baby

Why women will never be able to win.

Who knew, on falling pregnant, that the simple human act of feeding a baby would become a Catch-22 of national proportion?

The Catch-22 being that women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Something that the partner of Brenton Thwaites, and person in her own right, Chloe Pacey would now likely be acutely aware of.

In an Instagram post she shared two days ago, Chloe notes that she has been told twice now, by women no less, to cover up while breastfeeding her four month old baby.

“It’s mid 2016 and I’ve been told twice from WOMEN to put it away and cover up. For who? The men? The children? Who? We should be able to get a boob out anywhere at anytime to feed our babe. We should be applauded because #breastfeeding is the best thing we can do for our babes and it’s freakin hard work,” she writes.

Indeed.

In commenting on the photo, News Ltd masthead RendezView have published a piece asking if it really is so hard to cover up.

Writer, Kylie Lang, appeals to a sense of “modesty” and asks feeding mothers to consider the impact of their actions on other people.

Although it appears to be entirely lost on Lang that in asking us to consider the impact of breastfeeding on complete strangers who should keep their weird opinions about breastfeeding to themselves, she’s asking Chloe Pacey to put the strangers ‘needs’ ahead of the needs of her baby – the one person in this situation who is not yet capable of modesty or feeding herself.

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Surely, it’s the baby’s needs that should come first here, and surely the baby’s needs would outweigh whatever misplaced horror a bystander might feel on seeing a baby breastfeed.

And so, Chloe Pacey is damned because she did, damned by bystanders who just need to move on, damned by internet commenters and damned by and entire media network.

Just like model Tess Holliday, who is also subjected to comments from people who think sharing images of babies breastfeeding have no place on Instagram. One woman wrote on this image that Holliday shared earlier today: “Why do you feel the need to post this on Instagram? I’m all for doing it in public but why on Instagram?”

But here’s the Catch-22.

Women who do not breastfeed their babies are damned because they don’t.

Take model Coco Rocha, for example. Last year she shared a photo of her baby being fed formula. And she too was strung up by commenters and media outlets for doing so.

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What’s a mother to do?

If she can’t breastfeed her baby, and she can’t formula feed her baby, what option does she have?

We’re determined to make life impossible for women, aren’t we?

We want them to be slim, but not too slim.

We want them to be curvy, but not too curvy.

We want them to wear make up, but we applaud women who don’t.

We want women to go to work and earn a living and contribute to the economy, but we think there’s something strange about a woman who chooses to ‘dump’ her kids at child care.

We want women to breastfeed, but we make it impossible for them to do so.

We want women to feel comfortable if they need to give their baby formula, but not before they carefully lay out their reasons and explain themselves.

Definitely dress well, but don’t be vacuous. Fashion is not a worthwhile pursuit. But definitely make sure you’re not wearing something from five years ago.

Recycle your clothes, buy classics that will last decades – but don’t be seen in public in the same dress more than once.

Get married and have babies. It’s what women are designed to do. But please don’t talk about them too much on social media. Don’t you know you’re supposed to be more than just a mother?

You see? Women. We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.

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