'Million Boob March' Could Change Breastfeeding Forever

baby breastfeedingI'm a little disenchanted with nurse-ins. I have to be honest here. I just fear that they aren't serving their purpose -- to gain acceptance of public breastfeeding by the general public. They end up becoming a great gathering of women who bond but the passersby who aren't accepting of it continue to look with disgust. (Silly people, don't they know breasts are for babies?) Still, I feel like the 'Million Boob March,' aka The Great Nurse-In currently being planned for August in Washington, DC, could make a change. A big change. But only if First Lady Michelle Obama and/or the President gets involved. Someone. Anyone in Washington with some power.

If there are 500,000 women breastfeeding their children on the West Lawn at the Capitol, perhaps they will take notice. How could they not? Which is why we all should get involved.


Breastfeeding mom Rachel Papantonakis is coordinating this effort after hearing story after story of nursing moms being told to stop feeding their babies in public. She, like so many of us, felt something needs to be done and she hopes to get 500,000 nursing moms to come to the event -- that's one million boobs. And yes, she even wanted to call it the Million Boob March but there already is a Two Million Boob March, which is women who demonstrate topless to get equal rights. Something I think many women will agree we still don't fully have in this country. Men get paid more than women. That's just one example.

So this Two Million Boob March for equality has a different message than a One Million Boob March to help normalize the sight of a mother breastfeeding in public. Right? Well, maybe not exactly. Breastfeeding in public is a right, a right all women should have. A right all babies should have. Babies need to eat. But breastfeeding = boobs = indecency because boobs only mean sexy things ... to some. This is just the sad truth. There is even a comment on Huffington Post's article on the event that says "who is going to stage a jack-off near this nurse-in" with a response "I'm in!! After, all it's natural!!"

This is precisely the problem. People don't get it. Nurse-ins are laughed at. Boobs are involved and it's all snickers and giggles.

We need to take ownership of our breasts, and their different functions. We need Michelle Obama to back us up, we need her to talk about women's rights and a baby's right to nurse. I really hope she gets involved. I really want the event get to more than 500,000 people -- men, women, and children -- who all support a child's right to eat, who all hope to normalize breastfeeding in public so moms don't feel shunned and children aren't made to feel like they are doing something wrong before they are even old enough to realize the discrimination against them. Perhaps if we focus on making this a children's rights issue in addition to a woman's, things will change. But they have to change together. And hopefully with the Obamas' support.

There is a Facebook page set up with more info on the Great Nurse-In, taking place on August 4 during World Breastfeeding Week. Let's make this huge! Let's make a change.

Do you support the Great Nurse-In?


Image via Christine Rogers/Flickr

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