Thursday, June 30, 2005

Hotter in Hell

A friend writes:
Once an OALC Finn lady told my mom, when my mom was wearing a sleeveless cotton house dress on a hot, summer day, slaving away in the kitchen preparing a meal for a carload of hungry Finns, that my mom should cover up and wear something more appropriate. My mom told the happy Finn lady she was sweltering. The Finn lady retorted that it was "hotter in hell."

LOL. A good retort might have been that as Americans, we have the constitutional right to bare arms.

But not, apparently, a quarter inch of mammary gland. Barbara Walters complained to millions of TV viewers that she was made "uncomfortable" by a mother next to her on the plane who was breastfeeding an infant. In solidarity the next day, our local TV commentator Ken Schram compared breastfeeding in public to "urinating in public."

What the?

Ken, breastmilk is food. Urine is waste. There are public places devoted to the latter and precious few to the former. I can still remember as a new mom trying to find an empty bathroom stall at a fancy restaurant so I could breastfeed without scandalizing the couple sitting next to us. Who were eating. Something was/is wrong with that picture!

Ken's own wife told him he was being idiotic. She breastfed their children and remembers what it was like. He backtracked and is now making feeble pleas for modesty. Okay, we forgive you. But not Barbara.

When you see a woman nursing, give her a big smile.

6 comments:

  1. This so called "modesty" thing seems to be a distinctly American thing. I have not met any OALC counterparts in Scandinavia, but my experience with Finns seem to be they accept nudity as a natural, rather than sexual, condition. I've seen women nurse their babies in public with a little more breast exposed then I've seen among nursing mothers in America with nary a second glance. Breasts are first and foremost for babies.

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  2. I agree with the anon above. You'd think that with all the saunas, the Finns (and Finnish-Americans) would be a bit more enlightened on this issue. :)

    You haven't lived until you've rolled in the snow, fresh out of a hot sauna.

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  3. I was breastfeeding my baby once in the hallway of a tourist attraction. It wasn't busy, so I sat down on a bench with my husband and his parents. The security gaurd politely suggested that there was a bathroom down the hall. My Mother-in-law, who is quite outspoken, politely asked him if he would like to eat in the bathroom. I wasn't even exposing anything, I had a blanket over top.
    As for Barbara..... has she looked at what a lot of women wear? Half the women's clothing I try to wear exposes more of the top half than I've ever exposed of the bottom while nursing!!
    Nope, no excusing her.
    I wonder if American's get their "modesty" from our English forefathers?
    Wonder what B.W. thought of a certain 1/2 time show, where a certain celebrity bared everything??!!

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  4. In the days of my youth (male),
    it was customary after the
    Saturday night sauna at our
    neighbor's cottage on the
    Traverse River to leap sans
    clothes into the river off of
    the sauna roof .

    While 4 of us were in the water
    2 elderly Finnish ladies came
    out to the back deck and sat
    down inadvertently blocking our
    escape route.

    When the cold water could no
    longer be endured we raced in
    front of the deck to escape.

    To our surprise, rather then
    express outrage, the ladies
    hooted and clapped.Not all Finns
    uptight in a comical situation

    We were the original "streakers

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  5. Perhaps the effects of cold water on your scandalous regions gave rise to the hooting and clapping, lol!

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  6. I don't mind if mothers nurse their babies in public, but kindly use a blanket. Rarely do people want to see others' breasts.
    Personally I'm not comfortable nursing in public. I'll go to my car, or find a lounge. Not only does it make me uncomfortable, there may be others that are uncomfortable also.
    I was at a friend's house one day with all married couples. One mother started nursing on the couch, surrounded by decent fathers, without a blanket. The men were very uncomfortable.
    It is a natural thing, and personally I don't mind, but sometimes there are others that do.
    I think if people want respect for what they think, they should respect what others think.

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