Ok, can we all stop freaking out about breastfeeding already?
Seriously, can someone PLEASE explain to me why the simple act of a human mother feeding a human baby freaks some people out so much? It's like this: most new moms are probably already pretty fragile what with the insane hormones raging through their bodies and the fact they just squeezed a new person out of their bodies. The last thing they need is people feeling uncomfortable around them because--oh, I don't know--their baby is hungry!
Which is why Houston-based U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruling that "firing someone because of lactation or breast-pumping is not sex discrimination," is so totally idiotic. Let's me see if I can follow the logic here...
Sexual discrimination is defined as discrimination (usually in employment) that excludes one sex (usually women) to the benefit of the other sex. Hughes skirted around this relatively clear cut definition by ruling that lactation was not pregnancy-related--um, really genius?-- and, as a result, getting fired for asking for a place to pump breast milk is not discrimination.
Ugh, is it not 2012 here?! Why are women STILL fighting for equal rights? Is it not enough that we carry a child around in our bodies for 9 months, give birth and then return to work way before most of us are ready? Now, Judge Hughes has essentially given carte blanche to any employer who wants to claim that an employee concerned with pesky things like expressing and preserving milk for their baby should be fired.
In the new health care reform legislation, companies are required to provide a space to give mothers a break who are nursing so that they can either feed their babies (if there is on-site daycare) or express their milk. But unfortunately, there are no black and white laws regarding whether or not a company can fire a mother who is still lactating. Um, that's probably because it was assumed that employers wouldn't be such complete and total jerks about the new moms on staff.
What do you think about the way American society views breastfeeding? Do you think it is a taboo subject?
Image via Ania i Artur Nowaccy/flickr