Missing the point

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-brooks9jun09,0,2939207.story

In a commentary in the LA Times Rosa Brooks an associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Law tells ‘lactavists’ to chill out. She goes on to state that she nursed her two children until they were 6 months old. Great! She then starts in on how hard it is to hold down a job and nurse because babies need to feed so often so therefore formula is the solution. I agree that in our society as it stands now it is difficult to hold down a full time job and be a nursing mother. I myself work full time out of the home and have “meetings” with my breast pump several times a day. It’s not easy but thankfully I have an understanding boss. She goes on to state that early feminists fought for women to hold down jobs and to have motherhood taken seriously but then she divides those two. She is missing the point.

One goal of breastfeeding advocates and ‘lactavists’ is to allow nursing mothers to be part of the workforce and to have protections to accommodate that. The lactavists out there are not trying to force women to breastfeed but to protect those who choose to and help change society so that they are free from discrimination and harassment. This can be done by passing laws that allow women to nurse in public, mandate that employers allow for pumping in the workplace and overall protecting nursing mothers from harassment and discrimination in general. So it is difficult NOW for nursing mothers to be part of the workforce but one goal is to change that. If we just throw up our hands and say it’s too difficult to work and nurse so don’t do it, nothing will ever change.

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2 thoughts on “Missing the point”

  1. Ah but you see that is an attorney who made that comment. Some people just don’t have the time or the jobs that allow them to do that. You try to get a judge to take a recess during court so that you can pump. That would be unfair to the people whom are jurors, the other people in the courtroom etc, the judges the stenos’s the defendant and the plaintiff all of whom would have to wait for this. What the ADA does is mandates is that you allow for reasonable accomodations. In some cases it is not reasonable for (and this is the clincher) the average person to expect this. In some cases people would have to add an extra room to allow for breast feeding. That is not deemed reasonable. So that is my comment…This is a comment, not a crticism of you or your beliefs…your opinions…your lifestyle or anything that may have been omitted in the preceeding sentence!

  2. I do understand that there are certain jobs in which breastfeeding/pumping can not be accomidated but that is the minority. A pumping woman can usualy pump only two times at work and it will take a total of 10 min per session. Most jobs allow for a 15 min break and also a lunch period. These times can be used to pump.
    Granted someone who is in court all day with no breaks could not pump. You bring up another issue that breastfeeding women have to deal with. Most states offer no protection for a breastfeeding woman who sits on a jury. Breastfeeding can not be used as a reason not to sit even though lots of breastfed babies won’t take a bottle and there is not, as you stated in your argument, time to pump. It’s a real problem.

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