Friday, 4 September 2015

No skin in the game. But for some reason baseball stadiums in Boston have.

Each summer, regular as clockwork a spate of news stories hit the web/news/papers about women's breasts. More exactly, when those breasts are exposed and doing what God made them for, feeding a baby.
Now, as the title says, I've no skin in the game in any way what so ever. Beyond the possibility of seeing such an even occurring. And in truth I just don't see how it truly involves anyone else either. But each year when people thin down with their clothing and the usual winter draping vanishes we get this high pitched screech from those lacto-Nazis and the 180, those that think women should be covered from head to toe (just as long as it's not Arab dress). The usual example trotted out is the woman plus partner out with the pea at a restaurant and the woman starts to feed the child in full view of everyone in the place. For some reason this is seen as especially gorge making.
Now instantly I can think of two things far far far FARRRRR more more disturbing, one would be the said pea squalling it's bloo head off and the parents blithely continue to dine, and two, if said pea vented from the rear end and the waft pumped itself in waves all over the dining room.
What brought this up was an article in the Atlantic about a pod that lactating women can use in US airports, and for some reason baseball stadiums in Boston.


  1. I think like anything else, it's the extremists on either side who we hear the rumbling from. There are certainly those out there who get up in arms over others breastfeeding in public. But I do think the the breastfeeding nazis also have a large part to play in those scenarios. There are ways to breastfeed that keep the "girls" discreet when out in public. If a mother is breastfeeding that way, there is no problem. But the extremist who view it as their "right" to whip out a boob at an airport or in a restaurant is where, I believe, the problem lies. Naked boobs can make people uncomfortable, and I think that is the point with the women who take off of their clothes to breastfeed in public. That's unnecessary, and in my opinion is the reason why it gets baulked at every so often . And when someone does that, getting a rise out of people, then they complain about how they're being persecuted as mothers.
    While whipping one out in public is not in my nature, I can't related to the women who do. I would rather do it in the privacy of my own home, so when I see someone who does I'm kind torn between impressed with their nerve and horrified by it at the same time. If I were a breastfeeding mom who was at a Red Sox game, I'd be thrilled to use a pod.
    With that being said, it's not offensive to me where as the screamy-crying baby in a restaurant or MOVIE THEATER is VERY offensive, because it's rude. And I'm not talking about an occasional whine or sniffle. When parents stay seated at their table while their kid is non-stop fussy or inconsolable so the rest of us get to listen to it during our meal. Well, that's just rude.
    Another parents in public pet peeve of mine is when out at a restaurant and a big party comes in with kids and then they request that the kids sit at a separate table than the adults. In my experience, there is a reason the parents don't want the kids at their table, so hey, why not seat them next to another party. It sure makes it easier on the parents. Again, so rude.

    1. How on earth when at a Red Sox game given the way those buildings are stacked could it possibly matter. If the people are watching the game.
      But in the main I agree with you. Where I differ is in the necessity for discretion. I don't see how a woman with her kid is responsible for whatever crack is in someones bell. This is just another one for the permanently offended.
      Where I see it. If it becomes 'legal' as a matter of course the twisted little madams will have nothing by which to get bothered and will drift onward's to something else. At that point you or anyone else whipping out the girls when a kid gets grousey in a cafe or movie theatre, ball game or aircraft won't be anything for you to get uneasy about. Then other diners instead of waving for the waiter to sent him over to ask you to leave will understand and give a nod and a smile of thanks to you for keeping the sprog calm.

      Addendum: Babies have no business being fed in toilets. The seat of the thing might be spotless but who lowers the lid to flush. And that blasts a atomic cloud of germs and nasty matter over everything in that room.

    2. I agree with you about the necessity for discretion. There shouldn't need to be, but my point is, everyone has different levels of what they are comfortable with, on both sides of the "argument". Breasts are so highly sexualized that one popping out in public can be a scandal (think Janet Jackson). There are a lot of people who can't reconcile that in their own skin - my kid might see that, my husband might see that and be turned on, i'm a husband and it might turn me on. Or maybe they're just modest. And like anything else, sometimes what makes a person uncomfortable can't be controlled. That uncomfortableness causes the need to make it a "thing". But because of that, having some understanding of where people are coming from, isn't a bad thing either.
      As for the ball game, I wouldn't bring a baby to one any way (or a lot of other places either), so the point would be moot. :)
      Yes, no one should be relegated to the bathroom to breast feed. Again, for me the outing would be completely planned right down to where and when the feeding would occur so it wouldn't need to happen in public or in a bathroom. But if someone is comfortable to do it wherever, more power to them. I do have to add, my generation was bottle fed. :)

    3. I don't think me are that sparked up by the sight of a breast. In fact I think once people get used to seeing something that don't really registered it, or if they do it's as normal.
      Thinking about this a bit deeper you might call it in the realms of victim blaming. I'll have to think on this comment of yours a bit more. I'll mull it over on my walk tomorrow.

    4. No, not victim blaming at all, just trying to think of reasons why it bothers others. It's not gonna change if the reasons aren't understood.

    5. Yes, I get that. But I also think no matter what people did, others would have a problem. There simply comes a point where their concerns cannot be enforced like now. There's a set of decency laws in place that hinge not on the actions, but on the reaction it causes in others.

      And by victim blaming, I don't mean it like some guy in an area of town he isn't familiar, wanders out into the street and has the crap beaten out of him. Where I'm getting at is that notion that if only women would move into pods to feed their kids all would be grand ta very much.

      What I'm way less sympathetic about though is the expressing of milk with a pump. Now that is a question of self management. But of course as with the woman on the flight thre are exceptions.
      Yes, if a long flight and shes normally 5x5x5x5x4, then yes.

  2. Personally, I'm a fairly modest I would prefer to do something like this in private. But when necessity calls for it, as Kimberly said, it's easy to do so discreetly so as not to cause a commotion.

    Here's my question, though. Why in the heck does anyone foist their baby of this age on others in a public situation??? IMO, babies ought to be weaned by about a year and don't need to be out in public before then a lot anyway. Before I sound draconian, I had mine at a time when you really didn't take them anywhere other than to the doctor's office or relatives' houses before they were over 3 months old. Especially is it was flu season or whatever. I go into places like Walmart now and see folks with newborns! Yesterday, someone had a very small baby there that was obviously very happy, but their happy "squeals" (that the daddy kept encouraging) were driving me insane! (add to that the crying/shrieking toddler two aisles over) When ours were very small, we agreed that it was just part of being a parent that we had to put eating in restaurants and going to movies on hold for awhile, until the kids were old enough to train to behave properly.

    On a side note...even though I'm more an animal person than kids person, I saw a woman at Walmart once with a tiny dog (chihuahua or the such) in a blanket in her basket. Well it obviously wasn't any kind of service dog, so why didn't she have to abide by the same health codes the rest of us do? I'm sure several of mine would love a trip to Walmart! ;)

    1. You see I think a baby smushed up against a breast is quite modest. But even the sight of a baby latching on isn't all that remarkable. Yes you register it, but only as it's quite unusual. Where I think things get beyond a point is when there is a political intent to it where the woman is actively daring someone to comment.
      As to the restaurant situation. The babe is slung across and up. If done with practice it can be accomplished without anyone being the wiser.
      And yes, I am time limiting this to under a year old.

      Hmm, if I could find a way to bring Jessy on the bike where she wouldn't kill bout of us I would.

  3. Bring the kids to a ball game and start them off early! I'm all for it and as long as the breast feeding mother isn't standing up and blocking my view of the infield, I have no problem with it.

  4. My wife breast fed in public with both our girls but we always took a think small blanket along that she draped over her shoulder to hide the peas while they were doing their thing. In our experiences, they were always positive and I never saw anyone offended by it. But I could understand how whipping out a boob to the view of the entire restaurant might offend a few people.

    To reply to Kelly, one year is a long time to have to seclude yourself because of a breast feeding baby. Not to mention all the social occasions one gets invited too over the course of the year. Your choices are to leave the child with a babysitter and those are hard to find for someone younger than 1 years of age and then have to breast pump enough milk to last while you are gone. You then have to take the pump and related supplies with you to relieve the pressure and keep the breast producing milk and in my opinion, a breast pump and all the noise it makes it much more distracting than a nursing baby. Or the other choice is to take the baby with so it can feed on it's built in milk storage containers. We did both depending on what social occasion we were heading too but if we had the choice, the latter was definitely more convenient for us and I think less distracting to others around us.

    1. I'm not trying to be rigid here, just saying places like movies, nice restaurants, plays, etc. where a crying baby can be a real distraction. I'm a mom, so sure...I can tune out a certain amount of baby noises when it's not my own (funny how we can always detect our own out of the masses), but when someone has paid good money to see a show, dine out, whatever... I don't believe it's fair to them if a screaming child disrupts that. Parents don't have to hibernate, but for goodness sake, take the child out if they become a problem. I've seen too many that just sit there and let the child scream, oblivious to what others think.

      Then again...maybe I'm just becoming a crotchety old woman!

    2. And looking back at what I just said, I didn't really address the point. It's not the breast feeding in public that bothers me. That's purely a personal preference when done discretely. It's disruptive children that I'm referring to and that certainly doesn't have a cap on the age limit. Misbehaving older kids (who should know better) are just as bad.

      I'll stand by my statement that newborns should limit their public outings for a few months, purely for health reasons.

    3. I don't have any problems with being against disruptive children. I have personally spent much time out in the parking lot waiting for a child to "cool" down. Unfortunately, most parents aren't like me and I agree, who wants to listen to that while having a night out on the town.

      As for health reasons, I kind of agree too. I certainly wouldn't have taken either of my babies into crowded places during a flu contagion. However, I'm of the mindset of exposing my kids to all the germs our world has to offer at a young age is a healthy thing. They both certainly went through a lot of colds as toddlers and had a few other things to boot, but when my oldest got into school, she rarely gets sick anymore. I think it is because she has a robust immune system. One of our friends is a real germophobe and was always disinfecting everything their baby could possible touch ahead of time and not going anywhere during the winter cold season. Because he was the same age as our oldest daughter growing up, they were always pointing out how he was sick as a baby. These days he misses several weeks of school every year due to various illnesses. It is anecdotal for sure and there could be lots of things causing it but it certainly makes me ponder the subject of trying to protect our kids from germ exposure at young ages.

    4. Once you get beyond those first few months (and get some immunizations in them) I'm with you 100%. I'm sure genetics plays some role, but I honestly believe germ exposure does help. Of course I advocated basic hand washing in the bathroom and before meals, but my kids grew up in the country around lots of animals and we always had dogs in the house. They rarely got sick and seldom missed school.

      I remember a comic strip once that I could totally relate to. With child #1, the mom boiled the dropped pacifier. Child #2 she ran it under the tap to wash it off. Child #3 she just blew if off and handed it over.

  5. Ed - you might be interested in a book I read recently called Missing Microbes by Martin J. Blaser, MD. I found it quite fascinating.