Duggar and me
What do Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting, Vancouver artist Kate Hansen and a journalism student in Toronto have in common? Breastfeeding!
At first, it was like watching a train wreck over and over and over. Crash. The women and girls are completely covered up. Crash. All those kids schooled at home. Their Internet use (information access) carefully monitored. Crash. Here they go visiting the Creation Museum.
It’s a total superiority fix for a lifetime, left wing Torontonian such as myself.
Then the train got on track and to my surprise, I started to pay attention. Michelle Duggar, the mother, and Jim Bob Duggar, the father, are so calm, despite having an army of children at home. Someone, be it a parent or an older sibling, is always carrying a baby. Michelle Duggar breastfeeds each one. They’re gentle parents. All the kids play instruments. Are they attached parents? Others think so.
The Duggar women and girls wear modesty swimwear. The suits have bright colours around the neck area to focus attention away from the body. They wear more clothes to go swimming than some people may wear to work but Michelle Duggar breastfeeds in public.
It’s amazing what she does. She’s got the baby hanging on to her with a nursing pillow. She covers herself up, and walks around, going about her day with her youngest child suckling away.
There’s something empowering about an otherwise modest woman who breastfeeds so publicly. It makes it easier for the rest of us.
I don’t think it matters that Michelle Duggar is completely covered up. It’s her choice.
Facebook did this a few years ago, but with actual pictures of breastfeeding women. This time, they’re offended by art work. As the Toronto Star’s Antonia Zerbisias said, even the Vatican doesn’t have a problem with artwork of Mary nursing baby Jesus.
It shows there’s still stigma surrounding breastfeeding.
But if Michelle Duggar can breastfeed in public. Really, it means anyone can.
You can listen to Kate Hansen’s story on a CBC radio’s The Story From Here April 21 podcast.