Gordon Kennedy (Letters, 8 December) suggested that double standards are at work in reservations about breast feeding in public places, and the acceptance of “tasteless semi-pornographic” topless pictures.
I object to pornography as a degrading and ultimately harmful form of sexual stimulation. The potential for bodily revelation to arouse sexual desire has led to our sensible (though eroding) cultural understanding of modesty in dress.
Reinforcing this is a general assumption that we should avoid seeing another person naked.
This sense of propriety protects from potential harm.
So, we should not be surprised when a degree of discomfort or embarrassment is experienced by men when they see a woman breast feeding, or that women may feel self-conscious.
All of the reductionist “it’s just a natural process” talk overlooks these deeper issues.
Dogmatic feminists, not renowned for sensible compromise, see this as another skirmish in the battle of the sexes in which to employ their customary lexical armoury of “rights”, “prejudice” and “discrimination”.
Meanwhile, many mothers will prefer to cover up in some way while breast feeding, and many men will appreciate that.