Singer Soumita Saha, who in past had raised her voice against objectification and body shaming of women has come out in support of model Gilu Joseph in the breastfeeding controversy and has urged for a separate breastfeeding rooms in public places like Malls and Multiplexes, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The hue and cry over the picture of a breastfeeding woman in a Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi is taking rounds on social media. The cover picture of a poet and model Gilu Joseph staring defiantly with a suckling baby has literally shaken up the progressive state of Kerala. Malayalam magazine Grihalakshmi’s cover on March 1 issue stirred up a conversation about breastfeeding in public. As usual, Twitter gave mixed reactions to Gilu Joseph’s bold avatar with most lauding her attempt of trying to normalise a “natural phenomenon” in a society that often sexualizes the act.
Soumita had, in past posted “The irony is that the society measures your intelligence by your capability of speaking, understanding and writing one particular language. It is the same society that encourages a deceptive meaning of the word ‘Bold’. Why do we always need to malign it by always using ‘Bold’ in sexual context? Boldness is a positive concept which represents valor, independence and emancipation much more than playful sensuality.”
Speaking on Gilu Joseph controversy, the ace singer said “It’s a campaign against how women are shamed for breastfeeding! Just the amount of hate this campaign is receiving is an evidence of how relevant the campaign is. If our mothers hadn’t breastfed us, we would not have been alive. Let us all accept the fact that #breastfeeding is as natural as anything else we do in our lives.Breastfeeding is a mother’s privilege and shame on anyone who wants to interpret it sexually.”
“I think we should realize that we do not have special enclosures for moms to breastfeed. Take malls and multiplexes for instance, people visit those place to stay long hours. These places do not have special enclosures for moms to breastfeed. Innumerable moms find it difficult to breastfeed their babies in full public view. Now look at the amount of hate the cover and the model is receiving for the bold step she and the entire team has taken. The amount of hate comments and shaming already proved how relevant this campaign is. This is the real boldness Gilu Joseph dared to show “, says Soumita.
She further adds, “Almost all malls and multiplexes have smoking rooms. It would be a great initiative if they could reserve a separate room for breastfeeding moms. In foreign countries, they do have Baby Care Rooms or Ladies Rooms for this purpose, but such rooms are yet to be found in most malls in our country. I urge the Government to mandate reserving one such room in all public places like Malls and Multiplexes”.