Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Dear Anonymous

I will not allow anymore comments on this blog that demean nursing mothers, their babies who deserve to eat whenever and wherever they are hungry, or the wholesome beauty that is breastfeeding. Respectful disagreement is welcome, however profanity, personal attacks, and red herring arguments will not be published here. Go somewhere else and spew your filth.


Anonymous said...

No intention to offend anyone personally - just thought this was a forum to share opinions on this oddly contentious issue. I think comments have been somewhat inflammatory on both sides, but understand that this is your forum and you can regulate as you see fit.


Chris said...

I haven't read a single comment from anyone supporting moms nursing in public that included profanity, personal attacks or red herrings. If people want to do that, they can get their own blogs, but I, for one, am not providing a forum for them and I'm not going to waste anymore of my time responding to them. I was PERSONALLY humiliated by two managers of a store where I have spent thousands of dollars in the past (I have virtually stopped shopping at FM altogether since, despite their apologies, and give most of my grocery shopping business to New Seasons, as it has earned the DHS "Breastfeeding Mother-Friendly Employer" designation), so yeah, I am a bit touchy about the abusive language and continued attacks coming mostly from people who don't have the courage to even give their first name when they comment on my blog. This is my little "living room on the Internet." How many of us would allow strangers to come into our homes and suck it up while they heaped abuse on us? I am perfectly happy to see reasoned, respectful commentary here, whether I agree with it or not. What I won't put up with is people who use the anonymity of the Internet to say things they would never say to anyone's face.

Michelle said...

I can't believe how typically preposterous some of the comments on recent entries have been. There must be some formula (no pun intended) for anti-BF attitudes, because I keep seeing the same tired reactionary retorts - including the phrase "whip out a tit" - what does that mean, anyway? Whipping? Huh? the old standby "formula is fine too [your existance] doesn't respect feeding alternatives its a woman's choice" and the #1 most popular knee-jerk reaction: "I shouldn't have to be subjected to that"

I think what is sometimes lost in the debates is that the message to mothers, to women, has always been "stay in the house" and this public BF debate really boils down to that. What is public space for? Not for children, certainly not babies, not for disabled or elderly, not for women even under some circumstances. Even people with bodies that do not fit an ever-narrowing ideal are now unwelcome in public (with the same "I shouldn't have to look at that" mentality).

Anonymous said...

I understand how you feel about breastfeeding but whenever I had to in a public place I would cover myself and my child's head with a blanket to shield everyone's view. It made me feel better and I think it made everyone else feel uncomfortable. What you did is ok at home or in private but in the future maybe it would be better to shield yourself and it won't make anyone uncomfortable on either side. Out here in Vegas, where anything seems to go, most breastfeeding mothers do this in public and I agree, it would be the right thing to do. Sure, noone wants to see a boob but do you really want anyone else seeing yours?? this can be avoided. So why not make everyone happy and then you won't be in this position anymore.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to a mom ("anonymous") who gets it.

So Chris states she is personally offended by profanity, which really is just a collection of words that someone, somewhere determined would mean something negative (but really hurt no one if you think about it - just words, people!) ... and wouldn't want to hear that kind of language in her living room. Yet public nudity, something that would typically get one a fine, should be welcomed freely by all?

I've also seen comments on the pro-side of this issue talk about "flashing some boob around" which sounds pretty darm similar to "whipping it out" so I'm guessing you all understand the premise or have taken part in it at some time.

And while I don't recall seeing profanity from the "pro" side either (again not sure what profanity was on the "anti" side, but another story), I definitely would say there were some personal attacks to members of the "anti" side and probably a few red herrings, as well.

I don't know about any template or "anti-public nudity when with child" conspiracy out there, my guess is it's probably just a lot of the public with similar opinions sharing them on this somewhat censored blog.

knittinmom said...

Um, sorry, anyonymous, but if you haven't seen profanity and personal attacks on breastfeeding moms in the comments, you haven't been looking (specifically, look at the comments on this post and this one). I'd say "people like you are disgusting" and "cover that s*** up" would qualify as both profane and personal.

And, yet again, must I explain how breastfeeding in public is not public nudity? How many breastfeeding women do you see sitting around in the buff? Also, the majority of states have laws stating that breastfeeding is not considered indecent exposure.

I'm coming to the realization that you naysayers refuse to have an open mind and consider all the facts, so thank goodness we have the law on our side.

That is all.

Brittney said...

And I'm sorry, but the sticks and stones, it's just words argument is weak. Words are the primary way our culture has chosen to communicate, and using hateful language towards someone, ie "I hope your baby chokes to death" is clearly meant to do harm. If the internet has done one thing, it's taken away the respect for one's adversary that comes from a face-to-face debate. We'll never learn to see another's point of view if we can't have a civil discussion with him/her.

casseia said...

Just a couple of responses to one of the anonymice (can't y'all at least come up with fake names for yourselves so we can tell you apart?)

1. "I would cover myself and my child's head to shield everyone's view." Okay, but then you miss the opportunity to make eye contact with your child. I remember reading that nursing is one way for a child to EXPRESS love, not just receive it, and I think that your child's gaze is an integral part of that. Plus, then your child has to go into a stuffy "tent" whenever she wants to nurse.

2. "Sure, no one wants to see a boob, but do you really want everyone seeing yours?" On the contrary, I think a substantial part of the population wants to see "boobs" as much as possible as long as they are presented as icons of adult sexuality. They're uncomfortable seeing breasts doing what they've evolved to do ever since the first mammal appeared (ie, for a lot longer than Playboy magazine has been around.) The fact that our sexualization of the breast is culture-specific and not inevitable can be easily proven with just about any issue of National Geographic -- that's to say, in many places in the world, breasts of both women and men are on view all the time, whether they're lactating or not. So as for myself, I really didn't mind anyone getting a glimpse of my breast when I was nursing. It happens. And the value of reinforcing the utter normalcy of feeding your child with your breasts by nursing in public without major attempts at concealment easily outweighed any fears of momentary exposure.

Now that my child is weaned, when I see a woman nursing in public, my dominant feeling is of bittersweet nostalgia for myself and admiration for her. Even four years of nursing went by in a flash, and a nursing mom in public brings back to me the wonder of that period of my life.

Mike said...

I am not ashamed to admit that, as a heterosexual male, I have surreptitiously peeked many a time at women breastfeeding their children. It isn't just because I'm a man and they have breasts either. I was breastfed as a child, in fact, due to the fact that I was born with a serious respiratory ailment and my grandmother was a nurse, my mother pumped breastmilk and my grandfather personally delivered it to the hospital until I was healthy enough to come home. Seeing a strange woman breastfeeding conjures up all kinds of images in my mind, and the "clean" ones are really those nostalgic "gut" type feelings I get because I do not have any coherent memories of being breastfed. I do thank my mom immensely for having braved the slings and arrows of the 60s environment that was very much under the spell of "formula is better than breastmilk" propaganda. If that were really true, then tell my why I don't get sick. In fact, if I catch 3 colds in a year, that is beyond the pale. I also heal very quickly from wounds of any sort and have one of the most robust constitutions of anyone I know. I am sure that some of that can be attributed to "good genes," but I am forever thankful that my mom listened to her mom *instead* of the corporate noise machines that are so seductive and hold so many of us in thrall.