Adweek Gives Props to Two UNT Students for Breastfeeding Ads

This isn't something we should still be arguing about, people.

Johnathan Wenske and Kris Haro are juniors at UNT. Today Adweek has some nice things to say about some of their work. It’s a campaign titled “When Nurture Calls” that supports the right of women to breastfeed in public. The idea is that a lady shouldn’t have to slink off to a toilet stall to feed her child. Hard to believe this is something we still have to discuss.


  • Ted

    You raise some fascinating questions. For example, if a woman rightly decides not to slink off to a toilet stall to feed her child and admirers of both her example and the child gather around to coo and give encouragement, how far does the cone of non-lewdness extend? Must the nipple always be in the infant’s mouth, i.e., covered? How much of the aureole as well? Is merely holding an infant while exposing a breast a sufficient defense against a charge of lewdness? Is the woman’s demeanor or behavior relevant to any distinction between nursing and flaunting? Or, like obscenity, will we always just know what’s what when we see it?

    Of course, if female toplessness itself were not illegal, all these questions would be moot.

  • Bill Marvel

    I suspect we’ll know it when we see it, Ted. Except for those obsessives who were apparently weaned far too early and just can’t get over the fact that nature provided women with breasts.

  • Ted

    From the post and its related article, “those obsessives” overwhelmingly seem to be the women themselves, fearful of nursing in public for various reasons even though they may legally be entitled to do so.

    But now you’ve redirected my attention completely with your theory about the relationship between weaning and an interest in women’s breasts. I really wish you’d explain it in more detail, particularly how weaning trumps other factors like fashion, advertising, human sexuality – whoa, now that’s a doozy, ain’t it? – personal behavior, etc. I’ll confess, though, you’re right, I still can’t over the fact that nature provided women with breasts, God love ’em, they’re just so beautiful, every one of them. But there’s certainly nothing wrong with having different sorts of attractions.

    I think, though, cute as a button as your reply may be, that the sorts of questions I raised may be at the heart of what the women fearful of nursing in public may be asking themselves. For example, if I nurse in public, how much personal space around me should I expect to command without becoming the center of everyone’s attention or annoying people? Five feet? Ten? Three? How should I respond if someone I don’t know tries to approach me, or if I think they are, but then it turns out they’re not? Etc., etc., etc.

    But that’s the great thing about being guys, isn’t it, Bill. We can just trade cute, snarky lines and then, at the end of the day, say “Screw ’em”, it’s their problem, like menstruation and childbirth. And like weaning their kids wrong.

  • Bill Marvel

    Well, Ted, it isn’t just women’s problem, though I do note that in general women seem more disapproving of public nursing then men.
    Perhaps that’s why we really need women to weigh in on this topic.
    Why nursing women should be either the ” center of everyone’s attention or annoying” defeats me. I don’t get it. It’s not so in many other cultures. But, then, other cultures don’t wean quite so early. Maybe that’s the connection.
    I’m not a sociologist so I’ve only observed, not studied, the problem. i can only conclude it’s one of our own making and therefore can be one of our own un-making. If the ad campaigns would help, then I’m all for it. I suspect the adolescent fixation on breasts as a secondary sexual characteristic — there are several others, though you’d never know it to flip through the pages of our popular magazines — has a lot to do with male sniggering whenever the subject comes up, and the sniggering perhaps contributes to the sensitivity among certain women to public breast-feeding. But that brings us back to weaning, doesn’t it?

  • RAB

    I suspect that issue is impacted by the relative youth and hotness of the nursing mother (like the one depicted in the ad). Just going out on a limb here, but I would wager that the fascination aspect to sight of a publicly-nursing mother is indirectly proportionate to the dowdiness of the mother.

  • Melissa Chowning

    I couldn’t be more pleased to see two men discussing and condemning the fact that breastfeeding in public still seems to be a disapproved of, even in this day and age. So much so that it requires an ad campaign.

    As someone who has nursed in public many times, I can tell you “those obsessions” more often than not comes from other women. Which shouldn’t be too surprising because I’ve never experienced a more judgmental group of people than other moms. Maybe it’s jealousy (for those who can’t have children or couldn’t breastfeed), maybe it’s that they don’t want their husband or boyfriend seeing any part of my breast.

    I’ve never worried about becoming the center of attention or annoying anyone. It’s our right to feed our child when and where we see fit. I’m more concerned with the comfort of my child than I am about how anyone else feels about breastfeeding.

  • Bill Marvel

    I think a poll of fathers, especially of fathers with wives who have nursed, might have an enlightened perspective on this problem. No husband wants to see his wife lewdly ogled. Nor does he want to see his wife banned from a public place for doing the most natural thing in the world.
    I wonder how many of those disapproving women have been nursing mothers.

  • RAB

    Meant to say “inversely proportionate.”

  • Dubious Brother

    I have 2 daughters that have breast fed their babies in public over the last few years and they both had some sort of a privacy cover that prevented anyone from really knowing what was going on. They both felt comfortable doing it.
    As for the women that don’t cover up and have gawkers, put out a tip cup and help pay for the diapers.