A Marysville mom says she was asked not to breast-feed her 6-month-old son at a Columbus water park despite being discrete and covering herself with a towel.

"Actually, I was pretty appalled, and I was really upset, you know. The fact I've never had an issue, and the fact I was at a water park where people are in teeny little bikinis. Of all places, just wow!" said Maggie Bowen.

I have a little theory, and I owe much of the substance of this theory to the sociobiologist Sarah Hrdy, whose book Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species had a profound impact on all of my thinking around the question of the sources and nature of human sociality.

For Hrdy, human sociality (and indeed mammalian empathy) begins with lactation. The path that leads to the intimacy that bonds our societies began with some kind of reptile that secreted a substance (in the form of sweat) that accidently protected its eggs from bacteria and other parasites. In the book, Hrdy presents a theory that describes the path from that accident to our sociality.

My theory: The policing of public breast-feeding in our society has something to do with obscuring the roots of our sociality. What breast-feeding makes apparent immediately is our natural communism. We do not go to a communist society (the failure of Lenin); we are banished from one (the melancholy of Benjamin). Communism is not something in the future; it is something in the past. It is indeed something we lose. So, when we see a baby sucking a nipple, we are seeing precisely what made it possible for humans to closely live and work with other humans.