there is an art shop on a major street in auckland that displays paintings and photos outside on the sidewalk to showcase work. one such photo is a black and white of a woman about to feed her child. most prominent is the child’s face but also visible is the woman’s breast. i stop every time i see that photo because i’m encouraged that people will see breastfeeding a child as the healthy and beneficial thing it is.

    no such luck back home where i recently read an article about a parenting magazine ran a slightly “tamer “version of the above photo (from what i could tell from the description) on the cover of its magazine. aparently 1/4 of its customers were offeneded.

    people wrote in and complained. one woman shredded it.

    what diturbed me even more was that some of the complaining folks were actually breast feeding mothers.

    bear with me for a moment as i reflect on the number of near naked boobs i’ve seen in my life in both print, tv and internet. i’m not talking porn…i’m talking beer, car and gum advertisements. i’m talking music videos, boxing/wrestling mactches and video games.

     one woman actually said that breasts are sexual and that is all there is to it and she would hate for her husband or 13-year-old son to run across a boob they did not intend to see.

    where do i even begin…aren’t breasts by design intended to create and disperse milk? sexuality is secondary. in my village in south africa i couldn’t number the times i saw a woman feeding her kid – without a second glance from anyone. there…breasts are utilitarian…now legs…that’s a whole other story.

    but i digress. does that mean if her husband and son WANT to see a boob she is ok with that? and then realisitically…does she reallly think her 13-year-old would rather look at a still life of a lactating mammory with a kid’s head in the way rather than shakira’s or beyonce’s…lets be real.

    but that is the great contradiction of america. we’ll take our family out to an eating establishment called hooters but berate a woman providing her child with the single healthiest food choice there is.

    and it continues…my friend sent me an article about the passage of bill that would criminalize anyone who might help a minor cross state lines to avoid parental consent laws.

    i’ll ignore for the moment the arguments for or against abortion and even age restricitions…two other things are sticking me much more sharply.

    one, there is no evidence that this is even a problem. one backer of the bill said,

“If they are advertising, then it obviously at least happens,” said Senator John Ensign, the Nevada Republican who wrote the measure. “If it is happening 20 times a year, it is still worth doing to protect those parental rights and to protect those children from being in these kinds of situations.”

    that’s like passing a law against kissing chickens cuz you heard someone on the radio say that in boston the young folks run aroun kissing chickens and get chicken-itis…what is it based on?

    with all of the problems that are facing the US right now is this really where the focus of our congress needs to be – especially when it is based on nothing more than an attempt to eek away at roe v. wade?

    the final kicker:

Those challenging the measure said they believed that the number of those who went out of state specifically to avoid parental notification laws was low. They said Congress should instead focus on sex education and counseling. A proposal to create new pregnancy prevention grants was defeated on a 51-to-48 vote.

    we’ll fret and micromanage over the ability of a girl to get pregnant but don’t want to educate her so she might avoid that fate altogether…yeah…contradicitions…

Friday July 28, 2006 – 09:53pm (PDT)

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