16 August 2013

Modesty and Breast-Feeding

Danger, Will Robinson! This blog discusses female anatomy, dancing, lust, and babies. All at once. It's mildly provocative. If this offends you then you should probably leave now.

Apparently breastfeeding in public-- until the middle of last century pretty much how the entire human race survived-- is now one of the biggest crimes against humanity there is. And one of the reasons most often cited by Christians (mainly women Christians, at that) is that it involves a lack of modesty, causing every male within a thirty yard radius (except possibly, just possibly, any male infant under the age of, say, 72 hours, being breastfed) to lust. I mean full goose bozo, raging hormones, out of control lust.

I have to be honest. I think women need to be modest in breastfeeding. What does that mean? Well, speaking from the perspective of someone who tries to take the Bible as a whole instead of prooftexting, I'd say it means:

  1. Don't whip it out[1] and stick your nipple in my face. Oddly enough, no breast feeding mom has ever done that to me, to anyone I know, or to anyone I have even heard about. Their nipples usually go straight into their babies' mouths.
  2. Don't pop `em both out and then dance around while breastfeeding, gyrating the free boobie like some (deranged) exotic dancer.[2]
  3. Keep the rest of your clothes on; don't strip down and do a bump and grind show while you breastfeed.[3]

If you can pass these three basic tests, I'd say you are well within Biblical grounds for modesty, and frankly I don't see why anyone would get offended. I realize they do, but... SLAPPTM.[4]

And if a guy does lust because a woman is breastfeeding? Definitely SLAPPTM.[4]

My Mom was once asked to leave a theater for nursing me. On the back row. Under cover. I was an infant. I'm pretty sure the theater was not very crowded.

When I was around 20 I was admiring a friend's newborn up close for a good 15 seconds or more before I realized she was nursing him. I backed off so as not to seem creepy but she didn't care at all; she knew I was looking at her son, not her. According to some anti-breastfeeders, that's not even possible. But it happened!

There have been several excellent blogs lately about how silly the anti-breastfeeding arguments are (huge props to the lady who did the one on the evils of spoonfeeding in public!) but the one that prompted me to bare all (so to speak) was this one from The Leaky Boob.

[1] I have never in my life seen a woman whip a breast out. It seems they'd have to be pretty big to do that, that means it would likely be painful. That's probably why it's less prevalent than some people seem to think.
[2] Again, that has never happened to me or anyone I know, etc.
[3] See previous notes.
[4] Sounds Like A Personal Problem To Me


  1. Someone on another blog made the point that using our bodies the way God intended glorifies God and glorifying God is never immodest. Thus, how can nursing (even without a cover) be immodest?

    This discussion usually reminds me of the story in 2 Samuel 6, of Michal chastising King David for dancing in the streets.

    2 Sam. 6:20-23 "When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
    David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death."