Does 106.3 FM Support Breastfeeding Mothers?
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
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.)
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"Does 106.3 FM Support Breastfeeding Mothers?"
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