The Thinking 

More Crass Breastfeeding

May 31, 2012


ONCE AGAIN, we have a mother in a shameless pose breastfeeding for the public. In this case, Terran Echegoyen-McCabe, a soldier in the National Guard, is pictured in uniform breastfeeding her twins, supposedly to raise awareness for breastfeeding. (Another military woman is pictured with her in a more modest pose.)

What does the world think of America? Echegoyen-McCabe (who but a feminist would adopt such a ridiculous name?) is a symbol of a military in steep decline.

And breastfeeding is transformed, from maternal selflessness to one more nauseating display of self-assertion.

— Comments —

Jeff W., who sent the above link, writes:

Some days I think the world has gone mad.

Joe Ames writes:

A pretend soldier pretending to be a mother. Even so, I remember when Americans protected women and children. Such a quaint, old fashioned idea… My father, a ten year Navy veteran passed away on Memorial Day several years ago. I am glad that neither he nor my mother were here to witness this disgraceful spectacle. Surely they would look back at the many lives sacrificed by their forefathers to build America from the wild and ask, Why?

Laura writes:

You refer to a “pretend soldier.” Exactly. A woman soldier is always playing dress up, even if she is hardworking and conscientious.

In this case, both these women are playing dress up as mothers too.

Lawrence Auster writes:

You denounce the women who publicly breastfeed while in uniform, but what exactly is objectionable about their conduct? After all, (1) the armed services now include many women, and (2) women are not excluded from the military when they become pregnant and bear children, but remain service members — uniformed service members. So these women are simply operating within the framework that has been created by the U.S. government: uniformed servicewomen with babies. Since the government by its explicit policies allows for and approves of uniformed women with babies, why is it any more objectionable for a woman in uniform to have herself photographed while nursing her baby than it would be for a woman in civilian clothes to have herself photographed while nursing her baby?

The problem, it appears to me, is not these women as individuals, but our society which has put women in this situation.

Laura writes:

As I said, this photo symbolizes a corrupt military. So, yes, their action is not just about them but an entire institution.

But the problem is also them as individuals. As with Jamie Lynne Grumet, the mother who posed on the cover of Time recently, which was discussed here, here, and here, Echegoyen-McCabe has been photographed in an indecent pose, an embarrassment to her children, as well as to the military. And even though her behavior is approved of by every action of the military, it doesn’t make her as an individual innocent of harming the integrity of the military and dishonoring other soldiers.

Whether this photo speaks more to the downfall of the military or motherhood, I don’t know.

Mark L. writes:

If you scroll down the article, there’s a photo of Crystal Scott, the woman who had the brainchild to blitz us with images of women breastfeeding in public.

Is it just me, or is there something hard about this woman’s face? Or is vapid the word I’m looking for? Help me out here.

Also, this illustrates (as if we needed it) the fact that feminism has a foot in both pro- and anti- breastfeeding camps. Whether it’s that French philosopher you wrote about not long ago (anti) or these market-savvy poseurs, we seem to be surrounded by women who can’t leave anything well enough alone.

Busybodies, the whole lot of ’em.


Laura writes:

Demonic, maybe? [I say that because of the very heavy eye make-up, and the fact that she is standing in a public street.]

J.N. writes:

Sometimes it is necessary to nurse a baby in public, but when my wife does it, she finds an out-of-the-way place and covers herself with a blanket. Why have these women abandoned such modesty?  It may be to alleviate the emotional dissonance of being a woman and being a soldier.  Military service is a very male occupation by nature, and there is no way to feel feminine while doing it. To regain a feeling of womanliness, it becomes necessary to very openly display what only a woman can do. This is also why some women dress immodestly.  One time when called for jury service, I was surprised to see that the prosecutor, a woman in her late 20s, was wearing a short skirt and tight blouse.  Why did she dress so unprofessionally?  Perhaps because representing the authority of the state in the administration of justice is a male occupation by nature. Since there was no way to be feminine while working as a prosecutor, she could feel like a woman only by flaunting her body.  I did not serve on that jury so I don’t know how the trial turned out, but it seems counterproductive to have the men on the jury contemplating your legs and bust rather than your arguments.

Laura writes:

I’ve made the same point before: the more masculine women become in their daily lives, the more they exaggerate and accentuate their feminine physicality. It’s a form of desperation.

Mary writes:

This is what happens when reality shows drive the consciousness of a nation. Even mothers, even soldiers, lose all dignity when faced with the opportunity to be immortalized on film. Pathetic doesn’t begin to describe it.

I’m not usually cynical, but allow me to make a prediction. Some time in the near future there will be a “nurse-in,” along the lines of the slut-walk, whereby a group of very good-looking young mothers in tight jeans and tank tops will assemble at a park in California, strike their pose of choice, yank down their shirts to expose their breasts and publicly breastfeed, to the consternation of some but to the unmitigated joy of the mainstream media. And Hollywood, thrilled to find a new variation on exposed breasts, will soon add naked breastfeeding to their roster of surefire ways to sell movie tickets.

Mark responds to Laura:

Hmmm … yes, you’re on to something there.

How about “possessed?”

Lisa writes:

When my husband was in uniform, we were not allowed “PDA,” or, public display of affection. It was deemed innapropriate for a uniformed person in the armed services. Since we have lost all sense of decor in this country, it is not surprising that these poor, deluded women, already so misguided on so much, would think that “breastfeeding in uniform is just fine because it is nurturing.” They truly see no contradiction or inappropriateness.

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