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Soldiers Breastfeeding in Uniform

Posted by Jermaine Sain on June 7, 2012 at 8:30 AM

I'm not sure if you heard about it or seen this picture of two soldiers, breast feeding their baby in uniform....If not, that's exactly what it is. When I see the photo, it doesn't have anything offensive about it, however, as an Army Veteran, I am offended! And I'll tell you why. If you have followed me along my journey, you are aware of my sexual orientation which was also the same when I was serving in the Army. During my time in the military, I was an exceptional soldier...I'm not just saying that! I always felt that because I am gay, I had to be better than straight soldiers. There wasn't a pressure from others but I felt that I needed to show that a gay soldier was just as capable as a straight soldier. I'm not sure of what was he outcome of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy" but when I was serving, it was in affect and I was fully aware of the consequences........Now, let's go back to this picture of these female soldiers....

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The problem I have with the photo is this

1. I feel that the photo degrades the uniform. Breast feeding or motherhood is not a military occupation!

2. It makes a clear distinction between a male soldier and a female (mother) soldier.- A soldier is a soldier, regardless of them being a mother. I believe that once you start making large distinction between male and female soldiers it changes the mentality of the American public. What I mean is this...As Americans, we don't like or want to see women and/or children die. Well, now in the public eye, these females are no longer soldiers but mothers. Who wants to think about a Mother being killed or a motherless child? In addition, it takes me back to the original thoughts of many that feel women should not serve in the military. I think women should have the same rights as men. However, the photo doesn't suggest it but it makes a clear distinction between a male soldier and a female soldier; more so a soldier that's a mother!

(My fingers don't allow me to break it down as clearly as my mouth would but I'm typing so, that's what you get!)

That's enough of that! I just wanted to share a little about my thoughts about the photo because a friend asked me about it recently.

I strongly encourage you to share your thoughts about the photo with me...especially if you've served or currently serving in the Armed Forces.

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Categories: "In my opinion", Like or Dislike?, Daily Thoughts

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2 Comments

Reply Dago
7:48 AM on June 14, 2012 
But what you are saying is that in order not to make a difference between female soldiers and male soldiers, women have to act as men. Because man is 'the norm' and a woman acting as a woman is offending you, as she should conform to 'man' standards in the name of equality. What you are saying is that the solution is: all women pretend to be men so you can have equality and not offend me. You're claiming that we should pretend that women in the military don't exist and that they're just men with boobs, which is... well, frankly appalling.

That's not equality. That's chauvinism and male privilege. Yeah, so she's a woman, don't tell me no one noticed before seeing her breastfeed. She's just breastfeeding her child, for fuck's sake. Why not focus on actual problems, such as abuse going unreported in the military and so on, and leave the poor woman alone?
Reply Jermaine Sain
8:56 AM on June 15, 2012 
You may be correct in your analysis. However, I disagree with your statement. I'm not saying that I have any problems with breast feeding....by all means, breastfeed! But as a veteran, I don't think it's okay to breastfeed in uniform. No different than I'm gay...but I didn't hold hands with my partner in unform! Point blank...there are regulations about what you can and can't do in uniform....they should be followed.
Dago says...
But what you are saying is that in order not to make a difference between female soldiers and male soldiers, women have to act as men. Because man is 'the norm' and a woman acting as a woman is offending you, as she should conform to 'man' standards in the name of equality. What you are saying is that the solution is: all women pretend to be men so you can have equality and not offend me. You're claiming that we should pretend that women in the military don't exist and that they're just men with boobs, which is... well, frankly appalling.

That's not equality. That's chauvinism and male privilege. Yeah, so she's a woman, don't tell me no one noticed before seeing her breastfeed. She's just breastfeeding her child, for fuck's sake. Why not focus on actual problems, such as abuse going unreported in the military and so on, and leave the poor woman alone?