I don't think you get it ...
Well, you might think that American Airlines would stop putting their foot in their mouth over the baby who put a boob in his mouth ... but lo and behold ... yet another response from AA to further exacerbate the issue at hand.
"To clear up a misunderstanding, American Airlines has always allowed mothers to breastfeed during flight. The approach our flight attendants take is to ensure breastfeeding mothers have the privacy they wish to have, while also ensuring the comfort of our other passengers. We apologize to the breastfeeding mother who was offered a blanket during a recent flight by a well-intentioned flight attendant. The intent was to make everyone on board comfortable, including the unrelated 12-year-old sitting int he same row."
To be honest, this response really upsets me. First of all, this is the most passive aggressive way possible to shame a nursing mother. The airline acts as if they were protecting the innocent 12-year-old who would be exposed to such indecent behavior because a boob is sexual, right? It is according to American Airlines, at least. Secondly, it's too little, too late. They need to rework their breastfeeding policy in full. The "well intentioned" flight attendant probably didn't need to offer a blanket to the nursing mom. If the mom wanted one, I'd guess she'd ask for one. Since most women don't fly after their first day of becoming a mom, I'll assume that ALL breastfeeding moms know how to position their babies, what kind of clothes they want to wear to make breastfeeding convenient and I'm sure they also carry a well stocked diaper bag full of things such as blankets, wipes, diapers a change of clothes, etc. As a nursing mother myself, I can tell you that my baby doesn't want to be smothered with a blanket while nursing. Do you eat your meals under a blanket? For many babies and children, it only add to fussiness and discomfort and would you really prefer a crying baby on your flight in lieu of a mother breastfeeding? I think not. Plus, (and possibly most importantly) I enjoy watching my daughter nurse. It's a bond that nursing mothers have with their babies.
Now, I'm going to compare this to something that might seem like I'm going off the deep end but I have a point ... trust me. These "well intentioned" stewardesses who want to shield the innocent bystanders from this incredibly normal method for feeding a baby is sort of like telling a woman to cover up because their sexuality (in general) is offensive. Would you like us to cover up our shoulders, arms, legs and faces as well? Is there a reason it's acceptable for a mother to have to cover her child while nursing? No. There isn't a good reason. The reason people use is because breasts are sexual and so it becomes an offensive or lewd act -- which it is not. We aren't talking about people copulating or feeling each other up -- we are talking about a mother and her child. Breasts may be sexual but in the instance of a mother feeding her child, it is anything but sexual.
Cover up? Come on. I'd call it a barbaric notion but you know what? Barbarians breastfed so what does that make us? The most advanced and yet ill-functioning society.
Shame on the people who tell mothers to cover up.
Shame on the people who want to smother children with blankets so the act of eating doesn't "offend" the "innocent."
And, what kind of society have we created that breastfeeding in front of a child, teen or adult causes offense? Children don't need to be shielded from breastfeeding because it's normal and human to breastfeed a child. At what point did breasts become offensive and bottles get embraced? Women don't need to formula feed or pump when their breast is available and ... shall we say, functioning. We shouldn't force women to bottle feed because bottle feeding is unnatural. What's natural is the breast & baby connection. We are failing in epic proportions if we feel American Airlines was right to shield the indecency of a breast that was feeding a child because a young child was near. Heck, how do you think that young child survived infancy? A breast. That's how.
There is a group of mothers who are going to protest at AA's counter tomorrow in Baltimore. I look forward to hearing how AA responds to it. So far their communications plan and crisis plan is failing.
Here is the link again to the nurse-in tomorrow: https://www.facebook.com/events/436412986472494/