If Men Could Breastfeed

milk

Pictures of nursing men would dominate Facebook photostreams.

There would be no such thing as a nursing cover because men would nurse in the wide open. Other men would come up to nursing men and give them fist bumps. Conversations like:
“What are you lactating at these days?”

“Man, I can pump up to eight ounces from one side!”

Or

“Shit, son. You look great.”

“Yeah, I’m lactating.”

Would be commonplace.

People would ask nursing men if they should leave the room to give the man and his baby some space.

Laws would require employers to allow four 30-minute pumping breaks for all lactating men.

Paternity leave policies would be extended to six months, so men could nurse their children exclusively as recommended by the World Health Organization.

Men who breastfed their infants would receive tax breaks from the government and rebates from their health insurance companies.

The National Center for Lactation Support would spend millions revolutionizing clogged duct therapies and preventative techniques for mastitis.

“Cow” would be a term of respect.

Men would brag about how long and how much. Terms like “he’s a 6 ouncer” would become a compliment. Newspapers, morning shows and magazines, would devote entire issues to the topic of nipple tenderness, cuts and bleeding.

Men would recount with pride the time their engorged breasts squirted milk while they were out to eat with their wives.

A whole market of breastfeeding aids would be developed. Peyton Manning would appear in ads for super absorbent milk pads. Shaq would be the spokesman for Man Milk, a line of supply-boosting lactation supplements. David Beckham would have his own line of nursing-friendly shirts.

All stores would have designated breastfeeding areas with comfortable chairs and televisions. Restaurants would have complimentary portable arm rests and pillows for nursing men.

People who asked a man to “cover up” while breastfeeding could face a fine up to $2,000 or jail time for discrimination.

Conservative groups would hail the lactating man as evidence of intellectual and physically superiority over women, who need their man’s help to feed their children. Liberal groups would work to advance the cause of women “shouldering the man’s burden” by advocating for lactation implants in mothers.

TV shows and movies would regularly feature men nursing their children as story lines. In Two and a Half Men Charlie Harper would seduce women with his tales of breastfeeding his son. Or the heart-wrenching episode of Law and Order where Dectective Lennie Briscoe struggles with low milk production. And who can forget the iconic, Emmy-award winning episode of NCIS: Los Angeles where LL Cool J catches the killer and successfully wet nurses the son of the murdered Marine?

Studies would show that men who breastfed were more likely to be promoted to upper management.

Far beyond being a titillating or sexual image, breasts would be revered as a fount of life and would be emblazoned on the National Seal.

The Washington Monument would be shaped like a boob.

Of course, I didn’t come up with this idea myself. Gloria Steinem wrote a lovely essay titled “If Men Could Menstruate,” which provided the inspiration for this post.

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