Big Bullies with Boobs vs. Big Bullies with Rules

Woman contacts airline to ask about a breastfeeding policy.

Woman is told that unless she can convince her baby to allow a cover.. Too bad, so sad. Outta luck. Gotta use a bottle that the baby won’t take.

Women try to convince airline that they should possibly educate their employees better. The end goal being so that employees do not continue to pass out false information that damages the reputation of the airline and that forces restrictions on women and babies.

The end result? Those women are called bullies.

There’s another word. Advocates. People that push for things that should be.

Bullies push. Sure. Bullies push you over and take your lunch money. Bullies tell you that you can’t fly on an airplane unless you can do something that you can’t. Bullies are big all on their own and they target small people. Airlines are big. Breastfeeding women tend to be individuals rather than parts of some huge horking conspiracy geared to expose everyone to babies that need to eat.

Bullies don’t say “Hey big company, can you clarify your policy to your employees so that they’ll stop pushing us over and taking our lunch money telling us that we can’t breastfeed our babies on your planes?”

That’s called pushing for a change from a company with a problematic issue over policy. Were the people that yelled and hawked and hemmed over TSA rules and regulations “bullies” or were they pointing out valid concerns like “people should be able to carry water on a plane without being strip-searched” and “refusing to allow a woman wearing a hijab on the plane is a really bad move and discrimination”.

If people took to the internets with a social media push to get airlines to offer better potoato chips in-flight would that be bullying or would we all jab our fists in the air and yell VIVE LA DEEP FRIED POTATO THINS! while being all smug about how awesome social media can be at enacting important change?

Breastfeeding women are simply tired of being told that they can’t sit at THIS table (which is for the people with the cool babies that let them cover up with fashionable fabrics) and that they can’t do /THAT/ here. (With “that” being feeding a baby.) We’re tired of being told to “just pump” by someone who has never struggled to pump half an ounce while balancing a baby on one hip and vacuuming the floor with their free arm. We’re tired of people that have never had mastitis telling us that we have to fly an entire long flight without nursing, and the possibility of being accosted by airport personnel if we nurse before a flight. We’re tired of people being ANGRY at us if our baby is crying, but being even more ANGRY with us if our baby is nursing quietly and they witness a peek of the very same upper boob that was visible through the top of the v-neck of our socially acceptable shirt.

We’re just tired of being told that we have to jump through hoops to feed a baby when “not seeing those things” just involves… Looking away. Turning your eyes somewhere else.

Who’s bullying who here?

The real bullies should grow some boobs and fess up to making a mistake. They should clarify their policy and make it clear to customer service reps. They should have their policy in stark black and white letters on their website so that women can print it out and bring it on the plane in case the airlines don’t want to spend the money educating the people that they hire.

There should be some sort of a solution, and it should be the airlines that are pushing for it, not the women that just want to nurse their babies and maybe take a shower here and there.

You don’t want to be bothered about a problem with your company.. Fix it. None of us want to be wasting our time with this stuff, either. Let us talk about happier things instead. Like the awesome new policy that you are working on where women can breastfeed their children with no restrictions-and-by-the-way-here’s-a-complimentary-water-because-we-know-how-thirsty-breastfeeding-moms-can-be. You’d turn your “bullies” into awesome buzz overnight.

  7 comments for “Big Bullies with Boobs vs. Big Bullies with Rules

  1. Marise
    February 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Awesome article, thank you! I have always breastfed openly in flights and would never have dreamed of listening to any bullies trying to tell me to do otherwise! And BTW when the plane would start to land and all the non breast feeding mothers’ babies would start to scream, I’m pretty sure the other passengers were far less bothered by my partially exposed breast than the screaming babies!

  2. Jessica
    February 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I breastfed my then 18 month old almost the entire flight(s) last time we flew. And I remember thinking exactly what the other reader said, I’m sure the passengers cared a lot more about the other crying babes than my boobs! Not quite sure how I would have reacted if I was told to cover. I have not had any negative encounters in my 22 months of (very public) breastfeeding, but I consider myself lucky.

  3. Alice
    February 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Well said!!! Couldn’t have said it better myself :)

  4. Ruth
    February 26, 2014 at 6:25 am

    So sad that anyone should feel the need to ask about an airline’s (or any other company’s) “policy” on breastfeeding :-(

  5. March 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Unbelievable what people will say and do in the name of their own comfort. At the risk of being crude, when I was nursing my daughters I would tell them to look the other way. It was a battle both in 1977 when I was the only BF mom in my Lamaze class; and again in 85 when the bottle was very popular where I lived and I was the only BF again in my classes on childbirth. Maybe it was south Florida or maybe the country has been F’ed up about this subject for a very long time. Mothers in the rest of the world don’t go thru this BS when they have babies and have to feed them-what is wrong with us ?~!

  6. March 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I meant to hit the follow-up comments button and missed so I am doing that with this comment. I already follow your delightful blog with Bloglovin and I am a huge fan in the few short weeks since I found you fantastic blog. Sorry for the double posting. (I’m unable to click the Follow-up comments button, it is beneath the Post Comment button)

  7. RL's Mommy
    March 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing your gift of writing.

    I’m a new Mommy and struggled with some of the complexities that come with breastfeeding (latching, low supply, sore niples, nipple blanching) you name it, I went through it. Now my 12 week old nurses like a champ! Every time he feeds I think about how beautiful and natural the process is. It makes me happy and full of emotion when I see a mother succesfully nursing her baby. I wish the same view on others who believe in “breastfeeding policies.”

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