A bit too easily offended…

While I was writing this article, I tried to think of the things that are generally offensive in 2010. I invite you to ask yourself the same question I did – what would you be offended by? Racism? Sexism? Maybe homophobia? Now imagine you were to see a young lady on the bus discreetly breastfeeding her baby. It’s a sad fact that in 2010 there are still people out there who are disgusted when a woman chooses to feed her baby in the healthiest way possible. This may well have come as a shock to Amy Wootten, a young mother from Bristol. She was kicked off a bus into the rain because she refused to stop feeding her daughter when a passenger complained. Apparently the passenger was offended by the tiny bit of breast shown by Ms Wootten and would have preferred her daughter to go hungry.

Humiliating incidents like this only serve to prevent mothers from breastfeeding their babies despite the health benefits to both mother and child. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cot death, strengthens the baby’s immune system, reduces the baby’s risk of diabetes and reduces the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Breastfeeding also promotes bonding between mother and child and, unlike formula milk, is totally free! For the sake of both mum and baby, I think we could all tolerate a little bit of breast being on show.

Thankfully, the law in Scotland is on the right side. Women are free to breastfeed anywhere they like in Scotland and anyone preventing them can be fined. Unfortunately for Amy Wootten, this law does not apply in England and in Scotland we still have the problem of mothers feeling uncomfortable. Attitudes are changing for the better but unfortunately there are still cases like that of Amy Wootten to deter women from breastfeeding.

6 Comments

  1. LydiaTeapot says:

    I’ve never understood why people get offended about women breastfeeding. You can barely see any bloody boob and it’s not like it’s perverse. I mean, other than that, you can only think that it’s just society’s iron grip on women. Keeping them in line and all that pish.

  2. Neldo says:

    I think its just because people only think in terms of black and white, almost like “Breasts are sexual, they can’t be shown in public, therefore this is offensive to me”. They’re the same type of people who’d complain because there was nudity in a schools biology programme, or because a news broadcast quoted someone saying “nigger”. They can’t differentiate between context and so to them everything that is potentially offensive is always offensive. The reason is because from an early age we’re taught what’s right and wrong in society and that we’re not to question this. In the same way that religious faith is maintained, these people have never questioned what they percieve to be wrong and so they still feel strongly about it.

  3. Lou22 says:

    Ms Wootten’s story was a made up and she confessed it to be so when the case was investigated further by FirstBus. The woman was attention seeking and looking for publicity. I wholeheartedly agree with you on all of your points however, just wanted to point out that the information you have on this case at the moment is inaccurate. As a breastfeeding mother I was disgusted at Ms Wootten for making this story up…its hard enough dealing with negative feeling towards feeding without her making us women look bad.

  4. Liam says:

    Yeah, I read something about how it turned out it hadn’t actually happened, and she had apologised. It’s still a good article, and the points made are still valid, just not the best example of it. I don’t think we should be as quick to judge her as I’ve seen other people be – we don’t know what was going on with her hen she decided to make up the story.

  5. Aye dont let the facts get in the way of a good story!

  6. Neldo says:

    Well don’t I feel like a retard, that’s what I get for hastily writing an article and uploading it myself at 2 in the morning. While the example I used is no longer valid, there are still a lot of women out there who feel too embarrased to breastfeed in public and my appeal to people remains the same – to show your support to women who choose to breastfeed their children.

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