Baring the Female Breasts: Beyond Objectification

There is so much more to a woman’s relationship to her breasts than meets the naked eye. In this post, I am thrilled to have two of my favorite bloggers, KS of Kosher Adobo and Jennifer Berney of Goodnight Already, joining me as we pay homage to this most famous of feminine body parts.

Two Tahitian Women by Paul Gauguin http://tinyurl.com/ocvkvkc (Wikimedia Commons)

CHERRY

I am a junior in boarding school. Behind me is a “Save Sex” poster and a perfume ad: “Femme Fatale: When the female of the species is more dangerous than the male.” It’s the night before the first day of school. I am tugging on the neck of my shirt, admiring my bra strap. Every bra I owned just a year before was white or beige, looking more like bandages for my then AA breasts. But this 36B brassiere, red and lined with lace, which I bought with my mom, was bold, and I want to show it off. In a girls’ dorm after lights out was the safest place to share my joy. Check out my new bra, I say, lifting my shirt for N., who took me to Victoria’s Secret for the first time.  N. owns silky negligees and has more experience than I, but she delights with me, anyway. Having grown up with sisters, these female friendships are as natural as breathing. Beautiful, she says.

I loved the curves of my changing body.  It was expanding, taking up room, and it was exciting. I wanted to make out with the world – but I didn’t want anyone to put his hand up my flannel shirt. (Or maybe I did but I hadn’t fallen in love, yet, much less kissed a boy.)

Though I couldn’t express it, then, that first red brassiere became one of my earliest lessons in femininity and self-acceptance. When I think about who I was at sixteen, I imagine a woman, who would be ready for love and men someday, but, until then, she could keep whatever it was – her breasts, her secrets – her own. She would find beauty in her own reflection and in other women’s eyes.

KS is a textbook TCK who was born in the Philippines, raised in Saudi Arabia, and has lived in New England, USA, for the last twenty years. She writes about her intercultural marriage, diversity, and reproductive health on her blog Kosher Adobo.

 

THE USEFUL BREAST  

Once, at a crowded farmers market, an acquaintance of mine broke from our conversation to pull one of her breasts out of the top of her sundress and nurse her infant daughter. Though I tried not to react, I could not hide my alarm. I approved of public breastfeeding, but did she have to make it a spectacle?

As I prepared to welcome a baby, my own approach to public breastfeeding was to conceal as much as possible. I ordered nursing tank tops, nursing shirts, and a hand-made nursing cover—a small curtain that ties around a mother’s neck, designed to hide both her breasts and her baby. Why wouldn’t everyone use these? I wondered.

My son arrived, and our early days together included meandering walks where he would nap against me and wake up, hungry, the moment I settled down at a café. As it turned out, the nursing cover wasn’t so helpful; I actually needed to see my nipple to align it with my newborn’s mouth. And once he had latched I did not want to cover him with fabric. I wanted to see his eyes and his soft whorl of hair. The café was a friendly place, but still, I overheard strangers refer to me as “that woman over there who is breastfeeding.” It didn’t matter that my breast was hidden by my shirt—I was still a spectacle.

I wish that we could learn to recognize the utility of a breast in the same way we recognize the utility of a hand.  Bared in the bedroom, or half hidden beneath lace, of course breasts hold erotic allure. But just as I must sometimes remove my gloves to find my keys or write a check, I must sometimes lift my shirt and unhook my bra to perform the serious task of feeding my child.

Jennifer Berney lives in Olympia, Washington with her partner and two sons. She blogs at Goodnight Already

 

LOVING MY BREASTS

If my breasts could talk, they would tell me that they like it when I show a little cleavage. Give us a bit of sunlight, let that heat tickle our skin! I’m tenderer with my breasts than I used to be—unwilling to use them to be objectified; more eager to self-savor the sight of them, ripened and full as they peek over t-shirts or hang naked before the mirror. And underwire… my breasts love underwire!

At my last medical appointment, the doctor asked if I knew whether the breast cancer gene runs in the family—we do have a history. No, I replied. Well, maybe you should find out, she said.

My first thought was Angelina Jolie and her mastectomy, reconstruction—two procedures that, even with insurance, I cannot afford. But would I want to if I knew the odds were stacked against me? To lose my breasts, whether by choice or because I must, would be devastating. I’ll take my chances, I tell the doctor. Then again, maybe if I had children, like Angelina, I too would choose differently.

My breasts aren’t that sensitive when it comes to physical sensation—at least not like what you read in romance novels where a suck, a flick, a lick can elicit moans of ecstasy. When I was younger I would pretend all that, worried about what it might say about me if I didn’t make some noise.

These days, my breasts will settle for nothing less than real pleasure even if it means sometimes feeling nothing. Because my breasts, like the rest of me, are no longer afraid to demand tenderness… a little roughness…whatever they need. My breasts know that their worth doesn’t depend on looking good or putting on a show.

My breasts, with their ability to feed a life, are their own kind of superpower.

Diahann Reyes is a freelance writer and performer. She lives in Los Angeles and blogs at Stories from the Belly: A Blog About the Female Body and Its Appetites.

 


287 Comments on “Baring the Female Breasts: Beyond Objectification”

  1. shoe1000 says:

    Beautiful piece. I am enamored with the female breast and unabashedly say so. As a man, I believe that the female breast is the most wondrous part of the sensual/sexual dance between partners. Unlike BroadBlogs, I believe there is a natural power in the breast and believe that there is an unconscious energy that we have for the breast that is wonderful!!

    • diahannreyes says:

      Shoe, . I am definitely intrigued by what you describe as that unconscious energy for the breast. It’s important to note that there is a difference between reverence for the breast and objectifying it and I think you do a beautiful job of expressing the first.

      • shoe1000 says:

        Diahann
        It is hard to put together a response in such a limited space, but I will try. I believe that our collective unconscious has life and the perpetuation of life as it’s underlying purpose. Assuming that, then what more pure symbol can there be for life than the woman’s breast. We survived down through time because of life being sustained from the milk from the woman’s breast. That to me is where the energy for the breast for me comes from.

        I have this energy that I cant explain and it manifests for me in adoration of and wanting to touch, to connect in a deep way, almost sacred way, with a woman’s breasts. The details are not appropriate for here, but it is true that I do have a reverence for the female breast and it is not a thought out process. it is my nature. It is like the love of a redwood tree, a river, flowers. These natures of ours are instilled in us and are not thought out processes.

        To love is to be in life. There is no more beautiful symbol of life than a woman’s breasts.

        Broadblogs, I think you and I agree more than we disagree. I see the world less and less living like life is a sacred event, and I dont mean that in a religious sense, and it becoming more of a profane event. I also dont mean profane any more in a linguistic sense than I see sacred in a religious sense.

        Again a thought provoking writing which shines light on something that is as beautiful as anything else in life.

        Warmly
        Jim

        • shoe1000 says:

          Dihann,
          Depth psychology, or many in it, sees life as either sacred or profane. Those are simplistic terms but yet encompassing a lot of ways of life in them. The way men objectify women is a profane way of looking at life, at women. Looking at women as the birthplace of life, to me, is a sacred way of looking at women, at their role or place in life. The woman’s breasts is the clearest example of their role in “life,” and to me is a sacred example of the beauty of life.
          Thanks again.
          Jim

          • diahannreyes says:

            Hi Jim, thanks for explaining what you mean. I think I get what you are saying- about that pulsating life force… and also, I can’t remember the reference but someone told me that profane is also another word for the sacred. And thank you, I especially loved the fresh and personal insights KS and Jennifer brought by beautifully sharing their own experiences.

        • BroadBlogs says:

          Jim, re: “I see the world less and less living like life is a sacred event, and I dont mean that in a religious sense, and it becoming more of a profane event. I also dont mean profane any more in a linguistic sense than I see sacred in a religious sense.”

          I’m not entirely sure what you mean but I will say that humans can create sacred meanings and live in the world as sacred space, even as a social construction. American Indians are well known for doing this. Anyone devoted to a faith does this, like the tea ceremony. I do it all the time. In these cases people are working together to create sacred space.

          The beauty of the social construction of reality is that we are all given the freedom and power to create meaning, Including sacred meaning.

          (And since tribal societies don’t fetishize the breast, and since societies that have made the breast sacred — at least in their images — may have been tribal, it doesn’t follow that sacred and fetish are the same thing. In fact, sacred and fetish/objectification are certainly not the same thing.)

  2. Tony Single says:

    I’m going to confess right here that I think breasts (and indeed the entire female form) rank right up there at the top of the list of nature’s miracles. Loved, objectified, despised… there are so many different reactions whenever these delightful mounds of fatty tissue make an appearance. But when all is said and done, I get why there are women who prefer to admire (and enjoy) other women. Men simply cannot compete. Our bodies are utilitarian in comparison, and sure, women’s bodies have their practical aspects too, but rip out my eyeballs and glue them to a silly little pinwheel if you’re not also freakin’ works of art! (I could almost believe in a god because of this alone.)

    I wonder if that’s partially why, historically speaking, men have treated women so criminally. Are we intimidated by women on some fundamental level? Perhaps so. After all, women can create life, they can nurture it, and they can freely share of themselves in ways that are not only sensual and emotional, but downright sublime. Women bring a kind of joy into the world that men simply can’t. Men seem brutish and… well, distinctly prosaic in comparison. But is that an excuse for our behaviour? No. We do need to stop seeing women as a threat, as things to be owned and subdued. Perhaps men could learn to be grateful whenever they’re included in those intimate (and sometimes even sensual) moments that women decide to share (of their own free will). Men should learn how to receive, not take, and when there is no receiving to be had to still not take. Hopefully then women everywhere will learn that their bodies aren’t property, a crime against nature and society, and come to love themselves as much as men ought to learn to love themselves.

    I think breasts may be the key to solving all of humanity’s problems. (Wow, I should look into that!) 😛

    • diahannreyes says:

      Tony, I love your honesty here and reverence for the feminine form and women, not to mention your unpacking of why there are men that may feel compelled to commit violence against the feminine.

      “Perhaps men could learn to be grateful whenever they’re included in those intimate (and sometimes even sensual) moments that women decide to share (of their own free will).” – In my experience, this can open up whole worlds between a man and a woman.

      Often, we read about the opposite type of male perspective than what you articulate here so thank you for giving voice to this, which is needed to be heard/read by both men and women.

    • curiosetta says:

      > I wonder if that’s partially why, historically speaking, men have treated women so criminally.

      Eh?

      Providing resources and protection, doing all the manual labour, paying them money even after divorce, being legally responsible for their crimes, accepting punishment when they are abusive in the home, allowing them to wear finer fabrics and more frivolous clothes even when you are poor while you wear scratchy utilitarian clothes and going off to fight wars so they don’t have to is ‘treating women criminally’?

      • katherinejlegry says:

        the invisible war

        The comment made about “maybe that’s why men treat women so criminally” is wrong headed and victim blaming, but he was unintentionally doing that. You however took it too far. Men do not protect women Curiosetta. And here you are TROLLING again on another site. I keep finding you in spaces where you want to abuse women and people of color. You have serious issues. I love this blog author, and you have ZERO reasons for being ugly in her space.

        • diahannreyes says:

          Katherine! You are back!! I wondered where you and your blog went. I tried clicking over to your site but haven’t been able to find you. I hope you are still writing even if offline.

          So good to hear from you. I really appreciate your words above…Thanks for having my back. I hadn’t quite figured out how to respond to the comment, esp. as it seemed to have to connection at all to what the blog post is about. I wasn’t quite sure what it was doing here.

          • katherinejlegry says:

            Hi Diahann, This was such a courageous post by all contributors and it deserves respect. I am use to this person, unfortunately, harassing women on the sites or about topics I tend to care most about, so they are currently use to me outing them as a troll. There’s no talking reasonably to them as Curiosetta has an agenda of degradation. I’m sorry they feel the need to undermine women’s sense of beauty and naturalness and expression.

            Anyhow, 🙂 I am not doing the skinny neck blog any longer. But I will be checking in as a reader of your blog when I can. My work schedule became all consuming but it’s totally creative and I’m happier doing it than I was blogging. Thank you for your encouragement of my continued writing. I am a “contributor” of sorts on a different blog, but it’s easier on my nerves being behind the scenes or helping brainstorm… I lent a lot of my older links and info material to it but I don’t ever know what will get used until it happens. I think this will send you to the right place if you’re interested… tabbyrenelle.wordpress.com
            You’ll recognize my influence in some of it probably, but it’s a very different space.

            So, on that note, please keep on writing from your heart and soul, Diahann. You are a phenomenal woman. Happy International Woman’s Day!

            • diahannreyes says:

              Happy (at this point, belated) International Woman’s Day to you, too. I will check out the blog. I can definitely understand the time that maintaining a blog takes up. I am astounded at people who post daily or even weekly. And I’m glad you are doing well. I was bummed when I realized I had no way of getting in touch with you to check in but yay, here you are :). Thanks for your (as always) generous support.

              • Tony Single says:

                Curiosetta, I would like to make it very clear that I’m not victim blaming. I don’t think my above response even hinted at that.

                Never have I believed that women deserve the vile treatment they’ve received (now or historically), nor was I attempting to justify it. I was merely speaking to the irrational, almost pathological fear that some men do have towards the feminine. This is not saying that women deserved it. This is saying that those men are deeply, gravely wrong headed.

  3. amommasview says:

    Great post 🙂 Just had a ‘conversation’ with another mom about how our breasts changed over the time we had children and the breastfeeding. And how much we appreciate it (although we would like to have the original shape back)…

  4. BroadBlogs says:

    Those are three beautifully written pieces. There’s such a variety of experience when it comes to breasts. A mix of cultural understandings and individual experiences yields a variety of ways of seeing.

    And Shoe, social constructions do feel biological and real and powerful. The only way you can tell that they are cultural constructions is because the experience varies so much from one culture to another – like western cultures versus tribal cultures. When we are inside of them they feel universal.

  5. […] between breasts and femininity on her blog Stories From the Belly. You can read our stories here […]

  6. menomama3 says:

    Bravo for the honesty and beauty in these three odes to the breast. Diahann, I think you should get some kind of award for the bravery of this line: “…worried about what it might say about me if I didn’t make some noise.”

    • diahannreyes says:

      Thank you! I was thrilled that KS and Jenn agreed to let me publish them on my blog because of the honesty and beauty, as you said, of the stories they tell. LOL- that line that you hit on…I went back and forth between cutting it out and leaving it in. But then if I figured that saying it scared me so much, it must have merit beyond just me.

  7. vnp1210 says:

    Wonderful! And I really love the two men’s perspectives provided here.

  8. AdiC says:

    Bold and beautiful! Period.

  9. singhruby says:

    This profoundly reminds me of the movie Notting Hill where Julia Robert says ” What is it about breasts, these are just lump of mass”. I agree to her to bits.
    An amazing post, I must say.

  10. ledrakenoir says:

    “Some people think having large breasts makes a woman stupid – actually, it’s quite the opposite: a woman having large breasts makes men stupid” (Rita Rudner – american comedian)

    Agree with those who refers to women’s tits as miracles as human architectural wonders – in my eyes is the most amazing addition to the real function – that they are so very different from woman to woman – honestly, size doesn’t matter in my eyes – individual masterpieces – no doubt a human architectural and functionally wonder – but I believe that we shouldn’t overlook that femininity is more than merely breasts much more – know several female friends who have been surgically removed one or both breasts – they are in my eyes not less a woman for that reason – sometimes they believe it themselves, so we have to “kick” their rear ends… :D.

    Outside the subject and so not entirely – one of my my old-time female friends – she said yesterday with a big smile taht women was amazing built while men was a kind of “Pin the Donkey” figure – in a way I have to agree, but it’s matters where you placed the tail… 😀

    As always an interesting post, Diahann… 🙂

    • diahannreyes says:

      Yes, Drake, thank you, definitely important to note that femininity is not restricted to one body part and that size/shape/removal of them does not take that away– and, at the same time, for a woman, it can feel that way and the emotional/psychological ramifications that may arise are real for her and valid. It’s great that you are supporting these women in your life.

  11. SirenaTales says:

    Dear Diahann, KS, and Jennifer, Your thoughtful, articulate and courageous pieces remind me of these wise words of Brené Brown that a friend just sent me: “I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” Rock on. xxo

    • diahannreyes says:

      Thank you, Chloe. It was a total joy to get to publish both Jennifer and KS’s honest, brave, and gorgeous stories here and love the BB reference, and of course, the acknowledgement by you. xo

  12. markrenney1 says:

    I am always enlightened after reading your posts and this one in particular chimes with me at this time. But then I suspect that most of us know someone who has had to deal with breast cancer. Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Alice says:

    What a wonderful structure for this post, with the three voices and perspectives! (And a great intro to other bloggers, whose sites I’m adding to my “need to visit!” list…) The story that resonated with me most was KS’s — it may have taken me many more years to get there, but I too finally realized what sartorial pleasure I got from wearing pretty bras, just for myself alone.

    Your comment about all the breast-moaning in romances made me laugh! You are surely not alone in thinking you may have been issued a somewhat substandard pair, given the discrepancy between the sensitivity you experienced and the almost-orgasmic level joy our media tells us is normal. I remember feeling like I needed to excuse something about my own, back in the day. (And to return to our earlier conversation re. FSoG: the hero brings the heroine — still virginal to the degree that she’s never even masturbated — to her first-ever moment of climax just through manipulating her nipples. Talk about some fantastical breasts!!)

    • diahannreyes says:

      Hi Alice, I was very grateful when KS and Jennifer said yes to writing about their relationship to their breasts. They are talented writers for sure with a lot to say.

      LOL- wow, lucky FSOG heroine if her breasts are that attuned… I wonder how many young girls will think that is the bar to live up to.

      • Alice says:

        Dunno about young girls? — but certainly interesting that the FSoG readership (women mostly in their 30s and 40s) are still hanging onto this fantasy as a hot-n-bothering ideal!

        • diahannreyes says:

          LOL… good point on both counts. ..just goes to show how much I know about the book. And yes- I think the readership demographic definitely alludes to that collective longing we talked about when conversing on your blog.

  14. […] WordPress blogs, Stories from the Belly. Even better was the topic I was invited to write about: breasts! I had fun writing the following sentence which opens my […]

  15. Jenn Berney says:

    Diahann, I love the image you chose for this post, and how well it seems to illustrate the sisterhood and sensuality that you and KS describe so well. And I too loved that line about making some noise that another commenter mentioned. I love knowing that you thought about cutting it. 😉

    • diahannreyes says:

      Thank you, Jenn.

      I also saw your story in the image- that the baring of the breast by a mother to feed her child is a necessity and ideally should start to be recognized as par for the course in our society, just like in the culture captured in this painting by Gauguin. The image of you wanting to see your son and vice versa during feeding strikes me every time.

  16. livelytwist says:

    There is so much more to a woman’s relationship to her breasts than meets the naked eye. Well said Diahann, and the 3 writers capture perspectives that I can relate with. I admire their bravery and honesty. They have made me think of my journey from being embarrassed at having mounds when my classmates where flat to becoming proud. Thanks for sharing!

    • diahannreyes says:

      Thank you, Timi… it really is quite profound how each woman’s relationship to her body is so unique and layered yet simultaneously universal. Thank you also for sharing a little of your own experience here.

  17. Diane Lansing says:

    I loved the three perspectives and the raw power that we women have when we are truly honest.

  18. Appreciate this tapestry of the human form, D. I enjoyed every thread you wove (esp as one who nursed over three years) curiously won over by the first, esp. So many ways we can regard this part of our self, ways that men usually don’t.

    • diahannreyes says:

      Thank you, Diana. I too appreciated getting to weave with KS and Jenn in their storytelling. And I so agree- that female experience that is all her own- separate from the male experience or gaze but that seldom gets portrayed.

  19. reocochran says:

    These illustrate such beauty and strength in appreciating bodies. I wrote a post about the Catholic church having ‘banned’ and also, destroyed some art pieces which had Mother Mary breastfeeding Jesus, along with other breastfeeding sculptures. Not sure where you would find it, possibly I did the ‘right thing’ and used the ‘tag’ of breastfeeding. I love the native Tahitian by Gauguin and the essays in support of breasts, Diahann!

    • diahannreyes says:

      Thank you, Robin. It was really lovely to see how our three stories ended up weaving together so well even with the unique perspectives. Is the post you mentioned on your blog? I’d love to read it.

  20. Cecilia says:

    Hi Diahann, that was an unusual reading, very honest, I appreciate your openness. Thanks for sharing.

  21. PoshPedlar says:

    Ladies do not take those boobs for granted.
    I now have noobs – (new boobs) following surgery for BC.
    And although it is wonderful what can be done reconstruction-wise, the noobs are not my boobs, and never will be.
    Check yourselves out. And if you don’t know how. Find out how. Do not delay. Make an appointment. Now.
    Once those funbags have gone. They’re gone. Take care.

    • diahannreyes says:

      I have never heard of that term before- Noobs. Thanks for that important reminder! It can be easy to take those monthly checks at home for granted when they can save a life.

  22. Reblogged this on Red Dust Warrior and commented:
    So many of our “health” issues actually have their root cause in an emotional off-balance. These 3 stories highlight our changes in almost perfect alignment with maiden, mother and crone. I remember my maiden years (albeit brief, as I was always adventurous) … I loved beautiful undergarments. They always had to be silky and lacy, matching and race! As I entered my mother years the women surrounding me were so anti breastfeeding that I gave up. They could not grasp multiple concepts of the breast. It was purely a sexual object not to be shown in public. Thank goodness my daughter is more supported and able to feed in public. Although she does buy in to the “discrete” school which sees her having to go somewher uncomfortable to make sure narrow minded people are comfortable. And now I am entering the crone years. Scary thought. Not yet 50. My breasts still love a nice bra. And I confess to adding a bit of padding now and then. A recent weight loss of many kilos saw them shrink. But deep down I love them. I always have. Big, small, full of milk, showing cleavage … After all they are a part of me.

    • diahannreyes says:

      I was really moved by your own breast stories that you shared. And for naming the trinity. I definitely had seen the maiden and mother archetypes represented in the essays of KS and Jenn but hadn’t recognized the crone in my own, so thank you for naming that. (I had the opposite experience several years ago of a weight gain and watching them balloon.. that was definitely interesting!)

  23. Jean says:

    I’m sure by now, you’re flooded with readers. Congrats, D.

  24. ai6pg says:

    Beautiful. I’ve documented our Human Right Self Defense. God bless and keep you. https://holmesiv.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/administrative-details-for-the-human-right-of-self-defense/

  25. Great article. In an oversexualized society, people often puts forth their perseve mentalities and misconceptions towards the human body. Even though my curves and breasts give me confidence and feminity and allow me to feel great sentations, their original purposes had nothing erotic to it. My breasts made me aware of my sexuality and will feed a new generation. Also, I really enjoyed the structure of your article, composed of multiple personal experiences. I can strongly relate to all of your opinions. Once again, amazing job. I loved your article!

    • diahannreyes says:

      Thank you! It was really joyful collaborating with KS and Jenn and definitely could see myself in their stories, as well as my own, of course. And yes, in society the female breast is looked at often but not fully seen.

  26. dre says:

    Reblogged this on trinicoloz and commented:
    International Women Day Blessings

  27. Good read. Especially today, we’re celebrating Women’s Day. Congratulations being on Freshly Pressed (again) Diahan!

  28. ArasBacho says:

    So nice !

  29. Harradox LLC says:

    Breasts define feminism, without them there are not women. In objectifying the breast, you give reason to the very existence of womanhood.

    • No I cannot objectify women like that because what happens to a woman who has breast cancer and loses one or both? Is she not a woman? Do A-Cups mean she is less of a woman? If you are a guy and someone defines you by your size or your testicles, do you not see what that is?

      • Hello Foghorn, i completely agree with you. You’re right on point

      • curiosetta says:

        The concept of ‘woman’ is very much defined by the female body in form and function, and naturally losing any part of that form or function makes you less of a woman in a literal sense. The same is obviously true for men too when they lose specific aspects of male form or function.

        This is why losing a breast due to disease is so traumatic. Not only is it a major procedure AND the loss of function specific to women – it is also a very obvious loss of female form because the breasts are more visible than, say, the ovaries or even the uterus. You can loose your ovaries and uterus and be on HRT and still wear a bikini or summer dress and nobody SEES you any differently. So that is at least one less stress to deal with – ie not having to deal with people noticing your loss all day long and therefore accidentally reminding you of it (unintentionally of course).

        The fact that you want women who suffer such losses to be treated as full status women in day to day interactions (rather than shunned for being less than complete or less than perfect in form and function) is only natural, and entirely appropriate. But that is not the same as wanting everyone to pretend they have not suffered a loss, and are somehow exactly the same as perfectly healthy and intact women.

        By demanding we all must pretend they are the same as everyone else and just as much a woman as they were before, you are in fact stigmatising the loss of female (or male) form and function and turning it into something to be ashamed of, which must never be mentioned…. a taboo.

        IMHO it’s more healthy to admit YES I am less of a man/ woman than I was before (in a literal / medical / biological sense) and ‘own’ that tragic part of your life history and move on. Life is short!

        We all grow old and die. Some of us lose parts of our bodies along the way. We all lose everything in the end.

  30. I really liked the flow of your post!
    I understand the different roles a woman’s organs play especially breasts and you penned it down really well
    Nice to meet you!:)

  31. mainlyrebloggs says:

    Reblogged this on mainlyrebloggs and commented:
    As a supporter of women and breastfeeding this is a wonderful piece.

  32. johnberk says:

    I had a similar experience with public breastfeeding as you, when I was in one restaurant recently. I have to admit that it made me feel strange. More when I realized how natural this moment actually was. It is the concept of public nudity that scared me. But why? Aren’t we, in the end, made of meat and bones altogether? The answer is culture and religion that changed us in this way. And there is almost no way how to fight it consistently without posing oneself against both culture and religion, probably in the form of Orthodox feminism.

    • diahannreyes says:

      Hi John, thanks for your honesty in sharing what your experience was. It is interesting that nudity- our natural state- does trigger folk. At the same time, I can understand the need for clothes in general… definitely a layered issue.

  33. Jana Brock says:

    An awesome blend of voices in this article – well done. I especially loved Jennifer’s comments on public breastfeeding and the balance she brings.

    I breastfed in public 20-plus years ago – both my kids. There were never negative comments toward me that I knew of. In those moments, I was giving life and nourishment to those very significant beings. That was my most important of all responsibilities and I took that seriously. Onlookers, be damned. But I did (and still would today) keep the focus on feeding my child while being discreet about showing that part of me that, naturally, causes distractions for some.

    A lot of opinions about this topic as late have missed the mark on the issue of objectifying. This one did not. In my view, the most alluring and attractive of all women are those who can strike the balance between a healthy self-esteem (meaning, as adults, we are comfortable and confident enough to not have to seek that kind of attention), and behaving in such a way that feeds the objectification problem. Always, the “be-a-lady-in-public” type of females gain my respect. The bedroom is an excellent place for full show.

    • diahannreyes says:

      Thanks for your insights and sharing your own experiences, Jana. I thought Jenn did a beautiful job of articulating her experience of breastfeeding in public. I definitely think it’s a new exploration for many to be able to strip the objectification from the enjoyment and reveling of one’s body. No instruction manual for that yet but the more of us do that, hopefully it will be easier for the women who come next.

  34. I am saddened that womanhood is defined by breasts in the eyes of men to the extent that women get boob jobs to please a man’s infantile erection? Women are an objective and not an object. There is a song called ‘She Cares’ by Styx where the guy cheated on his wife and his wife still loved him. The latter being true love. The former a man who never grew up.

  35. Awesome! I really do think breast a wonderful things hehe… I’m glad other people feel the same way!

  36. cheblues says:

    Beautifully crafted . I was expecting usuals but i was stunned by the end. Breasts like like any other part of body has a function to perform but it has an added responsibility of handling the charisma of a woman.Be it breastfeeding ,it shakes you upto your inner soul when you notice it.

  37. This is a wonderful piece. I truly enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading more from you. As this post goes well with my passion and life’s work I am happy to reblog it. Thank you so much for writing this.

  38. Reblogged this on Spilling the Beans and commented:
    Beautiful!

  39. biochemlife says:

    Each of you expressed the positive parts of what our breasts are all about. My most recent issue with my breasts is the scare I had with the watery cysts. Of course, too many women and men have had more than a scare with this situation, cancer that is, may my mother rest in peace. I guess in many ways our bodies and their parts can bring us happiness and joy or they can bring us to our knees when cancer or other injuries and illnesses make us realize that whether it’s our breasts or our pecks, nothing about us should taken for granted. My mother lost her leg during her struggle with cancer as well as her colon. Each of our parts are valuable for many reason.

    • diahannreyes says:

      Thank you. And also pointing out that our breasts, like every part of our body- can be sources of joy and pain depending and, of course, that our health is priceless.


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