Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Breastfeeding Joke And Slightly Related Comments

This is the joke:

I think it is funny, anyway.

More seriously, and because I read some theoretical literature in the last few days, the treatment of breastfeeding in the media is fascinating.  There is a push for more breastfeeding and there is also increased acceptance of public breastfeeding.  But the need for both of those is because of how female breasts have been coded in the recent past (and still are):  As sexual titillants.  If there isn't such a word (titillant) it should exist.

But I also think that the same person could be for breastfeeding and against public breastfeeding, if that person believes in the women-in-the-private-sphere-only argument.  Being able to take your baby out with you without considering the feeding rhythm gives women more freedom.

Which links, a bit wobblily (another word that doesn't exist?), to my observation comparing Finland and the US.  At least where I live in the US the presence of children is a bit ghost-like.  The streets are sorta empty of them and glimpses of families are nowhere as common as in Finland.  And the number of young dads as the only adults with their children out doing things is much, much higher there than here.

I have some ideas about what drives these differences, and it isn't different birth rates.  Americans are much more afraid of what might happen to unsupervised children playing with other children outside, and Finns have paternity leave which serves to increase the bonding between fathers and children.  I also think the societal values are somewhat different in the two countries.