This cover on the recent US edition of Time magazine has ignited the breastfeeding discussion once again. The child in the picture is apparently nearly 4 years old with his mother Jamie Lynne Grumet.
Would this picture generate such a reaction in India where on average children are breastfed until 2-3 years old? Is the reaction experienced in the media a cultural one? Is much of the reaction directed towards the image of a woman breastfeeding? There have been many publicised incidents, in recent times, of women being asked to cover up or stop breastfeeding in public to indicate that there are plenty people uncomfortable with sight of a breastfeeding woman.
The article the picture relates to is on attachment parenting, a form of parenting that encourages the parents to be creative in responding to their child’s needs. Time magazine have undoubtedly chosen this image to provoke reaction and debate, it is one aspect to one woman’s method of parenting. Why should we judge the choices she makes for her and her son? Our concern should be that each and every family be given the information to make the decisions that are right for them and we should not be judging them for the decisions they make, just like we should not be judging Jamie Lynne Grumet for breastfeeding her son beyond the age western society expects.