[NY Times link] The calls for a "nurse-in" began on the Internet mere moments after Barbara Walters uttered a negative remark about public breast-feeding on her ABC talk show, "The View."
The protest, inspired by similar events organized by a growing group of unlikely activists nationwide in the last year, brought about 200 women to ABC's headquarters yesterday. They stood nursing their babies in the unmistakably public venue of Columbus Avenue and West 67th Street. They held signs reading, "Shame on View," and "Babies are born to be breastfed." Ms. Walters, who remarked a few weeks ago on the show that the sight of a woman breast-feeding on an airplane next to her had made her uncomfortable...
Get over yourself you uptight jerk. My daughter still nurses and she's two and a half! I hope that gives you a freaking heart attack when you see it! Before I even mention the overwhelming medical benefits of breastfeeding, I need to point out that breastfeeding your baby during takeoff and landing is the best thing you can do on a flight to relieve the baby's discomfort from cabin pressure changes. Babies can't fucking chew gum or pop their ears like you, Barbara. Would you rather the baby scream uncontrollably for two hours because her ears hurt? Would that be more "comfortable" for you, bitch? Because it's fucking painful for the baby, who has no choice in the matter, and less pleasant for everyone else on the flight. I guess moms with babies should just keep their asses at home and avoid inconveniencing you.
But the rally at ABC is only the most visible example of a recent wave of "lactivism." Prodded by mothers who say they are tired of being asked to adjourn to the bathroom while nursing in a public space, six states have recently passed laws giving a woman the right to breast-feed wherever she "is otherwise authorized to be."
An Ohio bill saying a woman is "entitled to breast-feed her baby in any place of public accommodation" passed last month over the objection of one representative who wanted to exempt businesses from liability for accidents caused by "spillage."
Timeout. "Accidents caused by spillage?" Are you fucking kidding me? Does this jackass think breasts are like a firehose, shooting milk all over the room? Is that business exempt from liability if a customer slips on spilled soda? How much do you want to bet this uptight asshole is a Republican?
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, held a nurse-in on the Capitol's Cannon Terrace last month as she reintroduced federal legislation to amend the Civil Rights Act to protect women from employment discrimination for using a breast pump or feeding their babies during breaks.
Nursing mothers are pressuring businesses, too. Burger King has declared that mothers are welcome to nurse. Starbucks - the target of a letter-writing campaign that asked "What's more natural than coffee and milk?" - has, too.
The moves come as the number of American mothers who choose to breast-feed has climbed to about 70 percent in 2003, the last year for which information was available, from about 50 percent in 1990. Many otherwise apolitical women say they found themselves unexpectedly transformed into lactivists after fielding a nasty comment or being asked to stop nursing in public.
"We're all told that breast-feeding is the best, healthiest thing you can do for your child, and then we're made to feel ashamed to do it without being locked in our homes."
But Ms. Walters is not the only one who might prefer not to be confronted with breast-feeding at close quarters. Legislators, business owners and family members are debating how to reconcile the health benefits of nursing with the prevailing cultural squeamishness toward nursing in public.
Read that last sentence again, please. Now, I ask you, "What the hell is wrong with this country?" This is one of the most natural processes of life. That such a stigma has been attached to it that any woman should ever feel guilty or uncomfortable about feeding her baby is a-fucking-trocious.
The American Academy of Pediatrics urges women to feed their babies only breast milk for the first six months, and continue breast-feeding for at least an additional six months. If its recommendations were followed, the group estimates that Americans would save $3.6 billion in annual health care costs because breast-fed babies tend to require less medical care. But while more women are breast-feeding for the first few weeks, fewer than one-third are still nursing after six months. Some doctors attribute the decline to self-consciousness and the difficulties of finding spaces where nursing seems acceptable.
"To many mothers, breast-feeding runs up against sexual attitudes toward the breast," said Dr. Lawrence Gartner, who leads the academy's research on breast-feeding. "That reduces the prevalence of breast-feeding, which is a bad situation because duration of breast-feeding is an important factor in children's health."
This is just more of the same old uptight with anything that can be remotely linked to sex crap coming from small-minded, self-important assholes. That, and an agenda of making sure women remain second-class citizens relegated to child-rearin' back at home. No jobs, no independence, keep your ass barefoot and pregnant and back at home in the kitchen and have dinner ready when the Sexist Asshole comes home.
Or have a bunch of full-time nannies and wet nurses raise your kids like Barbara Walters probably did.