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Se couvrir : un enjeu féministe

First in English, then in Spanish, and now in French! (en français).  Many thanks to reader Catherine Leclerc for the translation from English into French.

I've personally spent a lot of time in Quebec and France as a breastfeeding mother. In France, I always felt like I stood out and was being stared at when I breastfed in public. The only other woman I saw breastfeeding in public there was a Muslim woman who was fully covered except for the baby at her breast. In Quebec, I never felt shy about breastfeeding when and where I wanted, but a recent situation where a woman was told to stop nursing at a store made me realize that there is still work to do. Hopefully this video will help spread the message that there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public, covered or not, and will empower women to breastfeed anytime, anywhere, in any language!

As with the English and Spanish versions, feel free to embed this video on your blog (embed code here), but please provide a link back here. Full image credits here.
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Reader Comments (10)

Heh. That was fast!

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary @ Parenthood

How wonderful to have it in 3 languages now. It's a great video!!!
I went to the nurse-in that was staged because of that recent situation that you mentioned. It was really empowering to be there and to present to the public just how 'normal' it is to breastfeed in public. Though I must say that your video was an eye opener even for me. I had always somewhat frowned on women using nursing covers and hadn't really thought about the fact that it's their choice. I had always assumed that they were covering up because of fear of what others might think more than for their own comfort. Thanks ;)

I have to comment because I'm one of your French readers - delurking because I know a bit about being an attachment parent in France...
Here it's still, I think, highly associated to the whole "hardcore environmentalist" image. The few books or magazines which advocate AP, co-sleeping or extended breastfeeding also advocate cloth diapers or EC, no-vax or homeschooling -which is extremely rare in France. Plus, recently a very acclaimed woman-philosopher, Elizabeth Badinter, wrote a controversial book in which she accused all these practices (again, putting them all in the same basket) to alienate women in a new, more sneaky way, and prevent them from returning to work (because we all know work is never alienating...). She's been widely criticized but still, it does translate a certain mentality.
Living in Paris, I found that co-sleeping (at least sharing a room) is practically the norm because of how tiny the apartments are; and babywearing makes you hugely popular because in Paris, strollers are the enemy (and those lovely Parisians won't budge when they see an exhausted mom trying to fit a second stroller in a bus). As for breastfeeding... I'd say I've mostly had intrigued looks. Never positive and happy like some have described, never frankly hostile either. As if I was, I don't know, walking a ferret in the street: they take a second look and then walk away. (Then again it's well known, many Parisians will avoid talking to another human being if they can!)
I feel like in France, you're expected to breastfeed, but at home, ie when your baby is tiny and you're still on maternal leave. It's as if, if you have a 3 months old, you're obviously back to work and therefore no longer breastfeeding. Or, you're a hippy. (If you live in Paris you're a "bo-bo", a bourgeois bohème, trying to adopt a "hippy" lifestyle while having money and living in the city, and that makes you a hypocrite)

I've breastfed in the metro once. I don't recommend it! Restaurants are a nice place though.

March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMélanie

i love that this video is getting translated!! & that was quick too

Hey ladies! It doesn't matter who you are and where you live. Breastfeeding is good for the child and mother at any time, any where. Let's preach this to the world! Good video btw.

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike Saha

[...] video on covering up as a feminist issue is also in English and French. Take a [...]

I feel so old! I was breastfeeding 18 years ago and 15 years ago. I was in Montreal and had to bad experiences at all. I rarely covered up nor did I take everything off. I just did what had to be done.

The most uncomfortable moment I had was at my cousin's house in Toronto. I sat down on the living room couch to feed my baby and the men left the room. I invited everyone back and that was that.

Looking back on it, I think I did steel myself to sometimes expect (psychological) discomfort but I just went ahead and did it.

March 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNewMe

Woops for the typo: that was NO bad experiences.

Oh, and I loved the French version of the video!

March 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNewMe

[...] 8 : Se couvrir : un enjeu féministe by Annie in PhD in [...]


March 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Mother

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