Why are breasts only acceptable in public when they're sexy?

This is the tale of one city, two sets of breasts, and two very different reactions.

Case One:

A topless barber shop has recently opened in Cairns, in an attempt to delight the city’s male population. The owner of the business, Emma Gelling said, in the Townsville Bulletin, that the store was “designed as a bit of innocent fun for the city’s single men.”

Case two:

A young mother breastfeeding her child in a department store was asked to leave the store as an employee allegedly told her it was against company policy to breastfeed in the store as it was offensive.

Onlookers claimed the breastfeeding mother was wearing a green cloth over her shoulder and thus her breasts were not visible. The woman in question declared on social media that she was and continues to be “pretty upset” by the ordeal.

A mother was asked to leave a department store for breastfeeding her child. (Image: iStock)

From these two wildly contrasting responses to the exact same region of the female anatomy, one can draw various inferences.

Firstly, it seems that breasts are much more acceptable to some members of the public when they’re viewed in a sexual context.

Secondly, Australian women still face considerable discrimination and judgement whilst breastfeeding.

Thirdly, the act of breastfeeding is grossly misunderstood by a number of people.

So, let's go back to the basics.


In Australian Federal Law breastfeeding is a right, not a privilege.

According to The Australian Government Department of Health website, 'Breastfeeding provides babies with the best start in life and is a key contributor to infant health.'

Furthermore, every mother instinctively understands that when your baby is hungry, you MUST feed him or her immediately, irrespective of your location. It requires a stop-drop and roll-up your top urgency! Just so we’re clear, women don't do this for FUN, it's to actually keep their baby alive!

breastfeeding or formula
"every mother instinctively understands that when your baby is hungry, you MUST feed him or her immediately, irrespective of your location." (Image: iStock)

However, despite the overwhelming evidence in support of breastfeeding, some individuals continue to label the act as 'disgusting' & 'offensive.' Whereas the display of a woman who gives a male a number two buzz-cut ‘sans brassiere’ is considered just “innocent-fun”?!

The hypocrisy is simply staggering.

And therein lies the reason feminism exists. In the year 2017 exposing your breasts to cut a bob is a non-event, while breastfeeding a bub in public has banished a mother from a department store, triggering a possible ‘flash-mob’ protest.

If you don’t like the sight of a mother breastfeeding an infant with a shameless tit, chances are you probably are one.

Do you agree with Ilaria? Is it acceptable to breastfeed in public places?
TWITTER @ilariabrophy