Ever wonder how the word “boob” as slang for “breast” insinuated itself into the English language? I don’t know the real answer, but consider this:
Despite what people like Hugh Hefner would have us believe, I think the the main purpose of women’s breasts is to facilitate the feeding of newborns. Not all mothers breastfeed, of course, for a variety of reasons, but even those who choose formula or a hybrid model of “fed is best” would probably agree that the biological reason that women possess these anatomical features is to enshrine mammary glands, the purpose of which is to enable lactation.
Alongside this idea, consider the common initialism found on invitations to gatherings (remember those?) for “bring your own beverage”. We’re all familiar with it: BYOB. Now, I wonder: is it a coincidence that breastfeeding mothers can say, “We’ll bring our own beverages,”? In short, their response to the invitation to motherhood (if they both want one of these and also are fortunate enough to receive one at a time when it’s welcome) can be shortened to contain the tidy, singular, palindromic syllable of (I know, you already figured this out) BOOB.
If this were the case, the acronym “boob” would actually be a verbal phrase, and it would only be applicable to a first person plural subject. Its place in our language would no longer be as a noun; rather, it could become a slogan of unity for all women who get the side-eye from imbeciles when they’re nursing their babies in public. Like in Target that time, when I was tucked away at the most remote table in the cafe to feed Summerly, myself nursing a Chai Latte to give me the strength to finish shopping, and that guy whose body wasn’t fully tucked into his clothing either wrinkled his upper lip and rolled his eyes in my direction, I should have stood up, fist upraised, and incanted, “WE BOOB!”
“WE BOOB” could be the name of the next women’s movement to affirm our rights to nourish our children whenever and wherever is healthiest for them, in whatever way works best for us as parents. The power to choose breast over bottle or bottle over breast, or whichever other way we decide to nourish our babies without anyone batting an eye! The freedom to use those inestimably valuable methods at our disposal to ensure that our children’s growth is favored, regardless of what anyone else thinks or expresses to us! “WE BOOB” could serve as the rallying cry of solidarity for the next generation of mothers, an anthem so succinct it could fit on coffee mugs, bumper stickers, T-shirts…maybe even the La Leche League would get on board and fund a Kickstarter campaign!
Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about at 2:00 am.