June 7, 2005

ABC: No One Wants To See Breasts (Except on Desperate Housewives, Sundays at 9PM Eastern, on ABC)

When Barbara Walters kvetched to her posse on The View about having to see a woman breastfeeding on the plane, some other Viewster was like, "Ew, I'm so embarassed when I have to nurse," and the rest go, "Yay, she had her first bottle of formula!"

It was enough to make breastfeeders around the country hoppin' mad. So after thanking their branding consultant for the headline-friendly moniker, about 150 lactivists staged a feed-in yesterday in front of ABC's Upper West Side studios.

Kudos to breastfeeders everywhere, and to breast supporter and DT reader Eric Schulmiller, who gets quoted in the NYDN article: "'What I hear from my wife and other women, it's not an easy thing to do,' said Schulmiller, of Port Washington, L.I. 'They need all the support they can get.'"

Lactose Intolerant!
[NYDN, should've been 'Lactate Intolerant']
'Lactivists' Take Their Cause--and Their Babies--To The Streets [nyt]

12 Comments

Let me guess -- the uncomfortable-with-nursing Viewster was that featherhead Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

So, Barbara -- I guess the nursing mother on the plane should have just let the baby cry, eh?

My mother-in-law worked at the NY Public Library for decades. She told me a story that a few years back a guard asked a b-feeding woman to leave or go to a restroom. The woman complained to all the right people and within days a memo was sent to all staff re-iterating the fact that breastfeeding was 100% acceptable and that under no circumstances should a breastfeeding woman be asked to move. Hooray!

Ah.. the restroom. That's always my favorite comment. Sure! Let me take my infant into the dirtiest nastiest room in the entire place and FEED them there. Sounds like a bangup idea!

The fact that a grown woman is made "nervous" and "uncomfortable" by the sight of another woman's breast is a telling statement about our society's "view" of the female body and sexuality.

But, considering the current conservative political climate, I shouldn't be surprised....

And, yes, Hasselbeck is a twit.

Yeah, when we first started taking our daughter out in public a few months ago, my wife was kind of concerned about breastfeeding in front of people, so we'd try the mother's/family rooms, but most of them are just large washrooms with a table... very few of them have a chair, and even if they do, it's not a good chair.

Here in California (and in many other jurisdictions), it's a woman's statutory right to breastfeed in public:

Cal. Civ. Code 43.3
1997 Cal ALS 59; 1997 Cal AB 157; Stats 1997 ch 59

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother and child are authorized to be present.

Check out http://www.lalecheleague.org/Law/NBNovDec94p164.html for local info.

Aah - The View. Now there's quality television. (Sarcasm dripping heavily....). Tell me again why it's still on the air?

Kudos to all those coming out in support of breastfeeding in public. I agree with tropha that our current political climate is part of the issue. But I think the overall prudishness of the United States is the overarching issue. People act like their kids are going to be damaged for life because the kid saw Janet Jackson's breast on TV.

You just want to grab folks by the head and say "half the people in the world have breasts, and good for them if they want to use them for their actual purpose."

I agree that it sucks to be ushered off out of view....but, the silver lining to society's distress over breastfeeding is that nursing moms can use imminent nursing sessions as an excuse to escape from [family, business, neighborly, whatever] gatherings and then loll about with baby in the comfortable, quiet, privacy of the boudoir...

I've done it because, in the early months of momdom, I really needed to gather my wits more frequently.

Lee - the same thing happens at Disney now and then -- they have to remind the employ...er... the cast members that they cannot tell breastfeeding women that they cannot breastfeed in public. They can, however, direct them to special family rooms if they (the women) want some privacy.

Ya'll are so uptight down there.
Never in my time in Canada have I heard a word about a woman breastfeeding in Public. Certainly NEVER in Sweden would anyone say anything, becuase no-one would even think its strange.

But I remember in the US, with my sister in San Diego, and a gang of old women marched right up and said "Shame on you" and we just laughed nervously, while edging our way outta there.

Remember, it's hard for all moms with infants, regardless of whether they breastfeed or formula feed. All moms deserve clean, safe places to feed their babies. Let's support all parents as they work to do what is best for their kids and their families!

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