Philobiblon: A breast?! Breast milk?! The officials swoon

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A breast?! Breast milk?! The officials swoon

Sport is in so many ways the last bastion of Neanderthal attitudes towards women (and I probably should apologies to Neanderthals for slandering them by the comparison), but the latest Australian incident really takes the biscuit.

Netballer Janine Illitch will be allowed to express breastmilk in the Commonwealth Games village, despite reports team officials opposed the plan.
Netball Australia chief executive Lindsay Cane today said issues remained as the association had not yet seen the Games Village facilities, but coaches, support staff and players were united in supporting Illitch.
... Netball coach Norma Plummer yesterday created controversy when she said it was a "delicate issue" and she didn't know whether there would be the facilities for Illitch to express milk for her six-month-old baby Heath.

What is the issue?

There needs to be a fridge and washing-up facilities? Well, yes, but I rather suspect that somewhere within the vicinity of a lot of athletes there'll be a few fridges and washing-up facilities. Probably even a power point, I'd hazard a guess, should you wish to plug in a steriliser.

So what's the problem? Could it just be that dinosaur officials - even female officials - just can't cope with the fact that a woman can be both a mother AND an athlete? Or perhaps they just can't cope with the thought that breasts have a purpose other than decorating oh-so-tasteful, not-quite-nude calendars? A - shock, horror - non-sexual purpose.


Blogger Elayne said...

I think "the problem" has to do with the fact that we're living in a society where breasts are, and for the foreseeable future will be, objectified no matter whether or not they're serving an actual purpose, and therefore every time a woman "gets her tits out" there's going to be a problem, and women ought to realize this by now. Yes, it's a shame, yes, it's not ideal - but no, I don't want to see a woman getting her tits out in public either, because our brains are pretty much hard-wired to view them as a distraction no matter what our feminist minds say.

3/06/2006 09:25:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

Afraid I don't agree with you on that one Elayne. The more people who do it, the less fuss it will cause, and the more satisfied babies there will be in the world.

I'll admit that when I first went on to French beaches where the majority of the women are topless I found it a little disconcerting, but you soon stop noticing.

(Don't fancy it mself, however, both because my breasts need all of the support they can get, and the idea of sunburnt nipples definitely doesn't appeal.)

3/07/2006 01:07:00 am  

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