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post #151 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
I think that politeness is a good default, but it's a terrible way to change what you see as an injustice. It was impolite for a black woman to sit down an a bus in the south 50 years ago, and being impolite helped change a social injustice.

It is a more common, and completely different, objection to calls for "discreet" breastfeeding is to argue that discreetness is extremely subjective. Some people here have said that is discreet to use a breastfeeding top but no covering blanket, many have said that the baby's face and the whole breast must be covered in order for breastfeeding to be discreet, others have said that the breastfeeding must be in a secluded corner or room in order to be discreet, and yet others have said that the only form of discreet breastfeeding is to do it in the privacy of your own home. Even if you think that avoiding offending everyone around you is an extremely important part of promoting social order, there clearly isn't a single standard for socially acceptable "discreet" breastfeeding.
I am really impressed with this post! Good job I also noticed discreet means many things to many people. I learned in this thread the law in many places protects mothers who breast feed.
post #152 of 179
On flaunting it ... when people say that breastfeeding mothers are doing it just to get attention or are flaunting their breasts, I think that these people might mean that breastfeeding mothers who don't try to hide their breasts or nipples while breastfeeding are also people who think that society should accept naked torsos as appropriate clothing on both men and women in situations such as at the beach and while mowing a lawn.

And if that's what you mean, I agree, women who don't try very hard to hide their flesh while breastfeeding probably aren't body shy and probably think that female breasts should not be taboo in our society.


(And thanks, cococat and ckblv )
post #153 of 179
I really would not liken breastfeeding in public to being black 50-60 years ago. Black people are born black, they have no control over what color they are in public or private.

Black people have been victims of violence because of the color of their skin. As far as I know, breastfeeding mothers are not segregated at public facilities or schools, have not been forced from voting, and have not been the victims of mass violence. Thank you for the enormous understatement regarding discrimination against blacks.
post #154 of 179
Going Nova, no one is saying that discrimination based on the color of skin and treatment of breastfeeding mothers is exactly the same.

We are talking about people being kicked out of public facilities or, at the least, being told to go to a small room away from everyone else in the public facility. Do you know a public school that allows mothers to breastfeed their infants in class? I don't. So, yes we talking about being segregated (or prevented from being in) public facilities and schools.

Yes, the color of one's skin is something that doesn't change, and breastfeeding is something that occurs only during certain intervals of time, so the two things are quite different. This non-permanent status does mean that women who breastfeed can vote. I think you are completely correct that breastfeeding mothers do not experience increased violence due to their breastfeeding status.

Comparing requiring women not to breastfeed in public to preventing mixing of skin colors in public accommodations in no way minimizes the experiences of people with dark skin colors, and is a fairly good analogy, as far as it goes.
post #155 of 179
Someone blowing their nose, burping, etc. are all natural bodily functions but I wouldn't want to see that at the dinner table either. Its just simple manners. I have no problem with a woman breastfeeding in public, if she is discreet. For example, on a bench at the mall, out of the main stream of traffic, etc. However, I don't want to look across the table and see it, anymore than I would want to see the things I listed above at the dinner table.

In the middle of a restaurant, and in public in general are two different things for me I suppose. If I had a cold and was at the store buying tissues, I would probably blow my nose in the store. However, I wouldn't do it at a restaurant table with a room full of people eating.
post #156 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enuja View Post
Going Nova, no one is saying that discrimination based on the color of skin and treatment of breastfeeding mothers is exactly the same.
Actually, yeah they did

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
And I do equate trying to force a BF mother to go "somewhere private"
the same way as segregation, making black people sit in the back of the bus.
It is exactly the same IMO.
post #157 of 179
I don't equate blowing my nose with breast feeding a baby with life giving
milk, frankly, I do see how anyone can IMO.


This is food, food that comes out of a woman's body, it is not waste.
Far from waste.
post #158 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Actually, yeah they did

Yes, I did and I stand by that statement. It is segregation, pure and simple. to force a woman to go to a "private" place to breastfeed.

And the argument about elimination doesn't hold up, elimination (body waste)
is not nourishment for an infant. That was the straw man argument in this thread IMO.
post #159 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Yes, I did and I stand by that statement. It is segregation, pure and simple. to force a woman to go to a "private" place to breastfeed.

And the argument about elimination doesn't hold up, elimination (body waste)
is not nourishment for an infant. That was the straw man argument in this thread IMO.
I agree with you AGAIN!
post #160 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Yes, I did and I stand by that statement. It is segregation, pure and simple. to force a woman to go to a "private" place to breastfeed.

And the argument about elimination doesn't hold up, elimination (body waste)
is not nourishment for an infant. That was the straw man argument in this thread IMO.
If it isn't a failed attempt at an analogy, it's probably more like a "red herring"
(*Elimination was made as a comparison because it is a natural process. It had nothing to do with feeding elimination to babies, as you'd like to believe. That is a distortion of the argument that was presented.)

...like your argument about segregation.
(*Segregation of breastfeeding mothers is a bigger stretch. Any person who is uncomfortable with breastfeeding mothers really, truly wants to separate breast feeding mothers from the rest of humanity. )
post #161 of 179

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post #162 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Nova View Post
If it isn't a failed attempt at an analogy, it's probably more like a "red herring"
(*Elimination was made as a comparison because it is a natural process. It had nothing to do with feeding elimination to babies, as you'd like to believe. That is a distortion of the argument that was presented.)

...like your argument about segregation.
(*Segregation of breastfeeding mothers is a bigger stretch. Any person who is uncomfortable with breastfeeding mothers really, truly wants to separate breast feeding mothers from the rest of humanity. )
No, I apologize, I didn't mean to imply I thought you were comparing bf to feeding elimination to babies, I didn't think that for a moment.

I don't feel it is a valid comparison to compare eliminating in public to feeding a baby in public, not at all a good comparison, it is shocking to me that anyone even suggested it. Just because it is a natural process does not, IMO, make it a valid comparison.

As for the segregation argument, there have been many posters on this thread that feel a woman should not breast feed in public, that they should got to a "private" area. That is trying to segregate a bf mother, I'm sorry if that word stings anyone but that is exactly what it is.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/segregate

Quote:
seg⋅re⋅gate   
verb, -gat⋅ed, -gat⋅ing, noun
–verb (used with object) 1. to separate or set apart from others or from the main body or group; isolate: to segregate exceptional children; to segregate hardened criminals.
2. to require, often with force, the separation of (a specific racial, religious, or other group) from the general body of society.
–verb (used without object) 3. to separate, withdraw, or go apart; separate from the main body and collect in one place; become segregated.
4. to practice, require, or enforce segregation, esp. racial segregation.
post #163 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
No, I apologize, I didn't mean to imply I thought you were comparing bf to feeding elimination to babies, I didn't think that for a moment.
In that case, I apologize. That is what I thought you were saying, which is why I called it a straw man.

Though I understand what you mean about forcing women to use another room to breastfeed, I think that likening it to the racial segregation that occurred is not a balanced comparison. The subject of racial segregation illicits strong emotional responses due to the scope of oppression associated with it, and I don't feel that the breastfeeding battle is of a comparable magnitude.

I was one of the persons who said, breastfeeding should be discreet, but that doesn't mean I think breastfeeding women should be relegated to another room. (On the other hand, maybe it would be nice if breastfeeding mothers had a room available where they could have a seat and set down their things, and breastfeed comfortably. There's something called a "family lounge" at my local mall. I think there are just places to sit and changing tables in there, but I haven't looked.)

Phew!
post #164 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Nova View Post

Though I understand what you mean about forcing women to use another room to breastfeed, I think that likening it to the racial segregation that occurred is not a balanced comparison. The subject of racial segregation illicits strong emotional responses due to the scope of oppression associated with it, and I don't feel that the breastfeeding battle is of a comparable magnitude.
That may be your opinion and that is fine, but relegating a woman to a "private" place to bf, fits the definintion of segregation.

And yes, you are right, even the word, segregation, is enough to bring us up short and illicit a negative response that, "no way is requiring a bf mother to go to a "private" room segregation", but when you really think about it, it really is.

I just asked my brother, without mentioning this thread the following question,

"If you were in a restaurant having dinner and you looked up and saw a mother breastfeedng at another table, would you be offended?"
He looked at me kind of funny and said, "no"

I am starting to feel like maybe this is more a woman thing, that some women don't want to see other women breastfeeding. I could be wrong. I am going to ask that question to some other males and see what they say.
post #165 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
I am starting to feel like maybe this is more a woman thing, that some women don't want to see other women breastfeeding. I could be wrong. I am going to ask that question to some other males and see what they say.
I believe it's more likely generational and how one was raised (instances where one was taught that the human body was dirty and/or others shouldn't see it except for your spouse).

If a poll could be made to fully reflect most of the contributing factors to such beliefs, there would probably be an easily spotted pattern.
post #166 of 179
speaking only for myself, i would prefer a secluded place. this will never be an issue for me, as i am past childbearing age. however, my sister nursed all 4 of her children. i don't know how she handled 'public' feedings - i know that she didn't concern herself about this when with family, tho.
post #167 of 179
You should get your sister's input Laureen. I would be interested to know if she BF in public and if so, was anyone was rude to her.
post #168 of 179
Okay, I just surveyed the rest of the employees at my work. 3 men and 1 women.

All the guys were fine with it, the woman thought it was very offensive and that the BF woman should stay home or go in the bathroom and BF.
post #169 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
speaking only for myself, i would prefer a secluded place. this will never be an issue for me, as i am past childbearing age. however, my sister nursed all 4 of her children. i don't know how she handled 'public' feedings - i know that she didn't concern herself about this when with family, tho.
I also BF in public 28 years ago and because I was discreet and respected others, I never had any issues whatsoever. No dirty looks, no inappropriate comments, just loving smiles from folks who knew what I was doing under that little lightweight blanket across my shoulder and over my breast. I also preferred to remove myself to a bit more of a secluded area for my own privacy and the comfort of others. It wasn't a hardship for me to do that. I suppose I could have been confrontational but I don't see the point since that really doesn't solve any problems, BF'g or any other problem IMO.
post #170 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Okay, I just surveyed the rest of the employees at my work. 3 men and 1 women.

All the guys were fine with it, the woman thought it was very offensive and that the BF woman should stay home or go in the bathroom and BF.
I honestly cannot imagine any man objecting to seeing a woman's breast whether it is being used in BF'g or any other uses. So your survey results do not surprise me in the least. Men are lumps of hormones when it comes to bare breasts (well except for leg and butt men).
post #171 of 179
I've been following this thread closely and with a lot of curiousity. I'm not a mom, but both my SIL's have had children in recent years, so I've become accustomed to them needing to breastfeed my nieces and nephews under various circumstances. My youngest SIL has a 10-month-old daughter and has the most recent experience with this. I've been in a very crowded restaurant with her when the baby has needed to be fed. MY SIL has been very discreet and completely covered up. She told me no one has ever complained about her breastfeeding or seemed uncomfortable with it. As others have said, discretion is the key. As an example, my SIL mentioned a woman who recently fed her baby while sitting in the front row of church during a service. She said the woman was "letting it all hang out." No discretion there. My SIL also pointed out that both of her older children (a 4-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl) have been with her when she has fed the baby in public. Neither of them has been bothered by it, probably because she doesn't make a big deal out of it herself. She also said that while the baby is on a schedule and she tries to feed her before leaving home, sometimes she can't avoid having to breastfeed in public. It's either that or have a screaming baby on her hands, which would probably disturb a heck of a lot more people than feeding her would.
post #172 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I honestly cannot imagine any man objecting to seeing a woman's breast whether it is being used in BF'g or any other uses. So your survey results do not surprise me in the least. Men are lumps of hormones when it comes to bare breasts (well except for leg and butt men).
If a woman is breastfeeding, wouldn't the breast be covered, for the most part, by the babies head?

And isn't your statement just a wee bit sexist toward men?

I really don't think the men I asked and I have know all of them for years, I know for a fact that they do not look on a BF'ng mother as a sex object or as a chance to get a sneak peek.
post #173 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
You should get your sister's input Laureen. I would be interested to know if she BF in public and if so, was anyone was rude to her.
i'll ask her [assuming i remember] next time i see her. mind you, her oldest is 22 & her youngest will be 15 next month - so it's been a while!
post #174 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
If a woman is breastfeeding, wouldn't the breast be covered, for the most part, by the babies head?

And isn't your statement just a wee bit sexist toward men?

I really don't think the men I asked and I have know all of them for years, I know for a fact that they do not look on a BF'ng mother as a sex object or as a chance to get a sneak peek.
I would think the baby would be on the bottom side of the breast so no the breast would not be covered under normal circumstances unless mom was feeding baby upside down.

My statement is absolutely sexist toward men. At age 62, I've had a wee bit of experience and exposure to what men like and don't like.

As for the men you know, you obviously have more gentlemenly friends and family than a lot of us others have. I honestly don't know any men that don't have any sexual feelings when looking at a woman's breasts regardless of whether they are in BF mode or on the beach.
post #175 of 179
So Yosemite, you are agreeing with my earlier statement that this is a "woman" thing, it is women getting upset about women breast feeding in public.

That does not surprise me but it saddens me.


Oh, and your comment about all the men you know, you may be hanging out with the wrong type of guys.
Because, to me, it is pretty creepy if a guy could look at a woman breastfeeding and have it be a sexual thing. If fact, I think that is a bit perverted IMO.

Maybe all of you need to do your own survey, it was interesting, I'm glad I did it.
post #176 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
So Yosemite, you are agreeing with my earlier statement that this is a "woman" thing, it is women getting upset about women breast feeding in public.

That does not surprise me but it saddens me.


Oh, and your comment about all the men you know, you may be hanging out with the wrong type of guys.
Because, to me, it is pretty creepy if a guy could look at a woman breastfeeding and have it be a sexual thing. If fact, I think that is a bit perverted IMO.

Maybe all of you need to do your own survey, it was interesting, I'm glad I did it.
I would have to say I probably don't agree with very many of your "arguments" or the spin you put on things to try to prove your points on many subjects but that is not something I personally have a problem with. I'm very comfortable in my own skin and believe in each to their own. I just tend to think you argue for the sake of argument and that's how you get your entertainment. No problem! We all need some form of relaxation and entertainment as long as we aren't taken too seriously and upset others and I don't think you are upsetting anyone really, so no harm done.

As for it being a woman thing - I believe if you go back and re-read a lot of these posts you'll find that it was not only women who had an issue with the lack of respect, being discreet, etc. but you are certainly free to pick and choose which posts you wish to select to prove your point.

As for the type of "guys" I have known and hung out with, I've always managed to be blessed enough to know true gentlemen with the emphasis on gentle, kind and honest men.

And apparently as with the word "discreet", there can be several meanings to the word "perversion" it would seem.
post #177 of 179
I'm really not debating this issue for the sake of entertainment at all. I do believe what I am saying, it is my opinion.

I have read this entire thread and haven't seen any evidence that any men have a problem with women breast feeding in public. If there is some evidence I have certainly missed it, which is possible but I don't think so.
post #178 of 179
Thread Starter 
Wow, I'm amazed at all the responses to this thread For the most part it has been great....people stating their opinions, beliefs, etc.

It has seemed to start going around in a circle now though, and people just nitpicking on wrong wording, etc.

- for the record... the couple of people that commented negatively to me while I was breastfeeding were both older (maybe 60's....both sexes)

I do believe that age, beliefs, and life experiences can weigh heavily on one's opinion as to whether they mind breastfeeding moms or not.

- I do respect that the majority of people on here agreed that they would NOT comment negatively towards a breastfeeding mom.

- it seems that the majority of people also agree about mutual respect.

- "Discreet" can vary from one person to another...but for the most part in this discussion, discreet is meaning not yanking your shirt over your shoulder and exposing your breasts in a public establishment. I think most people agree that yes, you will see a little skin when breastfeeding.... probally even some nipple....if you are looking. If that might offend you, then don't stare at a nursing mom.

- breastfeeding cannot be compared to elimination.

Key point.... Respect.

We live in a free world. Everyone, every person has a right to their own comfort level.... It would be a better world if people would learn to respect that... not only in this issue, but in others as well.

You need to give, in order to recieve respect. If you are acting for attention, odds are you will get it.... negatively. But if you act with respect, MOST people will respect you back.
post #179 of 179
Great summary Chris! I think it's been an interesting topic that has brought out a lot of interesting viewpoints. Can we close it now since I think that all that can be said has been said?
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