Opinion Sexism

Breastfeeding: Welcome to the 21st Century, Mr Dyke

August 14, 2015
Breastfeeding

Mothers have enough on their plates without a narrow minded, misogynistic bastard telling them that their breasts are making him feel ‘uncomfortable’.

The last time I checked, I was in 2015. A world of smart phones, smart watches, smart TV, and yet around us, there are still some very un-smart people. Alex Dyke, a BBC Radio DJ, has been suspended after launching an ill-informed attack on innocent mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies in public. (How very dare they! Bloody women.)

The rant went like this: (Taken from the Independent Newspaper)

It is 2015. Ladies, mums, we don’t like breastfeeding in public, honestly we don’t. I experienced this yesterday. I was on a bus and there was a lady on this bus. She was quite a big girl and she had a toddler with her. She starts to breastfeed her baby on the bus. I didn’t know where to look. She’s putting me in an embarrassing situation. Breastfeeding is unnatural. I know its natural but it’s kind of unnatural. We don’t want it in public. It was OK in the Stone Age, when we knew no better. I blame the earth mothers – you know the ones I mean, the ones with the moustaches, the ones who work in libraries, the ones who wear hessian, the ones they’re always on Radio 4 on Women’s Hour [sic], they are always pushing the boundaries and making us feel uncomfortable.

This is genuinely what somebody said in 2015. A man who works for a public service broadcasting corporation, and, dare-I-say-it-without-sounding-too-‘Daily-Mail’, someone who is paid an absolute fortune by TV License payers to provide a well-informed radio show.

And this was only the start. He then went on to ‘defend himself’ by claiming:

My point was, fat chavvy mums with their boobs out on buses isn’t a good look.

I don’t know where to begin.

I can’t for the life of me understand why there is such a big stigma attached to women who choose to breastfeed their children. We know that it has numerous benefits for both mothers and their babies and we should be celebrating the fact that these women are nurturing and looking after their children. I would hope there would be even more of an outrage should mothers refuse to feed their toddlers and let them starve to death.

Alex Dyke: Thousands have signed a petition to get him off the radio

Alex Dyke: Thousands have signed a petition to get him off the radio

Mothers have enough to worry about without some imbecile telling her that she’s making him feel ‘uncomfortable’. If you think there is something awkward and sexual about a mother breastfeeding, there is clearly something wrong with you. This woman is 100% within her rights to feed her child, and the last time I checked, that’s what people are supposed to do – look after their children!

Breastfeeding doesn’t come easily to a lot of women, and we should be helping those who are able to and choose to feed their children. Mothers also have the added pressure from the media and peers about not feeding their babies formula milk. Even SMA, the leading formula brand, advertise ‘breast is best’ – as if women who aren’t able to breastfeed don’t feel enough of a failure.

Mothers don’t really have much of a say in whether they feed their child in public or in private. They can’t tell their screaming, starving baby “hold on a minute my love. If I get my boob out now this man’s going to feel awkward about it.” The most important thing in her mind is that her child needs feeding, no matter what the place or time.

It is not Mr Dyke’s place to make women feel uncomfortable to feed their children in public, regardless of their dress size or social class, and it is remarkable how outdated his opinions are. Breastfeeding isn’t about how you ‘look’. A baby doesn’t care what weight their mother is, how nice her breasts look, whether Mr Dinosaur is going to feel in some way offended by it.

Breastfeeding is about nature and love, the two things that make the world go round.

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