Elderly male religious figurehead says it’s OK for women to breastfeed. Thank God that’s settled.

Women across the world rejoiced this week when they learned, courtesy of Pope Francis, that God and their fellow worshipers would not heap shame upon churchgoing mothers if they discreetly exposed a breast to the open air for the purpose of nourishing an infant.

Media coverage of the Pope’s astonishing announcement, made on Sunday during a mass baptismal ceremony in the Sistine Chapel, emphasized the imposing nature of the setting, where Michelangelo’s super-serious frescoes of God and man in all their best half-clothed Italian Renaissance contortions should make any good lady want to button up a little tighter.

“If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice,” the shockingly progressive pontiff declared of any baby who might whimper in hunger during the sermon.

Particularly in the United States of America, women are used to powerful, elderly male figureheads (both political and religious) using their status to make demeaning and unhealthful demands of the female body. But women this week were shocked to hear a positive, nay, encouraging word about a natural function of their feminine forms.

“If culturally and politically dominant men are going to dictate everything about our reproductive health in the name of religious principle, I guess we should be glad that on one day of the year, at least, we get a positive message about how we choose to use our bodies,” American women said when they had gotten over their initial shock at a Christian leader advocating something that benefits the comfort, health and self-determination of women and families.

Women all over the globe who worried that folding back that nursing patch between prayers would offend Jesus can now rest easy. Just as elderly men know best about what NOT to do with our bodies, we can count on them to tell us what’s right. So eat up, babies. What a relief!

Now that the breastfeeding issue is out of the way forever, visit the homepage to subscribe and keep up with what’s next, or find me on Twitter @AlainaMabaso



Add yours →

  1. Women do not need men to tell us to breastfeed. This is woman’s territory. Men need to respect female boundaries, like they expect for us to not nag and try to change them.

    Would men allow us women to tell them it is okay to stroke their penises or testicles when they itch. No, they would jump all over us about intruding into their territory and telling them what to do.

    • Well to be fair a male infant is within his rights to demand the breast. Plus a male OB-GYN should be able to give advice. Other than that, knock it off, dudes, even if you’re the Pope.

  2. Using the breast is not about fairness. It is, I repeat is fair only for the female who that breast belongs to. No offense, but you seem confused, and it seems as if you think that anyone can demand some use of the female breast. You are not only confused, you are grossly disrepectful to females.

    Again I say men do not take favor to us ladies making remarks to and about you all’s territory. Why do you think it is okay for men to tell us what to do with our lives and bodies, specifically the breast. A woman has the right to feed or not to feed from her breasts. Also, for your information, a male baby cannot demand his mother’s breasts. What culture are you from ?

    • I am from a culture that encourages sarcasm in the face of poisonous social norms, such as those that make women believe other people should have power over the woman’s own bodily decisions. I believe that nobody has the right to tell a woman what to do with her own body except the woman herself – so I often use satire to get that point across, because otherwise I’d weep at the injustice.

      By a baby demanding the breast I merely refer to infants’ penchant for crying loudly when they’re hungry – the closest thing to a demand they can manage. Thanks for reading and for your comments!

  3. Forgive my rush to fuss. I did not mean to offend or be rude to you. It’s that I read a lot and run across so many articles and books, etc, that imply that we as women should give in to husbands, mother in laws, dad, and the male population and any other group, for differnt situations.
    I have been seeing more and more of this trend that wears women down and confuses women so that they are better, wives, daughter in laws, mothers, partners, friends, etcc. I only write to maybe help a few females, or as many as I can.

    • No worries. If I was easily offended by readers’ comments I wouldn’t be a writer. If you browse around the blog a bit, you’ll find that pro-woman-power articles are a favorite theme of mine, along with women’s health and reproductive rights. I’m working on a post now about how reproductive health should never be separated from overall human health.

  4. I look forward to reading your other articles. I will be nice too. 🙂

    • As I always tell my readers, you don’t have to agree to leave a comment. I have enjoyed many lively debates!

      • Well, your site certainly is a refreshing change, because some moderators/ site owners will either take offense or delete those who come on too strong. I have really enjoyed your articles.

        Many of the sites I visit are those where the audience is predominantly men, speaking from the male point of view. These commenters can be rather mean to the few of us women who come there. I try to make my point though, then leave it to them.
        Lately, when I visit a male site, I just read and do not comment; less stress is better.

        Thanks for listening.

      • Thanks, glad you enjoyed. My readers can say what they want as long as it’s not bigoted or nasty to other readers. Come back soon!

  5. Luckily brave souls like Huckabee are there to defend the likes of you from those that would try to make birth control affordable. Amen.

  6. I think you are unfair to Francis. Who is the main audience who needs to hear this? Other members of the congregation, or priests, who might object to breast-feeding. And- some women would have felt self-conscious about feeding, so will be reassured. Not everyone can face down the disapproving stare.

    • Thanks for your thoughts! I don’t really want to knock Francis – I’m glad he took this positive stance and I agree his congregation needed to hear it. Rather, I want to point to the rest of our culture, which puts so much store in what OTHER people say about OUR own bodies. When this story first came out, my feed blew up with happy women and mothers who felt vindicated in their right to breastfeed in public – and I wanted to say, that’s great the Pope agrees with you, but you also don’t need any clergy member’s say-so to feel good about feeding your baby, wherever you are. Women and families should own that right themselves, not receive it from someone else. In a perfect world, Francis would have said, “go ahead and breastfeed,” and women would have said, “we know, thanks for noticing,” and gone on with their day.

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