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A woman photographed feeding her newborn in her husband’s firefighter uniform receives flack for being ‘innapropriate’

In a not-so-shocking turn of events, white men with authority are doing their best to regulate and chastise women’s bodies.

New Mexico was ground zero for the latest in a strain of thousands of years of wrongfully shaming women for their natural processes. A photograph of a woman dressed in her husband’s firefighter uniform breastfeeding their baby went viral.

The firefighter in question faces some serious professional consequences for the photo, including the possibility of unpaid leave, which fittingly mirrors the unpaid maternity leave women face in the U.S.

Let’s get something right here: breastfeeding should not be taboo or ostracized by the public. Breasts are overly sexualized, so women have to hide the fact that they’re feeding their child simply because we can’t handle our own anatomy. It’s egregious that in today’s progressive world, we still see systemic power being used to shame women for their own bodies.

The photo was a part of the “Mothers in Uniform” series, which shows women in professional settings feeding their babies and sending a strong message to misogynists and stigmatic folk alike. Tara Ruby, the photographer of the series, told ABC 7 News she’s not happy.

“I was mad,” Ruby said. “I was mad for the mom, and I’m mad for the husband that she has that’s supporting her in this. There’s no different than, say, somebody dressing up in a clown suit and doing it. It’s the exact same thing. It’s just that there’s a story behind this photo and that it’s a powerful one and maybe one that not everybody’s ready to hear.”

The Las Cruces Fire Department where the husband works won’t comment due to it being a personnel issue, which is typical of an organization that knows it’s screwed up. Like, if you steal cupcakes from a confection store, you’re not going to tell the police you evaded now standing at your front door that you stole the pastries through your frosting-smeared teeth. Cops can smell pastries from miles away.

LCFD spokesperson Udell Virgil told the Las Cruces Sun-News that the department does not have a policy specifying spouses and uniforms. That is the only scapegoat I would have given the LCFD for having probable cause for a suspension, but now, it’s even worse because their only cause is the breastfeeding itself, which is natural. You wouldn’t criticize a mother doe for breastfeeding her young fawn in the wild. That’s just the order of nature.

About The Author

Luke Janke

Luke Janke is a super senior studying journalism at FGCU. When he’s not listening to podcasts, he’s busy producing his own podcast, Full Pulp. Concerts and music are at the forefront of his horizon, and when there’s an ounce of free time you’ll find him in his home studio laying down tracks for his music project, Bull Moose Party. As a self-proclaimed nihilist, his affinity for death is emphasized by the authentic squirrel skull found on his desk in the newsroom.

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