In Michigan City, Indiana, the mother of a breastfed 11-month-old was asked to leave an Olive Garden restaurant after she refused to give her baby lunch in the bathroom.
Margaret Naas said her daughter Katie wanted to eat shortly after she’d ordered. She said she pulled half of her halter top down to feed the baby.
Soon, the manager (a woman) cited other customer complaints and offered her use of the restroom to feed her child.
A lactation consultant from the nearby WIC, Tammy Pray, who contacted the media regarding this situation, told The News-Dispatch,
That’s disgusting! Who would want to feed their children in a bathroom?
So instead of feeding her child where people defecate, Naas left. The restaurant boxed up her lunch so she could take it to go.
Naas admitted that she didn’t bring a blanket with her. It was 80 degrees outside, and she didn’t think of it.
Mark Jaronski, spokesperson for the corporation which owns Olive Garden, said that the issue wasn’t with Naas feeding her child, but her lack of modesty. He said that the report to him was that she had taken down her halter top and was completely exposed.
Several guests asked the manager to speak to her. We had guests who had concerns about modesty and we have to be responsive to the comfort level of all our guests.
But Naas rightly argues that he wasn’t at the restaurant, so he wouldn’t know. While she says that the manager was polite, she was upset about the situation.
My baby just wanted to nurse.
Presumably the Olive Garden manager then also had conversations with teens with muffin tops and coin slots, women who show too much cleavage, men with sweating problems, and people with poor table manners. And we can only hope that the manager also asked interracial couples to eat their lunch in the bathroom so as not to offend their racist patrons. Oh wait–no.
The News-Dispatch reports that the Indiana law regarding public breastfeeding is as follows:
Not withstanding any other law, a woman may breast feed her child anywhere the woman has a right to be.
If you’d like to know your state laws, click here. Don’t forget your “Right to Breastfeed” card!
Image: daquella manera on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
Jesus effing ef. Are you effing kidding me?!?!? What is with all this horseshit this week! All this proves is that we are NOWHERE in terms of the right to breastfeed in public. It’s only as good as the red tape it’s written on.
Personally, I just don’t understand why the mother didn’t stand her ground. I know this can be humiliating, but anytime I breastfeed in public, I am just half-waiting for someone to say something to me so I can shove IL state law up their tight ass. The minute I pull down my halter top, I’m looking around to see who could possibly fuck with me. I would quietly tell the manager that they are violating state law, and ask if they’d like to have the police come on down to the restaurant and explain my rights to them.
But then again, IL has an enforcement provision, and I can sue the franchise out from under those dickwads. Oh, nothing makes me wanna swear like some anti-breastfeeding jagweeds.
While it sounds like crap, we weren’t there and don’t really know how much she had exposed. I realize that she was just feeding her baby, yeah yeah…but as bf’ing moms we have to be aware of the people around us and respect them, just as we expect those same people to do to us. Taking down the top part of a halter top makes it seem like her entire chest was exposed…in any other situation, it would be public indecency.
I’m just not getting the vibe that the OG in question are “anti-breastfeeding jagweeds”…I just think they had a restaurant to run and people to please. They could either please one woman, or a few tables worth of people who were uncomfortable with her level of exposure.
Once again, I realize that it is within our rights as women to breastfeed our children anywhere/anytime but we do have to understand that there are other people around us who may not feel comfortable with it.
That being said, I bf my son whenever/wherever and haven’t ever had a problem. I use a cover for the most part, but have had times when I’ve forgotten it and instead of waiting until we were in a private place, just did what needed to be done. I was self conscious with my first child, but this time around I figure, it is nature and if you watch – you’re going to catch a glimpse of post baby belly…and good luck with that.
Breastfeeding isn’t “any other situation” and most state laws specifically exclude it from “indecency” regardless of how much chest she’s exposing.
When I’m wearing a tank top, I pull it down. If you’re eating next to me, I dare you… no, I double-dog-dare you to say something to me about it.
MY right to do that is protected. YOUR right to be offended is not. YOU can leave. Or better yet, mind your own business.
As far as NIP goes, I don’t know ANY breastfeeding woman who wants to do anything other than feed her child and make their child happy. Not a single one desires to show any more skin than necessary. I used a cover once and it was the most conspicuous thing so stopped after that. Not one single person ever said anything negative to me. Once my cousin’s wife asked if my daughter was sleeping and I said, no, she’s nursing.
Militant much? Way to completely miss the entire point of my post.
The fact that breastfeeding in public is protected is not to ensure that you are able to just take your tits out wherever you damn well please. The spirit of the law is so that women are not prohibited from breastfeeding in public.
Here is an analogy that I’m sure you’re going to hate. Smoking is not prohibited in public, but you would still be a fucking asshole to go up to a baby and blow it in their face. God forbid you say something to that person though, because it’s protected! That is why smoking is being outlawed in so many places, because while it should be a personal right, so many people find it offensive.
I just don’t understand why breastfeeders can’t be respectful – why we, as breastfeeders, have to be either the meek one sitting in the bathroom or the lactivist, bitching up one end of the street and down the other until it is our right to go naked into a restaurant (because it would be more comfortable). Why can’t we, as humans, just co-exist with everyone. We expect everyone to be PC about everything. Homosexual rights, race rights, etc…but the minute that it is our self-serving issue, it is no-holds barred, bare your tits if you have ’em and fuck anyone who says otherwise.
Oh my god, the ignorance is palpable.
FIRST of all, smoking in public places IS ILLEGAL in many states now. It is a violation of law to smoke in ANY building other than a residence, or within 15 ft of a building, and illegal to smoke outdoors in parks or on public and government property in our great state of IL, as well as California, New York, and many others.
So, not only is it UNLAWFUL to smoke in public, there is NOT any protection for those who smoke in public, so yeah, your analogy is just stupid.
SECOND of all, I did not read anywhere that this woman shoved her tits in somebody’s face OR squirted milk on anywone – which is the only thing that would compare to your ridiculous “blowing smoke” analogy.
I rest my case.
c lo says
Your analogy is just made of fail because, as I hope you understand, smoking is hazardous to MY health. Catching a sideways glance of someone’s breast may offend my delicate sensibilities, but it is in no way HARMFUL to anyone. Period.
Breastfeeders will probably be respectful when you quit trying to impose your morals and hang ups on them. When women can just breastfeed without getting harassed for it, I’m sure then most of the lactivist will shut up.
Until them, agree with their extremist tactics or not, they are unfortunately necessary. Who is going to stand up for the random, perfectly nice, respectable lady who forgot her hooter hider at home one day and then get’s kicked out of Target? Because THATS what we’re talking about here. These instances DO NOT stem from women slamming their tits on the table in front of everyone and screaming “LOOOOOK AT MAH BOOOOOOOOOBZ!!!!!!!!!”. These issues stem from women like you or me just trying to live their life and take care of their kids and some jerk, who can’t just be human and co-exist, has to come in and make their life harder by stepping on their legal rights.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again……..these amazon she-beasts who are running around flailing their DDDD bare breasts at everyone don’t exist. Look at this objectively. These stories are about normal women who probably aren’t trying to do anything other than feed their kid. Why don’t YOU just co-exist and turn your damn head? Why don’t YOU support the simple right a woman has to feed her damn kid? Why is THAT so hard?
Heather D says
Speaking of homosexual rights, if a gay couple has the right to be that Olive Garden restaurant but some patrons are offended and complain because they’re being “in your face” about it (holding hands, ewww), should that couple “respect” the other patron’s opinions and in an effort to ‘coexist’ with them, happily get up and leave?
Would they be too “no-holds barred” about their “self-serving issue” if they insisted that they should be allowed to stay?
Going further back in history, should Rosa Parks have been more “respectful” of the other bus patrons and not offended them so much with her “in your face” approach to her “self-serving issue”?
What about the suffragettes? Those whiny bitches, always complaining and protesting and getting themselves arrested and being all “in-your-face” about their “self-serving issue”. Why couldn’t they just “respect” the men in charge and just peacefully “coexist”?
Oh yeah, that whole “rights” thing. Hmm.
c lo says
And, one more thing Lindsay…
No, I do not have to automatically put the comfort level of a stranger above me taking care of my kid. I do not have to respect strangers. I’m sorry, but I’ve gotten dirty looks for changing my kids diaper in the bathroom. I’ve gotten dirty looks for letting my 1 year old be loud in a restaurant (try telling a 1 year old to be quiet)…..if you are a mom, you know what I mean. People will be offended and annoyed by any number of parenting choices I make. That’s life. That’s why God gave us legs to walk away and necks that turn our heads. No parent should have to live in constant fear that she may offend someone with her parenting choices. It’s a fact, it’s gonna happen.
well breastfeeding and smoking only have one thing in common…and that is that they are both a serious public health concern. It ends there.
The reason that smoking in public places is prohibited is because it actually effects the health and well being of the people around them. Breastfeeding harms no one and violates no individual rights. There is no comparison there.
What I don’t understand is what the heck is so disrespectful about breastfeeding anyways? I am not infringing on anyone or bothering anyone by feeding my baby. So why are WE the ones who have to be ‘respectful’ of the hang ups of others…when the real disrespect is those who infringe their personal beliefs and body issues on innocent Mums and babies. Why can’t OTHERS coexist with the reality that tits are for tots and not for selling cars and beer? Why should others dictate that which has nothing to do with them?
Grow up? I say get a clue!
Enith Hernandez says
adding to what TheFeministBreeder said, Linday… you cannot compared smoking with feeding a child. Analogy is not accepted, sorry. You should be careful with what you believe should be accepted. Last time I check, breastfeeding is not a sexual act, so why should be hidden? Last time I check we make milk to feed our babies. That’s what breasts are for and that’s why there is a huge campaign going on in different states regarding normalizing breastfeeding by placing people-size photos of women breastfeeding in different areas like parks, corners, etc. WITHOUT covers. I am sorry but I think the one that needs to grow up and grow up as a better person it is you Lindsay. Breastfeeding is not indecent and we need to teach it and advocate it, that’s why we fight for this cause. Breastfeeding is love, and the more we breastfeed without hiding in the bathroom, more women will feel that it is okay to breastfeed in public and children will be breastfed longer as well…
My question to you is, how about women that expose their breasts with tiny shirts or expose their underwear by wearing really low-rise pants, they are not escorted out of places? But the woman who breastFEEDS is the indecent one?
what a twisted world…
Jake Aryeh Marcus says
I think I actually had an experience yesterday that was analogous. Well, maybe. I was in a seminar and a man in the next row had some sort of sinus problem. He kept making this horrible pig snorting sound. It wasn’t so loud I couldn’t hear the speaker perfectly well. He obviously needed to do it in order to breath. But it completely grossed me out. No one else seemed to notice so it was clearly my sensitivity to the sound. I wanted to stab him with my fountain pen. Instead, at the first break I moved to the other side of the room where I couldn’t hear him. Of course in that situation you don’t have the additional factor of someone needing to feed a child. But at a basic level there was someone who could have stayed home so he didn’t bother anyone and me with a sensitivity that is my problem. So who moves? Me. As it should be.
I find it is actually more discreet to nurse without a cover up. It’s funny…when I cover up using a cover, people give me looks (or say, “hooray you are NIP!” – I am one of those people). But if I just nurse and lay a blanket over my daughter’s body, but not over my boob, 95% of people think I am just holding my baby while she naps.
Well Ladies, I WAS THERE! I breastfed all 3 of my children. I did it in the privacy of my own home and in public. I was never once asked to cover up of told that I was offending anyone, simply because no one ever saw my breasts. This woman was NOT asked to leave, she left on her own accord. She pulled her breast out of the top of her shirt and waited while the 11 month old crawled over to nurse. I have no problem with it, I’m not demented. But let’s not forget that there are many who obviously are, like the ones complaining. Why put yourself and your child up for unwanted attention. It’s easy to be discreet, (she wasn’t even trying to be) and more importantly, it’s safer. Too many perverts all around us to give a reason to be targeted. Don’t be naive. Afterall, there are porn lactating websites that cater to perverts. I also think that being mothers, you ladies could clean up the language, you know who you are.lol
Cate Nelson says
@Jake: “I wanted to stab him with my fountain pen” Ha! That’s how I feel with cutlery and people with horrible table manners.
@Patty: Thank you for chiming in as a witness! I often pull my breast out of the top of a tank. Granted, I am usually covered. But I don’t think it’s right for us to say how she should have breastfed. Any more than it would be fair for me to tell someone how to eat or for Jake to tell someone how to breathe.
So you heard the whole exchange? Because if I were told to either go to the restroom to feed my child or that I could take my lunch to go, I’d consider that an invitation to get out.
As far as cussing goes, I talk like a sailor sometimes myself. I also have an expansive vocabulary and consider myself rather articulate. However, swearing is occasionally more efficient, like saying “y’all.” Right now, I tell my stepdaughter (and will eventually tell my little boys) that when they have a handle on the English language like I do, they can talk like me, too.
I take exception to the thought that because we’re mothers, we should somehow be more genteel or less outspoken. If anything, being a mama brings out the fightin’ words in me!
Oh my god. If I hear my husband’s teeth click together ONE MORE TIME while I’m eating, I will put a fork into his eye. Can’t stand it!
But I have to say, I’ve never “heard” anyone nursing. Not once! 😉
I wish that we lived in a World where we could run around naked, a place where a nipple on a woman’s breast didn’t get a mans penis hard and think of women as sex objects. But, we don’t. This world is screwed up. My concern isn’t for the “young children” in the resturant, but for the Dirty Old men trying to get a peek. Why flop it out when you can simply pull up your shirt and expose only the nipple for the baby to nurse? If you have rolls of blubber I can see that you might be embarrassed to lift your shirt instead.
@ Cate re: I take exception to the thought that because we’re mothers, we should somehow be more genteel or less outspoken. If anything, being a mama brings out the fightin’ words in me!
Please don’t take exception. I never implied that women or mothers should not be outspoken. But an intelligent, well spoken man or woman can get a point across much more efficiently than a foul mouthed one. I’m sure that some highly educated people cuss like drunken sailors, but not when they’re trying to make a point. They leave that to the trailer trash that doesn’t ever make a valid point, because of their language or lack there of. I cuss as much as anyone else, but not in front of my children, when I’m talking about my children or in a public forum. It’s just distasteful whether it be from a man or a woman.
Sorry folks – the boob flopping woman is clearly in the wrong.
Breast feeding is completely natural, but then so is pooping and I wouldn’t want to watch someone doing that at the next table.
~The MOTHER forgot to bring a blanket to cover herself and the child.
~The MOTHER didn’t want to go sit in her (very likely air-conditioned) car and feed her child.
~The MOTHER didn’t know after 11 months what time her daughter normally wanted lunch (a pattern/schedule that should be well established by 11 months).
~The MOTHER didn’t want to remove herself to another location when other PAYING patrons were obviously uncomfortable by her actions.
Again, this is a completely natural and beautiful process.
But then, so is sex.
How’d you like it if a couple jumped on the table next to you and knocked one out while you were trying to enjoy your breadsticks?
C’mon crazy boob woman. You have rights, but guess what? So do I! I have the right to sit quietly and enjoy a meal that I paid for without the show.
I for one will have my salad without the extra boob.
c lo says
FYI, ladies, if you go to the MSNBC site, there is a video of this with an short interview with the mother. Having seen this, I’m going to suspect that because she is 1)younger and 2)tattoo’d she was probably targetted a little more than normal because she’s not a nice prim and proper mother.
Patty – Sorry, but using the “oh your language offends me” argument is equal to “I have nothing constructive to add”.
RH – You must be a man.
I also think even though breastfeeding is a natural and beautiful thing you still have to respect other peoples opinions. I feel comfortable if I sit in a restaurant and on the table next to me there is a mother nursing her baby (exposing her whole breast) and I breastfeed my son for 16 months. I always tried to find a quiet corner for us even if that meant the car.
You just have to accept the fact that even the most natural things on earth are not that natural to every one around you.
c lo says
The point is that we need to change that way of thinking and we aren’t going to change it by catering to the notion that women should be ashamed of their bodies and that breastfeeding is “gross” or “wrong”. I think every breastfeeding mother understands that people may not like what she’s doing. But it’s not WRONG and women simply shouldn’t EVER be made to feel ashamed or embarrassed or wrong for feeding their child. Until that happens on a regular basis, we have to speak out for them.
I don´t think it always means that people find breastfeeding wrong or gross or that a woman should be ashamed. It´s more the question if someone you don´t know wants to see your boob while he/she´s sitting in a restaurant. We expect people to use the bathroom instead of peeing on the next corner although it´s natural. Like Patty said if you can´t find a quiet room than try to do it without exposing your entire breast. I am sure nobody would complain about that. I breastfed my son on a plane and nobody said anything. I just “warned” the person next to me and then tried to do it in the most discrete way possible. I just don´t want to make people feel uncomfortable. Like I said respect other people´s opinion.
I think Gertie is spot on!
If you can’t breastfeed your baby in a dirty toilet, then you should avoid showing your whole breast – especially when you wear a dress – just lift the whole thing up so only your varicose veins on your legs, your knickers and your stretch-marked belly can be seen. That’s just my opinion.
If people feel embarassed – they maybe they should just not look?
WTF are you on?
That’s all I have to say to you.
RH- What’s your address? I’m going to come over and take a big, smelly crap in your cereal bowl tomorrow morning. I mena it’s natural, just like milk right? So that must mean it’s OK to eat. Or, you’re an idiot. By the way, you existing offends me. Please remove yourself to the car/bathroom and put a blanket over your head. Thanks.
C Lo says
Gertie, with all due respect (honestly) I think you’re really missing the point and not really making the connection that an action that makes other people uncomfortable = an action that is NOT socially acceptable in public = an action that one should be ashamed of.
If it was a simple matter of “I don’t want to see that” more people would merely turn their heads. We have to ask WHY people “don’t want to see that”. And the answer always, fundamentally leads to the notion that women are sexual objects who should be ashamed of their bodies. Whittle the arguments down and down and down some more to their most fundamental roots. Why on EARTH would someone care if they see a boob? Why on earth would it matter that much?
And, Gertie, most women are in fact just like you. Most of us tried our best to be discreet. Many of us have, in fact, quite small breasts that we couldn’t really flash if we wanted to. The VAST MAJORITY of breastfeeding moms are just like you or me…they are just trying to do their business and they were unlucky enough to get stuck around some jerks while doing it.
This notion that women with enormous EEE breasts are flinging them around and shooting tittermilk hither and yon HAS TO STOP. This does not happen. Have some empathy for your peers, for God’s sake.
At the root of all of this is the notion that by breastfeeding we are doing something we should be embarrassed about or ashamed of. Period. And until that group-think is banish, we absolutely have to stand up for our peers until stories like this are non-existent. Until that point, Gertie, when you say “Oh just cover up” YOU are part of the problem.
Patty, I’m afraid you’re going to have to tell me in “Trailer Trash” why you are so committed to remaining ignorant to the state-given rights of a breastfeeding mother. Because I certainly still do not “get” your point.
I do not care how you feel about it, any more than I care how bigots or racists think that gays and blacks should modify their very existence to please the hateful few.
Her RIGHTS were violated. Got that? RIGHTS. In WA state they call it a CIVIL RIGHT, and covering is NOT required.
But hiding your bigotry behind some Puritanical belief system is just about what I expect from your kind.
Well, I wish we as human beings would have evolved after millions of years of breast-feeding to a time when it’s obvious why God gave us Breasts. But we haven’t. The female nipple is considered a secondary sex organ, which means when viewed by men and some women, become sexually aroused. I just Googled Lactation and this was the second website to pop up.
http://www.lactatings.com/ Why take a chance on sexually arousing some pervert in a public place, this I would hope would be unwanted attention, but none the less, attention. I don’t think for one minute that women should not be allowed to breast-feed their children anywhere they choose, but do they really want that kind of unsafe and potentially harmful attention? I understand that we could prove a point by exposing our breasts to breast-feed, that the breast is for feeding our young. It’s unrealistic to think that men are going to change to accommodate us. Keep yourself and your children safe, like Gertie said, cover up. Maybe in another Millennium the tit won’t be so sexy and we’ll be able to not only expose our breast to suckle our young, but we’ll have the same privileges that men enjoy and walk around with no shirts on, simply because it won’t and shouldn’t matter. DO YOU FINALLY GET THE POINT? OR SHOULD I SAY IT IN TRAILER TRASH?
holy debate amongst ourselves!
I just see it as a honor to be the person providing healthy models for the rest of society. Yes I pull down from the top if my clothes warrant it (one piece bathing suit/sundress) and yes I understand that it brings up uncomfortable feelings for many of my fellow citizens and I am okay with holding that space so that they may explore there feelings and hopefully (because society supports my write to normally feed my child) come to the conclusion that, “whoa, I’m messed up…I’m upset about seeing a boob feeding a baby.”
I like to push boundaries, especially when it’s for a just and healthy cause.
Oh, and one more thought: my mother, public school teacher extraordinaire puts it simply like this, “You are allowed to swing your arms as you please, until you whack someone else.” When my boob hits a fellow diner in the head, then, I might reconsider my level of modesty. (maybe.)
The voice of Jayne average says
Christ, victimised much?
I agree with Lindsey to an extent – the smoking analogy was a bit OTT but I can see the point she’s making.
“When I’m wearing a tank top, I pull it down. If you’re eating next to me, I dare you… no, I double-dog-dare you to say something to me about it.”
I’ve no idea what a ‘double-dog dare’ is, but it makes me think you’re still in school, and also makes me not want to meat you. You’re being antagonising – perhaps you feel you have to be to live upto your handle as a feminist, but feminism doesn’t have to mean being a complete bitch!
“The minute I pull down my halter top, I’m looking around to see who could possibly fuck with me”
Perhaps if you didn’t play the role of the Victim or Martyr you wouldn’t get hassled. I’ll go out on a limb here and say you’ve not yet been challenged about breastfeeding? Maybe I’m wrong since if you love a challenge so much I wouldn’t be surprised if you leaned over other peoples tables to do it… perhaps swinging your spare breast in their food whilst screaming at the top of your lungs “You wanna start? You starting?”.
Nobody should stop you from breast feeding anywhere you like. I agree with this 100%, but your attitude stinks. Your comments really don’t do your cause any good – learn some perspective. Discretion doesn’t cost anything, your child can still get fed and probably would rather you concentrate on nursing it instead of starting fights.
As for C lo:
“I’ve gotten dirty looks for letting my 1 year old be loud in a restaurant (try telling a 1 year old to be quiet)…..if you are a mom, you know what I mean. People will be offended and annoyed by any number of parenting choices I make. That’s life. That’s why God gave us legs to walk away and necks that turn our heads. No parent should have to live in constant fear that she may offend someone with her parenting choices. It’s a fact, it’s gonna happen.”
If you make no effort at all to hush your child, you are a inconsiderate bitch. If you’re in a family restaurant like McDonalds – that’s fine, but if you’re taking your child to an upmarket restaurant and letting your child yell/run around without even trying to stop them – I hate you. Most fit parents will at least try to shut the child up – other people goto restaurants too and most decent humans are at least considerate/courteous about others. Most diners will not care if you make some kind of effort – most can probably relate, but if you don’t make any attempt you deserve people looking at you. Your child will most likely be a thief and goto Jail if it doesn’t have a parent that can teach it to consider the feelings of others.
“Oh yeah bro I’m gonna steal this car!”
“Dude that’s not cool, someones worked hard to pay for that”
“Yeah well fuck them, I don’t care bout no-one but me”
It’s your fault!
C Lo says
Do you honestly believe that the majority of breastfeeding moms are PURPOSEFULLY FLASHING their ENTIRE breast to make a point?
“rights” note “write”…(blush)
I think I understand what Patty is trying to say.
I’m not offended by the site of a breast of any kind, but other people have different views about modesty. And frankly, if you pull your top down and then stare people in the eye, daring them to say something to you, that’s just as rude as the person who does say something. I don’t see why it’s so hard to meet each other halfway.
My MIL is 61 years old and very modest. And although she never said a word to me about breastfeeding, I could tell she was uncomfortable. That doesn’t make her a bad person or close minded or any other name you want to throw at her, it’s just the way she is. And because I respect her, I was discreet. So why is it hard (or unneccesary) to be respectful of strangers who are probably perfectly nice people that might have had a different unbringing or different experiences than you?
I don’t get it. Name calling never changes anything. And change takes TIME. You can’t expect someone with views shaped by a lifetime to suddenly shake their heads and say, “Oh, you know, you’re right!”
I was also a little surprised to hear that the mother pulled her shirt down instead of up. Obviously she’s more comfortable with exposing her body that I am, because I would have not wanted to sit at a table with my father, my FIL, my boss or any number of other people and have them see my bare breast hanging out.
C Lo says
“And frankly, if you pull your top down and then stare people in the eye, daring them to say something to you, that’s just as rude as the person who does say something. I don’t see why it’s so hard to meet each other halfway.”
Karyis – WHO DOES THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????
The mother in this article certainly didn’t.
(And, from what I read, she was wearing a halter top. I know when I breastfed my first, if I was wearing a tank or halter, I would pull it down rather than up. It actually exposed less skin, not more)
Seriously, why can’t anyone answer that. Most women are doing EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO!!!!!!!!!!!! And yet you support those who make them feel ashamed for feeding their kid.
“Karyis – WHO DOES THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????
The mother in this article certainly didn’t.
No, she did not, but a previous commenter says that she does, just so she can cram the state law down their throat if they dare say something. and I’m sorry, but I don’t see the point of purposely picking a fight to make a point about the legalities of breastfeeding.
If I was sitting in a booth and wearing a halter top, I’d feel less exposed with the bottom pulled up and the baby blocking my exposed midriff than I would the top pulled down and the entire top of my breast and part of the nipple showing.
Let’s try another example. A aqcuaitance was sexually abused by a female relative as a child. Now he’s in a relationship with another man and is extremely uncomfortable at the sight of an exposed breast of any kind, even if it’s just from a woman wearing a tank top that doesn’t fit. So what’s the best solution in that case? Should he just “get over it” because breastfeeding is natural and protected by law?
Nor am I supporting the people who hassle bf women. I’m just saying that you never know where someone is coming from and just because someone is uncomfortable doesnt mean they are a bad and horrible person. The line is thin.
Here’s another example–I was grocery shopping the other day and a very large man kept bending over to get things off lower shelves and almost his entire butt was hanging out of his pants. Yes, it’s just a butt, but it made me feel uncomfortable. But instead of finding a manager and demanding that the man pull his pants up, I just stayed away from the aisles he was on. I think it goes both ways.
I breastfed my babies all over the place without a cover and never exposed a breast. I support a woman’s right to feed her baby with or without a cover and I think that people who are shocked by the sight need to avert their eyes. I’m just saying that I understand where some people are coming from. It doesn’t make them right, but it also doesn’t mean they should be called horrible names.
C Lo says
Karyis, I get the impression that the previous poster was making a point………I don’t think anyone ACTUALLY, and unprovoked ever just slaps a tit on the table and stares down people, lets be realistic here.
You made an excellent point…when you’re in public and you see something that you find objectionable, the rational person usually just turns away. You are perfectly within your rights to think that gross guy is gross and even go home to your husband and say “You won’t believe what I saw today!”
And that is EXACTLY what people who are uncomfortable with breastfeeding need to do. We absolutely, without question, have to STOP coming down on the mothers who, by and large, are just feeding their child like you or I would. We absolutely have to stop passive aggressively telling them they need to be ashamed of breastfeeding. It has to stop.
OF COURSE people are going to be uncomfortable. I think we all know it and I would bet that MOST breastfeeding moms make the effort to be as respectful as is reasonable in any given situation.
When I was a new mom, and I attempted to NIP for the first time, I was in a shopping center and I left the store I was in and, in 100+ degree heat, tried to nurse on a bench outside. My daughter and I were figuring out latch, and she was hot and figety. Between my inability to get it right, her frenzied head bobbing, and her flailing around, I’m sure some people got a little show. And I’m a B cup if I’m being generous. That situation could be one step from this OG situation had one of the disapproving old ladies who watched me the ENTIRE TIME complained to a manager. And that’s not right.
Babies deserve not to have our hang ups pushed on them. Women deserve to have their RIGHTS RESPECTED. Women deserve NOT to have their bodies treated like sexual objects if they don’t want them to be. The end.
We have to break free of this mentality that we tell them they are at all wrong. For now, until society changes, I think we need to pretty much totally support public breastfeeding. The end. Even if it makes you uncomfortable or even if it’s not what you’d do.
When *I* was a new mom and attempting to NIP for the first time, I went way back to the layaway dept of the store I was in and found a deserted bench in a deserted corner. I was still new at it, and also didn’t want anyone to see my mushy postpartum tummy. Plus, I needed to look at the latch to get it right. And just as I’m about to get him latched on, this man showed up and stood there and kept glancing at me. And I was like, “Is he staring at me? Waiting for someone? What the hell, I went to all this effort to find a spot with no one around and now he’s going to stare?” And finally I said to hell with it, pulled up my shirt and fed my baby and when I looked again, the guy was gone. So who knows, maybe he was lost or maybe he just wanted to see a breast, but if he had complained I would have been really pissed. If I went to all that effort to be discreet and then some guy shows up and happens to see my boob because he’s STARING at me and it makes him uncomfortable, then tough shit.
I must have misunderstood the previous commenters post then, because she made it sound like she’s spoiling for a fight.
I have no problem with women who feed any which way they want, and I fully support a woman’s right to do so. And had I been in that Olive Garden, I would have stood up for the mother, even though she was feeding in a manner than I wouldn’t have chosen.
I’m just saying that the name calling isn’t neccesary. If I disgree with someone and they call me a shithead, I’m not going to suddenly see their point because they got nasty. A lot of things are generational. My MIL had her first child, my husband, in the early 70s when no one was breastfeeding. And while I may not identify with her being uncomfortable and I may not agree, it certainly doesn’t make her a bad person or a horrible person or a jerkwad or any of the other names I’ve seen directed at people who may be a little uncomfortable with the idea of an exposed breast in public.
C Lo says
I think we can agree on that.
I will say that one point that can come out of it is that it should be socially unacceptable to persecute women for NIP. So, I can also see the reasoning behind “calling a spade a spade”, so to speak. It’s not especially nice to call these people names, but it does make an effective point.
But hiding your bigotry behind some Puritanical belief system is just about what I expect from your kind.
Read that sentence, It’s oxi-moronic…. “My Kind” now who’s the Bigot? Sorry about this Karyis, but The Feminist Breeder, is also an Idiot Breeder. You didn’t even read what I said, you’re filled with hate and can’t see passed it. I don’t give a Flying “F” about offending anyone while NIP, I worry about the person who might get sexally arroused by it, and don’t be naive enough to think they’re not out there, or maybe that’s what you want to do in the first place. And as far as exposing a big boob, Feminist Breeder, you are a BIG BOOB. Please just stay right where you are, safe inside your house at the computer.
Bye Ladies, it’s been a slice. Now, although I’m not lactating, I’m going to go breastfeed my gardener..I am afterall “Puritanical” WTF?
This isn’t about the Mother’s modesty, smoking rights, gay rights or sex. It is about the LAW. She has everyright to breastfeed in public and is protected in Indiana under that law. Everyone else can go suck on a lemon. Any lawyer worth his salt could sue the pants off of Olive Garden. I’m not a lawyer either. I’m a Mother who breastfed 3 children and a Obstetric Registered Nurse and I support breastfeeding anywhere, anytime when your baby is hungry in Indiana.
Cate Nelson says
Hi ladies, and RH, who is almost certainly a man.
I’ve been mostly silent here, and I thought it was high time I commented again. (scootching soapbox up)
I am discreet when I breastfeed in public. Not for anyone else’s comfort, but because I am a pretty discreet person overall with my body.
But I think by the last paragraph in my blog, you know where I stand. I think it is no more proper for a business (or anyone else) to stop a woman from FEEDING her CHILD than it is to stop an interracial couple from dining in public because racist people are uncomfortable. And having been half of such a couple (and living in the South), I feel alright using that analogy.
We have rights as breastfeeders. And it’s not so much our right to show our breasts (which no one is advocating here) as it is the child’s right to EAT.
Many of you have probably hopped on Eco Child’s Play for the first time to advocate for modesty. We don’t argue otherwise. But here are a couple of my posts–which some of my awesome regular commenters are already aware of–that may help clarify my position and that of a few other ladies ’round here:
On going to the bathroom:
Thank you for nursing in public:
I want to make my point clear again, here, if you don’t feel like checking out those links:
-No one breastfeeds in public to make you feel uncomfortable or as an excuse to be an exhibitionist.
-I can’t play by your rules. I say that not because I’m such a GD rebel, but because I DON’T KNOW THEM. I don’t know your body issues. I don’t know your friend’s history of sexual abuse. I don’t know your grandfather’s puritanical beliefs. So please, please, let us feed our children quietly and efficiently, because making a big fuss just calls attention to that thing you were trying to avoid seeing.
Finally, thank you all for reminding my why there are laws protecting my child’s right to eat.
Oh–and a great nursing-in-public blog fronm a mans perspective:
Cate Nelson says
Thanks for enlightening us breastfeeders on how to cover. Never thought of that.
Actually, here’s my situation: While my older son was accepting of a cover, my younger son is not. Still, I nurse quite discretely, because I’m a discrete person with my body.
But if I tried to put ANYthing over his head, he would squirm and fuss and even screech, thus exposing my entire breast. Which would certainly upset those with delicate sensitivities, such as yourself.
Like all human beings (and their variance in preferences), babies are different from one another. It’s not a cover one, cover all situation and it is ridiculous to think that those of us who don’t use covers choose not to because we’re trying to do anything besides feed our children.
Marianne H says
If the baby was crying and had to be breast fed right there and then, she could have placed a napkin over her breast so as not to be exposed. There are other people to consider and being arrogant about feeding your baby and let everyone see your breasts is, frankly immodest and inconsiderate. Just because you want to feed your baby doesn’t mean you should be stupid about it.
What the f**k are breasts FOR????!
That stupid people are ‘offended’ reveals THEIR prejudices and inabilities to cope witrh the most natural function!
They should not be respected – even accepted!
As a father of a 25yo son and 16yo daughter here in Australia, where we have similar stupidities, I have for those many years fought off the ignorance while my children were actually being fed. Not a pleasant task but I will defend their right to be properly looked after!
Any questions ignoramuses????? (They do lurk in the shadows – it’s safer there for them)
It was a truly stupid idea to make complimenting bosoms,cleavage and rears a crime.