Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another take on Kasey Kahne and the BF debate

Just in case you missed it, Nascar driver Kasey Kahne made a bit of a booby of himself in public yesterday when he tweeted a comment about a woman he'd seen breastfeeding in public, making it clear he found it disgusting. His supporters joined in, lambasting breastfeeding mothers, but one brave woman (@KnittingRad) stood up in their defense - and Kasey and his supporters turned on her. Mr Famous Nascar Driver even went o far as to call ehr a "dumb bitch" (exposing further ignorance with incorrect grammar too!)

Since then, there's been no apology in sight from Mr Kahne for his comments, but he did try to remove them. Too late. The whole thing went viral, and thanks to the lovely ladies at Smart Bitches, women around the world came out on twitter to support @KnittingRad.

Having followed the storm on Twitter for several hours I went to bed thinking about this and just knew I had to write this post and add my two cents. I don't normally discuss contentious issues on this blog, but I feel strongly enough about this one to get vocal.

While I am definitely in the "Breast is best" camp, I am always Pro Choice. So if a woman tells me she's chosen to bottle feed because breast feeding is uncomfortable, or because it better suits her lifestyle, I'll defend her right to make that choice.

By the same token, if a mother chooses to do what she feels is best for her child and opts to breast feed, then she shouldn't be placed under house arrest. She has every right to do the grocery shopping, to visit friends, and to appear in public. When the baby is hungry, tired and screaming, she has the right to feed him in the way she has chosen. Should she be forced to use a bottle to avoid offending an ignorant minority such as Mr Kahne and his followers? Does anyone have the right to deny both her and her baby their freedom of choice? Only in nations where women live in oppression.

Perhaps Mr Kahne would have preferred a stressed out mom who hasn't had a decent's night's sleep in months, and a screaming baby. I'm pretty sure that most of the other shoppers around them preferred a mom unobtrusively feeding her baby. Even if it is in public. And thank heavens, people like that are in the majority in our free, civilised western culture.

Motherhood is natural. Birth and breastfeeding are natural. If Kasey Kahne takes offense at that, then that says more about him than about anyone else.

And if he had real balls and brains, he wouldn't be driving in Nascar. He'd be driving in F1.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. Breastfeeding or bottlefeeding, motherhood is beautiful and mothers deserve our support, not our judgment. Kasey Kahne's comments were infuriating, but I was encouraged by the international show of support for the breastfeeding mother and @KnittingRad. I hope that by the time my daughter is my age, conversations such as this one will be quaint.