I just remembered something that really, really pissed me off over four years ago, and that I never really complained properly about at the time.
I was a subject in a breastfeeding research lab for about a year, in a series of different studies. I was pleased to be able to help a set of researchers genuinely interested in promoting breastfeeding and doing world-class research into the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the breast. I also found it personally rewarding and interesting, finding out all of the scientific ins and outs of the ways my breasts functioned.
There was a bit of a hurdle to get over in altering my ingrained modesty rituals, as the research quite often involved being bare-boobed in a room with 2, 3 or 4 other people, a thermographic camera, and various other bits of equipment. The researchers I dealt with most of the time were helpful and matter-of-fact about it, and did everything they could to make me as comfortable as possible.
But there was one, a few months into it. A young man, new to me – a research assistant? I’m not sure. He introduced himself by name, but not by role. And as soon as I saw him, I felt profoundly uncomfortable, but for some reason I didn’t feel up to speaking up about it or ordering him out of the room.
So now I’m speaking up. Dudes. If you ever get involved in breastfeeding research? DON’T WEAR A PLAYBOY BUNNY LANYARD ON THE JOB.
That is all.