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Breastfeeding Is ‘Nasty,’ Tweets NASCAR Driver Kasey Kahne

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“Just walking through supermarket. See a mom breast feeding little kid. Took second look because I was obviously seeing things. I wasn’t.”

I don’t feel like shopping anymore or eating.”

“One boob put away and one boob hanging! #nasty”

These are the lovely sentiments Tweeted by NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne. No, he’s not 12, in case you were wondering. Believe it or not, he’s actually a grown man. But that didn’t stop Kahne from going off on a Twitter rant when he spotted a woman breastfeeding her baby at the supermarket. Poor guy was so turned off he couldn’t even finish shopping.

But, wait, there’s more! Some of Kahne’s Twitter followers called him out for being a jerk, including one woman who had this to say:

“I hope someday you have a kid and someone tells your wife that feeding your child looks nasty. Stay classy, asshole.”

Kahne then dug himself into a deeper hole by calling her a “dumb bitch” in response. Classy indeed.

The NASCAR star then turned to Facebook to apologize. “I understand that my comments regarding breastfeeding posted on Twitter were offensive to some people. For that, I apologize. It was in no way my intention to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or, for that matter, anyone who supports breastfeeding children. I want to make that clear,” he wrote.

“In all honestly, I was surprised by what I saw in a grocery store. I shared that reaction with my fans on Twitter. It obviously wasn’t the correct approach, and, after reading your feedback, I now have a better understanding of why my posts upset some of you,” he continued. “My comments were not directed at the mother’s right to breastfeed. They were just a reaction to the location of that choice, and the fashion in which it was executed on that occasion. I respect the mother’s right to feed her child whenever and wherever she pleases.”

Yeah, okay, thanks buddy.

There are always going to be people who find breastfeeding nasty. And you now what? That’s fine. Because, really, who cares? But when that person’s a public figure, he should keep those thoughts to himself, plain and simple. It’s called maturity.

35 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    December 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Why should he keep it to himself? Because you don’t agree? The guy has a right to say what he wants.

    People such as myself are constantly told that we should just look away if we don’t like breastfeeding in public. Pot, meet kettle. If you don’t like what he wrote, don’t read it.

  2. Jen

    December 29, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    This guy’s non-apology just makes him sound like even more of a jerk. Just because someone can drive a car really fast around in a circle doesn’t mean they have anything of use to share with the world and his statements should be treated with the same level of respect ANY idiot with a twitter account would receive; meaning none.

    Stephanie, I 100% agree this moron has the right to say whatever he wants in public and just because he’s a public figure doesn’t mean that he has to keep every ignorant thought to himself. However, as a public figure he should probably realize that if people don’t like the stupid things that he says he’s going to lose money and fans and so he can choose to exercise his free speech or keep raking in money, but probably not both.

    As for the actual issue: anyone who doesn’t think breastfeeding in public is ok or who feels uncomfortable about it has just told you ALL you need to know about their mentality and maturity.

    • Stephanie

      December 30, 2011 at 9:08 am

      Can’t you make a reply without name-calling and mudslinging? Speaking of maturity . . .

      I support a woman’s right to breastfeed. More power to them. I know breastfeeding is healthier for mother and infant. I support malls putting in nursing rooms, major stores putting in rest areas for mothers, and more. I simply don’t support a woman’s right to expose herself (while pushing a cart, walking through a store, etc.) in a way that is illegal in 36 states.

      For the fourteen states that say a woman can go topless, go for it. Nurse all while you want. For the rest of the states, I don’t approve of a double standard. I don’t agree that mothers completely cover themselves (some do, some argue that her baby shouldn’t have to have a blanket over his/her head while eating). I do think you can conceal it while the baby is an infant, but what about when said child is three years old and still nursing? It’s a lot harder to conceal then.

      This isn’t a question of my maturity or mentality. This is a question of public exposure. What’s sauce for the nursing goose is sauce for the rest of us gooses as well.

    • Jen

      December 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      Actually, Stephanie, you DON’T support a woman’s right to breastfeed. If you did you’d take a minute or two to educate yourself and stop making ridiculous statements. If you really have that much of a problem with a woman providing her child with sustenance I’d do more than suggest you look away. I’d suggest you stay home completely. You never know when you might see something to offend your obviously delicate sensibilities.

    • Catherine

      December 30, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      Stephanie, you should review the laws before suggesting that mothers nursing in public are breaking them in 36 states. Most state laws that protect breastfeeding also make breastfeeding exempt from public indecency laws. In other words, those laws simply do not apply when a woman is breastfeeding her child.

    • Stephanie

      December 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Catherine, I’m aware that breastfeeding is an exemption. That’s actually my entire point: it’s a double standard. I identified this as a double standard in my original post, but I can see how it wasn’t clear that I recognize the difference in the eyes of the law.

      Jen, your maturity (read: lack thereof) is astounding. It’s not up to you (or Catherine) to determine what I am and am not willing to support. However, I have clearly offended your delicate sensibilities by asking you to adopt an argumentative style that reaches beyond name-calling and mudslinging, so I apologize. I did not realize that “Mommyish” meant children would be posting, too. As for “providing her child with sustenance” I can’t think of a more ridiculous statement. Women have many ways of “providing [their] children with sustenance,” and I’m not objecting to any of them. I’m objecting to public exposure. Perhaps your mommy can explain the difference.

    • Jen

      December 31, 2011 at 7:46 am

      Stephanie, I repeat again that you should probably stick to the inside. You seem to have that “angel of the house” mentality down anyway. Your suggestion that women stay out of the public eye when they need to feed their infant amounts to you telling ALL breastfeeding mothers what they can and can not do with their time because of how YOU feel. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

      Also, your double standard argument is as dumb as the original texts by this idiot (I really don’t care if my saying that you and the “gentleman” who posted those lovely texts are morons hurts your wee little feelings–you are both attempting to take away other peoples’ rights). Breastfeeding in public serves a clear purpose, one that states and the feds have the right to regulate however they see fit. You also seem to have never actually seen a woman breastfeeding, since the amount of breast exposed is minimal. However, if her entire breast had to be hanging out in the breeze in order for her to feed her child her right to do so would be intact because generally the government (and most rational people) don’t want babies to starve because prudes might get uncomfortable.

      Once again, I would seriously suggest you staying inside and perhaps canceling your internet and cable services. After all, I see WAY more exposed breast on basic network shows than from breastfeeding moms. I think you (and anyone who believes that public breastfeeding is somehow ANY of their business) need to evaluate where their values come from and why they are so hell bent on relieving others of their rights through intimidation and name calling (something you supported in your first post, talk about hypocritical!).

      PS: I’m not going to suggest that your uncomfortableness with an adult female body indicates that you are a child because that’s ANOTHER FORM OF NAME CALLING. I will suggest that you perhaps have proven my point about both your intelligence level and your lack of maturity.

    • Stephanie

      December 31, 2011 at 10:26 am

      Jen, it’s okay. I’ve seen your posts on this site. You resort to the same childish style of argument everytime. You aren’t convincing anyone to agree with you, and you aren’t impressing anyone with your lack of sophistication either. Perhaps when you are ready to have an adult argument we can revisit the topic, but, really, what do you expect to accomplish by coming out with juvenile insults? Do you have no one else who will listen to you? Is this your only way to avoid outright talking to yourself?

      I’ll be watching for when you grow up. I hope the site is still here. Then we’ll try disagreeing again.

    • Jen

      December 31, 2011 at 11:02 am

      Stephanie: Getting affronted by me calling a public figure who posts insulting messages on twitter a moron is honestly the best proof I have that you are aware of how very wrong you are. Only people who have literally NOTHING to say in their defense clutch their pearls over such minor language. I’ve been called a bitch, a slut and a baby murderer on this site at least 100 times, but I have never once taken issue with the language because I actually have something to say against the argument. So please, stop trying to derail because you have realized how very wrong and unsophisticated and down right shameful your stance is. It’s pathetic and silly. If you don’t like being called names and insulted, too bad. I don’t like people attempting to take away my rights and the rights of others. I’m pretty sure in the grand scheme of things being called a moron hurts a lot less than being denied the ability to properly care for your child.

      If you want to comfort yourself by thinking that because I called someone a moron my point is somehow less valid and can’t possibly be correct, go for it. It won’t change the fact that you are 100% wrong and it won’t change the fact that people (like you and Mr. Khane) who think your personal squeamishness should somehow trump other’s rights to thrive are unthinking at best and heartless at worst.

      And, Stephanie: I’ll point out to you AGAIN that calling me a child repeatedly in the way that you have is also name-calling. Your hypocrisy would be stunning if it wasn’t so obvious that you have nothing of use to say so obviously this is the only way you can feel good about yourself.

    • Stephanie

      December 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm

      Jen, I already made my argument. Your response was to say my argument was ridiculous. Since ridiculous is a subjective statement, I didn’t feel the need to respond.

      P.S. You didn’t just call him a moron. You also indicated that anyone who is against breastfeeding in public is suffering in mentality and maturity. It might help if you re-read your own posts.

    • Jen

      December 31, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      Stephanie: Ok, so now saying that someone who is against breastfeeding in public is immature is a problem, but you calling me a CHILD for saying someone who is against breastfeeding in public is immature is not? Right. Got it. Thank you for proving my point for me. Why is it ALWAYS the people who try and restrict other’s ability to live that get all crazy with the martyr complex?

      And you should probably try rereading my comments too, since I actually didn’t call your stance ridiculous until you started making false statements (which is RIDICULOUS). In my initial reply I responded to you without actually calling you ANY names–and I’m sorry, but I reiterate that if you get this het up about someone suggesting you are immature because you can’t handle seeing a breast in public you probably are a bit too delicate of a flower to be out and about in the world.

      You stood by a guy who said some really awful things about one mother and called another woman a dumb bitch for daring to disagree with him. So, guess what, sugar pop? I’m pretty sure your issue is less with me calling someone like that a moron and more with the fact that since you don’t have ANYTHING valid to say besides “wah wah wah, how dare you make me uncomfortable about anything” you have decided that my (actually rereading my posts fairly tame) language can somehow validate your desire to take away other’s rights.

      And honestly, no matter what I said you were going to find something to pick at because–and I’ll continue to reiterate it until it sinks into your head–you truly think that because you have some sort of hangup babies should go hungry or mothers’ should be chained to their house. How very sad it must be to find yourself so important all the time. No wonder even the tiniest hint that you are not so great after all creates such wailing and moaning.

  3. Avodah

    December 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Shawna-

    Do you think calling him an a**hole is appropriate? It seems like many of your articles are one-sided and bent on rousing the anger of the mombies. Also, his apology seemed pretty good to me. He didn’t like what he saw, but he regrets how he expressed it.

    Have you ever apologized for one of your horrible, one-sided ill-informed articles?

    • Shawna Cohen

      December 30, 2011 at 12:16 am

      hi avodah. just wanted to clarify that i never called him an a**hole but was merely sharing a woman’s tweet (she’s the one who called him that). that said, i do think he handled the whole thing very poorly, as you can tell from my piece – especially the fact that he responded to this woman by calling her a ‘bitch.’ not cool, if you ask me.

    • Mel

      December 30, 2011 at 12:21 am

      So SHE calls him an asshole, but tells HIM to stay classy? Not saying that he should have responded the way he did, but come on.. She’s just as bad as he is.

  4. Mel

    December 30, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Well, good for him for actually voicing his opinion.

  5. Opal

    December 30, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Well, that helps me know who not to root for in NASCAR.

  6. Avodah

    December 30, 2011 at 9:01 am

    @Shawna- Yes, I realize that you wrote what someone else said. However, you had not criticism of her nasty comment. Why is her foul language acceptable, but his isn’t?

    I have to say- I find breast feeding in public quite distasteful. I don’t think I’m a total Neanderthal.

  7. Mandee

    December 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I am a breastfeeding mother and NASCAR enthusiast, and I am *not* offended by what Kasey Kahne said. In fact, I might even say something along those lines myself. Perhaps it’s because I take a different approach to breastfeeding. I would never feed my child in a public setting where others could visibly see what was going on. I have a nursing cover that I use. People know what’s going on under the cover. Unless they think it’s some reverse Superhero cape, and that’s cool too.

    Unless we’re at home, I do not feed my son uncovered. And if we are home, and we have company, the cover goes on. No one needs to see what I’m doing except me.

    • omnomnonymous

      December 31, 2011 at 1:06 am

      @Mandee – You are a gal after my own heart.

    • Jen

      December 31, 2011 at 8:06 am

      Mandee: I used to say that I would always cover up too, until I actually started breastfeeding. Some babies don’t like having covers over their heads and will either refuse to eat or simply pull at the cover until it is removed. Since my daughter also refused to take a bottle–seriously, she once went 3 ear splitting hours without taking a bottle while under my parents’ care–so I was forced to decide between becoming a prisoner in my own home and “exposing” myself in public. I think as a breastfeeding mother you are probably already ruefully aware of how few and far between adequate nursing areas are. And as I’ve said in previous posts, I think you can testify to the fact that a nursing child actually covers up a large amount of boob, much more than some tops.

      This is in no way intended to criticize the way you do things. As someone who had to get over a lot of discomfort so I could take care of my child I have 100% sympathy with any mother who chooses to cover up (and a little bit of jealousy, no lie). What I can not sympathize with is any suggestion that what is right or works for some (ie: covering up or not covering up) should be the enforced rule.

      Again, no criticism, just wanted to give you a bit of perspective so perhaps you can understand the reasons that Mr. Kahne’s words were so very inappropriate and why anyone who makes statements like this is actually hurting a very large and diverse community of women.

  8. Catherine

    December 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Obviously, his comments were rude and childish. Maturity isn’t on the list of required traits for NASCAR drivers, though, so whatever. Maybe this will be a learning experience for him.

    I am glad nursing covers exist, because they make breastfeeding easier for women who might not otherwise be comfortable nursing in public. However, if you truly support breastfeeding, you support it whether or not you would be comfortable with the style in which it is being done.

    People who say that they support breastfeeding, but only when it’s done privately, remind me of people who say they don’t have a problem with someone being gay, as long as they don’t have to “see it.” Clearly, you DO have a problem with it on some level. That’s unfortunate, but it’s not the end of the world. Most likely, if you see it more, you’ll start to get over it. Maybe that won’t happen, and you’ll simply find yourself feeling uncomfortable once in a while. Somehow, that doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me.

    It becomes a big deal when you take your own discomfort and use it as an excuse to attempt to shame someone else. When you shame a woman who is breastfeeding her child, you are trying to control the body of another person. You are discouraging breastfeeding. You are acting as an antagonist to women and babies. Personally, I’d rather be momentarily uncomfortable.

    • Avodah

      December 30, 2011 at 8:57 pm

      I don’t hate breastfeeding, mothers or babies. I just don’t feel comfortable with seeing a stranger’s breast. I don’t see how my personal feelings create shame. They are my feelings.

      That makes me an antagonist? Ouch.

    • Stephanie

      December 30, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      Avodah, I agree. Catherine, I’m not trying to shame anyone. I’m trying to say that we either need to call a woman’s breasts private or not. If they aren’t private, make it legal for women to go topless regardless of the activity at hand. If they are private, mealtime should not be an excuse for exposure. If anything I think you should blame the laws at hand for why we feel the way we do. We’ve been told all our lives that our breasts are meant to be covered, but now the law says they don’t have to be if we have a child at the other end? There’s a break in logic there.

    • Catherine

      December 31, 2011 at 1:51 am

      Avodah, I’m sorry that I wasn’t clear. Having those feelings does not make one an antagonist, but turning them into actions that affect the mother (staring, complaining, making disparaging remarks, asking her to stop breastfeeding, etc.) is antagonistic and harmful to breastfeeding.

      Stephanie, I completely agree with you that our culture (which in turn influences the laws) is mainly to blame for the negative and conflicting feelings people have about breastfeeding (and breasts, and our bodies, and so on). Yes, we are often told that they should be covered – unless, of course, they look a certain way and are attached to young, attractive women, and are being presented as the object of the male gaze, and you can’t see the nipple. The rules seem a little arbitrary, right?

      Our cultural expectations will not change overnight, and like most cultural norms, they have little to do with logic. It seems like the laws are a step in the right direction, and I hope that our broader culture will follow.

  9. Byron

    December 31, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I don’t get it, wouldn’t you feel shy and awkward breastfeeding in a grocery store?

    Where has social grace gone? I don’t mind it or anything, I think breasts in all forms and uses are awesome but unless it’s a park or the beach or some other place where people don’t have to walk inches away from you I figure one should feel self-conscious enough about it to not do it. Being proud to be a mom is one thing, being proud to partially reveal yourself in front of strangers only a few feet away from you when it’s not a do or die situation is quite another IMO.

    Yeah, the nascar driver is an idiot, big whop, that’s why he’s a nascar driver and not a philosopher king. I don’t think gracing him with attention is worth our time.

    • Jen

      December 31, 2011 at 7:54 am

      You do realize that until formula feeding became the thing to do, breastfeeding in public was no big deal? So the idea that women nourishing their children in public is some sort of indication of a lack of social grace is inaccurate and silly. And, frankly, your post indicates that you are not particularly familiar with breastfeeding.

      Babies need to eat and if you are a mother who is breastfeeding exclusively (especially when your infant is very young) you can either stay home all day long everyday for months on end or you can go out with your infant and feed them on the fly. I’m fairly certain you would not feel comfortable eating in a public bathroom. Heck, I’ve encountered some public bathrooms that I don’t feel comfortable putting my toe into. So why exactly should women with susceptible newborns be forced into unsanitary situations to feed their child? Further, any mother who has nursed can tell you that a suckling child covers up way more of the breast with his/her mouth and head than a low cut tank–though I’m sure Mr. Khane would have been applauding any woman with her breasts hanging out in something like that. This has little to nothing to do with women feeding their children and everything to do with a society that would rather shackle women to the home than cause discomfort to a bunch of prudes.

    • NotThumper

      December 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      It’s such a stupid debate really. Yes, women should be allowed to breastfeed in public and places need to be more accommodating. By the same token so do the mothers who breastfeed. While you may not agree with it making some people uncomfortable the fact remains that it does. Common sense would say that let the women BF in public but use some discretion, I believe the nursing covers were created for such a reason. Sure, the public may know whats going on underneath but since they can’t actually see anything…they can’t really bitch now can they. Should be a simple compromise right? Nope, I’ve discovered it is more the BFing moms that create more of the drama by saying no to this sort of compromise. All I can do is shake my head at these women.
      I BF my daughter but in all honesty I’d rather not see another woman’s boob, I don’t care what she’s doing. There’s needing to nourish your child and then there’s just being difficult.

  10. Avodah

    January 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I’m starting to think that breastfeeding enthusiasts should be on a list of terrorist organizations.

  11. BraveNewMom

    January 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Oh, TOTALLY, Avodah! And this shall be our manifesto: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2010/05/14/50-reasons-for-breastfeeding-anytime-anywhere/

    Down with the kyriarchy!

    • Avodah

      January 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      That woman infuriates me. She has no PhD. None.

  12. Tobi

    January 2, 2012 at 12:39 am

    What do you expect? This guy is a neanderthal.

    Breasts are only okay with him if they’re sexualized and attached to a Victoria’s Secret model. They’re NOT okay with him if used for their primary purpose.

    If this was an attractive woman wearing a halter top with a wide, plunging neckline, this wouldn’t be an issue.

  13. Joyce

    March 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    What is the big deal with nursing kids in public? Oh come on, don’t tell me none of y’all saw your mom/aunt/sister/cousin doing it at some point; I had seen all my family members do that, and some kid’s mouths are so big that they’re literally eating the whole boob.

  14. Cassie

    May 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I think by his apology, he really meant, “Shit, I realized I might lose what little fan base I have if people find out I’m a giant ass.”

  15. Cassie

    May 1, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I think by his apology, he really meant, “Shit, I realized I might lose what little fan base I have if people find out I’m a giant ass.”

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