Saturday, September 8, 2007

If You Don't Want To See Me Nurse You Can Put A Blanket On Your Head!

The Furious Clan came out in full force in support of a woman's right to breastfeed in public.

Here we are attending a protest against Applebee's Restaurants corporate response to the direct violation of this woman's rights in Lexington, KY.

There was a nationwide protest today with 90 protests all across the country. The Ann Arbor protest was the largest outside of Lexington.... as usual we kicked ass!


Chris Howard said...

Cool! I agree 100% that all women should be able to nurse anywhere. To go a little further, it would actually be very nice if our society go over its fear of breasts altogether.

Mrs. Furious said...

Chris you are now offically a Bad Ass!
I really tried hard to just stick to the facts in this post and not expound to much on my personal feelings. I belong to a local parents listserve and there was a shocking amount of negative comments being made about this protest. People telling us it was inappropriate and not an effective way to create change on the *tame* end to people saying we were *nuts*, *fruitloops*, *offensive*. Some people were saying it is uncomfortable for men to see this and it is reasonable that women should *be discreet*. There was the implication that if you don't want to HAVE to cover your baby that you want to be topless... it was so frustrating! We live in a liberal city and we were not prepared for this negetive response... I mean it was quite devastating to realize so many people still think breastfeeding is *dirty* or *private*. On the upside of all this it got enough people pissed that we had 4 times as many protesters show up! At one point I said on the listserve "if a gay couple was holding hands at a table and asked to stop becasue other patrons were *uncomfotable* would you have a problem with a corporate protest then?!?" Of course I got no response to that! But the point being that around here it would be incredibly on PC to ever admit to that... yet these same people felt free to blast us for thinking there should be breastfeeding laws. As someone who always takes whatever measure I can not to offend anyone or be indiscreet it is so offensive and frustrating to hear that my efforts in doing so are not only needed but are not enough!

Michelline said...

I am so proud of you for protesting! I breastfed my older daughter and wasn't comfortable enough to feed in public, although I wish I had been. I was really quite shy as a new mother (12 years ago!). And of course, Florida didn't have a breast feeding law at that time. Now things are different (at least legally) and it's much better now. I wish people would just get it in their heads that breasts are nothing to be scared of. Kudos to you for this post!

And yes, Chris is pretty cool :)

Mrs. Furious said...

Thanks Michelline! I too feel pretty uncomfortable nursing in public, I do it anyway when I have to but I'll often nurse in the car if I can and have been known to nurse in the bathroom stall when I have thought that people would really frown on it. I wish I wasn't so sensitive but at the same time I know that until our culture changes it will always be hard on moms to feel completely comfortable. It is so ironic that Hooters is considered a "family restaurant" but nursing your baby at a restaurant makes people (the mother included) feel uncomfortable for exposing their breasts!

etbroderick said...

Awesome reference to Hooters! Hadn't thought of that myself, but sooo on point. I was comparably a pretty clumsy breastfeed-er, but most women I have seen breastfeed are extremely discreet. The baby has the nipple in its mouth anyway--so, really, what's there to see?! Half a breast? We see those everywhere we go these days anyway!
Rock on!

Smitty said...

Bravo, Mrs. F. Good post, and congrats on being part of such a large protest.

I loved your "gays holding hands" analogy. Perfect summary. And of course, in perfect irony from the folks who bring us mandated family values comes "except not when taking care of your baby..."

S.W. Anderson said...

How far out of touch with our humanity have we become, when people find the sight of breastfeeding discombobulating? Maybe school health and hygiene teachers should drop in a few mentions that breasts are for more than inflating with silicone and serving as decorations.

You should never have to use a bathroom stall to breastfeed your baby. That's every bit as inappropriate as relieving yourself or changing your baby's diaper in the middle of Applebee's dining area would be.

Nor should others make you feel embarrassed about breastfeeding in public. Not by leering at you and not by showing discomfort or displeasure. And God help us all, no one should get bent out of shape because their kid(s) might see such a sight.

Good for you, for protesting. You're helping people who haven't quite finished growing up get there at last.

Mrs. Furious said...

Thanks guys! I really appreciate that you came on over from Mr F's. After a week of just getting nailed with negative comments here in Ann Arbor I was really hesitant to post about this at all. I am so happy to finally get some positive responses to all this!

Haley said...

Good for you, Mrs. F!

Cheryl said...

go furious family!
SO annoying that people can't accept breastfeeding in public. I was fortunate to have two awesome breastfeeders, great latchers. So at least I could be quick about getting my boobs hidden. I never used a bathroom stall, but I did know that Nordstroms have great "lounges" for moms. Poor moms that have to adjust often. Maybe I live in a more "boob accepting" area, but I didn't feel self-conscious most of the time. I did however feel very uncomfortable having to breastfeed on planes. But, really what can you do? You have to feed them, and you can't exactly pump on a plane either. I'm sure I'd get just as many looks if my babies were crying instead. I really can't believe a manager would actually ask the woman to stop breastfeeding though! Well, actually I can't believe anyone would complain enough to even tell the manager.

Deb said...

Great comments all the way around!! The gay analogy is perfect. I love the poster who said the same people would be just as irritated and uncomfortable if my baby was screaming in a restaurant -- so right!

Yay for boobs!!

Liz said...

Hi Mrs Furious - Good job by you. Although too bad you don't live in Durham NC - our mothers listserve would have never made the fruitloops comment. We love nursing moms! I'm Liz, I've been reading your blog for a while. I am one of those people who found it when you were relating the Missus Smarty Pants experience. Anyway, we can talk about that some other time. I nursed my son until he was 17 months old but oddly, I never did it in public. I am not a multitasker by nature so never had the urge to eat and nurse, socialize and nurse, blog and nurse, or even read and nurse. In fact usually I liked having an excuse to get away from people and be alone with my little boy and confidently meet all his needs. Or maybe I'm just oppressed and don't realize it - probably a little bit of both. Anyway, excellent work protesting! Take care and I'll try to comment more. (New Year's Resolution.)

Mrs. Furious said...

hey thanks for commenting! :)

yeah I've actually never been comfortable nursing in public but I do it anyway when I must... and wish I was more comfortable than I am.

So you came via Missus Smarty Pants?!? So funny! I don't know... it just didn't work for me. I was so excited for it to work but the clothes just weren't my style or something I couldn't have found on my own. Of course I did spend the extra $20 for the ID ME only to lose another 20 lbs and have it been completely inaccurate!

Liz said...

Yes, I did do MSP and it has actually worked out for me! Your posts were really helpful because I was searching for folks more my age who had tried it. And I agreed about that tunic.

The service was helpful with finding jeans that fit (Eddie Bauer) and identifying dress styles that look good on me (wrap). I get so overwhelmed shopping that I find it very helpful to have my options narrowed down. And I like how the stores she identifies are so budget conscious.

I am opposite from you, I joined MSP then promptly gained 20 lbs!! Yikes. I am tall so fortunately I can hide it well - but I did have to get her to change my body type and now I'm reading your posts about exercise/diet much more closely.

Mrs. Furious said...

lol... how funny was that tunic?!

It wasn't all wasted on me, I did realize that the jewel tones were better and did buy a really nice wrap shirt and dress. And I do think her tip about identifying which celebrities have your shape and looking at what they wear is invaluable.

So are you a "B"? I always wondered if secretly it was all the same recommendations! ;)

Feel free to keep commenting :)

Liz said...

OK - I will! ;) I started out as a B, but with the extra 20 I'm a C. The clothes are similar but there are some differences. (I wondered about this too and once she switched me I went back and did a week-by-week comparison.) Still lots of wrap tops and A-line skirts. But now that I have discovered wrap tops, there's no going back! I will never wear a plain front round neckline sweater again!

I also enjoyed the celebrity examples, if only because it gave me more fuel for my Katie Holmes (also a B!) fixation. Yes Tom is insane, and poor Katie cannot possibly be smart, but her wardrobe these days is fantastic.

Mrs. Furious said...

"I will never wear a plain front round neckline sweater again! "

I'm with you on that one!

katie and tom... lol!

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