Atheist Scruples 2014: women and boobs

A couple different issues trigger this one. First, should women be allowed to go topless like men can? I think the answer should be yes but that doesn’t mean I’ll want to be one of them. I’m pro-choice in many ways.

In Saskatoon last August a woman got charged for going topless on the sandbars by the river.

Danielle Forget was tanning at the sand bar near Spadina Crescent Thursday when she decided to go topless. The move offended at least one other beach comber, and the police showed up at the beach.

“It’s a public place, a kid and a family friendly place. We don’t need that here,” said Jenelyn Ong, who called the police about Forget’s topless tanning.

“My nephew is 13, going into high school. He’s never been exposed to anything like that,” she said.

Oh, you sweet, ignorant woman. Of course he has. And if he hasn’t, he may as well see it now so he’s not surprised later. Women look like that with their tops off, kid.. Use it as a learning experience and be the cool aunt, not the crochety old bag he’ll complain about spending a summer with later on in life.

John Gormley is a local talk radio host I don’t listen to, but I found a facebook page where this news story was getting discussed. Most of the comments leaned toward, “They’re boobs; get over it.” It’s natural. It’s not unseemly. It’s not wrong. It’s natural.

The strange UFO cult called the Raelians recently picketed in Montreal for the right of women to go topless.

There were about two dozen women at the protest, along with several shirtless men showing support by wearing bras.

Onlookers taking cellphone pictures of the topless women outnumbered protesters.

Go Topless Day was founded in 2007 by Rael, the spiritual leader of the Raelians, and Sunday’s event was the second Go Topless rally in Montreal.

Clearly I don’t keep up with topless news on a regular basis. Never heard of this.

Also recently, also Montreal:

A mother claims a lifeguard assaulted her and injured her three-year-old daughter because the daughter was topless at the pool. Yes, you read that correctly. Altercation over a three-year-old who doesn’t have anything resembling boobs yet and won’t for some years.

“I was naive enough to think that lifeguards were there to save lives, not to send children to the hospital,” said Shapiro, who plans to file a police complaint.

A borough spokesman told QMI Agency that it has already filed a complaint against Shapiro.

A spokesman tells QMI the lifeguard asked the woman to cover up her child so as not to attract attention from pedophiles.

Because pedophiles would never want a topless little boy? Any parents with topless boys can breathe easy, I guess… Pedophiles like fully dressed boys and girls, too. Cripes, what a stupid argument.

Offside, but almost relevant: the Little Man has worn his hair many lengths over his nearly six years of life and has on a few occasions been thought to be a girl on account of it. He has a “manly” name, though, which helped sort that out once introduced. Hair and names and clothes.. it all changes with the times. Truly it does. But I’m digressing.

The other issue leading to this post is the apparent cultural shunning of women who choose to breast feed their babies in public. It’s a natural bodily function. It’s eating. Nobody has to put a screen around their own mouths so people won’t see them masticating. Women shouldn’t have to put a screen around their breasts so people won’t see them lactating. Related, I like these boob looking baby caps. Good idea, whoever came up with them.

It’s so damned ludicrous to penalize half of the population because of the shape and purpose of their anatomy. Boob shame is lame! There. Somebody put that on a tee-shirt with a healthy pair of boobs on display, cartoon or photographic. You decide.

This is unfortunate: Black women less likely to get maternity support when it comes to teaching them how to breastfeed their babies. 16% less, apparently.

The researchers also examined the ideal maternity care that birth centers and hospitals provided to mothers and compared this to the number of African-American residents in the area. Maternity wards containing more black residents were 50 percent less likely to discourage mothers from using formula milk as a substitute to breastfeeding. These areas were also seven percent more likely to provide pacifiers to the newborns, which may affect breastfeeding.

Fourteen percent of white women, on the other hand, received proper education and were encouraged to breastfeed. The maternity wards also let newborns stay by their mother’s side after birth to further promote breastfeeding.

The article notes “further study is needed” which can be said for everything ever studied in the known universe, but that’s interesting. I wonder how much of a difference it makes for overall health for the babies later. Mother milk offers immunity to disease for those too young to be vaccinated. I thought it also played into a baby’s ability to decide when it was full rather than leave a mother to rely on guesswork. I’m not sure how to search for that. (Unrelated but entertaining: if Google was a Guy)

I did find an article that challenges the notion that breastfed babies are less likely to be obese later.

Martin said that over the years, his team’s study has found fewer stomach infections and eczema and better thinking and memory skills among kids in the breastfeeding-promotion group.

In this stage of the trial, however, the researchers compared weight and body fat in about 14,000 children who were tracked through age 11 and found no differences tied to breastfeeding. Between 14 and 16 percent of all the kids were overweight and about five percent were obese, the team reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

So, repeat after me: further study is needed…

So, back up to the “Cover Up!” commandment written nowhere legally that I know of — or is it? Canada does have breastfeeding laws that cover the cover-upping.

On the provincial level, only two provinces have laws that protect a woman’s right to breastfeed. British Columbia and Ontario have been pioneering there way in breastfeeding rights. In these provinces, not only is a woman’s right to breastfeed anywhere at any time protected, it is also illegal to ask the mother to be discrete. The Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia states it this way, “Nursing mothers have the right to breastfeed their children in a public area, and it is discriminatory to ask them to cover up or breastfeed somewhere else.”

For other provinces and their rules on how to breastfeed without hassle, check out Infact Canada and contact them if you have any questions or concerns as a resident of this country, or as a tourist coming to see.. I dunno, Banff? What does anyone come to this country to do for a holiday?

That’s a question to answer on another blog post, however. This one’s done.

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