Posted by: Amelia | June 19, 2007

One of These Things Is Not Like The Other

“Discusting! [sic] I’ve seen women do that before but at least they had the decency to cover their breasts. What a freakin peasant! Yes breastfeeding is natural but so is urinating and defecating, does this mean we’ll catch people doing that in public too? This is what I call no self-respect”

This comment, from someone named Rebecca, was highlighted in a recent Alas, A Blog post on the ridiculous flap over Maggie Gyllenhaal nursing her baby in public.  I honestly don’t understand why people are so heinously offended by breastfeeding women, but the “debate” seems to come up every year.  And apparently, Rebecca is not the only one to liken the healthy feeding of infants to other bodily functions.

“It’s not something you do in public,” said Rep. Robert Hargraves, R-Groton. “The next thing they’ll want to legalize is using urinals in public.”

That was a Massachusetts state senator explaining to the Lowell Sun why he opposes a bill to allow public breastfeeding and promote nursing stations in workplaces.  Who, I wonder, are the “they” he’s referring to in this straw-man slippery slope argument?  I don’t recall La Leche League or DHHS endorsing public urination.  But let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that a Public Peeing Lobby magically appeared.  If they demanded excretory rights based on women being allowed to breastfeed, they would be laughed out of the statehouse.  The analogy just doesn’t work, you goons.  From the same article:

Children who don’t nurse are likely to experience 50 percent more ear infections, and are more likely to be obese or have asthma, diarrhea, and diabetes, said Barbara Philipp, a pediatrician at Boston Medical. Breast-feeding also lowers a woman’s chance of breast cancer from 39 percent to 9 percent, she said.

Massachusetts is one of four states which has not passed similar legislation, [State Sen. Susan] Fargo said.

As far as I know, there are no known health benefits that will accrue with increased public acceptance of urination.  Here’s hoping Massachusetts will get with the program.  Perhaps they can take note of a recent settlement in New York that gave $29,000 to a woman arrested for walking around topless “despite a 1992 state appeals court ruling that concluded women had the right to be topless if men were allowed to take off their shirts.”  If New York women can bare their breasts, surely women in Massachusetts should be free to do with an infant attached.


  1. Anyone who can not tell the difference between milk and urine must have interesting things for breakfast. Perhaps that bowl and pee and cereal every morning is affecting their mental abilities.

  2. I personally did not breastfeed with my daughter (medical issues), but I wouldn’t liken breastfeeding to other bodily functions! Breasfteeding is eating (with health benefits), and no one’s complaining about people eating in public.

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