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Culture Clash

I was conversing with a colleague in the US who shocked me by stating that CNN is considered (in the US) to be a liberal news channel. Why I was shocked is that to the outside world, CNN would be considered a distorted, conservative, US vision of the world, far from the liberal minded channel it is seen as being in the US.

But then should I be surprised. Take, for example, “Baby Talk” magazine in US. Its all about babies and mothers. To me this would, at some point, include breast feeding. It is a natural way of feeding the baby, and as a father of a 7 month baby it is something I see everyday of my life. It came as another shock to read this story in Yahoo news

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Readers of a US parenting magazine are crying foul over the publication’s latest cover depicting a woman breastfeeding, with some calling the photo offensive and disgusting.
“I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine,” one woman from Kansas wrote in reaction to the picture in Babytalk, a free magazine that caters to young mothers. “I was offended and it made my husband very uncomfortable when I left the magazine on the coffee table.”

Her reaction was part of some 5,000 letters the magazine has received in response to a poll to gage reader sentiment about Babytalk’s August cover photo, which shows a baby nursing.
Several readers said they were “embarrassed” or “offended” by the Babytalk photo and one woman from Nevada said she “immediately turned the magazine face down” when she saw the photo.

“Gross, I am sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob,” the mother of a four-month-old said.

Another reader said she was “horrified” when she received the magazine and hoped that her husband hadn’t laid eyes on it.

How did these people get pregnant in the first place. Do they remain covered up and blindfolded with the light out? In fact how do they feed their babies (probably bottles, maybe Coca Cola) and what do they think breasts are for?

Then there is the story of the Barney the dinosaur and the 6-year old shopping with her father

“Look, Daddy, a Barney movie!” I couldn’t see it, so she guided my eyes to the vulgar obscenity arranged there on the sign. “Look! Up there! Barney’s p***s!” I was shocked when I saw the words arranged on the sign. I quickly averted her eyes and escorted her into the store.

Since then, she has not stopped mentioning Barney’s p***s. This has shaken the bedrock of our family. I made an emergency call to our church’s pastor about this bombshell in my daughter’s life and he is unsure how it will affect her future.

Yes, this is a clash of ideas. I am far from being US-style conservative and far from ever understanding the motivations. Shielding people from unnecessary violence is one thing, but shielding them from all things natural is simply madness.

Categories: Opinion
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