Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tits in perspective.

Let's get something clear here.

Toronto area pool facility owner Ellie Karkouti seems to have, shall we say, gone over the deep end. Not content with publicly harassing mother Cinira Longuinho from breastfeeding her baby on the site of her business, she complained to the local police. The local police, perhaps because they already know that toplessness is legal in Ontario, paid her little attention.

So when Karkouti heard that a few angry mothers were planning a peaceful breastfeed-in, she hired a security company to patrol her pool. They sported bulletproof vests and handcuffs. To prevent women from baring their (legal) breasts and feeding their (hungry) babies peacefully.

Karkouti is arguing that there's a health issue at hand, that pools are somehow inherently unsafe for a feeding child, or that others might be harmed should some breastmilk enter the water. According to some opinion pages in local newspapers, a lot of people seem to agree, and some are going so far as to suggest that breastfeeing is as "unsanitary" as, well, other bodily functions.

Please.

Is it because we, in our oh-so-tolerant Western society, take post-Puritanical umbrage to the sight of a pair of tits? And even if so, why is so hard to accept that there are miles of contextual differences between



tits presented like these




and tits presented like these?


Granted, breasts are beautiful and many people enjoy looking at them. I do. You do too. And, granted, there is a population of tit-appreciative people in the world who haven't learned basic manners, personal boundaries, and the perspective difference between each of the redheads we've just looked at.

But isn't it a little ridiculous to chastise women (or their babies, for that matter) just because there are people (read: some stupid, sexist, ogling men) in the world who are still a bit Neanderthal? Is it possible that an oversexualization of breasts plays a role in this sense of outrage among those who disrespect breastfeeding mothers? Or are we simply immature children at heart?

Longuinho is approaching the Ontario Human Rights Commission to defend her pre-existing legal right, as well as the right of her baby to eat when and where it's necessary. Let's hope she succeeds.

6 comments:

Coy Pink said...

Love a man who stands up for the breastfeeding mothers of the world! If I lived closer to Ontario, I would have been there with my nursing 2 1/2 year old (yeah, I'm one of THOSE mothers) to sit along with the other mamas at the nurse in.

The thing about breastmilk being a danger or unsanitary: bullshit!! Um, hello, I'm 100% sure there are kids/people PEEING IN THE POOL and they're worried about maybe a drop of breastmilk "contaminating" the precious pool water?!?! Give me a break. Seem that where breasts are involved, people just can seem to think with the brains in their heads. COMMON SENSE, PEOPLE!

*stepping off soapbox now*

Thanks for lending your level-headed voice to the support of a cause that should be so common place that it isn't a cause any longer.

Rogue said...

Postscript:


Apparently, pool owner Ellie Karkouti has been thwarted by the legality of breastfeeding wherever and whenever a mother wants, not to mention the legality of Longuinho to bare her breasts to begin with.

Karkouti had, however, already insisted on a $75 "no-foul fee" to users who might, say, pee in the pool. (ssuming one would get caught, or that an embarassed child would admit to it.) But upon realizing that she couldn't legally prevent breastfeeders, apparently she's decided ton increase that "no-foul fee" to $300.

One can just imagine a control freak like this lingering around mothers and babies, hoping for a sight of a few droplets of breastmilk to enter the water, and then self-righteously storm forward and demand a huge payment.

Some people really have nothing better to do with their lives.

And the irony is that Karkouti is pregant herself.

swingerwife said...

God, I completely despise people like this Karkouti woman. (and the fact that she is a woman is even more repugnant to me in this situation). I breastfed my daughter for ten months and woe to any man, woman or child who dared to tell me that it was offensive for them to see. Don't like it?? Don't fucking look! It's that simple.

But damn, I love you Rogue, for taking this subject to task. You absolutely rock..in my humble opinion.

Sexual Adventurer said...

You've been tagged! Check out the rules here: http://asexualadventure.blogspot.com/2008/11/7-things-memethanks-jay.html

PS I love your commentary as always.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! I remember my son being breastfed as we watched episodes of LOST on TV. My bride could only describe the act of breastfeeding him as "euphoric" and on occasion she fell fast asleep with him after (I assume) was a good feeding session.

Rogue said...

Coy Pink ~
Thank you, beautiful. Would that you were closer to Ontario! ;)

I agree, and was very surprised to read that many people in the mother's area agreed with the pool-owner. I think it's a weird contradiction, for example, that current fashions reveal more and more of the body and this is accepted and perhaps even appreciated by many, and yet the thought of a baby nursing for a few moments fills the same people with shock. Where are the priorities?

Swingerwife ~
You're a darling, and thank you. It is a little unusual to read about such a reaction from another (pregnant!) woman, isn't it? Again, it makes me shake my head in wonder about where people's heads are at. Thanx for chiming in!

Sexual Adventurer ~
Hi again! Great to hear from you. I will certainly peek at your tagging... that might explain the pinch I felt on my bum earlier...

Anonymous ~
Thank you. Having never fathered a baby, I've never had the privilege to see a partner in such euphoria, but I have seen some amazing and intimate photos of breastfeeding children that have almost brought me to tears with their sublimity. I can only imagine the intimacy you experienced with your wife at such a time. Very cool, and congratulations, Dad.