Should mothers cover their breasts while breastfeeding?
MANILA, Philippines - Celebrity host KC Montero earned the ire of many netizens on Thursday, September 11, after he said in his radio program that mothers should cover their breasts when breastfeeding in public.
"I'm taking a lot of heat for my opinion on public breastfeeding. Let's make this clear. We (are) not against public breastfeeding but while I believe that it is every mother's right to breastfeed wherever and whenever you want, I just feel that discretion is also necessary to not make other people around you feel awkward or uncomfortable, and to stop perverts from staring," the actor said in a series of tweets.
Breastfeeding advocates saw Montero's stance as "ironic" given his line of work.
"I find it ironic, if not hypocritical, that a person who works in an industry where boobs are exposed at the slightest of whims to sell everything from movies to paint, and whose ex-girlfriend showed breast skin, and then some, in titillating dance moves, believes that breastfeeding mothers should observe modesty...because they use their breasts as they were intended to be used?" advocate Sef Cagoco-Gaspar said in a Facebook post. (READ: What's keeping the Philippines from exclusive breastfeeding?)
I bet @KCMontero wouldn't mind if it was a sexy star flaunting her boobs but a breastfeeding mom should cover up. And you call that support?— ∞ jai ∞ (@myjyrona) September 10, 2015
@KCMontero if grown ups can eat it public the bakit ang mga babies hindi? breastfeeding is normal and natural. paki read ang milkcode please— JamHipolitoAdvincula (@JamilleAnneRH) September 10, 2015
Other netizens called Montero's comments mysogynistic.
Word war: misogynystic KC Montero vs inflammed breastfeeding moms. Issue: mothers should not breastfeed in public. What a shame.— Clinton Balud (@Simply_Clinton) September 11, 2015
Montero defended, however, that he was merely suggesting that it's best to use a blanket or burqa so as to make both the public and the women comfortable. (READ: 8 ways breastfeeding can help achieve PH development)
"I know a lot of women who breastfeed and they don't feel comfortable breastfeeding without a blanket. They would rather not have their exposed breast in full view of the public. Again, I am not against public breastfeeding," he said.
Montero added: "Mothers have every right to breastfeed wherever and whenever they want. It's their right. Just like I have the right to have an opinion." (READ: Don't judge working mothers who can't breastfeed)
'None of your business'
Netizens said whether mothers cover their breast or not is not other people's business, pushing to "normalize breastfeeding."
"It's not your call. It's no one's call but a mom's and her baby's. There certainly are women who feel more comfortable covering up, and they are free to do that. But there also are women who aren't comfortable about covering up, not to mention hordes of babies who hate it. Because how will you enjoy nursing under a blanket, in a tropical climate, where it's dark, hot, and stuffy?" Cagoco-Gaspar added.
Im new in breastfeeding my baby. I bought nursing cover but my baby is not agreeing with me. So hala im not "discreet". @KCMontero— biach17 (@biach17) September 11, 2015
@KCMontero you can't schedule breastfeeding because there's no scheduling baby's hunger. Pls tell your cohost.— Allen L. Espino (@allenisms) September 10, 2015
To this, Montero responded: "I think this is all hard for people to hear since I'm a male. But I'm sure there are mothers out there that cover up while breastfeeding. I wonder why they do that." (READ: I am a 'breastfeeding tatay')
Fyi there are millions of breastfeeding mothers who feel the same way I'd do. Do you attack them too? It's their choice.
Fyi there are millions of breastfeeding mothers who feel the same way I'd do. Do you attack them too? It's their choice.— KC Montero (@KCMontero) September 10, 2015
Some netizens supported Montero, saying covering breasts is a common courtesy.
.@KCMontero Geez! You cover your breast while breastfeeding/close your mouth while chewing not because it's required but because it's polite— Alvin Louis (@Alvin_Louis) September 10, 2015
@KCMontero if feel u dude! they can breastfeed all they want&anywhere but be discreet that other people won't feel uncomfortable...(cont.)— jnet borja (@netju14) September 10, 2015
@KCMontero (cont.) seeing one's boob. by the way, i'm a mom of two boys and i support breastfeeding!— jnet borja (@netju14) September 10, 2015
"Nursing mothers don't breastfeed in public for your pleasure. We couldn't care less about you or your perverse sensibilities. Someone commented on Mr Montero's Twitter that it's common courtesy to cover up. You know what common courtesy is? Minding your own business and looking the hell away. What are you staring for in the first place?" Cagoco-Gaspar noted.
Do you think mothers should cover their breasts while breastfeeding? Let us know in the comments section below. – Rappler.com