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February 12, 2009

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I should not do this in PUBLIC. So I met those stares and dared them to say anything to me. My baby ate and then I ate, after telling my husband to SHUT up. Go breastfeeding moms!!!

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My problem is not enough tassels. If you're going to flop 'em out, as you described, we Denny's customers are far more likely to go along with it if at least one of your Winnebagos is sporting a tassel--and points if you can twirl it.

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I don't think it's the actual ACTION of breast-feeding that offends people. I think it's one of two things.

1. Some women just flat-out refuse to be discreet. My cousin BF'd both her children and she usually put a very thin, light muslin wrap over them when in public. She was so discreet at it that more often than not I would forget she was even feeding her child.

On the other hand, I used to be friends with a woman that would quite literally "just let them flop out" while she was BF'ing son, and it was very unpleasant. Even other BF'ing mothers found her offensive (they used to say she was making the rest of them look bad and that it wouldn't hurt to at least TRY to put a light muslin cover on the baby because it can still breathe easily), and if anyone suggested she cover up at all (this included at least 3 of the other BF'ing mums who offered to loan her wraps, covers or light blankets on several occasions. All refused by her), she would basically chuck a tantrum and carry on about how it was her right to expose herself to us because she was feeding her baby.

2. Personally, I don't think its the exposed breast people are grossed out by...it's the bodily fluid coming out of the breast. We find urine and vomit gross, so I guess some people are equally grossed-out by breast milk and put it on the same level as other fluids (e.g. BF'ing may be natural, but guess what? So is expelling your body of urine and faeces. It doesn't mean it should be done in front of everyone without discretion)

My wife breastfeeds, and we're both ra-ra, yeah, breastfeeding, whatever. But.... I (we) would say there is something to be said about decorum and sensitivity towards others. There are ways to breastfeed in public that no one would know about. She obviously--and by the tone of this blog and most of the commentators--are the aggressive, post-feminist, floppers. You know, the type that like to let 'em flop on out. Instead of the middle finger, you use your breast to be loud and proud. Is breastfeeding natural. Yep. Darn right. But so is making love, farting, peeing, and belching. Neither of which my wife or I make an effort to flaunt in public. Who hasn't had to discreetly pass gas in public? But I doubt if you all would be rooting for the gassy husband who kept lifting up a leg, or a teenager belching as loud as possible, or the guy who can't hold it on a roadtrip so he just pees onto the roadway instead of finding some bushes. Tact. Discreetness. Concern for others sensitivities; these the key to social graces and a society that is considerate. Ok ok. So she breastfed in public. I'm sure no one will need counseling, and I would just think oh, well. One of those, floppers that wants the world to know they're there. Yep. I see ya. All of ya.
Anyhow, I won't be back to this site to read the reaming I'll get for my "sexist and antiquated" commentary. But at least I'll sleep sound tonight knowing I'm married to one of the classiest chicks left in this world, who can pull off being a breastfeeding mom with grace, charm, and some subtle sexiness thrown in. Peace.

Hell, I changed a poopie diaper on a table top in a McDonald's one time - and purposefully didn't put down the changing pad. Why you ask? Because it was a brand new freakin' McDonald's with a waterfall, electronic playplace and NO CHANGING TABLE!! Zip. Zero. Not one. And pedestal sinks. No counters. And it was 115'F outside. I'm not changing the baby in the car when she'll get a sunburn just by being out there. The manager got complaints and I said "Yes, I'd like to complain. And I suggest you wash the table with bleach!".

You want to complain, complain about poop. Boob is nothing!

We should make the "offended" eat in the bathroom stall to see how they like it.

Damn hypocrites. You know they look at Playboy magazines while jerkin off.

And some people here need to get over the waaahhh I can't breastfeed thing, stop being so damn offended. There are two perfectly good options and if one doesn't work, there's another. God, that gets SO OLD. I mean, Jesus Christ, it's been hashed and rehashed and it's so trite.

I agree. How is nurturing your child in public dirty, and this is totally acceptable?
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e44/greg33706/miller_Lite2.jpg

Fucking patriarchal/Eve and women are SINNERS bullshit. That's where it comes from. Did you know that women were encouraged to take baths in gowns? So they wouldn't be corrupted by the flesh.

UGH.

I support breastfeeding moms!

I don't see why people get upset when they see a woman feeding her baby, i mean a baby has to eat too, it shouldn't offend anyone, the mom is just being a mom and feeding her kid and she shouldn't have to stay home all the time because she breastfeeds her kids, that's not right, i think people need to grow up and deal with it.

I breast fed all three of my kids, everywhere. I never had a problem, even on a plane. My father-in-law was a little put off but it's his generation. That's all. I always used a blanket. I don't understand women who don't, at this particular time. We are trying to overcome the idea that breastfeeding in public is somehow "dirty" and in poor taste. Why make it more difficult by flashing your boobs around. I agree that it shouldn't be a big deal but to the older generations it is so why not ease everyone into it gently? The idea of the nipple is there to them whether they see it or not
kellie

Tell them to suck it.

I fully need someone to explain to me how hard you would have to actually stare at a women nursing to actually see "something" that is "offensive". I sat down by 2 ladies last weekend at Blissdom, both of whom were either in the process of nursing, preparing to nurse, switching from one boob to the other to nurse and because I did what was polite, I didn't break my dumb ass staring.

I didn't breastfeed for my own reasons, mostly medical, but who knows if medical hadn't been a problem if I would have anyway. But, if I can sit in a broad open space and "know" that these women are merely feeding their babies and NEVER EVER EVER see anything remotely offensive, as a matter of fact, I saw more of the woman's arm than I ever saw of anything else....then tell me, how do people see enough of what's going on when a women chooses to feed her kid (I mean duh, even if it is Denny's, people are eating, smells of food are in the air and damn it, babies can smell the food too and just might want to eat at the same time the rest of the family does).

How hard to you have to try to actually see "anything" that you deem offensive. Give me a freakin' break already.....be polite, don't stare....duh, problem solved.

I didn't give a shit about the pissy looks. Thankfully no one asked me to leave a restaurant.

But, unfortunately, we nursing moms are going up against the generation of folks who were told that "formula is better, you don't need to breastfeed your baby, here have a shot to dry up your nasty milk."

We're also going up against a Puritanical history. Constant conflict between man-nature-culture-sin-blah blah blah.

The more us Moms express outrage and "get over it, already" the better. Keep it up.

"I wasn't damaging the environment with wasteful formula packaging, transportation, bottles, etc. I wasn't limiting my child's development."

"I would have been embarrassed to bottle feed my daughter in public. I would have needed a shirt that said "It's not formula" to be able to do it!"

Kate, I'm sure that if your daughter was hungry and you had NO OTHER CHOICE, you would suck it up and give her formula.

Before you write things that come off that you are so awesome because you breast fed, keep in mind that many mothers want to breastfeed, but for some reason, can't. I, for one, had an actual medical reason and was ADVISED TO STOP. Nobody ever asked that, though..all they saw was Jake with a bottle and I would always get the withering look as if I had Coke in the bottle instead of formula. Maybe I should've worn a shirt that said, "The milk factory is closed for repairs- YES, it's formula!"

I mean seriously, whose business is it, anyway?

The whole line about limiting the baby's development is ridiculous. Compared to his BF cousins, my son developed right on par and was, in some areas, far more advanced. He's sick less or when he is, he bounces back quickly.

Shaming mothers who can't/don't breastfeed only feeds into a women's sense of superiority that somehow, simply because they breastfeed, they are better mothers.

Believe it or not, there's a hell of a lot more to my ability to mother then my boobs.

my wife breast fed for four consecutive years, 2 boys-2yrs apart and she fed them where ever we were- onlookers be damned. For the most part people did the right thing and looked away giving her a bit of privacy, but we never tried this in Dennys. We should give it a shot and see if we can raise some eyebrows, start a commotion or get in an argument, could make for an interesting Sunday morning plus we could grab a heaping plate of pancakkes in the process. We're always looking for cheap thrills, thanks for the advice.

if i lose my job because of the recession, what training would i need to become a lactation consultant? that sound slike a fun career.

Am I missing something? I tried to post on here twice and seem to be challenged somehow.

Anyway, I agree that it is totally ridiculous and I cannot believe that crap like this happens, especially since it goes against both federal laws and most state laws. I love that you posted a selection of advertisements to go with this post because it really puts things into perspective.

Besides the fact that such discrimination makes my blood boil, what really amazes me is how medical institutions the (western) world over recommend between one and three years of breastfeeding per child, INCLUDING AMERICA, where I think the APP recommends one year, but STILL people get asked to leave or use a blanket or...

Irony, anybody?

i find it bizarre that this is still happening.

Other Sister-in-Law, I'm certainly not offended by what you've said. I'm pretty sure I understand what you're saying, and it isn't really offensive, but there is a bit of subjectiveness as to what is discreet and not and who should compromise and to what degree they should compromise.

You see, after having several different teams of people examing and hovering near my nether region (2 c-sections resulting in 3 children, 1 induced birth of a deceased fetus) and a fair amount of examing and handling of my breasts by strangers, I don't really care so much about being discreet or modest. I really don't understand why nudity makes people uncomfortable. Nakedness does not equal sex in my mind, so the idea of just certain parts needing to be private and unseen doesn't make a lot of sense to me. For sanitary reasons, I do understand keeping our crotches covered, but short-skirt + commando means that some cooties could be spread in public places without breaking the laws of indecency.

Regarding nursing covers and blankets: Um, tried it with my first and she would pull the damn thing off everytime. I spent more time picking up the blanket until I said screw it and just left it off. See babies have opinions, too, and some of them don't like to be under a blanket in 90 degree weather with an equally high humidity.

With all the rude things people do in public that annoy others and no one says a thing, but this is the one quiet, discreet thing a woman can do and people complain. And yes, I saw one woman that I would say wasn't discreet. It was in a breastfeeding group, so maybe she just felt really comfortable, but she pulled her shirt down from the top instead of the bottom where you have material to help cover your breast. No one said anything, because hey we were all there with our boobs out. Over the next 6 years of having babies and breastfeeding, that was the only indiscreet incident I could point to. Most of us just want to feed our babies and get on with our lives.

Loved this post! Didn't get a chance to read it yesterday. We have our priorities messed up around here.

These people that kick people out of places for feeding their baby withtheir breast, like nature intended.... they're lucky it wasn't me they decided to discriminate against. Just let me hear someone to leave or go to the bathroom.

I'm all for breastfeeding. In fact, I tried 3 friggin times. I called La Leche, had a lactation consultant, read every frigging book I could get my hands on.

In the end, I didn't have the milk, period. I pumped, I drank liquids, I did it all and tried it all. Nada, no letdown, no engorgement....

In fact, I was told by my lactation consultant and LaLeche that I needed to get formula in my second child---this.very.second.....

I had to use formula so my children could, like, live.

I'd stoop down to your level, Kate, but I pity you, so I won't.

As natural and superior breastfeeding is to formula, not all women can do it.

Try buying some compassion the next time you are in Target.

I seriously cannot wait for the day that some asshole tries to tell me not to breastfeed my baby where ever I am. Illinois protects my right too, and our laws actually allow a mother to sue for punative damages. I'd be spouting off state law to that person so fast, they'd regret ever coming into contact with the likes of me.

I'll breastfeed when and where I want, and I will NOT do it under a blanket because my baby won't eat under a blanket, so there.

I find formula feeding disgusting... do you see me harassing the moms with bottles shoved in a baby's mouth? Talk about going against "god" and nature. Blech. But I'm not gonna kick you out of a restaurant. No sir. I'll keep my judgement to myself... well... in public anyway.

I have absolutely no problem with breastfeeding a baby, it's a necessity for them to eat, so let the moms feed them. But use some discretion. When I fed my babies I tried to use a nursing cover so that I was discreet. I didn't just whip out my boob. Let's recognize that it is a right for moms to feed their babies, but it doesn't hurt to be a little discreet.

To what NG said: I agree 100%. I get to see buttcheeks and cleavage hanging all over magazine covers at every newsstand in the city, so I sure hope no one dares ever tell me to cover up the tiny piece of boob they can see when I feed my baby the food that's best for him.

I love how the APP recos bfing until 1 year and the WHO until two, and yet, the support for women who breastfeed in public is so shitty.

I suppose we're not supposed to leave our houses until they're two. Or hide in a corner. Or put a blanket over their head.

Mixed messages -- "GO AND BREASTFEED, but don't do it in front of me because I'll be offended"

A nursing mother was asked to cover up at Nova Scotia's main maternity and children's hospital last week. Sad.


http://thechronicleherald.ca/Metro/1105865.html

You are so lucky that this is a protected condition in the U.S. Here in England, it is not. The mom can be tossed out of restaurants/shops and potentially arrested. I've learned that many U.S. owned restaurants (*bucks, McD) do allow infants to breastfeed. Large department stores often provide quite nice mother's lounges, some also protect babies who are being breastfed in their cafe or tearoom.

Wales & Scotland both protect the rights of the child in their laws. It is illegal to interfere with a feeding infant. The law protects breastfeeding infants & bottlefed infants (so, no harrassing mum's who have made that choice either.) England is not so enlightened, despite the National Health Service trying so desperately to raise the numbers on Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. Less than half of new mothers even start, very few last past the first couple of months. You'd think the NHS would be active in getting the laws changed, I don't know why they aren't.

I will never understand why it's okay for a woman in a push up bra so tight she has to push the girls down to see her plate and hoochie mama shorts so short the world could be her gynecologist to go to a public restaurant and no one says a thing. But a tiny sliver of nursing breast sends everyone into an uproar.

Anyone who's bothered by seeing boob should also be protesting the Grammy Awards' broadcast during prime time.

We sooo have our priorities messed up in this country.

This stuff makes me so angry. I've breastfed in public many, many times and was always treated with respect. I never used a nursing cover which looked too stifling and confusing to me. If it offends you to see a woman nursing, look away.

And, really, if you are going to get upset with something at Denny's, get upset with the food. I mean: ICK!

celebrate:

That was my point. There are people who would purposely make other people uncomfortable because they can, and THAT is not right. But that is extreme, and I was not saying that is what this woman was doing at the restaurant (I doubt it was) or even what many people would do. I was trying to give an extreme that most people would agree with as a negative way of getting yourself heard. I highly doubt most (or any) mothers would do that, though there may be an exception somewhere.

What I'm talking about here is if someone is breastfeeding and not being AT ALL discreet, and REFUSES to compromise AT ALL. I think that isn't right. I'm not talking about a mother quietly breastfeeding her baby, showing almost no breast (I'm sure it's nearly impossible to cover everything sometimes), and minding her own business, drawing no attention to herself on purpose. I guess I didn't make that clear, and I apologize.

And for the record, I'm not a fan of people showing a lot (A LOT) of skin in their clothing choices either. And it's sad that people will say something about a mother breastfeeding her child, but not about someone spilling out out their top and/or bra. Or falling out of their pants or skirt for that matter. Or that people feel the need to say something at all.

And now I will go, because I apparently keep offending people and I really don't mean to. I'm sorry, I should have kept my mouth shut to begin with. Nothing I say seems to be coming out right. Just ignore me.

I know the common perception of NC is that it's 50 years behind the times. But this is near Asheville, an incredibly liberal hippie town. Also, I was born in raised in NC and my mother, also born and raised in NC by her native NC parents, was a huge activist with La Leche League. I remember going to sit-ins when my brother was a baby over 20 years ago.

I know the Other Sister-in-Law said she wasn't trying to create further debate with her PETA comparison, but it's out there now, so I feel compelled to say something. The equivalent to a PETA demonstration like throwing red paint on people would be a mother standing on her table, stripping off her shirt, announcing her intent to breastfeed, then going up to everyone who seemed uncomfortable with this and breastfeeding her baby right in their faces. A woman minding her own business, feeding her baby while seated at her table should not offend anyone.

The reason to make waves is to force those who are WRONGLY offended by the sight of a flash of nipple while baby isn't latched (how often is that what people even see?!?) or, worse, the small amount of breast flesh not covered by the baby's head into keeping their opinions to themselves because their problem with it is just that, their problem. Until these so highly offended people start asking girls/women to cover their low-cut, spaghetti-strap tank with exposed midriff with a jacket and then proceed to complain to the restaurant about this girl/woman ruining their dining experience and requesting she be asked to leave, the breastfeeding moms will never believe it's the breast these people have a problem with in the first place. They just think boobs are sexual and shouldn't have another purpose, and that incorrect belief on their part does not mean a mother should hide herself while feeding her child.

Also, I'm also a people-pleaser and shy away from confrontation, but once I became a mother, there was no way I would allow someone else's comfort come before my child's, especially if their discomfort was over how my baby eats.

I didn't breast feed. But, I have never ever found it offensive at all. And, this weekend at Blissdom, there were people nursing all over the place. Two ladies in particular who had retreated to one end of the hall to sit on a sofa where they could nurse, yet still hear the speaker were absolutely adorable. I was waiting on the next session and I didn't realize what was even going on "down there at the end of the hall" and I just plopped down right beside them in a chair. I chatted them up and finally when one of them went to move her baby to the other breast, I was like, holy crap you idiot, you've interrupted their private feeding time.

I didn't however think, what the hell is wrong with you. I apologized for kind of bombarding in on them but both women were really open and seemed genuine that they were fine with it.

So, you know what I think? I don't think the people doing the nursing are the ones in the wrong, I think the ones doing the gawking and breaking of their neck so they can complain are the ones that need to be apologizing.

I honestly felt really bad about barging in on their "time"....so what's wrong with people who don't realize that?

I mean, really, under normal circumstances, how many of us would go into a restaurant, go to a table of people who are eating that we have never laid eyes on and commence to telling them what was wrong with ever food on their plate and explain to them why they should eat it without ketchup or with such and such dressing or cocktail sauce?

Never, that wouldn't happen. So, why is it ok to butt in on a nursing mom and start acting like a complete idiot...just please, someone...tell me.

I think a child should have the right to eat when it is hungry and adults should be just that, adults, and realize that there is only one purpose for breast feeding. That is feeding a hungry child.
There should never be a debate about it. No one should have to eat in a bathroom or tucked in a corner like it is a shameful thing. If you have issues watching a baby breastfeed, go home. We have sexualized everything in this country and then we turn around and act so prudish when it comes to something that is natural.
And to think probably right next door to Denny's is some club where men go and pay money to see boobs, there just isn't that nasty baby attached!!! Something isn't right here people.

It's only offensive to them because it reminds them we are just another animal. They keep thinking they are special because some 4,000 year old heavily edited and mistranslated short story's said they are.

I am sick to death of breastfeeding being looked at as dirty or sexual. Luckily, I never experienced more than pissy looks myself - I can't even imagine the feeling of being kicked out of a place. I'm so pissed I just put my boobs on my blog. ohmygodIjustputmyboobsonmyblog!

I don't the see the nasty old man go to the bathroom to suck snot and hock up a loogie! Ugh, people are SO inconsiderate!

NC has some backwards areas but we are possibly the most progressive southern state. I was born and raised in NC. The town I live in now?...yes 50 yrs behind.

It's the 'church crazies' that disapprove of abortion yet get offended at public breastfeeding.
The hypocrisy never ends with these people!

OMG there's video of her nursing?!

What does it show?

Geez - I fed my kids anywhere, anytime. Most people never noticed (as evidenced by the many "Oh, can I see him?" questions where I had to say, "can you wait til he's done eating?")

For whoever suggested keeping little covers in your diaper bag... what, you have only one kid?

I carried a diaper bag, rattles, books, diapers, rash cream, wipes, etc. with my first.

By the third kid, I tucked a diaper in my pocket with a baggie with some wipes in it and hoped for the best. Sometimes I forgot the wipes and hoped for the best.

Hell, by the third kid... thank god my boobs are so handy or my kid would have starved on a busy Saturday.

Right cause the guy chewing with his mouth open and food dripping off his stinky beard isn't offensive. Or the woamn slurping her coke while finishing off her reuben. I can't believe we live in a society where people think that breastfeeding, something we've done for EVER is politically incorrect.

Mom101 - Like I said, I don't know what happened in that restaurant, and I don't know what their intent was. If it truly was to make her feel shameful, THAT IS WRONG.

About the making waves comment - I do think it's important to stand up for what you believe, but sometimes there is a good way to do it and a bad way to do it. (e.g. Now, I love animals, but I think PETA goes about getting out the animal rights message the wrong way. It certainly gets a reaction, but from my point of view, throwing blood or paint or whatever at people and purposing humiliating them and possibly hurting them just because they have a different viewpoint is not right. Others, obviously, may disagree. But that to me is a negative way of making change. Just for example. Not trying to start another argument!)

Now, again, I don't know what happened in that restaurant, and I don't presume to. I'm speaking in generalities here. And maybe it's because I personally am a people pleaser and would rather be uncomfortable myself than make someone else uncomfortable. (Actually, that probably explains a lot about my thoughts on the matter, doesn't it? :)) I was just trying to express (perhaps not well) that I think both sides of the issue need to be sensitive to eachother. But not so sensitive that they bash eachother. Breastfeeding mothers should NOT feel shameful. But at the same time I think it is good to be aware that you might be exposing a part of the anatomy that is not generally seen in public, and not everyone wants to see. Yes, you can look away, but you can't take back that first image you saw before you knew there was someone there breastfeeding. I'm just saying sometimes a compromise is a good thing. (In an indirect way, it's sort of the "you can catch more flies with honey" approach.) But maybe that's just me.

And since I am apparently not explaining myself well, I shall go now and leave you all to your discussion. Sorry to have bothered you. Best wishes to all the breastfeeding mothers, and I hope you all don't run into this issue yourselves in real life.

It seems women who were unable or didnt try/care to breastfeed have problems with public nursing. I will nurse my daughter anywhere I damn well please! No one is gonna tell me to go sit on a filthy toilet and smell shit from the stall next door. Im gonna feed my baby where ever I choose. I applaud the mother for standing up for her rights!

I live in NC.

Oh, and Tony needs to shut it cause she will never win this argument. There is no debate with when or where a mother can feed her baby. Period.

@ML -- actually, I was surprised that it happened in Asheville. Everyone I've known to have visited/lived there says it's a fantastic artsy town.

Hey, now hold up on the NC being backwards thing...I almost passed out when I heard this story as the Denny's in question is like 9 miles up the hwy from me. A former NYer, I moved to WNC after 11 torturous years in SC. Generally, NC is lightyears ahead of SC. This is a random act of ignorance that will not be tolerated. The closest 'major' city is FULL of hippies and other fabulous organic crunchy types. Them boob haters will be runned outa town in no time! Expect media coverage of a topless hula hoop protest event soon!

Oh Tony, I wasn't intending to put words in your mouth. Apologies. But when a woman is asked "to go elsewhere" in a restaurant it refers to the bathroom.

And to the other SIL, I don't think it's the obligation of a mom doing the right thing by her kid and legally protected to do that thing to have to work around other folks' discomfort just so not to make waves. Making waves is good. Making waves is the beginning of change.

What the restaurant asked her to do was more than cover up - the subtext is that they were asking her to feel shame about what she was doing.

I don't know how many times we have to rehash this.

People, women lactate. They feed babies with their breasts. They feed their babies anywhere they'd give them a bottle. They are concerned ONLY with feeding their babies. They are NOT interested in titillating anyone, nor in making anyone uncomfortable.

LOOK AWAY. End of ridiculous, inane discussion.

If your baby is hungry, feed them. If it's with bottle, you should be able to feed them. If it's with your breast you should be able to feed them. Breasts were intended to do that. If you don't like it, turn your head. There is no moral argument here. If you've never had a child, or chose not to nurse, you really don't know what it's like to nurse standing up, or sitting on a dirty toilet, or having a let down b/c baby is crying. It's physical and physiological. You know what they say - if you haven't walked a mile in my shoes, you have no right to pass judgment.

"I wasn't damaging the environment with wasteful formula packaging, transportation, bottles, etc. I wasn't limiting my child's development."

"I would have been embarrassed to bottle feed my daughter in public."

I support every woman's right to feed her baby wherever she wants, however she wants. Always have, always will. But damn Kate, after 17 years of hearing and reading vitriol like that, it still stings. Comments like that just widen the divide between people that breastfeed and those of us who don't (for whatever reason...it really doesn't matter). I've said it before and I'll say it again and again. MY CHILDREN ARE IN NO WAY UNDERDEVELOPED FROM DRINKING FORMULA!!!

thay cun reed gud.

I just don't get society today. It is totally okay and acceptable to sell 6 year old thongs and low cut shirts. It is acceptable for teenage girls to wear the same thing, and show more skin than they cover. But it is offensive to see a mother breastfeeding her child at a table at Denny's (or anywhere in public.) A mother who is showing less skin than you see in a low cut tanktop is told to leave or face charges. Please!

You got to remember that North Carolina is a bit backwards and behind the times by about 50 years

I say this as a woman. Granted, I have not yet had to breastfeed anywhere (no kids yet), but I apply this type of thinking to other aspects of my life.

Here's where I think the problem lies.

We don't know what happened in the restaurant. If the manager in fact asked the woman to leave / refused service just because the woman was breastfeeding, and without any prior warning, then I think that is wrong.

However, if the woman was asked to be more discreet, or move to a different location and flat out refused, I think that isn't right either.

As women, we may have a right to breastfeed in public. But here's the kicker: just as we want others to respect our decision to breastfeed in public, we should also respect other people's belief that this may not be appropriate for a public place.

It's a two way street.

I'm not saying don't breastfeed. I'm saying that if someone expresses that breastfeeding in public bothers them, we should be sensitive to their wishes that we be discreet, just as we want them to be sensitive to the fact that babies need. to. eat. now.

There will always be people who are offended for ridiculous reasons, or feel the need to just cause trouble. But when we assert ourselves in such a way as to completely alienate them, (e.g. completely refuse to cover up, move, be more discreet or compromise in any way), or on the other side, they alienate us (e.g. refuse service, ask us to leave, or ban us without any warning whatsoever) I feel we all may be doing more harm than good. But that's just my two cents. I realize your opinions may all differ from mine. And who knows, I may change my tune someday if I have kids. I mean no offense. Just my take on the situation. :)

As a former BFing mother, it never made sense why I was the one who should cover up what I was doing. I wasn't damaging the environment with wasteful formula packaging, transportation, bottles, etc. I wasn't limiting my child's development. I wasn't digging into my pocket book, just the big bowls of ice-cream I could eat with that great metabolism.
What was I supposed to be embarrassed about??
I would have been embarrassed to bottle feed my daughter in public. I would have needed a shirt that said "It's not formula" to be able to do it!

Best BFing shirts (I have small/average boobs)-
http://www.boobdesign.com/boob_eng.html

If you can only afford one shirt, get a white tank and wear it under EVERYTHING.

When did I ever say a woman should go into the bathroom to breastfeed?

Don't put words in my mouth.

Why is this even still a debate? Why is anyone presuming that the church-goin' folks have a point here and that the wicked whore with the baby was shaking her titties all over like it was ladies night at Hogs and Heffers?

I'm guessing there are different opinions here on what constitutes "exposed." And that if that woman were less cute and less blonde and less um, interesting (as Stacy put it) to the men folk, there would be no issue.

Tony, the next time you are okay eating your lunch in a public restroom while people take craps 12" from your nose, is the day that a nursing mom will be okay feeding her baby in there.

Nursing covers are great. But that doesn't mean you have to use them.

I respect that people might be offended by seeing what I still believe is LESS breast than what you see on a woman in a low cut top.

AND I respect my right to tell them that they are complete idiots. Hide your eyes when you walk in a club, right? Turn your head at the magazine stands?

Yeah, thought so.

Stacy: Ha ha ha ha, that was great. :)

I have yet to hear about some guy (or chick -- you know, with her sexay thong showing) that kicked out of a restaurant.

And there are no laws protecting ass cracks.

Yet.

Katie, the point is that I have a right to do it, (I assume you're talking about the Speedo, as the butt crack comment was obviously a joke), just like you have a right to breastfeed in public. The nursing part is moot.

However, I would hope that even though one has the right to do that, they would realize that people could (let's face it WOULD) have a problem with it, and not do it. And in comparison to breastfeeding, I'm not talking about not doing it, just making an attempt to cover it up a little in respect to other people's feelings.

Just because you don't agree with those feelings, doesn't mean you can't try to respect them by covering up a little, just as you would like them to respect you and your right to breastfeed.

I have no problem with breastfeeding, but some people are not as, uh, discreet as they could be. I'm not saying that's the case here, but it is something to think about.

I do think that if you need to breastfeed in public, if possible, you should either find a corner that is more private, or perhaps invest in a nursing cover (like these: http://nursingcovers.com/catalog.php?category=16), and keep it in your diaper bag. Adn for those occasions when all else fails and the baby needs to eat, I wish other people would be more understanding. What's a mother to do?

Here's what I imagine went down:
Henry and Harriet, along with their semi-toothless son, Harlow arrive at Denny's after a long painful morning, sweating and squirming in their seats as the preacher scolded the congregation about the sins of incest.
Waitress: What’ll it be?
Henry: Duuuuuhhh.
Harlow: Ugggggggh.
Harriet: What’s with you two?
Harriet turns to see her husband and son oogling at a woman nursing.
Harriet: Harlow! Henry! Are you eyeballin’ that woman’s dirty pillows? Get your freakin’ filthy eyes off those nasties!
Harriet pulls drooling son and husband out by the ears. Soon thereafter, Harriet places a complaint to Denny’s. After all, the woman had assaulted her family with her nasty parts and turned them into derelicts with erections.

Tony, as far as I know no one is trying to eat from your ass. Kick your ass maybe....

Therefore your silly comparison is moot.

I just think that I've shown a lot more skin wearing a low cut shirt than I ever did as a nursing mother.
If it offends you THAT much, then ask to be seated in a different section. My husband and I were eating in a Perkins once(I was nursing the baby)when the hostess came over and asked if I could stop nursing. My child was under a blanket, did not latch until he was under said blanket and because I'm small anyway was pretty much Under the table.
When she asked? I said no. I wasn't even remotely exposed and this was the only way my child was not going to scream. Their answer? was to ask the patron who complained to be moved into another section.
I don't know the whole story here but situations like this lead me to believe that a lot of people out there are pretty judgie and why should I have to leave when you are the one who has a problem?

"Why are there never stories about men or teenage girls getting asked to leave or cover up their hairy or thonged buttcracks. Certainly if people are complaining about breastfeeding, they are complaining about six inches of ass crack showing through the back of the chair?"

Probably because A) it's not a touchy subject like this and B) there isn't a law protecting someone's right to show butt crack.

And in most cases, people aren't trying to show their butt crack, they're just clueless. If someone told me that my butt crack was showing and that people were complaining, I wouldn't be fighting with management on a man's right to show off his ass. I'd be asking for check and running out the door. :)

I am offended that mothers are expected to go and hide in a restroom while nursing. Can people in society make it any harder for mothers who are trying to do what they feel is best for their baby? I nursed my daughter when she needed to be nursed. I was as discreet as possible, but I am sure on occasion a passerby saw a little more than they bargained for. Oh well. I can gaurentee if that had happened to me in Dennys there would have been a lot more to the story, I am not a quiet person, and I would have had something to say about it, loudly I am sure.

My point about the 4 hour commitment was not to imply that. You chose to take it that way, as you are obviously looking for a fight (see the have I met a baby comment). And, yes, I have two young children. I don't know the situation as I pointed out, as none of us truly do unless we were there, but it is certainly POSSIBLE that she could have found a better place to do it. And again, AS I SAID, I understand the need does arise to breastfeed in public.

Perhaps these was one of these situations, fine. But, to my earlier point, it just seems to me that this woman may have just been looking for trouble. Now, I don't know if people were being rude about it. I wasn't there. But everything I've seen says that no one was telling her she couldn't breastfeed. They were simply ASKING HER to cover up a little and apparently she refused.

I understand this is a touchy subject, but if you want people to respect your right to breastfeed, and I do, is it asking all that much to make some attempt to hide it a little? Why does it have to be "I have a right to breastfeed, I'm going to just to ignore the fact that some people might have a problem with it, and make all attempts to piss people off"?

I have the right to walk around in a Speedo on a children's playground, but wouldn't it bother you (God I hope so, I know it would bother me)? Is it all that much for me to wear a pair of shorts instead?

As long as you are not trying to breastfeed me, have at it. I have seen plenty of breastfeeding people and have never actually seen boob. Maybe some stomach, but never a whole boob. It is not like they are walking over to your table swinging their baby around like a giant booby tassel.

Why are there never stories about men or teenage girls getting asked to leave or cover up their hairy or thonged buttcracks. Certainly if people are complaining about breastfeeding, they are complaining about six inches of ass crack showing through the back of the chair?

I have breastfed at church, restaurants (No Denny's, though), in my car (not while driving), at the mall, at Sea World in San Diego, in the homes of friends, walking around the Target, etc and I have never had a problem. Who are these people that make such a fuss about a mom breastfeeding her baby. Maybe because I live in New Orleans and we are not scared of the breast, either for the purpose of getting beads or feeding a baby.

What is this bullshit about a 4 hour commitment? Are you implying that as breastfeeding moms we should not be out long enough for our children to get hungry? Hello, have you met a baby? When I go out with an infant I plan for the whole day, because those little boogers have their own schedules and tend to not care what I had planned. Also, who wants to hear a baby scream their heads off? I would much rather see a flash of a boob or nipple than listen to that.

Ha ha, you are so right, I remember 19 years ago stopping at a hick town resturant to eat, well guess what? my baby wanted to eat too. I was NOT gonna sit in the bathroom and I was NOT gonna sit in the car it was COLD, thank you very much. The place was filled with the local men who just stare at anyone new.
So yes, I opened my shirt and tried to cover myself with a blanket, and I nursed my baby, while my husband complained the entire time that I should not do this in PUBLIC. So I met those stares and dared them to say anything to me. My baby ate and then I ate, after telling my husband to SHUT up. Go breastfeeding moms!!!

I would say offended is a strong word for me, but it would annoy me a little. The last time I checked the Grand Slam breakfast didn't require a four hour commitment. But, sometimes situations will arise where it has to be done in a public place. As long as it was somewhat discreet, I wouldn't go running to the manager complaining.

Before you trash the Denny's, they are claiming that they did first ask the woman to cover up or go to a more private place (whatever that means). The patrons seem to be making it seem like she was making absolutely no attempt to hide it.

It's probably the busiest time of the week at Denny's, Sunday morning right after a church service. You take the timing, the clientele, the stories I've heard about her making no attempt to cover up, and the fact that she is now organizing a picket line.....I don't know the full situation here, but this just reeks of someone TRYING to get a rise out of people (and apparently succeeding).

GODDAMN IT. I have had a REALLY freaking hard day trying to be a GOOD MOTHER and my brain is FRIED and I got NO SLEEP last night and then I finally get the kids (2 yrs and 2 mos) down for a nap at the same time and sit down with my Blue Bell ice cream for a minute of peace and get to read about this kind of crap. And now I have gotten so worked up I am crying because why won't people leave MOMS the hell alone. MOMS! The people quite literally at the bottom of the totem pole most of the time. Moms who are willing to let another human being use their body to survive because it is the very best thing they can do for their children. All I can say to everyone who uses that STUPID STUPID STUPID 'BREASTFEED DISCRETLY' LINE is GET A LIFE. GET A LIFE. GET A LIFE. GET A LIFE. GET A LIFE.

RIGHT! Don't forget the 20ft high boobs hanging out on BILLBOARDS EVERYWHERE.

PUH-LEEEZE.

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