the point of a good sexual relationship with a loving partner, it is beautiful, pleasurable, and very natural. I don’t have a child yet and, while I’m not grossed out by breastfeeding and plan to do so if I’m able, I’ve often thought of how weird it would feel, worry that it will be painful, etc. it doesn’t seem natural to me specifically because it isn’t right now: I don’t have a child, I’m not producing milk, therefore it isn’t something I would naturally do. when I have a child, it will be. no reason to feel guilty about how it seemed before: you weren’t at that point yet.

  • I

    I’ll put it bluntly:

    You are a selfish bitch who would be a detriment to any children you may give birth to. Not only that, you decide to blame men for some of your problems. Don’t blame other people for your own shortcomings. I hope you don’t procreate, idiot.

    • meteor_echo

      Go back to troll school, mkay kid?

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      Whaaaaaa?! I don’t even… Ummm… Okay!! Pot… Meet kettle? Actually maybe the expression “takes one to know one” applies better (although the author is not a bitch)

  • Fred_the_Evil

    Here is the entire article, succinctly: “I grew up.”

    And by the way, Sugar, it’s not men’s fault that boobs are sexualized. Men don’t run around popping buttons to show cleavage, and we certainly don’t mill about in public with a stack of Wonder Bras (or whatever the new craze may be) offering advice on making the puppies more appealing to look at. Yes, we look -but YOU dressed yourself this morning.

    The fact is that women have sexualized breasts for whatever self-inflicted reason you choose, which probably have about as much merit as those “reasons” that women think decent men are attracted only to “skinny” women. Don’t get pissed at us for looking, get pissed at yourself for whatever you ‘think’ when you look in a mirror and choose your clothes, and feel that emphasizing your breasts (instead of your mind) is important in your wardrobe choices.

  • Once upon a time

    No. You don’t get to scream, “Male oppression!”every time you feel uncomfortable about something. That’s not feminism – it’s playing the victim.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Sorry, but if they weren’t meant to be playthings for sexytimes, they wouldn’t be so sensitive and touching them wouldn’t feel so good.

    Babies can be fed with bottles — why would you want a little parasite latching on to your breast? It’s disgusting!

    • once upon a time

      You’re entitled to think and even express that opinion, but why would you come onto a parenting website – one with ‘mommy’ in it’s URL – and say that?

      I call troll.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Not a troll at all, I just find it incredibly disturbing and disgusting that anyone would want a parasite leeching off them when it’s so much easier (and civilised) to bottle-feed.

      Breasts are for sexy-times, deal with it. If they weren’t, we’d be like other mammals in that our breasts would only be prominent while nursing (see: every other mammal in existence). Seeing as they ARE, in fact, prominent during non-feeding periods, and are a sign of sexual maturity (in women), I am comfortable in concluding that the breasts are sexual organs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      “parasites”? I’m wondering if you even realize the sheer provocation that you’re creating by using that word. Honey, if our breasts were meant to be strictly sexual, we wouldn’t be producing milk (I say while I am pumping). What’s the issue with them serving dual purposes, like our genitals? What’s the issue with being mature about this and being open to respecting other people’s opinions?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Again, if they weren’t for sexy-times, we’d be like every other primate, and have mammaries that only swell during lactation. Deal with it, and stop trying to push the idea that it’s “okay” for your little parasite to snuffle, grunt, and snort away at your breast in the presence of other people regardless of their feelings.

      And yes, babies are parasites — what else do you call something that feeds off another living being?

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      lol… I just can’t take you seriously. I mean, the sh*t spewing out of your fingers is just so ridiculous!!! Something that feeds off of another living being is actually called a mammal. yup! we might have “evolved” into thinking beings, but alas, we remain one of the many beings that can feed their children from the moment of conception until they are able to digest food. Geez, what would have happened at the beginning of the century if all women thought like you? The human race would have died out… Hey, I’m not demonizing formula, and women who don’t want to breastfeed because I don’t.

    • Poogles

      “And yes, babies are parasites — what else do you call something that feeds off another living being?”

      Sooooo….they magically become “non-parasites” the minute you use a bottle instead? (P.S. – what else do you call something that feeds off another living being? A MAMMAL)

    • once upon a time

      Don’t feed it! If you ignore it long enough it’ll got back to its bridge.

  • Counterculturalist

    the over-sexualization of breasts has done it’s fair share to our society. Thanks to it, we cannot even feed our children naturally because we’re too perverted in the head.