The Bøøb more lethal than The Slap? ~ My IdeaLife

Saturday 25 February 2012

The Bøøb more lethal than The Slap?

'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. 

Like a lot of Australians last night I sat glued to the ABC for the debut of ABCTV’s ‘The Slap’, the TV series immortalising the controversial novel of the same name. So there I sat, patiently waiting for the aforementioned slap to occur.

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.


  1. I had the almost the same reaction: the breast feeding shocked me much more than the slap! Although afterwards I felt guilty for thinking that especially as my husband stood up for the mother/character and protested that there had to be a reason for her overindulgent/overprotective nature. Breast feeding for a long time is not of course overindulgent (I breast fed my daughter for 15 months, my son for nine nine and probably would have been happy to go longer...) but I agree that when it no longer has anything to do with nutrition or health but has more to do with the mother's own issues than that of her child, it maybe has to be questioned. Anyway The Slap was amazing! My husband and I were glued to the series (already aired in UK). And as you watch the remaining episodes you will see just why Rosie behaves the way she does... a brilliant series that depicts just how complicated we human beings are...

  2. Hi Shereen, Totally agree, long term breastfeeding is cool, like you I wish I had continued longer than the 12 months I did both my boys but life got in the way. Wasn't it an amazing series...I miss it but hopefully it gets a bit of a following in the US.
    Nicole x

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  4. Interesting view, and I partly agree with you too. To have a child so indulged in his behavior with no consequent for it, is very unhealthy. What I don't like is how they portrayed the mother to be so horrendous, and the breastfeeding was associated with that. I have breastfed my children both till 4 years old. I took great offense to how they made the mothers character to be. By the age of four all my kids had was boob to go to sleep with at night. That is all. even I would be a bit affronted to see people behaving in the way the mother did in that first episode. There is so many other things wrong with the family other than the breastfeeding aspect.

    Thanks for sharing your honest view.

  5. Hi Rex, I agree it is unfortunate that the author associated breastfeeding with terrible parenting and as you say you couldn't really get two things less related but the author, to get so many conflicts into one group of characters, is nothing short of genius,
    Nicole x

  6. I'm happy I didn't watch, I feel helpless not being able to change anything, and then I realize it's just TV. But I can't stop taking it seriously.


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