The battle to breast feed | Embarrassed feat. Hollie McNish by Jake Dypka | Short Film | Random Acts


I thought it was ok. I could understand the reasons. They said there might be a man or a nervous child seeing this small piece of flesh that they weren’t quite expecting. So I whispered and tiptoed with nervous discretion but after six months of her life sat sitting on lids, sipping on milk, nostrils sniffing on piss– trying not to bang her head on toilet dispensers. I wonder whether these public loo feeds offend her. Cos I’m getting tired of discretion and being polite. As my baby’s first sips are drown-drenched in shite. I spent the first feeding months of her beautiful life feeling nervous and awkward and wanting everything right. Surrounded by family till I stepped out the house It took me eight weeks to get the confidence to go into town, now the comments around me cut like a knife, as I rush into toilet cubicles feeling nothing like nice. Because I’m giving her milk that’s not in a bottle Wishing the cocaine generation of white powder would topple us see, pyramid sales pitches across our green globe and female breasts banned. Unless they’re out just for show. And the more I go out the more I can’t stand it. I walk into town, feel I’m surrounded by bandits Cos in this country of billboards covered in tits and family newsagents full of it W H Smith top shelves out for men, why don’t you complain about them then? In this country of billboards covered in tits and family newsagents magazines full of it. W H Smiths top shelves out for men I’m getting embarrassed incase a small flash of flesh might offend. And I am not trying to parade this. I don’t want to make a show. But when I’m told I’d be better just staying at home and when another friend I know is thrown off a bus and another mother told to get out of a pub even my grandma said maybe I was “sexing it up”. And I’m sure the milk-makers love all this fuss. All the cussing and worry and look disgust as another mother turns from nipples to powder. Ashamed, or embarrassed about comments around her, and as I hold her head up and pull my cardi across and she sips on that liqueur made by everyone’s God, I think for God’s sake Jesus drank it so did Siddhartha, Mohammed, and Moses and both of their fathers Ganesh and Shiva and Brigid and Buddha and I’m sure they weren’t doing it sniffing on shit as their mothers sat embarrassed on cold toilet lids in a country of billboards covered in tits. In a country of low-cut tops, cleavage and skin and in a country of cloth bags and recycling bins. And as I desperately try to take all of this in I hold her head up, I can’t get my head round the anger towards us and not to the sounds of lorries offloading formula milk into countries where water runs dripping in filth, in towns where breasts are oasis’ of life now dried up in two for one offers, enticed by labels logos and gold standard rights claiming breast milk is healthier powdered and white. Packaged and branded and sold at a price so that nothing is free and this money-fueled life, which is fine if you need it or prefer to use bottles where water is clean and bacteria boiled but in towns where they drown in pollution and sewage bottled kids die and they knew that they’d do it. In towns where pennies are savoured like sweets, we end up paying for one thing that has always been free. In towns empty of hospital beds babies die, diarrhea, fueled that breast milk would end so no more will I sit on these cold toilet lids no matter how embarrassed I feel as she sips. Cos’ in this country of billboards covered in tits I think I should try to get used to this.

45 thoughts on “The battle to breast feed | Embarrassed feat. Hollie McNish by Jake Dypka | Short Film | Random Acts

  1. YES! Thank you C4 for airing this last night. I'd never heard of Hollie before and what a poet she is! No woman should ever be embarrassed.

  2. She is awesome! and the video was masterfully edited! great job

  3. This is just phenomenal. Thank you thank you thank you for this!!!

  4. This moved me so much. I breast fed in public but always felt anxious that someone would stare in disgust or say something mean to me. I was lucky no one did but I have friends who did experience that. Society is pretty screwed up when "girlie" mags in newsagents are more acceptable then a Mum feeding her baby. Well done this woman.

  5. Thank you!! This poem brings me to tears every time. I can relate. I have shared the first version so many times!! I will share this one now. Thank you. Thank you.

  6. I was attacked in my car whilst breastfeeding my daughter. Four boys started banging on the windows and shouting and sneering. It was very very frightening so this video poem is perfect. Society is sexist, full stop and it needs to change.

  7. I guess it's not easy, but it would be great if you could add subtitles in Spanish 🙂

  8. Kudos to the poet and the amazing film crew behind this video. Beautiful imagery, camera work, editing and sound. The poem is power.

  9. The production company of this video are sensationalising things to a point that people (women) think it is a real issue. If this was such an issue the video company could have easily just compiled the thousands of youtube clips of men complaining about women breastfeeding in public which sadly for them, don't exist. The fear of crime is worse than the crime itself. If I was a new mother without any prior experience of seeing people showing anger towards me breast feeding and then I watched this video I would be more cautious not less.

  10. i love this! Never breastfed but I'm a mother baby nurse so I try to encourage breastfeeding as much as I can. This video is amazing! Thank you!

  11. Timothy, sorry I respectfully disagree that Hollie and Jake are being sensational. We are constantly smacked in the face with lurid, gory images and messages of all sorts by the media. I remember breast-feeding and it was lovely, but the times I had to DISAPPEAR into poky, smelly places to feed my soft, sweet babies were awful. And things like being told that 'animals feed babies.' Well, hullooo let's not get above ourselves. We are animals. And babies don't know otherwise. When they want the breast (for whatever reason), they need to have it. Parents need to stick together on this.

  12. A few months ago this came on the TV as an advert whilst my entire family (8 people) were mid conversation and we all suddenly stopped talking because of how powerful and shocking the video was and ive been looking out for this video ever since glad
    I found it again

  13. Moving film, great spoken word poetry, unafraid to speak out. Thanks Dawn Dypka for recommending – want to see more like this and relish getting to know Hollie McNish's work better.

  14. Excellent. Always feed your baby wherever you are publicly or at home, breast or bottle, but never in a public toilet.

  15. check out more of Hollie's wonderful poetry in the documentary BABYHOOD – www.vimeo.com/ondemand/babyhoodfilm

  16. I watched this about a year ago and I was like "ugh another dumb thing labeled as feminism but is just actually dumb politics" but I watched this and it was so honest and it's just absolutely beautiful.

  17. Fantastic! Suffered with comments and stares and pointing myself..

  18. more people should watch this video , and society should become more alive, thinking, more sympathetic and helpful

  19. What scummy arse places are you taking your baby too? I've seen crack dens with nicer loo's.

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