While we're on the topic of breastfeeding, I was driving in the car the other day and heard a story about a new doll from Spain: the breastfeeding baby doll! WHAT?! I kinda laughed. The doll comes with this thing the child straps on, and there are flowers where nipples would be. The child holds the baby doll up to her (or his, I suppose) "flowers" and the sensors in the baby cause the baby to make nursing noises.
People's reaction to the doll (in the U.S.) is rather negative and some said it sexualizes children too soon. Sexualizes?! I've never associated breastfeeding with the sexualization of children! The only way I can imagine these people being offended is if they are likening breastfeeding to "self stimulating" or something. In that case, then, yes, I can see they'd be offended. I don't know if that's what these people are thinking, though, but I've never thought of breastfeeding as sexual or offensive.
Proponents of the doll say it helps children learn to nurture. I can imagine it also making breastfeeding seem more natural and common.
My reaction was that the idea is kind of weird, and I don't think I'd buy one of these dolls, but I don't think people should think it's a bad thing. Obviously there are some serious misperceptions of breastfeeding.