Friday, March 16, 2007

What a Jack***!

I was made aware of this article: Nursing mothers don't appeal to everyone after reading the latest post at Aurelia Ann. I am amazed that someone who has a law degree and all the education that goes with that degree could be so ignorant. It just goes to show that an education doesn't always mean someone is smart. I've included the article here in case the site changes the story at the link.

Nursing mothers don't appeal to everyone

It used to cost the publishers of National Geographic thousands to send photographers to far-off lands to get pictures of women breast-feeding their children. Now they need go no further than an airliner or the Charcoal Pit to get the same kind of copy. What used to be acceptable only in Papua, New Guinea or Botswana has now been adopted as the norm by a certain segment of our community.

I recently took a Pennsylvania borough manager to a business lunch at the Charcoal Pit in Pike Creek. Seated at a table about 10 feet from us were two women about 30 years old. One had a child perhaps eight months old with her; this was in a restaurant that had about 75 customers, including many children of various ages. She proceeded to take out her breast and begin feeding the child. She made no attempt to conceal what she was doing or respect the views or sensitivities of anyone else. When she saw that my companion and I were looking at her with obvious surprise and dismay, she defiantly bared her other breast and glared at us with the eyes of a true zealot.

This is just one of several such incidents that I have witnessed in the last two or three years. I once had a stranger seated next to me on an airplane ask me to help her breast-feed her child. When I recoiled in horror and asked the stewardess to move me to another seat both the woman with the child and the stewardess called me all kinds of names. Several passengers joined the fray on both sides. It was only after I threatened to sue everyone involved that the woman agreed to take her baby to the lavatory where she wouldn't bother anybody else. If airlines are going to allow this sort of thing, they should provide areas where it can be done in private without annoying other passengers.

This kind of behavior can also cause problems in the workplace. I have heard of a number of cases where women who were nursing insisted on using breast pumps at work and storing the milk in refrigerators provided for employees to keep their lunches. People don't want their food stored next to your body fluids. In my mind this is no different than storing urine or fecal samples to be taken to a medical lab.

I cannot guess why some women who are nursing insist on sharing it with the rest of us. They remind me of people who leave the bathroom door open. There is nothing endearing about that practice, either.

The fact that certain things are natural doesn't make doing them in public acceptable. Everyone should always be aware of the effect of their actions on others and realize that what's OK in private, or among family and close friends, is not always OK when interacting with the general public. Breast milk can easily be placed in a bottle and transported in the same manner as formula.The baby can be fed from a bottle without annoying others who are attempting to enjoy a meal or travel on public transportation.

I often see women with small children carrying large bags that contain most of the things necessary to feed and take care of a child. It's long past time for the silent majority who object to such things to stop being silent. We should insist that everyone observe minimal behavioral norms in public environments. Being a mother doesn't give anybody a license to be what I consider a public nuisance.

Thomas Beach, a member of the News Journal's Community Advisory Board, is an attorney who lives and teaches in Cecil County, Md.


Jessica said...

This is interesting. He feels we ought place breastmilk in a bottle to bottle feed while in public, but only a few sentences earlier, he was complaining about breastmilk being stored in bottles in a refrigerator where people keep their food. Doesn't he realize that breastmilk is food?

That Blue Girl said...

I guess not. I really hate that he says, "Being a mother doesn't give anybody a license to be what I consider a public nuisance." He should be ashamed of himself.

Jessica said...

We're all very glad that just because he considers something to be a public nuisance doesn't make it so.

That Blue Girl said...

It's silly of me to be mad or "hate" what he says. I guess he is entitled to his opinion-but at the same time...Grrr!

Jessica said...

Oh, man. I must've sounded much more zen than I actually felt. His article actually put me in a bad mood the entire day. I hate to admit that an ignorant stranger had such an affect on me, but it's true. I simmered the remainder of the day. Fortunately, I had a busy weekend, which kept me from stewing the entire time.

Anonymous said...

I guess he doesn't like employees keeping cow milk or other dairy products in the fridge either. That's like cow urine samples people! He comes across as naive and whiny if you ask me.