Is This Photo of Military Moms Breastfeeding a Disgrace to the Uniform?
A recent photo of two breastfeeding military moms has sparked a firestorm of controversy, with critics arguing that the image is unbecoming of someone in uniform.
“A lot of people are saying it’s a disgrace to the uniform. They’re comparing it to urinating and defecating [while in uniform],” said Crystal Scott, a military spouse who commissioned the photo as part of a campaign for National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. “It’s extremely upsetting. Defecating in public is illegal. Breastfeeding is not.”
One of the mom’s depicted in the photo — Terran Echegoyen-McCabe — isn’t making any apologies, however. “I’m proud to be wearing a uniform while breastfeeding,” she said. “I’m proud of the photo and I hope it encourages other women to know they can breastfeed whether they’re active duty, guard or civilian.”
Still, some say that the image could actually damage the reputation of women in the military. “The same reason I would never nurse in uniform is the same reason I do not chew gum, or walk and talk on my cell phone, or even run into the store in my utility uniform,” wrote a woman who identified herself as a retired Marine Corp. captain. “We are warfighting professionals. Women before us have worked too hard to earn and retain the respect of their male peers. I don’t want my Marines to look at me any other way than as a Marine.”