I have major issues with Western media and the way a story is sensationalized in order to sell-to/persuade the public by marginalizing/stereotyping a particular group of people. That is exactly what Time magazine did to nursing mothers everywhere. I personally have experienced hushed whispers and sideways glances while nursing in public, and that is while I am fully covered. Nursing in public is ridiculously stigmatized even in liberal Seattle. Women have fought hard over the last several decades against genderism and the hyper-sexualization of our bodies, and Time magazine ignorantly forced us to take a step back in that struggle. Ok, maybe I am being slightly dramatic (one of my most favorite ways to be), but I was understandably offended that some of the readers responses consisted of comments such as "that's disgusting" and "that's hot". There is nothing sexy about me feeding my child and it's perverted to think so. And there is nothing disgusting about a woman who chooses to nurse her child until preschool if that's what her and her child want to do. I don't plan to do it, but that's a personal choice my family and I have made together. The point I am trying to make is that we, as a society, need to be more conscious and critical of the information being presented to us through the media, and ensure that public opinion is actually an informed and objective one. Simply put...don't believe everything you hear/see/read.
In true Shauna fashion I chose to respond to the magazine cover in a sort of personal protest by posting an intimate photo of me nursing Bronson on Facebook. I did this in hopes that others could see the dichotomy between what breast feeding is and what it's not. I didn't do this for shock value, but instead to educate by providing a very real perspective.
What I (and hopefully you) learned today is that other peoples lives are not up to me, and it's not up to the media either. Educate yourself, be critical and keep your eyes open.