PUBLIC OPINION > Public Breastfeeding Should Be a Civil Right

Living 2012/04/09 13:00:00
In 1999, Congress passed a bill that permitting women to breastfeed on Federal property, and as of 2009, 47 states have laws in place specifically permitting breastfeeding in public. However, despite the government's attitude toward the practice, it has frequently been met with resistance by establishments that are not comfortable with it -- restaurants, airlines, retail outlets. Now a group of Seattle mothers are trying to sponsor a local bill to make public breastfeeding a civil right, placing it in the same category as racial and gender discrimination. We asked the public if that would be a good move.

If Seattle courts are on the same page as the general public, it should be a no-brainer. Most people would like a law in place that makes it impossible for establishments to ask mothers to breastfeed outside or cover up. However, many respondents, even those who voted "Yes," pointed out that it's not difficult to bring a blanket. One commenter wrote, "I understand that it's a natural thing, but women could use some courtesy and put a blanket over said boob."

Conservatives Hesitate

A lot of voters seemed concerned that a woman's right to breastfeed might be compromised if it's not made a civil right, but conservative voters weren't so sure. This is probably because conservatives feel making it a civil right would infringe on an establishment's right to tell a woman to cover up.

Different Without Children

Parents generally voted along with the overall opinion, but among those who didn't have kids, there was a clear division. Respondents who wanted kids eventually were 5% more likely to support public breastfeeding as a civil right, while those who didn't want kids were 11% less likely.

Young People Don't Mind

Believe it or not, the youngest voters were most likely to support making public breastfeeding a civil right -- about 9% more than the overall. It could be that younger people lean left politically, but it's an interesting stat nonetheless.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about public breastfeeding. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Mr Wayne 2012/04/09 13:38:40
    Mr Wayne
    Tell them not to "get upset" if someone stares while they do it.
    I know a guy at the VFW is fascinated by it and watches every time he sees it.
    He says the cops have given him a hard time about it.

    If it becomes a "right" to do in public, then standing and watching them should be no more offensive than watching someone excersize their "right" to smoke in public.

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  • Laura Hotcho 2012/04/11 04:01:49
    I already have one..thanks though
  • Hotcho 2012/04/10 17:37:28
    That's Public Blow jobs just to differentiate
  • Hotcho 2012/04/10 17:36:35
    Breastfeeding Should Be a Civil Right Yes, but just to make it Fair..Blowjobs should too
  • Nomad58 2012/04/10 17:13:34 (edited)
    Of course, Women should be allowed to feed their children in public. But to declare it a Civil Right is just plain nuts.

    My wife always covered up for her modesty and to not offend small-minded people. I happened return when she was feeding my son (6 months) at an out of the way corner of the mall. Well, this one ass was telling her she should go to the restroom to breastfeed.

    She replied "The restrooms are not very clean. Would you eat in there?"

    He said "It's not proper".

    I stepped in and remarked "Is it proper for a Husband to defend his Wife and Child?"

    He took one look at me and beat feet. My wife said I had "destruction" in my eyes.
  • J Nomad58 2012/04/10 19:58:14
    I think it is wonderful that women want to breastfed. I did it too. But you can be tactful and you can still have a wonderful bonding experience with your child without this having to be a "civil right," and without being "exposed." I think these women just want attention.
  • Nomad58 J 2012/04/10 22:21:33
    I think you are correct with respect to the ones calling for it to be a Civil Right.
    It is already the law on Federal Lands and 47 States so why the fuss?
  • George Zook 2012/04/10 16:58:51
    George Zook
    Babys need to eat when they need to eat ... if you feel that you need to masturbate or urinate in public then you need to see a therapist that can prescribe ... who do those babies think they are eating in public ... shame on them ... they should show a little more control
  • MrFabul... George ... 2012/04/10 17:03:39
    Babies masturbate even more than I do!! Can't their mommies control them. It upsets me!
  • wulfsong MrFabul... 2012/04/10 19:21:30
    Crap like this is when SH needs a thumbs down option.
  • MrFabul... wulfsong 2012/04/10 20:25:44
    It's an open forum bud. If you want something that only caters to your need for having parameters on what is posted, you will not find it on SHead.
  • J George ... 2012/04/10 19:59:01 (edited)
    Eat whenever, it can still be done tactfully. These women are simply looking to feed their babies; they are looking for attention.
  • George ... J 2012/07/05 13:30:45
    George Zook
    Nothing wrong with looking for attention ... there is no guarantee of protection from being offended
  • J George ... 2012/07/05 15:59:55
    Queer - Protection against offensivenesses
    Lazy - Protection against offensivenesses.
    Black - same
    Muslim - same
    Hispanic - same
    Murderers - same
    Politicians - same
    Communists - same
    Haters of America - same

    Only if you have a strong moral code, work for a living, are a Christian or are white or Asian do you NOT get protection from being offended.
  • George ... J 2012/07/11 16:57:46
    George Zook
    where are polices that provide the protections of which you speak ... (protection from being offended)
  • J George ... 2012/07/12 20:33:00
    Is that supposed to be police or policies?
    Every town, state, city, etc., in the us has lawyers sitting by the road waiting for one of these group members to come complain. And courts almost always side with them.

    Then let'st think about what the ACLU does. ...the NAACP. ....LaRaza. Etc.
  • George ... J 2012/07/18 16:35:44
    George Zook
    we have different ideas about what is acceptable behavior in public as opposed to private spaces I will match my current personal moral code with yours any day and I am white and Christian
  • J George ... 2012/07/25 16:23:58
    Your current "personal moral code" is what I worry about. As a "Christian", there is no PERSONAL code - only the words of Christ. There really isn't anything in there that isn't black or white. So, unless your morals are all scriptural, then I have no respect for them.
  • George ... J 2012/08/29 16:01:02
    George Zook
    is there anything in the words of Christ that are anti breastfeeding in public?
  • J George ... 2012/08/29 19:45:08
    Matthew 5 says that if a man looks upon a woman with lust, he has committed adultry already in his heart.
  • George ... J 2012/09/12 14:19:49
    George Zook
    the words of matthew have to do with the minds of men not the acts of women
  • J George ... 2012/09/13 18:39:32
    If a woman causest after her, causing HIM to commit sin, she has sinned.
  • George ... J 2012/09/19 16:21:39
    George Zook
    the sin is in you (men)

    Besides are men as weak as all that?
  • J George ... 2012/09/19 18:43:44
    No, Luke 17 says that whomever tempts the person to sin is guilty as well.

    p.s. I am not a man.
  • George ... J 2012/09/26 15:00:57
    George Zook
    I don't find a woman breast-feeding a baby sexually exciting... beautiful but not sexual
  • J George ... 2012/09/27 16:02:49
    You deserve credit, but MOST men will not see it that way.
  • George ... J 2012/10/03 15:23:11
    George Zook
  • Faith ~American Patriot~ 2012/04/10 16:38:42 (edited)
    Faith ~American Patriot~
    As long as they cover up I have no problem with it. I understand that breast feeding is natural, but so are many other activities that are not appropriate in public such as going to the bathroom and having sex...
  • I am me Faith ~... 2012/04/10 21:13:15
    I am me
    Sorry. I didn't mean to rave you. I am on my phone. Going to the bathroom and breastfeeding are not remotely the same thing (neither is masterbating). And it such a stupid comparison lacking in thought (that goes for everyone making it not just you). As deficating and urinating in public is a health hazard, breastfeeding is not. Masturbating/having sex in public is indecent exposure and sexual in nature, breastfeeding is not (though I guess if one is a pervert it could be).

    People need to quite comparing to two as its like comparing apples and oranges.
  • Faith ~... I am me 2012/04/11 01:11:45
    Faith ~American Patriot~
    You want to argue that it's natural, so are those other examples. Even if YOU aren't, some people are offended and disgusted by seeing a woman breastfeeding. I never said they were the same, I said they were all natural. If the only reason people aren't allowed to go to the restroom in public is for health reasons, why are there walls? Why not just a roped off area with toilets? You may not like the comparison, but it is what it is.
  • I am me Faith ~... 2012/04/11 01:36:18 (edited)
    I am me
    *smh* it's still an asinine and hyperbolic argument that makes those that use the statements look ignorant. It's like comparing hydrogen and Oxygen. Both are basic elements on the periodic table but they are not remotely the same thing. :-/
  • Faith ~... I am me 2012/04/11 02:05:05
    Faith ~American Patriot~
    You are obviously quite confused. I NEVER said they were the same thing. Stop trying to put words in my month.
  • I am me Faith ~... 2012/04/11 02:20:25
    I am me
    You are equating breastfeeding in public to taking a crap in public. How is that not saying its the same thing? I think it's you (and everyone else that compares it to taking a crap) that is confused.
  • Faith ~... I am me 2012/04/11 13:59:12
    Faith ~American Patriot~
    No, no I'm not. This is just obviously too much for you to comprehend.
  • Buffalo... I am me 2012/04/11 15:53:43 (edited)
    She is only trying to say that intimate things should be done in intimate places....

    That isn't comparing breastfeeding to taking a crap...

    You should be ashamed of yourself being a libertarian but not understanding that the idea of individual liberty only works if you have respect for the liberty of others.

    Would you expect those who would be offended (because of their socialization by America) to just get up and walk away from a public place because you couldn't have the common courtesy to ask if they minded if you fed your baby? or refused to find a more discreet place or cover up while you fed the baby? wow...come on...
  • Buffalo... I am me 2012/04/11 15:51:24
    Its not apples to oranges....The problem isnt about what is natural or not... its the way society sees "the boob."

    I feel its totally a "right"... and there should be no law against it anywhere (I honeslty dont think there should be many laws at all "against" anything)... there should be no way for smeone to be fined etc. for doing it--- but if it is announced as a "civil right" pleople will "flex" that right (its human nature to do so) so that that will cause more problems than it solves.

    People in America today lack common courtsey and that is the root of not just this problem, but most of our problems.
  • Ahrtal 2012/04/10 16:31:06
    Then it should be a civil right to masturbate in public. Sometimes one just needs to, and it's a normal bodily function. Oh, Hell, let's all just urinate and defecate where and when we want. Those should be civil rights, also, right? Really, I have nothing against women breastfeeding in public. Most display modesty, and don't make a big deal of it. A civil right, hardly? Just as ridiculous as my examples above for nominations as civil rights.
  • GLaDOS Ahrtal 2012/04/10 18:30:04
    Humans have created rooms within which one should defecate and urinate. Failing to masturbate will do nothing except cause you a case of blue balls. Whereas a woman failing to expel breast milk will not have as much the next time she feeds the baby, and it may cause blockages. Unless we should also eat in private. Which, hey, I'm not opposed to. What's good for the goose and all.
  • MrFabulous47 2012/04/10 16:18:10
    Yes, but I also feel strongly that I should have a civil right to pull my penis out and start masturbating while I'm sitting on a bench directly across from them. Is that wrong??
  • megan 2012/04/10 15:35:34
    why not let them breast feed? Its natural, they have to feed their babies. I'm not saying that women should run around with their tits hanging out, but still, breast feeding is the best thing for a baby and most women aren't doing it to flash anyone. Stop censoring everything!
  • LADY LIBERTY SILLY WORDSMITH 2012/04/10 15:34:04



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