Nippled and Dimed

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Victoria's Secret not breast-friendly? Say it ain't so!

Only half a year removed from one breastfeeding scandal, Victoria's Secret is at it again. At the Regency Mall in Racine, Wisconsin, store clerks apparently told nursing mother Rebecca Cook that she needed to breastfeed her daughter in an employee restroom, not in a store dressing room.

Cook was so offended by the thought of her daughter "eating" in a bathroom that she organized a nursing protest in front of the Victoria's Secret location. 20 lactivists breastfed their children in protest as a part of a national nurse-in, bringing attention to the larger issue of the need for public nursing protections.

Yet the debate surrounding public breastfeeding continues, as many states look to codify breastfeeding rights through laws that would make any park or public space a breast-friendly area.

More on lactivism here.

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  1. lactivism

    What?

    …I’m going back to my cave.

  2. I don’t suppose leaving the choice up to individual businesses would work? Nah.

    I can fully see why Victoria’s Secret wouldn’t want breast-feeding in their stores; they’re trying to focus on the sexy aspects of sex, not the “let’s make babies” aspects of it. Likewise, their view of breasts definitely highlights form over function.

    Who the hell brings an infant to a lingerie shop anyway?

    P.S. Victoria’s Secret bras suck anyway.

  3. Because, of course, the only way to solve this issue, as with so many others, with with a new law. God forbid ol’ leaky not have the right to use the Victoria’s Secret dressing room for her own personal purposes, instead of what it was intended for.

  4. It’s discriminatory to allow mothers to expose their breasts in public while preventing other women from doing so. Therefore, all breasts must be freed from their restraints.

    For the children.

  5. Jennifer nailed it. There is no more potent anti-aphrodesiac than the sight of a nursing baby. Unless, that is, it’s a squalling, puking baby. Combine that image with sexy underwear, and I might end up switching teams.

  6. A spokesman for Limited Brands Inc., the Columbus-based parent company of Victoria’s Secret, said the company has a long-standing policy that allows mothers to nurse in their stores.

    It looks like the choice has been made by the individual business, and it is in favor of allowing breastfeeding.

    The only conclusion I can draw from this is that when the employee said “go into the restroom,” she just didn’t know what she was talking about.

    So why in the world does there need to be a nurse-in? An employees was ill-educated about company policy. That’s not A Public Issue.

    Having said that, I just can’t understand for the life of me why seeing tits with a baby attached BOTHERS some people so damn much. I mean, the inee-jerk “make a new law!” reaction is obviously a bad one – but this time they’re making laws that increase boobie exposure. I just can’t get mad about that.

  7. I really need to learn how to “Preview.”

  8. Don’t stores like that usually say, “No food or drink allowed”?

    Besides, dressing rooms are for people who want to change, not some kid to get a bite (sorry) to eat. She should take the kid to a bench in the mall or the food court at least.

  9. I’m in agreement that VS bras do indeed bite the big one, though their other lacy bits are nice. But it’s a pretty crappy idea for a woman-centric business to alienate new mamas, many of whom are probably looking for some way to feel sexy while trying to lose baby-weight. Legislation ain’t the way to fix that problem, but I might just have to shred my bachelorette party gift certificates. . . damn.

  10. tits with a baby attached

    I suppose one could make the same argument about cock with lips attached.
    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
    Slippery slope, and all those other cliches.

  11. We as a society need to get past this hangup on breasts which drives things like this. Though I may need the preview also, I agree with Sally in that I really don’t understand why people get so upset about a woman breastfeeding.

  12. WOuld it be legal for a store, other than a liquor or porn shop, to adopt a no-child policy? If I owned a lingerie shop I wouldn’t want kids in there, anymore than I’d want to sell pregnancy tests or tools for STD prevention. Focus on the fun, recreational, sexy aspects of sex, and leave the icky stuff for a drugstore or something.

    JenD–

    Does your complaint involve the way the straps fit? That’s the reason I stopped buying them.

  13. Number 6:
    There are plenty of people who find the sight of breastfeeding far more arousing than panties.

  14. That isn’t why VS has dressing rooms so the lactivists should not be lobbying to nurse in the dressing room. Maybe they should be lobbying to nurse in public instead.

    The real problem is that, if the mom had simply nursed the baby on the same bench as some kids eating their ice cream cones, that would have been deemed even more reprehesible than doing it in the dressing room. Our society is so mixed up about sex, nudity, and Similac that a model practically jamming her breasts in your face in the store window is fine but discretely baring a breast for its actual intended purpose – feeding your child – is not just wrong but nearly horrifying.

    Personally, I think that breasts are pretty swell both ways. My wife nursed both of our children and I thought that it was amazing that nature set up such a useful, inexpensive system that has has the added effect of bringing about an extra closesness bewtween mother and child. You can’t just prop a boob up on a towel in the crib and go away – it’s social and emotional as well. On the other hand, I like hot, nearly-naked women as much as the next guy. Why are so many people offended by the former and not the latter?

  15. Uh, yeah. Preview then Post…

  16. I agree with Sally in that I really don’t understand why people get so upset about a woman breastfeeding.

    I don’t get upset about it, but it’s not something I want to look at if I’m trying to feel sexy, which is the presumptive motivation of a woman shopping in a Victoria’s Secret.

    1. why the peple don’t get abset when the women get the brie of when on the betch or she does strbtiez.

    2. why the peple don’t get abset when the women get the brie of when on the betch or she does strbtiez.

  17. I think some of these broads are stuck in their little heads, in that they think this whole world exists to be their diaper-changing table.

  18. There are plenty of people who find the sight of breastfeeding far more arousing than panties.

    Comment by: Cheese

    Yes, and those people’s feelings are sick and wrong.

  19. Rancine?

    I guess, to anyone who has visited it, a combination of “rancid” and “Racine” is an almost inevitable subconscious emission. 🙂

    Nice harbor, though. Your tax dollars at work.

    As for the Ladies Who Are Lunch, I’ve known a few nursing Moms who, dressed in rather clever clothing with appropriate …flaps… or whateverthey’recalled, could feed Junior in public without drawing any undue attention to themselves.

    Kevin

  20. WTF is wrong with these people. They put nipples and tits in the store windows of the mall for my 6 and 8 year old to gawk at and they’re complaining that some chick is giving her kid snookie milk in the dressing room?

    On the flip side, it does take a long time to breast feed a hungry kid and maybe VS was going to charge rent and offered the rest room as an option.

  21. it does take a long time to breast feed a hungry kid

    Another good point–those dressing rooms are there so VS can make money, not so some woman can feed her kid in what she considers to be the proper surroundings.

  22. I am tired of the easily upset in our society taking action against stores for the follys of the 16-year old navel displayer they have working the register.

    Dumb, busy or clueless store clerk gives a blanket (and erroneous, according to the article) “it’s against store policy” and this ding dong has the organizational skill to find 20 fellow “lactivist” to stage a protest.

    Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick. Just call Victoria Secret, get the facts and have them tell the store clerk. But for God’s sake, quit being a militant ass about it.

    Seems everybody is more focused on their “right” to be offended at the expense of class, taste or good sense.

  23. I have a cunning plan. Start a new chain store called, say, Suckers, which would cater to breastfeeding mothers. I don’t know what all they need, but I’m envisioning comfortable seating and support for the feeding exercise, entertainment for the mother, a Pumpi?r (new word, yes, pronounced like “sauci?r”) to aid in any needed pumping, food and drink for the mother, soothing music, and maybe some sort of breast massage/treatment to reduce soreness. There could even be a mobile option–you know, some sort of breastfeeding van.

    With my billions, I will purchase and maintain a new server for Reason.

  24. Your business plan will fail, PL. What these women want is not a place to feed their kids; they want the ability to say “Ha ha, suck it up, here I am and you can’t do jack about it!” to people who don’t want them around.

    1. You know, You’ve got a lot of room to talk. You must not have any kids and if you do you obviously didn’t breastfeed. I breastfeed both my kids and I’ve done it dressing rooms, public benches, where ever. If my child was hungry then I fed them where ever it was that I was at. You don’t think twice when it’s a bottle fed baby so what’s the difference? There were no feelings of “ha ha, suck it up”. If a mother giving her child what it needs makes you uncomfortable then you are one up tight person. Why don’t you go eat your lunch in the bathroom?

  25. I wasn’t done and clicked post by mistake. Surprised it posted on the first try though.

    # 6…no, no, no, that just isn’t sick.

    Sally, thanks for the update. That does entirely change the perspective.

    Just looked at my son and realized that he’s way to big to be 8. Must be 10 and the House Blond must be 8. Sorry.

    Gretchen Wilson has a point when she says Victoria’s Secret, well their stuff’s real nice. But I can buy the same damn thing on a Wal-Mart shelf half price. And still look sexy, just as sexy as those models on TV. I don’t need no designer tag to make my man want me.

    I’m not sure how sexy the Wal-Mart stuff is, but last time I got something skimpy for Mrs TWC it was from Fredericks of Hollywood and was, literally, 75% less than anything I saw at VS.

  26. Jennifer, did I mention the extras? You can hire out a man or men to abuse by the quarter hour.

  27. The breastfeeding thing (or rather, the reactions of many, many, otherwise sane people to breastfeeding) drives me batty. Yes, be discreet if possible while doing it, yes, try to be modest about it. But at the end of the day, THIS IS HOW MAMMAL INFANTS EAT. This is what titties are actually FOR. The recreational uses are purely a bonus. My god we have some fucked up ideas about nudity and sexuality in this country.

  28. I never thought I’d ever see “This is a breast friendly Victoria’s Secret” sign have to be posted because of this stupidity. I woulda thought that they woulda had a whole room for feeding. If not, I have a new business model that stresses breast worship in all its fashions.
    One of the tenents of this model is that one must make the holder of the breast(s) as comfortable as possible in order to facilitate the evolutional function of aformentioned breasts.

  29. I don’t get upset about it, but it’s not something I want to look at if I’m trying to feel sexy, which is the presumptive motivation of a woman shopping in a Victoria’s Secret.

    Then just don’t shop at Victoria’s Secret, which, according to the statement from the parent company, does allow breastfeeding in its stores. Speak with your wallet and such.

    Plus, it’s not like this lady whipped it out in the middle of the store. She asked to use a dressing room. She WAS trying to be considerate to people who don’t want to see breastfeeding. I don’t know if she would have shut the door to the dressing room or not, but even if she didn’t, one would have to make an effort to see her in there.

    Sure, my personal instinct would have been to head out of the store if I were her. I would feel like a jerk hogging a dressing room to nurse. But then again, who wants to listen to the kid scream in hunger while Mom tries to find a bench? That’s not a good solution for anybody in the whole damn mall.

    Now, I can see an issue with the store not wanting to take valuable dressing room space away from potentially paying customers. And again, I still don’t see the need for a nurse-in outside a store that technically does freely allow breastfeeding on the premises and whose employees just apparently made a mistake. (Unless I’m somehow misunderstanding the statement from Limited Brands, but I don’t think I am). Lactivists are annoying. But that doesn’t mean I support hang-ups about breastfeeding, either. It’s just a kid eating; so what?

  30. What these women want is…the ability to say “Ha ha, suck it up…” to people who don’t want them around.

    “Suck it up”…funny, Jennifer. You should have added something about “rubbing their faces in it.”

    Actually, I think they should be able to breastfeed where ever the hell they want and I have no problem with laws protecting their rights to do so. But unfortunately, being both easily offended AND being a jerk about it cuts both ways.

    Makes ’em no better than the folks they think their protesting against.

  31. And Jennifer, I understand your problems with the activist breastfeeders, but I think women who try to breastfeed babies while still carrying on a semi-normal life– working, shopping, whatever– run into a ridiculous amount of bullshit about it, which tends to radicalize some of them. My wife, having breastfed two kids until they turned one, is ready to man the barricades, and she is no radical or hippy by a long shot. The sight of a baby on a nipple just brings out the 1950’s in a LOT of people, and many are not shy about letting you know how disgusting they find the process of your baby eating as god intended.

  32. Who the hell brings an infant to a lingerie shop anyway?

    Dang Jennifer that’s bordering on misogyny there. Haven’t you ever heard of MILFs? Motherhood can be very sexy.

    I think you are right about VS having an aversion to breasts not filled with silicone. VS is definitely part of the Auschwitz-chic establishment. Women who carry enough fat to give them soft voluptuous curves, and aren’t shamed into hiding them beneath layers of loose cloth are a threat to their business model.

    I agree that VS should be allowed to set their own store policy. People who object to it should be allowed to protest as well.

  33. She asked to use a dressing room. She WAS trying to be considerate to people who don’t want to see breastfeeding.

    But it wasn’t very considerate to the people who might have wanted to use the dressing room to actually . . . you know . . . try something on, huh?

    Oops, I’m forgetting the Motherhood Mantra: “The average pregnant woman gains so much weight that she actually succeeds in warping the very fabric of spacetime itself so that she and her child do indeed become the center of the universe.”

    But that doesn’t mean I support hang-ups about breastfeeding, either. It’s just a kid eating; so what?

    I have no such hang-ups either. Like for example, if ever I got knocked up and had a kid and tit-fed it, I’d hope that the various hormonal changes wouldn’t turn me into some monster of narcissism so hung up on my own self-importance that I made a national event out of even the slightest inconvenience I might ever face.

  34. Here we go again. I’m with Jennifer on this –it is a stupid store. And they charge way too much.

    I dont think they sell nursing bras either–someone should sue. That should be illegal. They should have to carry nursing bras. There should be a law.

    And I doubt seriously that the woman involved was trying to be discreet. Usually lactivists go into public places and deliberatly show their bosom (even encouraging the small children–of other people–to watch). Then they have a protest when someone objects to their tactics.

  35. I’d hope that the various hormonal changes wouldn’t turn me into some monster of narcissism so hung up on my own self-importance…

    Wow, becoming a mother could make you even MORE narcissistic and hung up on your own self-importance? Best argument I’ve heard all day for birth control.

  36. The argument that “these lactivists are spoiling for a fight and just using the need to feed their kids as an excuse to gross us all out by exposing a boob in public” sounds a lot like “these homo-sexuals are spoiling for a fight and are just using their affection for one another as an excuse to gross us all out by holding hands and kissing in public”

    Yeah, they should all have the decency to stay out of sight (under a burqa?) and not offend those of a delicate nature. Right?

  37. Wow, becoming a mother could make you even MORE narcissistic and hung up on your own self-importance?

    Allow me to point out what you overlooked: I am not the one making a national hissy-fit because somebody hurt my widdle feelings and refused to accomodate me in the manner I wanted, so I decided to raise a whole bunch of hell based on the theory that if anything annoys me that clearly indicates a malfunctioning universe, no?

    Oooooh, I’ve suffered an inconvenience! Something is horribly, terribly wrong! I must get the government involved!

  38. “Oops, I’m forgetting the Motherhood Mantra: “The average pregnant woman gains so much weight that she actually succeeds in warping the very fabric of spacetime itself so that she and her child do indeed become the center of the universe.””

    That should be on a bumper sticker. Priceless.

    Dr. t and I had a polite disagreement over those god-damned “Stork” spaces that some shopping centers have, where they treat knocked-up women like the handicapped.

    I’ve actually read articles (too lazy to Google) where doctors suggest that its GOOD for preggers to walk their fat asses, and it’s good for the babies. Yet we’re supposed to give them freak’n handicapped spots. Give me a break.

  39. But it wasn’t very considerate to the people who might have wanted to use the dressing room to actually . . . you know . . . try something on, huh?

    Right, because every Victoria’s Secret has but 1 dressing room.

    From the ABC NEWS article
    Cook said she was shopping at the store with a friend last week when she asked to use a dressing room to nurse her daughter. When she was told no room was available, she offered to sit in the rear of the dressing room hallway but was told that was unacceptable, she said.

    Cook was being quite reasonable. She didn’t demand a dressing room, she just didn’t want to sit in a smelly employee bathroom to feed her child.

    Look, I’ve been in VS many times and there are chairs for their patrons to sit on all over the place. This woman should have the ability to just plop down on a chair and feed the kid without anyone batting an eyelash. She shouldn’t have to go into a dressing room or bathroom or hide at all — just like she wouldn’t if she decided to give her kid a bottle.

    From

  40. It must be my day, because I have yet another cunning plan. Jennifer is right–we’re bitchy, demanding, and spoiled. The best way to deal with this is for all of us to be raised as peasants on an authoritarian farm collective, then released into a libertarian society at age 25. I figure that a woman who gave birth in the fields and had to keep on working afterwards won’t feel the need to demand as many entitlements 🙂

  41. Can I feed my children PB&J sandwhiches in the VS dressing room? Can I feed them while I’m nursing their younger sib?

    Am I taking up a whole dressing room for 20 minutes and making other customers wait?

    Can I time my child’s feedings or perhaps hold off for 5 minutes to find a place to nurse which isn’t using a using a store’s limited dressing room space for an extended time? Are there such alternatives around?

    If I mate because I’m wearing VS underwear does that entitle me to use their space to nurse the child VS helped to create?

  42. Right, because every Victoria’s Secret has but 1 dressing room.

    I think the one near my house has four. But you’re right–what the hell is wrong with one woman taking 25% of the store’s dressing rooms out of use when she’s not even trying on potential purchases? It’s not like the store is there trying to make money selling clothing items, right? Its purpose is to give women a place to breast-feed RIGHT NOW, without having to walks a few dozen yards to another part of the goddamned mall.

  43. If any of you guys want to know why so few women are libertarians, read this thread carefully.

    Jennifer’s self-loathing especially makes one cringe.

  44. “these homo-sexuals are spoiling for a fight and are just using their affection for one another as an excuse to gross us all out by holding hands and kissing in public” Yeah, they should all have the decency to stay out of sight (under a burqa?) and not offend those of a delicate nature. Right?

    Wrong. But if Victoria’s Secret wants to enforce a “no making out in our stores policy,” I don’t think it’s the government’s business to insist that customers have the right to suck each other’s tongues or tits in places of business.

  45. Here’s what I find to be the greatest irony in this ridiculous story:

    Cook said the nurse-in was meant to make people aware that breasts are not obscene. “I understand that some businesses might not want to open up a dressing room for a nursing mom because it’s taking up spots for customers,” she said. “It’s about being told that it’s dirty, that it needs to be in the bathroom and needs to be away in private. That’s the mentality that we’re trying to fight.”

    If Ms. Cook is trying to fight the mentality that feeding infants should only be done in hiding… then why demand the right to breast-feed in a dressing room, which is specifically designed to provide privacy and seclusion?

  46. Jennifer’s self-loathing especially makes one cringe.

    Yeah, the more one knows me the more one tends to think “You know what that woman’s problem is? She’s far too repressed about her body and dammit, she really needs to learn to like herself.”

  47. Dan T.: “If any of you guys want to know why so few women are libertarians, read this thread carefully. Jennifer’s self-loathing especially makes one cringe.”

    Actually, I think so few women are libertarians because of guys like you Dan.

  48. Yeah, the more one knows me the more one tends to think “You know what that woman’s problem is? She’s far too repressed about her body and dammit, she really needs to learn to like herself.”

    Any woman who considers having and raising children to be the “icky” downside of sex has some issues, that’s all.

  49. Actually, I think so few women are libertarians because of guys like you Dan.

    Could be, but I think it’s more embedded in our natures. Women tend to reject the libertarian principle that individual selfishness leads to good social results.

  50. Any woman who disagrees with Dan T. about which aspects of sex should be romanticized has some issues.

  51. Dan T.: “If any of you guys want to know why so few women are libertarians, read this thread carefully. Jennifer’s self-loathing especially makes one cringe.”

    Actually, I think so few women are libertarians because of guys like you Dan.

    ———–

    Godammit- now I have to read the whole stinking thread.

    “Jennifer’s self-loathing” Another glaring illustration of my poor powers of observation; that’s one that slipped right by me.

  52. Women tend to reject the libertarian principle that individual selfishness leads to good social results.

    And those of us who do embrace that principle have guys like Dan accuse us of self-loathing.

  53. Generalize much, Dan?

  54. “Any woman who considers having and raising children to be the “icky” downside of sex has some issues, that’s all.

    I totally consider having and raising children to be an “icky” downside of sex.

    But I’m a guy… so I guess that’s fine. No double standards there, right Dan?

  55. And those of us who do embrace that principle have guys like Dan accuse us of self-loathing.

    Seriously, look at some of your comments on this thread…what causes a woman to be so openly hostile and billigerent towards motherhood?

  56. Seriously, look at some of your comments on this thread…what causes a woman to be so openly hostile and billigerent towards motherhood?

    Uh . . . individual selfishness? You know, that principle that women don’t embrace, thus explaining our lack of libertarian representation?

  57. Generalize much, Dan?

    Sure. Who doesn’t? Ever try to discuss an issue without doing it?

  58. It’s guys like “Dan T.” and “Russ R.” who make the H&R drinking game so inebriat^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hinvigera^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hmuch fun.

  59. if Victoria’s Secret wants to enforce a “no making out in our stores policy,” I don’t think it’s the government’s business to insist that customers have the right to suck each other’s tongues or tits in places of business.

    I agree 100%. I also think that nursing mothers who want to change that policy should peacefully assemble and draw attention to their cause. Furthermore I think it’s obnoxious to accuse them of fancying themselves “the center of the universe” because they do so.

  60. Number 6 writes There is no more potent anti-aphrodesiac than the sight of a nursing baby … [sic]. I guess you’re unaware of the scientific evidence that nursing mothers emit pheromones that can make nearby women libidinous?

  61. It’s guys like “Dan T.” and “Russ R.” who make the H&R drinking game so inebriat

    Is there a H&R drinking game? Where are the rules?

  62. Look, I’ve been in VS many times and there are chairs for their patrons to sit on all over the place. This woman should have the ability to just plop down on a chair and feed the kid without anyone batting an eyelash.

    No ChicagoTom, she should not. The store should have the right to set any policy they see fit (assuming of course it doesn’t injure anyone else), and any patron can either follow said policy or leave.

    Of course the third option is into a hissy fit and whine about rights you never had, all in an effort to force others to bend to your whims.

    But for most adults that impulse was lost around 3 years of age when they stopped throwing temper tantrums evey time things didn’t go their way.

  63. Furthermore I think it’s obnoxious to accuse them of fancying themselves “the center of the universe” because they do so.

    No, I accused them of being the center of the universe for organizing a national protest over the actions of one retail store clerk, and then making sure the national news media hears of it, because you know what’s wrong with this country? When a kid gets hungry in a Victoria’s Secret, sometimes the mother needs to spend upwards of two minutes leaving the store before feeding him.

    I’m going to find some retail wage slave who pisses me off and then totally give him hell. That’s what caring, selfless women do.

    And to make absolutely certain nobody thinks I’m just an attention whore, I’ll bring along twenty nursing mothers whose kids are all hungry at the same time and then we’ll all stand in the store parking lot LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME and stop accusing me of just wanting attention LOOK AT MY TITS AND ACCOMODATE THEM, EVERYBODY!

  64. I’ve often found it hard to find a table when I’m at a food court. I guess now I know that I just have to take by Big Mac to the nearest Limited dressing room! If they don’t like it, I’ll just have to buy my Mommy some plane tickets so she can tell them how special I am.

    Hey, eating is a natural part of life! I don’t know why so many stores are so disgusted by it.

  65. But at the end of the day, THIS IS HOW MAMMAL INFANTS EAT. This is what titties are actually FOR. The recreational uses are purely a bonus.

    Dear God — most of the women I know are either pregnant or still breastfeeding since almost all of them have titties!

    Does any mammal procreate as much as humans do, which is apparently all the time?

  66. THIS IS HOW MAMMAL INFANTS EAT. This is what titties are actually FOR.

    Okay, now I’m consumed by self-loathing. Why must my chest be burdened with the planet’s most useless pair of twins? Number of babies nourished at my bosoms: zero. Squat. Nada. Goose Egg.

    What the hell are they good for? Nothing. All they ever did for me was pay for college and grad school, keep a string of boyfriends happy and keep my sweater-fronts from sagging.

    Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. I’m going to curl up in a little ball and rock aimlessly back and forth.

  67. Going from first principles the mother has the right to feed her child wherever she wants. (whether it offends our very prudish Jennifer or not).

    The primary role of government is to protect the rights of individuals.

    Therefore laws saying that this right can not be infringed do not go against the basis of libertarian thinking.

    The store owner’s right to control the activities in his/her store stops at the point where it infringes on the more basic right of mom to feed her child. (compare and contrast to the public smoking issue)

    Or am I missing something about the libertarian view of this kind of issue?

    Not sure there is a need to codify this right, but if mothers actually are having their basic rights infringed why would a libertarian have a problem with the government protecting those rights, given that that is the primary role of the goverment?

  68. LOOK AT MY TITS AND ACCOMMODATE THEM, EVERYBODY!

    Well, okay. If we must.

  69. Nobody has considered the infant’s individual right to be fed on an appropriate schedule, which is the real issue. Assume from their writings that many posters (ie, Jennifer) have no experience with infants and don’t realize that these little people need to be fed frequently.

  70. I’m not allowed to eat in Victoria’s Secret, so there’s no reason why these little brats should be allowed to do so, either.

  71. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. I’m going to curl up in a little ball and rock aimlessly back and forth.

    LOL! You’re on a roll, Jennifer.

    P.S. Victoria’s Secret bras suck anyway.

    Jennifer and JenD,

    Can you recommend other bra brands that are actually good? I am in agreement about the craptasticness that is VS bras.

    I was actually in VS last week (for 4th of July weekend…gotta search the sales, ya know?) searching for some desperately-needed quality bras. I tried on a few clearance bras that were only mildly uncomfortable (which is how my current bras are…I was trying — unsuccessfully — to find something that was finally wholly comfortable). Do you know how much they wanted for a clearance bra? $25!! I ended up leaving with nothing and vowed I would just stop wearing bras when the remnants of my few remaining only truly comfortable bras finally disintegrate. (In case you were wondering, I tried Kaufmann’s afterward and left because it all looked like grandma underwear to me).

  72. Nobody has considered the infant’s individual right to be fed on an appropriate schedule, which is the real issue.

    No, the real issue is Mommy’s presumptive right to go shopping whenever the hell she wants, without needing to take baby’s feeding schedule into account.

    (whether it offends our very prudish Jennifer or not).

    First self-loathing, now a prude. Wow.

  73. You know, I can’t be bothered to have an opinion on this, but it’s funny that this is the longest thread right now. I’m sure that in a few more hours this will be even longer than the Ron Bailey slug fest.

    Nothing like breasts and lingerie to get everybody excited.

  74. I’d be fine with moms suckling their young in public, provided I stand behind her and make loud slurping noises…

    Recent studies say 7 orgasms a day can effectively curtail the chances of prostate cancer, so when they bust me for spanking it at the mall I can say it was for medicinal purposes only.

  75. Actually, the libertarian position is bleeding obvious. Private companies can and do restrict all sorts of behavior on their property. Obviously there are limits–no breathing would be a bit much–but we tolerate a society that “allows” private parties to say no eating and drinking in this establishment, no fornication, shirts and shoes required, no smoking, no shoplifting, no public defecation. . .in other words, they can set the rules.

    If the argument is that a woman should be able to breastfeed in public without being arrested for indecency, well, that’s another matter, but it doesn’t change the right of a private business to ban it on its property. Feel free to boycott or to send nasty grams, but don’t expect the legal system to solve your “problem”.

    Jennifer, boobs are man’s best friend. While for you they may only have aesthetic value, you should rejoice in them. And fondle them in front of your webcam. Well, if you want more hits for your blog, anyway 🙂

  76. Since we’re on the subject of being offended in public and since it’s summertime, would the fat chicks at the beach please stop wearing thongs?

    I thank you.
    Your nation thanks you.

  77. “Going from first principles the mother has the right to feed her child wherever she wants.

    MSM,

    This is the source of your problem. Nobody has any right to do anything on anyone else’s property without the permission of the owner.

    Now start again from the beginning.

  78. All we need now is for Ron Bailey to issue a comment (for, against, doesn’t matter) on the relative merits of formula and breast milk.

    1000+ posts for sure!

  79. there’s something ironic about breastfeeding being implicitly equated with body waste elimination, that the employee asked the mother to move the restroom. seems unsanitary to me. I wouldn’t want to eat in a public bathroom. Hell, I prefer not to use public restrooms, period.

    ideally, a law shouldn’t be necessary, but considering how often one hear about women being asked to stop feeding their babies in public, even if they’re not actually exposing themselves (covering with towels and whatnot), being treated as though they are engaging in lewd and lascivious behavior, just because the clerk has a fetish and his subscription to Lactating Lasses just ran out, perhaps a law IS necessary. namely, one that clearly differentiates breastfeeding from indecent exposure.

  80. LOOK AT MY TITS AND ACCOMMODATE THEM, EVERYBODY!

    Jennifer, I’d give hard cash for a look at your tits, and my first born for the chance to accommodate them.

    I take your point, that a national protest is an unwarranted response to the stupidity of one part-time clerk. But perhaps this isn’t just about one fools error. I’m inclined to believe that the ease in organizing lactivists, has more to do with regularly encountering such idiocy than it does with narcissism. There’s some truth behind your sweeping assertions about new mothers, but I don’t believe it’s the dominant force here.

  81. Can you recommend other bra brands that are actually good? I am in agreement about the craptasticness that is VS bras.

    Smacky, yet another argument for times past when chicks didn’t wear bras. No muss. No fuss.

    On another note:

    Momma’s Boobs

    Rated R for tastelessness and nudity, not for kids, 2 mb download

  82. I would like to thank Pro Libertate for bringing logic and the thought of Jennifer on a webcam to this debate.

  83. Can you recommend other bra brands that are actually good? I am in agreement about the craptasticness that is VS bras.

    I have no brand loyalty because every time I like a particular style the damned company discontinues it. So when I go somewhere like Target I just grab five or six different bras in my size and keep whichever one feels best. But I seriously want to know why Victoria’s Secret apparently hired Picasso to design their bras.

    fondle them in front of your webcam. Well, if you want more hits for your blog, anyway 🙂

    C’mon over to my blog, guys, and watch while a self-loathing (but large-breasted) prude explores her sexuality in a real-time voyage of personal discovery! And my latest post has a lot of Ayn Rand sex jokes, too.

  84. Smacky, yet another argument for times past when chicks didn’t wear bras. No muss. No fuss.

    TWC,

    If you read my post again, you’ll see that is the direction I’m headed. (I already have sexual harassment arguments ready for people who complain about my freewheeling bosom at work…tee hee!)

  85. Could be, but I think it’s more embedded in our natures. Women tend to reject the libertarian principle that individual selfishness leads to good social results.

    I’ll bite. Why do you believe this to be a libertarian principle? Give me some concrete examples.

  86. Smacky,
    Have you considered having a guy walk behind you while holding your tits up all day?

  87. Warren, sometimes, as in your multiple comments today, you are just so right on.

    As a father of children who were fed Snookie Milk for a very long time, I can testify that there is a middle ground that includes discretion and accomodation. It is completely within the realm of possibility that breast feeding mothers can practice their craft without shocking the timid and prudish among us. That is why they sell baby blankets. Besides, few women are interested in flaunting their boobs to the world with an infant attached.

  88. I would like to thank Pro Libertate for bringing logic and the thought of Jennifer on a webcam to this debate.

    Franklin Harris, you’re welcome. I wonder if it hurts people’s minds when I sound all rational and stuff and then go off into batshit crazy land. Oh, well. I’s gots the ADD real bad.

    Jennifer, I think FeralFondlingGenius just went up to number one in the Google search results 🙂 And that’s just from this thread! Are you adding “Left-Libertarian Porn” to your meta tags? You should, even if you don’t show a thing. . . .

  89. Have you considered having a guy walk behind you while holding your tits up all day?

    Warren,

    That option was already offered to me. I considered it, but figured it would probably be too expensive, even if I only paid the guy a dollar a day.

  90. If Ms. Cook is trying to fight the mentality that feeding infants should only be done in hiding… then why demand the right to breast-feed in a dressing room, which is specifically designed to provide privacy and seclusion?

    Comment by: Russ R at July 7, 2006 11:54 AM

    Agreed Russ. The hipocrasy of the woman is revealed since she asked to use the dressing room or hallway, but was offered the employee’s restroom, is evident in the story.

    Despite the fact that the employee was going against company policy, this Ms. Cook is an idiot for blowing it all out of proportion.

  91. oh

    such exalted degradation

    ooooooh

  92. That option was already offered to me. I considered it, but figured it would probably be too expensive, even if I only paid the guy a dollar a day.

    So, um, the guy could then be said to have a “boob job,” right?

  93. Smacky,
    Are you kidding? I wouldn’t think you’d have a problem finding guys lining up to pay you for the privilege.

  94. Jennifer,

    Please turn on your blog’s RSS feed so I can add you to my LiveJournal friends list.

    (Yes, I have a LiveJournal. Stop looking at me like that!)

  95. Hit and Run Drinking Game, TM

    This games can be played alone, in a virtual group (players sit at they computers and communicate by telephone, texting, IM, etc. or – only for experts – by posting on the blog) or in a live group at a private house or in a public house (bar).

    Drinks are hereafter defined as 6 ounces of beer, a 1.5 ounce shot, a glass of wine*, or anything the self-described libertarian thinks it should be (it’s still a semi-free fucking country, goddamit).

    Rules

    1. All Drink

    a. Whenever Godwin is invoked.
    b. Whenever Hayek is invoked.
    c. Whenever “marius” uses a capital letter.

    2. Women Drink

    a. Whenever someone wonders, “Why aren’t more women libertarian?”
    b. Whenever a female poster comments on bras, pregnancy, body image or other women’s issues.

    3. Men Drink

    a. Whenever a man explains, “There aren’t more women libertarians because …”
    b. Whenever a poster comments on his homosexuality.

    4. Religious Believers Drink

    a. Whenever their own religious beliefs are attacked.
    b. Whenever they attack another sect’s religious beliefs.

    5. Employees of the State Drink

    a. Whenever someone other than themselves defend an act of the state.

    6. Atheists Drink

    a. Whenever religious beliefs are characterized as “stupid”, “irrational”, “scary”, etc.
    b. Whenever an uncalled for attack on Mormons is made.

    7. Pedants Drink

    a. Whenever the spelling or grammatical mistakes of others are mocked.

    7. “Real” Libertarians Drink

    a. Whenever they feel like it.

    8. Adding Rules

    a. Only anarcho-capitalists can “officially” add rules. All others can add rules either by personal fiat or by mutual agreements not involving fraud or coercion.
    b. Rule disputes are to be resolved by the diktat of the poster known as “Ruthless”.

    9. Winning

    a. As the amount of inebriation must increase and cannot decrease below sober, everybody wins (it’s not a zero-sum game).

    10. Safety Considerations

    a. It is strongly recommended that players not handle loaded guns, drive, swim, boat, fly or supervise children while playing the game.

    *The poster known as “The Wine Commonsewer” can advise you on the proper wine.

  96. Warren, sometimes, as in your multiple comments today, you are just so right on.

    Awwww shucks [blush]
    Thanks for noticing.

  97. Warren and biologist are making all the arguments I’d make (without, perhaps, the gratuitous kitten reference.) I agree with them.

  98. Russ R

    “This is the source of your problem. Nobody has any right to do anything on anyone else’s property without the permission of the owner.”

    So you are saying that property rights trump self-ownership rights. That seems both outdated and illogical. Clearly this was the basis of the argument that allowed Jim Crow laws, but you wouldn’t be arguing for these kinds of absolute rights of property owners in this day and age. Even libertarianism allows that there is a need to balance the rights at points where they are in conflict.

  99. Franklin Harris–

    What is an RSS feed? If you click my name you’ll find my address (assuming I didn’t make another typo).

    Smacky–

    The guy is the one who should pay you. Otherwise you’re just doing it wrong.

  100. Nuthin’ sweetens a summer day like the fragrant taint of freshly voided milk-shit.

  101. Jennifer,

    Never mind. I found your RSS feed’s URL.

  102. Warren,

    Well, the guy in question is my bf, who is currently unemployed. We thought it would be a good solution to both problems…you know, kill two birds with one stone and all. Only problem was that I realized our scheme wouldn’t increase our net income, so we had to throw it out. The offer hasn’t yet been presented to the public.

  103. So you are saying that property rights trump self-ownership rights. That seems both outdated and illogical.

    So if I need to clean out some nose pearls you’ll have no problem with me going to your house for a vigorous bout of nose-picking? Your property rights are far less important than my right to breathe unimpeded by boogers, after all. And God forbid anybody expect me to just go someplace private for certain acts–that’s not the American way.

  104. This was a while back, but I also think children are one of the icky possible side effects of sex.

    The lactavists are one of the more annoying “everything for the chil-drun” groups out there. I agree with much of what was said above, that the woman should not be allowed to use dressing room space intended for customers who may actually be purchasing something. Surely, there were other places in the mall she could have gone since she presumably doesn’t have a problem nursing in a public place, since that’s what she is all up in arms about in the first place. It may be tongue-in-cheek to say “Well, I can’t go eat a cheeseburger in a VS dressing room, the baby shouldn’t be allowed to eat in there either,” but I think it’s valid.

    And yes, VS bras generally suck. I have one good one, and they’ve of course discontinued it.

  105. Jenniffer said

    P.S. Victoria’s Secret bras suck anyway.

    you mean that they do not want comptetition from babies???

  106. Man Jennifer is on a roll today. I have no problem with breastfeeding in public or on an airplane. However, private stores should have the right to decide their policy and if they’re busy and can’t afford a dressing, revenue enhancing actions should trump politeness (I’m sure their shareholders would agree). Regarding the frequent feeding schedule a baby requires, that’s the mother’s issue, not the store’s.

    That option was already offered to me. I considered it, but figured it would probably be too expensive, even if I only paid the guy a dollar a day.

    I’m sure you could find someone to pay you a dollar a day for that job.

  107. VS bras generally suck. I have one good one, and they’ve of course discontinued it.

    I had the same problem. The only style of VS bra that ever fit and I liked was discontinued a long, long time ago. I think I even wrote to them at one point, begging them to bring the bra back. I’m sure they just had a good laugh about it.

  108. I’m sure you could find someone to pay you a dollar a day for that job.

    Mo,

    To follow me around all day? This isn’t some quick and dirty grope we’re talking about. This is (borderline) actual work. Wait a minute…maybe I’ve just found a solution to the immigrant worker problem…

  109. Simple games for simple minds, mine is merely: Every time someone uses a form of argument that he’d never use if it ran counter to his position, you drink.

    You may be thinking, “that’s not a drinking game, that’s a suicide pact.”

    The trick is to make the standard drink a thimble full of beer, unless the poster has a Ph.D. in physics, in which case you use an eye-dropper.

  110. Smacky,
    I want to beg them to bring their bras from the ‘Pink’ collection back. I don’t go in there enough to figure out if they have something similar. Whenever I go in their I feel like the hot salesgirls are looking at me like I shouldn’t be shopping there because I’m not a Size 2.

  111. Mo,
    Yeah the store can set whatever policy it wants. AND THE WOMEN WHO DON’T LIKE IT CAN PROTEST. That’s the way freedom works see

  112. I tend to agree with Dan T. against Jenniffer.

    Libertarians do not come out full grown out of test tubes. They start as totally helpless infants who, if they did not have an adult singlemindedly devoting herself to their welfare would not live very long.

    Do you find the idea of babies icky? Think how lucky you are tht your mother did not think so. Does it disgust you when a woman breastfeeds? Well, that is what God created breasts, after all. Why does it bother you? Because it reminds you that no matter how lofty their thoughts, humans are just animals with animal needs? Does the singlemindedness of mothers bothers you? Why, that woman and her mate, are the only ones who really care if that baby lives or dies. They are the only advocates that helpless creature has. The ones that will take care of it until the time it has reached a certain stage of development at which you think he is worth talking to and indoctrinating. And then, after you gave a rat’s ass when it was just a noisy bother, you will complain that they did not raise it right, to your standards.

    You are free not to hae any children. But know what awesome responsibility are shouldering those who do.

  113. TGIF-

    I resemble that remark!

  114. To follow me around all day? This isn’t some quick and dirty grope we’re talking about.

    Don’t ask me to explain it, but I NEVER get tired of having my hands on a set of tits. You could put a boob on a stick and keep me amused all day.

  115. Warren, I’ve already crossed lines in this thread that will get me a stern looking at by my girlfriend, but I must say this: I presume that your protests will be topless ones? Otherwise, what’s the point?

  116. Do you find the idea of babies icky? Think how lucky you are tht your mother did not think so

    I do find the idea of babies icky. I suspect my mother had plenty of times when she found me icky. I guess I should be thankful my mother didn’t have an abortion while I’m at it!

  117. Adriana: Fine. Babies are a wonderous burden. However that does not even come close to justifying why society as a whole must bend over backwards to accomodate them.

  118. Warren,
    I agree. And I can call the women idiots for protesting. And all is good in the world.

  119. You could put a boob on a stick and keep me amused all day.

    And there’s the source of supermodels…

  120. Adriana, I don’t know exactly what point you’re trying to make, but I’m guessing it’s something like “since I was an infant once myself I must always accomodate infants and their mothers regardless of the circumstances,” right? And the “what if your mom felt the same way” corollary is supposed to inspire some vague feeling of guilt within me, I take it?

    So: I used to be a baby, therefore I should think that shops selling sexy lingerie need to accomodate hungry babies, unless the shops sell naughty videos in addition to the lingerie because then we need to keep the babies out because of the moral impurity of pornography (think of the children but not how they’re made) but this just shows I’m in denial about humanity’s essential animal nature and so . . . oh, fuck it.

    No, goddammit, that’s a sexual thing, which would ALSO involve admitting to my animal nature. Shit.

    No, wait, that too is an aspect of our waste-producing animal selves. Goddammmit!

    Yes, that curse is sufficiently ethereal for my refined sensibilities, I think.

  121. You are free not to hae any children. But know what awesome responsibility are shouldering those who do.

    Judging by some the parents I’ve seen, it’s the easiest awesome responsibility ever. I’m not saying parents are bad, but to elevate parenthood to an “awesome responsibility” is excessive.

    Don’t ask me to explain it, but I NEVER get tired of having my hands on a set of tits. You could put a boob on a stick and keep me amused all day.

    To quote my good friend Josh, “If I had breasts, I’d never leave my room.”

  122. I think some of these broads are stuck in their little heads, in that they think this whole world exists to be their diaper-changing table.

    Yep. Exactly. “Mooooooo!! I’m doing the most impooooortant job in the woooooorrrllld (according to myself!), so everybody had just better make way for my personal choice to breed.”

    It’s a shame this moo was absolutely required to be in a privately-owned shopping mall when the child she chose to grunt into this world became hungry. Apparently, some unseen force not only dragged her unwillingly into the mall, it prevented her from leaving, and forbid her from preparing for the compulsory mall outing ahead of time by pumping breast milk into bottles.

    I wonder how it was that my female ancestors managed to feed and raise children without plopping down and whipping out their tits whenever they happened to be in public, demanding that stores provide places for them to nurse, and inviting a couple scores of disgruntled titnazis to suckle their little parasites on the private property of others. What a miracle we all survived without our mothers and grandmothers demanding that private businesses accommodate their lifestyle choices.

  123. Adriana: Fine. Babies are a wonderous burden. However that does not even come close to justifying why society as a whole must bend over backwards to accomodate them.

    Well, for starters society needs children, and they cannot raise themselves.

  124. “But know what awesome responsibility are shouldering those who do.”

    A responsibility that is freely chosen by those involved, and NMFP.

    And forgive the microscope, Miss Jennifer, but I’ll address these “issues” these knuckleheads are accusing you of.

    I’m guessing you have dealt with a lot of shit because you refuse to be defined by the woman’s primary REASON TO EXIST, i.e. to push out crotch snotlings. Because of this, you are an outsider, and this makes you angry.

    And trust me, I’ve taken a few lumps, too. One of my top five ball-busts of all time was a friend dressing me down, at length, because I stated I had absolutely no interest in having any children, ever. His money quote: “You might as well be a fag!!”. That was awesome.

  125. Well, for starters society needs children, and they cannot raise themselves.

    True. That’s why the Victoria’s Secret corporation exists–to provide a place for women to raise their children.

  126. Methinks that everybody is over-reacting just a bit. Of course, you start with a small problem, you get an over-reaction, then everybody else sees the ludicrous over-reaction and over-reacts commensurately, and pretty soon it’s a tempest in a C cup.

  127. A-C-C-O-M-M-O-D-A-T-E.

    My work here is done.

  128. So if I need to clean out some nose pearls you’ll have no problem with me going to your house for a vigorous bout of nose-picking?

    Your house is not equivalent to a place of business in a mall that is open to the public. Can we all stop pretending that they are the same and conflating what you can do / expect in one versus what you can do / expect in the other?

    I doubt sincerely that a restaurant owner would forbid his patrons from picking their nose at the table, despite how icky the people at the next table find it.

    I understand and support property rights, but at some point, I believe that some regulation of things you can discriminate / forbid the public from doing within a personal business that is open to the public is both appropriate and necessary to prevent certain people’s ick factor from preventing people from doing what is necessary (like feeding their child)

    If the mother was feeding her baby with a bottle instead of her breast, this wouldn’t be an issue. I say that anywhere a mother can feed with a bottle should available for anyone who breast feeds — feeding is feeding — it shouldn’t matter if its with a bottle, a glass jar of gerbers of mom’s breast.

    And lets not forget that the “lactivists” are the ones in the right…the company has a policy that is friendly towards them, but they were discriminated against. WHy is it wrong of them to protest? If a company has a policy, why do we demonize those who want to hold a company to they promises they make. Either the company has the policy merely for PR reasons, or they don’t train their employess properly. Either way, the victims in this case are well within their rights to protest and call attention to the failings of this company.

  129. I was a baby once, hence I should coddle all babies.
    I was also a sperm once, hence I should be warm and fuzzy to all sperm.

    Gentlemen, drop’em so I can start the love…

  130. According to Amy Alkon, at least, the law these people are agitating for already exists:

    maybe one of the highly-paid employees didn’t know it’s the law that a woman can breastfeed her kid anywhere she can legally take it. Big whoop.

  131. True. That’s why the Victoria’s Secret corporation exists–to provide a place for women to raise their children.

    But that’s silly. We’ve gone from a woman looking for a semi-private spot to feed her child (while shopping, of course) to “these women want society to raise their kids” or whatever.

    Back to the topic, however, let’s say that these “lactavists” succeed in having a law passed that requires retailers with private areas in their store to allow women to breastfeed upon request. What’s the real harm?

  132. I wonder how it was that my female ancestors managed to feed and raise children without plopping down and whipping out their tits whenever they happened to be in public

    Umm, I think that’s how it worked for most of human history.

    Fine. Babies are a wonderous burden. However that does not even come close to justifying why society as a whole must bend over backwards to accomodate them.

    I certainly agree, but – insert standard disclaimer about private businesses making whatever rules they want – I hardly think allowing a woman to nurse in a dressing room hallway equates “bending over backwards.” A breastfeeding-friendly policy costs a business nothing to implement and requires no effort to maintain. While it’s every business’s right to refuse, and I certainly don’t think any laws should be made on the subject, a friendly policy is not some big sacrifice that we, the society, make for those selfish mothers.

  133. And I can call the women idiots for protesting.

    Yes you can, but you are wrong to do so. Theirs is a noble cause.

    You could put a boob on a stick and keep me amused all day.

    And there’s the source of supermodels…

    Comment by: AC at July 7, 2006 01:58 PM

    No no no, It has to be a live boob. Supermodels don’t have boobs, they have implants which I can’t abide. Also, let me say that a tree branch is more attractive than …[500-word rant against skinny women and the nefarious cabal that foists them on society redacted] … and Paris Hilton is what you get.

  134. Your house is not equivalent to a place of business in a mall that is open to the public. Can we all stop pretending that they are the same and conflating what you can do / expect in one versus what you can do / expect in the other?

    Sure, if we can also stop pretending that allowing a store owner to set standards of behavior in his shop is the same thing as government-mandated legal segragation.

    Back to the topic, however, let’s say that these “lactavists” succeed in having a law passed that requires retailers with private areas in their store to allow women to breastfeed upon request. What’s the real harm?

    Ask the business owners who may not want such people in their store. As I mentioned before, if I owned a store selling sexy lingerie, or any other business where sexuality and sex appeal had a lot to do with my profits, I would not want small children in there anyway. Not because I give a damn about warping their minds with S-E-X knowledge, but because I’m trying to establish a certain “mood” and fans of Barney the Dinosaur and Dora the Explorer don’t fit in there.

    I’m more concerned with “why is being asked to not breast-feed your child in front of lingerie customers so horrible that you have to throw a national hissy-fit over it?”

  135. Back to the topic, however, let’s say that these “lactavists” succeed in having a law passed that requires retailers with private areas in their store to allow women to breastfeed upon request. What’s the real harm?

    But a private area WAS offered to the woman, and she’s raising a protest because it’s not her ideal private place.

  136. Why is being asked to not breast-feed your child in front of lingerie customers so horrible that you have to throw a national hissy-fit over it?

    Because women who are not soulless actually consider their children more important than a company’s right to discriminate against them.

  137. Your house is not equivalent to a place of business in a mall that is open to the public. Can we all stop pretending that they are the same and conflating what you can do / expect in one versus what you can do / expect in the other?

    No we can’t. That has got to be the dumbest comment on this thread.

  138. Methinks that everybody is over-reacting just a bit. Of course, you start with a small problem, you get an over-reaction, then everybody else sees the ludicrous over-reaction and over-reacts commensurately, and pretty soon it’s a tempest in a C cup.

    You’re right, of course, about the overreaction.

    But it’s still interesting that a natural and necessary act that hurts nobody is still such a hot-button issue.

  139. But a private area WAS offered to the woman, and she’s raising a protest because it’s not her ideal private place.

    Well, yeah. Bathrooms are not exactly sanitary places to eat, especially quasi-public ones.

  140. Look, let me start by saying that I support everybody’s right to do everything and not do everything, so allow or don’t allow what you want to allow or not allow on your own private property, and exercise your right of free speech to criticize whatever policy you want to criticize, and exercise your right of free speech to criticize somebody else’s criticism, and feel free to shop or not shop where you wish according to your beliefs, and all that other good stuff.

    So, somebody asks to do something. The store employee says no, apparently unaware of company policy. So far, so trivial. But then somebody decides to have a protest. OK, that seems kind of dumb. So then everybody here starts complaining about how awful parents are, and implying that all of the parents out there want all sorts of special privileges. So the over-reaction just keeps escalating.

    Given everything I said about your right to do or not do on your property and shop or not shop and criticize or not criticize and all that good stuff…anyway, having established that I’m cool with your rights to do all sorts of stuff, let me ask this:

    What do you think about women who discreetly nurse in public? Does it bug you? I’ve seen women holding babies wrapped in towels, wearing clothes with some strategically located folds and whatnot, so that it wasn’t completely obvious to me what was happening but it seemed like the baby was discretely feeding.

    Does that sort of thing actually bug anybody?

    No, I’m not asking whether you think a private property owner should be able to bar that sort of activity. I already ran through all those disclaimers. And I’m not asking whether you object to people who get up in your face and make a display. I’m just asking whether even really discrete nursing bugs anybody. Because there are some responses that seem to be expressions of much deeper issues that are only tangentially related to the matter at hand.

    If something like that would really bug you, then maybe you’re reacting to other issues aside from the protestors.

  141. Look, let me start by saying that I support everybody’s right to do everything and not do everything, so allow or don’t allow what you want to allow or not allow on your own private property, and exercise your right of free speech to criticize whatever policy you want to criticize, and exercise your right of free speech to criticize somebody else’s criticism, and feel free to shop or not shop where you wish according to your beliefs, and all that other good stuff.

    So, somebody asks to do something. The store employee says no, apparently unaware of company policy. So far, so trivial. But then somebody decides to have a protest. OK, that seems kind of dumb. So then everybody here starts complaining about how awful parents are, and implying that all of the parents out there want all sorts of special privileges. So the over-reaction just keeps escalating.

    Given everything I said about your right to do or not do on your property and shop or not shop and criticize or not criticize and all that good stuff…anyway, having established that I’m cool with your rights to do all sorts of stuff, let me ask this:

    What do you think about women who discreetly nurse in public? Does it bug you? I’ve seen women holding babies wrapped in towels, wearing clothes with some strategically located folds and whatnot, so that it wasn’t completely obvious to me what was happening but it seemed like the baby was discretely feeding.

    Does that sort of thing actually bug anybody?

    No, I’m not asking whether you think a private property owner should be able to bar that sort of activity. I already ran through all those disclaimers. And I’m not asking whether you object to people who get up in your face and make a display. I’m just asking whether even really discrete nursing bugs anybody. Because there are some responses that seem to be expressions of much deeper issues that are only tangentially related to the matter at hand.

    If something like that would really bug you, then maybe you’re reacting to other issues aside from the protestors.

  142. What do you think about women who discreetly nurse in public? Does it bug you?

    I would be amazed if it actually bugged somebody.

  143. It appears that the mere existence of children bugs a lot of people here.

  144. What do you think about women who discreetly nurse in public? Does it bug you?

    I don’t like babies or children, but Discrete nursing does not bother me.

    I don’t think it’s wrong for a woman to ask for a place to nurse. Not ideal, maybe; she could have planned better, or she could leave the store, but hey, with kids the unexpected happens. My problem is the woman in question was offered a (private) place to nurse and made a huge deal because it was not the private place she initially wanted to nurse.

    If she is comfortable nursing in public places (and one would reason that she is because that’s what she is arguing for) there were other options available to her. My problem with her protest is, she wanted to use a dressing room. The dressing room was not available (and the store has various reasons; I mean they don’t let you eat in dressing rooms because you may ruin the garments. the same thing can apply here) and an alternative space was offered.

  145. Does that sort of thing actually bug anybody?

    That sort of thing I barely notice. What bugs me is when I see parents loose their temper with their kids. Also parents that neglect their kids. Another thing that bugs me, but not as much, is parents instilling their own paranoid fears into the little tykes heads.

  146. “Furthermore I think it’s obnoxious to accuse them of fancying themselves “the center of the universe” because they do so.”

    warren, baby, some day if you find yourself in brooklyn, new york, make your way to a place called “park slope,” around prospect park.

    your tune shall be changed. it sure changed mine.

  147. t:

    Thanks yet again for bringing sobriety and maturation to the discussion.

    To answer you question, no, it doesn’t bug me if a mother is discreety suckling her young in public.

    It only bothered me in the past when the kid was getting more titty than I was.

  148. warren, baby, some day if you find yourself in brooklyn, new york, make your way to a place called “park slope,” around prospect park.

    :: shudder :: Park Slope on a spring afternoon, baby carriages cramming the sidewalk, the park, Loki Lounge :: shudder ::

    I could never live there and now avoid it.

  149. To quote my good friend Josh, “If I had breasts, I’d never leave my room.”

    heh, my wife says the same thing about having a penis, w00t, lucky me!

  150. A data point (3 actually): I have three kids, all were breastfed for many months. I took them shopping with me. Sometimes they got hungry and I would feed them. I was very discrete (blanket draped over shoulder and tucked in at waist) with no breast, lips, nipple or baby’s face visable. I still got hassled on an occasional basis (~10%).
    Yes. Some people have a problem with the existance of breastfeeding. And have no problems walking up to strangers and making a scene.

  151. My summary statement:

    1. Breast-feeding in public doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, exposing mammaries in public with or without suckling infant is absolutely fine by me (which is why I’m happy to live in Ontario where women have the right to walk around topless, and I applaud those who exercise that right, especially if they’re shapely and firm).

    2. Any owner of private property has a right to be the sole authority over who enters and how people are to behave if they want to remain on the property. This applies equally to commercial and residential property. The owner’s property rights take precedence over the individual rights of anyone entering the property. The owner may exercise his rights at any time by requesting that the person leave the property. If the person fails to do so, the owner may charge the person with trespassing.

    3. On government property, people’s individual rights take precedence over the owner’s property rights. Hence, individuals are free to exercise any of their rights (speech, assembly, breastfeeding, whatever…) on government property on which they would otherwise be permitted if they were not exercising said right.

    Now… if Victoria’s Secret wants to keep breastfeeding women out of its store, it can simply ask them to leave. No problem here. It faces public backlash and may alienate some consumers, but it’s the corporation’s right to decide what behaviour is acceptable in its stores.

    If “lactivists” want to protest, they can do so on government property, or on private but only with the permission of the owner. It’s the people’s First Amendment right to peacably assemble… No problem here either.

    Where I have a problem is with “lactivists” who want the government to deny property owners their rightful authority over their own private property. Unfortunately, this is exactly what they are trying to do.

    Example of proposed laws from Mississippi:

    “SECTION 2. A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, without respect to whether the mother’s breast or any part of it is covered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.”
    [emphasis added]

    Limit the above law to government property, and I’d fully support it.

  152. This is the best Reason post that I’ve ever followed!

    First: Need to start getting these Boobsicles on the street. There’s definitely some money to be made there.

    ZeroE:
    Until about 1900, when bottles came into vogue, your female ancestors did precisely that – they whipped ’em out in public and nobody was outraged in the least. On the other hand, showing your ankles in public back then provoked pretty much the same response as this thread! It’s not an easy comparison to make across eras.

    Jennifer:
    I like being a dad and think very highly of my wife for breastfeeding. I respect her a great deal for the sacrifices that she made to do it. She’s not militant and was discreet in the “middle ground” manner that TWC suggests is possible. But she also had no problem doing it in a public bathroom. I think that she just felt as though, if it was potentially offensive, why subject others to it. It was her choice and she never forced it anyone, as far as I know. But I guess that it is a little surprising to me that you – a woman – would seem to have taken such a strong stand against children and nursing. Maybe I’m reading more than you’re saying. (I’m still considering the “why aren’t more women Libs” and your “token female Lib” comments. I wonder if there isn’t something about motherhood – even for those who haven’t had kids yet – that makes women less selfish and, therefore, less prone to adopt libertarian values – especially to the Randian level. I’d like to think about this some more and maybe get back to you sometime for your ideas on the matter.)

    That said, I’ve been to your blog a few times since it was announced here at H&R and liked what you’ve had to say. But after this thread, with you and smacky talking breasts, lingerie, and, um, support staff, I think that I’ll be back every day!

    I’m thinking that I’ll not be the only one…

  153. warren, baby, some day if you find yourself in brooklyn, new york, make your way to a place called “park slope,” around prospect park.

    your tune shall be changed. it sure changed mine.

    I doubt I’ll ever find myself there. I have some contempt for NYC and intend to avoid it. But I was curious as to how this neighborhood might affect my opinion. So I Googled “park slope” and found this (NSFW) hard working mother. So now (aside from redoubling my efforts to stay away) I’m thinking the area may just be disproportionately populated by “I am the center of the Universe” type women.

  154. Bathrooms are not exactly sanitary places to eat, especially quasi-public ones.

    Was Mama planning to rub her nipple on the toilet seat before sticking it in Baby’s mouth?

  155. Dhex,
    In my experience, the average Park Slope type thought they were the center of the universe before they had children. Becoming parents just exacerbated the phenomenon a little bit.

    Pi Guy,
    How’s Richard Parker doing these days?

  156. Jennifer, flushing toilets without the lid down (and I’ve never seen a public toilet with a lid) sends a plume of water aerosol from the toilet into the air, where it drifts for an undetermined time until it settles.

  157. LOKI LOUNGE FEEL THE PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN!

    sorry.

    anyway, i never really felt that strongly until i moved to downtown brooklyn. for some reason the mothers in that particular area really are convinced that they are the center of the universe; to the point where i’ve watched them nearly run down the elderly, other peoples’ children and of course any woman who isn’t toting a child of their own with their ginormous strollers. they’re almost as bad as the tourists in midtown who constantly pull ohios. (ohio, n: the act of stopping in the middle of the sidewalk along with a group of friends to stare at large buildings, shirt displays and/or black people)

    the folks with kids in carroll gardens are mostly very, very nice, however, which is weird cause they’re all of 10 blocks away from each other. park slope is like this weird post-left asshole magnet.

    good falafel at mr. falafel though.

  158. But I guess that it is a little surprising to me that you – a woman – would seem to have taken such a strong stand against children and nursing.

    It’s not children and nursing I’m opposed to; it’s nursing mothers who insist that they MUST be treated exactly as they wish at any place and any time, regardless of anyone else’s feelings on the matter; and furthermore if there is even a tiny misunderstanding somewhere–like for instance a misinformed clerk in one small store gives erroneous information–said mothers then decide to raise the biggest ruckus possible, including unnecessarily dragging their babies outside in the summertime, so they can simultaneously bully others and claim they’re the ones being bullied.

    And here is something truly pathetic: for all that I’ve been indulging in sexually charged smartasssery for 95 percent of this thread, I’m still behaving with more dignity, decorum and modesty than these women. Why do I say this? Ask yourself: on whom am I trying to enforce my will here? Nobody.

    Furthermore: I’ll damn well admit that I’m acting for my own enjoyment and ego-gratification, not lie and say it’s because I’m some noble sacrificing martyr thinking only of the children, not myself, never myself, oh no.

    (Speaking of sexy smartassery, I am so glad I resisted the temptation to post “Hey guys, I’m still exploring my sexuality over here and you wouldn’t believe the stuff I’m finding!”)

  159. I liked the food at Cafe Steinhof.

  160. Hey, Warren, now you’ve crossed the line. I kind of like scrawny chicks. Not sketchers though.

    Apostate, funny stuff.

  161. “Excuse me, ma’am? Could you move the baby out of the way, I’m tryin to see titty here.”

    Legally, I’d agree with the view that it’s their store & they can have whatever policy they want. Socially however, I’m trying to figure out how bringing a baby into the dressing room is somehow disgusting yet the muffs of complete strangers touching underwear that they might not buy (far as I know they don’t have some kind of barrier when women try on thongs) is a-ok.

  162. “I have some contempt for NYC”

    why? you dislike awesomeness?

  163. The lactivists’ complaints have very little to do with a principled stand for the right to breastfeed in public as that is already allowed in most places and in this case, VS had offered the free use of their bathroom so the mother could feed the child.

    The breastfeeding zealots feel that they have a right that extends far beyond simply being allowed to nurse in public, they expect every private property owner to not only allow mothers to feed their children anytime they want on the property, but they also feel that it is the burden of the property owner to make sure that the designated location meets certain criteria so that their breastfeeding experience is as comfortable as possible. They want the law to enforce their continued access to free, unfettered use of another person’s property and also the ability to punish a property owner that has not improved or set aside part of the property with the benefits of nursing mothers in mind. They want use of property of a certain quality available anytime they want and the ability to criminally punish a property owner that does not give it to them.

    Has any lactivist ever offered to rent the use of a dressing room or other private area or do they expect everything they want for free?

  164. Nuthin’ sweetens a summer day like the fragrant taint of freshly voided milk-shit.

    Comment by: Jeff P. at July 7, 2006 01:30 PM

    Except for freshly puked boobie-milk. 🙂

  165. Well, yeah. Bathrooms are not exactly sanitary places to eat, especially quasi-public ones.

    Yeah, but it’s not exactly “sanitary” if a nursing mother or a baby dribbles breast milk all over some bras or underpants or other intimate merchandise? WELL, IS IT? I don’t want that hobag’s AIDS.

    Speaking of dribbling, I just had 3 of my wisdom teeth removed and I can’t feel my lower lip and most of my face. I hope I’m not drooling.

    Jennifer, flushing toilets without the lid down (and I’ve never seen a public toilet with a lid) sends a plume of water aerosol from the toilet into the air, where it drifts for an undetermined time until it settles.

    biologist,

    You as a “biologist” should know that some minimal exposure to germs and bacteria can actually BOOST a child’s immune system. So wipe that nipple on that toilet seat, mama!

  166. Russ,

    I like your more detailed explanation of your position, but I am not sure I agree on all points…

    “SECTION 2. A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, WHERE THE MOTHER IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO BE, without respect to whether the mother’s breast or any part of it is covered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.”
    [emphasis added]

    Doesn’t this clause cover your concerns regarding tresspassing?

  167. I take it at VS it is only limited to babies?

  168. Gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme.

  169. Jennifer,
    You are still insisting that these women are assembling solely out of their irrational demand to be catered to by all living things. I am in complete agreement with you that there should be no law enshrining their right to bare boobs in private stores. But why can’t you admit to the possibility that they aren’t reacting to one misguided clerk. That they’ve repeatedly run up against this silly small-minded, attitude and are sick of it, to the point of doing something about it.

    It strikes me that in such a case, having a big protest that draws lots of attention and gets everyone yacking about it, so that just letting mothers breast feed where they will becomes the socially accepted norm, is exactly the right course of action.

  170. The breastfeeding zealots feel that they have a right that extends far beyond simply being allowed to nurse in public, they expect every private property owner to not only allow mothers to feed their children anytime they want on the property, but they also feel that it is the burden of the property owner to make sure that the designated location meets certain criteria so that their breastfeeding experience is as comfortable as possible. They want the law to enforce their continued access to free, unfettered use of another person’s property and also the ability to punish a property owner that has not improved or set aside part of the property with the benefits of nursing mothers in mind. They want use of property of a certain quality available anytime they want and the ability to criminally punish a property owner that does not give it to them.

    This seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.

  171. A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, WHERE THE MOTHER IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO BE,

    Generally speaking, you’re not allowed in a dressing room unless you might actually buy some merchandise, and even then there’s a limit to how long you can reasonably occupy it.

    She just wasn’t happy with the offering they had.

    Biologist–

    When I use a public restroom I always wash my hands, but I’ll admit I don’t wash my lips or my mouth afterwards. And I’m certain that I lick my lips at some point later. So I’m getting about the same level of germs as a baby breast-feeding in a restroom, right? Air-germs landing on my face and mouth, landing on mom’s nipple . . . eeeeew.

  172. Why are you always on about breastfeeding women, Dan?

  173. “The breastfeeding zealots feel that they have a right that extends far beyond simply being allowed to nurse in public, they expect every private property owner to not only allow mothers to feed their children anytime they want on the property, but they also feel that it is the burden of the property owner to make sure that the designated location meets certain criteria so that their breastfeeding experience is as comfortable as possible.”

    I didn’t read every single proposed law, but none of the ones I scanned included such a provision…

    You are arguing against a phantom…

  174. Gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme gimme.

    Remember folks, it’s only a “hissey-fit” if you disagree with the premise.

  175. why? you dislike awesomeness?

    Yeah, maybe that’s it. If I had unlimited wealth I’m sure I’d spend a few months every year in NY. But since I have a finite amount of funds, I can’t afford anything NY has to uniquely offer. I find I get better value for my dollar everywhere else, and I’ve been to Disney World.

  176. LOOK AT MY TITS AND ACCOMODATE THEM, EVERYBODY!

    God Christ, but I love looking at Jennifer’s posts.

    Don’t ask me to explain it, but I NEVER get tired of having my hands on a set of tits.

    Warren is correct. smacky, you could get plenty of guys to do the job for free. And even if their arms do get tired after a while, you could have several dudes working in shifts. When one needs a break, someone else replaces him. Like the Pony Express.

    Recent studies say 7 orgasms a day can effectively curtail the chances of prostate cancer, so when they bust me for spanking it at the mall I can say it was for medicinal purposes only.

    Jeff, seven, really? And here I was thinking that two a day was excessive. (Six on rainy Saturdays.)

    I will redouble my efforts.
    —————————–

    On parent-child pairs thinking they are the center of the universe…

    Do you guys remember the yellow diamond-shaped BABY ON BOARD signs that people used to stick on the rear windows of their cars?

    I once made one for myself, but with the unspoken subtext made plain: PLEASE RAM THE CHILDLESS.

    But I never had the nerve to put it on my car.

    Let alone the SPERM ON BOARD version that I made.

  177. Jennifer:
    Fair enough. I agree that the ruckus was wrong and support the rights of the owner of the establishment to make any rules they wish on their property. As I said – I may have read more into your statements than you were asserting. A thousand pardons.

    More than that, I am indeed impressed by your ability to resist temptation *chuckle* and your coining of the term smartassery. I’m definitely going to try to fit that one into a conversation sometime soon.

    mk:
    Huh?

  178. “A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, WHERE THE MOTHER IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO BE,

    Generally speaking, you’re not allowed in a dressing room unless you might actually buy some merchandise, and even then there’s a limit to how long you can reasonably occupy it.”

    Oh, so there is indeed a balance between the rights of the property owner and the breastfeeder in the proposed law.

    Imagine.

  179. Oh yeah, you guys do realize that Victoria’s Secret generally does not own the property where their stores are located, right?

  180. Oh yeah, you guys do realize that Victoria’s Secret generally does not own the property where their stores are located, right?

    Yes, and by the same logic, I can enter your apartment and schmear trash all over the floor. What? You don’t own your apartment, Dan.

  181. Dan,

    How is it an exaggeration?

    Even though VS was not required to allow the woman to breastfeed in their store, they were willing to allow the use of their bathroom, free of charge for the woman’s convenience. When the woman decides that the property owner’s bathroom does not meet her standards as an appropiate place to feed her child, she enlists a group of people to throw a fit and push for laws that would force a property owner to allow breastfeeding in what they think is a suitable location that meets their standards for comfort and cleanliness.

    It is like asking to use your neighbor’s bathroom and then having him arrested or expecting him to pay you when the toilet is not as clean as you like it.

  182. I’m just pointing out that by your own logic Victoria’s Secret has no right to make rules for their stores.

  183. But why can’t you admit to the possibility that they aren’t reacting to one misguided clerk. That they’ve repeatedly run up against this silly small-minded, attitude and are sick of it, to the point of doing something about it.

    I’ll admit, the people who go out of their way to harass nursing mothers who are being discreet is equally if not more sickening. And I certainly oppose laws treating breast feeding like indecent exposure. What I am bothered by is this insistence that everything must be exactly as a mother desires it or else there’s been a clear wrong committed.

    By the way, allow me, a woman, to tell you guys a little secret you might not have known: the bathrooms that we women have available in stores like VS are very, very, VERY different from what you men know of as “bathrooms.” There are often anterooms, even, with carpeting and velvet sofas and vanity counters with huge, high-quality mirrors in front of them, and of course little baskets of potpourri everywhere.

    I am not exaggerating.

    Let me put this in terms a guy can relate to: think of public restrooms as automobiles. You men live in the year 1908 and think that the hand-cranked car you paid a lot of money for is just THE greatest thing.

    Meanwhile, we women live in the year 2006 and we all get free new-model Ferraris wherever we go.

  184. A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, WHERE THE MOTHER IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO BE,

    Oh, so there is indeed a balance between the rights of the property owner and the breastfeeder in the proposed law.

    No, this is an unconstitutional taking of the store owner’s property rights. The mother is authorized to be in the store at the owner’s pleasure. It isn’t a “balance” to only strip away part of your rights.

  185. Dan T., that makes little or no difference. Businesses that are leasing property can certainly control the premises. Especially against business invitees.

  186. If any of you guys want to know why so few women are libertarians, read this thread carefully.

    Phew. You said it, man. This thread is enough to make me really think twice about my allegiance.

  187. Dan T., that makes little or no difference. Businesses that are leasing property can certainly control the premises. Especially against business invitees.

  188. wipe that nipple on that toilet seat, mama!

    I think there was a Frank Zappa song with that title. If not, there should have been.

    Pi Guy,

    Richard Parker was the name of the tiger in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. Sorry, it was a stretch.

  189. Breastfeeding: it makes my lips numb to think about it.

    No wait…that’s just from the novocaine shots I got.

  190. Oh, wait a minute. An employee bathroom is not likely to be as palatial as the one I’ve described. Nonetheless, it probably still isn’t what you guys think of when you go to your favorite bar and then enter the bathroom.

  191. Jennifer:

    not only are germs landing on you, you are inhaling them.

    and unlike you, babies don’t have an immune system. they get all their initial protection from infections from…Bueller? anyone? that’s right – their mother’s breast milk!

  192. Jennifer,
    You know it isn’t just bathrooms. Women, and most especially hot babes, are treated better the rest of us everywhere they go, and by absolutely everyone they deal with. Maybe that’s what’s eating you. You’re use to everyone treating YOU as the center of the universe and don’t like these cows muscling in on your territory.

  193. I wonder if there isn’t something about motherhood – even for those who haven’t had kids yet – that makes women less selfish and, therefore, less prone to adopt libertarian values…

    Ugh, I need to start collecting unused airsickness bags for statements like this. Puke. One could win a blackout game of Breeder Bingo by using that sentence alone.

    What you’re describing is the tendency of mothers (or parents in total, as evidenced by your own viewpoint) to look around for others to accommodate parental lifestyle choices. They think this makes them more community-minded, and “less selfish.”

    And you’re right, parents are certainly more in a sharing mood after the spawn arrive: they’re a lot more willing to share others’ property, money, and personal freedoms, with or without the permission of said others, for the benefit of themselves and their own households exclusively, after they’ve had children!

    It appears that the mere existence of children bugs a lot of people here.

    It probably doesn’t, Dan. What most likely bugs us is the parental insistence that we need to give them every god-damned thing they ask for because they’re supposedly better people than we are for choosing to bloat the world with their spawn. Speaking for myself, something else that bugs me is comments like yours that imply anyone who won’t cave to demands made “for the children” is a sociopath.

    People are allowed to eat; they’re not guaranteed the right to eat everywhere. They’re not allowed to sh*t everywhere, either. Maybe somebody could organize a sh*t-in at the local Victoria’s Secret. I’ve got some purple Victoria’s Secret panties I could wear just for the occasion, just to show how discreet I am when taking a crap in my pants.

  194. and unlike you, babies don’t have an immune system.

    Do, too!

  195. Dan T., that makes little or no difference. Businesses that are leasing property can certainly control the premises. Especially against business invitees.

    To an extent, sure. But there are many things they cannot do, for example refuse to serve racial minorities, exceed a safe capacity of people, allow safety hazards, etc.

    I’m in favor of keeping a healthy balance, and I’ll acknowledge that it may be asking a store too much to provide clean breastfeeding areas at all times to all comers.

    Maybe what annoys me most is the slavish devotion to “property rights” above all else – as if minor laws regulating business environments are somehow major injustices while the plight of those who cannot afford to own property are shrugged off.

    Another element to consider here is that shopping malls represent the privitazation of public places…the mall has replaced the Town Square as a gathering place yet due to the private property aspect, the ruling class can effectively control the behavior of the masses who come there.

    So I think there are times when it’s appropriate for the government to limit property rights. Otherwise, only those with property will have right.

  196. zeroentitlement-

    thanks for illustrating my earlier point about people equating breastfeeding with unsanitary body waste elimination

    smacky-

    do not! uh-uh!

  197. Maybe that’s what’s eating you. You’re use to everyone treating YOU as the center of the universe and don’t like these cows muscling in on your territory.

    If I had to buy my own drinks because all the guys were buying them for nursing mothers instead, I’d probably be a bit peeved. However: I have never demanded that anyone treat me as the center of their universe, let alone threatened to use the force of law to do it.

    If some guy chooses to do this, well, free will and all. But damned if I’m going to organize a national rally if he doesn’t.

  198. Biologist–

    So should mothers with infants avoid public restrooms altogether? Or is there some sort of baby-safety germ equation, like “five bathroom visits for maternal excretory functions equals one bathroom visit for baby’s lunch?”

  199. You’re use to everyone treating YOU as the center of the universe

    Warren,
    I’ve met Jennifer and I can tell you with certainty that she doesn’t live anywhere near Park Slope.

  200. biologist,

    Yuh-huh! Yes they do. They’re just not well developed. That’s like saying babies don’t have circulatory systems. Ri-di-cu-rous.

  201. since I doubt anyone’s done a detailed study, there’s likely no way to answer your question. I think this whole issue’s overblown on all sides, but I just wanted to let you all know that the option offered of the employee restroom isn’t a good one, and I understand why the mother turned it down.

    I’m sick of parent’s sense of entitlement in public accommodations, especially in the areas of drug laws/ policy or of “my child shouldn’t have to see signs for nudie bars” (I like nudie bars), but what the woman requested didn’t seem that unreasonable to me. some of my fellow male employees think women shouldn’t be allowed to breastfeed in public, because “they shouldn’t have to see that”, as though the mothers are flaunting themselves, and the observers couldn’t possibly look away.

    get some funding, we’ll do a study on the bathroom visits, but I’d advise new mothers to avoid public restrooms when possible. hell, I avoid public restrooms when possible, but I’m a germphobe from years of working in a microbiology lab.

  202. ZeroE: “Spawn” seems a little harsh. Children are elements of input to the collective humanity which you are a part of. More inputs means a more efficient and creative network.
    Granted, more than a few parents ought to have their reporductive organs removed with a rusty knife, but who is going to decide which ones?

    I was an anti-never gonna-hater on kids until I turned a certain age and realized that maybe I wanted to try and create some well-learned. rational citizens for a world in dire need of them. Oh and I met a hottie 12 years my younger who wanted them. All that being said, kids are really cool and it is fun to have a few extra faces around the house. They are icky, but damnit so am I!

    As for the subject here, would these uber-whores be protesting if VS banned MEN from their stores? Get a grip ladies, you had the kids, time to realize that lazy afternoons spending money at the mall might be something you have to put off for a few years.

  203. Another element to consider here is that shopping malls represent the privitazation of public places…the mall has replaced the Town Square as a gathering place yet due to the private property aspect, the ruling class can effectively control the behavior of the masses who come there.

    Aw, christ, this hoary old argument rearing its head again.

    Malls are private property. Period.

    You want your own mall, feel free to work hard, earn the capital (or, if you can demonstrate that you can be trusted to pay it back, borrow it), and build your own damn mall.

    Otherwise, shut your piehole about how they’re magically no longer private property just because people gather in them.

  204. They are icky, but damnit so am I!

    This answers your question as to whose reproductive organs should be removed with a rusty knife, I think.

  205. I’m with you, cecil — I’ve got three beautiful daughters (and another on the way), and I regard them as doing my part of out-reproduce the grabbies and the the whiners.

  206. I’d be interested in knowing what people here think of public masturbation. Is it offensive? Can it be done discretely? I’m not trying to equate it with public breast-feeding, just curious where people draw the public/private line on a natural act.

  207. I missed the post CH quotes above. Holy shit! A developer’s mall becomes public because it replaces a “public square” that only ever existed in your “smart-growth” warped reality?

    That post referred to by CH is the embodiment of the flawed idea that we used to call communism.

  208. I’m with you, cecil — I’ve got three beautiful daughters (and another on the way), and I regard them as doing my part of out-reproduce the grabbies and the the whiners.

  209. Aw, christ, this hoary old argument rearing its head again.

    Malls are private property. Period.

    You want your own mall, feel free to work hard, earn the capital (or, if you can demonstrate that you can be trusted to pay it back, borrow it), and build your own damn mall.

    Otherwise, shut your piehole about how they’re magically no longer private property just because people gather in them.

    I don’t recall saying they aren’t private property.

    But I do think that property being owned by someone doesn’t necessarily give them the right to do whatever they please with that property.

  210. I do think that property being owned by someone doesn’t necessarily give them the right to do whatever they please with that property.

    Then what you’re calling “ownership” is what we might otherwise call “stewardship.” Without that right, ownership is meaningless.

  211. biologist,

    Agreed. So, is “breastfeeding in restrooms” the new “dropping the baby on its head”? 🙂

    I was dropped on my head as a child. And look how I turned out: just fine. Go ahed alnd laugh alll u want – I cant heer in bothe of mi eers anyqay…peeple allwayes laff at mee.

  212. Who, exactly, is the “ruling class” in the United States? More importantly, am I a part of it? I’d like to be.

    We’re not talking about discrimination here, incidentally. I doubt seriously that eating pizza is allowed at that Victoria’s Secret, either.

  213. I missed the post that CH quotes above. Holy Shit! A developer’s lifetime’s worth of sweat and work becomes public to replace some “Town Square” that only ever existed in your “smart-growth” warped mind? Uh, communism was, like, shown to be pretty much a load of fucking crap back in the eighties.

    Nobody, Really: a very wise old guy said to me once: “show me a man who says he has never shit his pants and I’ll show you a goddamned liar” Admit your ickiness, free yourself to be human!

    Dan T.: Aside from commonlaw nuisance or violence to the physical body of another person, there is nothing I cannot do with my personal property according to the framers.

  214. Malls are private property. Period.

    Well, they should be. Or they once were, until the ACLU got holt of them. Now they are de facto public streets, but the stores themselves are still private I think. Except you can’t keep Puerto Ricans out without good cause. And the doors must remain unlocked during business hours.

  215. WEll, now we know why libertarianism is doomed, since so many Libertarians have such a horror of reproducing themselves.

    Thus they are doomed to snare the children of non-Libertarians when they are old enough, and find out that non-Libertarians have done a thorough job of indoctrinating them against Libertarianism.

    It works this way. Your having children or not is a personal decision. But when you don’t it means that when you die, your line dies with you. The children of those who chose otherwsie grow up, and they are the next generation, and, as the childless die off, they become more and more dominant.

    In general, a society which nurtures its young and rewards parents will end up with a highter bithrate than one which doesn’t and power may shift their way.

    I see too many Libertarinas who do not wish to nurture young, either their own nor that of others, and consider parents an annoycance when they are doing the job of making sure that their offspring attain maturity.

    I do not see much future for Libertarianism…

  216. Addendum to AJ’s H&R drinking game: Any mention of the ACLU and everyone just slam the entire bottle of whiskey, because it is going to be a long haul back to reality.

    Smacky, is that how you got the dents in your head? Maybe the whiskey could work for you too.

  217. “Aside from commonlaw nuisance or violence to the physical body of another person, there is nothing I cannot do with my personal property according to the framers.”

    Bunk. You can not use your personal property to take away the rights of another.

  218. For the record, I’m a libertarian, and I love kids. In fact, I’m about to start my own Brady Bunch. I’m moving in with my girlfriend, who has three kids, and we’re probably going to have another one when we get married. So that I can continue my freedom-loving, William Wallace-related (unproven) genetic legacy.

    Twins run in my family, too. Maniacal laughter to follow.

  219. Mainstream: I agree, its called private nuisance. Like I said.

  220. Well, since it’s Friday, cecil, shouldn’t we just slam back the whole bottle of whiskey anyway? Particularly with the gargoyle trying to blow up Hawai’i, and the islamofascists plotting to blow up some more of New York?

    It’s been a hard week. At least I got to blow some stuff up (and watch many others do the same, in flagrant violation of the law) on Tuesday. Would that every Tuesday featured fireworks — it’d be a nicer world.

  221. ok!
    roight!

    now i see why posting on all the other threads is soo slow.

    we’re talkin’ boobys here

  222. Adriana – we’ll have to recruit, like the homos do.

  223. Jeff P.:

    Oh, why should you accomodate babies…

    Well, you’d like to have engineer and scientists, don’t you?

    You’d like to have workers?

    You’d like to have inventors?

    You’d like to have wonderful grown up people dooing all those admirable things grown up people do when they are free?

    Surprise, surprise, none of those wonderful people that you see living ina libertarian utopia started as wonderful adults.

    They started as puking, crying, pooping, peeing babies. And unless society nurtures them, they will not become any of those things you want…

  224. Cecil, I haven’t LOL so much on one thread at H&R for a long time. Not just yours, but so many of these comments are just, well, funny.

    Adriana, I don’t see much future for libertarianism either but I don’t think it has anything to do with an aversion to children.

    I think children are fine so long as they are well done.

  225. “Mainstream: I agree, its called private nuisance. Like I said.”

    Oops, missed that change in terminology…
    But, then, don’t you agree that laws encoding this are appropriate? That is what we are discussing here. Is there a government role is assuring that property owners don’t take away or limite the self-ownership rights of individuals on their property.

  226. CH: I am with you sir. Bar Exam be damned, its Friday and I am going to tune up my attitude. I’ll refrain from blowing things up in the interest of my ten fingers beinf still intact and all.

  227. I think children are fine so long as they are well done.

    Personally, I like mine medium rare. Fetuses, on the other hand, taste better raw.

  228. Gotta do it in the right sequence, though. Blow things up, then kill the whiskey bottle. Do it the other way around, you’re liable to burn off the tip of your thumb.

    Don’t ask how I know this…

  229. Adriana, Society doesn’t nurture children, parents and families do.Actually, as I was fond of saying in my yoot, Society is an abstract that doesn’t really exist anyway.

    I get your drift and I don’t understand general and unfocused hostility toward children (unless of course you’re making jokes at the expense of children) myself.

    Then again, I think cultural institutions are more kid friendly than they once were.

    For example, when I was 10 my sister broke her leg. The hospital wouldn’t let us in to see her because we were kids under 16. So we had to be content with waving through the window for the 4 weeks that she was in traction. That, in turn, gave her a complex because she thought we were making fun of her.

  230. Mainstream, of course there is a government role in enforcing the doctine of nuisance, (nuisance: that my use of my property does not unreasonably interfere with the reasonable use of your property), or else it would be just gunplay.
    I would draw the line on govt gurantees long before the government tries to allow a person to engage in a act on my property that I object to. VS has every right to restrict the actions of its invitees.

    Your post is a bit cryptic, who is “their” in the last phrase? If the “their” is the owner’s of the dirt, they have every right to invade the self-ownership rights of invitees on that dirt.

  231. A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, WHERE THE MOTHER IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO BE,

    Oh, so there is indeed a balance between the rights of the property owner and the breastfeeder in the proposed law.

    No, this is an unconstitutional taking of the store owner’s property rights. The mother is authorized to be in the store at the owner’s pleasure. It isn’t a “balance” to only strip away part of your rights.
    ***************************************

    Warren, you’re misreading the statute. No property rights are taken. The phrase in caps above is a qualifier. All the provision says is that IF the property owner allows it, THEN it’s not illegal for you to nurse there.

    Whoever drafted it must’ve wanted to supersede state or local laws against indecent exposure in the case of someone breast feeding (only her own child, apparently). The phrase in caps was put in there just to avoid the unintended outcome you seem to read into it — that is, the provision could otherwise HAVE been read to allow anyone to walk in anywhere and breastfeed, regardless of whose property it was. How would YOU have written it to avoid that reading?

  232. Don’t ask how I know this…

    Clean Hands, I know how you did it. Me and the Reverend Jack Daniels went to a party on New Years Eve some years ago……..

  233. I don’t even know why we’re having this argument. [caveat: it used to be the case that] when you own a store, they are inviting you in to do business with them. Once you’re not invited, get the fuck out! It’s not your place of business, you didn’t buy it, it’s not yours! Why is this so tough for people to understand? Personally, someone said it earlier, but I hope this mom isn’t going to teach her kid about temper-tantrums, because she needs to remove the beam from her own eye.

    And saying that things that are “open for the public” is committing a logical fallacy called equivocation. A public good is one that we all one, one that is nonrival (that is, my use of it does not prohibit your use of it) and nonexcludable (you can’t really opt out nor can you be opted out forcibly)…think national defense. That’s what should be meant when it comes to what’s “public”. VS Stores are private goods, for private customers. I can’t believe there are fucktards who don’t know the difference.

    End of statement.

  234. By gum, it was a New Year’s Eve party for me, too! I don’t miss that part of my thumbprint… much. At least I was already anesthetised, so it didn’t hurt so much. Until the next day. Then it hurt like a sonofabitch.

    Oh, and to try to wrestle myself back on topic, let me just say that I’m all in favor of public breastfeeding, but if I’m the one being fed, I’d just as soon find a private place to do it.

  235. Adriana, are you saying that we’ll run out of scientists, inventors and engineers if babies aren’t allowed to nurse in lingerie shops? That’s what it sounds like to me.

  236. Cecil,

    I think you are conflating property rights with self-ownership rights. Self-ownership of my body would give me the right to breastfeed (had I breasts) that you could not infringe based on my location in space. The conflict is between different classes of rights. I would argue that self-ownership rights trump property (dirt) rights in many instances (i.e., you can’t use your property rights claim to justify kicking my ass for smoking on your property– even if you have the right to ask me to leave). These types of law involve codification of lines that aren’t quite as brightly lit as the personal violence case. Their point would be to reduce the conflict between rights holders and provide a mechanism for resolution when conflicts do arise. Hardly a taking of rights, it seems.

  237. I see too many Libertarinas who do not wish to nurture young, either their own nor that of others, and consider parents an annoycance when they are doing the job of making sure that their offspring attain maturity.

    I do not see much future for Libertarianism…

    Libertarianism already has no future. The game now is to shame the statists into not breeding more statists.

  238. Oh, why should you accomodate [sic] babies…

    Well, you’d like to have engineer [sic] and scientists, don’t you?

    I’ve already had lots of engineers and scientists, thanks. Sigh. But anyway…

    Unfortunately, Adriana assumes she’s producing the next generation of “engineer and scientists.” The same bet is taken by millions of parents, who believe My Child is Destined to Cure Cancer?. It’s rather likelier the child will wind up in jail, judging by census statistics on prison populations by age groups. Personally, I’d be more willing to put my chips on someone who can actually write a coherent sentence.

    I won’t spend too much time on the amusing assumption that libertarians’ kids automatically grow up to be libertarians. Does Adriana know of a political orientation gene that we don’t?

  239. Cook was so offended by the thought of her daughter “eating” in a bathroom that she organized a nursing protest in front of the Victoria’s Secret location.

    I think the little Cookster should have been allowed to continue–so long as she brought enough for the whole class.

    …seriously, this was private property. Retailers should be free to kick out anyone they think adversely affects their business. If they’re afraid nursing in public or wearing white after Labor Day makes other customers uncomfortable, then they should kick every white wearing, breast feeding mother out of the store.

    I won’t tolerate any yodeling, skateboarding or gratuitous flatulence in my house. Does that make me a bad libertarian?

  240. Warren,

    “It isn’t a “balance” to only strip away part of your rights.”

    No, that would be what a balance involves. Defining the limits of your rights.

    Of course, you could argue that the use of “rights” in this context is meaningless…since we are really not arguing about rights, but policy.

    http://duncankennedy.net/documents/The%20Critique%20of%20Rights%20in%20cls.pdf

  241. Oddly, I have found myself somewhat seduced by MainstreamMan’s comments (oddly because I never agree with him). It all goes back to the social contract, and the need to balance conflicting rights.

    Unfortunately, I have to disagree with the 8:05 post, because one could easily argue that every dispute could be reduced to being “not arguing about rights, but policy.” This is a typically statist view; the fact that most aspects of our lives have been legislated means that rights flow by government edict, rather than natural law. Sadly, this has become the prevailing view in this country, leading to the recent Supreme Court decisions in Kelo and Raich, whic prove that government policy trumps individual rights.

    Coming back to the topic at hand, in a very small sense this is not about balancing rights, but about a mistake made by a clerk in a store regarding store policy. It only has become an argument about rights because the state has decided that something must be done, which is generally the origin of all bad laws. I’d look for anti-discrimination laws to follow the passage of this one, once some businesses decide to bar women with infants from entering their establishments. I’m sure then the problem will be solved.

  242. zeroentitlement;

    The probability of any given child being the one to cure cancer is very small.

    The probabiliy that out of millions of babies one of them will grow up to cure cancer is quite large.

    Of course, we do not know which one. We only know that the future skilled worforce will come out of the stinking crying babies. Not just the doctor who finds the cure, but the lab technicians who perform tests accurately, the therapists who apply the right techniquest, the makers of lab equipment, the builders of sterile environments for testing. Wherever you look around there are skilled jobs that need doing, and wherever you find a competent skilled person doing it, you are looking at an ex-stintinking noisome baby.

    Yes, you are quite willing to pay for their labor, but you are merely reaping the results of those who raised that competent person from a crying baby.

  243. Jennifer:

    I say that old rule, you get more of what you reward and less of what you punish.

    You seem here to be excellent at punishing women for having babies. Therefore you seem to think that we would all be a lot better if there were less of the icky things.

    (I read somewhere that the economic advantage of capturing slaves was that you had workers without the expense of raising them).

    In any case, I can tell you why there are so few Libertarian women. Because they do tend to get pregnant and raise children, and do not think very much of people who make a point of demeaning them at every turn.

  244. Sheesh, I left this thread at 4:30 pm thinking it had reached critical mass and nothing more could possibly be added. I was right. Or wrong. So I will unabashedly add a link to my song “Nip Slip” (in keeping with the situation) and you can listen and lactate or masturbate or download (or not) to your heart’s content. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  245. “You seem here to be excellent at punishing women for having babies.”

    the barrier from criticism to punishment has certainly shifted, hasn’t it?

  246. OK all,

    On the count of three, Take a deep breath… and push.

  247. I’m shooting for post number 250 (is this a record?) with the inane observation that this thread proves that sex sells. Well, okay, boobies sell. But you knew that. Did I already say this?

    Zero, when I had my first kid a friend in Texas (one of the very few people I ever ran across with libertarian/Randian parents) observed that it would be very interesting to see if children reared from birth in a libertarian family would absorb the lessons of rationality and libertarian ideals.

    So far, so good but you should check back in ten years.

  248. You know, we’re probably the laughing stock of species throughout the Vega Supercluster. No, I mean it–they’re too busy laughing at us to actually visit Earth and reveal to us to secrets to total consciousness and inner peace. Too bad.

  249. Yippee Skippee, post # 250 is mine.

    And to continue with the libertarian parenting screed, this originally appeared for 4th of July 2003.

    The difficult question is this: How do we, as parents, teach our children to find freedom in an unfree world (thank you, Harry Browne) and how do we instill the authentic values embodied in the Declaration?

    TWC doesn’t have the best answer but I think that if we, as parents, can instill in these small children the virtues of freedom, individual rights, and a respect for the ideals that gave birth to the only nation on earth that celebrates the individual above society, we may have done our job.

    If we can teach them that freedom is something that you can only have if you are willing to give it to others, we may have done our job.

    If we can, by our own actions, demonstrate that the meaning of Emma Lazarus’ words, on the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty, do not mean barbed wire, steel fences, and national I.D. cards, we may have done our job.

    If our children can comprehend and accept that free people frequently make personal decisions that are different than our own might be, if they realize that so long as those choices do not violate our rights, there is no consequence to anyone, we may have done our job.

    If Jake and Katie can clearly and directly perceive that legal isn’t necessarily synonymous with moral and that illegal doesn’t always mean immoral, we may have done our job.

    If our children can stand upright and be self reliant, if they can live from the fruits of their own labor and not someone else’s, then we may have done our job.

    If we can teach them that life is the ultimate value, and they understand that we are not here on this earth to suffer hardship and deprivation, we may have done our job.

    If they can be secure in themselves and rightly know the government is neither a nanny nor a surrogate parent, and that each of us, alone, is solely responsible for his or her decisions and the results that flow from those decisions, whether good or bad, we may have done our job.

    And, most importantly, if Jacob & Katie grow to appreciate that they were conceived in love, and that their presence on this earth is blessing to us, and that we love them with all of our hearts, than we may have done our job.

    Joan Baez once sang, May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung. And may you stay, forever young. That would be my wish for the children, not just Jake and Katie, but yours too.

    That was a long post, sorry.

  250. TWC,

    That was beautiful. I hope I can instill those values and beliefs into my six year old. It’s a challenge, but she’s still very young, I’m sure it’s gonna get much harder. Oh’ well, I’ll do my best.

    I need to visit your site much more often. Hell, EVERYONE needs to.

    Cheers!

  251. Adriana:

    “You seem here to be excellent at punishing women for having babies.”

    And you’re excellent at concluding that anyone who fails to kowtow to your every motherly whim is thereby punishing you.

  252. Thanks Kris, I appreciate the kind words.

  253. Wow, I’ve never seen so many of the non-usual suspects at H&R make such assholes of themselves.

  254. There’s the data on breast feeding in a Victoria Secret shop, there’s the interpretation of that data, and then there’s the public policy decisions that flow, er so to spake, from that data….These issues need to be kept separate…
    Do we want a top down (yar yar) solution or a bottom up solution?

    Okay, I kid but there’s some interesting stuff in this debate. At first I wondered why all the posts on this topic – it just seemed so trivial. But scrawling through I’ve seen some interesting themes – the debate between the need to engage in a common, and essential human behavior, and the need for property rights to be respected.

    I tend to side with the property right’s side as those women have options to go breast feed other places. That being said, the tone of the some of the commenters, and the language used to describe breast feeding mothers, mothers in general, and infants, would suggest to some that the tag that libertarians have an aversion to families and children is not always unfairly applied. I don’t agree with that tag but reading some of these comments, the language and the tone, it’s easy to see how non-libertarians might come to that conclusion.

    As a caveat, while I like a fairly robust interpretation of property rights the line that “it’s my property so I can whatever I want” is surely not an absolute right – or that there might be rights occasionally that come into conflict; maybe not breast feeding as there are other options. Suppose some store owner forgets to take his medication one day, which tips him to into some borderline state of mind where he thinks, “I’ll shoot anyone who steps over the line to peek in but looks to me like he won’t buy anything.” I know it’s a highly unlikely possibility, but I’m just saying that there could be possible exceptions to the “no exceptions to property rights” view.

  255. This isn?t a story about property rights, individual rights, or someone wanting to be ?the Center of the Universe?: this is a story of something older than all those things? REVENGE.

    I see it going down something like this:

    Mother with Child and Friend are out shopping in the Mall.
    Friend: ( points to VC store) Let?s just go in here for a minute.. I have to go buy some bras.
    Child: Whaw!
    Mother: OK but I have to feed little Jenny?
    Friend: I?m sure it will be alright .. it IS a women?s store.
    Inside the store are Clerk and another Customer.
    Clerk to Customer: Sorry that line has been discontinued. Why don?t you try these other ones on … the change rooms are over there.
    Mother to Clerk: Excuse me could I use one of your change rooms to feed my child while my friend does some shopping.
    Clerk: (chews gum thoughtfully) Wha?
    Child: Whaw!
    Mother: Can I use one of your change rooms to for some privacy so I can feed my little girl (looks at her own breasts)
    Clerk: Err.. (looks at Mother?s breasts) umm.. (blows bubble with gum) Pop! (finally clues in) I?ll have to check company policy.
    Customer from Change Room: these things are uncomfortable.. and expensive too.
    Child: Whaw!
    Clerk: Ahh. Got none left. Change Rooms.
    Mother: How about those seats down there out of the way?
    Clerk: How about the washroom.
    Mother: What?
    Child: Whah! Whah!
    Clerk: The washroom? where you go to P-E-E.
    Mother: (aside: What is this bitch?s problem?) Are you serious?
    Clerk: (aside: What is this bitch?s problem?)Yes.
    Child: Whah!!
    Mother to Friend: I?m leaving.
    Friend: (puts down some purchases) Ok.. just a sec?
    Mother: I?m leaving now.
    Friend: (aside: I?ve never seen her so mad)
    Mother, Child and Friend Leave Store
    Clerk: Come Again Soon!
    Mother: (already on cell phone) Oh, don?t worry I will.
    Next Day Outside VC store: 20 mothers and children outside store with signs.

    Clerk to Manager: (Chews gum thoughtfully) What is company policy for baby feeding with the boobs?
    Manager: Go clean the washroom.

  256. Blacksheep, it’s a poet you are!

    Now, as for this:

    …the libertarian principle that individual selfishness leads to good social results. – Dan T.

    Not all libertarians are motivated by selfishness. The libertarian movement may contain a higher proportion of admittedly non-altruistic people – Orthodox Randians, frex – but it isn’t a requirement. What we do agree about is that individuals be given a choice about whether to act charitably or not, rather than compelled into a false unselfishness, which has no moral worth, anyway.

    That being said, self-interest usually gets the job done.

    But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and shew them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages. – Adam Smith (who was no Randian.)

    As for the original issue, I used to see Moms nursing in the comfy chairs in the last bookshop I worked for. Since these ladies had the good sense to wear or bring the proper accoutrements, the only fuss this would cause is when someone stopped to coo at the wee bairn and ask the mother all those annoying questions: “how old?”, etc.

    Kevin

  257. On the subject of libertarians and kids, and the significant number of people here who have no desire to have kids:

    The problem for libertarians isn’t that we’ll go extinct. No amount of breeding will solve our numbers problem.

    Rather, the problem is the unusual attitudes that have come out in this thread. Let’s start by saying, at least for the sake of argument, that the protestors are being ridiculous. OK? (Just for the sake of argument, mind you.)

    This thread quickly went from “Gee, that’s pretty dumb!” to “OMG! I hate people with kids! What the hell is wrong with people who have kids?”

    Reason # 135,658,922 why libertarianism is unpopular: Libertarians are prone to tirades against people with kids.

    Yes, yes, I know, nobody here actually hates all people with kids, you were all just venting a bit. Hell, some of your best friends have kids, and all of you were kids at one time. Still, it’s clear that this thread got into a bit of over-generalization against people with kids.

    Everybody here needs to chill out. Maybe get laid. Why don’t we all go to Victoria’s Secret, and the women buy something for themselves, the guys buy something for their wives or girlfriends, and tonight we all get laid and chill out. As a bonus, we’ll be supporting a company that was unfairly targeted by irrational protestors, so we’re using our market power to non-coercively show support for a company while respecting the free speech rights of the protestors, yadda yadda yadda.

    One other thing about libertarians, kids, numbers, and popularity: Although I said that lack of breeding is the least of our problems, in New Hampshire it might just be a bit different. Kids do tend to vote the same way as their parents, and the Free State Project has set itself the task of moving a significant number of voters to New Hampshire. Sure, 20k (or whatever they finally get) won’t be anywhere near a majority, but it could be a significant bloc if concentrated in the right districts, and if kids tend to vote like their parents then breeding could be a natural way of doubling their voter bloc in 20 years. (If they have kids at a replacement level then eventually their population will stabilize, but stabilization only occurs after a generation has died off. In 20 years, the kids and parents will both be alive, for the most part.)

    All I’m saying is don’t knock the breeders with unwarranted generalizations.

  258. to the guys:

    Women’s bathrooms are the not the same as mens. Especially in boutiques like Victoria’s secret–which comes complete with couches. For generations women have nursed babies in bathrooms.

    Most small stores have a line to use the changing rooms. This is normal. Why should a business have to lose money to a woman who wants to feed her baby?? What if she is bottle feeding??

    Businesses have a right to make money. And customers have a right to use the changing rooms–as changing rooms.

    Lactivists do not want equal rights. They want special rights. And yes…they are spoiling for a fight.

  259. “LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME and stop accusing me of just wanting attention LOOK AT MY TITS AND ACCOMODATE THEM, EVERYBODY!”

    Jennifer says this likes it’s a bad thing. WTF?

  260. Jf

    “This is a typically statist view; the fact that most aspects of our lives have been legislated means that rights flow by government edict, rather than natural law.”

    Take the time to read the Kennedy essay. The point is that much political debate has degenerated due to a confusion between issues that are about basic rights and those that are about policy. This dilutes the power of rights based argumentation.

    Which leads to this situation:
    “It only has become an argument about rights because the state has decided that something must be done, which is generally the origin of all bad laws. I’d look for anti-discrimination laws to follow the passage of this one, once some businesses decide to bar women with infants from entering their establishments. I’m sure then the problem will be solved.”

    I agree with you about the origin of all bad laws. But, unfortunately, that is also the source of all good laws. Your value judgement on them notwithstanding. I actually think you get this backwards. It is because it is being turned into a debate about rights that it might lead to bad law. If this debate were couched in terms of procedures rather than rights then the rhetoric would be more level headed and you might not end up with a law at all, but, rather (maybe), a loosening up on indecency laws to avoid inadvertant inclusion of breastfeeding behavior as indecent because breast exposure is involved (which, by the way, is how most of these are worded in the end).

    A basic respect of the underlying logic of respect for individual freedom does not require the enumeration of basic rights be injected into each policy debate. There is only a need to write down those that are in continual dispute. Those disputes come about through trivial interactions like the one that spark this monumental posting. If the resolution of those conflicts are treated as simple policy, rather than epic battles between statists and freedom loving moralists, the chances of the decision being “do nothing” are higher. When the debate is couched in terms of basic rights, there is an emotional incentive to do something important.

    That’s a long-winded way of saying, that when the lactivists turned this into a debate about basic rights, they were engaging in a smart political move (since they want something done about it), but when businesses counter with an argument about rights (rather than countering with a policy-based argument)they are engaging in an unwise strategy since they are increasing the chances of the state seeing a need to “do something.”

  261. Considering how few of us self-described libertarians were actually born and raised to be such, I don’t think the low birthrate among libertarian women is the reason we’re not winning elections.

    For the record: I have absolutely nothing against kids or motherhood. In fact, in a way I’m grateful to moms: I figure somebody’s got to keep the race going, and it sure as hell isn’t going to be me. I’ve spoken out before in favor of tax breaks for parents (parenthood is a non-profit enterprise, after all), I have nothing against public breast-feeding, I oppose laws criminalizing it, et cetera.

    What I oppose is this idea that not only must women be allowed to breast-feed everywhere, but everybody else has to go out of the way to make sure the woman has things to her preference throughout.

    Including the requirement that stores allow their dressing rooms to become baby dining rooms instead. (I guess this means that from now on dressing rooms had damned well better have comfortable seats, right? I’ve been in a few that didn’t–where the hell is a nursing mother supposed to do her bit, anyway?)

    And anytime a mom-and-kid combo aren’t fully catered to in the exact fashion they want, that is an ENORMOUS injustice worthy of loud, extended public complaint.

    When you’re out in public and you’re at any sort of disadvantage to others–be it that you’re nursing a baby, limping around on crutches, stuck with an arm in a sling, or whatever–there are two basic ways you can view your situation:

    1. “This stinks, that I have to be at a relative disadvantage like this. If someone tries to make things easier for me I’ll certainly appreciate it, but ultimately this is my problem. I certainly look forward to this being over.”

    2. “This stinks, that I should be at a relative disadvantage like this. Everybody damned well better do what they can to make things easier for me. In fact, this should not be viewed as a ‘disadvantage’ at all. That implies a judgment call.”

    On the occasions I find myself hobbled in some way I do my best to fall into group 1, and I have little patience for those in group 2. Even when they wear the sacred mantle of motherhood.

  262. Whoa, I was gonna say “slow news day” but let’s amend that to read “slow news weekend.”

    Here’s hoping North Korea launches their latest version of the Scud and it lands in a pasture in rural Japan. Fireworks to follow…

  263. MainstreamMan,

    Another excellent post. I see your point, and you’ve given me some food for thought (I wish I hadn’t waited so long to see it). Definitely from a political standpoint, you are spot-on with the policy/rights divide. From my personal philosophical viewpoint, I realize I need to re-examine my dogmatic approach to rights and making arguments based solely upon them.

  264. Is anyone here still reading the Miss. proposal, “A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be,” as somehow preventing a proprietor from barring or ejecting someone else who could otherwise legally be excluded from the premises?

    Maybe your problem, if you have one, is with the word “otherwise”. If the word were deleted, the provision might be null in locations where an ordinance forbids the person who owns or controls the property to allow some cases of nudity. Such might be the case if a municipality wanted, for instance, to forbid live “adult” entertainment. So the proposed legislation takes pains to specify that if all other conditions allowing the person to be there were satisfied, that the breast feeding would be allowed. Absent that language you run into the “allowed except where forbidden” problem.

  265. Another excellent post. I see your point, and you’ve given me some food for thought (I wish I hadn’t waited so long to see it). Definitely from a political standpoint, you are spot-on with the policy/rights divide. From my personal philosophical viewpoint, I realize I need to re-examine my dogmatic approach to rights and making arguments based solely upon them.

    Either this is brilliant sarcasm or brilliant brownnosing.

  266. Garth:

    Good comment about what the process of becoming parents does to libertarianism. May I suggest that it is because the parents suspect that libertarianims does not have the same survival value for their children than other non-libertarian philosophies? Maybe there is something inimical between freedom and child raising?

    I see to recall that Edmund Burke said that, on a different context, that people who base society on contractual obligations hate families, because families are not based on contractual obligatins, and thus escape their schemes…

    The hostility that has been found here against children and parents supports Burke’s view.

  267. Adriana, did Burke say ‘society’ or the ‘government’? If the former was he criticizing Rousseau? What’s the context?

    On a related note, it was the recent Steven Pinker who elucidated the importance between how one should view one’s family and how one should view the role of government and society. Check out the Blank Slate for a good discussion of this. He really nails Chomsky for failing to make this distinction and why the distinction is important. There’s no reason to assume that because one wants the government to be a set of limited rules or that one favors markets as a societal tool, that one should treat one’s family this way. Chomsky says something like “families share and are redistributive” so therefore this should be the natural organizing principle of government. What he fails to take into the account is that since the government is a legal institution then to enforce ‘sharing’ we need to have enormous amounts of coercion.

  268. Yes, it involved Rousseau, and his abandoning his children.

    He said society, not government. His point was that logical minds who saw society as a set of freely entered contracts stumbled on the family, because it did not fit in their schemes, and so, being of logical bent, tried to do away.

    In any case, the hostility shown here to children and parents would be enough for Burke to include Libertarians into that cathegory. Children do not fit their logical scheme about freely entered contracts, so they are “icky” creatures that their inconsiderate, spoiled mothers insist on inflicting upon the rest of us.

    Well, their mothers and fathers resent that, and the next time some Libertarian comes to preach about their virutes of their position they are likely to find a polite way of saying “MY child is not an “icky thing”, I am not an inconsiderate spoiled person for taking cae of him. Please remove yourself from my view.”

  269. Yesterday, I stopped off at a local auction, just to see if there was anything not completely worthless on offer. Answer: no. But sitting there on a blanket in the grass, right out in the sunshine, in front of everybody, was a woman BREASTFEEDING A BABY! And the sad thing was, nobody took any interest in them, whatsoever. After reading this thread, I expected fistfights, and court filings, and who knows what.

    Very disappointing.

  270. Children do not fit their logical scheme about freely entered contracts, so they are “icky” creatures that their inconsiderate, spoiled mothers insist on inflicting upon the rest of us.

    Children are also abysmal when it comes to reading things and understanding their contexts, but I’d expect better from someone your age, Adriana. If you are capable of doing so, I strongly suggest you learn to distinguish between ‘criticism’ and ‘punishment,’ and also, more importantly, learn that there is a HUGE difference between “I dislike you and your children” versus “I dislike the idea that I am expected to bend over backwards to accommodate you and your children.”

    You have the right to have children, and (you should) have the right to breast-feed them as well. You do NOT have the right to make me fawn over your children, or look at a breast-feeding woman and say “What can I do to maximize your comfort here? What–you’re not sufficiently happy? Dear God, what have I done? What can I do to fix this?”

  271. P Brooks,

    For the most part people do not care and are very accomodating.

    This woman was obviously not expecting special treatment for privacy–which is where the issue becomes a public one.

    A lactivist would have insisted a special booth be provided (that would normally be used for auction vendors).

    If the auction powers that be had denied her usage (and thus a loss of income) she would have instigated sit ins and sued.

    When you are in a public place, the expectations of privacy just are not valid. No one can force a public business or event to cater to individual expectations of abnormal amounts of privacy. If you want privacy…go to a private place.

  272. I bet nobody is reading this anymore.

    But I had this thought a hundred or so posts up… You Can’t Legislate Good Manners. I mean, can you really?

    So, the woman was being a selfish twit, taking up a dressing room (where people expose their tits all day long when they try on bras) for twenty minutes breastfeeding her sprat. And so the clerk was an ignorant snot for ordering her out. So what? What are you going to do, make bad manners a class one misdemeanor?

  273. May I reiterate? It’s not a morals issue, it’s simply a manners issue. If we all had good manners (which we don’t), the woman wouldn’t be caught dead nursing in some common public dressing room, and the clerk would have been noble enough to give her the benefit of the doubt or at least post a sign if it was a known problem.

    Can’t anyone just have a little class these days without the threat of jail? No class, no class.

  274. Jennifer,
    After scrolling around Hit and Run it appears Adriana is not old enough or capable of making the distinctions you suggest or other such distinctions like the distinction between society/family and government; it appears that reason, logic, the importance of property rights, a limited government, the nature of law, are all concepts beyond her. She appears to assume, along with all other social engineers, that she can make a government in her own image, with just the right people in charge. A good example of this can be had at the post on “The Devil and Milton Friedman.”

  275. One of my favorite things to point out to people afeared that, if the government doesn’t make a law about something, people won’t know how to behave, is that customs*, including etiquette, are good examples of non-coercive rulemaking. An etiquette appropriate to a self-governing society develops (some would day devolves) over time. When bottle-feeding overtook breastfeeding we abandoned whatever rules we lived by to make that behavior tolerable in the days it was necessary. Now that it has regained popularity, we all need to learn how to deal with it. Laws, except those regarding nursing on government property, aren’t needed.

    Kevin

    * Though when customs have the force of legislation, then we are talking about “customary law”, which is a whole `nother thing.

  276. I wonder why you have to drag my attitude about Governmetn from this post. I in no way in this dscussion mention legislation nor any measures to be taken.

    I merely used the tool of social pressure, personal disapproval of an attitude that I find highly offensive, the idea that children are repulsive for just being children. I pointed out that, apart from being offensive, this attitude does not win any friends, since most people are parents of children.

    Now, if you want to discuss rights, go ahead. You have a right to be as offensive as you wish. As I have every right to be offended and to let you know that I am offended. Just remember that for parents their priorities are a) their children firsts, b) rights on the abstract afterwards.

  277. Can’t anyone just have a little class these days without the threat of jail? No class, no class.

    Amen, speedwell. Honestly, most people these days just come off as trash. Absolute trash. No manners.

  278. kerfuddlded:

    You had to dig out that old chestnut, that old devil THE GOVERNMENT. Did I ever mention that “there ought to be law” or “call the police on them”. As far as I can tell, demonstrating in front of an establishment which you think has offended you is something conducted in civil society, and the Government job is to keep the peace. You may decide that this is an issue for the women and the store to figure out to solve, and that there is no need to pass laws. And then keep out of it. It is the store to decide how many of those protesters are potential customers that it is losing, and how to placate them.

    Comments about how “icky” children are offend the protesters even more, and do not help resolve the situation. Taking sides on the issue, when you are not a party to it should be done with prudence and trying to calm the spirits, not inflamme them further.

    Failure to do so is what brings calls to pass laws to solve a problem which ought to have been solved by calm negotiation.

  279. I’ve learned a lot from this thread:

    1) Libertarianism as conceived by Jennifer requires the repression of children and perhaps even the concept of childhood because the child’s state of utter dependency and a parent’s biological impulse to altruistically care for its offspring exposes the libertarian notion of absolute free agency as a sham construct or an artful fantasy.

    2) Libertarians like to pay lip service (sorry) to the right to breastfeed, but are very fond of attaching conditions to that right (it must be done in a truly public place or at home, it must be done discreetly, you must not assert this right too loudly lest Jennifer hear you doing so leading her to contemplate the possibility that someone else might be the center of the universe (it being inconceivable that nobody is), you must not advocate on behalf of your child – pardon me, “crotch snotling”, you must not protest at any manifestations of these conditions, e.g., “please feed your child in a shower of aerosolized shit down the corridor to the left”, etc.).

    3) I should never shop in a store owned by a libertarian since I’ll get shitty service and then a lecture about property rights if I complain about it.

  280. Jennifer seems to resent the fact that parts of her body have actual biological functions separate and apart from their social significance. Strange. To the extent that Jennifer’s hostility to children, and apparently sex-as-reproduction and the ick associated therewith, is the product of our “it’s for the KIDS” culture, I am totally sympathetic. I have two kids, but I do not expect society to be a 100% child-friendly environment (although at this point in my life I am much more likely to frequent businesses that are child-friendly). But I have no patience for the militancy of some childless people, in whose ranks Jennifer seems to be based on her posts on this thread, who seem to have a problem with the concept of children per se– I suppose because they are so damned un-adult? This mentality ignores some of the most basic facts of human existence– like, we were all kids once, kids represent a necessary step in the development of humans, with no kids there is no species, etc. An idividual is free to not participate in the promulgation of the species. But an active hostilty to the process is fundamentally anti-human.

  281. u ppl need to get a fuckin life i mean come on look at all this but whatever

  282. get ya boobys out for the lads

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