Breastfeeding

October 27th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Justice Minister Judith Collins has backed a woman ordered out of court for breastfeeding, saying she “could not think of anywhere” it would be considered offensive.

Neither can I. Arguably it could be thought a bit inappropriate at a funeral, but wouldn’t bother me (especially if ti was my funeral!). At a recent funeral, there were a couple of babies there and I thought it was actually quite nice to be reminded of new life, as we celebrated someone’s life and mourned their death.

Ms Collins was responding to the decision by Judge Kevin Phillips to eject Wanaka woman Catherine Owen from Queenstown District Court on Wednesday.

The minister said that as a mother who had breastfed, “it’s better to feed a child than let a child cry”.

“I obviously can’t comment on what judges do in their courts … [they] are the masters and mistresses of their courts.

“But I would have thought that most people are not offended at the sight of a mother breastfeeding a little baby and I can’t think of anywhere this is considered to be offensive.

“There is nothing … unusual about it; they should be congratulated.”

Judge Phillips questioned why there was “a woman breastfeeding in my courtroom”. Ms Owen rose to take her daughter to the public waiting area as she was being approached by the bailiff.

A good answer would have been “As I wish to observe the trial, as members of the public have the right to do, and my baby is hungry”.

Tags:

31 Responses to “Breastfeeding”

  1. snowy (108 comments) says:

    So if observing a trial, as it is my right to do as a member of the public, would it be acceptable for me to start eating my lunch in the courtroom?

    Of course not.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    If the baby needed its nappy changed, that would be ok to do so during proceedings? :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. MT_Tinman (3,183 comments) says:

    I disagree, for the same reason snowy gives.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    Another whacko who gets offended by a feeding device. Perhaps the learned judge should reflect that at very least babies are silent when Mum shoves a tit in their gob.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Pete George (23,558 comments) says:

    Breastfeeding a baby is one of the most natural things, it’s odd that it can be deemed offensive if done discreetly, as most mothers do it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Dave Stringer (188 comments) says:

    Hopefully, when this judge has a heart attack it will be in his courtroom, and they won’t let the paramedics in to resussitate him as it wold be a breech of decorum too.

    Sustaining life, through any means including breat-feeding and application of resussitation technique, should not offend anyone in any place.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    Unfortunately the ‘good answer’ could land her in the cells for a few hours. Hopefully the lady District Judges will quietly sort this out with the Chief District Judge.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    I really fail to understand how breastfeeding weirds some people out. Who really gives a fuck if a mum is sitting in the back quietly feeding her baby.

    The distraction caused by the breastfeeding is going to be less than that of the mother getting up to take the screaming kid outside.

    It’s completely different to someone chomping on a sandwich. For a start, eating food will invariably leave mess everywhere for someone else to clean up.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Manolo (13,735 comments) says:

    Only an imbecile would complain.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Rufus (667 comments) says:

    I agree that breastfeeding a baby is natural, wonderful, and necessary. If the kid is anything like ours, then the mum doesn’t have much say over when and where baby is fed – they’ll let you know when they want it and the breast is never produced quickly enough!

    I’d say it is necessary the baby is fed whenever required. However, I also have no problem with the judge asking the mum to step out for 10 mins, if it is distracting. I’d leave that up to the discretion of the court, and expect the mum not to make a fuss.

    Fuss over nothing. Meanwhile, the world’s finances are still going to hell in a hand basket, people overseas are being slaughtered by their own governments, and people in southland are losing their jobs. Just to put things into perspective.

    (p.s. The whole “natural” argument doesn’t work, Pete. Sexual intercourse is one of the most natural things. It’s odd that it can be deemed offensive, if done discreetly, as I’m sure many couples could do.

    Sadu, unlike your own porcine eating style, I can eat discreetly without leaving a mess. There goes your argument :) .)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Who has the property right…? While there is no such right as a right NOT to be offended by someone else there is a right to subjectively dislike the actions of another and if occurring on your controlled property to remove them…..Now being a public court it get complicated….

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. the conservative (66 comments) says:

    I have a different take on this. I posted this on my blog yesterday:

    Liberal women have no respect

    Imagine going to a nice restaurant with your wife or girlfriend; it’s a special, romantic occasion in which you would like to enjoy quietly and respectfully. You are very aware of the situation and aware of others and show respect for them by conducting yourself in an orderly manner. Then some slightly intoxicated guy and his girlfriend come along and sit at the table right next to you. He gets excited about something and begins speaking loudly, and everyone in the restaurant begins looking at him so the waiter goes over to his table and tells him not to speak so loudly. Realising he has erred, the guy quietens down and everyone is happy.

    For the most part, people understand restaurant etiquette, except for liberal women that is. Imagine the same situation as above except there is a breast-feeding woman instead of a loud guy. Her baby starts crying so she flops out a booby and starts feeding it. Everyone in the restaurant is aware of this; they know breast feeding in restaurants is not appropriate, but they say nothing. The waiter notices it and says nothing; he knows if he says something he would only get an earful of caustic, feminist vitriol and the restaurant would be targeted the next day for discriminating against breast-feeding women.

    This is exactly how liberals intimidate; how they socially engineer society; they rally the mob and run to the media, and of course the media—being liberal through and through—are more than happy to accommodate. Take the breast-feeding case in yesterday’s Herald, for example, where a judge when referring to Catherine Owen, the woman in the picture, asked “Why is there a baby being breast-fed in my courtroom?” Being in a courtroom Catherine Owen would have realised that feminist vitriol would not cut it so she obliged and went to the waiting area.

    And of course, after court the troops came in off to the Herald they went.

    In a court a judge has the right to manage the court in a way that he/she thinks is appropriate, so why is that any different from a restaurant? Surely a restaurant owner has the right to manage his/her restaurant in a way he/she deems appropriate. But, no, liberal women don’t respect anyone, anywhere.

    http://www.theconservative.co.nz/?q=node/59

    [DPF: You miss a salient point. The drunk guy can choose to talk quieter. The mother can't choose not to feed her baby, if the baby is hungry.]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Longknives (4,737 comments) says:

    Is a Courtroom really an appropriate place for a baby? It it really necessary for kids to be there??

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. kowtow (8,428 comments) says:

    This is a big story for the ODT ,it’s in the editorial today.

    Now breast feeding in a court room is a human right!

    The whole rights thing has spun massively out of control and beyond reason.

    So if the woman had a hungry toddler in the court room should she give it an apple to munch on? Of course not ,take your entitled arse out of court and feed where you’re meant to.

    Collins is wrong to elevate this trivial issue of a lack of basic manners and decorum into a womens’s rights matter( mothers tied ti fridges)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Could this be a judge out of touch with the opinion of the general public?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/7591536/Judge-frustrated-at-not-being-able-to-jail-sex-offender

    At least he realises that home detention for indecently assaulting a child is not a proper sentence, and wanted to give 16 months prison. So he’s better than most of our other judges.

    He still only gives him 8 months home detention, because he is too scared to challenge previous sentences by his lefty colleagues. So he’s a bit of a coward.

    Still, probably one of our more reasonable judges. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lost his job for this though.

    Yep, release a schizophrenic Fijian Indian to kill a kind-hearted teenage girl – get defended by your peers for following the law.
    Comment that breast feeding in court may not be appropriate – all hell breaks loose.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. the conservative (66 comments) says:

    In reply to DF’s salient point in respect to my earlier comment. I agree that women don’t have a choice when their babies are hungry. However, they do have a choice not to go to restaurants, courts, classrooms, and funerals, etc, etc. What liberal women can’t seem to get a handle on is the fact that having children is restrictive in 101 ways, but they appear not able to accept this fact.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    the conservative

    Perhaps you can help me out on this one. What exactly is it about a baby being tit fed that puts you off your steak & chips? Most women are pretty discrete about breast feeding in public & anyone who wants to equate the practise with getting a lap dance in a strip club is ever so slightly buggered in the brain department.

    If half the townie prudes on this forum ever saw the the milk for their caffeine fix being produced they would probably need multiple sessions of counselling.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. marcw (247 comments) says:

    No problem for 99% of people breastfeeding in any place, but on the other hand, I have seen a woman in the Foodcourt using her baby as an exhibition when having the opportunity to feed it. Almost wanting to challenge anyone to make comment. There is a proper and discrete way that most women let nature have its course – then there is the liberal “look at me” type who tends to seek the publicity.

    My question would be, if in this case the breastfeeding was being done in the usual discrete manner, how would the judge even know that it was happening? I smell a setup, that the reaction was provoked by a deliberate attempt to be offensive in some way. Really one of those cases where you had to be there, but it certainly got the publicity it didn’t deserve.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. the conservative (66 comments) says:

    Nasska, if you don’t understand what I find offensive about looking at someone else’s private parts while eating at a restaurant, then you are one of the very liberals I refer to. A line has to be drawn somewhere; do you want nude men eating at restaurants as is permitted in San Francisco? Do you think it would be okay for a mother to change her baby’s nappy in a restaurant?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    the conservative

    You’re clutching at straws. Nude men in a restaurant would qualify as unmitigated exhibitionism exactly the same as similarly uncovered women would. Most people can draw a distinction between a food delivery system for infants & genitalia.

    I feel that we can safely discount nappy changing as it would obviously contravene all food safety regulations.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. the conservative (66 comments) says:

    Nasska
    Once again the doublethink liberalism coming through. Breasts, when conveniently liberal, stop being breasts and become food delivery systems.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Johnboy (16,483 comments) says:

    “Justice Minister Judith Collins has backed a woman ordered out of court for breastfeeding, saying she “could not think of anywhere” it would be considered offensive.”

    Judith obviously has not been to the AGM of the Taliban Mullahs Society.
    Judge Kevin Phillips should change his name to كيفين فيليبس.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    the conservative

    …”Breasts, when conveniently liberal, stop being breasts and become food delivery systems.”….

    Well, what else are they? Some of society may place an erotic value on them but nature doesn’t.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Johnboy (16,483 comments) says:

    However they are an pair of amazing items nasska.

    I can think of nothing else that looks like them, that can move in every direction at the same time, other than a pair of Hansells jellies made in a suitably shaped jelly mold! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    Many of them are not hard on the eyes Johnboy. Trouble is that some of our friends who comment on this forum seem incapable of accepting that they have another purpose.

    I’m fairly sure that many of us would be up to enjoying a fry up while junior had a feed as well.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Johnboy (16,483 comments) says:

    Maybe insignificant little Judges just like to flex their muscles Nasska.

    Judge Judy would never have a problem dealing with a tit! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Bob (497 comments) says:

    Nowadays I can’t see why anyone should object to breast feeding a baby anywhere. Even at a funeral it could be a symbol of life carrying on. A sensible woman would discreetly cover herself and her babies head at an appropriate place.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. the conservative (66 comments) says:

    Nasska

    There wouldn’t be any debate if only women would accept there are two sexes: men and women. Women, being the opposite species, are in no position to say what is sexual to men and vice versa. Do you get this?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    Jesus, why can’t she quietly and politely take the child outside. Lot’s of things are natural and quite a few difficult to time, but it’s also considered reasonable to at least attempt to behave considerately of others.

    It’s perfectly natural and quite uncontrollable for the baby to to take a shit, perhaps DPF thinks that’s alright to change the nappy in a courtroom as well now ? What if it isn’t hungry but starts to cry loudly, natural as hell (as any parent including myself knows), why not put up with that.

    What I notice of late is that DPF and quite a few of the commentors have become stridently intolerant. One cannot disagree on certain items without being, basically, wantonly abused. Why the hell can’t a judge politely request people to observe certain norms in his court ? What is it with some people that they have to fed their child anywhere they feel like it at any time. Babies can’t always chose the most considerate time, but parents are not helpless creatures who must flop out the breast and feed it right then and there.

    Actually, I suppose had the poor women had the temerity to bottle feed the babe then she would have received abuse from ALL sides, that action now being beyond the pale.

    What ever happened to common sense and courtesy, and I guess that’s become a pointless question. Is is now “common sense” to agree bto everything that someone from a defined victim group complains loudly enough about.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Pete George (23,558 comments) says:

    Would anyone who thinks it’s inappropriate to breast feed in an puiblic place be offended by bottle feeding a baby in public?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Kea (12,777 comments) says:

    A good answer would have been “As I wish to observe the trial, as members of the public have the right to do, and my baby is hungry”.

    So using that logic, it is ok to sit in Court and eat a big feed of fish and chips. No doubt David will back me up on that…???

    I am not opposed to public breast feeding, but a Court has certain rules and they are there for a reason. Its hard enough keeping order in a Court as it is.

    I wonder if she was a defendant waiting to be heard and had deliberately bought her baby along to get the sympathy vote ? This is a VERY common trick. Court rooms are full of criminal skanks trying to avoid justice because they got knocked up. They invariable bring their meal tickets into Court hoping for lighter sentences and to be heard first. All too often this piss-take works.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote