'The Slap' captured my imagination back in October 2011 and last week aired in the US. If you haven't seen it yet it has to be one of the best series I've ever seen! Here is how the first episode got to me back then.
But then a different scene slapped me far harder than a whack ever could. There was a mother still breastfeeding her four year old at a BBQ. In front of a few six year olds, no less.
At this point a collective “Eeeewwww” echoed through Twitter and presumably loungerooms nationally. Then the defence began. Women tweeted furiously: breastfeeding is a natural and beautiful thing! A woman has a right to breast feed for as long as she likes, where she likes!
As a public breastfeeder myself up until five months ago, I have no issue with other women whipping them out wherever they need to. The choice is either a starving baby in pain, screaming it’s head off or a flash of nipple. I know which I would prefer.
Why I screwed up my nose at the scene and then groaned at those defending her afterwards was because this was not a depiction of a child needing a feed. This was a sad dysfunctional scene of parents failing their child on a number of levels. If a little boy is old enough to hit other children, break their expensive games consoles and wield a cricket bat at their heads, he is old enough to be taught the difference between right and wrong, and ordered off to the naughty corner. Instead his insipid mother offers him the reward of a comforting breastfeed.
This is all types of wrong and has very little to do with the rights of mothers worldwide to breastfeed in a “whateverworksforyou” kind of way.
Have we become so politically correct, so populist that we can’t stand up and say that this woman is turning something beautiful into something revolting and wrong? I hope not, because I was completely grossed out and I will not apologise for recoiling as I watched two people selfishly undermine a healthy foundation for their son.
There is something inherently wrong with abusing the responsibility we as parents have. We possess a huge amount of power over our children’s lives and threatening them physically or emotionally, is jeopardising the very framework of which they will rely upon for the rest of their lives. The bøøb, in this case, is as lethal as the slap.