Considering how prevalent images of breasts are in our culture, it's a bit of a mystery why breastfeeding in public is still considered so taboo. To highlight the absurdity of this double standard, YouTuber Joey Salads created a video called "Sexy vs Breastfeeding In Public." The basic idea is exactly what it sounds like: Put a woman in a low-cut shirt out in public, then put a woman breastfeeding out in public, and see how people react to the first woman in comparison with how they react to the second. Sadly, the whole thing goes down roughly how you'd expect.
Breastfeeding is not only natural, it's the whole reason women have breasts in the first place. And yet, breastfeeding continues to be treated as something shameful or secret that should be kept out of sight. While it's true that people are getting better about providing safe, sanitary places for women to breastfeed, it's still unfortunately common for breastfeeding women to be expected to nurse in a bathroom — which isn't the cleanliest environment for a newborn to eat, or the most comfortable for a mother. Breastfeeding in public is much more relaxed and hygienic for both mother and child; and what's more, it's perfectly legal to do so almost everywhere in the United States
Meanwhile, women's breasts are found in sexualized contexts all over the place, especially in advertising. Basically, the message seems to be that women's bodies — and breasts in particular — are only acceptable if they're being presented in a way that straight men find sexually appealing. If it caters to straight men, it's fine. But when it comes to the actual biological purpose of breasts (aka, helping keep the human race alive) then that should be kept hidden away where no one has to see it. And that's messed up.
It's also more or less what happens in Joey Salads' new video (though as Cosmopolitan points out, it's worth noting Salads has been accused in the past of creating staged videos masquerading as social experiments — you can judge this one how you want.)
In the video, we see a woman in a busty shirt have guys check her out.
While a woman breastfeeding is harassed.
The sexily dressed woman has a guy try to hit on her...
...while the new mother has people call her disgusting.
Though the new mom did get at least one supporter — a cheerful expectant mother.
So what happens if you put the two women side by side, instead of sitting separately? Watch the video and find out.
Images: Fotolia; JoeySalads/YouTube (5)