Actress Madeleine West is a mother of six who’s had her fair share of breastfeeding experience.
But in a recent blog for Kidspot, the 36-year-old Wrong Girl star shared what was by far her worst breastfeeding experience.
When she was nursing her twins, now-two years-old, at a local park, she was met with a double whammy of inappropriateness – a middle aged woman who gave her a “disgusted” look and worse, the woman’s middle-aged partner, who looked on sleazily.
When the woman turned to her partner “to share her disgust”, she found he had “craftily slipped on his reflective sunglasses to get a closer look at my boobs undetected.”
“I’m not stupid, and neither was she, his intent was pretty clear. He received a sharp elbow to the ribs for his trouble and she stormed off, leaving him to throw me a sheepish smile.”
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For West, who is married to chef Shannon Bennett, the incident was a clear measure of the double-standard that faced women in today’s society: either their breasts are sexual objects, there to please the gaze of men, or they’re inappropriate and should be tucked safely away out of sight.
“It is an absolute disgrace that some idiots feel it is their right to pass judgement on the parenting choices of complete strangers, knowing nothing of their background, their beliefs, their situation, or their struggles,” West writes.
“It never ceases to amaze me that naked breasts are welcome everywhere: billboards, magazine covers, in the paper, on the TV, to sell everything from racing cars to shoe polish, except for when performing the very function for which they were designed.”
We hear you, Madeleine. And it’s about time for things to change.