'Sexy' Breastfeeding Campaign Lands Lawmaker in Hot Water

breastfeeding babyNo matter where you stand in the battle over breastfeeding -- to definitely do it, to definitely not, to guilt mothers who aren't doing it or can't do it -- we can all agree on one thing: Using the word "sexy" to describe the act of feeding your child is nothing short of utterly out to lunch. And yet, that's exactly the wording a Republican state lawmaker named Rep. Shelley Hughes opted for in a press release on behalf of the Alaska state House majority earlier this week.

The release, which celebrated the passage of a bill that urges health centers to practice a breastfeeding program, was originally titled, "Smart and Sexy: Legislature Encourages Hospitals to Promote Breastfeeding."


Yup. Breastfeeding is so SEXY! Hello, Cosmo is absolutely crazy not to put it at the top of their latest list of ways to have hot sex tonight!

Whipping out your engorged breasts to feed a hungry child is basically the KEY to enticing your husband. And don't even get me started on all those different kinds of breast pumps! Those are obviously the latest sex toy craze after all. And having people gawk, stare, point, tsk, or ban you when you're trying to nurse your little one? Well, especially if you're an exhibitionist, it's SUCH a turn-on!

Yeah, I kid. That's really all you can do when faced with such lunacy, right? Thankfully, Rep. Hughes seems to have gotten just how much she screwed up, releasing the following statement:

My intent was to draw attention to this incredibly important issue. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of attention I hoped to receive. I take full responsibility for the headline. I apologize for the poor choice of words, and am sorry if I offended anyone.

Anyone? More like everyone. At least every woman who has ever fought to breastfeed in public but has a problem doing so because people can't get over the idea that breasts = "sexy" = "inappropriate." Agh.

We all know the power of spicy, attention-grabbing language. But when it completely detracts from your cause, it's time to rethink and reword. Let's hope the lesson this legislator learned is a lesson to us all: Describe a smart, savvy, loving, giving mother as sexy? Knock yourself out! But doing or saying anything that (intentionally or unintentionally) sexualizes breastfeeding? Put a sock in it!

What do you think about this legislator's word choice? Are you offended?


Image via Karen Sandoval/Flickr

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