Wednesday

breastfeeding mother KICKED OFF AIRPLANE!

This woman - along with her husband and baby - were literally KICKED OFF A FLIGHT when she declined to "cover up" with a blanket while nursing her child. She was sitting near the back of the plane, in a window seat, with her husband in the aisle seat, when a flight attendant began harassing her.

This is incredibly disturbing. I am writing a letter to the airline.

I hate the idea that women should be "discreet" while nursing. First of all, you generally see less when someone is breastfeeding than you do when a woman is wearing a tank top. Second of all, everyone's definition of what constitutes "discreet enough" is different. For a lot of weirdos, the very act of breastfeeding is indiscreet; no amount of "covering up" would be enough.

Breastfeeding women need to ditch those NURSING SHAWLS and blankets and just feed their babies. People need to get over it.

26 comments:

djuggler said...

Well said!

elizabeth said...

I totally agree! We should be able to nurse our children whenever and wherever we choose.

Leslie said...

I can nurse a baby without showing any skin with just the right shirt. Those blankets and shawls are uncomfortable for both mother and baby and really just draw more attention to what you're doing, IMO. Of course, some women just don't feel comfortable without them so if they are helpful for getting more women to nurse in public then that's good.

karrie said...

That's terrible.

I wouldn't cover my feet with those dirty airline blankets, let alone cover a baby with one. (Aside from the fact that it's absurd to expect nursing mothers to hide. @@)

Anonymous said...

Oh this is just great! The flight attendants won't do anything about some brat that kicks the back of your seat for four hours, but they'll harass a nursing mom. I don't care WHAT people do on a plane as long as they do it quietly and don't kick the back of my seat! And what is up with this 'fear' of a nursing mom's breasts. I have to look at people's breasts jumping out of their tops all day long in person and in the media--why should it bother me to see one actually doing its job?

jag said...

Yet another reason why I will refuse to fly Delta.

Good point, Karrie, about the nasty blankets.

I wonder if, had the kid been screaming during the cabin pressure changes, that same flight attendant would have encouraged the breastfeeding the quiet the child?

Erin Ortlund said...

I am also outraged and have also written to Delta. I heard that this mom was on Good Morning America? The more media coverage, the better. Make airline personnel think twice in the future!

Anonymous said...

I think the airline is right. although no doubt a bunch of screaming idiot "lactivists" will fire up their lawyers and get a nice big settlement for them. I mean COME ON...where is common courtesy and common decency???

Anonymous said...

you know, if I ever get stuck next to some chick making a federal case out of simple common courtesy, I will make very very VERY sure that I eat an extremely gassy meal and fart the entire way there. hey ITS A BODILY FUNCTION. nothing to be ashamed of, right? This of course would work especially well if it was a full plane so the bitch couldnt move away from the stench. heh heh.

Anonymous said...

at least the bitch was smart enough not to make a stink or she'd be in jail now.

Anonymous said...

and do you ninnies not realize that all this brazen insistence on the right to NOT cover up actually encourages some women, who have more couth than yourselves, to NOT want to breastfeed? Because they associate it with that crass in your face "I have a right to do this no matter who might be offended" attitude. Especially if it is their first kid what they see of breastfeeding in the media is a bunch of people insisting on thier own way and acting like any other feelings about public nursing other than their own do not matter. To people who DO think that if the person next to you is offended, that it is then a decent thing to do to cover up...guess what...they will think that sane polite people bottle feed and only pushy obnoxious idiots who insist on their own way breastfeed. Not exactly the image you all are hoping to promote, is it?

honey said...

NO ONE complains about bare breasts in movies.

All these people who are so offended when breasts are used to nurse babies, as they were meant to be, seem to think it's fine when breasts are bared for whatever other reasons.

I trust that Delta only allows G-rated movies with no bare breasts showing. Although I'm pretty sure I've seen a James Bond movie on a Delta jet. And no one was complaining about bare skin then.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of stench, is it appropriate to change a poopy diaper on a plane? I for one would rather have a nursing mom change her kid on the plane than a formula mom, because, despite all the arguments for or against breastfeeding, NO ONE can deny that formula poop stinks worse than breastmilk poop.

dewi said...

The Vermont law is very clear.
It does not include the words breastfeed with discretion.

Anonymous said...

as for the poop, as soon as they are eating solids the "nice smelling poop" goes right out the door. as for the argument that "women wont breastfeed unless you make sure they are not inconvenienced in any way shape or form due to said breastfeeding"...COME ON...just how convenient is it to change a baby (or for that matter a squirming toddler) in an itty bitty airline bathroom. yet I dont hear anyone saying, oh well, people need to get over watching a baby getting changed and maybe people wont have kids if they have to be inconvenienced by changing their diapers in a manner that those around them are not forced to participate in against their will. I dont think it is too much to ask women that are utilizing a part of the body that in our culture is considered to be private, to cover up.
I googled "public breastfeeding" and along with the usual lactivist shit found a couple of people who made the very valid point about how unbelievably self centered all this "lactivism" seems from the outside looking in. its all about "MY" right to do what I want where I want when I want and how I want, no matter if anyone else likes it or not. I have news for you: not only does this feed a tide AGAINST breastfeeding, which is of course the opposite of what you want to do...but it ALSO (along with people who feel that toddlers have a "right" to dine with their parents in five star restaurants, etc etc) helps fuel anti child sentiment as well. in short, you idiots may win the battle but you will lose the war. dumbshits.

Anonymous said...

I might further add that in so many places the "right to breastfeed in public" is such a moot point because in response to the increased popularity of breast feeding so many establishments provide a nice chair in the ladies room. so the ole argument of having to sit there on the pot while your kid chugs away doesnt wash. personally I would rather go into a nice private restroom and sit on a nice soft chair to nurse than just drop it all on the nearest bench. but then again, I am not an attention whore like a lot of these women are. I am not looking for an opportunity to whine and moan about about how meeeaaan society is to poor ole breastfeeding women. I am not hunting around for opportunities to play the victim
for those who think its too time consuming to go elsewhere to feed your baby instead of just plopping down where you are...I say..if you have to pee do you do it right there on the floor so as to not be inconvenienced by going to the hopper like a normal person????

Anonymous said...

I might further add that in so many places the "right to breastfeed in public" is such a moot point because in response to the increased popularity of breast feeding so many establishments provide a nice chair in the ladies room. so the ole argument of having to sit there on the pot while your kid chugs away doesnt wash. personally I would rather go into a nice private restroom and sit on a nice soft chair to nurse than just drop it all on the nearest bench. but then again, I am not an attention whore like a lot of these women are. I am not looking for an opportunity to whine and moan about about how meeeaaan society is to poor ole breastfeeding women. I am not hunting around for opportunities to play the victim
for those who think its too time consuming to go elsewhere to feed your baby instead of just plopping down where you are...I say..if you have to pee do you do it right there on the floor so as to not be inconvenienced by going to the hopper like a normal person????

Anonymous said...

I might further add that in so many places the "right to breastfeed in public" is such a moot point because in response to the increased popularity of breast feeding so many establishments provide a nice chair in the ladies room. so the ole argument of having to sit there on the pot while your kid chugs away doesnt wash. personally I would rather go into a nice private restroom and sit on a nice soft chair to nurse than just drop it all on the nearest bench. but then again, I am not an attention whore like a lot of these women are. I am not looking for an opportunity to whine and moan about about how meeeaaan society is to poor ole breastfeeding women. I am not hunting around for opportunities to play the victim
for those who think its too time consuming to go elsewhere to feed your baby instead of just plopping down where you are...I say..if you have to pee do you do it right there on the floor so as to not be inconvenienced by going to the hopper like a normal person????

Anonymous said...

What if I suddenly decided that I shouldn't have to see women with low-cut tops walking around? Are you, anti-lactivist anon, going to support my right to go around handing blankets to women I think are showing too much tit and tell them they are offending me and they have to cover up?
I have never seen a woman nurse her baby in public in an offensive way--as soon as the baby latches on you can't see any more than you can see in some clothing.
And while the child is latching on, if there is any inadvertent nip slippage, well...it happens on the 'red carpet' all the time and the LAPD don't arrest the celebrities.

Anonymous said...

Oh and how about how unbelievably self-centered it is to relegate women to places where you don't "have to see."
You know, I don't like to have to see guys adjust their crotches in public. Why don't they use that nice chair in the restroom? I don't want to watch people chew with their mouth open. Why isn't there a section of the restaurant where you can put 'those people.'?

Fly The Friendly Skies said...

Speaking as a former stewardess...

"The Vermont law is very clear.
It does not include the words breastfeed with discretion."

Vermont law would not apply in the air. In fact, laws are very funny things on airplanes, from interstate to international flights.

Did the FA have a problem with the breastfeeding, or was it another passenger? If it was another passenger, while I do not like this notion of telling a baby that he cannot eat his lunch, I do understand why something was said to the mother. Having worked in the biz, a request to cover up would always trump a request to feed a baby in peace. It's sad, but it's true. Did the Captain get involved? He or she must have, if the mother and the child were removed from the plane. Only the Captain could or would make that determination. An FA does not have the power to demand that someone be kicked off the flight.

What I don't understand is why anyone would have a problem with a baby eating before the plane takes off. Freedom Air is one of the outfits that gives commuter service for Delta, right? I think that they fly mostly turboprops. Turboprops are much louder, as far as droning goes, within the cabin. I would think that the baby would eat, and then fall asleep with a full tummy to the sound of the props rotating.

Here's another hint: if the airline is based in the South (American out of Dallas, Southwest out of Texas, AirTran out of Florida, Delta out of Atlanta), you will run into many many many fundamentalist types among your cabin crews. Aviation is a very popular industry for evangelicals, particularly women, most of whom are FAs.

Fly The Friendly Skies said...

Oh, and regarding dirty diapers...

...you are not allowed to change a baby in the cabin. Period. The plane is filled with recirculated air and to expose fecal matter out in the air of the cabin is to expose potentially hundreds of passengers to disease.

That IS something that can get you in a lot of trouble on a flight. It must be done in the lavaratories, which usually have some sort of filtering system in place.

Not to mention, it is just plain (plane) inconsiderate to your fellow passengers and flight crew. Feces are feces. It doesn't matter what rectum they come from. The smell is intolerable to many. It should never be done in the cabin. If there is a line for the lavvies, and a mother with a baby needed to do a quick change, the FA could and would move the mother to the front of the line.

Of course, I won't get into the number of times when women would leave their kids' shit all over the goddamned place in the lavvies during a flight. We would know who made the mess, but guess who got to clean it up? One time we had to divert and land at another airport because a mother had left a bathroom in such an appalling state, it was unusable. There are FAA regulations about the number of operating lavvies on a flight. The mother rendered one of the aft toilets completely useless. When we announced the diversion, there was a near-uprising on the plane. We had several people who were rushing to San Francisco to be with a loved one who was dying from cancer and was not expected to live through that night. We had to divert to Sacramento (I think), and put everyone else on other flights as standby passengers. There was a couple headed to San Fran for a honeymoon cruise and undoubtedly missed the embarking time for the ship. When we announced the reason for the diversion, I honestly thought that the passengers were going to chase the woman and her kids off of the jet. And you know what? I wouldn't have blamed them. The diversion had me stuck in Sacramento overnight and messed with all of the schedules for the flight crew, which are strictly monitored by the FAA.

On any given flight, there are hundreds of such stories. Aviation is such an uncomfortable mess these days. A little consideration goes a long way, people. While I do not agree with the FA telling the mother to cover up, consider this for a moment: it would have been perfectly within the Captain's rights to cancel the flight all together because of the trouble. Many flight crews have hair trigger tempers after 9/11. Would it have been right for that mother to displace all of the other travelers, all of whom have lives and destinations and reasons for traveling, just to make a point? Out of consideration for her fellow passengers and out of savvy about what it means to fly these days, would it possibly have been the wise thing to choose her battles in this particular instance? The mother could always cover up and then crucify the FA when she reached her destination.

Just commenting as someone who worked in the business...

Stillme said...

I am a nursing mother. I do try to nurse my baby discreetly. If I must nurse my child while we are out, I park in a private spot of the parking lot, use a blanket over my window, and sometimes drape a "burp" cloth or blanket over our baby. I understand there are some people who are uncomfortable with breastfeeding. In our society, breasts are viewed primarily sexually. That's just the way it is. I have seen some women take the, "let it all hang out" approach while breastfeeding and am uncomfortable with that myself, (and I've nursed all 5 of our children). It has nothing to do with embarrassment or shame; it has to do with courtesy and understanding our culture's view of the breast. That said, I also have to say that those who "freak out" at a little exposed skin need to lighten up and grow up. Anonymous, you are a perfect example of someone who needs to grow up and take a chill pill!

knittingwoman said...

I have never understood these cover up blankets, shawls etc. I breastfed my first couple of kids back in the late 1980s when there weren't any special kinds of breastfeeding clothes beyond the bras and when nobody covered over their baby. I breastfed all 5 of my kids in all kinds of places. Our society will be a better place when everybody gets that breastfeeding is NORMAL.

Roseanne proud breastfeeding mom of 3 said...

I am a breastfeeding mom who tries to be as disreet as possible when nursing. It is ridiculous the way both sides fight about the issue. Before formula was "invented" it was the only way to feed your baby and thus the way God intended. Be thankful they are moms out there who want what is best for their baby (despite all the claims that formula is just as good, plain and simple it is not). Although some claim it is not any different when a movie star bares all, in some sense it is not but in other ways nursing is. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter. Nursing moms should be discreet and those who are bothered by it just don't look. Most breastfeeding moms don't let all hang out and if one does well turn the other way!!

Cadence's Mommy. said...

I agree with you all. My husband and I took our daughter when she was 3 months old on a plane to go home and visit. I got hard looks from the Flight attendant that was present on our flight. It seriously upset me and my husband as well. I just couldnt believe that people are so unreal when it comes to something as natural at breast milk. After the flight was over she smiled at us and I just gave her this look like wipe that smile off your face, you know. She probably realized that my daughter was quiet the whole flight, but I didnt care. So I am with you all when it comes to people who have to judge others.