Opinion: Don't Hate On Kim Kardashian Because She Doesn't Want to See Your Boobs
The tweet in question, "EWW Im at lunch,the woman at the table next 2 me is breast feeding her baby with no coverup then puts baby on the table and changes her diaper (sic)," was the shot heard 'round the blogosphere this week, with moms and breast-feeding advocates up in arms over Kardashian's public relations boo-boo.
But you know what? The situation Kardashian tweeted about would have made me uncomfortable, too.
Before you ask for my head, you should know that I have no beef with breast-feeding. You want your kid to have breast milk for the first 12 months of their life? More power to you. You want to breast-feed in a restaurant next to me while I'm eating? Have at it. But do I want to look at your naked breast while you do it? No, no, I do not.
I fully support public breast-feeding, and I'm happy to stand up for your right to do so. What I take issue with is this cult of breast is best, the notion that somehow, those of us who choose not to or are unable to breast-feed for any reason are less than ideal parents.
In some circles, not giving your kid the boob for a solid year is akin to child abuse. How dare you compromise your child's health for some selfish reason! Bad mommy!
Or, heaven forbid, you say you don't want to watch someone else breast-feed in public.
Step back a minute and look at that tweet again. All Kardashian did was express her personal discomfort -- and frankly, watching someone change a diaper on a restaurant table would kill my appetite, too. How about next time I eat lunch with you, I open my mouth while I chew? Or maybe I decide to leave the stall door open when I use the restroom.
I'm not comparing breast-feeding to public urination, but, to some people, breasts are not just feeding mechanisms -- and that is A-OK. That's called having a personal opinion. As for Kardashian's decision to tweet about her uncomfortable moment, it certainly calls her judgment into question, but only because she's a public figure with a business built on her bosoms, er, I mean, her celebrity.
Last time I checked, the First Amendment protected Kardashian's right -- and yours, as well -- to express any and all of her opinions in whatever forum she wishes. That's called freedom of speech, my friends, and it applies to everything, including breast-feeding.
As someone who endured more than her share of snide remarks and raised eyebrows when she fed her kid with -- the horror! -- a bottle and formula, I relate to the hurt feelings of those who feel their parenting choices are called into question by strangers, especially when those strangers are not parents.
But let's cut Kardashian a break. She didn't call for a ban on public breast-feeding, she used a social media platform to say something impulsive. Let's save the vitriol for real hate speech.
Related: Breast-Feeding Could Save Lives and Money, Research Finds
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.