And now, on to what I really came here to address. I was listening to a popular radio station yesterday where every weekday afternoon two of the radio show personalities host a "mate-debate." In these debates they have a couple call-in to the show to each deliver their respective sides to an on-going argument they have grappled with in their relationship. On this particular show the couple were fighting over whether or not the wife should breastfeed their soon-to-be-born infant. The wife indicated that she did not want to breastfeed because she had already sacrificed so much of her body in just being pregnant and she didn't want to "ruin her boobs" as well. The husband said that he would love her boobs no matter what and that he thought she should stop being selfish and breastfeed because it is what's best for the child. The main issue in the debate was whether or not the decision should solely be the wife's simply because it was her body, or if the man had any right to be a part of the decision.
It was a painful conversation for me to listen to as caller after caller utilized their few minutes of airtime to berate the wife for her selfishness or to berate the two male radio personalities for even suggesting that a man had a right to have any say in the decision. Aside from my own opinions on a woman's right to make choices for her own body, or on the benefits of breastfeeding both physically and psychologically (for both the mom and the baby), ultimately where my mind wandered to was how sad it is that we allow arbitrary and culturally-bound definitions of beauty to so significantly influence such weighty decisions in our lives. Who decided that the impact on the female body of developing, carrying, birthing and sustaining a life is anything less than beautiful?