Want some milk with your cuppa joe? Recently at Stouthaus Coffee in Austin, TX, it wasn’t very clear whether mama’s milk was welcome on the premises.
Breastfeeding harassment is not always “in your face.” Often, it takes place behind the anonymity of a computer screen shield in online forums and posts. Sometimes it comes in the form of a “well-meaning” but still uncomfortable comment from a relative or friend. It’s also apparent by complaints made by strangers behind a mother’s back.
Here’s an example of the extremely ANTI-BABY culture that some regions in our nation call normal. Last week, Play Date Place in South Hadley, Massachusetts, which bills itself as a nurturing place (rather, “nuturing,” because PDP’s representative isn’t so gifted wit da grammurr), posted this on its Facebook page:
Why do some mothers nurse under the curtain if the law says we don’t have to? Well, it’s not really anyone’s business why a woman may want to wear a cover, so if you feel a curiosity overtaking you, please know it’s best not to ask. I’ll give you a few hints though, based on my own experience and what I’ve heard.
I’ve heard that nursing bibs/aprons/tents are an “American” thing and that foreigners are baffled by their mere existence. Thus, we could hypothesize the reason for covered breastfeeding is simply the influence of Yankee Doodle, but let’s not jump to conclusions just yet.
One day soon, he’ll wake up from general anesthesia with a bandage on his penis, holding together the raw wound from a freshly amputated foreskin, stuck with sick pride like a narcissist’s apology. He’ll receive no explanation other than “It’s what your father wanted,” because his anguished mother had been placed under a gag order. After this life-altering day, he will experience the permanent loss of a normally-functioning body organ, and undoubtedly the irreversible physical effects of such. One cannot foresee the severity of either these effects or those of extremely plausible post-traumatic stress and psychological battery.
Sadly, as it stands now, a broken body can be expected. Then a broken spirit will make a broken boy, and a gruesome example of justice for human rights in modern America.
Giving beer to a baby is bad. Giving breast milk to a baby is good. Giving beer to a breastfeeding mother… well, let’s talk about that.
In March, a woman in Arkansas was arrested on the basis of child endangerment for breastfeeding in a restaurant after consuming two beers. In September, a Virginia woman was kicked out of Big Woody’s Bar & Grill for — yep, you guessed it — sipping a beer (only one sip, she says) while breastfeeding her 11-month-old. I know, I know… “What was she thinking bringing a child to a bar?!” A bar & GRILL, actually. You know, more Chili’s, less Coyote Ugly. (And the particular establishment bills itself as “family friendly”). The woman also claims she is a degreed chemist who has done her research and knows how much alcohol she can have without affecting her breast milk.
Did these women deserve arrest and refusal? Were they misguided to think their behaviors were perfectly harmless, or do they know something their persecutors don’t? Let’s see…
Breastfeeding moms are kind of ridiculous.
Seems like all we say is, “Hey, breastfeeding is so not a big deal! Lighten up, naysayers!” But then we stage nurse-ins, tweet to businesses that have mistreated us, and remind everyone from our friends to the mailman about the zillion ways that “breast is best.” I know, it’s a bit backwards to make a point of talking about breastfeeding at every chance, purposefully inflating it into a big deal when the bottom line of our advocating is, “Hey people, breastfeeding is NOT a big deal!”
Especially, especially, especially… breastfeeding in public.