The Breast Defense
Controversy raged this week about the appearance of a big old breast on the cover of a wholesome U.S. magazine. Shocked, irate citizens expressed their outrage at the appearance of the mammoth mammary by writing angry letters and demanding response to the suffering of the populace from the offending editors.
“I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine,” one person wrote. “I immediately turned the magazine face down,” wrote another. “Gross,” said a third.
Oh, heavenly hash, has the bustier of Janet Jackson been malfunctioning in public again? The FCC has no governance over print media. Who do we call? Can we sue?
The cover of the current issue of the monthly periodical Babytalk shows a side shot of a portion of a woman’s breast, with a baby nursing from it. No nipple-age can be detected, and the baby’s round little face takes up the greatest portion of the photograph.
The titillating title? “Why women don’t nurse longer.”
So, who’s complaining?
The overwhelming majority of the readership of Babytalk magazine is comprised of mothers of babies (and this writer is a little concerned about the remaining Babytalk readers).
Many of them are offended, none-the-less, by the appearance of the breast on the magazine cover. In a poll of over 4,000 readers, more than a quarter of the responders removed their babies from their breasts long enough to lodge protest to the cover, which they considered to be in poor taste, and a potential threat to their families.
“I shredded it,” said Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas, in a telephone interview. “A breast is a breast, it’s a sexual thing. (My 13-year-old son) didn’t need to see that.” Ash, who nursed all three of her children, added, “I don’t want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn’t want to see.”
Babytalk editor Susan Kane says that since the August issue came out last week, the magazine has received more than 700 letters, which is more than for any article in years.
Kane says the mixed response to the Babytalk cover clearly echoes the larger debate over breast-feeding in public. “There’s a huge Puritanical streak in Americans,” she says, “and there’s a squeamishness about seeing a body part- even part of a body part.”
“It’s not like women are whipping them out with tassels on them!” she adds. “Mostly, they are trying to be discreet.”
Not discreet enough for some, however.
“Gross,” wrote Lauren, the mother of a 4-month-old, “I am sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob.”
I will try my best to stay abreast of this developing story.
Source: Associated Press