Mailvox: a clarification

Bufelda wants to be sure:

“Forgive me if I misunderstand– it seems you don’t like the idea of breastfeeding in public period, covered or not.”

No, that’s correct, I don’t. Actually, it has nothing to do with breasts, it’s got more to do with the noise of the little guy or gal snorting and smacking away and the woman’s understandable distraction. You see, in addition to my dedication to refraining from public defecation, I wouldn’t check my email at the dinner table either. Although sometimes I’d almost consider murder to be able to just pull out a book and ignore the blather….

The reason I compared breastfeeding with gastroenteric distress is that in both cases, there’s only two kinds of people. Those who are discreet enough to remove themselves from the vicinity and those who can’t be bothered.

I’m somewhat curious as to what a disgusted reaction to such distress is supposed to be covering, just to take ant’s (or was it jarek’s) assertion of transference and psychological sickness a logical step further.

The whole discussion – not to mention the fervor – has been interesting since the thing that really, truly set me off wasn’t the breastfeeding, but the thoughtful sharing of grisly childbirth details during the meat course. That pretty much ended my dinner that night.

Mailvox: raging lunacy

Raging Bee buzzes angrily:

And while I’m asking dumb questions, what’s so “Christian” OR “libertarian” about condemning women for feeding their children in public places? Didn’t Jesus go on a lot about forgiveness, tolerance, and helping fellow humans in need? Or did the Gospels get rewritten while I wasn’t looking?

I don’t recall condemning women for anything, as I did not imply that the rudeness implicit in asserting that you have the right to breastfeed a child anytime and anywhere was grounds for either a prison term or eternal damnation. And forgiveness requires repentance, and all I’ve heard from the anytime, anyplace crew so far is a complete disregard for the opinions of others. Nor do I consider it necessary or even the least bit appropriate to bring the Gospels into what is nothing more than a question of etiquette.

This discussion has, however, offered strong support for my personal theory that mothers of young children are the rudest human beings on the planet, if one reduces the sample in question to the sober population. I suppose this is understandable, because combining the difficulty factor inherent in accomplishing tasks while accompanied by one or more children with the maternal stress factor and the Mama Bear syndrome is bound to lead to difficulties.

But seriously, even a hardened Long Islander is more likely to apologize for running over your foot with a shopping cart than a harried mother of three.

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Defecation is natural too

Lactivists envision a Bourbon Street world:

In interviews and Internet discussions, hundreds of women recount being asked to stop nursing in public spots, including the Children’s Museum in Huntsville, Ala.; a knitting store in the East Village; a Radisson Hotel lobby in Virginia; a public bus in Los Angeles; and a city commission meeting in Miami Beach.

“It’s nothing against breast-feeding, it’s about exposing yourself for people who don’t want to see it,” said Scotty Stroup, the owner of a restaurant in Round Rock, Tex., where a nursing mother was refused service last fall.

But the new generation of lactivists compare discomfort with seeing breast-feeding in public to discomfort with seeing interracial couples or gays holding hands.

I remember being at dinner one night with a group of couples, all of whom had recently had babies. The one single guy was amazed at how all the new mothers could pick out the cry of their child, as they were sounding off regularly about every five minutes.

But he wasn’t the only one disgusted when two of the women insisted on talking about birth and breastfeeding at the dinner table. When I finally told them to knock it off, they came back with the inevitable protest: “but it’s natural!”

As the men at the table were quick to point out, so is defecation, urination and sex, but no one, least of all these two women, were likely to be inclined to think it proper were someone to begin regaling the table about the joys of the oral service they had received the night before, or in the case of Big Chilly, the magnitude of his morning excretion.

(Big Chilly does rightfully find a certain degree of fascination with regards to this matter. One morning, I made the mistake of giving into his enthusiastic blandishments to view a particularly monstrous specimen; my immediate impression was that calls to Guiness and a plumber were in order.)

I have no sympathy for the lactivists. If, as a society, we are going to decide that everything goes in public, so be it, but until that day, a visit to the ladies room is in order.