Thursday Open Thread

September 13, 2012

It’s Thursday! And I’m annoyed.

Did you hear about the American University professor who decided to bring her sick baby to class because she didn’t have child care? Fair enough, we’ve all been there. Apparently the baby crawled around and a T.A. held her and played with her when she got fussy.

But the fussing continued, so the professor decided to nurse her while continuing to give a lecture. You can imagine all the tsk-tsking and hand wringing that ensued. Students were shocked and appalled, and the professor was defiant. University officials tried to be diplomatic:

On Tuesday morning, university officials issued a statement about the incident that seemed to indicate some disapproval of Pine’s actions, generally citing them as a health issue because the baby was sick. But school officials also noted that the situation was one that could confront any parent with multiple responsibilities. The university emphasized that faculty members should take advantage of options such as sick leave, break times and private areas for nursing mothers to express milk so they can “maintain a focus on professional responsibilities in the classroom.”

Y’all know I’m a lactivist. I am all for nursing in public and normalizing the process as much as possible. But even this committed lactivist had one major reaction: Hasn’t this woman ever heard of a breast pump?! As comfortable as I was breastfeeding anywhere and everywhere, it would never have occurred to me to start nursing while speaking in front of a large group of people, where the attention was focused on me and only me. Also, know your audience! Leading a Mommy and Me group? Probably OK to nurse in an emergency. Lecturing a bunch of college kids? Um, you’re probably going to get some blowback.

It’s annoying because I think incidents like this set the entire cause back. It gives the naysayers ammunition in the whole “Breastfeeding is gross! Cover it up!” camp that, regrettably, is very much alive and vocal.

But this professor is a model of restraint compared to this asshat of a mother in Utah, who was caught allowing her twin toddlers to use potties while eating in a restaurant. Yes, this woman thought it made perfect sense to lug two potties into a restaurant, then proceed to strip down her kids and let them pee and poop away while they ate their chicken nuggets. I just . . . I can’t . . . I mean, WHAAAAA? I think my brain exploded.

And what do idiots like this do? Invite comparisons to other things that “just shouldn’t be done in restaurants” like . . . you guessed it . . . breastfeeding! Because eating and pooping are somehow the same things.


What say you, ladies? Are these women being unfairly upbraided, or do they deserve all this scorn? What would you have done if you saw toddlers potty training at a nearby restaurant table? What do you think that woman was smoking?

And speaking of asshats, how ’bout that classy Mitt Romney, eh?

Like I said. Annoyed.

Sigh. How are you today, MTers? Join me in my rage, or tell me something funny to cheer me up!

Chat away . . .