News: Another Asinine Act of Breastfeeding Discrimination

“The whole
time I was trying not to cry. I felt ashamed and dirty and
then the other half of me felt enraged because I knew it was my legal
and maternal right to breast-feed in public.”

This incident occurred in my neck of the woods, so I’m breaking tradition to post a news link.

Last week, a mother began nursing her tired, hungry and sleepy 7-month-old son during takeoff from the Fresno Yosemite International Airport on a
United Express flight operated by SkyWest Inc. The flight attendant repeatedly asked her to stop feeding her baby, then covered the obscene act with a blanket. The attendant cited company policy for this act of discrimination.

The reporter covering this story tried to ferret out this policy and the closest he got to it was a SkyWest representative who said: “I
can understand if [the attendant] received complaints by passengers on the plane,
in that case [the attendant] is within jurisdiction [...] SkyWest’s policy is to make sure that
all of our passengers feel comfortable.”

Company policy does not trump California law. Within our borders we are protected against this (particular form of) discrimination. Just once I’d like the mother to assert her rights. "Please share your directive with the other passengers. I want them as witnesses when I sue you and your company back to the womb. Now, leave me alone and, because it’s the holiday season, I won’t insist you be fired."

It boggles my mind that an apology was not promptly provided by the company. I expect a company "Communications Specialist" to be cognizant of applicable laws, or at the very least, of a pending public relations debacle.

Comments

3 Responses to “News: Another Asinine Act of Breastfeeding Discrimination”

  1. Daddy*drama says:

    It is pretty crazy that people would get so offended by one of the most natural human behavior – nursing a baby. A couple soccer moms trying to avoid this sort of embarassment came up with a product called Hooter Hiders (renamed to Bebe Au Lait). Simple but practical:

    http://www.daddydrama.com/2005/11/nursing-cover-bye-bye-hooter-hiders.html

    December 15th, 2005 at 10:03 am

  2. webhill says:

    I’m confused. How was the nursing mother made to feel comfortable? And the baby – how was stifling him with a blanket making him comfortable? I thought the flight attendant was required to make the passengers all comfortable. It seems to me that she actively made at least two of them damn uncomfortable! Sheesh. I’d consider assault charges if I were a litigious sort (which I’m not).

    December 18th, 2005 at 5:43 pm

  3. A. Fairchild says:

    I thought it was said best that the right not to be offended is not an actual right. Breastfeeding is no more offensive than the fat man on the beach without a shirt on. No one ever says anything to that man. At least breastfeeding has a positive outcome. What possible outcome is there at looking at a fat man’s boobs which can simply be bare because he is a man.

    November 3rd, 2007 at 9:59 am