Lactivists envision a Bourbon Street world:
In interviews and Internet discussions, hundreds of women recount being asked to stop nursing in public spots, including the Children’s Museum in Huntsville, Ala.; a knitting store in the East Village; a Radisson Hotel lobby in Virginia; a public bus in Los Angeles; and a city commission meeting in Miami Beach.
“It’s nothing against breast-feeding, it’s about exposing yourself for people who don’t want to see it,” said Scotty Stroup, the owner of a restaurant in Round Rock, Tex., where a nursing mother was refused service last fall.
But the new generation of lactivists compare discomfort with seeing breast-feeding in public to discomfort with seeing interracial couples or gays holding hands.
I remember being at dinner one night with a group of couples, all of whom had recently had babies. The one single guy was amazed at how all the new mothers could pick out the cry of their child, as they were sounding off regularly about every five minutes.
But he wasn’t the only one disgusted when two of the women insisted on talking about birth and breastfeeding at the dinner table. When I finally told them to knock it off, they came back with the inevitable protest: “but it’s natural!”
As the men at the table were quick to point out, so is defecation, urination and sex, but no one, least of all these two women, were likely to be inclined to think it proper were someone to begin regaling the table about the joys of the oral service they had received the night before, or in the case of Big Chilly, the magnitude of his morning excretion.
(Big Chilly does rightfully find a certain degree of fascination with regards to this matter. One morning, I made the mistake of giving into his enthusiastic blandishments to view a particularly monstrous specimen; my immediate impression was that calls to Guiness and a plumber were in order.)
I have no sympathy for the lactivists. If, as a society, we are going to decide that everything goes in public, so be it, but until that day, a visit to the ladies room is in order.