July 9, 2010
Program Director, 106.3 FM
Dear Director McLain,
Recently, my attention was drawn to a segment that aired on the Russ & Lisa show on Tuesday, July 6, 2010. in which Lisa Rollins, whom you employ as a news anchor and a talk host thought it was an apt idea to question the rights of infants to eat in restaurants and for their mothers to feed them in a safe environment. I've read some of the other responses you've gotten, ones like the one Dionna Ford wrote, responses which are calm, non-argumentative, and reasonable. This isn't that response. I'm too livid.
Can I first state the ridiculousity of saying breastfeeding in a restaurant is disgusting when one is in said restaurant, a Chic Fil-A, most likely eating the breast of another animal, to be offended that woman might be using hers to feed her baby? Because it is ridiculous.
Also, I noted from what Ms. Rollins had to say that she was in the Chic Fil-A, not eating in her car. I presume that since she said it was "100 dadgum degrees," that she would have found it uncomfortable to eat her meal in the car. Similarly, I would imagine that a baby and mother would rather not be sitting in said uncomfortable environment. However, maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps Ms. Rollins would like to take all of her meal breaks in her car for a while so she can tell me how delightful, uncramped, and cool it is. That sounds fair.
If in your judgement it is too hot for Ms. Rollins to be expected to eat in her car, preferably with the air off, there is an oil crisis going on right now, as a news anchor could probably tell you, maybe she'd like to eat in the bathroom. Other than the part where bathrooms are areas set aside for dealing with human waste, I can't imagine she'd have a problem with it, considering that she thinks it's a good place for someone with a still developing immune system to eat. She also doesn't seem to think that a nursing mom would mind spending her time out of the house in the restroom, so I can't imagine why she would mind spending her off-the-air time in the restroom.
That brings me to my next point. Off the air time. Maybe she needs some. She thinks that moms just staying home instead is a reasonable option, so I invite her to do it. As her employer, you could help make that a reality. The way I look at it, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding up to at least two years of age and as long thereafter as it is mutually beneficial to both members of the nursing dyad, so that sounds like a good period of time that she should just stay home. Two years. You know, stay home, discreetly.
She also implied that perhaps the mother of the nursing infant could have nursed in the car on the way there. Other than the part where it's illegal to travel in a moving vehicle with an infant who is not properly restrained in their car seat, that's a brilliant idea. Oh wait, it's a horrible idea because it is a suffocation risk to lean over the carseat to nurse an infant and it's dangerous and illegal to remove said child from said carseat while it is in motion. Further, if the mother was driving, it's a whole new level of irresponsibility, illegality, and danger. I admit it, I'm disturbed that you have a news anchor and talk show host in your employ who recommends, even jokingly, illegal practices which endanger children.
As per Ms. Rollins suggesting that nursing in public, which, by the way, is a specifically protected right in the state of South Carolina, as well as in the vast majority of the United States, and is supported in most of the rest of the world, should have legislation enacted to criminalize it just grieves me deeply. I can't imagine that the majority of your listeners are so against infants being nourished in the most healthy way possible, but I would postulate that if she were saying that drinking beer in public, which, unlike breastfeeding which encourages healthy development, kills brain cells, damages livers, increases the incidence of people making ignorant comments, and leads to deaths, injuries, and property damage via inebriated drivers and needless altercations, should be made illegal, there'd be a bigger uproar.
So if I was being nice, and tactful, and unaggressive, I'd ask that she not only recant but take a class on Women's issues and another on breastfeeding, but I'm not being nice. I'm being bombastic and disgusted and suggesting that she eat in the car, and in the bathroom, and stay home for the next two years. And then and only then will I give her or your station any credibility.
I'm usually nicer than this, but this sort of anti-baby, anti-family, anti-woman, anti-health attitude has got to stop.
Have a nice weekend,