Have you seen Breast Milk Baby?

I’ve heard a lot of negative feedback about how this is “sexualizing” young girls (not sure why breastfeeding MUST equate to sex but…)and also how it’s “just gross.”  I tend to think that is completely about our squeamishness about the body and our association of breasts with sinful sexuality. I’m inclined to think this opens up a pretty interesting conversation  regarding the body, particularly the bodies of women and reproduction.  If we give them baby dolls with bottles why not breastfeeding? What do you think?

5 responses

  1. I assume you are referencing Bebé Gloton, a French made baby doll that nurses. I have a friend who sells them, so I have seen one in person.
    How could a child pretending to nurse their “baby” be gross or sexual? It is completely normal, natural, and healthy for children to imitate what they learn at home. All female mammals, including humans were designed to breastfeed their offspring and all babies are meant to take in breastmilk. The idea that breasts are only for sexual purposes is a new western construct. Breasts can be sexual, but they were designed to nourish babies. I find it disturbing that our culture does not question the effects of almost all babydolls being sold with bottles and pacifiers, yet many people get up in arms over a doll that is meant to be nursed…perhaps this is an indicator as to why breastfeeding rates in this country are dismal.
    On a side note, my complaint about the nursing doll is that it cries when nursing stops and cries to indicate it needs to nurse. Crying is a late indicator of hunger and babies should be nursed based on cues the baby gives well before crying ever happens, also babies should be content and satiated when they finish nursing not crying. That being said, I am still happy there is now an alternative to a bottle-fed doll on the market.

  2. The sexualization and objectification of the female body has alienated us from what is natural and instinctual, which is a sad reflection of where true feminism stands in our society. I absolutely agree that in order to reclaim our bodies, women, supported by their partners, families, and communities) have to lead the way in normalizing breastfeeding, and that has to include changing how motherhood is commercialized, even for little girls (through their baby dolls).

    Your post reminds me of some reading I’ve been doing surrounding Emma Donoghue’s book _Room_. In case you haven’t read it, it’s about (and told from the point of view of) a 5-year-old boy named Jack who has spent his entire life in an 11 x 11 foot shed where his mom has been held captive since before he was born. Jack breastfeeds. Given their abnormal circumstances, his breastfeeding is part of a very attached and natural approach to motherhood…his mom parents extremely instinctually. Once they are on the “outside,” she continues to nurse him, and her choice is criticized a few times. The breastfeeding, however, is not a central part of the novel; it’s important, thematically, but I don’t think Donoghue was trying to make a grand political statement…in fact, she has has said in interviews that it surprised her how shocked and appalled American readers were about something she didn’t think was a huge deal (Donoghue is Irish). If you read reader reviews of the novel online, many readers (mostly women) express shock and even disgust, implying of course that there’s something perverse and sexual in Jack’s mom’s choice to breastfeed him (particulary at his age). In a book that revolves around the violent abduction and habitual rape of a teenage girl, BREASTFEEDING is what most readers found shocking and disgusting.

    I like your blog, by the way!

  3. Aye, aye, AYE!!! Seriously?? This lady is obnoxious!! I think little girls should be able pretend to breastfeed as often as they like, and anywhere they choose, just like breastfeeding mommies. I nursed all my “babies” when I was little, and my daughter Marleigh did the same thing when she was about 2-3 years old and I was nursing her baby brother.
    I don’t particularly like the idea that this toy makes a “suckling sound”– that may be a bit much, since most REAL babies don’t make noise when they are nursing. To me this doll sounds kinda creepy… but not “sick.”
    Mothers should let their daughters mimic nursing if thats what they want to do. Although not for everyone, nursing a baby is wonderful thing, and no one should make a child think that play acting, and role modeling their mother is shameful.

    That being said, I don’t think little girls need a special doll, they should just be allowed to pretend any way they choose, whether its nursing, or bottle feeding, or even pretending to give their babies soda.
    Okay, I’m getting off my soapbox now.

  4. Pingback: Breastfeeding in Uniform… Hells, Yes! | Feminist Cupcake

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