Thursday

Dr. Phil - Anti-breastfeeding bigot

http://www.drphil.com/plugger/respond/?plugID=9244

Strangers Complain When I Breast Feed In Public!

Do you think it's okay to breast feed your child in public places but others complain that your behavior is inappropriate?

Have strangers told you that they are appalled by your breast feeding in restaurants, grocery stores, public restrooms, department stores, doctor's offices, etc. but you think breast feeding is such a natural and beautiful act that you should have the right to do it anywhere and anytime you please?

OR do you know someone who breast feeds their child in public and you are offended by it? Do you need Dr. Phil's help at confronting your friend or family member about their inappropriate habit to breast feed in public?

If you have personal experience AND very strong feelings about this issue please reply by emailing us your story. ONLY RESPOND IF YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO APPEAR ON NATIONAL TV WITH DR. PHIL.

20 comments:

Dewi said...

Katie thanks for this tidbit.

Before he gets himself in hot water legally, he needs to learn the laws state to state about a women’s legal right to breastfeed in public.

Dr Phil will not know what hit him.
In New York, It's a violation of a women’s civil rights to ask her to leave or cover up in a public place because she is breastfeeding. I posted this Dr Phil info to my professional groups, and to the women who attended the nurse in last month in front of ABC. That was a great turn out.

mamalife said...

Oh my, is this for real??? I've always thought Dr. Phil was a whack-a-doodle (not understanding others worshipping him) ... now I know for sure he is!

mamamoo said...

I told my sister about this and she suggested we go to the show with our kids and nurse them there! A nurse in at the show would be great!

Anonymous said...

I like Dr Phil and now I like him even more. this isnt about "breastfeeding in public". its about people being rude. apparently the same people who dont think a thing about riffling through the grocery cart of the formula feeding mother behind them and commenting on its contents (something which happened to me) also think its OK to force others to watch them nurse whether they want to or not or whether they were exposed or not. could it be a lack of respect for the personal boundaries of others on the part of these zealots? I did bf my second child up to the age of two and a half but ya know what...I was always mindful to be discreet and that other people didnt want to see my nipples. my older kid took karate right in the time frame my son was nursing a lot and ya know what..I took him out to the car..no one asked me to..I just had more sense than to sit there in front of everybody when I had a choice to go elsewhere. of course there were times in restaurants etc where I was stuck but even then I tried to sit in a manner to have minimal exposure. people are aware that babies have to eat but they are also aware when people are being in your face and practically daring them to say something. as for the bottlefeeding I think someone is far more likely to be accosted by boob nazis while bottlefeeding than get a little lecture for public exposure for breastfeeding obnoxiously.

Anonymous said...

OH GET OVER IT....I went to this link nad I dont think he is talking about the woman discreetly feeding her baby in a restaurant booth covered up and with her back to the public. He is talking about the in your face..."you better not say a word or else I will call my lawyer even though you can see practically my whole breast" kind of attitude. news flash: there is a world out there thats bigger than your little lactation activism issues. it includes people who while they can appreciate that babies need to eat do not enjoy being treated to the sight of some strangers bare breast while she nurses a child old enough to be feeding him/her self. all in the name of civil rights. no breastfeeding mothers should not have to go to bathrooms (although some very very nice bathrooms in many many places thoughtfully provide little lounge areas for nursing mothers) however I dont really think thats what this is about. its about the right to whip and out anyhow and anywhere, as long as its breastfeeding related, and anyone who doesnt like it better shut up or have a lawyer slapped on them.
"lactivism" is not about your "rights"...its about bullying people into accomodated you whether its appropriate or not, all in the way of civil rights.
if I wouldnt have had to agree to appear on the show to do it, I was all primed to send Dr Phil a letter of support. frankly I think as TV psychologists go, he displays a lot of common sense. which isnt all that common any more, common sense that id

katie allison granju said...

Whether or not something bothers someone to look at it cannot be the determining factor with regards to public policy or social mores.

-Katie

Jay said...

Whether something bothers someone is indeed the definition social mores. They're strongly held norms or customs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mores

I'm all for breast feeding, I mean, I like breasts at least as much as the next guy, and I am somewhat vexed that my cousin's husband thinks that she should leave the room when she's breastfeeding.

I certainly respect people's rights to feed their babies, but if you know that you're making someone uncomfortable, it seems only polite to take some measures to respect their feelings. Your right to swing your fist around stops at my face. Making people uncomfortable on purpose seems mean to me.

For example, it is innappropriate to wear certain clothes in certain situations. You have a right to wear a thong bikini, but it's rather innappropriate to wear one to a restaurant.

OTOH, I can see some value in some people pushing the limits a bit to make others less brazen more comfortable to breastfeed in public.

Anonymous said...

so I guess "politeness' really doesnt figure into anything does it now? and we wonder about the kind of world we live in......
my guess Katie, is that if rudeness hits YOUR buttons you are all against it, but if violating someone else will further your agenda, well, then now, thats a good thing. I would be willing to bet that you have a problem with pro life groups putting up billboards with big photos of aborted fetuses on them to make thier point. to be honest I am pro life but the whole shock value angle of this approach sort of goes against the grain for me. and really, a lot of "in your face" activism is nothing more than bullying people into giving you what you want so you will just shut up and go away. a technique that my five year old would like to master. one that one would hope civilized and well raised adults might have outgrown.
so what you are saying is its perfectly acceptable for Miss Lactivist to go through my grocery cart, trapped as I am in a big line with her, and for her to attempt to bully me into giving her an acceptable (to her) excuse for the formula in my grocery cart. since of course, she has a very admirable agenda, promoting breastfeeding and that supercedes everything else. and if she would like to sit down in the middle of Target, instead of going to the nicely provided nursing area in the Target restroom, then we all have no choice but to step around her and ignore her, lest we get the ACLU or some other such zealots on our case for "violating" her rights, never mind that she is violating the rights of a whole lot of other people who probably have more couth than to trot out a platoon of lawyers for every little thing they dont like about the world around them.

katie allison granju said...

I would never go through someone's grocery cart, nor would I ever comment to anyone directly on the way they choose to feed their child. Either one would be incredibly rude.

So please do not accuse me, personally, of doing anything like this or of encouraging anyone to do anything like this, because if you knew me you would know that this is a wildly inaccurate characterization of the way I would ever behave.

-Katie

katie allison granju said...

Jay - wearing a thong bikini to a restaurant serves no greater purpose. Its clearly a lifestyle choice, period.

Feeding a baby is not a lifestyle choice. It's part of providing the best care for children, which is both a personal parenting task, as well as a very important public health poicy issue. Plus, since only a mother (woman) can feed her baby, it's a civil rights issue to say women cannot feed their babies when/where those babies need to be fed.

-Kate

Anonymous said...

uh, I hate to say it but this is a perfect argument for some absolute standard of morality. because otherwise its just my preferences vs your preferences. I am appalled by gay peoples PDA not because it is my personal offense but because it goes against Gods plan as outlined in His word. there is nothing in the bible against race and to compare sexual orientation to race is absurd. that is what I base my decison on: a standard of absolute truth. why is something offensive..if a couple is practically having sex in front of me I am not sure I would be out of line to discreetly call security and have them spoken to. a fat person on the other hand its just not the same kind of thing. and I cant believe Katie, champion of human rights, would be appalled by someone disabled. I hope no one she loves and cares about is a disabled, deformed vegetable in a wheelchair..geez...have a little compassion..she would have more compassion on a couple of queers openly defying Gods laws, than on some poor person who was born deformed and cant help it. or someone who had an accident that heaven forbid could happen to any one of us in an instant. to compare a handicapped persons right to be out and about in public with the right of a woman who is perfectly capable of being more discreet in feedng her baby to ignore courtesy is absurd.
a lot of folks feel that if they have a good point then getting all in peoples faces will do it.
I find it rather interesting that a poster in this column is VERY offended by peoples tattoos and not shy about it, yet is apparently all for being in your face about what SHE decides is important, ie, nursing. even to the point of calling the big gun lawyers. which of course she wouldnt like very much if the same was done to her because she did not hire an otherwise qualified tattooed person. and the law would probably say it was her prerogative for some vague "business image" reasons...just as say, if I own a restaurant and a lot of my customers dont like looking a a woman breastfeeding in the restaurant it SHOULD be my right to have a nice nursing area in the bathroom, comfy chair, little table for a drink and all...and insist that if anyone minds that she nurse in there. but oh, the fact thtat a bunch of my customers might leave wouldnt matter. all that would matter would be the "rights" of this lone woman. (I dont really think most places would do this and mostpoeple dont mind someone who is obviously trying to be discreet..what they DO mind is people who make no attmept to cover up and get all snotty about their "rights" if someone were to suggest, say, a blanket or turning ever so slightly)

Anonymous said...

I didnt say "you" said that..I said that some self appointed "lactivists"..have.
as for the public feeding issue...I never encountered anyone who had a problem with my DISCREETLY feeding my child in public. perhaps because I covered up and if there was at all an option to go elsewhere (as in my car during karate class) I took it. and I didnt ooze that "i dare you to have a problem with this" attitude that I suspect a lot of these "lactivists" have. I dont think people mind nursing in public when they sense the person is trying to be discreet, using a blanket, turning away, etc. I got the idea from the Dr Phil thing that they are talking about the "whip it out anywhere, anyhow and who cares what shows" type of folks.

Sarah said...

While I appreciate, and do my best to respect all points of view on this obviously heated topic, I find it, dare I say, offensive, that in a discussion about rudeness and rights the terms "nazi" and "queer" among others are so casually used...am I to understand that anonymous really equates someone who may make public, if uncalled for, comments on breastfeeding with the socio-political machine that exterminated 6 million Jews and three million others? C'mon...let's take a step back and listen to ourselves!

By the way...I am a breastfeeding mom to a 15 month old and while I have always tried to be discreet, I have not always been successful enough at discretion for some tastes. However, I will not accept the suggestion to feed my child in the bathroom, no matter how lovely it may be---YOU go eat in the bathroom.

katie allison granju said...

I am always amused by this "whip it out" thing I always hear about breastfeeding.

No "whipping" of anything happens when someone sits down to feed a baby. YOu lift your shirt, the baby latches on and the most anyone sees is a flash of skin - again, less than what you see on the average Cosmo cover at Walgreens.

This is not about nudity. There is not nudity involved in breastfeeding a baby. This is about people being uncomfortable with breastfeeding as an activity. ANd that's just not something we can pander to because breastfeeding is so vitally important to our public health in this country.

I never have - and if I ever have another baby -- I will never nurse under a blanket or in the bathroom. If someone is bothered, they can hide their own damn head under a blanket or go into the bathroom until I'm done.

-Katie

Anonymous said...

and do you think, Katie that this will further your breastfeeding cause??? no it will not. because unless someone is of the same "in your face" stripe as you are, they will associate breastfeeding with militant rude activity that cares nothing for other people except themselves and thier agenda. I have heard some women state their intention to have nothing to do with breastfeeding for that very reason. if you think that covering up with a blanket means you are compromising your values or going into a bathroom where an area is provided for nursing mothers is pandering to some antibreastfeeding force then you indeed have a lot to learn about life. I would say that the fact that a lot of places are providing areas for nursing mothers is a sign that breastfeeding is now seen as a normal activity as opposed to something that only the lunatic militant fringe engages in. of course normal people are grateful that places like Target provide a nursing mothers area in the ladies room, the lunatic fringe is somehow insulted by it because its admitting that some things DO have a private undertone to them.

Sarah said...

This all goes to show how sexualized women's bodies are even in non-sexual contexts...otherwise why would feeding a baby be deemed something private or to be done under a blanket or in another room (again, a bathroom?? That is so absurd!).

I stated earlier I tried to be discreet when nursing, let me clarify...As a new mom I was nervous about breastfeeding in public and not because of modesty (the birth itself rid me of that notion...) but because I didn't think I could handle the disaproving stares. I found out that a blanket draped over me was a dead giveaway I was nursing while if I just allowed my baby to nurse the way she would at home, with a relaxed and non- draped mama, she and I would both be happier and fewer people would even notice...As Katie has said, breastfeeding entails less naked breast than magazine covers, bathing suits and I'd like to add, most TV or high school hallways. AND, in those contexts breasts are being used for marketing, to draw attention, etc while that is not the case in breastfeeding a baby.

I am sorry that some people have had negative experiences with what they are calling "lactivists." Still, the bottom line is women have a right to breastfeed in public and obviously babies have the right to be fed.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, lets just blame the fact that breasts have a sexual connotation here and its probably all the fault of those stinkin male dominators that like breasts. or vaginas too. so Sarah, are you one of those people who shows pictures of the baby emerging from your vagina to any passer by you can collar long enough to show them??? no, you arent? I mean why not...its natural...oh yeah...its because somewhere in the vestiges of your mind you DO realize that there are some things that are PRIVATE. imagine that. whether you like it or not, breasts and vaginas ARE sexual in this culture and that is not a bad thing. they also serve other purposes but the fact that some people might be offended by seeing a breast that is not attached to their wife may have a solution other than telling them that they are all wrong and probably perverts to boot. it might mean giving a nod to modesty and taking advantage of whatever opportunity you can to seek some privacy while nursing. oh but that might discourage people from breastfeeding so well, it should just be a non issue. well you wouldnt change your babies diaper in the middle of a restaurant or have sex would you? some things are just not for public consumption.

Lynn Siprelle said...

Wow. I wanna live where anonymous is living. Women apparently breastfeed all over the place with no sense of shame, and are so comfortable with birth they show pictures to strangers. Where is this amazing place? What's that? Strawmanlandia? ...

*Ruca* said...

I occationally use a blanket to nurse. I may have to cover the top of my breast if I am nursing with a tank top on. But not for my sake, and I'd never put it over my childs head. I do it because I figure people may be uncomfortable. But I would gladly lend my blanket to anyone nearby who would like to cover their head while I nurse my child.
I too get disapproveing looks, I wonder if people think that those looks will keep me from breastfeeding. Luckily for my children I am not scared off that easily.....

Anonymous said...

I aint tellin where I live because we have enough people pouring in without an influx of breastfeeding nazis. never once have I known anyone I know to get a comment. maybe thats because the people I know who breastfeed are discreet and use every opportunity to get themselves out of the public eye while nursing, particularly in mixed company. they have a fair degree of couth...OTOH when we lived in Boston my husband told a woman to turn the other way because she was right across from him and he could see her nipple and it was very distracting. of course he got an evil eye and a lecture. a big roll of the eye to her....
as far as the pictures....of course no one I know does that. however when I was in college a friend of a friend did in fact bring her birth pictures into work and pass them around as if they were snaps of the family trip to Maui. another friend of a friend invited my friend for dinner without mentioning that the post dinner entertainment was a very detailed film of her recent birth. UGH. if I want to see that sort of thing I'll watch the discovery channel. some things are just, well, private. there is nothing shameful about birth or breastfeeding however that does not mean they are for the viewing of relative strangers. I have pictures of my first childs birth (my husbands camera broke right before kiddo number two emerged) and there are only a couple of people besides myself and my husband and the doctor who delivered her who have seen them. its just not something you show to very many people because..get this...its private...havent you people ever heard of boundaries????