Sunday, June 3, 2012

Military Moms

So I commented on an article I read the other day via facebook and it got quiet a reaction.  With that I've thought more about my own feelings on the topic and have decided I have more to say so here it is.

Keep in mind that I am a Air Force Reservist with 10 month old twins just like one of the mother's pictured.  

My own modesty immediately calls foul here.  I personally do not feel comfortable nursing in front of others when it can be avoided and when it can't I use a nursing cover.  But I really don't have a problem with others nursing as they please.  However I do believe that an extra measure of modesty should be taken when in uniform and these women probably should not have posed in this manner.  

My second thought is how is she holding those babies.  Can you zoom out please because I have a really hard time doing two at once. 

Other than that I have no problem with this picture.  In fact if the mother with the twins had found a way to cover herself a little more I doubt I would have any feeling against this at all.

Many people are comparing this to playboy shots of women in military or forms of defiling the uniform.  To me there is no comparison.  These women are not posing as sexual objects or disrespecting the uniform, they just feeding their babies.

On the Today show some people compared this to firefighter calendars and posters saying if society doesn't mind those they shouldn't mind this and another commented back that it wasn't the same because those firefighters don't wear a badge of a particular organization.  I think they are both wrong.  This isn't the same because it's not about sex.  And if their only issue was a visible logo you don't see one on the women with twins.  All you see is camo.  On the other women you can just make out 'US Air' but you don't see her skin at all.

Some members of the military have commented to me that this is a PR violation because troops can not make a public stand on any social or political issues.  Which is true but what stance are these women taking?  They are just doing their first and most important job, being moms!  They are feeding their babies!  This is not about society or politics it is about nature.  News flash to all men out there: boobs exist to feed babies!  Every female mammal on Earth feed their young this way.

Another comment from a military member was that the uniform deserves more respect because people live and die in it.  True.  I get that.  But these women live and die for their babies.  Their children are huge part of why they feel to serve their country.

Honestly I don't expect men to get it.  To them boobs are a sexual object and so to them this may border being a sexual image.  But as a mother . . . holding an infant in your arms . . . they are your whole world, your reason for existence, you are their to meet their every need nothing else matters, not time or place.

This picture was taken as part of an awareness campaign for a support group at their Air Force Base.  I highly doubt that these women thought saw this as inappropriate or sexual and really don't think they foresaw this whole thing going viral.  Still they shouldn't have posed in full uniform without being more covered.  But if you notice nursing is a legally protected act and the Air Force has not come out against this photo.  They simply stated that they are trying to be more accommodating of nursing mothers.

I've nursed in uniform before.  I've tried to do it out of sight, usually in the womens room but have still had other women (women without children) walk in on me and seem offended by my actions.  Some even refusing to enter a stall and pee while I sat their on the sofa.

Really this picture is PG compared to the stuff they force on you in non-optional breastfeeding classes they force on you at the hospital and through various nutrition programs.  You people want inappropriate try attending a health department breastfeeding class where an over zealous instructor demonstrates hand expressing on herself or experience a lactation specialist that just walks up and grabs you or even better a male lactation specialist your same age.   Women simply feeding their babies is harmless.

If you want to be concerned about things that are happening in uniform why don't you worry about the ramped rape, suicide, adultery, and drinking that goes on in all branches of the military. 

1 comment:

  1. Very well said! And on a side note, there shouldn't be male lactation specialists. Can someone really be a specialist on something they can't even do?