complaints, condescending twatbags, LDS, rants, slut shamers

Repost: Speaking of shameless shaming– Breastfeeding is not an act of public indecency!

Here’s a repost from July 27. 2018, inspired by the swath of people who seem to think that breastfeeding a baby is an act of public indecency and my recent post about the Duggars and “defrauding”. As you can see, the fundies aren’t the only ones who have screwy beliefs about modesty. I am posting it mostly as/is, as I consider what today’s fresh post will be. The featured image is in the public domain.

I would be remiss if I didn’t post about this news story I read last night about a Mormon woman who was shamed by her bishop and stake president for breastfeeding (link was removed because it no longer works).  According to KUTV, an unidentified LDS mom of four from northern Utah lost her temple recommend because she decided to breastfeed uncovered while she was in the foyer of her church.  Temple recommends are basically cards that identify worthy members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  One must have a valid temple recommend in order to visit the church’s temples, where “sacred” and secret religious ordinances, including many weddings, take place.  Temple recommends are very important to faithful Mormons.

A few weeks ago, the mother had gone to see her bishop about getting her temple recommend updated and signed.  The bishop told her that church members had complained about her openly breastfeeding her 18 month old baby.  LDS churches have “mothers’ rooms” where breastfeeding moms can go to privately feed their babies.  The bishop said she should either use the mothers’ room or cover up, since her decision to openly breastfeed might cause the men in the church to have “sexual thoughts”.  The bishop refused to sign the temple recommend and she had to get it signed by the first counselor instead.

Later, the mom visited her stake president so he could also sign her temple recommend.  The stake president also brought up the breastfeeding issue and quoted from a church pamphlet about the importance of modesty.  The pamphlet, “For the Strength of Youth”, is well-known to LDS church members and provides guidelines about how church members are to present themselves. 

The mother said that she got very upset during the meeting and had to leave the room several times to calm down.  The woman’s husband, who was also in attendance during the meeting, was told that he needed to “control his wife”.  The husband was also told that if he supported his wife’s decision to publicly breastfeed without a cover, he would also lose his temple recommend.

Some people may wonder why the woman didn’t simply use the mothers’ room.  Apparently, the room is off of the bathroom and this mother claims it’s too isolating for her.  Also, she says she can’t hear the service in the mothers’ room.  The mom warns that even after her child is weaned, she doesn’t plan to back down on this issue.  She correctly states that breastfeeding is not a sexual act and publicly feeding her child is not wrong.  She wants the church to be more accepting and sensitive toward mothers who choose to breastfeed in public.

As I read this story, I was, at first, very irritated on the mom’s behalf.  Fellas, if you’re turned on by a woman’s breasts, that is your problem.  It’s not up to women to protect you from your sexual thoughts.  You need to exercise more self control and realize that breasts are, first and foremost, intended to feed babies.  I realize that public breastfeeding is a somewhat new phenomenon in that, until recently, many women would feel uncomfortable exposing their breasts in public to feed their babies.  But dammit, breasts are not primarily for titillation.  They have a purpose.  A man’s sexual reactions to seeing a woman’s breasts are secondary to that very important purpose.  When it comes to embarrassment about breastfeeding, it’s the men who need to get over themselves, not the women.

Then, after reading about how this mom was treated by church leaders, I was irritated by her reaction.  I understand that the LDS church is the type of organization where membership is very important, particularly within family circles.  It’s not like it is in my family, where people attend different churches.  Most of my family members are protestants, but they aren’t all Presbyterians.  I have an aunt who is Episcopalian and a sister who is an atheist.  My mom played organ in Baptist and Methodist churches for most of my life.  Yes, many of my family members go to church, but there is no pressure to attend a specific church or practice a particular religion.  This is not necessarily true for Mormons.  To them, family participation is essential and in devout families, there is intense pressure to be Mormon and participate fully in the church.  Leaving the church can lead to a host of unpleasant consequences.

And yet… here is this nice couple doing absolutely nothing wrong, sitting there listening to church officials berate them for doing something totally natural and necessary for their baby’s health, and threatening them with eternal damnation for not conforming to their stupid rules about modesty.  I realize I’m not Mormon and never have been, but it’s inconceivable to me that these people tolerated those shameful remarks from church leaders.  They should have told both the bishop and the stake president to go fuck themselves (sorry, I’m in a mood this morning), gotten up, and walked out, vowing that their children would not grow up to be tithe payers.  I may be very cynical or even naive, but I think that’s ultimately a response that would get church leaders to listen.  Seriously, fuck those guys.  They are just regular men put into positions of leadership in a manmade religious organization.  They only have as much power as their members are willing to give them.  As long as church members allow them to talk to them in that way, the abuse will continue.

I do think it’s abusive to subject breastfeeding mothers to shame, scorn, or ridicule for daring to feed their babies in public.  If you think the church is right about this, the next time you have a meal, put a blanket over your head or go sit in the bathroom to eat.  Tell me, is that a pleasant way to dine?  Why should mothers and babies have to tolerate that?

It seems to me that this mom is very faithful to her beliefs.  She is exactly the kind of member the LDS church would not want to lose.  She cares enough about the church to want to hear what is said during meetings, even when she’s nursing her child.  While I personally think Mormonism is bullshit, she clearly doesn’t.  I don’t think she’s the kind of church member they’d want to alienate, since she has clearly had several children who will one day pay tithes… that is, if the church doesn’t one day drive them out with their outdated and anti-woman policies.

Churches are definitely losing members lately.  Nowadays, many people are abandoning religion or attending churches that offer more in the way of personal enrichment or entertainment.  I have never attended a Mormon church service, but Bill has.  He tells me they are extremely boring, except perhaps on fast and testimony days, when members get up to testify that the church is true.  I have heard that a number of colorful testimonies have been offered on those Sundays, although in order to enjoy them, you have to be fasting…  I’m not sure that’s a good tradeoff.

I’m sure the church is very important to this mother and her husband.  It’s a pity she didn’t just tell her leaders that she’d find a church where breastfeeding mothers are more respected and men are taught that they need to control their lust.  The onus should not be on women to protect men from “falling”.  The men should be taught to self-regulate.

And… for the last time, breastfeeding babies isn’t sexual.  If you think it is, you’re the one with a problem.

true crime

In Utah, female boobs are “lewd”…

I just read about the sad case of Tilli Buchanan, a 27 year old stepmother of three who was charged with three counts of lewdness involving a child. Back in 2017, Buchanan and her husband were doing hot, dusty work in the garage of their Utah home. Because the two were uncomfortable as they installed drywall, Ms. Buchanan and her husband decided to strip down to their underwear. Ms. Buchanan also removed her bra, and was later caught topless by her three stepchildren, who were 13, 10, and 9 years old at the time.

About a year after the topless incident, the children’s biological mother was talking to detectives about unrelated allegations of sexual abuse involving the children when she told the detectives about her kids seeing their stepmother topless. After speaking to the children’s mother, the detectives decided that a sex crime might have been committed. In early 2019, Ms. Buchanan was charged with three counts of lewdness involving a child. If she is convicted, she could spend ten years on the sex offender registry and up to a year in jail. Ms. Buchanan’s husband, however, has not been charged with anything, even though he, too, was topless in front of children. In Utah, men’s breasts aren’t considered “lewd”.

It’s hard to believe that in 2020, people are still sexualizing a part of the female anatomy that has a completely non-sexual function. Breasts are for feeding babies. While breasts can certainly be erotic to men and erogenous to women, they aren’t primarily intended to do anything other than nourish offspring. Many people find feet erotic and sexy, but people are still allowed to walk around with bare feet without fear of reprisal. What makes female breasts any different than feet, which can be sexy to some folks, but have a completely non-sexual purpose?

Furthermore, it’s not like Ms. Buchanan was prancing down the street, flashing her tits to everyone, nor did the children witness her in a sexual activity with their father. She was in her own home doing hot, nasty, dusty, dirty drywall installation. She took off her top and her bra. For this, she should be banned from being around children for the next ten years, including her own stepchildren?


I’m sure readers can already tell what I think of this case. I think it’s ridiculous. However, given that it takes place in Utah, and involves people in a child custody situation, I’m not surprised that someone got arrested. I don’t know anything about the mother of Tilli Buchanan’s stepchildren, but having been a “stepmother” myself, I do know about the crazy shit that can come up in the wake of divorce and child custody situations. And given that my husband’s ex wife got their children converted to Mormonism, and Utah is the LDS mecca of the world, I know that when it comes to the presentation of female boobs, Utah mores are probably more conservative than most. I would not be surprised if the LDS church has something to do with this case… either directly, or simply because it’s happening in a state where so many people are practicing Mormons.

Judge Kara Pettit of the Third Judicial District Court of Salt Lake County has rejected a challenge to the charges against Buchanan. Although Ms. Buchanan’s lawyers have argued that Utah’s law forbidding exposure of “the female breast below the top of the areola,” was unconstitutional, Petit wrote that “The Court finds the government has an important interest in enacting laws to protect the health, safety, welfare, and morality of children, and to prevent them from being exposed to lewdness.” Judge Pettit also stated that she concurred with prosecutors’ argument that the law’s description of female breasts as lewd “reflects contemporary community standards as to what constitutes nudity.” Yeah, I get it. It’s Utah.

But… babies and young children see female breasts all the time when it’s time to eat, especially in Utah, where people have big families and breastfeeding is highly encouraged for health and economic reasons. What is so “lewd” about children seeing a grown woman, topless in her own home, installing drywall? There was nothing sexual about what Ms. Buchanan was doing. Would Judge Pettit also see breastfeeding children as “lewd” behavior? Children get a lot more up close and personal with female breasts during that activity, don’t they? And women’s breasts are typically, but not always, fuller than men’s are, but basically constructed the same way. Would it still be considered “lewd” if a breast cancer patient publicly displayed her flat chest after a total mastectomy? I’ve seen photos of women who have had their breasts removed and didn’t get reconstruction done. Their chests, post surgery, basically look much like that of males, except for the scarring. Should they be arrested simply for being female, even though they’ve had those scandalous bags of fat and tissue removed from their chests? Should children think of the women as “lewd”, simply because they’re female and showing a part of their bodies that mainly men have decided are “sexy”?

Reading about these cases make me glad to be in Germany, where nudity is not illegal. I’ve been to many textile free spas here, and some people do bring their children to them. Kids in Germany occasionally see grown people naked and it’s no big deal. Because simply being naked isn’t necessarily “sexual”. Everyone is born naked. It’s the way God made us. It’s when grown people start engaging in sexual activity in front of kids or involving them in the activities that nudity starts to become “lewd”. But a person can also be lewd while fully clothed. I would be much more outraged by fully clothed people engaging in frankly sexual activities in front of children than I would in a case like Tilli Buchanan’s. She was simply hot and uncomfortable, not engaging in sexual activities… and again, she was in her own home, which should be considered a private domain.

Tilli Buchanan’s lawyers have said they would be appealing Judge Pettit’s decision. I hope the next judge has a bit more common sense regarding this issue. Women’s breasts are fascinating to many men, but that’s really on the men, isn’t it? Why should Tilli Buchanan face criminal charges for doing the same thing her husband did, especially in her own home, in front of family? What a waste of time and resources this case is.