Emergence

Emergence
Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Friday, November 30, 2007

Milky Multitasking: Places I've Breastfed My Baby

1. In front of the soft porn section of Borders (don't you know breasts are FOOD)
2. Walking up the steps, carrying the mail
3. While dancing
4. In the kitchen while extracting Rice Milk from the fridge
5. In class
6. In her crib (desperate times call for desperate measures)
7. On an airplane
8. At the park
9. Over coffee at Starbucks
10. Hiding behind the coffee table at church

Yes, of all the places and circumstances under which I've fed my baby with the food God created just for her, the only place I've felt (and feel) uncomfortable breastfeeding my baby is at church. Hmmm...

7 comments:

Pistol Pete said...

It is terribly sad you don't feel comfortable nursing in church. My wife felt the same way. People are weird when it comes to connecting God and anything to do with female sexuality. A woman friend of mine who is a pastor told me once she was basically shunned when she became pregnant and started showing. How dare she be pregnant in the pulpit!

Shawn said...

You would think we (read: the church) would be over such things at this point. There is probably more inspiration in the natural act of a woman breast-feeding her child and female physiology that there is in most pulpits! Seriously.

It begs the question: why the discomfort? I think if we dig a little deeper we will find its root in personal problems most church men and women have when they hear the word breast! It's very juvenile, to say the least.

I personally envied the bond my wife had as she breast-feed my children. It's so beautiful, and I couldn't experience it save from an awed distance.

Peace,
Shawn

Jemila Kwon said...

It's nice to hear such enlightened thoughts from men.

I'm curious, why do you think the acute discomfort with anything (even indirectly) to do with female sexuality, whereas men are allowed to be sexual and to make jokes about it from the pulpit and generally people think of them as "relatable"?

Is female sexuality threatening to men? If so, why?

Shawn said...

I think men are threatened by almost everything, to be completely honest. :)

In church, I think, there is a reflected superimposition of our society's male dominated hierarchy. Threats to this hierarchy aren't greeted with open arms, obviously. So we men have become very good at passive-aggressive counter moves that spill over into our churches that reflect the social hierarchy norm. Female sexuality is something men can't control; in fact, it often controls men! So, we do the only thing we can do: we make jokes about it to mask the discomfort it creates within us and the threat it poses to our fragile and illusory male-dominated hierarchy.

Well, at least that's what I'm thinking ... :)

Peace,
Shawn A.

Jemila Kwon said...

I appreciate your honesty Shawn :) Wouldn't it just be such a relief not to have the pressure to dominate? To let go of that insecurity and instead collaborate -- sometimes even compete -- but as equals and co-creators/leaders with women?

Patrick George McCullough said...

Just a couple Sundays ago, there was a mother in my pew who was breastfeeding during worship. I admit that I was taken aback initially when I first saw it; I have to be honest. But my indoctrination as the spouse of a WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator has led me towards an at least somewhat enlightened mind on the issue. So, after my initial surprise, I thought it was really cool. And fitting... it was a communion Sunday after all :)

I'm curious about the breastfeeding while dancing. It seems that it'd be difficult for the baby to remain latched on whilst bouncing about.

Jemila Kwon said...

Avriana could probably remain latched during a hurricane :) I'm glad you are fairly enlightened -- If you do some zen, you might be able to take it to the next level ;)