Conservatives Freak Out Over European Breastfeeding Doll

 A Spanish toy company is about to retail its "Breast Milk Baby"—a doll that comes with a harness and  so that children can learn about breastfeeding—and predictably, conservatives are freaking out. Though the doll is already popular in Europe, and the company insists it is meant to encourage nurturing behavior in young children, it has already received protest thanks to coverage by Fox and ABC. Forbes reports:

Back in March, Berjuan Toys caused a stir when it first offered the dolls online. Outlets such as Fox News and ABC got wind of it, and suggested that the doll was perverted and would force girls to grow up too quickly. To outraged critics who think the doll potentially teaches kids about baby-making too early, Lewis maintained that breastfeeding has absolutely nothing to do with sex.

“By learning about a healthy, natural way to feed a baby, boys and girls are not being sexualized in any manner… As an American, I find it hard to believe that we are letting a silly misconception about something as wholesome as breastfeeding be turned into a taboo subject,” [Berjuan Toys spokesperson Dennis Lewis] argued, adding that decades ago, our grandmothers would have laughed at all this controversy. “Until a few multinational companies started selling artificial milk, the ‘normal’ way to feed a baby was by breastfeeding.”

 The harness essentially looks like suspenders with two little nibbed flowers attached so the baby doll's suckling mouth can latch on. The company says they are trying to normalize the act of breastfeeding—clearly not so controversial in Europe, where they've already made over $2 million on the doll. Said Lewis, "What could possibly be wrong about a child learning this from an early age?" 

Read the full piece at Forbes.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at July 18, 2011, 6:47am

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