I had an epiphany the other day thinking about boobs. What I mean by epiphany is a decent thought worth sharing, and what I mean by boobs are those fun bags that hang off of ladies. It all started when I read an article my friend sent about breastfeeding in Mongolia. The author discusses how culturally acceptable and even encouraged public breastfeeding is, and I was totally at peace reading it until this part “My friend Buana, now 20, explained her gold-medal breastfeeding career to me: “I grew up in a yurt way out in the countryside. My mom always told me to drink up, that it was good for me. I thought that’s what every nine-year-old was doing. When I went to school, I stopped.” She looked at me with a mischievous twinkle in her eye. “But I still like to drink it sometimes.”
This made me realize that for the Western mind, we see boobs as mostly sexual body parts. So when a young baby breastfeeds for the purpose of sustenance, health, and fitting in at mommy groups, it is okay. But as the baby gets older, it is hard not to feel there is a sexual component involved because we are a society obsessed with the sexuality of breasts.
Now I am not an anthropologist or anything, but I am pretty sure that Mongolians living in yurts are not getting breast implants to enhance their sex appeal. Maybe for them boobies are not sexualized as much as they are functionalized. Perhaps it doesn’t even occur to them to question the sexuality factor because in Mongolia breastfeeding is not an intimate act, but a public one.
Case and point…“If a woman’s breasts are engorged and her baby is not at hand, she will simply go around and ask a family member, of any age or sex, if they’d like a drink. Often a woman will express a bowlful for her husband as a treat, or leave some in the fridge for anyone to help themselves.”
Now there is a visual to keep you entertained…
I guess all of this would be hard to understand if I wasn’t experiencing the act of breastfeeding now. For me, my boobs are not only asexual, they are outright prude. I think they have both converted into Muslim fundamentalists, because they like to stay covered up too. And in no way, have I ever wondered if The Munch “likes me like that.”