Thursday, August 2, 2007

Lucia Breastfeeding anywhere

While living in Sydney, I remember hearing about a woman being escorted off a train for breastfeeding her baby. I wondered what the woman on the train was supposed to do with her hungry baby, if not breastfeed it? Maybe hop off the train, find a toilet and do it there? What if the train she was on was one of those that went out to those places that have train services only once an hour? What really is the big deal about a baby being breastfed, when it comes down to it, that so incenses people?

Normally I don't like laws that tell people what they can and can't do, but, when it comes to babies being fed and immature people thinking that it is their right to stop a woman from being able to feed her baby because it makes them squeemish or whatever, I'm on the side of the breastfeeding woman.

I've been there. I know what it's like to have a small baby that needs to be fed. It certainly kept me in the house living as a hermit and going stir-crazy, because I couldn't feed in public because from the age of 2 months my child would keep popping off the breast to look at everyone. A half frontal for all concerned is not something I think of as fun.

So bring on the law that entrenches as a right the ability for a woman to breastfeed her baby where-ever she is. It's just sad that it's needed.

27 comment(s):

mojo said...

You heard of a woman, Lucyna, once ... wow. The only ones I have ever known to be imposed upon have been those, wannabe noticed 'flop it all outers,look as if in seventh heaven groaners,' or those endeavouring to publicly feed 'those been on solids for four yearers.'
I must say I am surprised this bill is being pursued by one Steve, preserve the shape of your breasts, La Leche, Chadwick.
A further unnecessary imposition on the public definition of acceptable behaviour and moderation of that behaviour in the pursuit of the feminist utopia.

barry said...

Breastfeed your baby on a train or in a creche. But respect private property rights by not presuming you may do the same in a restaurant or quicklunch bar, otherwise don't take feigned offence when the owner of the establishment asks you to leave.

KG said...

I'm kind of ambivalent about the whole breastfeeding in public thing, but the worst thing I've seen happen with women and babies was two women changing their baby's nappies on the table outside an eatery in Auckland.
I was having a coffee at the next table and objected and was treated to a stream of abuse. The owner just shrigged and said "nobody else has objected"!

Lucyna said...

kg, that's gross and rude. Normally nappies can wait for somewhere more appropriate.

barry, I suppose private property owners ought to be able to kick out anyone they don't like as well. Old people. Children. Maybe those with different coloured skin. How about men with beards, they might have food stuck in their beards and gross everyone out.

Lucyna said...

Mojo, I've heard of others, but that was the worst of anything. Small babies tend to need to get fed very often. Which means either not going out of the house at all, or only going 10 minutes up the road to shop or just not going out at all.

I agree that children that are on solids, over the age of 18 months, don't necessarily need to be fed in public.

Andrei said...

While generally in sympathy with your stance Lucyna, using the law to enforce this is plain wrong.

There are places I'd suggest that breast feeding a baby could be seen to be inappropriate.

Church might be one.

An up-market restaurant might be another.

All in all politeness and common sense should dictate where and when breast feeding a baby is or is not appropriate. If a baby needs fed in an environment which may discomfort others common sense should allow the mother to discretely remove herself and return. For the most part though I have no issue with this at all.

Alas in a nanny state laws are passed that dictate "rights" and there are individuals who will insist on their rights to the discomfort of others.

Lucyna said...

Andrei, some people are only discomforted by breastfeeding because they see the breast as sexual. To see a baby attached to it to those people is just plain wrong no matter where it is done.

Personally, I think those people ought to practise breathing and look the other way if they are discomforted.

Oswald Bastable said...

Some cafes advertise as 'baby friendly' they have changing facilities and plenty of room around the tables.

We have a great example of this here in the Lady Featherston Cafe.

They can wave the flag and take the mums with babies custom. Others can take the child-free drawcard.

There are enough damn cafes for all!

Let the market decide- not a bunch of nannying politicos!

Lucyna said...

Oswald, child-free is a bit different from breast-feeding free. Here's another thought, if a cafe is happy to serve children, it ought to allow breastfeeding. If they don't want the custom of parents with children, by all means turn them away at the door.

However, many of those that get all squeemish about a breast popping out do not even bat an eye at a baby with a bottle.

JC said...

As a sex ravaged teenager I was always keen to have a gander at a real tit. Sadly, no matter how much I looked I rarely saw more than a hint and had to rely on the National Geographic for an unobstructed view.

I doubt it's any different today. Women are still too discrete to be caught.. so I fail to see the problem.

JC

mojo said...

I can imagine a sex ravaged teenager being so preoccupied as to not be discreet .. but women being too discrete, hmmmm.

James said...

This is another case of let the property owner decide...its their right to after all in site of nanny State.Just as the smoke free law for pubs and clubs was fascist,patronising nonsense so is this..

ZenTiger said...

Does the property owner have a right to decide if they follow hygiene laws? Ownership of slaves? Allowing black or white people on the premises? There's always going to be a line somewhere.

Is this law protecting a right, or removing one?

Perhaps if they prominently displayed a "No breast feeding allowed" sign prior to entry people could decide if they wanted to part with coin. I'd like to know if I was supporting (via my custom) a family-hating misogynist or not.

James said...

Does the property owner have a right to decide if they follow hygiene laws?"

Yes....Its their property.But the counter balance is the right to liberty of everyone else and the fact that they will not patronise that establishment...its the feedback loop of a free market at work.

"Ownership of slaves?"

As Slavery is a violation of the right to liberty the State has just cause in preventing it from occurring.However if someone chosse to labour for free there would be no issue for the State.

"Allowing black or white people on the premises?"

That is the right of the owner to decide...the right to liberty is the right to discriminate.

"There's always going to be a line somewhere."

That line is where genuine,non contradictory individual rights are violated.

"Is this law protecting a right, or removing one?"

Its gifting a force backed privilege to breastfeeding women while violating the property rights of owners.There is NO right to breastfeed where you like....not when you are on someone else's property.

If the owner does not want you breastfeeding on their premises then sorry but take your tittes elsewhere.

Karyn said...

Libertarians want to turn us back to pre 1964 civil rights.

Whites-only lunch counters, "No Jews or dogs" hotels, "we don't serve your kind here", "No Irish need apply", "This is man's job", etc. All this is a "right of association" in Libertarian theology.

Such a weird position is not just the purview of some position-writers in a corner, but a surprisingly common trait of Libertarians. It's one of the surest way of identifying one, if they justify such a reactionary position from abstract considerations. This is why they don't get many votes.

Agree with Lucyna. It IS a shame such legislatioin is needed, just as it is a shame feminism is still needed.

James said...

A fem noddy called Karyn said...

"Libertarians want to turn us back to pre 1964 civil rights."

Your proof of this is....? Libertarians want everyone to have their individual rights respected and upheld....not false 'rights" like the "right" to breastfeed wherever you please.Genuine rights don't contradict....only true ones with false ones.

"Whites-only lunch counters, "No Jews or dogs" hotels, "we don't serve your kind here", "No Irish need apply", "This is man's job", etc. All this is a "right of association" in Libertarian theology."

Yes because people have the right to be wrong and make wrong choices with whats theirs...its called freedom.In the States it was the State that enforced segregation laws and whites only policies in the main...private people actually didn't practice segregation in their business life as it was counter-productive to earning profits.They cared more about green than black it seems.


"Such a weird position is not just the purview of some position-writers in a corner, but a surprisingly common trait of Libertarians. It's one of the surest way of identifying one, if they justify such a reactionary position from abstract considerations. This is why they don't get many votes."

But everyone practises some discrimination in one way or another...in choice of friends,lovers,clients,retailers etc...its natural and perfectly right to do....even if in cases its irrational and wrong in the eyes of everyone else.

"Agree with Lucyna. It IS a shame such legislatioin is needed, just as it is a shame feminism is still needed."

Its not needed...as is your brand of femo-facism not required in any civil society that respects real rights.Understand that you have no right to jackboot your way into places you are not wanted...and that you have that same right to control what happens on your property....which I am sure you already do. ;-)

ZenTiger said...

There goes James, jack booting his way through another conversation...failing to respect real common courtesy...

Psycho Milt said...

Well, we are talking here about someone who thinks cafe owners should be free to give us food poisoning, on the basis that after it's killed us we can exercise our free right to no longer patronise his establishment. Ideology's a real mindfuck.

Karyn said...

IMO James, and many like him, just want the fun part at the beginning.

Gestation, childbirth, and lactation, is SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM on the most elemental and undeniable level.

This is why feminism is still needed.

Fergus said...

James: assuming of course that these rights are purely procedural and embody no substantive conception of the good ?
But of course they do have an underlying conception of the good, in both the choice and operation of these rights, since we live in a society built along the lines of classical liberal ideology.

And....

Bitty !

Sus said...

"Bring on the law that entrenches ..."

Then please don't grizzle when the state imposes a law with which you disagree.

You can't have it both ways. Freedom is freedom. No ifs, buts or maybes.

Let's paraphrase Voltaire because he said it best: "I may disagree with your refusal to allow public breast-feeding/serve Catholics/ban smoking, but I defend to the death your right to do so".

James said...

ZenTiger said...

"There goes James, jack booting his way through another conversation...failing to respect real common courtesy... "

So responses to stupid and authoritarian minded comments are discourteous now Zen...?


"Psycho Milt said...

Well, we are talking here about someone who thinks cafe owners should be free to give us food poisoning, on the basis that after it's killed us we can exercise our free right to no longer patronise his establishment. Ideology's a real mindfuck. "

This from someone who needs Nannys permission and guidance to wipe his bott...Did you see Target on Tuesday PM? The State hygienic grades are meaningless it seems...A graded food outlets with faecal contamination...lovely.

Karyn said...

"IMO James, and many like him, just want the fun part at the beginning.

Gestation, childbirth, and lactation, is SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM on the most elemental and undeniable level.

This is why feminism is still needed. "

Im in favour of breastfeeding and have no problem with it anywhere really....but others do and have the right to ban it from THEIR premises...get it nipple Nazi?

Unprincipled hypocrites...Left or Right...all the same.

ZenTiger said...

So responses to stupid and authoritarian minded comments are discourteous now Zen..

You are twisting words James. You could make all sorts of responses to what you see are stupid comments. Your particular one WAS discourteous.

You think it makes sense to call me an unprincipled hypocrite, and yet apparently cannot admit to being discourteous?

I stand by my first observation - you do a fair bit of jack-booting through conversations yourself. But I see my mistake - it's ok if you have principles.

James said...

I stand by my first observation - you do a fair bit of jack-booting through conversations yourself. But I see my mistake - it's ok if you have principles."

Oh so we can only post in a thread if now we get your permission comrade? maybe Lucyna could let us all know which threads are open for debate and which are sacrosanct and must be kept warm and fuzzy? If a response isn't to your liking you want to cry and throw out your toys? This is a blog Zen...and it seems to be open for comments.I posted a reply to the opinion that forcing people to accept breastfeeding was the way to go....I disagreed and said why....what's your problem....can't refute my points?

"You are twisting words James. You could make all sorts of responses to what you see are stupid comments. Your particular one WAS discourteous."

Please explain how so....

James said...

Sus said...

"Bring on the law that entrenches ..."

Then please don't grizzle when the state imposes a law with which you disagree."

Exactly Sus and well said.The next time the God squad here get all huffy about a pc anti Christian looking law being enacted lets remember this issue...The day that happens I will be in support of you and your rights to worship and believe as you want to....but I will also oppose you when you are on the side of the oppressor...as you are in this case.

ZenTiger said...

James, I'm not suggesting you need permission to throw your opinion around, just that a little politeness wouldn't go astray.

And you think you aren't being rude? Well, that probably explains a lot.

James said...

Ok Zen....I thought I was being quite restrained for me but if its an issue....;-)

I just get rather angry and emotional when people suggest violating rights and interfering in other peoples lives....my dad fought the Nazis to stop that sort of shit and I remember the sacrifice and cost that the battle against evil ideas always brings when they are put into practice and people start dying...

Maybe overreaching on that point but that's where I'm coming from and why I'm a Libertarian..

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