Friday, March 05, 2010

Another Jan Moir outrage - this time her fire is on breastfeeding mums

Yes, Jan Moir has been at it again. This time it's breastfeeding mothers who incur her wrath. Actually she's probably done mums and breastfeeding advocates a power of good by showing exactly why there is a need for legal protection for breastfeeding in public in England - Scotland having led the way on this some years ago.

In her article she recounts the story of a mum thrown out of an East London charity shop by a manager squirting air freshener about yelling that breast milk stinks. That one had passed me by, but I hope that you would agree that that is completely unacceptable behaviour. Update Claire shows here how in fact what the manager did is against the law as it stands.

To be fair, Jan Moir criticises the manager, but it was her description of the mum in question being found in a "compromising position" that gets me. What is compromising about feeding a baby, for goodness sake?

Some other gems from the article:

Why, breast-feeding is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world, they cry. Well, so is urinating, but no one insists on doing that wherever and whenever the need takes their fancy. Not outside France, at any rate.

Comparing breastfeeding with going to the toilet is offensive, inaccurate and downright ignorant. All of the things we've come to expect from Ms Moir.

Yet this small incident has been the starting gun for a blast of instant maternal affront and Curse Of The Mummy-style fury. Emphasising once more that it takes a brave man - or woman - to get between the modern young mother and her perceived statutory rights.

These include, as if we all didn't know, the right to mow you down with a buggy if you don't get out of the way quickly enough; the right to behave as if they have just given birth to the second coming of Christ instead of a farty little squirt called Sam; the right to congregate en masse all day in the best coffee shop seats, sharing a single latte and a blueberry muffin between six; the right to sigh like a tornado when their Hummer-sized pram cuts your heel to the bone; and the general and overreaching right to behave as if the normal rules of polite society do not apply to them.

How many narrow minded stereotypes can you fit into one paragraph? It's not exactly as if she always shows consideration, politeness and sensitivity in all that she does. Hell, she doesn't even show basic decency.

I have to go and pick Anna up from school (I love the West Lothian half day on Friday) now so I must leave this now, but I couldn't not let you know about yet another Moir outrage.

Slightly later update: I should also have pointed out that Moir mentioned in her article about the mum who said she was thrown off a Bristol bus for breastfeeding. It just shows how carefully she does her research. There have been further developments on this as I reported on 5 days ago and the Bristol Evening Post updated today. Actually, it's just as well that Jan Moir didn't check her facts as I hate to imagine what her reaction would have been. As I said at the time, the good thing is that any breastfeeding mum now knows beyond doubt that she is free to feed her baby on any First service.

1 comment:

Edis said...

I am more pleased than ever that branches of Milton Keynes Library have this simple notice:

"We welcome breastfeeding mothers"

Is this common practice with other local library services in England?

On reflection though I an not pleased that we need a notice saying something so blindingly obvious.


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