By the Queen’s Command-tell Fred Meyer to suck it


And then GO HERE, and tell Fred Meyer (it’s a store) to suck it.

I’ve had it.

I think Marrit at Baldo hit the nail on the head with this one,

“Breastfeeding isn’t harmful or unsanitary. It’s not comparable to urinating on the floor. It’s food going into somebody’s mouth. If you have a problem with that, then you’re going to be really busy policing for people eating in public. How many people are you going to see eating in public today? Are you going to be offended? Then don’t look at them. American people want their lives to be totally antiseptic. We want to float around all day long in our individual bubbles of privacy and personal comfort. The world is our living room, and we want everyone on their company manners. If you don’t like mothers and babies, then by all means they should be expected to hide from you and not offend. It’s their problem, not yours. What’s a three-month-old doing in a store anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be on house arrest? Don’t you know that children annoy all the Real People who have a right to assembly? You might inconvenience someone. These are strange times. Women are losing our reproductive rights, but we’re expected to raise children entirely in private without burdening anyone.”

I nursed Princess Peanut in the Emergency Room the other day. I didn’t bother to cover up. She was hurt. She was upset. It did not occur to me to be discreet and it did not matter. At least, it didn’t cross my mind that it should, until some pervert janitor kept walking by, staring out of the corner of his eye. And walking by again. And again. And again. The garbage had been emptied. The floor swept. He had no reason to keep coming by, except to try and catch a glimpse of my tit.

I think we’re dealing with a larger problem here ladies. And until we stand firm with the men around us that these are working breasts first and sex objects second (if at all) we will continue to feel humiliated, oggled, and embarrassed about feeding our children in public.

The embarrassed part pisses me off. Because many of us were raised to think we should cover up. Raised for his pleasure. Raised for pleasing those around us. Raised to be an object, not a contributor. I get mad at the mom’s who won’t breastfeed in public. Because they feel “weird” about it. I say they feel weird because society tells them too. Because in the back of their minds, there is something wrong with exposing your breast to feed your kid.

Fuck them. Fuck that idea. And fuck you if you have a problem with it.

Think about what Marrit said first our reproductive right…

Control our wombs and you control our destiny. Control what comes out of our wombs. Control, Control, Control.

Stop being meek. Stop covering up. Stop buying into the idea that bottles are just as good. It was pushed on our mother’s to make having a baby seem convenient. Start being a fucking MOM and do what those freaking things on your chest were meant to do. Don’t do it for 6 weeks and feel accomplished. Do it for what the REST OF THE WORLD DOES IT FOR, except us too busy to be bothered Americans. (that’s TWO years for those of your too lazy to click on the link)

I’m sick of this playing nice and saying “it’s your choice, bottle or breast.” Fuck that. I’m done. If you can’t breastfeed, that’s one thing. Then there is no choice. If you choose not too…that’s another.

Those tits are not for your husband. They are not there to sit up and look pretty, playing peak-a-boo with all the men in the room.

They are there to feed your kid. And if those fuckers can’t handle looking at them, too God Damn bad. And if you can’t handle whipping them out to feed your kid, maybe you’re not the mother you thought you were. And maybe you need to get over exposing your boobs or using your boobs for something other than fun time with your significant other.

Rant over.

Congrats to Mocha Momma and Christina. I’m sending you both to blogher.

And since I want everyone to go give Fred Meyer and earfull, I’ll post the winning posts this weekend.


  1. Woo woo! Tell it, sistah mama!

    You know, I never had a problem nursing Sweet Pea in public. For the record, 2 years & 2 months until my milk dried up because my body said, “fuck that, I’m not going to keep making milk for this kid while I’m building another one”.

    And if anybody was bothered by it, they never said anything. Or they just looked away. Or I never noticed.

    There was only one time when I even bothered to use the underlying “privacy panel” in one of my nursing blouses (thereby making it completely silly to have bought a bunch of nursing shirts, but I didn’t know how things were going to go when I bought them…). That was in the food court at the mall. But I nursed at an outside table at an L.A. restaurant once (at The Grove, snoot snoot) and the only thing I noticed was that the waiter, who had been standing very close to me while taking our orders, moved away a bit when he noticed I had my boob out. ha ha! Didn’t bother me.

    However, this raises another boob issue (for me, anyway) – that of size and what you get with that. I’ve had huge honkers since puberty and for years I wore XL t-shirts to cover up because my mother told me I was too attractive and would get raped if I showed my figure. When I was in college a (male, but not gay!) friend told me that I should really accentuate my waist because the huge clothes I wore were not the least bit flattering to my beautiful figure.

    THEN I worked Renaissance Faire for 4 years. Heh. I am completely comfortable with my breasts now, if I hadn’t been before! Yes, they got ogled every weekend by thousands – along with the breasts of every other woman wearing a bodice (see, Slushturtle, what did I tell you? Ren Faire = common and frequent usage of the word “bodice!”). But it felt good. ha ha! Working Faire you learn to revel in your body, because everyone else around you is reveling in theirs (and often yours) at the same time. It’s a fun way to spend your autumn weekends when you’re in your early 20s.

    Now back to the boobs – they are there, they are big, and dammit, they ARE tools to feed my babies. I always said that despite what men may think, I wasn’t carrying these things around and sometimes enduring back pain for show – they would absolutely be put to use for their intended purpose when the time came. And they were. And they will be again. And I will not cover up. Offended parties do tend to look away, and that’s fine with me. Their discomfort is their problem. Say what you will, oh ye who have completely lost touch with Nature. My babies start out right at the beginning with the best I can give them, the way it was intended.

  2. A few comments in response:
    1. What exactly is Fred Meyer? Is that like Meijer? Just wondering…

    2. Breasts are tools. Simple as that. They were DESIGNED to feed our children. I appreciated that you did state that there ARE those of us who COULDN’T breastfeed. I say it all the time… if/when we have another child – i PRAY that I can breastfeed. First off – i totally missed out on the being able to comfort your child at the breast thing… xander never even wanted a pacifier (which i can’t say i was upset about) but shushing (shh shhh shhhh) is only SO comforting. I missed out on well – fuck it if you don’t like this statement – FREE FOOD. Bottles and formula are COSTLY!!!

    3. I am TRULY OFFENDED by the thong-hanging-out-of-the-pants look. Do I run and get a clerk, manager, waitress. I look away. If someone is disgusted with breastfeeding, let them look away. Screw ’em. If they are oogling… well, eeeww but oh well – if your child needs you, you accomodate.

    While I may not agree with you about a few things, I agree that no woman should EVER feel shamed to breastfeed her child (unless, of course, said child is 16. then, houston, we have a problem…)
    ’nuff said.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this issue because I’ve breast fed all three of my kids and at first it bothered me to do it in public, but after a while I didn’t care and when I felt someone was trying to see my private parts I gave them a look and they totaly minded their own business. I love to breast feed because it a closeness that all mothers should have with their baby, but today, when you say “Oh, I’m going to breast feed” women will give you a look as if you’re crazy. Today, you have women asking for c-sections!!! I think that’s strange and I think this attitude American society has towards motherhood is negative, and now we have married women having abortions because their career and time is of more value than taking care of child.

    This is one of the best reads I have had in a long time. Keep it up!

  4. I also wish to mention two other enemies of breastefeeding mothers:

    1) Hospitals: As I understand it, most hospitals send mothers home with samples of formula, have little lactation help, and are as gung-ho to push a bottle on your baby as a C-section on you (C-section rates are completely appalling – almost 30% nationwide and a VERY SMALL percentage of that is actually due to emergencies during labor).

    2) OTHER BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS. You heard me. I was told by my sister who had kids WAY earlier than I did (she’s 8 years older than I am) that if it hurts, you’re doing something wrong. I have heard that many books on the subject say the same thing. Couple that with little help at the hospital, and bingo – you’ve got babies on bottles because their mothers have no support.

    Thankfully, my midwife told me when I was pregnant the first time that it differs for every woman and after every pregancy. Some women have higher pain thresholds, some babies latch on better at birth, etc. She herself was able to breastfeed three of her four babies, but had to struggle with it every time she *was* able to do it.

    Thankfully again, a friend who gave birth a couple months earlier than I did told me that breastfeeding hurt her nipples for two months before she and the baby were totally comfortable with it. Mine also hurt for that long. I doubt I would have run to the bottle after the first month even if she had not told me that, but I know that most women would, especially because they’re hearing and reading that if it hurts, they’re doing it wrong.

  5. I had both my kids by c-section. The first one was an emergency issue..the second one I didn’t have a choice (hospital policy)..YES, I know I could have found another hospital but I really really really really really like my OB/GYN. He’s awesome and I couldn’t imagine someone else down there, except my hubby! Second, I nursed both my kids(not for 2 years) but for as long as I could. The first one stopped on his own…the little hog didn’t want me! And the second, well there were some issues with my boobs…reoccuring mastitis. She got sick from it(although the LLL will say that’s not true) so I switched her to bottle..I was sad, I cried both times but it had to be done. I hate people who hate BFers. Give me a break. I dont stare at men who whip their shirts off at ball games or go complaining…although I’d like to over some of them!!!!!

  6. I just got this from Fred Meyer. If anyone can tell me what it means…that’d be great:

    Dear Ms Vest

    Thank you for contacting Fred Meyer regarding a recent incident that
    occurred in our Gateway store. Our company is aware of the Oregon law
    allows mothers to breastfeed in public and we support and respect that
    right. Our Director of Public Affairs has spoken with the customer to
    assure her that it is Fred Meyer’s policy to comply with the law. We
    that she was made to feel uncomfortable in our stores and we will take
    steps to ensure that all employees are aware of the law, as well as the
    importance of upholding it in our stores.

    Again, thank you for sharing your comments with us. We appreciate the
    opportunity to respond.


    Candice M Kendrick
    Consumer Affairs

  7. It means they’re sorry for all of the negative publicity! Hey, if they’re squirming under the scrutiny of the blogoshpere, good for them. The Reluctant Activist had two separate managers make her feel bad (about the same incident) and also make it seem as though they were in the right by putting the complaining customers over the law. They are wrong and Fred Meyer needs to be reminded of that. The Reluctant Activist is also getting local news coverage in her town to take notice. Awesome!

    See, the thing is that this isn’t the first time a big company (Starbucks did it a couple of years back) has employed individuals who are unaware of the law. That’s what the letters to FM will do — make them (and other companies) aware that they need to better train their employees to understand the laws affecting breastfeeding mothers.

    Thanks for your rant. I’m happy about the amount of ranting and publicity that the Reluctant Activist has been able to generate. She’s brave and hopefully many more breastfeeding women will benefit from her strength and courage.

    See you at BlogHer! Can’t wait.

  8. Yeah, what Mary said. The FM letter of reply sounds very much to me like, “yeah, yeah, go away.”

  9. You would think this would no longer be an issue. I thought breastfeeding my daugher NOW would be a whole world different than when I breastfed my son almost ten years ago. Not only has nothing changed, but because she’s adopted and I’m inducing lactation, there’s even more stigma added to it.

    Why do you need to use that contraption? Don’t you make enough milk? Why are you breastfeeding a child you adopted? Isn’t that unnatural?


  10. That’s clearly their form letter for “Let us give you a half-ass answer to make this negative publicity go away.” Fuckers.

    Breastfeeding didn’t work for us, mostly because Cordy didn’t like putting forth so much effort. But that didn’t stop me from still trying as much as I could for 4-5 months. I fully intend to breastfeed my next child, too.

    I also used to be terribly shy about anyone seeing my breasts. But amazingly after I had Cordy I didn’t care about flashing anyone in trying to feed her. I was more focused on the job at hand.

    And Violet, you worked a Renaissance Faire? Me too! Which one?

  11. Bravo! Bravo! I want to start a Queen of Spain fan club…seriously.

    I nursed my twins until they were over 2. They stopped on their own. My little one is still nursing (he’s going on 21 months)and he is showing no signs of stopping. With the twins, I was a little shy about nursing in public, but I quickly got over it. I have NO problem doing it anymore. I have received all sorts of MEAN and DISGUSTED looks over the years…mostly from women. I just blow a kiss to them and them flip them off if they are across the room. Otherwise, depending upon the reaction I receive, I’ll let them have an earful.

    I once had a restaurant manager ask me if I wouldn’t be more comfortable in the ladies room. HA! I said “Would you take your meal in to the restroom and eat while someone is taking a shit?” He looked perplexed and then replied “No”. I said “Exactly! My child won’t have his meal in a fucking bathroom either.”

    I am very anti-formula, although I DO understand that some mothers have problems nursing…that’s the exception. My reasons behind my formula hatred is well-founded, at least in my mind. Formula makers are constantly changing the formulation of their products. Our babies are the guinea pigs for their money making science projects.

    Women have been shamed and brainwashed in to thinking that breasts are for sexual pleasure. Nope. Sorry. I had to educate my husband on this issue early in our marriage.

    Bottle feeding is sheer laziness and ignorance at it’s finest in my book. (And NO, that does not include those who cannot nurse.)

    I need to shut up now….I can feel my blood pressure rising. Need. To. Calm. Down.

  12. I wanted to comment before you posted again, but damnit, you’re fast.

    For the most part, I consider myself a lucky mom. I had a wise mother myself who encouraged me, even as a teen mother (I was 15 when I had my daughter) to nurse. She knew of the benefits and taught me well not having had the opportunity to fully nurse all her own children.

    That speaks volumes about how the shame and embarrassement put upon me by others could have deterred my daughter from receiving what nature intended. A 15 year old is conscious enough of her body, but to take out her breast and feed her crying baby while others stared in horror? It’s amazing I didn’t kill anyone from getting so pissed off at the time. It’s even more amazing that I KNEW BETTER THAN THEY DID and continued to nurse.

    While going to high school.

    Thanks, mom. You taught me well.

  13. You hit the nail on the head here! I have a 19-month old son and he is my only child. When Doodlebug was born I had a terrible getting started with nursing. Each nurse or “lactation consultant” showed a different method for the latch. I was so frustrated and so upset that I almost gave up before starting. But thank God my friend Kelly came to see me. She had a 7 month old and she basically sat next to me as I held my baby. She whipped out her breast and showed me her method of getting her daughter to latch on. From that day forward I had no problems nursing other than sore nipples. But after 4 months of nursing privately and covered, I ventured out to a birthday party and proceeded to nurse and my aunt was mortified. She gave me a lecture on public displays of “grossness”. I cried. I didn’t know what else to do or say. And then I went back to work and had to pump. That was difficult. My baby was so hungry and I couldn’t pump enough. I only nursed 6 months and I feel jipped. Partially because I too gave in to society’s expectations. I vowed that when I have my next child, I will NOT give up. And reading your blog and the comments of others, I now know I CAN do this and who CARES what others think! Thank you Queen!

  14. I fully support you and the lady who was in Fred Meyer. Incidentally, I had to nurse Thomas in an emergency room and had the same problem with a security guard trying to get a glimpse, as well as several male patients. I loudly said, “Take a picture, it will last longer!” And I looked every one of those men in the eye until their eyes were averted. Perverts should not deter feeding one’s baby either. I think if you point them out, it helps alot. A breastfeeding mother has power – she sustains life, and the more of us that speak out against anything getting in the way of her job, the better. Kudos to you and all nursing moms!

  15. Great post. Nonlinear Girl made a point that we have to get the dads involved too – writing letters, etc.

    And people are so weird. I was in the ER with my daughter in December – nursed her discreetly – and everytime the male nurse came in, he was all weird – like dude, you look at buttholes and shit – why are you so frazzled at a nursing mom??

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bravo to all of you that choice to breastfeed. But really what makes you think that breastfeeding makes you a better mother? Just because you chose to feed your child in that way does not mean your a superior mother in any other way. GET REAL!!!! (even breastfeeding mothers ignore their children). I’m surprised you didn’t take it one step further and say that stay at home moms are better moms then those that work. And honestly if you don’t want to be judged for whipping out your boob to feed your child, then perhaps you shouldn’t judge those who chose not to breastfeed (whatever their reasons may be).

  17. Well, Anon…I’d have to say that I try and make choices that make me a better mother. I made a choice to be the best Mom I can be. And because breastmilk is what is best for my child, it is the best choice.

    Personally, I think mothers who choose not to breastfeed (and when I say choose…I mean, they were educated about how it is the best thing in the world and then decided they did not want too…not those mothers who were physically unable or had to return to work and couldn’t pump, or were on meds…whatever…I’m talking about the ones that just decided they didn’t want too)not only made a poor decision, but could be seen as very selfish. I’m going to spend my life trying to give my kids the best in every way possible, for the best start possible. I can’t imagine having the choice to give them one of those best starts and just saying “Nah, formula seems easier.”

    I don’t think I ever called myself a better mother. I think you read into my post. Trust me, I screw up plenty. But I will never understand anyone who just decided not to give breastmilk to their kid, if they were capable.

    It’s like me saying…hmmm…should the kids attend Harvard or community college…well, Harvard is the best and it’s readily here on my chest…but community college is soooooo much easier.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Well, I am one of those mothers that chose not to breastfeed, not because it is easier or the fact that I’m selfish (which everyone is to some degree)but because I knew for my mental health it would be less stressful and then therefore would make ME the better mother.

    What I’m trying to say is that it is easy to look at someone bottle feeding their child and say “look at her she doesn’t care or want the best for her child” (believe me it has happened), and you don’t know her situation at all.

    And Harvard isn’t suited for everyone, even it is an option.

  19. It sounds to me, Anon, that the “mental” issues would put you in the “not capable” category? Not knowing the gravity of the situation, I can’t really say.

    But I certainly don’t understand mothers who really have no excuse other than lazyness and selfishness. Believe me, I know some. They would much rather bottle feed with formula so someone else can look after their kid than be strapped down to breastfeed.

  20. Queen, I think you’re being a little too harsh here with the words “selfish” and “lazy”.

    Having a kid is the hardest goddamn job on the planet, and we all make choices in order to do the best possible job we can. And sometimes that DOES involve taking care of ourselves as well.And I think that’s something you yourself know about. You’ve blogged about it very honestly here.

    Not everyone can breastfeed. Not everyone can stay home. We all have to do the best we can in the situation we have–and there aren’t always as many choices as we’d like there to be.

    Look, how are we going to get MEN to accept publically nursing moms if women get so self righteous about doing the “right thing” that they alienate non-nursing mothers by making them feeling guilt for their choices?

    We need sympathy and support for all of us with this “mother” of a job. Not judgemental mudslinging. That hurts us all.

  21. You know what??? I think there is room in this mother of a job for all of us to have disagreements and stick to our guns.

    I think that’s half the problem with these “Mommy Wars” bullshit. Because we all feel like we have to be polite to eachother.

    You can’t breastfeed? You can’t stay home? I respect that. I respect Anon’s reasons for not breastfeeding. It was a mental issue for her.

    What I’m talking about are those mothers who went to the bottle of formula and didn’t care what was best for their child. They went for formula because it meant one less thing they had to do and they could pass off the feedings. I’m not talking about mothers who could not breast feed or could not pump. Or had vaild reasons not too.

    I am honest about my shortcomings as a mother and I own up to them. I think we’ve made formula so normal that no one feels like they have to own up to it.

    I think you should feel guilt for not giving your child breastmilk if you are capable. Just like I feel guilt that I can’t send my kids to private school and that I can’t seem to turn the tv off more often.

    Why is it suddenly so wrong for us to feel any guilt about how we mother? I know we all can’t dwell …shit, then we’d dwell more than we’d mother.

    I think the Kaiser said it best when he was talking me down from one of the many Mommy guilt episodes I had he said, roughly “it’s good you feel bad. It’s good you feel like you could have done it better. You SHOULDn’t be satisfied. Because you should always want it EVEN better for your children.”

    I think we can support eachother and be honest with eachother. I feel guilt. And I think we can ALWAYS do better and try harder.

    I’m not going to be satisfied. And I’m not going to hold back how I feel just because it is seen as nonsupportive. My support is tough love.

    I want you to examine how you mother. I want to examine how I mother. So we can all do better and do what is best for those kids.

    Choices should always be secondguessed. When we stop that, what are we left with? The idea that just any choice is always ok?

    Sorry, not for me.

  22. Wow, the things I miss when I’m away! This last comment? BRILLIANT! Guilt is not always bad. It serves a purpose, which is why it is hard-wired into us. YES, there is such a thing as a “conscience.” Feeling guilty over something you have no control over? Futile and harmful. Feeling guilty over something you could have, and SHOULD have done differently? A useful tool.

    Now. Breastfeeding. Yes. SUCK IT. How clever! “Suck it!” I get it! I am smart like that.

    I nursed my child as long as she wanted, which was to the age of just about two and a half. Yep, I was shooting for that 2-year mark as my goal…NOT 6 months (helloooo?), NOT a year. Why do we always think we know better in this country than the rest of the world, when CLEARLY we don’t?

    Bella was nursed at restaurants, from the lowest to the highest, at malls, in stores, in CHURCH, standing in lines, at Razorback football and basketball games…you name it! I never once, not ever, got so much as a crosswise look or one single comment, unless it was a brief, approving smile from a fellow parent. And believe me, I was positively SPOILING for a fight that never came to me. Darn it.

    As for lazy, to my mind doing it my way WAS the “lazy” option! I can’t imagine having to get UP OUT OF BED multiple times per night, mix a bottle, warm it, get baby up, feed baby, get baby back to sleep, go back to bed…then what, repeat until I’m insane? No thanks! My baby never cried in the night, not once, ever. She made, at the most, little grunting sounds and searching guestures. I put her to my breast, nursed her, and went right back to sleep. I can’t honestly say either of us ever really fully woke. In infancy, she was in an Arm’s Reach co-sleeper attached to my bed, then later when it was safe, in the bed with me, between me and the wall.

    I never lost a minute’s sleep or suffered any sleep-deprivation symptoms or stress. Lazy? ME!

  23. Anonymous says:

    As much as everybody wants to pretend or rally, this is not a Nudity-OK society.

    Most of the breast militants resent other people’s nudity or excretions unless it’s exactly the same as theirs.

    All the militant BS is going to make it hard for child-bearing age women to get or keep jobs. Companies don’t want to put up with militants of any type. Yeah, I know it’s the law, it’ll just force companies to be sneaky.

  24. I must have missed the part where choosing to bottle-feed made you a bad mother. Thanks for the enlightenment…

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