Bare Your Boobs In The Air! Like You Just Don’t Care!

September 12, 2008

Yes, I am still going on about my boobies. Such are the risks of reading a blog written by a lactating mother: I can and will subject you to my reflections on the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding. And this WestJet debacle? Falls into the category of trial.

WestJet has begun responding to the letters that so many of you have written on my behalf – no, they have not responded to me nor been in touch with me directly – and the gist* of their response is this:

Dear Unhappy Person,

Please to accept this form letter that we have cut and pasted from the form letter that we sent out when the last unhappy person complained about our ‘cover up your icky nursing boobies plz’ policy on in-flight nursing. Note that we have not even bothered to change names in these letters, such that they refer only to the last incident and not to the one about which you complain. We are paying no attention to this most recent incident, as we believe that we adequately explained ourselves the last time – we know that some people find boobies dirty and offensive and we are concerned to ensure that those people are kept comfortable, which is why we urge nursing mothers to cover their nasty boobies while they nurse on our planes – and have not bothered to pretend otherwise.

Thank you for flying WestJet! Where federal and provincial human rights codes do not apply!

Yours,

Random WestJet Owner Who Is Assigned To Deal With Annoying Customers Who Are Probably Communists And Also Maybe Perverts, Wanting To Show Their Boobies Like That.

Which, you know, makes me angry.

So now I want you to send them letters. Angry letters. Contact information is at the bottom of the original post here. And/or blog about it/write about it/pass the story along. This just sucks – again, pun only loosely intended – so much, for all of the reasons that I’ve outlined in the past.

I’m just so sick and tired of this. I just want to be able to nurse my baby without being confronted by society’s stupid issues about boobs. I want society to get over those issues, at least when it comes to nursing boobs. I want to feel empowered when I nurse, not shamed. And I want my daughter and my son – all our daughters and sons – to see that that’s how it should be.


F*ck the blanket.

* The above is my translation of their letter, which is the exact same letter sent to people who complained about an incident that occurred last month – right down to the name of the person involved.

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    { 120 comments }

    Mz X September 16, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    J Kat, I love you. Are there more of you? I hope so.

    SUEB0B September 16, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    IT IS EATING. End of story. Yeesh.

    fav.or.it September 16, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    It’s not about that, but we’re not all into nudist camps (or topless) either. That doesn’t automatically make me uncomfortable with my own nakedness, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to see another woman’s body. I have no problem with breastfeeding (heck, I did, and so did my mother who had 6 kids from ’46 to ’66 and is in her 80s), but do I want a shot of your boob? No. Just use a cover-up. So your kid screams? You don’t have to encase the baby, just veil yourself. (And if you can’t encourage a baby who throws it off, to get used to it — good luck with your future parenting!)

    Lots of people do things in public that they think is okay. but others don’t. I cannot abide spitting (I don’t want whatever is in your lungs that you NEED to get rid of, to be on my shoes when I walk in my home. You should probably see a doctor!), but so many think it’s completely normal. Not too keen on guys hugging up to a tree to pee, either.

    No one (with a brain) is telling you to go into the airplane bathroom and lock yourself in. Just have some consideration for other people’s comfort level and keep your parts covered. Life is all about compromise.

    sent from: fav.or.it

    Backpacking Dad September 16, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Holy disanalogy, Batman. Breastfeeding is like spitting?

    Well, one is a totally selfish act and the other is a totally sefless one. I’ll let everyone here figure out which one is which, and if it isn’t obvious then it’s clear that there is nothing that can be said that will crack the skull to shine the light in.

    (Hint: Breastfeeding is the selfless act. Dammit. I gave it away, didn’t I?)

    heather.pnr September 16, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Just wanted to say that I thought the news piece was great. Mothers should be allowed to nurse in the manner that works best for their children, not that makes random bystanders comfortable.

    Jeffrey September 16, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Wow, some of these anti-breastfeeding/HBM comments are pretty sweet (what? No, we’re not trolls! Just because we keep taking shots at your and your readers? No, totally not trolls!). I especially like the pseudo-Victorian concern with the “language” on the blog (ZOMG! Swear words on teh internets!). In the spirit of such offensive comments, and in honor of HBM’s home country, let me just paraphrase one of its great politicians. If you’re bothered by a woman breastfeeding, just turn your fucking head away.

    whensheworeponytails September 16, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    C, Just saw the piece on the net and I thought you looked and sounded awesome.

    I do actually get those people who are a little uncomfortable getting used to breastfeeding for what it is. But that is THEIR problem. I don’t know if I and my children are lucky enough where I live to have a written right in regards to this but since you do I can’t understand why this was ever an issue.

    Unfortunately differing opinions turn into rudeness these days. I can’t tell you how many times I am wearing Squeaker in a store (in a sling) and hear some Mom say, “Oh, she’s going to spoil that baby.” Wow. I needed you opinions on how to raise my third child. Thank you for your thoughtful help. No, they weren’t requiring I put the baby down but they just had to vocalize their whining as if I needed a load of their brain vomit.

    Why can’t people just look away when someone else is doing something that they have every right to be doing? Why does it have to be “OH but I don’t like it?!” I could see it if you were smacking him around. But feeding him?

    It’s just sad the measures we slap against Mothers. And worse when we can’t just look away when we don’t like what we see. That must have been a REALLY small plane you were on, C. Was there a remote control?

    Vodka Mom September 16, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    First of all, where the HELL have I been? Secondly, I had a little girl who gave birth in our free play area at at school once a week last year. Precious. Third, I would have TAKEN that flight attendant OUT. TAKEN HER OUT!

    oh yeah.

    chandlerful September 16, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    “If you’re bothered by a woman breastfeeding, just turn your fucking head away” -jeffrey

    That quote pretty much sums it up. There’s not really anything else to say on the non-existent “debate” of breastfeeding in public. I can do it, the law protects me, and you are free to mind your own business. Nurse on, mamas. Anywhere, anytime. The only way to normalize it, is to keep on doing it.

    Mary Helen September 17, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Just saw the piece — you sounded great. I can’t believe people have the nerve to complain about this. If you don’t want to see this natural, wholesome act, or *gasp* see a boob…DON’T LOOK!

    Mz X September 17, 2008 at 2:50 am

    People who disagree with you and dare say it =/= trolls. On the internet, if you express an opinion and aren’t ready to back it up, you will be knocked down, hard. I see that you argue well and can hold your own but you are still acting as if it’s a personal attack. It’s not, lovey, it’s how the internet works.

    J Kat September 17, 2008 at 10:52 am

    CBC had done you in — people will come to this site looking for a kind and gentle mom and get smacked with “f*uck the blanket” “screw them in their mother’s ass” and “turn your fucking head”. You make the airline look like the victim.

    Her Bad Mother September 17, 2008 at 11:12 am

    J Kat – I would hope that people will come to this site and read my posts, rather than pick through the comments on one post, looking for curse words.

    I get the impression that you’re looking for something to be offended by. Otherwise, I’m not sure why you don’t turn your head or click away – if this is all so distasteful to you.

    Her Bad Mother September 17, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Mz X – I’m not taking anything as a personal attack. I’m passionate about defending nursing mothers’ rights – and I had a personal reaction to the incident that has been under discussion here, because I experienced it as shaming – but I don’t take disagreement with that cause personally.

    And believe me, I’ve endured far worse trollage. This kind of disagreement, as much as some of it baffles me, is nothing.

    Anonymous September 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Does anyone think that because public breastfeeding is a relatively new phenomenon that not all of society has fully embraced it yet? I was born in the 60′s and babies were pretty much strictly bottle fed. I had 3 kids in the 80′s and bf but it was expected to be done behind closed doors. The more prevalent public bf becomes the more it will become a societal norm. I can recall when a pregnant bikini-wearing woman was SHOCKINGLY OUTRAGEOUS! Now you see them everywhere and where they used to be “gross” now they are adorable.

    Mrs. Tantrum September 18, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    My dirty nasty boobies did not allow me to nurse my son. They failed me…but by god my body gave me a baby so I will not complain anymore. You need to freaking get on these ASSHATS. Do whatever you can to get a fire lit under their butts. Do you remember hearing the story about the TSA guy here who made a woman drink her own bottled breast milk here in Seattle before getting on a flight? That made the news, he was fired and all kinds of melee ensued. Every woman should have the right to feed her baby the way that she sees best. If they make nursing mothers cover their babies with blankets then bottle fed babies should have to be covered too!

    Talora September 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Goodness. All this fuss over a bit of cleavage. Less cleavage than we see on television, or in print ads, or on a public billboard, but if that cleavage is associated with a nursing mother then knickers suddenly get twisted. Sadly, that logic is what is twisted.

    My take home message from all this is that I will not be providing West Jet with my business. My nursing days are behind me now, but I’ll continue to support the care and feeding of children, in all its many forms, by spending my money with those companies that do the same.

    Louisa September 18, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Have been having my own, much smaller, discussion on my blog and am just finishing the thoughts today…if any of you are interested…Mz X perhaps? Would be curious to know your thoughts…

    SewCrazyDogLady September 21, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Here is what I don’t get.. if people are uncomfortable watching you nurse, then WHY are they watching?! For crying out loud, its just a boob.

    Lotta October 1, 2008 at 2:09 am

    Bastards!

    I love that picture.

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