On this morning’s episode of Today, Savannah Guthrie compares breastfeeding in public to urinating in public and Star Jones makes a crack about 4 and 5 year olds being old enough to ask for a happy meal and too old to be breastfed. I’ve embedded the video (if it isn’t showing then click here and skip ahead to 5:50) and included the transcript (from Today’s site) below it.
>> i don’t know how we got from that study to this. it will be a good topic for next week. moving on to breastfeeding in public. once again, this issue has been raised. a mother was kicked off of a bus in detroit for nursing her infant son. the driver was suspended as a result and ignited this debate again. dr. nancy, i guess the issue of whether it’s proper to breastfeed in public, is there a biological imperative of a nursing mother if she wants to go on with a nursing life, she will have to nurse in public?
>> what is a problem in society when a mother wants to feed her child and she happens to be breast fielding we get wiggy. we’re so puritanical about not wanting to see a breast but we have no problem watching the victoria’s secret models.
>> it’s crazy.
>> you have to go to the bathroom but you don’t do that in public.
>> what if i said that, i would get in big trouble. busting me — look, i think it’s a beautiful thing. the only place that i would get a little uncomfortable is if i were with my 8-year-old daughter. them i have to get a whole discussion — she — a woman has the right to do that. i would never get up. personally, that would be the only time i would have to get into a discussion and she would say, well, did mommy breastfeed me. but a woman should be able to do what you want.
>> we say breastfeeding is natural and feeding a child is the most natural thing. but at some point, don’t we have to make some modesty decisions on whether or not a child at 4 or 5 years old needs to be breast fed.
>> no, forget it.
>> if a kid can ask for a happy meal, the kid should not be breast fed.
>> if you’re going to breastfeed in public, be discrete. moms are usually modest. they have a towel or blanket.
>> people don’t think they should. a lot of people don’t think –
>> i was not breast fed. can we move on.
>> that explains a lot.
My husband was furious enough to send this email to Savannah Guthrie:
You should be ashamed of yourself for comparing breastfeeding to urination. There was a time before formula was engineered where women could proudly do what is best for their children without being ostracized for their choice. You have crossed the line of objectivity. As a journalist you should be better informed and that starts with doing your research on issues that mean something to the REAL American people. The issue that was severely overlooked was the woman who had her personal rights and freedoms infringed upon by another individual. The bus company made the right decision. If you choose to be offended by a woman feeding her child in public, than I am offended by even sharing those same public places with you. Please spend your meals in the restroom so I don’t have to feel uncomfortable with the manner in which you choose to eat.
I love my husband, the lactivist. But really, it is alarming. With all of the publicity behind the incident with the bus driver, all of the moms breastfeeding in public last week with the Big Latch On, and the fact that last week was World Breastfeeding Week – you’d have to live under a rock to not know that women have a right to breastfeed their babies in public. And when you are an on-air personality, you have a personal responsibility to not make careless, offhand remarks like that.
I’ve already heard mumbles of a nurse in being planned to protest this. Do you think that is a good idea? And what about Star Jones? Who is she to determine when a mother should stop nursing her child? Do you think Savannah and Star will retract their statements?
What do you think? No big deal or completely uncalled for? Share in the comments. For more from The Gnome’s Mom like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter! While you’re at it… check out our Networked Blogs box in the right sidebar and consider joining through Google Friend Connect, will ya?