Breastfeeding mothers descended upon the Channel Seven studios in Sydney’s CBD this morning to protest the anti-breastfeeding sentiments aired by Sunrise co-host David Koch on Friday’s program. More than 100 mothers staged a “nurse in” to protest comments Koch made in reference to a story about a Queensland mother who was asked to move after she started breastfeeding at a public pool, whereby he said that breastfeeding in public is fine but “you’ve gotta be a bit classy about it”.
When it comes to the often-painful and virtually impossible-to-schedule business of providing a baby with the nutrients it requires to grow, nay, exist, there’s nothing a breastfeeding mother would rather hear than tips on how to go about it in a “classier” manner coming from a male spectator. In Australia, breastfeeding mothers have a legal right to performing the task where and when they are required to do so without harassment, and a high-profile figure like David Koch insinuating that there is something shameful or obscene about this natural and necessary process only encourages an unjust stigma and culture of disapproval toward it.
On today’s episode of Sunrise – despite the protest and backlash – Koch stood by his original position, saying: “I think you should breastfeed anywhere, any time at all. It’s just that I think you’ve got to be aware of your environment and to show respect to others and common courtesy to others and they should show respect to you as well, but depending on the situation, to be discreet and to be modest.”
But why, David? I want to ask him. Surely, the onus for showing respect and discretion is on those people surrounding the breastfeeding mother? Why does this offend you so much?
Then he explained:
“When you’re at a public swimming pool and you pull your top down it does show a lot of flesh. I don’t mind if women sunbake topless, but I think out of respect to others, I hope they wouldn’t do it between the flags in high traffic areas at the beach with families around, or sitting on the edge of a public pool, that they would do it discreetly on the grass.”
With that comment above it all came together. Face palm, by jove, I’ve got it! Kochie is a tit man. Because surely, only in the mind of someone with an unnatural fixation on breasts would a purely-cosmetic breast-exposing activity like topless sunbathing be comparable to the necessity for a baby to be nourished?
I’m all for women’s liberation, but let’s get one thing straight: breastfeeding is not about removing one’s bra and swinging your boobs around for the world to see. It’s not a provocative sexual come-on for chaps who stare too hard. Believe it or not, Mr Koch, mammaries aren’t just for your viewing pleasure, and if breastfeeding makes you a little uncomfortable don’t look.