Family Issues

'Don't Be Lactose Intolerant'

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Lactivists held demonstrations at a dozen or so airports across the country today to protest a mother's ejection from a New York-bound Freedom Airlines plane in Burlington, Vermont, for showing too much breast while feeding her 1-year-old daughter. The protests—which involved openly nursing near the counters of Freedom's parent company, Delta, and waving signs with slogans such as "Breasts: Not Just for Selling Cars Anymore"—presumably had the intended effect of embarrassing the airline and encouraging it to be more tolerant of on-board breast-feeding in the future. It had already disciplined the flight attendant who ejected the nursing mother in Burlington. Instead of declaring victory, the passenger is pursuing a complaint with the Vermont Human Rights Commission. As a protester in Hartford explained, "It's a basic human thing that we are doing and we should be able to do it in public without being kicked off planes, without being told to sit in bathrooms. It's a human right." I tend to agree with the first part, the second not so much.

Last year Kerry Howley considered the clash between lactivists and conservative advocates of secret secretion.

Addendum: Because some of our readers seem to have difficulty imagining what breastfeeding looks like, I've added a stock photo. I can't vouch for this woman's resemblance to the Freedom Airlines passenger, but it gives you a general idea. Apparently not just humans but a lot of other mammals feed their offspring this way.

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  1. while feeding her 1-year-old daughter

    Make that “one year and ten months old” daughter.

    (I only know this because I had the exquisite good fortune of vacationing in Burlington while this crap was front-page news in that city. Lucky me.)

  2. To quote myself on the Howley thread:

    Some topics beg for visual aids and photographs. In this case it’s me that is begging.

    How can I make up my mind without visual examples?

    My thoughts have not changed on this matter.

  3. I quess nothing is too trivial for us libertarians not to get worked up about it.

  4. You’re happier without pictures, NoStar. No boob is going to look attractive after nursing a kid for 22 straight months. Nor will the boob to whom said sagging boob is attached.

    I know that there was a big “nurse-in” at the airport the day I left Burlington, and I really, REALLY wanted to go there and ask the attention whores how they all managed to have all their kids get hungry at the exact same time. Surely these loving earth mamas wouldn’t have done anything as callous as making their kids go hungry until such time as Mommy could go to the airport and feed in public, no?

    I really, really wanted to go to the airport with a big sign saying “NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR TITS OR YOUR SPAWN.” But in Vermont, that probably would have been considered a violation of their human rights. Plus the whole point of my vacation was to give me a chance to mellow out.

    Fucking hippies.

  5. I kept expecting John Ashcroft’s name to pop up. His unhealthy fear/disgust of the female breast made this topic seem so right for him.

    Only an sexually repressed/confused moron would have a problem with breast feeding in public. And no, I don’t have to be tolerant of sexually repressed/confused morons

  6. Only an sexually repressed/confused moron would have a problem with breast feeding in public

    I agree that public breast-feeding should be legal, and certainly a woman shouldn’t be kicked off a plane for breast-feeding her kid. But at the same time I wonder if the stewardess would have had the same revulsion if the woman had been breast-feeding an infant rather than a toddler. The kid’s almost two years old; once the kid’s old enough to climb into mama’s lap by herself the whole breast-feeding thing gets a little creepy, I think. (I also suspect, but cannot prove, that this was one of those deliberately indiscreet women: it’s not enough to breast-feed in public; everybody has to NOTICE it as well.)

    Hope Mama doesn’t end up getting her nipples bitten off by her teething child. Heh heh heh.

  7. Gimme a break.

    The airline disciplined the attendant & appears to have made clear that it would be more tolerant.

    I have no idea if they offered compensation, but the story should have died there.

  8. Jennifer,

    Some guys only like big breasts
    and others like them small
    but less than a mouth full
    or more than two hands full
    I swear I love them all

  9. I for one feel more secure knowing they are not allowing any nursing mother with a breast containing more than three ounces of fluid on an airplane.

  10. No boob is going to look attractive after nursing a kid for 22 straight months. Nor will the boob to whom said sagging boob is attached.

    Wrong on both counts. 🙂

  11. Jennifer,
    Since you so resent the sentimentality surrounding the issue, I think you may appreciate this column by Florence King about how much she hates children.

  12. nipples bitten off by her teething

    Teething is God’s way of saying it’s time to move on the the Sippy Cup.

  13. a mother’s ejection … showing too much breast while feeding her 1-year-old daughter

    Both decisions suck.

  14. It’s a boob… big deal. Why women can’t go topless still escapes me. If you have a problem seeing a woman’s breasts in public you should consider some form of counseling – let me suggest ‘exposure therapy’ at a local gentlemen’s club.

  15. wait a minute, I previewed that and still posted it wrong.

    S/B

    Teething is God’s way of saying it is time to move on to the Sippy Cup.

  16. 22 months and still breast feeding? As the father of a 23 month old, this seems really weird to me.

    Hold on a minute, let me ask the wife about this.

    HA! Her response “EW! DEAR GOD!”

  17. “But at the same time I wonder if the stewardess would have had the same revulsion if the woman had been breast-feeding an infant rather than a toddler.” Like that fucking matters, or is any of the stewardess’ business. The kid wasn’t 14, or 8, or even 2, for god’s sakes. 22 months is WELL within the range of what’s “normal” in terms of breast feeding. Just because you hate kids, Jennifer, doesn’t mean people who don’t should get bossed around because of something you find “creepy.”

  18. Man rule: if there’s a baby attached to the end of the tit, pretend it ain’t sexy.

  19. Actually jasno, boobs are very cool. I don’t care if it’s because we have a repressive, patriarchal, moonbat, looney-tunes, fundamentalist whack-job culture. Or not. Maybe boobs are cool because they’re supposed to be cool. Female human biology differs from other animals in that they do have boobs, not just nipples. It’s Darwin at work. Yep, that’s it. Natural selection. And I appreciate the, ah, natural selection……..as compared to plastic fillers.

  20. Vacationing in Burlington in November?

  21. A couple of years ago I was on a Southwest Airlines flight from Spokane, WA to Salt Lake City, UT (as a side note, all flights to Salt Lake I have ever been on, which is quite a few, have an above average number of screaming/crying/etc. small children on them). A friend, his wife, and their kid (just below the cutoff age for child-in-lap) saved me a seat. She breast fed the kid just before take off. The kid was out cold for almost the entire flight. Peace and quiet for the passangers. What’s the downside?

  22. he kid wasn’t 14, or 8, or even 2, for god’s sakes. 22 months is WELL within the range of what’s “normal” in terms of breast feeding.

    No, no it’s not.

  23. jasno,

    Actually, there are quite a few places where women can go topless. Ohio is one, and I believe for some strange reason the NY Subway System is another.

  24. As an addendum to my post, http://www.topfreedom.com/ has all sorts of good information on where women can be topless.

  25. Figures that Ohio would be one that would allow it. The only place in the state where it would be a Very Good Thing is on and around campus at The Ohio State University.

    P.S. Fuck Michigan

  26. Apparently not just humans but a lot of other mammals feed their offspring this way.

    Uh, Jacob, I know you may not know a lot about “science”, but I’ve seen a lot of nature specials. For the most part, baby mammals are fed from bottles by zookeepers. I’m not sure how evolution managed this scenario but that’s the wonder of the natural world!

  27. I didn’t realize there were so many child rearing experts here. Please edumacate me, what is the acceptable age range for breastfeeding a child?

  28. The kid wasn’t 14, or 8, or even 2, for god’s sakes. 22 months is WELL within the range of what’s “normal” in terms of breast feeding.

    No, no it’s not.

    In America, possibly not. In much of the world, completely normal.

  29. I was in Burlington w/ Jennifer when this story broke. My first thought was “22 months? That kid’ll be gay for sure!”

    Also. Jennifer’s line “your tits or your spawn” has the makings of a death metal album title.

  30. Throughout human history, breast feeding up until the age of two or three has been the norm, for various reasons. Revulsion at the thought of a two year old nursing is a relatively recent phenomenon. I know a lot of women who were/are long-term breastfeeders and tthey and their kids are otherwise normal.

    In spite of the above, I’m not sure the airline owes anyone an apology. The woman was doing something way outside her culture’s norms (because of the kid’s age) which made people uncomfortable. I think your contract with the airline implicitly requires you not to do things like that. She would of course be free to nurse her toddler in her own home, or even in a public park, but an airplane is private property and the owner gets to make the rules.

  31. The only place in the state where it would be a Very Good Thing is on and around campus at The Ohio State University.

    Only if your were trying to reinforce a celibacy vow.

    Go Blue!

  32. I sense much hostility:

    No boob is going to look attractive after nursing a kid for 22 straight months. Nor will the boob to whom said sagging boob is attached.

    …I really, REALLY wanted to go there and ask the attention whores how they all managed to have all their kids get hungry at the exact same time. Surely these loving earth mamas wouldn’t have done anything as callous as making their kids go hungry until such time as Mommy could go to the airport and feed in public, no?

    I really, really wanted to go to the airport with a big sign saying “NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR TITS OR YOUR SPAWN.”

    I also suspect, but cannot prove, that this was one of those deliberately indiscreet women: it’s not enough to breast-feed in public; everybody has to NOTICE it as well.

    Hope Mama doesn’t end up getting her nipples bitten off by her teething child. Heh heh heh.

    I hate hippies as much as the next person, but breastfeeding is a good thing. I doubt the effectiveness of public protests, and I believe that it is the business’s right to set its own policy, but I don’t see any reason to hate on the breast feeding mothers. This lady’s only mistake in my book is pursuing a complaint with the Vermont Human Rights Commission, fer pete’s sake. Why should she have to deal with you, Jennifer, being creeped out? It’s your hang-up and you can look the other way. Most businesses are totally cool with public breastfeeding. When these incidents hit the news, it always turns out to be some employee who doesn’t know company policy. I have seen some crazy earthmother ladies who take it too far, but 22 months? That should not be unusual. As I recall, pediatricians would like mothers to breastfeed through the first two years, if feasible.

    If we take the Vermont Human Rights Commission out of the equation, what the heck is wrong with breastfeeding in public? What’s wrong with some mothers gathering together to force a business to answer the question? Why does this get under your skin so much?

    As far as all the kids being willing to eat at the same time for the protest, you give them a tit, and even if they ain’t hungry, they’ll suck it.

  33. Jeff P.

    “Also. Jennifer’s line “your tits or your spawn” has the makings of a death metal album title.”

    Titspawn would make an even better name for a band.

  34. Jennifer that was the most hostile and funniest post I have read in a long time. I may not agree with you about much, but I agree that hippies fucking suck!!

  35. Thanks, highnumber. You said what I was thinking, but was too annoyed to say. It’s frustrating when people say they live by a “do what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt others” ideal, but then get just as creeped out and judge-y as the nearest Baptist when it involves breasts.

  36. If we take the Vermont Human Rights Commission out of the equation, what the heck is wrong with breastfeeding in public?

    Nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public, as I already said. Quite a bit wrong with thinking the entire goddamned world revolves around you, so if somebody annoys you then by all means go whining to the human rights commission, and get a bunch of people to clog the airport, and just make the biggest possible deal about it.

    “I’ve been inconvenienced, so the rest of the world should damned well hear about it.”

  37. …….I believe that it is the business’s right to set its own policy

    Thanks for pointing it out, High. That point has been lost throughout all the fun and frolic. It is, indeed, the essence of libertarianism.

    We must ask ourselves: who owns the airplane?

  38. so if somebody annoys you then by all means go whining to the human rights commission

    Hey! I said take them out of the equation.

    “I’ve been inconvenienced, so the rest of the world should damned well hear about it.”

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but they were talking to the airlines, not to you. I’m sure they would appreciate your support if you were to offer it, but you were not their target.

  39. Gimme Back My Dog.

    Every so often I have to marvel at what a great handle that is.

    Incidentally, I breast fed my kids until they were 16. Then it began to hurt.

  40. Jennifer is absolutely correct. Other people who should not have expected the world to stop around them so they could inconvenience everyone else are:

    civil rights marchers
    anti-war demonstrators
    suffragettes
    our Founding Fathers

    Please let me know if I’ve left anyone off the list.

  41. Where’d you get that picture of Michelle Malkin breastfeeding someone’s baby?

  42. Seriously, my oldest boy got fully cut off at 27 months when his sister arrived.

    However, it’s a gradual winding down process from when the kid starts eating solid food at 5-8 months. By the end it is just a little quality time with Mom before sleepy-bye.

    Mrs TWC did very little breast feeding in public and when she did it was exceptionally discreet and most people didn’t even notice.

    If you have been around moms that were breast feeding, the strategically placed baby blanket is a give away as to what is happening under the tent.

    Most women I’ve noticed feeding babies are pretty unobtrusive about it. Some I wished were a little more obtrusive about it. A couple of times…… Well, guess we won’t go there.

  43. jf,

    left off the list:

    Carrie Nation

  44. I didn’t realize there were so many child rearing experts here. Please edumacate me, what is the acceptable age range for breastfeeding a child?

    Once the child is completely on solids, wean it. At 22 months, the kid has been off of solids for a long time.

  45. “…….I believe that it is the business’s right to set its own policy

    Thanks for pointing it out, High. That point has been lost throughout all the fun and frolic. It is, indeed, the essence of libertarianism.

    We must ask ourselves: who owns the airplane?”

    We must also ask. Is the plane’s owner’s property right more basic than the mother’s right to feed her child? A woman’s basic rights to live and feed her offspring do not do away when she steps foot on your property. I’ll bet the ticket (i.e., contract) did not have any restriction about breast feeding written in as a condition. There is a federal law that says you need to obey the flight crew’s orders, but clearly they do not have an right to stop you from feeding your child if it is not endangering other passengers.

    And props to jf for finding the nub of Titspawn’s angst.

  46. Masturbation is every bit as natural as breast feeding, but somehow I don’t suppose those of you who think Jennifer is being all judge-y about a 2-year-old sucking on a tit in public wouldn’t be just as judge-y about a dicky-waver on the airplane. Really, what’s the difference? Either activity can be discreetly handled in the lavatory.

  47. Can’t remember the citation, but in most countries where children are allowed to wean themselves “naturally” the tend to self-wean between 3 and 4 years of age.

    You get about 85% of the health benefits from breast-feeding by about 18 months. After that there is no real health related reason to rush, or prolong breast feeding.

  48. MSM, I’ll give you common courtesy. I’ll spot you that it was nutty to give the woman the boot.

    However, mom doesn’t need to be on an airplane in order to ensure the survival of her kid. Further, the kid will drink milk, breast milk if you will, right out of a bottle. The presumption that breast milk is a positive good is undisputed. But you can put that milk in a bottle and stick it in a bottle bag (most bottle bags are large enough to double as a wine bag, btw).

    I won’t give you property rights. The airline has (or should have) the right to set the rules. Her option is to try another airline, the bus company, a private automobile, hitch hiking, walking, a train, not going at all, or to prevail upon the good graces of the supervisor on duty.

    The fact that I find the airline employees behavior idiotic and reprehensible doesn’t change the above. And if it happened to me I would be screaming pissed.

  49. “”It’s a basic human thing that we are doing and we should be able to do it in public without being kicked off planes, without being told to sit in bathrooms. It’s a human right.” I tend to agree with the first part, the second not so much.”

    Wait. I just noticed this. You don’t think it’s a human right to breast feed your child? WTF? I think I need that position expanded to be able to understand where your notion of rights comes from.

    Participation in a cultural abstraction like property ownership = human right.

    Feeding child through biological process = not a human right?

    Something seems outta whack here.

  50. MSM, we have a cat that got cut off from the snookey milk too soon. Dang thing tries to breast feed the dogs. Poor cat has a real oral fixation and as soon as you give it a pet it starts purring and sucking on your shirt. Bet that cat will end up a smoker.

  51. Mrs TWC, just came in and slapped me. Guess she was reading this thread.

  52. “The airline has (or should have) the right to set the rules.”

    But do they have the right to change the rules of their contract at their whim? Like I said. Pretty sure there wasn’t a no-breast-feeding clause in the contract they had with this woman.

    As for the method of feeding issue. The airline gets to set the rules for how her kids are fed? Sorry, but property rights are limited just as any other right is limited. If you posit absolute rights you are bound to come up with an unworkable system. As a second order derived right, your property right plays second fiddle to my right to feed my family any way I want (short of steeling from you and depriving you of the ability to feed your family… see no absolute rights).

  53. “Participation in a cultural abstraction like property ownership = human right.

    Feeding child through biological process = not a human right?”

    That’s what passes for logic around here.

    I can honestly say that I agree with the people here more consistently than almost any other website, but at the same time I’m also quite regularly disappointed here.

  54. Jennifer is absolutely correct. Other people who should not have expected the world to stop around them so they could inconvenience everyone else are: civil rights marchers . . .suffragettes

    Yep, if a woman is kicked off of an airplane by a stewardess who is later reprimanded for it, that is EXACTLY like the government discriminating against citizens based on their skin color or gender.

  55. “Participation in a cultural abstraction like property ownership = human right.

    Feeding child through biological process = not a human right?”

    Give it a rest, fellas. You’ve got a right to take a crap too, but if you did so in a seat on an airplane you’d be arrested as soon as the plane landed. The airline provides a place for you to take care of such things, and it’s called the lavatory. No one’s infringing on your rights by insisting that you use it.

  56. I love to eat in the crapper, too, Mad Scientist.

  57. All these comments, and no one connected this story to the brand-new-for-the-holidays Reason Pop-Up Girl? (Somehow, that seems a whole lot more lewd than I intended. Good.) Jeez, guys, you’re falling down on the job.

    TWC, we had a cat who used to nurse sweaters. We used to pretend to be her analysts and ask questions like “you were separated from your mother at an early age?” and “never knew your father?”

    You had to be there. And you had to be drunk.

  58. Given, that my first breast-feeding experience predated my memory. But my second was a doozy. It happened mid-service at a small Bible-thumpin’ church deep in the hills of Tennessee. My mouth is still watering. That was one succulent bosom!

    We were discussing this topic at work today, and the up-tight bitch who sits across from me said, “What’s next? Public fornication?”
    I told her I wanted to be present at that there demonstration.

  59. You’ve got a right to take a crap too, but if you did so in a seat on an airplane you’d be arrested as soon as the plane landed. The airline provides a place for you to take care of such things, and it’s called the lavatory. No one’s infringing on your rights by insisting that you use it.

    Mad scientist, I don’t think the woman should have been forced to feed her kid in the bathroom (especially considering how long breast-feeding a kid can take, and airplanes don’t have enough bathrooms to keep one off-line long enough for that). I also agree that the woman should not have been kicked off the plane. My point is that the airline already apologized, the stewardess got in trouble, and the woman probably got some freebies from the company too, but that’s not enough for her. No, she has to whine to the government about how her “human rights” are being violated (she’d probably agree with JF’s analogy comparing her to the civil-rights protesters, thus making her the moral equivalent of Martin Luther King, right, JF?), and she has to get all of her friends to come down to the airport and stage a big sit-in and basically act like the actions of a single stewardess are actually a vast evil conspiracy. Whine, whine, whine. Poor me. Pay attention to me.

  60. I love to eat in the crapper, too, Mad Scientist.

    Then don’t fly. Or feed it before you get on the plane. Or use a bottle. Or let it go hungry. Or do something discreet like using a blanket. But don’t pretend you’re being persecuted. Personally, I have no problems with breast feeding, but framing this argument in terms of human rights violations is absurd.

  61. Karen. I know that cat. And I was drunk. Wow, he made it all the way Texas.

  62. You know, I just want to wish y’all a great Thanksgiving.

  63. It doesn’t have to framed in terms of human rights violations to say that a policy prohibiting public breastfeeding is a policy driven by uptight anti-people persons. They have every right to own a business and be that way. I have the right to let them know that breastfeeding is normal.

  64. I am all for breastfeeding in public. A kid that has got its mouth wrapped around a tit is a kid that isn’t shrilling in my ear.

  65. It doesn’t have to framed in terms of human rights violations to say that a policy prohibiting public breastfeeding is a policy driven by uptight anti-people persons. They have every right to own a business and be that way. I have the right to let them know that breastfeeding is normal.

    Nor should it be framed in terms of human-rights violations when it’s a matter not of policy, but of a single employee who is later reprimanded. Framing such events in terms of human-rights violations is done by uptight anti-people persons looking for oppression where none exists so they can portray themselves as either victims or heroes depending on their mood. I have the right to let them know that such behavior is not normal.

  66. Contrary to Mr. Sullum’s repeating of Ms. Howley’s remark, the last time this was an issue conservative and pro-life activists, including even someone as ferocious as Michelle Malkin, were nearly all on the side of the public nursers.

  67. Personally, I am always pro-boob, but I agree with Jennifer that this is a dumb thing to take to the state. But then again, not breast feeding children combined with the cyberporn and GTA games that the children will not escape ineluctably leads to the children becoming violent sex criminal serial killer drug abusers.

  68. Throughout human history, breast feeding up until the age of two or three has been the norm, for various reasons.

    So has poverty, disease, early death from predators and bad teeth. It’s time to move on.

    Oh, breasts in public: Pro.

  69. Jennifer is (hilariously) spot-on with this. It’s an issue of common courtesy, something that this society seems to have abandoned.

    It’s perfectly natural for me to pick my nose, burp and fart out loud on an airplane, too. And why shouldn’t I be able to? Just because some people are uptight about intestinal gas doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be comfortable, right? Don’t I have a human right to an clean nose and an empty colon?

  70. TWC, our cat was a female, but may have been the offspring of the one you knew. Heck, maybe there’s an entire extended family of delusional felines, sucking on knitwear all over North America and inspiring debauchery.

  71. Oh, and a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, too. May your poultry be tender, your football teams win, and any ranting relatives pass out before offending anyone. Or at least be really funny.

  72. Breastfeeding a 1 year 10 month old is only slightly out of the mainstream. It is doesn’t hurt anyone, and is probely good for mother and child. If you are breastfeeding you have to do it at certain intervals. A lactating mother needs to release her milk just like the rest of us need to release there bladder.

    Freedom airlines have the right to set whatever rules they would like. They should also be mocked and protested when they act foolishly. I would be uncomfortable if 2 gay men sitting next to me were holding hands, but that is my problem, not there’s.

  73. Jennifer,

    I did not see the “lactivists” at the airport firsthand, so I will not speculate on their motivations. Your hostile reaction to nursing mothers, however, will not discourage them. Reacting to them with “Hope Mama doesn’t end up getting her nipples bitten off by her teething child. Heh heh heh,” is not the same as ignoring them and saying to your neighbor on the plane, “You know those women are wasting their time and ours, because that flight attendant was wrong about company policy anyway.”

  74. You folks are missing the point. It’s not the Mother’s “right” per se. It’s the baby’s nature/need. Can an adult crap in their seat? No. Can a baby? Sure thing. Can an adult scream, belch, and fart and pick their nose in their seat? No, but that kid will be excreting up a storm. Anyone who thinks a child less than two years old should sit ramrod straight and eat cocktail peanuts on a flight doesn’t just need a lesson in civility, they need a lesson in biology.

    I am damn glad Jennifer’s not in a position to teach my kids. It’s ironic that she used to make a living exposing her breasts to “adult” men, but would berate their original use by this mother.

  75. It’s perfectly natural for me to pick my nose, burp and fart out loud on an airplane, too.

    Captain Holly,
    I am putting in a request to have you demoted. First, I don’t think people have been thrown off planes for any of those bodily functions, have they? Second, we eat at our seats on planes, not to mention that we are in close quarters where our personal hygiene directly impacts our seat neighbors. Nursing is eating. We refrain from picking our nose and farting at the dinner table. Burping may still be in play, depending on the company we are in.

  76. You folks are missing the point. It’s not the Mother’s “right” per se. It’s the baby’s nature/need.

    Jimbo, I don’t recall anyone suggesting that the baby should have to sit up straight and eat peanuts. The argument is about property rights and whether the airline can require the mother to be discreet when she feeds her kid or if she should be free to bare all no matter what the airline wants. Jennifer has stated, repeatedly, that she has no problem with breast feeding. Her issue is with the whiny mother’s attitude even after receiving an apology from the airline. I’m sorry that you’re not a fan of Jennifer’s preferred use of her own breasts. I’ve never heard her say anything mean about yours.

  77. Mad Scientist,

    The issue is about property rights? I have stated from the beginning that the business is free to do as they wish. People’s attitudes are the real issue. Businesses know that allowing public nursing is in their best interest. The problem really is the odd and uncalled for backlash against breastfeeding.

  78. I don’t want to wait 20 minutes in line to take a whiz because of some 1 in 5 chance that somebody, whos business it is not, might be offended by the sight of a child getting nourishment. Do not tie up the john with putting on makeup, blowing your nose, or fornicating either. Excrete your waste and get the hell out.

  79. Jennifer,

    Bravo!

    The issue was handled, move on attention whores! And quit using your damn kids as props for your ego massage.

  80. Businesses know that allowing public nursing is in their best interest. The problem really is the odd and uncalled for backlash against breastfeeding.

    Who here is complaining about breastfeeding? The complaints here center around whiny attention whores who continue bitching and complaining even after the airline apologized and reprimanded the stewardess involved.

    It’s ironic that she used to make a living exposing her breasts to “adult” men, but would berate their original use by this mother.

    You misused the word “ironic” here, Jimbo. And with your substandard reading skills, you overlooked the multiple times I said I had NO PROBLEM with this woman putting her breasts to their “original use.” Also, Jimbo, the only men who saw me topless paid damn good money to do it, which is rather different from me screaming to the Vermont Human Rights Commission because I couldn’t find enough people willing to look at me.

    Serious advice for Earth Mama if she’s reading this: when a former topless dancer tells you to stop being such an attention whore about your breasts, you really need to stop being such an attention whore about your breasts.

  81. Do not fuck with La Leche League. Those cats are some hard motherfuckers.

  82. Jennifer, if “NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR TITS OR YOUR SPAWN,”

    then the woman wouldn’t have been kicked off the plane, and you wouldn’t have felt an urge to go harrass the mothers.

    It’s obvious that some tight-asses care very, very much about these mothers’ tits and their spawn, and that’s the problem.

  83. Do not fuck with La Leche League

    I wonder what a La Leche League riot would look like.

  84. Jennifer, if “NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR TITS OR YOUR SPAWN,” then the woman wouldn’t have been kicked off the plane, and you wouldn’t have felt an urge to go harrass the mothers. It’s obvious that some tight-asses care very, very much about these mothers’ tits and their spawn, and that’s the problem.

    No, Joe, it was ONE SINGLE STEWARDESS who had an issue, and she has already been reprimanded. So what exactly does Earth Mama hope to accomplish by complaining to the government? Airline has apologized. Stewardess got in trouble. Still not good enough. So seriously–what does Earth Mama want? Should the stewardess be fired? Imprisoned? Forced to write “I will not impugn the sanctity of motherhood” 100 times? Other than attention, what does Earth Mama hope to gain from her behavior?

    And let me repeat, AGAIN, that I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PUBLIC BREASTFEEDING. What I have a problem with is whiny bitches who insist that single clueless stewardess is actually a huge patriarchal corporate conspiracy, and continue pretending this even AFTER the corporation in question has apologized.

    I’d better repeat what I said a few times, for benefit of those who still don’t get it:

    I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PUBLIC BREASTFEEDING

    I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PUBLIC BREASTFEEDING

    I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PUBLIC BREASTFEEDING

    Get it?

  85. Further, the kid will drink milk, breast milk if you will, right out of a bottle. The presumption that breast milk is a positive good is undisputed. But you can put that milk in a bottle and stick it in a bottle bag (most bottle bags are large enough to double as a wine bag, btw).

    None of my (five) children beside the first ever used a bottle (and even she only did it a few times), but unless things have changed a lot since then, baby bottles are generally larger than 3 oz., which means they wouldn’t do any good in this situation.

  86. “So what exactly does Earth Mama hope to accomplish by complaining to the government?”

    To keep it from happening again, to other people, or even to herself in a different time and place. The flight attendant and the whiny-assed passengers she caved to aren’t unique in their tight-assedness. This is a real problem that keeps cropping up, and it is a good thing that it is being beaten down.

  87. To keep it from happening again, to other people, or even to herself in a different time and place. The flight attendant and the whiny-assed passengers she caved to aren’t unique in their tight-assedness. This is a real problem that keeps cropping up, and it is a good thing that it is being beaten down.

    It’s not being “beaten down” but “beaten to death.” Big difference. I remember the Onion once had an article with a title like “Gay Pride Parade Sets Gay-Rights Movement Back 30 Years,” and had hilarious quotes like “I used to think gay people were ordinary human beings with an ordinary need for love, but watching that parade made me realize they’re actually vile perverts who need to be ostracized.”

    This woman’s insistence on making a mountain out of a molehill is the same thing. When I first heard of this case, in Burlington, the story was simply “woman kicked off flight for breastfeeding,” and I thought “what a stupid airline, for doing that.” But now, the airline has apologized, repeatedly, and the stewardess got in trouble. Furthermore, I’m sure all the other flight attendants for that airline have heard about this and will never raise issues with a breastfeeding mom again. But the story continues, because Earth Mama wants it to.

    Let’s go whining to the Vermont Human Rights Commission! Let’s pretend, a la JF’s earlier comment, that this is identical to legally enforced racial segregation or denying women the vote. Let’s lose ALL sense of proportion about this, and pretend that a single stupid stewardess is the sort of thing the Vermont Human Rights Commission should waste time worrying about.

    If that’s the worst human-rights violation to happen in Vermont this year, then Vermont is a goddamned UTOPIA. Hippies and all.

  88. The problem with that theory, Jennifer, is that acceptance of public breastfeeding has increased since women began making a fuss about it.

  89. The problem with that theory, Jennifer, is that acceptance of public breastfeeding has increased since women began making a fuss about it.

    Not all forms of “making a fuss” are equal. If this woman had been arrested for breastfeeding, I’d support her “nurse in” 100 percent. Or if the airline had said “We stand behind the decision made by our stewardess.” None of that happened, yet this woman is pretending it did.

    And I guarantee: I’m not the only person who simultaneously thinks “public breastfeeding should be completely legal” AND “this woman is a goddamned attention whore who needs to stop using her kid as a political prop.” Idiots like this one need to be careful lest they inspire a backlash.

  90. Three ounces isn’t, or at least isn’t supposed to be, an issue here.

    From the TSA:

    To ensure the health and welfare of certain air
    travelers there are no limits on the amounts of
    the following liquids, gels and aerosols you may
    carry through a security checkpoint:

    * Baby formula and breast milk if a baby or small child is traveling;…

    Now, whether the wage slaves at the scanners know this, I don’t know.

    My personal opinion is that

    a) the airline has the right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to breastfeeders. They say ‘yes’ – that is fine.

    b) Moms should be allowed to do this in public if they wish.

    c) Moms should choose never to do it in public, for decorum’s sake. One shouldn’t breastfeed, change a diaper, belch, pick one’s nose, urinate, defecate, have sex, or go overboard on the PDA in public, because to do so is uncouth and should be a complete embarassment to that person and anyone with them.

    d) For the same reason, infants should be kept out of public as much as possible, until they are of an age that they can be reasonably disciplined to behave in a socially acceptable manner. Mom wants gramma to meet the kid? Fly gramma to kid, rather than vice versa. Mom wants to go home for Christmas? Drive. Too far? Pacifier. Use it copiously.

    e) None of the above are matters needing legal enforcement, except for the public urination/defecation bit in more urban circumstances, where it is littering with a hazardous substance.

  91. I wonder what a La Leche League riot would look like?

    Like Russ Meyer’s worst nightmare.

  92. I don’t get Jennifer’s hostility about this. Yes, going to the human rights commission is over-reacting. But considering the uproar I’ve seen over, say, having to throw away your shampoo, I think getting kicked off a plane is a pretty frickin’ BIG inconvenience, and humiliating to boot. I’d be pretty fucking pissed off too.

    The claims that “OK, everyone gets it now, there is no need for any further attention” seem to fly in the face of the fact that it keeps happening. This might be an isolated incident for this airline, but it’s by no means an isolated incident overall.

  93. Jennifer,

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt (not that you’ve asked for it) that you do not have a problem with public nursing, but comments like this one

    …I wonder if the stewardess would have had the same revulsion if the woman had been breast-feeding an infant rather than a toddler. The kid’s almost two years old; once the kid’s old enough to climb into mama’s lap by herself the whole breast-feeding thing gets a little creepy, I think. (I also suspect, but cannot prove, that this was one of those deliberately indiscreet women: it’s not enough to breast-feed in public; everybody has to NOTICE it as well.)

    Hope Mama doesn’t end up getting her nipples bitten off by her teething child. Heh heh heh.

    give the impression that you do have a problem with it.

    Of course, its everyone’s right to have a problem with anything, as long as they don’t try to force their views on anyone else in a public space, yadda yadda yadda…

  94. Jennifer, you might not want to throw terms like “attention whore” around. Also phrases like “nobody cares about you…” Could backfire on you. Just a thought.

    Best Wishes to all for a happy thanksgiving.

    “T”

  95. Jennifer, you might not want to throw terms like “attention whore” around. Also phrases like “nobody cares about you…” Could backfire on you.

    If I ever go tattling to the government because a single flight attendant annoyed me, I would hope that my friends would have the decency to stop being such an attention whore, same way I’d hope my friends would take my car keys if I ever tried to drive drunk.

    I don’t get Jennifer’s hostility about this. Yes, going to the human rights commission is over-reacting. But considering the uproar I’ve seen over, say, having to throw away your shampoo, I think getting kicked off a plane is a pretty frickin’ BIG inconvenience, and humiliating to boot. I’d be pretty fucking pissed off too.

    I fully agree. And for the nth time let me reiterate: this woman should never have been kicked off the plane. Since she was, the airline damn well owed her an apology, plus compensation for any monetary losses she suffered (say, by missing a connecting flight), PLUS the flight attendant who kicked her off deserved to be reprimanded.

    She got the apology. The attendant got the reprimand. And I’m guessing the airline made compensation as well (else we’d have heard about it). Yet Earth Mama is still pretending that her rights are being actively violated even as we speak.

    Stop crying wolf. Stop annoying the human-rights commission with things that aren’t really human-rights violations. This woman is the equivalent of someone who would complain “That cop looked at my cleavage! That’s sexual harassment!” and so clutters the pipeline with such complaints that women with REAL problems, like “That cop said he’s arrest me if I didn’t sleep with him!” end up being overlooked.

  96. Plus the whole point of my vacation was to give me a chance to mellow out.

    So…um…how did that work out for you, Jennifer?

  97. So…um…how did that work out for you, Jennifer?

    Marvelously well until I found myself unable to open my eyes without seeing some uncombed hippies screeching about how the government needs to get involved in a matter the airlines already resolved.

    Also, anybody who will wear $500 designer boots while complaining about the evils of capitalism needs to be sterilized. But that’s another matter.

  98. I guess I’m reacting less to the human rights convention thing, which I agree is complete BS, and more to the protesting at the airport, toward which I’m a bit more sympathetic — not because I think *this* airline needs to get the message more, but because I think *everyone* needs to get the message more so that grunt-level employees quit making the stupid mistakes. The fact that it still happens is proof that not everyone gets it yet.

    Maybe the protesting *is* just attention-whoring, but I’m inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt that what they’re really trying to do is get the message out. The airline is the most logical focal point for that message now, they can’t very well go protest “all you other guys who haven’t made this mistake yet and we want to make sure you don’t”.

    Having said that, I admit that I don’t *know* their motivation, I’m just inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  99. Jennifer:
    “The kid’s almost two years old; once the kid’s old enough to climb into mama’s lap by herself the whole breast-feeding thing gets a little creepy, I think.”

    Thomas Paine’s Goiter
    “Once the child is completely on solids, wean it. At 22 months, the kid has been off of solids for a long time.

    It’s this type of thinking which motivates people like the flight attendant in question to subject others to her ignorance and intolerance. There is nothing creepy about a nursing toddler.

    According to the WHO, nursing should continue for at least two years, and possibly beyond. The AAP advocates breastfeeding as essential for at LEAST the first year, and for as long thereafter as the mother and child are comfortable. Being made to feel UNcomfortable by a foolish flight-attendant and/or being thought of as creepy by the uninformed is a huge barrier to mothers succesfully doing what is in the best interests of their children.

    For the record, I feel this woman handled her ejection from the plane badly. If the airline addressed the problem, she got justice. But this woman (and many others) still have to live in a society where folks like you and the flight-attendant base your thoughts and words on your personal hangups and not medical facts.

    You’re as entitled to your opinions as anyone else. But next time you go judging, perhaps you should make sure you know what you’re talking about.

  100. But this woman (and many others) still have to live in a society where folks like you and the flight-attendant base your thoughts and words on your personal hangups and not medical facts.

    Thoughts and words aren’t the problem here; actions are. The flight attendant shouldn’t have kicked the woman off the plane. The woman was justified in being angry. But the fact that she refuses to let the matter drop AFTER the airline made amends suggests that by now, the problem lies with her.

    Maybe the protesting *is* just attention-whoring, but I’m inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt that what they’re really trying to do is get the message out. The airline is the most logical focal point for that message now, they can’t very well go protest “all you other guys who haven’t made this mistake yet and we want to make sure you don’t”.

    The airline had apologized BEFORE the protest. So what was their point–“You didn’t apologize enough? We don’t accept your apology?” The airline had learned its lesson already; the only people bothered by the nurse-in were the passengers trying to get their tickets or make their flights; the people responsible for the initial injustice were not the ones affected by the nurse-in.

    And what do they hope to accomplish by going to the human-rights commission?

  101. Yes, hippies suck. And we wanna be sucked, too. Equal rites! We demand the freedom to be sucked off on airplanes, too. We’re talkin fellatio! It’s not the sucker’s right, it’s their baby’s nature/need.

  102. “Marvelously well until I found myself unable to open my eyes without seeing some uncombed hippies screeching about how the government needs to get involved in a matter the airlines already resolved.”

    So in other words, instead of this being a minor event that no one except those directly involved heard about, it was turned into a media event, and every airline in the country got a big fat lesson about making sure not to harrass mothers when they are nursing.

    Sounds like Mission Accomplished to me. How many mothers do you think are going to be tossed off of airplanes next month for nursing? My money’s on zero. Thanks, hippies!

    BTW, Jennifer, the term for someone who keeps proclaiming how deeply they support the cause, but is terribly worried that the tactics which are working to remedy it will create a backlash, is “concern troll.”

  103. I had to look up “concern troll”, just because I was curious.

    Considering that Jennifer’s antipathy for children and those who choose to have them borders on misanthropy, I’d say that term is pretty accurate.

  104. I’m just waiting for the first case of “flying while nursing a Muslim.”

  105. Jennifer
    Thoughts and words aren’t the problem here; actions are. The flight attendant shouldn’t have kicked the woman off the plane. The woman was justified in being angry. But the fact that she refuses to let the matter drop AFTER the airline made amends suggests that by now, the problem lies with her.

    You’re right, in part. THOUGHTS may not be part of the problem. We’re all still basically free to think what we want. WORDS however are definitely part of the problem. Words like “creepy” in reference to breastfeeding (for example) help to support the very mindset that underlies this issue. You happen to think nursing a toddler is creepy. I know many people who think breastfeeding is creepy at any age, and those attitudes are precisely what women who chose to nurse are struggling to overcome.

    And again, I don’t at all disagree with your assessment of the mother’s overreaction. What bothers me is that you felt it appropriate to lessen an otherwise sound argument with the idea that an infant would have been one thing, while a toddler makes it creepy. You solidified this with your wishes for mama to have her nipple bitten off. It’s your apparent venom that makes me think there is more to your remarks. It says, to me at least, that you have an issue with more than just the mother’s reaction.

  106. “””I won’t give you property rights. The airline has (or should have) the right to set the rules.”””

    You don’t really believe this in its totality, otherwise the airline could say no gays, and blacks to the rear. I doubt you would agree with those rules.

    When you have a business, your rights are limited.

    I could care less where a woman breast feeds.

    I’m not going to pretend I know best by saying she should have done it this way or that way. I say it’s the mom’s decision.

    I would be a little upset that the kid gets a meal and all I get are pretzels.

  107. You don’t really believe this in its totality, otherwise the airline could say no gays, and blacks to the rear. I doubt you would agree with those rules.

    I’ll bet a number of people here do believe the airline should have the right to say “no gays” and “blacks to the rear.” I will also bet that same number would not agree with those rules. It has been said before, but it bears saying again, just because you have the right to do something does not mean you should do it. Businesses (should) have the same rights to say what goes on their property as you do in your home. Businesses are incredibly foolish if they discriminate against any potential customer, not only due to the loss of the customers they discriminate against, but also the loss of customers who are offended by the discrimination.

  108. BTW, Jennifer, the term for someone who keeps proclaiming how deeply they support the cause, but is terribly worried that the tactics which are working to remedy it will create a backlash, is “concern troll.”

    Don’t confuse which cause I support, Joe. Public breastfeeding: should not be illegal. Making a big huge stinking deal over something AFTER the issue has been resolved: annoying. NOT a cause I support at all.

    I don’t at all disagree with your assessment of the mother’s overreaction. What bothers me is that you felt it appropriate to lessen an otherwise sound argument with the idea that an infant would have been one thing, while a toddler makes it creepy.

    I’ll admit, that was inappropriate for me to say. Incidentally, I knew the kid was 22 months as soon as I learned of the story (since I was in Burlington at the time). At first my reaction was a combination of “the airline is stupid” and “22 months? Eeew.” I felt nothing vitriolic toward Earth Mama until AFTER the airline had already apologized and reprimanded the stewardess, but EM still carried on about the huge, enormous injustice she suffered.

    It was ONE STUPID STEWARDESS who’s already been in trouble over this. It’s NOT a huge corporate conspiracy. Incidentally, the initial incident happened over a week ago, but Earth Mama is still carrying on today.

    Considering that Jennifer’s antipathy for children and those who choose to have them borders on misanthropy, I’d say that term is pretty accurate.

    I freely admit to being a misanthrope, and have said so here before. However, I have nothing against children or mothers, unless said mothers take the attitude “Since I view my child as the center of the universe, you must view her as the center of the universe, too.” Nope. I am as bored by tales of your wonderful child as you are bored by tales of my wonderful boyfriend. Except that I KNOW better than to tell people about my wonderful boyfriend and expect them to give a damn. Would that more mothers shared my self-awareness.

  109. I heard this lady say “I like kids”. That’s nice. But also kinda weird because it’s like saying “I like people…For a little while.”
    You can say “I love kids”, that’s fine. It’s once you get into specifics that you get in trouble. I love 12 year olds.

  110. What an impressive number of sock puppets new people posting here just to repeat ad nauseum that Jennifer is an evil poopy-head.

  111. What an impressive number of sock puppets new people posting here just to repeat ad nauseum that Jennifer is an evil poopy-head.

    How goddamn insulting.

    If people found her wish that a child bite off his mother’s nipple a little abrasive and thought that she seemed hostile to nursing mothers, they are sock puppets? Piss off.

  112. It’s only a nipple.
    Jesus H, we use these protuberances to sell merchandise!
    It’s the Holiday Season.
    Suck a nipple!
    Buy my stuff!
    Get a life!

  113. Whether or not people ‘should’ be comfortable with public breastfeeding isn’t the reality of the world we live in. People AREN’T comfortable with it. I don’t care to see it happening around me. How about showing some common courtesy to those who find it in bad taste. No one addressed the ‘nose picking’ analogy. I’d like my nasal passages clear of obstruction, but I know people around me would find it disgusting. I’m legally within my rights to pick away but I show some empathy for those who are offended.
    (For the record, I hate kids and think they should remain behind closed doors until they can conform to [adult] social norms. [About 13 years old.])

  114. Aww…ladies’ breasts are pretty! And kiddies breast feeding are sooo cute. They’re cute with a baba too, but cuter with a breast.

  115. If people found her wish that a child bite off his mother’s nipple a little abrasive and thought that she seemed hostile to nursing mothers, they are sock puppets?

    Actually, I specifically said I hope the kid DIDN’T bite it off. It can be quite dangerous, to let a child with a full set of teeth and the low self-control of a two-year-old near your nipple.

    Especially on an airplane. All you have to do is hit one bad spot of turbulence. . . ow ow ow.

  116. I’m a new person (well, long time lurker)
    We’re just concerned about Jennifer’s problem with breast feeding.
    It anything is “for the children” this is it.
    You would think for a site called “Reason” … er, I’ll stop now.

  117. Well, I had to try a comment just once.

  118. “Businesses (should) have the same rights to say what goes on their property as you do in your home.”

    I would say that individuals are deserving of rights not granted to abstractions (i.e. businesses). There is some grey area with sole proprietorships, but as soon as the business is granted limited liability it seems alright with me to have them required to meet stricter standards of conduct. The business is not a person. The owners of the business ask for special privledge (limited liability) from the community in exchange for the good they bring to the community. In exchange, they can and should be held to different standards than individuals. Confusing the property rights of individuals with the rights of corporations is bad policy, IMHO.

  119. Well, I had to try a comment just once.

    You handled that very well. Good job.

  120. Actually, I specifically said I hope the kid DIDN’T bite it off. It can be quite dangerous, to let a child with a full set of teeth and the low self-control of a two-year-old near your nipple.

    Especially on an airplane. All you have to do is hit one bad spot of turbulence. . . ow ow ow.

    Jennifer,

    I applaud your grace and humor.

  121. “Don’t confuse which cause I support, Joe. Public breastfeeding: should not be illegal. Making a big huge stinking deal over something AFTER the issue has been resolved: annoying. NOT a cause I support at all.”

    Yes, Jennifer, you support breastfeeding so much that when you see people trying to do something about that fact that intolerant businesses and individuals keep harrassing breastfeeding mothers, you fly into a rage at them.

    Sort of like the people who really, really love immigrants, except when they hold a protest, in which case they need to be rounded up and deported.

  122. Sort of like the people who really, really love immigrants, except when they hold a protest, in which case they need to be rounded up and deported.

    Actually, Joe, more like “people who really, really believe that black and white people should have equal rights before the law, but still has a low opinion of Black Panther types who insist that I, a white person in the year 2006, am personally responsible for the evils of slavery in 1860.”

    The thing is, Joe, the world contains shades of gray in addition to black and white. And one such bit of grayness is this: it is possible to stand for a good cause and STILL be an insufferable prick about it. Like Earth Mama in this story.

  123. The only thing she did to make you dismiss her as “an insufferable prick” was to draw enough attention to her problem that you had to hear about it.

    Boo hoo. That’s how changes happen.

    How many nursing mothers do you think are going to get tossed off of planes next month? My money’s on zero.

  124. How many nursing mothers do you think are going to get tossed off of planes next month? My money’s on zero.

    How many nursing mothers were tossed off planes last month? How many nursing mothers did you expect to be tossed in December, in some alternate universe where Earth Mama never was born?

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