Has anybody heard the new hullabaloo about the professor who nursed her sick infant while lecturing her class?
I'm staunchly pro-breastfeeding, but even I think there's a time and a place. While I totally respect her as a breastfeeding mother, I'm not sure that I would be willing to put my career before the needs of my child.
If you were teaching a class, it was the first day, and, your infant was sick and hungry, would you nurse while teaching?
Read more about it here:
In my opinion the problem is that we shun breastfeeding in our society. The social norm is not to do it and the health of our country has suffered because of it. I'm not criticizing any mother who can't breastfeed her child or even those who simply say, "you know what, I'm not interested." But just as we give those moms respect for their choices breastfeeding should be viewed in an equal light. And it's not. People - especially young people who will be having their own babies soon - need to see that breastfeeding is a normal, everyday part of raising a child and women of all walks of life choose to do it. There was a study out a year or so ago that said Americans view bf moms as generally lower in intelligence and in our country the opposite is actually true. The more educated a woman is (in America) the more likely she is to breastfeed her child.
I agree that I wish there was more support out there for breastfeeding moms. In her position though, I would have taken the day off, or pumped and left her with friends/family/sitter while I taught class.
Though, I really don't think what she did deserves the amount of attention it's getting. It's a boob, people. Boobs are for making milk. End of story. lol
I guess a student complained? Interesting since she was teaching a feminist anthropology course! Maybe it was an intro course, lol. The breastfeeding wouldn't bother me now, but if I'm being honest, as an ignorant, immature college kid, I probably would have been a little put off or weirded out. I don't think she did anything wrong, but I'm not surprised that she's taking some heat for it now, given the age of her audience.
The linked story says that someone did complain. The student quoted was male. I was not surprised.
There is a time and place for everything and a classroom is not for brestfeeding. I support breastfeeding and don't mind if you do it in public as long as you are discreet, but in the middle of a class? Come on! How would it have been if I had brought my child to school, when I was teaching, and nursed in front of the kids, all teenagers, while discussing linear expressions? Not the time and place. Its distracting to the purpose of the environment - which is education, not you and your kid.
Also, if her kid was sick, why did she have the kid in public and why didn't she cancel the class for the day? If she was so smart, so well-educated, couldn't she have figured something out to work around the fact that her kid was sick? Just because you are educated, doesn't mean you are smart.
It's not really a breastfeeding issue IMO. That professor should not have brought her child to work with her, I don't know too many professions which allow children in the workplace. It was an unfair distraction to the students trying to learn, and paying to learn for that matter. I'm sure she had plenty of breaks to pump. There is a time and place for all things. I personally do not blink an eye when I see a woman breastfeeding in public, but I think most 18-20ish year olds would be a bit taken aback and could not concentrate on the lecture.....
I do not think the entire argument w/ this is about breastfeeding. I think it's taking your sick child into work around a campus where the other kids cannot really afford to get sick and the fact that they should be guaranteed an atmosphere that allows them to focus entirely on their education, especially w/ all that money being forked out. She basically risked getting the students sick and caused a huge distraction during class. I think it's very unprofessional and inconsiderate of others to bring your sick child to work. There is a bit of a difference when a student has to miss a day compared to when an employee has to miss a day... employees can generally catch up, but students actually miss the lecture and either have to go by notes or homeowork to catch up. This is exactly why there are sick days for employees b/c they do not want an illness to spread to other employees (or in this case to the other students) and cause a mass absence all at one time.
Part of the problem, I think, is that working women often find themselves with very few options when they have a sick kid. Unless you're lucky enough to have family that is on call 24/7 and can drop everything without endangering their jobs it's hard to know what to do in some instances when you have to pull your kid out of daycare because they're sick but where you also do not have the option of not showing up to work.
I suppose there could have been a few things that this professor could have done differently, but honestly? What mother hasn't tried to do it all in a pinch? Who knows if the TA was educated and together enough to have taken over the teaching of the class (because I've seen some TAs who could have risen to the occasion brilliantly, but I've also seen some that made my cat look like Einstein)? She could have canceled the class all together, but then it's a class that has to be made up at some other time or that information crammed into another session somewhere down the line and it would have hurt her professional image just as much, if in a very less controversial manner. Not to mention that it is the FIRST day of class.
Personally, I think the world needs to take a huge chill pill and understand that life is not perfect and that sometimes people find imperfect solutions to problems. In a perfect world, there would be a place that you could take your sick infant to when you had to be at work. In a perfect world, your child would give you 24 hour warning before they spiked a fever that necessitated you staying home. But it's not a perfect world...