Newspaper Asks Readers If They Think It’s Icky That Breastfeeding Moms Have Legal Rights

breastfeeding mom and babyShould people be allowed to use their legal rights if you find those rights annoying or icky? This is – not exactly in those words – the premise of a poll conducted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which asked its readership to discuss their feelings about the matter of public breastfeeding.

The good news is that fairly few responders thought that breastfeeding mothers belonged at home with a blanket or possibly a tarp covering their entire body just to make sure no one gets an accidental peep. The even better news is that, apparently, it’s open season on public behaviors that we just don’t want to see! I assume that each of these important issues will also soon receive a public platform from a major newspaper to discuss whether or not it should be allowed despite its legality:

  • “Make Me a Sandwich” t-shirts and other articles of dudebro apparel. As Times-Picayune reader commented about public nursing displays, I find these t-shirts “self-absorbed and rude”.
  • Sitting with your legs spread way apart on the bus or metro. At least breastfeeding mothers don’t come to your table and sit on your lap, meaning they have mastered the concept of personal space better than approximately every single man ever to ride a city bus.
  • Cutting your toenails in public. To paraphrase another reader, “I think having trimmed toenails is great!….but cover up, go in the bathroom or out to your car.  Many people don’t want to see your toenail trimmings sailing through the air!  And those whose nails need cutting should respect that!”
  • Smelling like cigar smoke. The act of actually smoking in bars here is illegal now, but when people come back inside, they smell like smoke, and that makes me unhappy. ME. If you can’t go out for a few hours without smoking, either bring along a bottle packet of nicotine gum, or just stay home.
  • Asking the waitress to put the Bears game on the restaurant TV. As one reader points out, “Certain things should be done in privacy.” And if being a Bears fan isn’t one of those things, I don’t know what is.
  • Bros in Speedos. One chief complaint about public breastfeeding is that it conceals too little, but what leaves less to the imagination, or shows more skin, than a college boy and his beer pong habit crammed into a tiny banana hammock? Put that away, please, or at least cover yourself with a towel or maybe a flowing cape or robe of some sort. This is a public pool and there are children present.
  • Making comparisons of public breastfeeding to public urination. First Amendment, Shmirst Shamendment, take your freedom of speech and cram it in your cramhole if it means I never have to hear this SAT-flunkingly poor grasp of analogy.

Am I being unreasonable with these demands? I don’t think so. As long as the standard for bringing a topic up for public approval is “it bothers someone, somewhere”, I think I’m certainly within the appropriate boundaries here. Or – wait. Does that rule only apply when new mothers are the ones bothering someone? I’m not sure, but in the meantime, if you would like to sign my petition to ban public nail-trimming, please let me know.

(Image: Sayanjo65/Shutterstock)

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