TV: Modern Family—B(r)e(a)st Men.

breastfeeding modern family

Older men telling breastfeeding mothers to “be a bit classy about it” seems to be the order of the day, and art is imitating life on Modern Family.

First David Koch made that massive gaffe about breastfeeding mothers on Sunrise, insinuating that there’s a time and place for it and it isn’t in public, and now Modern Family’s resident baby boomer, Jay Pritchett, is shaming Gloria for giving their newborn, Fulgencio Joseph, sustenance via her breast milk. Similarly to Kochie’s sentiments, Jay tells Gloria not to “do that in front of strangers” when he catches the mailman staring at her bare breast—albeit with a baby suckling it—and that perhaps a “dark closet” might be more appropriate. Yeah, because breastfeeding mothers just love expressing milk in public toilets or fitting in a breastfeed whilst changing their baby’s nappy in a baby change room.

We’ve all heard the outcry surrounding the sexualisation and shaming of breastfeeding: it’s the most natural act; it’s what breasts were intended for; breastfeeding shouldn’t be seen as sexy, etc. But when you’ve got popular personalities like Kochie and TV shows like Modern Family pushing the opposite agenda, can we really expect the public perception of breastfeeding as sexual and/or shameful to change?

Further to this, when Manny expresses (pardon the pun) a fixation with the female form in art class, everyone jumps to the conclusion that Gloria’s voluptuousness and her clingy maternalistic treatment of her son is at the crux of Manny’s newfound sexual awakening. Breastfeeding and motherhood are, again, completely natural and all but essential for the evolution of the human species, not exhibitionist performances at the detriment of male children.

Once again, Modern Family fails to emphasise the “modern” part of its title

Related: Modern Family is Anything But.

Image via Double Think.

2 thoughts on “TV: Modern Family—B(r)e(a)st Men.

  1. I don’t watch Modern Family but from what you say, I think they are probably showing exactly how stupid those sentiments are, by highlighting them. the show always struck me as a poorman’s Arrested Development. By the way have you read “Fresh Milk” by Fiona Giles. Fabulous exploration of the mythology, eroticism and exploitation of breasts and breastfeeding. :)

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