Ours is a patriarchal society, driven and controlled by mostly powerful men. The development of the country may have spearheaded the development of the society as well, but the reality is, women are far from being in control. Women are allowed to exhibit those emotions which deemed permissible by the majority of the society and carry out activities which they think is fit and appropriate in their world.
The hue and cry, or I should say the unnecessary drama behind the Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi’s cover page, wherein a model was seen breastfeeding a baby is the best example in this regard.
‘Motherhood makes a woman complete’. This is something I have been listening to, since ages from my mother, movies and of course, magazines. We share pregnancy tips, mother and child care and sex tips comfortably, but when it comes to the most important part of motherhood, nurturing a child, there is a ruckus, a conflict of views.
I want to ask, what is the problem if a magazine is featuring a model, breastfeeding a baby? Is it not normal? Is is not beautiful?. Or is this just because we are scared to accept that we are more comfortable looking at skimpily-clad models than a mother who is bare because she is feeding. Is it not sheer hypocrisy?
I feel ashamed to watch entertainment channels in front of my parents, whether it is an award show, music channels or even movies nowadays. The reason is simple, the problematic attires of actors and their so-called style statements. If we don’t have a problem with actresses wearing whatever they please on the big screen and garnering praises for it, why should breastfeeding in public raise the alarm and be branded as a shameful act?
This is same as the unfortunate fact of a couple kissing in public raising hundreds of objections, but a visible rape on the streets gets no attention.
If public breastfeeding is an act against our culture or is indecent and shameful, we should have a problem appreciating other cover shoots as well.
The real problem is, breastfeeding in public is a big taboo in India, and when anyone tries to question it, we label them with names inappropriately as per our wish.
This hypocrisy needs to be done away with; if you can not speak up against discrimination and abuse against women, you have no right to speak a word against breastfeeding. It is a beautiful part of motherhood and nothing uncultured.