GOOD THURSDAY to ALL of My CRAZY COOL GROOVY Family, Friends, Frats, Fans, Followers, Frienemies, and FANTABULICIOUSTICAL Funky Fresh Fly Folk who are BREASTFEEDING MOMS, Expectant BREASTFEEDING MOMS-To-BE, Future BREASTFEEDING MOMS-To-BE, or SUPPORTIVE FAMILY of My BREASTFEEDING MOMS of ALL Colors, Shapes, Sizes, Flavors, Persuasions, and Denominations!!!
These two photos of these two moms breastfeeding their babies have inspired very different reactions.
How and why is it that two nearly identical photos have spurred such vastly differing opinions???
How and why has RACISM raged within the arena of BREASTFEEDING MOMS???
RUBY HAMAND tells A TALE Of TWO BREASTFEEDING PICTURES.
In June 2014, young BLACK Mother KARLESHA THURMAN of California achieved internet infamy when BLACK WOMEN DO BREASTFEED posted a picture of her in graduation cap and gown, smiling proudly as her baby daughter nursing at her left breast.
KARLESHA received many supportive comments, BUTT; the backlash was so severe, she eventually deleted the photo.
Four months later, young WHITE Mother JACCI SHARKEY of Australia sent a cap-and-gown photo, also with her baby at her left breast, to the UNIVERSITY Of SUNSHINE COAST as a "thank you" for helping her graduate while juggling two children.
Her photo has over 275,000 likes and has been shared more than 9000 times.
Just as Karlesha had some supporters, Jacci also had more than a few detractors, proving that breastfeeding in public is (still!) a contentious issue for women of all races.
However, the contrast in headlines is so stark, it deserves to be examined. It is tempting to dismiss this as just two different reactions by two different media outlets on a controversial issue. But this is not the first time that black and white people engaging in the exact same activity have been received differently.
Examine these two nearly identical photos taken during the aftermath of HURRICANE KATRINA in NEW ORLEANS, and examine the disparity of the accompanying captions.
Notice the young WHITE couple are observed after FINDING food, while the young BLACK man is observed after LOOTING.
This presumption of BLACK GUILT includes sexuality.
So many of the legally notorious lynchings were conducted on the pretext of "protecting" white women from lustful black men.
During SLAVERY In AMERICA, the status of BLACK WOMEN as property meant that black women could not be legally raped, so their frequent sexual abuse by their white owners was passed off as licentious behavior on their own part.
And so the HYPERSEXUALISATION of the BLACK WOMAN was born.
That's not to say white women are not sexualised. All women are. But our racist attitudes mean that only white women are able to overcome this sexualisation.
Professor Edward Rhymes points out that in films featuring the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold (think: Pretty Woman and Mighty Aphrodite), the character is invariably played by a white woman:
"There has yet to be a critically-acclaimed or commercially successful film, where a central character was a Black prostitute. So even when the "textbook" requirements of what constitutes being promiscuous is met, her whiteness saves the day. Even at her most licentious, she is made to appear innocent, wholesome and strangely virginal. Whiteness saves the day."And this is why, even though public breastfeeding is largely frowned upon, in two almost identical breastfeeding photos it is the one with the white woman that the media referred to as "adorable" and held up as proof that "women are the greatest."
BUTT, when two photos were stacked side by side, only one of the women was able transcend the sexualisation of the act of breastfeeding.
One woman was called "adorable" by the media and portrayed with girlish innocence, and it wasn't the black one.
The BLACK WOMAN still NEVER gets the HAPPY ENDING.
TAKE OFF YOUR BRA, TAKE CARE Of YOUR BREASTS, BREASTFEED YOUR BABIES Whenever THEY Are HUNGRY, And TAKE CARE Of YOURSELVES For BRALESS THURSDAY!!!
PEACE, LOVE, And BOUNTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BRALESS THURSDAY BLESSINGS;