People are mammals!!! I know this is a shocking fact. I’m sorry to just go ahead and announce it like that with no warning, just all bold and up-front like that. Take a minute . . . catch your breath . . . let it sink in. I know it’s a difficult pill to swallow, learning such an earth-shattering truth as that.
Are you breathing again? Are you OK? Are you going to make it? Good.
I know it’s shocking. I do. How do I know it’s shocking? Because for the last several months my Facebook news feed is full of links to magazines and news sources reporting the astonishing news that human celebrities are–get this!–feeding their live-birthed young with their mammary glands!! I know! Knock-me-over-with-a-feather flabbergast! I couldn’t believe it, either. Beyonce! Selma Blair! Alicia Silverstone! Allll mammals! Who knew?!
Maybe it’s just them. Maybe they’re some sort of mutant humans, having mammary glands that provide food and sustenance for their young like that. Surely we can’t all be mammals?! That can’t be true.
Just what do these women think they’re doing?! Being mammals. In public! Do they not know that humans’ status as mammals is supposed to be kept under cover? at home? or, if not at home, firmly locked in a disgusting bathroom stall? How dare these women flaunt their taxonomic class in public!! They should be ashamed of themselves!
::sigh:: Nine weeks from now will mark 10 years since I first made use of my mammary glands for that which they were primarily designed. I bonded with cows as I used a pump to leave food for my baby while I went to work. I mooed and laughed and joked. But it was difficult to feed my baby in front of anyone other than my immediate family. I had to make the leap and remind myself that I am a mammal and this is how mammals feed their young. I believe I was in elementary school when I learned about it: mammals feed their young from their bodies, and I am a mammal, ergo, I will feed my young from my body.
By the time I birthed my third live young, I was so over the difficulties and challenges of trying to keep my mammalian class under wraps. It’s just so hard! I had places to go! I had people to see! Was I supposed to keep my two older children–a toddler and a very social five-year-old–trapped inside all the time, just so I could feed their baby sister? Well that’d be quite the effective way to foster love and affection for the new family member. Was I supposed to make my sweaty children eat under a blanket, even as they squirmed and struggled to get that blasted thing off of them?! Oh, I was supposed to pump bottles and bring them with me, store them at a safe temperature and then warm them to the right temperature? And for what, exactly? So you wouldn’t have to be reminded that you, too, are a mammal? I don’t like you enough to go through all that trouble. I’m lazy. And, it’s my right as an American to be lazy. Look it up in the Constitution. I’m sure it’s there somewhere.
I’m sorry. Every time I try to take the whole thing seriously, and talk in real terms, I just head off the rails of extreme sarcasm. Because I find the whole thing so absolutely ludicrous. Mammal babies drink milk from their mothers. That’s what they do. All over the world, all the furry, live-birthing vertebrates in possession of mammary glands are feeding their young with said glands. I have no patience for anybody wasting any time or energy thinking about where, when, how a mammal should be feeding her young. Just as I have no patience for the people who think their meat magically appears on Styrofoam trays, wrapped in cling wrap. But, I suppose, that’s a-whole-nother post.
By the time my third came along, do you know where was my absolute favorite place to feed her in public? In a mall on a bench in front of Victoria’s Secret. I sat facing these giant posters of scantily clad women in their underwear, their breasts of questionable (natural?) size squished and pushed up and hanging out, exposing most everything but areolae and nipples. I sat there, feeding my baby as mammals do, baring no more flesh than skin on my sides, where my shirt came down to my waist somewhere near my elbow.** I sat there with a look of “Go ‘head. Say something. I dare you.” Fully prepared to point out the irony in one’s being offended by the sight of my feeding my young, but not by the pictures of mostly-naked, air-brushed, super-human-sized women across from me, who were selling underwear with sex. Or sex with underwear. I’m never really sure what, exactly, Victoria’s Secret is selling . . .
The good news is I never really ran into any problems feeding my babies in public. For that I am grateful. But not all women can say that. And not all women can say they feel comfortable even trying, lest they do cause offense. And these poor celebrity mammals! They are treated as animals in zoos! Well, worse. Because most people don’t mock the mammals in zoos who are doing what it is mammal mothers do.
Mammalian mothers should not have to give a second thought to feeding their young. They just shouldn’t. The first time a mammal feeds her young while outside of her cozy den should not be Facebook status material, it certainly shouldn’t be Time magazine story! It should not be a blip on a radar screen anywhere. It’s ludicrous. So ludicrous, even I felt the need to blog about it. And I don’t normally blog about such controversial things. You know. As controversial as announcing that humans are mammals.
One of the comments on one of the articles about one of the mammalian celebrities said something along the lines of, “What am I supposed to tell my 7-year-old daughter when we’re forced to see a woman with a baby at her breast?!” Might I suggest you tell your 7-year-old daughter that she’s a mammal. Catch her up with the rest of the elementary school students.
**I did do all I could to keep that certainly offensive side-skin from showing, my apologies if you were subjected to a glint of my muffin top–of course, you could see all the muffin tops you want on the teenaged girls with low-cut jeans and tight fitting tee-shirts.