Is it appropriate for a teacher to breastfeed while at school? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:39 PM
 
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Respectfully, I don't think we're completely on the same side, HashtagBB. I think women should breastfeed at their convenience and I did so myself for many years.

I think the child in the classroom is a separate issue. I would not be pleased with a bottlefed baby in a college classroom either.
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#32 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not familiar with any state but my own, but here indecent exposure doesn't apply to a Mom feeding her child. It breaks down to "Mom can breastfeed anywhere she has the right to be". Your prof. might run up against school policy but in the U.S. she is surely within her legal rights.

I'm assuming she's nursing in class because the alternative would be a screaming baby at her lecture, surely a bigger distraction. "Just give a bottle" can be much harder than it seems; not all women can pump milk easily. Is it a young infant? It's easier to time feedings for Mom's breaks with older babies, not so much for newborns.

I'm assuming it's a lecture class, not a lab with one on one instruction? If so, just keep your eyes on your notes or on the presentation, just as you would in any public place when there's something you'd rather not see.
I'm not familiar with the age of her baby because it doesn't have tree rings or any identifiable aging information, and the professor has never brought her to class before. I would assume the baby is very, very young though because it seems small.

Yes, it's a lecture class, but I can't keep my eyes on my notes because she writes things on the board, points at stuff, and generally gesticulates extensively while she talks. Only I had trouble paying attention because of the breastfeeding.

Also, I disagree with it being a screaming baby vs. not screaming baby. The alternative would've been to bring a bottle, or even better, leave the baby at home. I don't think she did that because she has a reputation for being a feminist professor and was trying to make a political point.
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#33 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HashtagBB View Post
You wouldn't be neglecting your baby by feeding it with a bottle when you were in public, you would just be showing sensitivity to the feelings, cultures, and religions of others. If you were so insistent on breastfeeding, you could do it in a more private location.

Also, there's a difference between your situation and mine. You might disagree with my viewpoint, but I was basically FORCED to stay in the classroom and watch her breastfeed even though I was very uncomfortable, while you did not force anybody else to stand next to you in Wal Mart or in public or wherever you were.
There are many flaws to your theory. Not all mothers can pump or easily pump breast milk to be able to give bottles. There are also babies that have trouble switching back and forth or even refuse the artificial nipple. It could be a detriment to the breastfeeding relationship to give the baby the artificial nipples for some mothers.

You may have had to be in class but you were not forced to stare at her breasts. Just like a pp said you had the option of looking at your notes or the presentation, anywhere other than where her breasts were. The major issue here is that with the exception of getting the baby latched on there is not any real breast being seen while nursing. Once a baby is latched on the baby covers the nipple and the only "breast" being seen is the upper flesh that is no different than the cleavage being seen above other women's tank tops in public. As a college student I'm sure you are no doubt seeing plenty of "cleavage" around campus. Unless you want to start an outright warpath on decency and modesty on campus thus banning sagging pants on men, tank tops/sheer tops/etc that would show cleaving on girls, two piece swimsuits and more then you really have no right to complain about the tiny amount of cleavage seen during a nursing session.

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#34 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:51 PM
 
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I'm not familiar with the age of her baby because it doesn't have tree rings or any identifiable aging information, and the professor has never brought her to class before. I would assume the baby is very, very young though because it seems small.

Yes, it's a lecture class, but I can't keep my eyes on my notes because she writes things on the board, points at stuff, and generally gesticulates extensively while she talks. Only I had trouble paying attention because of the breastfeeding.

Also, I disagree with it being a screaming baby vs. not screaming baby. The alternative would've been to bring a bottle, or even better, leave the baby at home. I don't think she did that because she has a reputation for being a feminist professor and was trying to make a political point.
If she's never brought the baby to class before, it seems that she regularly has childcare for her infant, so, as I said in my previous post, this isn't an issue of whether to have a child at class or not. It seems like normally, she does not bring her child, but everyone with a young infant has crises once in awhile and has to either miss work or bring the baby. Most workplaces today are accommodating of that, and it's kind of a dick move to object to a hard-working teacher who mostly has childcare but had to bring her young infant to work for just one class. We've all been there.

"Just give a bottle" is sort of an ignorant comment. Some babies won't drink bottles--mine certainly would not take one--he'd scream bloody murder when one came near his mouth. Besides, there's no point in giving a baby a bottle of pumped milk when the tap is right there. She doesn't have to give a bottle if she and the baby do not wish it.
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#35 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The only issue here is whether or not it is appropriate for a teacher to be caring for her child while she is teaching. Most of the time, I imagine, the teacher's baby is cared for at a daycare or by a babysitter or the child's other parent, so the teacher herself can focus on her work. However, for the one year that the child is an infant, it feeds on demand, so accommodations have to be made for the teacher to feed or occasionally care for her child at work. Many universities and other workplaces have such accommodations built in to their system for mothers of young infants.

You don't seem to have a problem with this teacher caring for her child in front of you on an occasional basis, since you said it would be ok if the teacher were there with her baby, feeding it a bottle. So it seems that your problem is just that it was disturbing to you personally that you SAW HER BOOBS. OK. We are here to guide you through the process of dealing with this trauma, my friend. You will see boobs again, and they won't always be for sex and they won't always be for you, so you are going to have to learn to grow up and deal with it!

It is going to be ok.



Your personal discomfort doesn't matter because lots of things make lots of people uncomfortable that we still have the right to do. For instance, it makes racist people uncomfortable to see an interracial couple walking down the street holding hands. This does not mean that the couple should avoid holding hands in public because it might make some people uncomfortable. The racist people just have to learn to suck it up. Right?

It's the same for nursing mothers. We have the right to nurse in public--and when you have a hungry infant and you are running errands, you cannot wait and you have to nurse them right away. It makes you, a poor squeamish male college student, uncomfortable. Why do we have to consider your feelings? Oh right, we don't. You just have to learn to suck it up, because babies have to eat. You see?



She is not using her child to get attention. She is feeding her child. This is not about you, it is about a hungry baby. You are wrong that this is no law about breast exposure during public breastfeeding. Tell us your state or province, and we will give you the law! Most states and provinces have laws, although not all.



A nursing mother does not always have a choice about where to breastfeed. Your teacher, for instance, was in a classroom (I imagine) and was working while her baby needed to eat. Infants cannot wait to eat, and it would be a big inconvenience for your teacher to leave her workplace.

When I had a nursing infant, it would have been a great inconvenience to stay at home all day in case my child needed to nurse. He needed to nurse about every hour, and I had grocery shopping to do, and board meetings to attend, and wine to drink in the afternoon in restaurants my friends. So I did those things, and when my baby was hungry, I fed him, and when he wasn't, he was an infant, and sat like a blob in a carseat or slept in a carrier on my stomach, bothering no one.

If I wasn't allowed to nurse in public, it would have made my (already sleepless) life very difficult.

However, what about people who have feelings about seeing my boobs? What about their very important feelings? Don't their feelings trump the immediate needs of a hungry child? Doesn't having me breastfeeding them near them make their lives so very difficult? Well, no, it doesn't. All they have to do if they can't bear to see it--and all you have to do, Bro--is simply look away and continue on with their day.

So I encourage you to practice not staring at the breast and sucking it up! It will become easier for you to do with practice. It will eventually be no work at all for you to look away, and you will have just made a new mom's life, and a baby's life, a lot easier. Encourage your friends to suck it up, too, and you can all feel great about supporting young families!
Aside from the general condescending tone of your post when I have been nothing but respectful on this forum, I have a problem with a number of your points.

To the first point, my personal discomfort DOES matter because I am basically being COERCED to remain in the classroom while she is making a political point in breastfeeding. I can't leave because it is against university policy to skip class, and I would lose attendance/participation credit. I'm not going to risk jeopardizing my grades and my future and possibly failing the final just because of a professor's selfishness and desire for attention. Plus, I believe that the knowledge in itself is intrinsically valuable, so anything that would cause me to miss class or just "look away" as you would say is detrimental to my development as a student and as a person.

I can't believe you would compare me to a rascist person since I am not rascist at all, so I won't even address that point because it really doesn't make sense.

To your second point, I would not consider myself a poor squeamish male. I am not squeamish because not a lot of things bother me, not even blood or bodily fluids usually, and I definitely wouldn't consider myself of a poor socioeconomic class either. But thanks again for your ad hominems, you feminist mafia shrew.

You actually do have to consider my feelings because I am a member of society like you and I am also deserving of respect. The professor has to consider my feelings because I am basically paying for part of her salary by attending the school and paying tuition. She wouldn't have a job without me! I agree that babies need to eat, but breastfeeding in public in a classroom in front of an entire lecture class, where I clearly wasn't the only one who was disturbed and personally offended.

And my point is that she, as a nursing mother, ALWAYS has her choice about where to breastfeed or not to breastfeed at all during the time she is teaching. The lecture is only 2 hours! Can't she do it before or after?! Or use a bottle. Not that hard, people. So just because it's inconvenient for her, ONE PERSON, she takes it out on a huge lecture class of maybe ONE HUNDRED people and makes it inconvenient for ALL OF THEM? Wow.

I encourage you to not be such a feminist shrew and actually consider the feelings of others instead of being so cold-hearted. I'm not saying that a hungry child shouldn't be able to eat. I'm saying that I was severely uncomfortable, that it inhibited my enrichment as a student and as a citizen of the world, and that she showed no sensitivity or respect towards me or towards the many others in my class who were offended by her despicable behavior.
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#36 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are many flaws to your theory. Not all mothers can pump or easily pump breast milk to be able to give bottles. There are also babies that have trouble switching back and forth or even refuse the artificial nipple. It could be a detriment to the breastfeeding relationship to give the baby the artificial nipples for some mothers.

You may have had to be in class but you were not forced to stare at her breasts. Just like a pp said you had the option of looking at your notes or the presentation, anywhere other than where her breasts were. The major issue here is that with the exception of getting the baby latched on there is not any real breast being seen while nursing. Once a baby is latched on the baby covers the nipple and the only "breast" being seen is the upper flesh that is no different than the cleavage being seen above other women's tank tops in public. As a college student I'm sure you are no doubt seeing plenty of "cleavage" around campus. Unless you want to start an outright warpath on decency and modesty on campus thus banning sagging pants on men, tank tops/sheer tops/etc that would show cleaving on girls, two piece swimsuits and more then you really have no right to complain about the tiny amount of cleavage seen during a nursing session.
There's a major difference between swimsuits at a beach/ cleavage at a house party and seeing bare breasts in a large lecture, which I consider to be a professional environment.

Also, she switched breasts a couple times while breastfeeding, so yes, I did see bare breasts. Although I was not forced to stare at her breasts per say, I was forced to stare at her, WHILE SHE WAS BREASTFEEDING. She even called on me to answer a question, and I had to look at her and her breasts and her breastfeeding baby. The whole ordeal made me very uncomfortable, especially because I was sitting in the front row like I always do.

Your calling me ignorant and saying I have no right to complain is itself ignorant.
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#37 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some food for thought for everyone here telling me to just "suck it up": Maybe the professor, who is paid to do her job to teach, not to breastfeed, could should be the one who should suck it up. Or maybe the baby should just suck it up and wait a couple hours. I'm pretty sure no one has ever died from not being able to have a little milk for like 2 hours.
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#38 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If she's never brought the baby to class before, it seems that she regularly has childcare for her infant, so, as I said in my previous post, this isn't an issue of whether to have a child at class or not. It seems like normally, she does not bring her child, but everyone with a young infant has crises once in awhile and has to either miss work or bring the baby. Most workplaces today are accommodating of that, and it's kind of a dick move to object to a hard-working teacher who mostly has childcare but had to bring her young infant to work for just one class. We've all been there.

"Just give a bottle" is sort of an ignorant comment. Some babies won't drink bottles--mine certainly would not take one--he'd scream bloody murder when one came near his mouth. Besides, there's no point in giving a baby a bottle of pumped milk when the tap is right there. She doesn't have to give a bottle if she and the baby do not wish it.
She and the baby might not want her to give it a bottle, but I and a bunch of my classmates would feel a lot more comfortable if she did. I'm trying to say that she showed a severe lack of consideration and compassion for her students, which I found to be very off-putting and unprofessional.

Also, you're making an assumption by saying her baby won't drink a bottle. I'm almost positive that her baby will in fact drink from a bottle if this is the first time she has brought it to class. Otherwise, what was the baby drinking all those other times while she was teaching?!
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#39 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:07 PM
 
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Aside from the general condescending tone of your post when I have been nothing but respectful on this forum, I have a problem with a number of your points.

To the first point, my personal discomfort DOES matter because I am basically being COERCED to remain in the classroom while she is making a political point in breastfeeding. I can't leave because it is against university policy to skip class, and I would lose attendance/participation credit. I'm not going to risk jeopardizing my grades and my future and possibly failing the final just because of a professor's selfishness and desire for attention. Plus, I believe that the knowledge in itself is intrinsically valuable, so anything that would cause me to miss class or just "look away" as you would say is detrimental to my development as a student and as a person.

I can't believe you would compare me to a rascist person since I am not rascist at all, so I won't even address that point because it really doesn't make sense.

To your second point, I would not consider myself a poor squeamish male. I am not squeamish because not a lot of things bother me, not even blood or bodily fluids usually, and I definitely wouldn't consider myself of a poor socioeconomic class either. But thanks again for your ad hominems, you feminist mafia shrew.

You actually do have to consider my feelings because I am a member of society like you and I am also deserving of respect. The professor has to consider my feelings because I am basically paying for part of her salary by attending the school and paying tuition. She wouldn't have a job without me! I agree that babies need to eat, but breastfeeding in public in a classroom in front of an entire lecture class, where I clearly wasn't the only one who was disturbed and personally offended.

And my point is that she, as a nursing mother, ALWAYS has her choice about where to breastfeed or not to breastfeed at all during the time she is teaching. The lecture is only 2 hours! Can't she do it before or after?! Or use a bottle. Not that hard, people. So just because it's inconvenient for her, ONE PERSON, she takes it out on a huge lecture class of maybe ONE HUNDRED people and makes it inconvenient for ALL OF THEM? Wow.

I encourage you to not be such a feminist shrew and actually consider the feelings of others instead of being so cold-hearted. I'm not saying that a hungry child shouldn't be able to eat. I'm saying that I was severely uncomfortable, that it inhibited my enrichment as a student and as a citizen of the world, and that she showed no sensitivity or respect towards me or towards the many others in my class who were offended by her despicable behavior.
Hashtag, you have called me a "feminist shrew" twice in your last post and have called your teacher's behaviour (feeding her child) selfish and despicable. It has become clear to me from this name-calling that you are a troll that has come to this forum to berate breastfeeding mothers.

You keep repeating how severely uncomfortable you felt while a woman breastfed in front of you, but we cannot feel any sympathy for you. Surely you will be able to get over the vexation of having seen a nipple for 2 seconds. You are an adult.
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#40 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hashtag, you have called me a "feminist shrew" twice in your last post and have called your teacher's behaviour (feeding her child) selfish and despicable. It has become clear to me from this name-calling that you are a troll that has come to this forum to berate breastfeeding mothers.

You keep repeating how severely uncomfortable you felt while a woman breastfed in front of you, but we cannot feel any sympathy for you. Surely you will be able to get over the vexation of having seen a nipple for 2 seconds. You are an adult.
I am not trying to berate breastfeeding mothers. As I said, my own mother breastfed me. I was here to ask what you thought about my professor's behavior because I thought it was very unusual and unprofessional.

I used those words toward you because I was upset at being called a "poor squeamish boy." But now I see you've decided to call me an adult? Ok.
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#41 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really don't understand all the vitriol directed towards me. I guess I have a more conservative perspective than most on here, but I'm not alone in my view that the professor behaved inappropriately. There were lots of girls in my class that agreed with me. I am surprised that so many on this forum are so dismissive and resort to saying I'm immature, which I'm not, instead of addressing what I have to say.
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#42 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:22 PM
 
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I am not trying to berate breastfeeding mothers. As I said, my own mother breastfed me. I was here to ask what you thought about my professor's behavior because I thought it was very unusual and unprofessional.
Well, you have had your answer from us: you are wrong, and this teacher was within her rights. Your unwillingness to accept that answer is what is causing you problems.

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I used those words toward you because I was upset at being called a "poor squeamish boy." But now I see you've decided to call me an adult? Ok.
I called you "poor" because you were asking for sympathy from us--you were so put upon, so distracted, made so severely uncomfortable, your very education and knowledge put at risk by this selfish, despicable, attention-seeking teacher. She and her infant were the villains and you were the victim.

I called you "squeamish" because public breastfeeding bothers you. You don't like to see it, you don't think you should have to see it or have it happen near you, and you definitely don't think that children should have to see that. It distracts you, gives you an uncomfortable feeling. Squeamish.

I never called you a boy.
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#43 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, you have had your answer from us: you are wrong, and this teacher was within her rights. Your unwillingness to accept that answer is what is causing you problems.



I called you "poor" because you were asking for sympathy from us--you were so put upon, so distracted, made so severely uncomfortable, your very education and knowledge put at risk by this selfish, despicable, attention-seeking teacher. She and her infant were the villains and you were the victim.

I called you "squeamish" because public breastfeeding bothers you. You don't like to see it, you don't think you should have to see it or have it happen near you, and you definitely don't think that children should have to see that. It distracts you, gives you an uncomfortable feeling. Squeamish.

I never called you a boy.
If what I am saying is so unreasonable, then why do so many people in my class, males and females included, agree with what I'm saying? Surely we all can't be wrong.

And I'm not asking for sympathy. I was looking to see if people would consider this type of behavior appropriate, and at least one person here has admitted that it was not, in fact, appropriate. I don't think of her as a villain since she is a very good teacher. I just think she was trying to play the "feminist card" and draw unnecessary attention to herself. That's all.

Being called squeamish is rather insulting. Not sure why you can't see that. It presupposes that my reaction is unnatural and that I am uniquely offended, as if there is something wrong with me, when many of my peers were equally offended. In fact, a cursory search on google.com reveals that there have been similar episodes in the past at other schools and there is a good deal of public debate on the matter, with many professionals sharing the same perspective as me, including mothers.
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#44 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:44 PM
 
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I have one more thing to say & then I'm leaving this conversation. I know in my state, state employees are allowed to bring their babies to work with them for the first year if they are breastfeeding. Many other states do the same as long as the job is safe for an infant. If you attend a state school perhaps this is the case.
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#45 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have one more thing to say & then I'm leaving this conversation. I know in my state, state employees are allowed to bring their babies to work with them for the first year if they are breastfeeding. Many other states do the same as long as the job is safe for an infant. If you attend a state school perhaps this is the case.
What state is this in? I attend a private school, so I don't think that would be relevant.

I've never heard of any professor at my school doing something like this, which makes me think it's violative of school policy.
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#46 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:53 PM
 
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If what I am saying is so unreasonable, then why do so many people in my class, males and females included, agree with what I'm saying? Surely we all can't be wrong.
Surely not. If you talked to some other people in your college lecture class after class, and they agreed with you, then surely nothing else can be said on the matter, right?

Sorry! You and your college lecture acquaintances do not have some magical key to knowledge on civil rights.

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And I'm not asking for sympathy. I was looking to see if people would consider this type of behavior appropriate, and at least one person here has admitted that it was not, in fact, appropriate. I don't think of her as a villain since she is a very good teacher. I just think she was trying to play the "feminist card" and draw unnecessary attention to herself. That's all.
One person agreed that it is generally not appropriate to care for a child at the same time as lecturing. I agree with this, too. I have childcare for my son while I work, also, so I can focus. However, everyone with an infant will have an emergency day or two. It seems you did not have a problem with your teacher occasionally bringing her child to class, just with seeing public breastfeeding.

You also point out that breastfeeding in public is inappropriate in any situation, even when the woman is not working, but shopping, or in a park, or otherwise at her leisure.

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Being called squeamish is rather insulting. Not sure why you can't see that. It presupposes that my reaction is unnatural and that I am uniquely offended, as if there is something wrong with me, when many of my peers were equally offended. In fact, a cursory search on google.com reveals that there have been similar episodes in the past at other schools and there is a good deal of public debate on the matter, with many professionals sharing the same perspective as me, including mothers.
Again, just because some of your classmates and some people you found on the internet agree with you, it doesn't make your position virtuous.

You don't have to be the only one in the world who is disgusted by public breastfeeding to be considered squeamish--what gave you that idea? Your classmates should learn to get over their squeamishness also, for the sake of the child. Maybe some of them already have.

It is likely there are some people in your lecture class who agree with me, too. There are some who saw her breastfeed and didn't think much of it one way or another, and some that saw her breastfeed and thought, "Right on! This teacher is awesome!" The likelihood that these type of people are your particular friends, and that you would have talked to them after class, is low.
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#47 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 02:54 PM
 
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You are talking about two issues here -- one is whether or not a professor can/should bring her child with her to work. I suspect that A LOT of people here would probably agree with you that this is unprofessional (not me, but others for sure).

But by your own admission, the primary issue is the breast. And that's an entirely different thing to discuss and it's, in fact, a very interesting legal issue for you and your classmates to explore.

A third issue is the motives you are attributing to your professor, which are off-putting.

As to why your fellow students may feel the same as you -- a lot of people (A LOT!) do not think that women should breastfeed in public. So many. Really! This is not an unusual opinion but it's not one that a lot of people here at this website support. Another reason I suspect some of your classmates agree with you is because a lack of experience. A smaller percentage of college aged students have children. People who don't have kids tend to lack experience with choices about infant feeding and breastfeeding and the sorts of attitudes and policies that support (and undermine!) breastfeeding.

If you go to the dean, do your teacher a favor and tell her that it's not that she had the kid in class or was feeding the kid in class but that you think she is playing the feminist card and attention seeking by breastfeeding.

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#48 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:01 PM
 
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Actually, the law generally states that a woman may legally breastfeed wherever she and the child are legally able to be.

I think I'm in the minority here, sort of. I would not be bothered by the breastfeeding itself, but I don't think professors should bring their children to class.
I agree with Chickabiddy. I could see how a student might find a breast feeding professor distracting which would put the students who are paying to learn at a disadvantage.
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#49 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:07 PM
 
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I agree with Chickabiddy. I could see how a student might find a breast feeding professor distracting which would put the students who are paying to learn at a disadvantage.
I am currently paying for school so I can and do understand wanting to get what you pay for. The question, though, should be whether a professor is welcome to feed her child while working -- not whether she is welcome to breastfeed.

This is a key distinction, IMO.

If we are talking about a university policy that would allow a professor to bottlefeed but not breastfeed, I would not support that.

I'm a bit grey on taking infants to work. I know and understand why people don't support that option. I tend to think that the benefits outweigh the negatives overall and do support baby-friendly workplaces.
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#50 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Surely not. If you talked to some other people in your college lecture class after class, and they agreed with you, then surely nothing else can be said on the matter, right?

Sorry! You and your college lecture acquaintances do not have some magical key to knowledge on civil rights.



One person agreed that it is generally not appropriate to care for a child at the same time as lecturing. I agree with this, too. I have childcare for my son while I work, also, so I can focus. However, everyone with an infant will have an emergency day or two. It seems you did not have a problem with your teacher occasionally bringing her child to class, just with seeing public breastfeeding.

You also point out that breastfeeding in public is inappropriate in any situation, even when the woman is not working, but shopping, or in a park, or otherwise at her leisure.



Again, just because some of your classmates and some people you found on the internet agree with you, it doesn't make your position virtuous.

You don't have to be the only one in the world who is disgusted by public breastfeeding to be considered squeamish--what gave you that idea? Your classmates should learn to get over their squeamishness also, for the sake of the child. Maybe some of them already have.

It is likely there are some people in your lecture class who agree with me, too. There are some who saw her breastfeed and didn't think much of it one way or another, and some that saw her breastfeed and thought, "Right on! This teacher is awesome!" The likelihood that these type of people are your particular friends, and that you would have talked to them after class, is low.
Omg get off your high horse. I don't know if you think you're Rosa Parks or something, but this isn't a civil rights issue. It's about a college professor engaging in inappropriate, distracting, and arguably offensive behavior.

While I do think that breastfeeding is inappropriate in public locations and is better left to the privacy of the household -- such as, in the words of Justice Scalia, when the lady of the house takes her daily sauna -- I do not hold it against those mothers when they make a point of only breastfeeding outside. I would just choose to avoid them in the checkout aisle at Wal Mart or run away from them in a park.

The key issue here is that I am being FORCED to stay in the classroom or else risk jeopardizing my future as a scholar. This is tantamount to false imprisonment, which you are conveniently avoiding.

The fact that you resort to petty name-calling and criticizing my narrow worldview and saying "High five! Right on! This teacher is awesome!" says a lot here when you are dancing around the real issue. I, for one, would most certainly not give this teacher a high five for the trauma she has put me through. She better hope that I get an A on this next test.
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#51 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
You are talking about two issues here -- one is whether or not a professor can/should bring her child with her to work. I suspect that A LOT of people here would probably agree with you that this is unprofessional (not me, but others for sure).

But by your own admission, the primary issue is the breast. And that's an entirely different thing to discuss and it's, in fact, a very interesting legal issue for you and your classmates to explore.

A third issue is the motives you are attributing to your professor, which are off-putting.

As to why your fellow students may feel the same as you -- a lot of people (A LOT!) do not think that women should breastfeed in public. So many. Really! This is not an unusual opinion but it's not one that a lot of people here at this website support. Another reason I suspect some of your classmates agree with you is because a lack of experience. A smaller percentage of college aged students have children. People who don't have kids tend to lack experience with choices about infant feeding and breastfeeding and the sorts of attitudes and policies that support (and undermine!) breastfeeding.

If you go to the dean, do your teacher a favor and tell her that it's not that she had the kid in class or was feeding the kid in class but that you think she is playing the feminist card and attention seeking by breastfeeding.
I'm not sure I follow everything you're saying. So to the first issue, the professor should not be allowed to bring her baby to class because it is distracting? That's a part of what I've been trying to say.

To the second point, yes, I do find being forced to see my teacher's breast discomforting. Fortunately I'm not a minor, but I would think that the freshmen in my class could have a case of sexual harassment here because breasts are sexual body parts. It doesn't seem appropriate so subject young, malleable minds to them when the purpose of students is to learn and they did not consent to such behavior.

To the third point, I am not only attributing motives to her. She is a pretty well-known feminist in my school, and while I don't want to out identifying information about her, she does frequently engage in feminist discourse and feminist publications. I honestly believe she is trying to push the "breast-feeding frontier" here, if you will. I personally find that behavior off-putting because I think I and my colleagues are being used as tools for a political point, which is unacceptable in a university setting.

I don't think I need experience with children to come to this more sophisticated worldview that some of you people seem to share. I just had a more conservative upbringing, and I know for a fact that my mother would never have even dreamed of breastfeeding me outside the four walls of our humble abode.

I really don't understand your last point about the dean. You said my characterization was off-putting, and now you're saying I should tell the dean that my teacher was being an attention-seeking feminist? Well, which one is it?
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#52 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with Chickabiddy. I could see how a student might find a breast feeding professor distracting which would put the students who are paying to learn at a disadvantage.
Thank you for expressing what I have to say so cogently. This is exactly my point, and I am happy to see that someone can at least see my perspective, even if you don't agree with me <3
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#53 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am currently paying for school so I can and do understand wanting to get what you pay for. The question, though, should be whether a professor is welcome to feed her child while working -- not whether she is welcome to breastfeed.

This is a key distinction, IMO.

If we are talking about a university policy that would allow a professor to bottlefeed but not breastfeed, I would not support that.

I'm a bit grey on taking infants to work. I know and understand why people don't support that option. I tend to think that the benefits outweigh the negatives overall and do support baby-friendly workplaces.
I'm curious as to why you think this is a key distinction. I would prefer that the child not be brought into the classroom at all, but I would be A LOT more supportive if she engaged in "bottlefeed," as you call it. That would avoid this issue of discomfort for me, and I wouldn't be nearly as distracted because her breast wouldn't be visible.

Why wouldn't you support such a policy?
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#54 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
If you go to the dean, do your teacher a favor and tell her that it's not that she had the kid in class or was feeding the kid in class but that you think she is playing the feminist card and attention seeking by breastfeeding.
OMG YES YOU SHOULD SAY THAT. You should lay it out the way you've explained it to us. You should tell the Dean that you don't really have a problem with the teacher bringing her child to class occasionally, and that in general she is an organized teacher about whom you have no other complaints. Then you should tell the Dean that public breastfeeding makes you, personally, uncomfortable, and that you don't appreciate being coerced to see that and that seeing that has distracted you. Definitely equate the whole experience to false imprisonment and describe it as deeply traumatizing.

Emphasize to the Dean that you know the teacher was just feeding her infant in front of you to seek your attention and force her feminist agenda on you. Finish by assuring the Dean that your position is reasonable because you googled this and many people on the internet share your opinion on public breastfeeding and how despicable it is. Protest you aren't being a jerk about this because, after all, your mother breastfed you, and therefore you can say what you like about this teacher and her workplace arrangements.

Lastly, express the threat that she'd better give you an A on the next test, or else you will complain some more.

Please do that and let us know how it goes.
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#55 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:42 PM
 
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Okay, let's take you seriously for a minute. You found the sight of a college instructor breastfeeding during lecture distracting and detrimental to your education. Smart, pre-law kind of guy that you are, you are here to ask what to do about it.

My answers are:
1. Work on your spelling and grammar. I cannot tell you how valuable those skills will be in your current chosen profession, and in making effective complaints to the dean.

2. Consider what your professor NOT breastfeeding in class would be like.

Perhaps your professor chose what she knew to be the surest route to keeping her baby from screaming the house down. Nearly everyone finds screaming babies distracting, and some psychologists have argued that the noise is traumatizing to bystanders. Hungry babies frequently "fuss", by which we mean, they scream.

It may also surprise you to learn that babies, even at very young ages, have preferences. Some will switch nonchalantly from breast to bottle. Some will not. I do not believe you can advance an argument that you know which kind of baby your professor has.

In addition to the probable noise, not breastfeeding in class is not a guarantee that breasts will not become visible or distracting. Crying stimulates letdown, which can be very wet.

Failing to feed an infant or pump breastmilk on a regular basis can also cause a mother pain and illness, which surely your professor, her formal employers, and the students who will one day sit bar exams would all wish to avoid.

ETA: Or take advice from Michelle and ICM and report back. That's way more fun for us.
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#56 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OMG YES YOU SHOULD SAY THAT. You should lay it out the way you've explained it to us. You should tell the Dean that you don't really have a problem with the teacher bringing her child to class occasionally, and that in general she is an organized teacher about whom you have no other complaints. Then you should tell the Dean that public breastfeeding makes you, personally, uncomfortable, and that you don't appreciate being coerced to see that and that seeing that has distracted you. Definitely equate the whole experience to false imprisonment and describe it as deeply traumatizing.

Emphasize to the Dean that you know the teacher was just feeding her infant in front of you to seek your attention and force her feminist agenda on you. Finish by assuring the Dean that your position is reasonable because you googled this and many people on the internet share your opinion on public breastfeeding and how despicable it is. Protest you aren't being a jerk about this because, after all, your mother breastfed you, and therefore you can say what you like about this teacher and her workplace arrangements.

Lastly, express the threat that she'd better give you an A on the next test, or else you will complain some more.

Please do that and let us know how it goes.
I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but I did feel that it was deeply traumatizing because I can't get the image of her breastfeeding out of my head, and I certainly felt compelled to stay there, which I believe is an element of false imprisonment since I lacked the ability to leave (and she lacked the authority to retain me through the shopkeeper's privileged exception).

I didn't just google it, though. I talked to my classmates, friends, parents, and I also tried sites other than google like yahoo.com, ask.com, etc. I don't see how saying my mother breastfed me is relevant to the dean because that information is a little personal. I just meant that I support breastfeeding in narrow circumstances because I understand the health benefits; I just think it's inappropriate to do it in public and very unprofessional to do in the classroom setting, as my teacher did.

I won't ask for an A on the test because I can do that on my own. I'm actually a little worried about complaining in case it gets back to the professor and she lowers my grade in the class since I'm on track to get an A/A+. I just meant that I was very distracted for that lecture and didn't retain much information, which could lower my chances of killing it on the next test. I take my studies very seriously, and I'm disappointed that breastfeeding is getting in the way of that.
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#57 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, let's take you seriously for a minute. You found the sight of a college instructor breastfeeding during lecture distracting and detrimental to your education. Smart, pre-law kind of guy that you are, you are here to ask what to do about it.

My answers are:
1. Work on your spelling and grammar. I cannot tell you how valuable those skills will be in your current chosen profession, and in making effective complaints to the dean.

2. Consider what your professor NOT breastfeeding in class would be like.

Perhaps your professor chose what she knew to be the surest route to keeping her baby from screaming the house down. Nearly everyone finds screaming babies distracting, and some psychologists have argued that the noise is traumatizing to bystanders. Hungry babies frequently "fuss", by which we mean, they scream.

It may also surprise you to learn that babies, even at very young ages, have preferences. Some will switch nonchalantly from breast to bottle. Some will not. I do not believe you can advance an argument that you know which kind of baby your professor has.

In addition to the probable noise, not breastfeeding in class is not a guarantee that breasts will not become visible or distracting. Crying stimulates letdown, which can be very wet.

Failing to feed an infant or pump breastmilk on a regular basis can also cause a mother pain and illness, which surely your professor, her formal employers, and the students who will one day sit bar exams would all wish to avoid.
I do not believe you can advance an argument that you know which kind of baby my professor has either! So how do you even know the baby prefers breast to bottle?

I'm not asking her to avert feeding altogether. I am saying she should have taken appropriate measures to avoid breastfeeding in the middle of a lecture while she was teaching.

Also, I have taken great care to make sure that my spelling and grammar thus far has been flawless. It will have zero impact on how effectively I can articulate an argument to the dean because I plan on delivering oral argument; I am not submitting an essay or a brief.

Certainly, there may have been a typo here or there because I type very quickly (130+ wpm), but I have always received rave reviews for my writing style, grammar, and syntax. It's why I'm a straight A student. Before you criticize me, maybe you want to fix these sentences:

- Hungry babies frequently "fuss", by which we mean, they scream.

- I cannot tell you how valuable those skills will be in your current chosen profession, and in making effective complaints to the dean.
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#58 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I should also mention that I have spoken with my aunt, WT, who has a great deal of experience with these types of situations. She is a worldtraveler, and I would also describe her as something of a feminist, though she would never engage in the kind of behavior my professor did.

Anyway, in her extensive travels, she has been to many countries that are more conservative than ours. Such cultures frown upon open breastfeeding as they find it to be very offensive and tantamount to indecent exposure, which is what I was trying to get at earlier. So perhaps white females have much more liberal views on breastfeeding in public, but I was raised in a strict Middle Eastern household where public breastfeeding was frowned upon. You can see, then, why I might be very uncomfortable around being forced to sit through a lecture where my teacher is engaging in that type of behavior and perhaps pushing her own agenda.
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#59 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 03:58 PM
 
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Wow. Public breastfeeding is sexual harassment towards minors? Hashtag, you are now being ridiculous.

What kind of reception did you expect to get making these sorts of statements, especially on a forum like this? I suppose since, in your circles, people generally agree with you, you are shocked that not everyone feels the same way as you do about breastfeeding. Luckily for us moms, there are now laws that mostly protect us from harmful opinions like yours, or our lives and our ability to work and rear our children would be very impeded.

As for my last post, of course I was joking. What I was trying to point out was that the objections you have expressed here on this thread are very unlikely to have much traction with a university Dean. However, not all universities or states are the same, so I suppose you could try your luck. I would urge you, however, to blow it off. Don't make a hard-working woman and her newborn infant's lives more difficult--why would you want to?
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#60 of 157 Old 07-21-2014, 04:02 PM
 
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If you commonly receive positive feedback on your spelling, grammar and style, and commonly write the way you do here, your instructors have misled you. A lawyer's value is his (or her) clarity of thought and argument, not typing skill. Slow down and do it right.

I did not advance an argument that I know what kind of baby your professor has. I would, however, be quite willing to argue that your professor knows her baby, and was probably doing her best to teach class as well as possible in trying circumstances.

If you really want to make interesting waves, you could mention that the baby in class situation wasn't good for anyone, and ask what arrangements the school makes for backup childcare for employees.
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