Remember this story about the American Professor who briefly breastfed her baby during class rather than cancel the first week’s lectures because her baby was sick? Since then that story got quite big in the US Internet media and there were a lot of predictably stupid responses to it but then there were some good ones, too.
Six Thoughts On The Case Of The Breast-feeding Professor over at Alas, A Blog!
The idea that childrearing should be absolutely separate from the work world is a leftover from the past, when a large number of middle class families could afford having a “wife at home” taking care of kids while Dad worked (and secretly drank). We don’t live in that world anymore; we live in a world where, typically, children are raised either by two working parents or by a single parent. It is inevitable that sometimes work and home overlap, and sneering or yelling at breastfeeding mothers is exactly the wrong reaction.
So the main argument seems to boil down to whether or not one thinks that this professor’s students–those poor young things!!–were somehow ill-served by the fact that she brought her kid to class/breastfed it in class. (Some folks who are willing to allow–so generous!–that women with kids might have to occasionally bring the child to work Must Draw The Line at giving it the boob In Front Of Other People.) Because the students Deserved Her Full Attention or because they Might Have Been Offended. Somehow by bringing her kid to class/feeding it during lecture she wasn’t giving them What They Were Paying for.