Does 106.3 FM Support Breastfeeding Mothers?

July 8th, 2010 by Dionna | 58 Comments
Posted in Breastfeeding/Lactivism, Carnival of Nursing in Public, Feed with Love and Respect

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We are wrapping up our first ever Carnival of Nursing in Public tomorrow over at NursingFreedom.org. I have loved reading every single one of the posts, and I am incredibly enthusiastic about the changes we’ll be making through our advocacy efforts. If you believe in the rights of breastfeeding mothers, please “like” NursingFreedom.org on Facebook, subscribe to our RSS feed (or by email), and follow us on Twitter. You may also want to consider contributing an article about breastfeeding education/advocacy.

You can also find breastfeeding state law cards at NursingFreedom.org tomorrow – I will link to them from here too. Order extra and hand them out to every breastfeeding mother you see!

Lisa Rollins of NewsRadio Word 106.3 FM is “disgusted” by breastfeeding mothers

Lisa Rollins of 106.3 FM

On a less positive note, I was troubled by a radio segment aired by NewsRadio Word 106.3 FM out of South Carolina. The station’s morning talk show host/news anchor Lisa Rollins recently had some insensitive remarks for all breastfeeding mothers. It seems Ms. Rollins is “disgusted” by breastfeeding, and she feels that all breastfeeding mothers should be more “discreet.”

What is Ms. Rollins’ definition of discreet? Would she like women to cover up? Wear nursing tanks? Nope. She doesn’t want to even have to imagine the act of breastfeeding – she wants us to stay out of every public area. Ms. Rollins would rather us nurse on a toilet (yes, she said that would be better than nursing in public). She would rather us go out to our car in 100 degree heat (yes, she said that would be better than nursing in public). She would rather us stay at home (yes, she said that would be better than nursing in public).

On the flip side, I was incredibly proud of the way her co-host, Lonzo, refuted her inanity. He answered each of her objections with solid points. Thank you, Lonzo!

If you listen to the show, her rant starts a little before the 6 minute mark and continues for quite awhile (there are several commercial breaks). If you don’t want to listen, I transcribed and posted the first ten minutes or so of Ms. Rollins’ segment below (it’s about 95% accurate without all the “um’s” and “uh’s” ).

So what can you do?

Email the radio station’s program director, Bob McLain (bmclain (at) entercom (dot) com). Email Rollins herself (lrollins (at) entercom (dot) com). Let them know that breastfeeding in public is normal, it is acceptable, and it is beautiful.

And let’s try to be more sensitive and polite than Rollins was. Yes, Ms. Rollins is entitled to her opinion, but is it responsible of 106.3 FM to broadcast her discriminatory views to the public? How many women might be discouraged from nursing in public (or breastfeeding at all) because they’re afraid to run into someone like Ms. Rollins? Let’s stand in solidarity for our breastfeeding sisters in South Carolina.

I have sent my own email to Mr. McLain, you can read it in its entirety at NursingFreedom.org. Feel free to copy portions of it for your own letter. You can download and personalize the customizable letter here.

Transcription of Lisa Rollins’ remarks about breastfeeding in public (July 6, 2010)

5:50ish mark on July 6, 2010: http://newsradioword.everyzing.com/m/audio/32435958/russ-lisa-in-the-morning.htm

Lisa: I know that sometimes I talk about things that are not always appealing to men, and so I’m trying to do better with that. But you know I just I’ve gotta tell you all about something. . . . I’ll just tell you. Saturday, yesterday, we went to Chic Fil A. . . . Sat down, I was waiting for my husband to pay and bring the food. My daughter and I were sitting there and looked over and it was a woman who was breastfeeding. She had just walked in, because I saw her walk in. She walked in, she passed us, she went and sat in a booth, actually not a booth they have tables there rather than enclosed booths. We were in the one at Cherrydale. She sat down and she started breastfeeding her baby. So my daughter looked over at me and she went, “mom, see that lady over there?” And I said, “you know, could she not have done this in the car? I mean, she was on the way here, couldn’t she have, you know, while they were driving there, just breastfeed the baby?” And my daughter went “I knew you’d hate that.”

Yeah I do, I hate it. I just don’t understand why in a public place you want to – and she was covered by the baby’s head, you know her shirt was partially – I just, to me it was sorta just in such bad taste. And I know it’s just me, I guess, but is anybody out there as turned off by public breastfeeding as am I? Listen I know God gave’em  to you for that purpose and wonderful, and it’s healthy and it’s the best thing to do for your child, and I understand it’s healthy for the mother as well. I just think that there should be laws – and in South Carolina there are none, no laws about this, that women should not breastfeed in a public area, and especially in a restaurant. For goodness sakes. Listen let her go to the ladies room. Let her go, our church has a breastfeeding room.

Lonzo: Can I ask you a question? Would you have noticed her if your daughter hadn’t pointed her out?

Lisa: Yes. Oh yeah, I do notice things like that. But my daughter knew that I find that to be disgusting. I just don’t see a reason for it. If she had time to, and then I thought maybe the baby was sleeping in the car on the way here, and awoke right when they walked in, I don’t know. You know you could have sat there for five or ten or however many minutes it takes to do so in the privacy of your vehicle. And then I thought also, it is 100 dadgum degrees. There’s just something about it. . . . It just bothers me, and I know that I’m probably one of the very few, if maybe the only one, but this is something that I find to be in poor taste, and I guess maybe it was because of the way I was raised, there are just some things you don’t do in public. Why is this not indecent exposure? And I don’t mean that she had her breast out and that you could really see it, but it was just I don’t know, it sorta made me, well I was gonna say lose my appetite but I won’t go that far.

Lonzo: Was she like sitting out in the open going like “hey everybody look at me, look at what I’m doing!”

Lisa: Well of course not, Lonzo, of course not.

Lonzo: So you really had to be looking around.

Lisa: Lonzo if I were sitting here, and I had a baby, and I pulled my shirt up, and I stuck my baby’s head right here, I mean would that not be noticeable to you? Of course it would be.

Lonzo: If she did it that way, I don’t understand your complaint.

Lisa: But that’s what, that’s the way she was doing it, I just find it to be . . .

Lonzo: So nothing was exposed?

Lisa: No. Not really.

Lonzo: So what’s the big deal?

Lisa: The big deal is that it’s just not the place, and listen I’m all I know these people . . .

Lonzo: So you’d rather that baby been screaming its head off while you’re trying to eat?

Lisa: If you really wanna get me riled up, you know I think if you’ve got a nursing baby . . .

Lonzo: Then you shouldn’t go anywhere, you shouldn’t go to a restaurant, your life should be over until the kid is four?

Lisa: I think you should be discreet and stay at home . . .

Lonzo: It sounds like she was discreet if you couldn’t see anything

Lisa: Or pump and take the bottle with you or something. But I don’t want to see it. I just don’t want to see it, especially while I’m having lunch.

Lonzo: Maybe you should have went to a different restaurant.

Lisa: That has nothing to do with the restaurant I mean anyplace allows that, but I think when a mother chooses to do so in public, I just don’t think it’s always in the best of taste. And I think there should be indecency laws about that, because I don’t want to see it in a public place. You know go to the ladies room, go somewhere, go to your car, pump your breastmilk, but I don’t want to see it in public, sorry. And I know that most of, especially a lot of you nursing moms and women who are in the La Leche League or whatever are going to disagree with me, but so be it, it’s my opinion and you’re certainly entitled to yours.

Lisa: (in response to Judy) Well I mean, you say it’s not as easy as simple as I’m making it sound to be, but even when you’re not nursing, and I did not nurse my children, even when you’re not nursing and you have to prepare, you prepare your formula and your bottles and the juice, and whatever you need to take along with you. That’s just good preparation. I mean if there’s a time when you know you have to leave immediately because of an emergency, which I doubt would be the case because you had to get to a McDonald’s, I just think it’s preparation. So you just have to have some prepared, am I wrong? And I can understand and I know nursing moms, you know God bless ya, I think that’s a choice, probably the wisest choice you can make as a parent. I just don’t want to see it in public, and I don’t want to be you know rude about it, but for heaven’s sakes. I didn’t, I was thinking, it’s just bad manners as far as I’m concerned to hike your blouse up and have a baby’s head underneath, even if you’re not exposing yourself. You know you’re going to be attracting attention, whether it’s from other women or men for goodness sakes and I just don’t like to see it in public.

Lisa (in further response to Judy): Well actually I think that the individual should be more discreet, and that being, having good manners, that’s not up to the government to dictate. But it should be up to the individual, and if you don’t show restraint, listen, so be it – you think it’s a grand idea, I don’t see anything wrong with going into a restroom if you don’t see a specific nursing area and sitting on the toilet seat. If you gotta do it I guess you gotta do it. But to me there’s just no excuse for not being prepared enough to have nursed your baby before you left, in an emergency situation having some prepared bottles or something ready to go. I just find it objectionable.

(There was more, including Lisa’s opinion that even covering up the baby with a blanket it not “discreet” enough – she wants it to be completely out of her sight.)

58 Responses to:
"Does 106.3 FM Support Breastfeeding Mothers?"

  1. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

    I love how her definition of “discreet” is “don’t do it.” Mm-hmm.

  2. Tiffany

    Hey Ladies, I just wanted to let you know that the SC Breastfeeding Coallition chair and SC Breastfeeding Action Chair (same person), has been made aware of this situation.

  3. Jennifer

    I am truly disturbed by Lisa’s view of something so wonderful. I have a question for you Lisa, would you like to eat your meal sitting on a public toilet seat? If the nursing mother approached you before “exposing” herself and gave you the option to leave the area that she would be nursing in, would you leave? And what if you had to use the public restroom and walked in on a nursing mother? Would that be unacceptable to you as well? I just cannot understand your hatred for something so beautiful!

  4. m thompson

    this is why it makes me uncomfortable when people say nip is ok if it is done ‘discretely’ Her definition of discrete is to not do it at all (my definition of discrete is to not strip down to your birthday suit) If she couldnt just tell her daughter to look away, then maybe they should have left. Saying a bf mom must stay home during the bf period is not only absurd, but in my opinion, outright cruel

  5. Trish

    This Rollins character makes me angry…I did not get to breastfeed my daughter but I know of plenty people that breastfeed their kids and it never bothered me. My poor aunt would have been stuck at home for two years after her son was born if they did not allow women to breastfeed in public. Rollins said mothers just have to be prepared and make bottles at home just like if the baby was on formula. Well my aunt’s son refused a bottle, so that was pretty much out of the question. What is a mother to do? According to Rollins’ logic my aunt should have just holed up in her house for two years…I know if I had been forced to do that I would have gone absolutely INSANE! I feel sorry for her daughter, she is going to grow up thinking breastfeeding is embarrassing and will not want to do it for fear her own mother may criticize her for leaving the house and having to feed her child in public.

  6. Corrine Batey

    Need to hear from the “older generation If My grandmother “God rest her soul” could see this She would rip Miss (I can’t even call her a member of the female race!!) a new U KNOW WHAT!!! I am 52 yrs old…Was unable no matter how hard I tried to breastfeed…I used a electric Breast Pump so my 2 children would benifit from the breat milk. Especially when my daughter was in neonatal for 3 wks. This will get her!! My great-grandmother had 12 children. She would babysit her grandchildren and sometimes breast them!!!

  7. Jessica

    Instead of saying mean things about this lady, maybe someone should educate her. She said herself that she did not breastfeed her child. Throughout history people have discriminated against people or actions that they do not understand. I do believe that she has a right to express her opinion, but I also believe that she proved her own ignorace. I am a breastfeeding mother, I have had uncomfortable experiences because of people like lisa who are not open-minded to NIP. I also believe that Lisa may need someone to help her understand that, what she said on the radio was “bad manners” or “in bad taste”. I have my own opinion about different people and or their actions and I am entitled to that, but that does not give me the right to say that those actions or people are wrong. I have no right to dictate to anyone, where they should go or how they should live their life, and in my oppinion if I did it would be insensitive and rude. I will pray for Ms. Rollins… I will ask God to help her understand that he is the only judge and that he created us the way he created us because that is his will. I am glad to know that there are many mothers out there who feel so strongly about breastfeeding and are making an effort to counter Lisa’s opinion and encourage NIP, but I also strongly advise that we do our best to set an example, and be as kind and understanding as possible. As for me I will continue to feed my children any time they let me know that they are hungry because their health is more important than someones opinion of me.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Jessica – I agree. It’s why I spent my energy writing to the station rather than writing a nasty post about why Lisa should mind her own manners. Did I say some choice words about her to my husband? Yes, yes I did. Did I nod in agreement with a couple of blog posts I did read? Yes.
      But I don’t think that blog posts calling Lisa names or telling her to STFU do any good to advance our position. Education is key. Normalizing bf’ing is key.

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this blog post and the reminder to be polite and not name call, etc. And all the comments on your blog seem the same way. Thank you, everyone. It was refreshing to read this. :)

  9. MelissaN   Eversienna

    Too bad she doesn’t know that breastfeeding laws are considered “decent exposure” laws – in order for there to be indecent exposure, there must be decent exposure. Breastfeeding is considered decent exposure.

  10. Shannon

    Watching someone eat a chicken sandwich might be disgusting.

  11. Ashley

    This is absolutely ignorant of this woman to say these things. I breastfed my son for the early part of his life. Unfortunately, I had to stop, but it was one of the most wonderful things I could have done for him. I wasn’t comfortable just pulling my boob out in public, but I always had a cover, which made me much more comfortable and it made it easier to go out in public and know I could breastfeed and not feel like everyone was watching. From what it sounds like, this woman DID have her breast fairly covered and wasn’t flashing her boobs around. She wasn’t standing on the table waving her arms shouting, “ATTENTION EVERYONE! I’M GOING TO BREASTFEED MY CHILD NOW! WATCH ME!” I think this woman is making a WAY bigger deal out of this than it actually was. Countless women out there do this every single day and I don’t know many who are disgusted by it. As for this lady’s solutions:
    1. Who in the world wants to carry a bulky breastpump around?
    2. In an “emergency” situation, you HAVE your food source ATTACHED to you!
    3. Feed in the restroom on the toilet? Are you serious? Because THAT’S sanitary…
    4. How is it bad manners to provide your child with food?

    As for, “Well why didn’t she just feed the baby on the way there?” Gee, I don’t know, maybe because the baby WASN’T HUNGRY at that exact moment!? All breastfeeding mothers should just sit at home and be housebound? Well I guess a large portion of the world would become hermits. Breastfeeding is NOT a disease! It’s a feeding method AND a lifestyle.

  12. Joe

    I like how these “family value” conservatives really don’t care about mothers and what is best for their baby.

  13. Life101

    She either owes a SINCERE FULL APOLOGY ON AIR, equally as passionate in her troll like rant, or should be FIRED by management for such hateful remarks.

    Seriously people, wake the f*** up!

  14. Melissa Cifarelli

    She keeps talking about how there should be a “LAW” against breast feeding in South Carolina, I wish I could meet this woman face to face (with nursing baby) and tell her that there actually used to be NO law to protect a baby’s right to eat & a mother’s right to nurse in South Carolina but because of people like her a group of women and mother’s in charleston changed all that! I was living there at the time and we all started with a nurse-in in front of victoria secret. They had refused to let a poor new mommy use their dressing room to feed her new baby so we had a nurse-in which turned into a huge campaign to change the laws in SC. Before that there was not a law banning breast feeding in public but there also was not one protecting breast feeding. SOOOOOO happy to have been part of something so amazing.

  15. Elizabeth E   gypsydiva57

    Is there an update on what happened with this? I live in NC so I don’t get this station, but I am interested to hear what the radio station’s response was.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Elizabeth – the station manager has his own talk show, he invited the former head of the SC Coalition of BF’ing (I think that’s the name of the org) to talk. She spent about 10 minutes talking about how they got the state law protecting bf’ing passed, etc.
      There has been no apology (to my knowledge) from Lisa. I emailed back and forth with a division manager from entercom, and he told me that no apology would be forthcoming because “she has a right to her opinion.”

  16. Thank you for transcribing her comments, I’ve linked back to your blog from mine.

    Cheers. :)

    http://eversoslightlydifferent.blogspot.com/2010/08/boobs-how-offensive.html

  17. Felicia

    I am in no way condoning what Lisa Rollins said but just wanted to point out that her position may not actually be as strong as it comes across in this clip. I live in Pickens, SC (about 45 minutes from Greenville) and talk radio is big around here. The format of this particular show is that the main host will launch off on a controversial topic, take an exaggerated position on it and the co-host will immediately take the opposite position and challenge him or her. The phone lines and e-mail in-boxes will be instantly flooded with people calling or writing to explain why one position or the other is wrong and . . . the station’s ratings go way up. The more controversial the topic, the better for them. It gets people listening. She probably won’t be asked to resign or apologize because she’s very good for their bottom line.

    The last time I checked, the main host of this show was Russ Castle and Lisa is usually the co-host. A couple of years ago, Russ was talking about a group of women (in Maine I think?) who were pushing for the double standard for men’s and women’s indecent exposure to be abolished. Russ was making fun of this group. Lisa immediately jumped on him and started challenging him, asking why it was that a man could be shirtless in public and a woman couldn’t. Anyway, my point with that was simply that she may not be as anti public breastfeeding as she came across. Conversely, since Lonzo is a young father, he probably is fairly pro-breastfeeding but he may not hold the position as strongly as he came across either.

    Also, a minor note to Joe, please understand that Lisa Rollins is not representative of all “family values” conservatives. I’m a pro-life, family values conservative myself, have lots of friends who are also and I can assure you this woman’s views are not typical of us.

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