The subject of breastfeeding is certainly no stranger to controversy. Should women do it? Should they do it in public? Is it really fair to put pressure on women to do it? For how many months – or years – should they breastfeed their child?
Public discord over breastfeeding came to a head last week when US vlogger Tasha Maile thrust herself into the centre of the argument. The mother-of-three came under fire after an old YouTube video was discovered, which sees her admit that she breastfeeds her young son while having sex with her husband.
The vegan YouTuber justified herself, claiming that there was never anything wrong with the act of making love. Appearing in numerous TV interviews to defend herself, she states: “From what I remember, I remember sleeping with my ex-husband and my son was on me breastfeeding and we would have sex from behind or something…. My three-month-old would not allow me to put him down at all. So he was attached to me 24/7. So we did it whilst he was sleeping next to me or on me.”
Then, just when we all believed that the animosity had reached its peak, viewers rediscovered yet another one of Maile’s Youtube videos that has managed to created even more hostility between her and the public. This time the controversy focuses around comments made by her three-year-old son, which many have labeled “disgusting”.
In the video, posted to Maile’s Youtube channel on 7 October 2015, her three-year-old son, is seen feeding from his mother’s breast. He looks to the camera and says: “It’s good to breastfeed and kiss. Yesterday… we is pretending you’s my girlfriend and I was your boyfriend and I kissed you.”
The mother’s eyes widen as her son makes the unusual comment, but she then smiles and dubs her three-year-old’s words as “so cute”.
Despite Maile’s open attitude, others have not been so accepting of the situation. In fact, the incident has sparked such outrage that one disturbed viewer named Jennifer Begley-Byrd has claimed she was going to report the mother to the FBI because: “this is just not normal behaviour for children that are his age”.
Other YouTubers have been equally horrified, with John Macho Cassaro writing: “That damn kid is old enough to drive to the store and get his own milk. If you can’t realize that this bitch has psychological issues and is looking for attention then you’re naive as hell.”
However, the San Diego mum has not been without her supporters, with many defending her actions, as well as her son’s comments. Facebook user Christine Murray wrote: “HIS NAME IS JOSIAH AND HE IS THREE YEARS OLD, not six. HE IS STILL POTTY TRAINING. The AVERAGE AGE OF WORLDWIDE WEANING IS *four* YEARS OLD. Breastfeeding isnt sexual. Breasts arent sexual organs and they have NOTHING to do with pleasing men. The fact so many of you interpret this sexually is what is wrong with this world.My one 1/2 year old will nurse until she sees fit…if thats until age 6, so be it. [sic]”
So, are the three-year-old’s comments worrying? Or are viewers confusing familial love for something out of the ordinary? Not to mention the fact that anyone who has met a kid will know that they come out with the weirdest things and most likely shouldn’t be held to the same verbal standards as adults.
Whatever the case, it seems very nearly impossible to dissect a women’s relationship with her child from a three minute, 40 second clip. But one things for sure, the heated debate over breastfeeding looks set to live on for a long time.