I’m so excited about this Time magazine cover! Bravo to them, [and to the young woman], for having the guts to print it. It definitely got my attention. This young mother is sexy as can be. Not the way we most often think about the nursing mom. Mom is to be appropriately covered and, well, how should I put this, motherly. The child should be an infant; if they are to meet the standard of purity expected, required even, for a woman to get away with nursing her child. And God forbid she nurses said child in public. Like menstruation, menopause, and the bloody details of giving birth, these are all things women keep to themselves. Many times even from each other.
So here we have this vibrant young mother with her toddler son holding her nipple in his mouth. Very provocative indeed. I wonder would the reaction be different if the child was a female?
The Doc that’s behind the thinking being promoted in the article is pushing attachment parenting. He talks about babies and toddlers being plugged into mommy as much as possible in order to be emotionally healthy. I’m not sure how I feel about this as I don’t think we have enough truly connected men to support that process. What I mean is men who come home and [happily, willingly] do housework, laundry, cook and babysit so she can work, play, or whatever she needs to do to remain vital as a being separate from her child. A man who will, as the commercial once said about women: Bring home the bacon, fry if up in the pan, and, in this case, never-never let her forget she’s a woman. Many times a married woman with children ends up being no more important to her man than the couch he falls into at night.
That’s in part why it’s hard to ignore this photograph. This woman is hot. Not an easy one to ignore or put into a clean little mommy box where she becomes completely non-threatening. What do we do with that? Looking at the image made me get a tiny tingle in my groin and I’m a heterosexual mom who nursed her children.
In thinking about the concept of attachment parenting, the picture gets much bigger for me. I think of male children who at a certain age are encouraged, almost threatened, by other males, and some females, into rejecting their connection, attraction, and emotional need for their mother. Which in turn ends up being a deeper rejection of all females for anything other than sex. Which in truth requires that they reject a large part of who they are innately. Females who observe their mothers in these “less than” roles, where many times they become invisible, then end up rejecting mom, and therefore themselves, too.
In thinking about it from that perspective, assuming that the woman is fully supported by a male [or female] partner if she chooses to have one, this movement could be a real opportunity for WOMAN to reclaim her real and innate power as a FEMALE.
I think enough years have passed now to prove that we as women can in fact do almost anything a man can do. Many times better in fact. Deep down though I am wondering how many women still want to? How many are really satisfied by it? I myself am more interested in what a truly empowered FEMALE looks and feels like. It’s pretty obvious that we aren’t there yet as the women in this country are more divided than we’ve ever been. I myself am getting tired of the ’it’s all the man’s fault’ excuse. Come on. Really?
It seems to me that the liberation process for women, [as we have known it thus far], has cut far to many women off from who and what they truly are. I know I’m making a loaded statement here as women like to believe, and tend to back each other up in, we got it all covered. But I don’t see that as true. I see many highly masculinized women. Women who look the part, with or without silicone boobs popping out of their Victoria’s secret bras, like a fruit from a cornucopia, yet, they think, and lack connection to what they feel, very much like men. In fact to be anything other than that, is to risk being thought of as a wishy-washy emotional weakling, who insults her warrior sisters. The women who believe themselves to be the trailblazers of our freedom.
I wonder if this budding new movement might not be the beginning of something new for women, and men. The end of images that do not serve the whole of humanity. Something deeper, richer, than the women and men from The Stepford Wives, Desperate Housewives, and even Sex In The City. Women and men, who have the courage to surrender what doesn’t truly serve them, and the whole. The tenacity to not back down and fall into old roles that no longer work.
- Time’s Breastfeeding Cover is Pure Shock Value, No Substance (alternet.org)
- The Time Cover: An Example of Why I Hate the Mommy Wars (mominthemuddle.com)
- Are You Mom Enough? Really? (thebeverlyhillbabies.com)
- VIDEO: Why I Breast-Feed My Toddler (abcnews.go.com)