Thursday, June 09, 2005

Nutbags in the Morning: "The View" Insults Nursing Mothers

Now, I am no fan of the show "The View." It is catty, it is boring and Star Jones sets my teeth on edge. But lately, these women have shown that they are close-minded, judgemental little well as being boring and catty.

"The View" has a long history of making anti-breastfeeding remarks. Barbara Walters seems to lead the pack in this: she has complained about being seated near a nursing mom on a plane and commented that "you can't breastfeed triplets," which came as a pretty big shock to the thousands of moms breastfeeding multiples--including triplets--every day. Star Jones, forever in love with the sound of her own voice, has added, "That's not what breasts are for!" This proves
(as if more proof were needed) that the woman is a moron. "Disgusting" is another term the ladies on this show have used to describe nursing, they've called members of La Leche League "nuts" and applauded fellow commentator Elizabeth when she gave up nursing after only one month.

Now, I breastfed all three of my kids. I nurse in public, but I have always done so discretely...most people don't know I'm nursing, unless of course they are staring---in which case, I am hardly the rude one. I was once thrown out of a restaurant for nursing when Phoenix was about two months old---he was completely covered by a blanket, and no one could see a thing. That still, apparently, wasn't enough...and the management told me to either nurse in the bathroom or leave. I let him know, in no uncertain terms, that until the person who made the complaint eats his dinner in the bathroom, my son won't be doing likewise.

Don't get me wrong---I am not militant about breastfeeding. I am pretty big on personal choice. Neither of my sisters breastfed their kids, and got no grief about it from me
(despite the fact that one of them was pretty vocal on how "crazy" I must be to nurse). I chose to nurse for a number of reasons: it helps lower the chance of diabetes, which is prevelant on both sides of the family, it's healthier, it's easier, it's cheaper and for a great bonus: it helps keep many of my MS symptoms at bay. It was clearly the right choice for me...but as I am fond of telling people, my choices aren't right for everyone...they are just right for me.

I am, however, both offended and baffled by the comments on "The View." What the hell is their problem? I can see not wanting to nurse, but is Star Jones really that stupid as to say, "That's not what boobs are for?" What I am saying, of course she is. This is a woman who tried to get sponsors for her wedding, as if it were a NASCAR event. Look, honey: boobs ARE for breastfeeding. They aren't for selling beer and porn. Just so you know.

As for Baba-Wawa...if you don't like looking at nursing women, DON'T LOOK. No one is forcing you to do otherwise. Believe it or not, your head does turn the other way...even under as much hair spray as you put on it.

I also take offense at the idea that breastfeeding is either "gross" or "disgusting." How could anyone think that way of a baby eating? And for women to be saying these things...a double pox on them. I could almost expect it out of a knuckle-dragging man who thinks breasts were put on a woman so they'd look good in nudie magazines...but women, some of whom have kids? Educated women? Journalists, even? You should know better, ladies.

I am, apparently, not the only one who thinks so. A nurse-in was held in front of ABC studios to protest the anti-breastfeeding comments. Instead of apologizing, or even conceding that her statements may have offended some people...Barbara Walters chastised the women for "making a big deal out of a little comment." Grow up, Barbara. I've seen you make people cry for "little comments." Hypocrite.

For the record: I don't think the nurse-in was that great of an idea. If you're wanting to educate people on breastfeeding, people who already don't like to see nursing moms and find it "disgusting"---a crowd of women nursing their babies is NOT going to change their mind. A letter-writing campaign I would have gladly supported, as I would a petition. But the nurse-in, in my opinion, did no good and only reinforced "The View's" anti-nursing viewpoints.

I learned today that in response to the nurse-in, "The View" is going to have some pro-breastfeeding advocates on the show to talk about nursing. I am curious as to whom they have chosen for this (any licensed lactation nurses or counselors, for example) and how ol' Barbara will react.

Maybe she'll ask them what kind of tree they would like to be...

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At 12:31 AM, Blogger Angel said...

I see your point about a nurse-in not making an impact on the cast, but I was still glad to read about it in my local paper (at least it had a positive spin instead of making the protestors look like they were nuts).

Can't stand The View either.

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

Good post! If I were to add my two cents, soon I'd be saying how much I'd like for The View Ladies to get killed by a hammer and then I'd get gruesome. So I better shut up.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Pixie LaRouge said...

I am reminded of the time a very sweet cop came over to me while I was sitting at a restaurant nursing DC (this was just after we'd finally gotten the whole not-flash-everyone-to-nurse thing figured out) and said "Babies are so cute when they're sleeping." I just smiled.

I'm fairly certain that all of those women have been around nursing moms without ever realizing what was going on. If they "always notice," then they've been WAY too fixated on breasts!

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Synesthesia said...

Dude, that is so stupid... It's totally natural to breast feed, it's how babies get some of the same immunities against disease as their mothers.
Where did this anti-nursing thing come from? I don't have kids, but I am all for nursings if that is what folks want to do, even if it's in public.
How can they be against something that is so healthy and good for mothers and kids? Especially since I've seen how expensive formula is.


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