I'm not quite sure what to make of this. As "mommy blogger" Jessica Gottlieb points out in the above article:
That they [critics] would jump from a breast-feeding doll...that you would take a child feeding and would automatically sexualize it says more about you than the doll....I've got to agree with her on that one. Americans have had a historically shamed/shaming reaction to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding provides a number of well-documented health and emotional benefits for infants that are amazingly long-lasting so socializing kids to this behavior can arguably be seen as a good thing. However, like playing with dolls in general, the breastfeeding doll is gendered, that is, it's unlikely that boys will be encouraged/allowed to play with it. That said, breastfeeding is not so much a gendered (i.e. socially constructed) behavior as it is a sexed (i.e. biologically determined) behavior. In other words, men are physically incapable of breastfeeding. Some have said that it's basically wrong because it is adult behavior that is undesirable for children to emulate, the let-kids-be-kids argument. The fact is that virtually all child's play imitates adult behavior. Playing house, playing with blocks, playing with dolls, and cops-and-robbers would all be out the window by that definition.
So, what is it about the breastfeeding doll that elicits such strong reactions? Is the toy a good thing? a bad thing? a neutral thing? Honestly, I'm at a loss with this one. I'm hoping some folks will comment below with some insight.