Breastfeeding Equals Stripping?

"I tried many times to educate and talk to them, and let them know we are not second class citizens. We deserve to be with everybody. It got heated he compared me to a stripper."

Nirvana Jennette

Madonna with Child, the Holy Spirit and two cherubims

Breastfeeding, the symbol inspired by Almighty God to describe spiritual fullness, has been labeled as "lewd" and likened to stripping by a Georgia pastor.  Perhaps he hasn't studied the prophecy of Isaiah, who penned these beautiful words:

"That you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, That you may suck and be delighted with her bountiful bosom."

Isaiah 66:11 (NASB)

Healthland, a TIME publication, describes what happened to this breastfeeding Georgia peach:

"Last summer, Nirvana Jennette was breast-feeding her baby daughter at a Georgia church when she was asked to cover up. When her daughter didn’t cooperate — as babies are wont to do — the controversy escalated, culminating with Jennette’s pastor calling her disrespectful, intimating that she could face public indecency charges and equating breast-feeding with stripping."

Recently, a local television station interviewed this breastfeeding mom and filed the following report:  Local Woman Kicked Out of Church for Breastfeeding Baby

Not surprisingly, this story has attracted a lot of attention in recent days.  The Christianity Today blog Her.meneutics has just done an expose on this woman's shocking experience.  This timely CT article "Breastfeeding in Church, and Other Petty Crimes" begins with these words:

"A Georgia woman named Nirvana Jenette claims she was kicked out of church for breastfeeding, the pastor ordering her to nurse the baby in the bathroom and calling her behavior ‘lewd,’ comparing her to a stripper.  As a culture we’re no strangers to boobage—and not just in music videos and Victoria’s Secret commercials. It’s not unusual to see professional women’s necklines plunging so low so as nearly to permit nursing with little further exposure. Nor is it rare to see suburban teens posing provocatively in photos on social media.  Yet strangely, we are still squeamish about breastfeeding."

These are strange times indeed!  We are absolutely astounded that Mark Driscoll can prance around the country glorifying oral and anal sex, yet a breastfeeding mom is likened to a stripper when she nourishes her hungry infant.  What is wrong with this picture?!

Hey guys (you know who you are), I'm going to presume to speak for my gender now — we're just not feelin' the love.  Here at TWW we have explained how in some churches (like Piper's Bethlehem Baptist), women are not allowed to read scripture or pray from the pulpit.  Furthermore, in some congregations, women are blamed for the lustful looks and thoughts of men.  Now some are sneering at breastfeeding mothers.  Where will it stop?

As the mother of two daughters who will probably marry and have a family, I am grateful to Nirvana Jennette and like-minded moms who are standing up to bullies in the pulpit.   Do these pastors have any idea what a sacrifice it is for a mother to breastfeed her baby?  I nursed both of my daughters, so I know first hand what these moms are experiencing.  Breastfeeding is highly demanding, not just physically but emotionally.  A mother who chooses this means of nourishing her baby makes a huge sacrifice for the benefit of her child.  Demanding that she nurse her baby in a bathroom is unsanitary and unacceptable.  When expected to do so, some breastfeeding moms are responding:  "Would you take your dinner and eat it in a bathroom?  That's what you are expecting infants to do."    

International Breastfeeding Symbol

Coincidentally, the American Academy of Pediatrics has just reaffirmed its breastfeeding guidelines.   Here is their statement:

"Breastfeeding is a natural and beneficial source of nutrition and provides the healthiest start for an infant. In addition to the nutritional benefits, breastfeeding promotes a unique and emotional connection between mother and baby. In the policy statement, "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk," published in the March 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Feb. 27), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby's life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.

This recommendation is supported by the health outcomes of exclusively breastfed infants and infants who never or only partially breastfed. Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis. The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is reduced by over a third in breastfed babies, and there is a 15 percent to 30 percent reduction in adolescent and adult obesity in breastfed vs. non-breastfed infants. Approximately 75 percent of newborn infants initiate breastfeeding. Hospital routines more and more attempt to accommodate the breastfeeding mother. Pediatricians promote the advantages of breastfeeding to mothers and infants, as well as the health risks of not breastfeeding. As such, choosing to breastfeed should be considered an investment in the short- and long-term health of the infant, rather than a lifestyle choice."

The Healthland article (cited above) explains the need for a public breast-feeding law in Georgia that will protect women and enforce the law.  Here is the pertinent excerpt:

"Every state needs a public breast-feeding law with an enforcement provision, says Jake Marcus, a Philadelphia attorney who laughingly describes herself as the country’s foremost expert on breast-feeding law. (“That’s not saying a lot,” says Marcus. “There aren’t many of us.”) Yet she notes that even if the legislation succeeds, it’s not likely to make much of a difference in terms of Jennette’s run-in with her pastor: houses of worship are generally exempt from public-accommodation regulations.

Marcus, who has helped craft the proposed Georgia legislation, says women can be lulled into a false sense of security when they hear they have the right to breast-feed anywhere they’re authorized to be. “They see the word right and think, No one can interfere with me,” says Marcus. “But a right without a remedy is not a right.”

The proposed legislation calls for a fine of up to $1,000 for those who “restrict, harass or penalize a mother who is breastfeeding her child, require a mother to leave the premises [or] require a mother to move to a different location on the premises if the mother is otherwise authorized to be in her current location.” Nursing in the bathroom, anyone?"

To bring attention to this matter, Jennette and other breastfeeding advocates from around the country are organizing a 'Georgia Statewide Nurse-In' set for this coming Monday at the Woodbine Courthouse.  Thanks to social networking, those participating can synergize their efforts through their very own Facebook page.  Don't you just love this technology?

Nirvana Jennette has written a petition letter which states:

"Currently Georgia state law allows a mother to nurse her child anywhere that mother and child have permission to be, but there is no enforcement provision.

A law without enforcement protects no one. New legislation would provide for civil action against anyone subjecting a nursing mother to harassment or discrimination in violation of the current state breastfeeding law, as well as protection from all indecent exposure laws.

She goes on to say how she will continue the fight until the law is changed.

The law that a mother can nurse a child anywhere has no enforcement provision, and ultimately protects no-one."

Apparently, some celebrities like Oprah Winfrey have gotten involved, so we expect the nurse-in to draw national attention. 

To bring some levity to a serious discussion, here's a collection of funny baby videos.  Enjoy!

Lydia's Corner:  Jeremiah 12:1-14:10   1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8   Psalm 79:1-13   Proverbs 24:30-34


Breastfeeding Equals Stripping? — 87 Comments

  1. Would they kick a woman with a plunging neckline out of church? I think not. See, here’s the thing, the baby is getting in the way of the view! That’s their real problem.

  2. Deb
    Good article. Yep, women can’t speak in church and women are supposed to have babies but then women can’t feed the babies except in the church bathroom. Can you imagine John Piper being asked to eat his sandwich in the john? Is this system hacked or what? Why don’t they just get over with and reform the Court of Women?

  3. Wow. I am six months pregnant and I was discussing breastfeeding with my mother and how to go about it in public. She laughed because she said growing up in her SBC church it wasn’t uncommon to see women breast feeding during the sermon. It just wasn’t a big deal… ironically my mother rails against the inappropriate outfits women wear to church. She flipped out when she saw a teenager in a strapless dress that looked like a body glove. Oddly, no one says one word about that. A mother serving her child is lewd but I young girl exposing half her body to the youth group isn’t disrespectful??????

  4. Dee,

    As one blogger cleverly calls her website: Are Women Human?

    How sad that breastfeeding women are sometimes treated as sub-human.

    I have had it with men who expect women to be BABY FACTORIES and then treat them with such contempt when they feed their babies according to God’s design.

    I hope the Nurse-In has a huge turnout!

    What is it about Georgia anyway?! Anti-blogging and anti-nursing (in church). Ya’ll need to grow up!!!

  5. Robin
    I wish you well in the rest of your pregnancy. You will have to announce the birth of the coming little person when it happens! Yeah, I’ve seen those outfits as well. And I have heard one or two people complain about nursing mothers as well. Warped view. Here’s to churches and businesses who provide comfortable places for women who are caring well for their wee ones.

  6. deb

    Yeah, the new anti-birth control folks want women to do a Michelle Duggar and don’t want to see her nursing her kids.

  7. I believe that these men are pushing against a feminism that was not godly. In doing so, they went over into the other ditch. You know there were women who would have been considered feminist a la Susan B. Anthony was were STAUNCHLY pro life. That is one example of feminism that wasn’t idolatry. Dee, you should do a post about the difference between God honoring femininity vs. Gospel denying femininity. Many of the men you discuss unfortunately view all women who speak out to be in the latter group and that is just a shame.

  8. These Georgia moms need to come up with a BOOBY PRIZE (pun intended) to give these BOZOS who accuse them of being strippers.

    Dee, can you imagine if you and I were the breastfeeding moms being called strippers?

  9. Robin,

    We have noticed how we all get dumped into the feminist category, especially on the CBMW blog.

  10. “Well, that story was a handful, and really milked for all it was worth! I’ll bet that crazy pastor was upset the whole thing wasn’t NIPPED in the bud! I heard he said it SUCKED! Made him a little down in the MOUTH!! THANK YOU!! I’ll be here all week! And don’t forget to tip your TWW blog hosts, ’cause TWW crowds are the BEST crowds in the WORLD!!” *G*

  11. Pingback: Breastfeeding Equals Stripping? | The Wartburg Watch – Your Guide To Breastfeeding

  12. “Feminism” and “feminist” do NOT necessarily = the far fringes of the feminist movement (especially per the 1970s).

    So many people in evangelical circles seem to think we’re fire-breathing Jezebels.

    ‘Taint necessarily so, as Sportin’ Life says…

  13. The problem seems to come from the mistaken idea (mostly held by men) that breasts are inherently sexual, or exist only for male enjoyment. This is not just a problem in religious or conservative circles. Comedian Bill Maher has expressed a similar view in the past. (You can read about the controversy surrounding his comments here.) I would speculuate that this attitude is a fairly recent development in our culture, likely post-Victorian, since most people spent the Victorian era completely covered up and not discussing anything “unseemly”, like natural bodily functions.

  14. Skjaere,

    Thank you for your comment, and welcome to TWW! You have made some extremely valid points.

    It’s really sad that women have to stage a “Nurse-In” to push back against what I consider to be misogyny. I hope their effort results in laws and attitudes being changed.

  15. I wish they’d sit in front of that pastor and have a nurse-in at the church!

    I breastfed my 4 babies and have sweet memories of that special time with each of them. But as Deb pointed out, it is a huge sacrifice. Breastmilk digests more easily and faster than formula, so breast babies nurse very frequently. They get up more at night. They poop more. And so on. When you’re in church or at the grocery store or running errands, chances are you’re going to have to nurse. I never hesitated to plop down where I was and breastfeed. Sometimes, I would go out to the car, but only if it was more convenient in the situation. I was always VERY discreet, but I rarely covered the baby and myself with a blanket. I am hot-natured, and I’d start sweating and get uncomfortable. My babies didn’t seem to tolerate being completely covered either. They would start squirming and come off the breast. I wouldn’t want to eat my meals with a blanket over my face either.

    No one ever said a word to me about it except at church by a WOMAN. I was breastfeeding my first baby in a young married couples Sunday School class. Nothing could be seen, not even a bit of my flesh. This woman marched in the class, saw that I was breastfeeding, threw a blanket over my nursing baby and me, and said, “(Husband’s name) is coming in. He thinks it’s gross when women do that in public.”

    Sadly, some women perpetuate these abuses against their own gender.

  16. Wendy,

    There are some extremely IGNORANT people out there! I have decided not to tolerate their ignorance any more. If breastfeeding makes them uncomfortable, they should leave.

    Folks, grow up. This is truly ridiculous.

  17. It’s stories like this that prove that our porn culture has infiltrated the church.

    The porn culture says that women’s breasts are NEVER to be seen as anything else other than playthings for men (In Christian circles, the man better be the husband, otherwise, all other porn rules hold fast an true). If breasts appear in public or have any attention drawn to them, it must be for the pleasure and tantalization of men who are visual creatures and the center of God’s creation. Women and children must revolve around the needs and desires of the pornified man since he to be the center of his wife’s and children’s universe. Any woman disregarding the demands of the porn culture and pronified men (Including pastors) will be punished as a whore.

    Don’t you remember Grace Driscoll’s mommy hair cut? How dare she try to look like a mommy! In the pornified church culture, women’s bodies are first and foremost for the use and pleasure of men. ANY and ALL indication that the private areas of her body can be used for (or were, in fact, created for) anything else MUST be entirely hidden from the view of the pornified man. Because men are the leaders, the bosses, the heads. And whatever men say, pornified or not, that goes, even if the way God created women disagrees.

    Modern Evangelicals are so screwed up on what womanhood it all about. What gives them the idea that they have any authority to preach to the world concerning womanhood and motherhood. They need to clean their own house first, because it is filthy.

  18. Background: We have 3 daughters (including one that was born just yesterday at 2:30am! yay!) and my wife breastfed/feeds. Even in the church where I pastor, though she does use a cover.

    This guy is off his rocker. Though, I’m willing to make some speculation being that he’s a fundie type that would definitely have something to say about low-cut dresses etc. Heck, I’m willing to bet he’d even be outspoken against what Mark Driscoll does. Not all fundies are the same in what their fundamental about.

    At any rate, my wife has a personal conviction about covering when feeding and if the cover doesn’t work, she won’t sit in public. Not to say one can’t, it’s just her conviction. Though admittedly, it’s quite awkward to be preaching and someone start breastfeeding without a cover. Perhaps though, my awkwardness says more about me than them!

  19. Maybe it’s a function of living in the north east, but I never experienced any negativity from anyone, in church or otherwise, when breast feeding — and I nursed my babies into toddlerhood. On the contrary, I often received warm and encouraging comments from the ladies in our Episcopal church. I am thankful for that, as I realize it is not necessarily the norm.

  20. Danny,

    Congratulations to you, your wife, and big sisters on your newborn daughter! How wonderful!! I’m glad to hear that your wife provides her babies the nourishment they need in public, and I respect her personal conviction to cover.

    Thank you for respecting breastfeeding mothers who choose not to use a cover. I breastfed 4 babies, and it was never my personal conviction to cover. No one could ever see even a bit of my flesh. When I did cover a few times, my babies would squirm and come off the breast, maybe because they weren’t used to being covered while nursing and it made them hot and/or uncomfortable. It made me realize that I wouldn’t want MY face covered when I’m eating my meals either.

    I would think that mothers (or fathers) preparing bottles, shaking the formula, and feeding their babies bottles in church services would be more distracting that a breastfeeding mother quietly feeding her baby.

  21. Deb,

    Thank you for advocating the nutritional and other benefits of breastfeeding and for bringing awareness to Nirvana’s story and this ridiculous situation.

    We absolutely must defend the basic rights of our most precious, innocent, and dependent human beings – our children.

  22. My preference is that breast feeding moms discreetly cover themselves, not with a heavy blanket but with some kind of light airy drape. There are also discreet breast feeding p

  23. Nice smear of John Piper who has nothing whatsoever to do with the Georgia pastor and the breastfeeding.

    And Now, on the E-Church right?

  24. My I Phone is NOT behaving!

    There are discreet breast feeding positions that can be used.

    Moms, please be considerate of the image you are presenting in publIc.

  25. I’ve personally never seen a breastfeeding mom being indiscreet in public, whether using a cover or not.

  26. What I hate to see is a baby with a blanket thrown over it’s little head while nursing or worse yet, being fed in a bathroom. Try it sometime. A hot blanket or nasty restroom. Stand up for your child’s right to eat in comfort.

  27. Mara,

    Above you have given us a synopsis of this comp/patriarchal culture that has permeated the church from the wacky vision forum people to Piper. I often wonder what these guys will do when their wives are disfigured or seriously ill. I mean, she will not be able to fulfill ANY of her “biblical” roles such as keeping the home, having sex, helping him succeed in life, etc. Seems at that point, the wife is pretty useless and only a burden to the poor husband who deserves better because he is center of the universe. Now, if he gets sick…that is another matter.

    They will deny they think this way but from what they teach….it is a logical conclusion for this “masculine” Christianity.

  28. If moms are being discreet without a cover, not exposing their flesh, why cover unless it’s a personal preference or conviction? If mom and/or baby are more comfortable without a cover and mom is being discreet, isn’t that more important than someone else’s preference? We don’t ask moms to cover their baby’s head while they’re nursing a bottle.

  29. Out of curiosity, I ran the cover thing by a friend with two grown daughters who has been a childbirth instructor, doula, and La Leche League consultant for many years. Here is her comment: “Most babies don’t seem to enjoy covers. I don’t enjoy eating my lunch with a towel thrown over my head.”

  30. If no skin is exposed, I wouldn’t have any problem. My preference was to use a very lightweight drape.

  31. Anyone who is uncomfortable with a woman breastfeeding should absent themselves from the situation and leave the madonna and child to their necessary interaction. That includes that Pastor. He can go create an all male congregation for himself and preach to others who have his hang up.

    To me, a mother nursing her child is the most beautiful sight, and a pregnant woman is the most beautiful in her life, except when she is nursing.

  32. I’m sensitive about the comfort of moms and babies. And I guess this whole thing gives me post-traumatic stress from having that blanket thrown over my baby and me for doing something as innocent as feeding my hungry, thirsty newborn daughter.

  33. Wendy, Debbie
    i agree. Most moms are discrete. One of my kids was a squirmer and sometimes you do become uncovered. Any guy who finds that offensive has mother problems and needs to see a counselor.

  34. I’ve been known to nurse some of my 10 babies (now ages 6-24) in public, including in the church pew. I never had any problem with it, even when not covering with a blanket. Nursing in a baby sling was particularly effective, because I could pull up the edge without covering the face. You learn how to be discreet, with only an occasional flash. What I REALLY appeciate,though, is the churches who were thoughtful enough to provide a nursing moms room, equipped with a one way mirror into the sanctuary, very comfortable rockers or gliders with foot stools, a fully stocked changing table (some with a sink nearby). The rooms are kept mostly darkened and are fairly quiet for the babies so they can eat without major distraction. There is a speaker so you can hear the sermon. Our last three churches (mega church, Reformed Baptist and SGM) before our current one all had these. The SGM one had a door connecting it to the ladies’ room, and they also had ladies volunteer to come in and serve the nursing moms, like bringing water, or playing with toddler siblings, etc. They also had a similar room for parents who wanted to be in the service with little ones (toddlers, preschoolers) but didn’t want to be a distraction. The kids could play on the floor or whatever. There were also little kids in the sanctuary, so it wasn’t like they were being banished, but it made it easier for parents with real wigglers who might otherwise be pacing the halls. The PCA church we go to now meets in a middle school auditorium, but they do have a comfortable seating area set up at the back, sort of behind a divider but not totally, where a mommy can nurse. Of course this means bringing two easy chairs in and out of the storage room each week, but this is an extra special touch.

  35. Virginia,

    What you have described would be the ideal in a church setting.

    I would have liked the baby sling idea. I will remember your recommendation if/when my daughters have babies. 🙂

  36. Back in the 70s, a lot of Catholic churches had “cry rooms,” so that babies and small children (and their moms) would have a place to go where they could chill *and* hear (and often see) everything that was going on in the Mass.

    Not all church buildings have rooms sharing an adjoining wall with the sanctuary, but it seems that many of the “mainline” churches are putting what they have to good use, on behalf of squirmy/crying/tired kids and parents.

  37. Anon 1 –

    If the wife becomes ill and requires extensive care by the type if man you speek of, her children (daughters?) often step in to provide the care. The husband, when he does take this kind of role, is often applauded as being “so self-sacraficing” and going above and beyond what is “normal” for a man to do. Meanwhile, women have worked very hard, in and/or out if the home, and care for everyone in the home when they are ill or in need, often without any special recognition. It is just what they do because they are loving their spouse and children. It is not considered out of the ordinary for a woman. Why it so extraordinary for a man to do the same?

    BTW – I have seen exceptions 🙂

    PS – My husband realized early on that the the stay at home part was as hard and often harder than going to work.

  38. Eagle,
    I lagunaed out loud more over your android’s “thanks for the laguna” than over JP in the restroom with his sandwich. My iPad just tried to autocorrect laguna into “lagunaed” and then into “laugh”.

  39. Numo
    My current church built a small room at the back of the worship center and glassed the front so that parents can take their crying children and infants in there and still see and hear the service. (The people cannot hear them. Also, they built another small room, filled comfortable seating for nursing mothers. They can also hear the service. Oh, this church does not push advised number of children or anti-contraception rhetoric. And before the wolves jump on this, baying about liberalism, I am opposed to abortion so don’t go there.

  40. skjaere said:

    “The problem seems to come from the mistaken idea (mostly held by men) that breasts are inherently sexual, or exist only for male enjoyment.”

    Amen and amen!

    I breast fed both of my boys and was truly amazed that I was made to feel “dirty” when doing so and felt I had to hide what is a very natural feeding process. In spite of that, it was a truly blessed time of bonding between mom and sons.

  41. Dave A A

    I had a good laugh at comments by both you and Eagle. Y’all are too having too much fun here! 😛

  42. Sheesh, I nursed my babies in church for years. The informal setting helped with that, but I don’t think I ever flashed anyone. (There was a guy on a very cramped aeroplane who had a rather intimate experience against his will, but that’s another story.)

    My suggestion for a pastor who has a problem seeing babies nurse discreetly:

    Throw a blanket over his own head.


  43. I’ve used church nurseries and nursing rooms where the sermon could be heard, and I appreciated those options. But I only wanted to use those when my babies were getting older, nursing for brief periods, and then would want down to play. I was much more comfortable, when my babies were younger and/or cooperative, to be in the service or SS class with my husband and other people where I could fully see, hear, and participate.

    Breastfeeding whenever and wherever mom and baby are comfortable, whether it be in the grocery store, the church sanctuary, the nursing room, the restaurant should be as acceptable as bottle feeding in any of those locations. It is completely natural. No one should blink an eye. No one blinks an eye when a bottle is plopped in a baby’s mouth, although formula feeding didn’t become popular until after WWII.

  44. Speaking of WWII and not blinking an eye…

    My husband has an artist friend who did paintings of the Memphis Belle, the famous Boeing B-17 that was used in 25 combat missions during WWII. All 25 of those missions were flown by Colonel Robert Morgan’s crew.

    Colonel Morgan was born and lived here in Asheville, NC until his death in 2004. Two years before he died, I contacted him and asked if he would sign some of the paintings for us. My husband and I took our infant daughter and met him at his office. He was such a genuine, kind, and humble man, and we really enjoyed chatting with him.

    During our meeting, my daughter got fussy and wanted to eat. I didn’t want to go to the car and miss an opportunity to get more acquainted with Colonel Morgan, so I thought I’d feel out the situation. I said, “I think she’s getting hungry and wants to nurse.” He replied, “Feed your baby. My mama breastfed me.” So, I discreetly nursed her sitting across the table from Colonel Morgan without a cover. He kept talking and didn’t blink an eye.

  45. Just to clarify… I may sound like a breastfeeding nazi, but I’m really not. I am a strong advocate of breastfeeding, but I respect all moms’ situations and feeding choices.

  46. Wendy,

    Your comments are very welcome here! I’m glad we have a platform where you can express your affirmation of breastfeeding. It is so important for the bonding of mother and baby, not to mention the tremendous health benefits to the child! I’m convinced that my daughters had fairly healthy childhoods because of breastfeeding.

  47. The way this pastor responded leads me to believe that he has an “issue” that he needs to address. The nursing mom did nothing wrong and shouldn’t be made to feel as if she did. I don’t know what happened in the USA (maybe religion) but we sure have screwed up the way we think about the human body.

  48. Uh oh Bridget2. Sayin’ a pastor might have an issue sounds like a questioning spirit– maybe an unentreatable spirit or even a Jezebel spirit. If da pastor reads here, he might call up CJ to recommend dismemberment, like DB. Da bible says LOTS about nursing moms causing pastors to stumble, doncha know.

  49. Heather

    Standing Ovation!!!!!!!!!! My suggestion for a pastor who has a problem seeing babies nurse discreetly: Throw a blanket over his own head.” Whooo hooo!

  50. Arce
    Thank you for your input. BTW, your suggestion on how to quit a church is getting much play in a situation up in the Northwest. Some people are planning to use it en mass. I will write about it soon.

  51. Bridget
    I used to get irritated when women would say that their husbands were babysitting when they went out. I asked them if they said they babysat when they stayed at home. As you can tell, I didn’t fit well in the Dallas subculture.

  52. DaveAA
    I hereby announce the TWW Laguna. In fact, I have a great idea. We should start using it and see how quickly the word gets picked up in popular culture. The thought of it makes me laguna.

  53. Wade
    Did you know that when I try to email you, my computer keeps trying to change Burleson to Burlesque?

  54. Heather
    I am sitting giggling (or should I say laguning) over the incident on the airplane. When me eldest was 4 months, we were traveling to New Orleans by plane. I breast fed her and sat her up and held her up a bit so my husband could get something. She proceeded to projectile vomit over the top of the seat onto a well dressed business man. I mean ALOT! Bless that man. He had 4 children of his own and was quite gracious, but his suit jacket was covered. However, the smell permeated the plane, and I got glares from a number of passengers.

  55. DaveAA
    I am waiting for the day that someone calls me a Jezebel. I will laguna all over the place.

  56. RE: numo on Sat, Mar 03 2012 at 03:56 am:

    Loved the quip from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”!!! One of the coolest operas ever written in my opinion. I know I’ll probably catch some 88 mm flak for this, but I think Porgy & Bess ranks right up there with “Le Nozze di Figaro”.

    I thought I’d heard it all from these patriarchal pinheads, but this flap about women breastfeeding really takes the cake. One would think Rush Limbaugh was actually behind it.

  57. First, let me get a little Momento from Classic Dr Demento out of the way.

    That said, I can only quote Frank Zappa: “Stupidity is like hydrogen; it’s the basic building block of the universe.”

    No one blinks an eye when a bottle is plopped in a baby’s mouth, although formula feeding didn’t become popular until after WWII. — Wendy

    My stepmother came of age in that era, and actually told me once that breast-feeding was “unnatural”. Go fig.

    I often wonder what these guys will do when their wives are disfigured or seriously ill. I mean, she will not be able to fulfill ANY of her “biblical” roles such as keeping the home, having sex, helping him succeed in life, etc. — Anon1

    Why do you think you hear preaching against THE FAGS (TM) but not against Divorce? (Keep your options open, you never know when you might need it yourself…)

    Back in the 70s, a lot of Catholic churches had “cry rooms,” so that babies and small children (and their moms) would have a place to go where they could chill *and* hear (and often see) everything that was going on in the Mass. — Numo

    They still do.

  58. Dave A A –

    I’d be quite happy and honored to be considered a friend of DBs. If someone labeled me a Jezebel, however, I would respectfully refute that characterization and point out that I will bend the knee before the same Jesus as they . . . whether they happen to like it or not 🙂

    BTW – It appears to me that many pastors these days are the ones with the “questioning” and “unentreatable” spirits. I’m thinking of Driscoll and Mahaney, along with pastors who are supporting the outlandish membership and discipline agreements being conjured up these days.

    It is odd that the reins are being drawn up ever tighter on the members, yet all grace and “thinking the best” abounds for the fellow pastor/elder/apostle. And denoms wonder why they are losing membership. Do they really think their members and the world at large is blind to hypocrisy? They only deceive themselves.

  59. Arce and Heather,

    Great comments. I totally agree. Arce, your comments were so tender. Thank you.

    Dee and Deb,

    Thanks for your support.

  60. HUG,

    “My stepmother came of age in that era, and actually told me once that breast-feeding was ‘unnatural’.”

    My grandmother and her 5 siblings were all breastfed. She didn’t become a mother herself until my grandfather returned from WWII. She bottlefed her children and used to make weird comments about women who breastfed. She never made derogatory comments to me personally, because I think she’d become used to the new wave of women (including her granddaughters) who had chosen to breastfeed.

    Right after WWII, men and women began receiving inaccurate messages about breastfeeding. Among these messages was that formula was superior nutritionally to breastmilk and that only poor women nursed their babies. Breastfeeding became a cultural taboo for many years.

    My mother had her first 2 babies in the late sixties and early seventies, and she told me there was tremendous pressure NOT to breastfeed (at least in our region of the country). Years later, when my youngest brother was born in 1980, they were advocating and supporting breastfeeding, so she breastfed him.

  61. Muff,

    “I thought I’d heard it all from these patriarchal pinheads, but this flap about women breastfeeding really takes the cake. One would think Rush Limbaugh was actually behind it.”

    I agree, Muff. I am sick to death of women being blamed for everything. And everything being sexualized and “pornified” as Mara said. And women being used as religious and political pawns.

  62. Muff
    Funny, i always thought of Porgy and Bess in the same league as your have described. I knew I liked you.
    Rush never had kids but i think the pastor had some. Can you imagine his home life?

  63. HUG
    We need to feature that as a quote one time. Frank Zappa: “Stupidity is like hydrogen; it’s the basic building block of the universe.”

  64. Bridget
    When people call me names, I know I am getting to them which, for me, is a badge of honor. Have you ever gone to our list of things we have been called at this blog? Minions of Satan is rather humorous.

  65. We need to feature that as a quote one time. Frank Zappa: “Stupidity is like hydrogen; it’s the basic building block of the universe.”

    Though Harlan Ellison also claims credit for the quote.

  66. Did Ellison’s lawsuit with Gary Groth ever get resolved, HUG? I’m out of the loop on stuff like that these days.

  67. HUG – yeah (Catholic churches with cry rooms). I probably didn’t phrase my comment as well as I might have, as my intent was to state that Catholics were way ahead of the curve on this.

    Eagle – you and your dad and family have been in my thoughts and prayers. And I *love* your “comic relief” posts!

    Dee (and all) – I have Latin American friends who are just shocked at the intolerance toward breastfeeding in the US – not in terms of moms doing it, but in reactions to public breastfeeding. and i’ve got to agree! I think it’s insane to be phased by it, let alone carry on the way some people do. For all the sexual content found in the media (TV and movies especially), we are actually very prudish when it comes to real life (imo, at least).

    though i don’t have kids of my own, I would have wanted to breastfeed if things had been different… and I really enjoy seeing contented babies nursing. It must be amazing to be able to bond with your child in that way. (Though I’m cool with bottle feeding, too.)

  68. Muff – the songs Gershwin wrote for Porgy and Bess are the bomb and I think he (and the songs) deserve to be at the top of the list in both classical and popular repertoire.

  69. It seems like a tempest in a teapot.

    I breastfed, yes, in church, in the 1970’s and if you do it right, no one need be aware.

    Maybe discretion?

  70. numo,

    Sometimes purists can be so pure they are reluctant to concede Gershwin’s genius even when it bites em’ right in the ass. Porgy & Bess was not well received by the critics when it first premiered in 1935.

    It wasn’t so long ago also that folksy purists freaked out big time when Dylan brought out a Stratocaster and plugged it in.

  71. Muff, Alex Ross wrote a bit about critical reactions to Porgy & Bess in his book The Rest is Noise. I don’t share any of Ross’s love of Mahler or Strauss, personally, but he’s written a readable overview of 20th century music that might interest you. Finding out all the racist remarks made in the 1920s and 1930s about how jazz wasn’t really “American” music but pop styles invented by blacks and exploited by Jews was … eh, informative if somewhat sad to read about. The facts are, though, racist remarks withstanding, that black and Jewish musicians really did found jazz as we’ve come to know it. Copland, Gershwin, and others came from Jewisn and Eastern European backgrounds. This historical nexus may help explain how I switched from Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson to Bartok and Shostakovich without feeling I had made any fundamental or unbridgeable shift in my musical interests.

    And I could go on a happy tangent about the linkage between the American minimalists and their influence on Brian Eno or Peter Gabriel.

  72. All someone needs to do is to look at the artwork depicting the madonna-child dyad to realize that our discomfort from breastfeeding is relatively recent.

    And the irony has not been lost to me: this is one of the few circumstances in which there exists a very obvious difference between men and women and these sexist twits don’t have the sense to side with that which God created and deemed real and magnifiscent!

  73. We had an African exchange student live with us years ago while in high school. He was extremely modest with high moral standards. He wouldn’t even swim alone with a female even if she had an all en-covering swim suit. But he was shocked he never saw any women nursing babies. I told him they were, but they would cover with a blanket. He couldn’t understand why they would cover.

  74. American in Dubai

    First, welcome! Second, what a great comment, which clearly shows cultural bias as opposed to Scriptural mandates. I love it.

  75. Real quote from stripper-turned-murderess Marjorie Orbin: “I didn’t feel disrespected, and I DIDN’T do anything that I WOULDN’T be afraid to tell my mother.”

    Exactly. I lagunaed out loud. Stripper/murderesses should watch the double negatives.

  76. For those who may be new, lagunaed = laughed

    It is so difficult for me to resist correcting this typo! 😛

  77. Pingback: some spring links!

  78. Ugh.

    I can’t even comment.


    Momma who breastfed three!

    PS I hope the Nurse- In slams it!