Breastfeeding On The Subway Is A Gross Way To Celebrate Nursing Freedom
As I’ve discussed numerous times in the past, I am a huge supporter of not only the right to choose how you feed your child, but also where you should be allowed to feed your child. So I don’t think I would ever feel comfortable supporting rules or lawsagainst breastfeeding anywhere (well, almost anywhere). But I do think there is a time and a place for everything and I wouldn’t recommend even sitting on most subway seats, let alone breastfeeding there. But that’s exactly what a group of breastfeeding advocates did yesterday, and to be honest, I’m baffled.
According to The New York Daily News, “scores” of nursing moms took to the A train to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. For those of you not familiar with the New York subway system, the A train is pretty much the grossest, nastiest, most decrepit subway line in the city. Literally any other train would be better than the A. It’s like stepping through a time machine into gritty 1970’s New York every time you ride it.
Many of the moms openly nursed and chanted their way through the “Breastfeeding Subway Caravan,” which is an annual event. This year’s caravan was meant to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1994 state law that protected mother’s right to breastfeed in public. I am 100% for a woman’s right to breastfeed wherever she chooses…but when you have literally every other option, why would anyone choose the subway?
Considering that we’re still fighting for women to not be forced to breastfeed or pump in gross places (the bathroom, anyone?), isn’t it a little ironic that these advocates chose the most nauseating subway line in the city as their hill to die on? Or chose the subway at all, for that matter.
This protest/celebration would have had just as much impact in any of the city’s numerous public parks; Central Park, Washington Square, Bryant Park, etc. Or perhaps they could have held it on the observation deck of the Empire State Building? What a symbolic message that would have sent!
Or, better yet, in any one of the city’s thousands of corporate owned restaurants that still have terrible practices in place when it comes to breastfeeding patrons and employees?
Women have been breastfeeding on the subways in NYC for decades. No one bats an eye. Like I said, I will always support a mother’s right to breastfeed wherever she chooses, but I think this celebration of freedom would do more good above ground.