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A Short Open Letter To Jeremy Clarkson

Dear Jeremy

Before writing your column this week, was there perhaps some sort of incident involving petrol fumes?   I have to confess to being a tad concerned you're really rather confused about basic biology.

In your piece you compared breastfeeding with urinating, and how we do that in a private room.  Let's take a deep breath and cover the basics.

Urination:  Urine exits the body via the urethra which is located in the genital area - it's illegal to randomly expose one's genitals in a public place.  Urine contains bacteria that could be harmful to the health of others, particularly when eating.  Urinating in the middle of Claridge's restaurant (outside of the designated toileting areas) would not be acceptable, and would likely end in arrest.

Breastfeeding:  Milk exits the body via the nipples which are located on the front of a woman's body.  Men also have breast tissue, areolas and nipples located in the same area - but do not typically lactate.   A baby is eating, just like everyone else in the restaurant.  Breastmilk contains bacteria that kills harmful pathogens, and unlike taking a piss in public, the milk is delivered into the baby's mouth.  Asking a mum to stop breastfeeding is illegal, and can result in you being sued.

 To see how silly your comparison really is, try out the following sentence:
"The school children were given warm home-made cookies, and an ice cold glass of urine".
I think we should actually be making mothers as comfortable about breastfeeding as possible.

A 2012 report shows that for just five illnesses, moderate increases in breastfeeding would translate into cost savings for the NHS of £40 million and tens of thousands of fewer hospital admissions and GP consultations.

£40 million of tax payers money the NHS could save Jeremy.  To put that in perspective, it's over 200 Ferrari 458's, or more than 450 top spec Range Rovers.  You've often commented about hospitals, strikes and UK budgets in general, so best to factor this into the equation.

It's clearly not breasts generally you have a problem with, in fact you comment here "All the birds in England have great tits", and struggle to present properly when faced with a couple of pairs .  But I guess we shouldn't be shocked, after all you've previously told us that men see "funbags" as their toys, and like a sports car can't face letting baby "use" them - in fact men generally find breastfeeding "deeply disturbing".

The irony you wrote this for a paper that frequently objectifies women isn't lost on me, because the message I'm getting here Jeremy is breasts are cool, as long as they're out on show for you to leer at (quite literally), but not when a woman chooses to do something else with them.  I believe that's known as misogyny...

The trouble is your stance is actually quite illogical.  To use your analogy, it's a bit like buying yourself one of those sports cars, and then not taking all the precautions you could to look after it well.  A 2013 study found breastfeeding could delay the onset of breast cancer for 10 years, whilst another found not breastfeeding was linked with increased risk of aggressive subtypes.  So even from an entirely misogynistic perspective, that's 10 more years of enjoying those "funbags" - oh and potentially saving the life of your spouse.  So unlike in your analogy where the baby wrecks the sports car, breastfeeding is akin to them taking it out for a spin and throwing in a service and tune up.

And a wax and polish actually, because did you know Jeremy that having a baby and not breastfeeding, is linked with a faster rate of breast skin ageing?  And before we go there, it's a myth breastfeeding makes them sag too.

So come on Jerry you don't need to write controversial guff to desperately try and stay in the public eye.  If you really can't bear to see babies eating, maybe carry around a copy of that paper you write for - then should you stumble unexpectedly upon a nursing dyad,  you can quickly immerse yourself in a vetted, titillating alternative on page 3?



  1. I love the analogy with the sports car! A brilliant article. I'm afraid Mr Clarkson might not change his point of view: to that extent it will be, as the French expression goes, like pissing in a violin (but then considering his fondness for that subject it's quite appropriate...) but maybe the public opinion will change... Even if it's only one more person it won't have been in vain.

  2. Brilliant post - well written, especially with the sports car analogy. I learned something new about not breastfeeding being linked with a faster rate of breast skin ageing too. The comparison between breastfeeding and urinating always infuriates me - I urinate in private, I change my babies nappy in private. My baby and I both eat in public. Why do some people have such an issue with breasts being used for their primary purpose? And yes, the irony that the comment appeared in a paper well known for being comfortable with exposed breasts - as long as they are just to be leered at - wasn't lost on me either.

  3. I love you AA xxxx what a brilliant response!

  4. This is a very well written response and I couldn't agree more. All women need to feel supported breastfeeding if they choose to do so, especially with all the health benefits for mum and baby. The government is promoting it but comments from JC and other arrogant and idiotic people don't help at all.
    Well done for standing up for breastfeeding and stating the facts.

  5. Jeremy trying a bit hard to be contentious.


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