Wendy Williams said something pretty surprising while interviewing Alyssa Milano on her talk show this week: She doesn’t think women should breastfeed in public. Yup.
Alyssa has been quite public on social media about breastfeeding her new daughter; Wendy pulled up one particular Instagram post of hers and asked what the deal was. Alyssa remained cool, saying she now sees herself as a “breastfeeding advocate” for all the positive attention she has received for her posts.
That’s when things got a little awkward. “I don’t need to see that,” Wendy, who has a teenage son she breastfed for two weeks, said. “Because, I just don’t want to.”
Alyssa didn’t back down, though. “But would you eat under a blanket?” Alyssa asked Wendy, to which the 51-year-old host responded, “What I would do is I would go to the car…not on the bench in the front of the big box store.” You read that correctly. Wendy apparently thinks breastfeeding is so taboo that women should only do it in private.
And her reasoning? According to Wendy, breasts are sexual objects, and watching a woman breastfeed takes away from that image. Alyssa asked Wendy why it’s gravy to see Miley Cyrus’ exposed breasts in suspenders, but not a woman feeding. “Breastfeeding is only a particular amount of time, [but] the rest of your life, your breasts are sexual things,” Wendy said.
Lady Williams also added breasts are “fun bags.” Is she serious right now? So, essentially, women shouldn’t breastfeed in public because it might confuse onlookers about the purpose of ta-tas? That logic isn’t only wrong…it’s downright sexist.
Alyssa rebuffed Wendy’s faulty reasoning with this badass quote: “But biologically, they’re not made for sexual things. That’s what we’ve done to them.” She is absolutely right. Culture–specifically a male-focused culture–has sexualized breasts into these untouchable so-called “fun bags,” and for a woman to play into this idea is beyond messed up.
Breasts are for the women who have them, not the male (or anyone’s) gaze. Any stance you take on breastfeeding in public is probably valid. However, to say women shouldn’t do it because they must preserve the patriarchal fantasy of boobs is problematic and very stupid.
Women of Earth: Ignore Wendy’s words. If some man won’t stop staring at you breastfeeding, it’s his problem, not yours. Tell him to cut the s–t, and keep doing you.