Re: Titties, etc.

1

the nutritional functions of luscious boobies

Lactation and cannibalism?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:43 AM
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Be sure to read her piece (linked) in Counterpunch. It's pretty obnoxious (condescending to the college reporter, sorta clueless about the power dynamic with her TA --"I told her she didn't have to take care of my baby while it was crawling around on the floor during my lecture" -- as if).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:52 AM
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Obviously I think she should be able to breastfeed wherever she damn well pleases, although she's certainly not owed silence by the school newspaper.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:53 AM
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Acontextual quotation time:

"I promptly extracted it without correcting my students' gendered assumptions."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:58 AM
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I didn't read the links, but I hope that she had some kind of cover on. I mean, if she just ripped off her whole shirt to do it and was naked from the waist up, it would make me feel uncomfortable (highly unlikely, of course). On the other hand, those $50 drape things seem ridiculously overpriced and kind of prudish (speaking as a fairly modest--even prudish--person myself).


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:03 AM
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5: Have you ever seen a woman breast feed?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:07 AM
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"I didn't want to interrupt the lecture, but I was desperate, so I just peed into an empty bottle and carried on talking."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:09 AM
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One assumes she was wearing a breast-feeding friendly garment where you could spot a nipple coming out if you really tried and get a tantalizing peek of the milky-white surrounding flesh.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:09 AM
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8: racist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:11 AM
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From the breastfeeding I've been up close to recently, I'm surprised that she could continue to conduct class while doing so. Maybe we're unlucky, or just in another phase, but it seems to require a fair bit of paying attention.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:12 AM
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10: I think her kid is 1, at this point she could probably do it while driving, talking on a cell phone, and drinking a Tab.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:17 AM
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11: speaking of things that are a bad idea because they're distracting...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:20 AM
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Completely agreed with heebie. The professor keeps talking about how she breastfeeds in public all the time and it's not a big deal, but being a person in a public space is not the same thing as being a person in a public space giving a lecture. So while I think it was fine to feed the kid, her argument for why it's normal and not a big deal aren't that convincing. She seems to think that this college-aged reporter should somehow already understand all these gender and labor issues.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:29 AM
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Do they still make Tab?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:29 AM
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6: Yeah, plenty. I was being hyperbolic. A lot of the people seem to just have a large, loose shirt or kind of pop their breast out a bit from the nursing bra which seems just fine to me. A blanket would be okay if you really needed it, but those purpose-made things are ridiculously expensive and look cumbersome.

I mean I'd be unhappy if my therapist breastfed during a session, but otherwise anywhere seems fine.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:30 AM
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There's a clear difference between acceptable behaviors in public and acceptable behaviors in front of a captive audience. I mean, I wouldn't have cared even if I had shown up for class, but some might.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:38 AM
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A friend had one that she would put on backward at first, while she was getting her boob out and her kid on the boob, and in the backward position it looked like a cape. SuperMom!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:40 AM
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Also, I am not sure that when someone says "excuse me, your partial nudity in my place of work is making me feel uncomfortable and hampering my ability to work", the correct response should be "tough shit, I'm going to carry on doing it, I'm your boss".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:41 AM
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your partial nudity

But this is part of what is contested, right? The sexualization of breasts, making their exposure something to be uncomfortable with? I'm sympathetic to women to say, well wtf do you want me to do if I want to take part in the public sphere?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:45 AM
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It seems like something people absolutely should be able to do within the public sphere. That doesn't mean that some specific people aren't arseholes about it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:47 AM
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I mean I'd be unhappy if my therapist breastfed during a session, but otherwise anywhere seems fine.

If your therapist has a baby in the room during a therapy session, breast-feeding or no, I'd think about getting a new therapist!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:47 AM
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In the abstract that's a good point. But, again, if you are exposing bits of your body and making other people feel uncomfortable, the correct response to a complaint should not be "well, it's your fault for feeling uncomfortable".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:50 AM
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It may not of been the best judgement, but we can't expect people to excerisise perfect judgement all the time. Personally I'd been more annoyed about having a baby present for the lecture, but sometimes people need to see to their infants themselves. God knows in my education I've had plenty of shity lectures, a baby causing one, wouldn't be a big deal.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:50 AM
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If your therapist has a baby in the room during a therapy session, breast-feeding or no, I'd think about getting a new therapist!

That seems a little harsh. She could still deliver important insights between contractions.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:52 AM
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21: You'd be happier if the therapist were breastfeeding with no baby in the room?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:52 AM
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It might be soothing, I guess.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:52 AM
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if she just ripped off her whole shirt to do it and was naked from the waist up

I realize this was not intended literally but the image of a woman preparing to breast feed by tearing her shirt off and flinging it aside like Charles Bronson in that Mandom ad is cracking me up.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:53 AM
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The reactions would obviously not be the same, but I would also think it poor form for a male professor to lecture shirtless.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:54 AM
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25: through a hosepipe, perhaps? The baby could be next door.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:54 AM
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OTOH, I would be irritated at anyone who was shocked by an audience member who was nursing. To do so in the audience ought to be normalized by now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:59 AM
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if you are exposing bits of your body and making other people feel uncomfortable, the correct response to a complaint should not be "well, it's your fault for feeling uncomfortable"

Where do you draw the line here? There are some people who are uncomfortable with women exposing their hair, or their arms, or their thighs.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:00 AM
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The baby was there because it was ill and she could not find someone to watch it during class. If my therapist was in that position I'd understand and be fine with breastfeeding - the relationship is much more intimate than a professor in a lecture. My gut feeling is that the closer the situation is to being like an informal family gathering the less problematic it is to breastfeed. Breastfeeding while delivering oral arguments to the Supreme Court would be right out. But sitting having an intimate chat with someone you trust? That's a whole 'nother thing, and would not bother me at all.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:01 AM
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Forget about the breast feeding -- why is it cool to take your baby to the lecture you're giving? I'm a single parent and finding emergency child care sucks but that doesn't mean I get to bring my kid to Court. I mean the lecture is 50 minutes or whatever -- any parent has (and knows they need) some resource for emergency child care for that long. Also the kid's age isn't clear but it's not clear to me that the kid needed to be breast fed just then.

I mean I'm super sympathetic to being flexible around peculiar care needs but come on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:01 AM
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I would also think it poor form for a male professor to lecture shirtless.

Because there would be no reason for a male professor to do that. It would also be a different thing if the woman unbuttoned her shirt and pulled her boob out for no reason.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:02 AM
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30: Leaving aside nursing, if somebody brought a baby to your class would you ask them to leave?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:02 AM
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35: It happens, and no, I haven't.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:03 AM
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||
Another misspelling on Slate's front page in the headline of an Yglesias article!
|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:03 AM
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36: Isn't it really distracting? I'd 100 times rather watch a baby than a calc lecture.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:04 AM
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We need a set of controlled experiments with different Professors ripping off their shirts in the middle of class.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:04 AM
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The baby was there because it was ill and she could not find someone to watch it during class.

To be frank, she's not trying very hard. She works at a freaking university with thousands of potential baby-sitters who can play with your baby for 50 minutes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:05 AM
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What about breastfeeding while throwing a no hitter on acid? Yea or nay?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:06 AM
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38: It's hard to remember. Sometimes the baby isn't mobile yet and is conked out in a carseat. Sometimes the parent works hard to stay at the back of the class, near the door, ready to keep from being disruptive. I worry more about whether the parent can get anything out of class, frankly. Sometimes it's been an older kid who got sent home sick, who can sit and color.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:07 AM
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Yeah 40 was my response too. Having your baby be ill doesn't mean you can't leave it with someone for an hour. Or if the baby is that sick and you need to get medical care for it, cancel class.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:07 AM
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I thought it was adorable when my male Chemistry professor occasionally taught with a baby strapped to him. Then again, I wasn't learning anything in that class anyway (quite possibly the worst teacher I've ever had), so I don't think it impaired his job functioning.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:07 AM
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I blame attachment parenting.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:12 AM
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Another misspelling on Slate's front page in the headline of an Yglesias article!

Grizzly bears just get enraged by penile enlargement gone wrong. Wait, shouldn't you have commented in the other thread?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:12 AM
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I had a professor who seemed to show up to every lecture between October and April wearing a canvas jacket, then gradually took it off during the first 20 minutes of his lecture. Fortunately he never escalated the striptease.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:13 AM
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tearing her shirt off and flinging it aside like Charles Bronson in that Mandom ad

Particularly if gunshot noises accompanied the whipping out of titty.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:13 AM
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49

24-26 provided Lulz.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:14 AM
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Lee broke departmental policy by letting students bring their kids to class if all other options had been exhausted. No parent ever had to take her up on it more than once and no child was ever disruptive, but there was no breast-feeding either, probably because the lack of student access to the lacatation room meant being a breastfeeding/pumping student would be out of the question anyway.

I went on an archaeological dig when I was in college and our professors (a straight married couple) brought their two young kids along. The younger one was still being breast-fed at about age 1 and I remember how scandalized the boy from our group was about seeing our teacher breastfeeding there, which seemed totally normal to me.

None of this is particularly pertinent, but I'm wasting time.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:17 AM
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None of this is particularly pertinent, but I'm wasting time.

ONE! OF! US! ONE! OF! US!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:18 AM
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I remember how scandalized the boy from our group was about seeing our teacher breastfeeding there

are you a lot older than I thought you were or was he a complete wazzock?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:26 AM
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Not sure what "wazzock" means, or exactly what "scandalized" meant in #50, but breastfeeding in public outdoors is not exactly a common sight ... anywhere I've ever been, anyway.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:32 AM
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The sexualization of breasts, making their exposure something to be uncomfortable with?

Flesh might not have to be sexualized to be distracting and inappropriate during a class lecture. It probably would be distracting if I lectured topless.


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:32 AM
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When my partner breast feeds she sings (to the tune of 59th Street Bridge) --

slow down, you drink too fast
got to make the milkies last
just sit and watch the nipple grow
looking for fun and feeling boobie
ba da ba da etc.
baby, I love you
all is boobie

She gets into it and hits the high notes. I think the class would enjoyed that.

She's also working on versions of Staying Alive and Rock Around The Clock ('we're gonna suck, suck suck till the broad daylight').


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:32 AM
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Boobs.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:36 AM
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55 is awesome.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:37 AM
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He he


Posted by: Beavis | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:39 AM
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re: 53

But we are in enlightened topless Europe ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:42 AM
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53. Agreed, but somewhere like an archaeological dig would be less surprising than a lot of places, because what's the mother supposed to do? Jump in a trench? Also, even though I might be surprised, I wouldn't be scandalised.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:42 AM
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21: well, yeah, exactly my point, but he's not going to be breast feeding his baby in front of me or bringing it to my session.

My analyst would probably cancel if he had family obligations like that without actually telling me why. We'll see what happens. He's off for a couple of weeks now, because his wife is having a baby.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:45 AM
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I make it explicit to students that they can bring their kids and babies to class. And I've never known any department to have policies against that. About half the time the baby is too fussy, and both momma and baby wind up leaving the class that day. I have also brought Caroline to class, and she just sits quietly and colors.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:47 AM
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My mother used to breast feed me in a private library, and I think that that was somewhat scandalous in 1975.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:51 AM
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Doing anything in a private library sounds pretty outlandish for 1975. This wasn't 1875?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:54 AM
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Where do you draw the line here? There are some people who are uncomfortable with women exposing their hair, or their arms, or their thighs.

And indeed with men doing so - you have to cover up pretty thoroughly when going into, say, a mosque in Iran. Long trousers, sleeves down. And if I was lecturing to an audience whom I knew would become uncomfortable and distracted if I rolled up my sleeves, then I wouldn't roll up my sleeves.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:54 AM
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If your therapist has a baby in the room during a therapy session, breast-feeding or no, I'd think about getting a new therapist!

So how does this baby make you feel?

Mm-hmm. And how does being reminded of your childless existence make you feel?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:57 AM
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My mother used to breast feed me in a private library

Did the owner of the library ever catch her?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:58 AM
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65: What if your wrists came down with a fever?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:59 AM
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And if I was lecturing to an audience whom I knew would become uncomfortable and distracted if I rolled up my sleeves, then I wouldn't roll up my sleeves.

I'm pretty sure we're missing each other's points on purpose here. I agree that feeding the kid in class was maybe not the best idea (while still thinking it's fine to have done so, and being cognizant of the problems with "fine, but..." opinions about women doing certain things). And you surely agree that policing women's bodies by what others are "comfortable" with is not a great way to decide what women should or shouldn't do.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:09 AM
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50.last is pretty plainly the ultimate hover text.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:09 AM
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Doing anything in a private library sounds pretty outlandish for 1975

I had sex in Duke Library on several occasions in 1985.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:09 AM
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65: You're making me distracted. Please wear a full burka when typing any future Unfogged comments.


Posted by: M/tch m/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:10 AM
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He's off for a couple of weeks now, because his wife is having a baby.

You'd think after the first 48 hours of labor, they'd go to a c-section.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:12 AM
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let's not pretend a room full of 18 year olds will be tuned in to the nutritional functions of luscious boobies.

Are you fucking kidding me?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:12 AM
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I mean, fuck, it's insane that this is even controversial to begin with, but for a feminist anthropology class, it should practically be mandatory for a little breastfeeding demo.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:15 AM
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I wonder if bird professors are comfortable regurgitating things in bird lectures.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:16 AM
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breastfeeding in public outdoors is not exactly a common sight ... anywhere I've ever been, anyway.

A few weeks ago was the M/dw/fe Center picnic (clients and staff), and so many, many moms and babies. One of my fellow Board members (who delivered my kids) showed up with her daughter, who's about 15 (and I'd bet money was herself breastfed), and who commented, "Mom, there are a LOT of women breastfeeding here." And it was true. We were in a public park, but sort of at one end of it, so nobody was available to be scandalized. Actually, we had a Board meeting last night, and one of the members was breastfeeding during the meeting. A select audience* to be sure, but obviously it wasn't a big deal.

I was in college in the early 90s, and would surely have been nonplussed, at least, by public breastfeeding**, but I'm not sure I would have been scandalized.

* poor word choice

** I never knew anyone with babies when I was growing up, let alone anyone who breastfed. I'm 90% certain that I never held a baby less than 1-y.o. until I was about 25.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:20 AM
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for a feminist anthropology class, it should practically be mandatory for a little breastfeeding demo

I wonder how neatly she managed to fit it into the course material? The more neatly the more excellent, obviously. I would definitely have found the crawling around part (plus related relative-status issues with the TA) way more troubling than the breastfeeding part.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:26 AM
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Lactating breasts are a slippery slope. Someone's going to suggest that leaving expensive computer & camera gear in plain view in a parked car isn't very smart, and then....


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:28 AM
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75: You think 18 year olds are going to take breast-feeding in stride? Sure, it's good for them to be shook up, but let's not pretend they've already thought through the issues.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:34 AM
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Lactating breasts are a slippery slope.

Yeah you just slide right off if you don't have good suction.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:36 AM
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75 -- dude urinating all over Duke memorabilia does not count as "havin sex."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:45 AM
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67: I suppose that technically she was one of the owners in that she owned a share as a proprietor, but she may have only had a reader's ticket at that point.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:51 AM
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I can't figure out if I'm being stodgy or if there is a qualitative difference about being the center of attention and authority figure running the show. Or if the difference is that I'm picturing a math class in rural Texas and this is feminist anthropology in DC.

As said above: Breastfeeding while delivering oral arguments to the Supreme Court would be right out.

Where's the bright line?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:54 AM
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Ned, it was founded as a membership library in 1807, though they always gave out free tickets to the members of the legislature hoping that they might try to become literate.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:56 AM
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Depending on complexion, there may not be a bright line.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:56 AM
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82: Dude, my high school girlfriend was not "Duke memorabilia".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:57 AM
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Breastfeeding while delivering oral arguments to the Supreme Court would be right out.
Written would be okay. It's still rude to talk with your mouth full.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:58 AM
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That's not what the guys at Duke said.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:00 AM
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I feel certain that a bright line between college lecture halls and the SCOTUS is already well attested.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:06 AM
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Forgetabilia?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:06 AM
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91: "I hardly knew ya!"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:07 AM
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69: Around here some of my students believe that women should never let their shoulders or knees be shown in public. Some also believe that drinking coffee is immoral. I, personally, am fine with sleeveless professional tops on 95 degree days, and above-the-knee skirts, and I usually am fueled by coffee. So, this is a tough question. In Iran, sure, I'd wear a headscarf, but not in America.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:29 AM
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some of my students believe that women should never let their shoulders or knees be shown in public.

Solution: kneepads!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:35 AM
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80: Leaving aside for a moment how monumentally fucked up it is that we've turned breastfeeding into something weird in this culture, has the public school system gotten so bad that students aren't exposed to the main function of these body parts in health, sex ed, or bio classes?

We are doomed.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:37 AM
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95: Feeding a baby while you are teaching a class is something weird even if you were using a spoon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:40 AM
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You think being aware of the chant "Milk, milk, lemonade, around the corner, fudge is made!" is the same as taking it in stride when you first see breasts outside of a sexualized context?

(Not that that chant is the subject of sex ed classes. Just that everyone is intellectually aware that milk comes from breasts, by age 7.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:41 AM
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And 96.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:41 AM
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Just that everyone is intellectually aware that milk comes from breasts, by age 7.

my kid is just two months old and he is already aware that milk comes from breasts. Sometimes he seems aware of nothing else. Not sure if he is 'intellectually aware' tho.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:43 AM
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98: And every age in between!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:46 AM
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To be clear, yes, the students will be better people when they've learned to take breast-feeding in stride. I just think she's an idiot for being shocked, shocked that they're not there yet.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:46 AM
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That chant is pretty gross.

And 98 gets it right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:51 AM
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the main function of these body parts

For most college students, lactation is decidedly not the primary function of breasts.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:52 AM
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I just think she's an idiot for being shocked, shocked that they're not there yet.

This. I think there needs to be some space between "OMG so unprofessional I can't believe anyone would ever do that1!!" and "That was perhaps not the best way she could have handled the situation."


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:57 AM
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I dunno. It seems to me that having your baby there while you are teaching class is non-ideal, for sure. But breastfeeding during class isn't any more non-ideal than having the baby there.

One thing that (I think) no one mentioned yet is that this was the first day of a lecture-style class. First day! Doing this halfway through a seminar-style class where the students already know you and the class is more participatory seems less weird than doing it on the first day when really all you're doing is standing up there talking.

On the other hand, I didn't see a problem with her post. The student was being obnoxious, and the "story" is obnoxious. This is the kind of thing for students to pass rumors around about, in the way that students always talk about professors in the most scandalous way possible. Not "news" that should be in the campus paper.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:58 AM
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One thing that (I think) no one mentioned yet is that this was the first day of a lecture-style class.

But that was sort of her point, right? The only reason it happened at all is because her kid was sick on the very first day and she didn't think she could miss it or palm it off on her TA.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:02 AM
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I was on a student paper briefly, so let me generalize profoundly about college journalism. Watching the editors deal with various other university people, I wouldn't be surprised if having a faculty member (outside of journalism) calling a reporter obnoxious and saying that this isn't a story is probably the best way to get a story in the paper.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:06 AM
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BG, was it the Athenaeum? I would like to live in the Athenaeum. I'm sure there is some forgotten corner.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:06 AM
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I wasn't on the paper long enough to learn to write clear sentences.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:07 AM
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107: I actually found her pretty snide w/r/t the reporter. Calling her "budding reporter Kimberly" (or whatever her name was) is verging pretty near to a gendered insult and mocking her for being enthusiastic because she (the reporter) thought the prof's actions were "radical" doesn't say great things about her pedagogy, frankly.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:11 AM
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I agree with 110.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:19 AM
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Calling her "budding reporter Kimberly"

"She doesn't even have the tits to breastfeed!"


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:23 AM
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doesn't say great things about her pedagogy, frankly.

I definitely got a "this would be a great job if it weren't for all the damn students" impression from her Counterpunch piece. Which is understandable, given that being really interested in something is a very different thing from being able to teach it effectively, especially to newbies. Still, that's the job.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:24 AM
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Mcmc-- It was. Do you want to go? I'm a proprietor now and could get you a ticket for less money than a regular membership costs.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:26 AM
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Also her getting all sniffy that one of the e-mails didn't use her professional title.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:29 AM
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I got past 100 without following the link in the OP, but now I'm starting to feel obligated. Having done so (read the Slate article, halfway through the Counterpunch article), I agree with everyone here. I should have known better.

90
I feel certain that a bright line between college lecture halls and the SCOTUS is already well attested.

I don't. But I'm not sure we need to.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:30 AM
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110: I didn't think about it that way. Perhaps it speaks to my own sexism that I didn't even notice that she was being sort of sexist towards the student, calling her naive and basically making fun of her and sort of implying she was stupid. The picture she paints is not a good one.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:30 AM
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On the "she could have gotten childcare" point, it depends on the timing. If the way it went down was 8:30 a.m., attempted dropoff of a baby with sniffles at a day care center is refused because they don't take sick kids, class starts at 9, I could see a choice between taking the kid to class or missing class. But I don't know.

On nursing while lecturing? I'm a little torn. Nursing in public is fine and not all that exposing once you're used to it (depending on the baby, but not necessarily exposing at all). Nursing while you're standing in front of an audience seems a bit over the top to me, although that it's a feminist anthropology class does cut in favor of it being appropriate.

And if I was lecturing to an audience whom I knew would become uncomfortable and distracted if I rolled up my sleeves, then I wouldn't roll up my sleeves.

This seems odd to me -- if you were in a meeting and the guy across the table said "Please roll your sleeves down, your manly forearms are distracting me," you'd think he was very strange. What body parts are acceptable to expose in what contexts isn't an individual decision, it's a matter of broad social norms, and there are important values behind those norms. The possibility for nursing women to be able to be in public even when their babies need to be fed seems important enough to be that a norm allowing people to object to it because it makes them uncomfortable or distracted is a problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:31 AM
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The usual rejoinder ("If it makes you uncomfortable, you can leave") seems problematic here since leaving means they miss the learning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:38 AM
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105: This seems like a somewhat inconsistent viewpoint. It's okay for people to gossip inaccurately about this, but not for the actual facts to be presented in a newspaper?

I think the tale is instructive and useful in several different ways, and don't blame heebie, for instance, for thinking so, too. If the professor doesn't want to talk about it - if she disagrees that it is instructive, or doesn't feel like serving the public this particular way - that's a choice that she can certainly make, and one that she declined to make.

It's interesting that the professor finds the tone of the article, or its accuracy, fundamentally irrelevant. It's pretty plain that what she objects to is that people will have thoughts on the matter that she hasn't previously approved. Too bad.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:43 AM
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I don't want to argue this too strongly, because I'm not dead sure what I think about breastfeeding while actually lecturing. But if someone were objecting to, say, a fellow student breastfeeding, I'd think the rejoinder wouldn't be "If you don't like it, you can leave," but more like, "Honestly, grow up, and cope." (I was going to say "Suck it up, Buttercup," but that seemed ambiguous in context.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:45 AM
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This debate really can't be resolved here without access to all the relevant facts, like, "Does she have a nice rack?"


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:46 AM
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It's interesting that the professor finds the tone of the article, or its accuracy, fundamentally irrelevant.

I don't think this is as damning as you seem to. Imagine the incident were, to use some things that Cala's students have found inappropriate, that the professor drank coffee in a sleeveless top and a skirt that showed kneecap. I'd think that the response "I don't care what the article says, considering it appropriate to put an article in the school paper about my attire and beverage habits is a problem regardless," would be very reasonable.

The position the professor is taking is that what she did was within the range of acceptable public behavior that it is inappropriate to consider newsworthy. You might disagree with her about that, but I don't think it's a self-discrediting position.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:51 AM
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118.2 mostly describes my reaction. Activities that are appropriate while lecturing to a class are a fairly constrained subset of activities that are appropriate when in public. I have been trying to come up with good examples of similar activities by way of analogy, though, and the examples I have come up with ("eating a burrito!", "making out with somebody in the front row!","occasionally puking in a wastebasket!") keep running smack up against the analogy ban.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:51 AM
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I feel intuitively that there's a strong difference between breastfeeding as a student in a lecture hall (fine, unless the baby is disruptive, in which case you have to leave) and lecturing while breastfeeding. I can't put exactly my finger on the difference, but lecturing is (a) a performance for which (b) you are paid to do professionally and which (c) lasts for a short and definite period of time. Presenting yourself to your students as fully focused on them and not on your baby seems like the appropriate thing to do.

Also, I just am boggled by the fact that she doesn't have a plan for emergency backup child care. That's one of the main thing I worry about all the time, and I'd think all other working single parents do the same. But she just seems to have been like "oh hey can't take her to daycare guess there's nothing I can do." I mean , I guess, if you didn't ever have to worry about backup childcare that would be awesome, but that's just not reality. What is she going to do when her kid is a toddler?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:52 AM
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It's okay for people to gossip inaccurately about this, but not for the actual facts to be presented in a newspaper?

I'm not sure what "the actual facts" would be in this situation. Telling the professor's "side" (daycare, sick baby, etc.)? Because the professor's point was that it wasn't something that merited making the news.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:53 AM
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I hadn't noticed that it was the first day of class. For pete's sake, pass out the syllabus and let the class go early.

What I mean is, if you're breastfeeding to make a point, own that you're making that point. And it is a legitimate point to make. But don't claim you were forced into the situation by maternal imperatives and be snide to everyone who has a reaction - teach your damn point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:54 AM
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I wonder what Professor Pine thinks of Marcotte's piece. Marcotte deliberately violated a number of the prerogatives that Dr. Pine claims, and yet, I can't imagine a more sympathetic piece. It certainly presents the professor more sympathetically than the professor presents herself.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:54 AM
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I agree with 125.1.

We don't have back-up childcare lined up. Maybe the point is that there are two of us, but I've brought them to campus without any pre-planning. I'm not even sure what back-up childcare would be. I know there are "sick kid daycares" up in Austin, but that's not a small town thing. A spare grandmother? A friend who runs a daycare out of their house?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:56 AM
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I'm having a hard time trying to see how breastfeeding while lecturing is going to be necessary for her. Let's say she's teaching three classes a semester, i.e. about nine hours a week on a regular schedule - that leaves plenty of time for feeding your kid. If it's not a significant inconvenience to do it at another time, then she shouldn't be doing it. This isn't simply a public place, it's an audience of subordinates who are required to stare at you for an hour and concentrate on what you're saying.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:56 AM
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130: Her argument is that it was the most effective way to soothe the fussing baby, not that it was a regularly scheduled mealtime.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:58 AM
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I'd think that the response "I don't care what the article says, considering it appropriate to put an article in the school paper about my attire and beverage habits is a problem regardless," would be very reasonable.

Even in a social context where this clearly is an issue?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 10:59 AM
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Lecturing while breastfeeding is like analogizing on Unfogged; in other venues it might be appropriate, but to keep things on topic it is BANNED.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:01 AM
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I'm not even sure what back-up childcare would be.

Just somebody that you can call if (a) your kid, for whatever reason (sickness, parent-teacher day, whatever) can't go to the regular daycare/school and (b) you have to work.

It's not a big deal if you're in a two-person household because there's usually enough slack, but it's a big deal for single parents.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:02 AM
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two "parent." Kids are people.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:03 AM
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131 is right, and is I think the best response to my and everyone else's concerns that breastfeeding while lecturing is different from breastfeeding in public generally. Once the baby's in the classroom, you're a little stuck on how to avoid disruption. Leaving with the baby disrupts the class, because you're the teacher. Trying to soothe the baby without nursing is likely to take more effort and attention than nursing, and conflict more severely with continuing to conduct class. If you accept that having the baby in class was reasonable (and obviously that's contested), and breastfeeding isn't something that's completely inappropriate in public (which it isn't), it easily might be the least worst option in terms of distractingness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:04 AM
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Honestly, if I were a single parent, I have no idea who I'd call. We don't have family in the area. I don't know anyone retired well enough to ask that of them.

I suppose I'd try to find a daycare being run out of someone's home. But of those that I know of, they don't seem to be permanent operations - sometimes they have 3-5 kids, sometimes none, and when there are none, the adult is not planning on staying at home.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:04 AM
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What is she going to do when her kid is a toddler?

You've seen that Time magazine cover, right?


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:06 AM
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Leaving with the baby disrupts the class, because you're the teacher.

I don't actually agree with this. Especially that it's the first day of class. You can say "I'm going to go over what's expected for your first big project when I get back in the room, in ten minutes" and let them amuse themselves. They're chatty. They already know that there are extenuating circumstances at hand.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:07 AM
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if I were a single parent, I have no idea who I'd call.

You'd find out quick!

I use my parents, a short-term babysitter service, and an old family friend, in that order.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:08 AM
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125.1: I feel the same way, but I'm having trouble putting my finger on it.* Maybe it is because if it's another student, the rest of the class can appeal to the teacher as a neutral authority as to what is and isn't permitted instead of just the authority figure making a decision that is in their own self-interest.

* I have no troubling saying that students can reasonably expect that the teacher won't feed a baby during class unless the lecture is about feeding a baby.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:08 AM
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139: Depends on what she needs to get through. You're assuming that there wasn't enough necessary class business to fill the hour because it was the first day, but if there was a full hour of material planned, she might have had a choice between feeding in class or losing time she needed to accomplish something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:09 AM
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You're assuming that there wasn't enough necessary class business to fill the hour

No, I'm not. I am assuming that your best intentions of covering material always fall behind schedule, and this is exactly a reasonable time to fall half a day behind schedule. Similarly, stay home when you're sick and contagious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:11 AM
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By the way, I can't find the link to the rest of the post. The part wit the titties.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:13 AM
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You'd find out quick!

I mean, I'm trying not to be myself here. I'd bring the kid to campus and hire students to watch the kid, in my office. Which is what I do when need be. But if I were in a stricter environment, this would be a tough obstacle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:13 AM
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144: Oh, just google "titties" and you'll see the rest.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:14 AM
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131 I didn't notice that. I'd just read the Marcotte piece. Having read the WaPo one I'm much more sympathetic though I still think it's enough of an issue to make it worth writing about. After all, we've just spent well over a hundred comments debating it.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:15 AM
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143: That seems to be a judgment call to me -- disrupt class by cancelling it, or disrupt class by breastfeeding for a couple of minutes of it? There doesn't seem to be a "don't disrupt class" option once the childcare's fallen through, and breastfeeding while lecturing, while not ideal, doesn't seem to me to be obviously worse for the students than cancelling class.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:15 AM
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Breastfeeding while lecturing isn't bad for students, but it's a deliberate transgression of professional behavior which could be easily avoided by stepping outside for ten minutes. (Stepping outside for ten minutes on the first day is not disruptive. They're not concentrating really hard on a complex point.)

So if you want to be transgressive, go ahead and own that point. But it's not something she's forced to do in order to be both a great teacher and a mom.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:20 AM
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Or not even stepping outside. Give them some instruction, or tell them to chat, and then sit down with your baby.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:20 AM
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two "parent." Kids are people.

Sure, bob.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:20 AM
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146: Done!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:21 AM
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Hooray!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:21 AM
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a deliberate transgression of professional behavior which could be easily avoided by stepping outside for ten minutes.

I'm not comfortable saying that she was obviously being deliberately transgressive rather than scrambling for "what's the least disruptive way to get through today's plan?" You would have made a different call, but whatever she did there wasn't a no-disruption option available.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:24 AM
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We're talking past each other. I'm annoyed at the implication (which I may have invented) that she was absolutely out of options. I think breastfeeding is a valid option, but she wasn't forced to do so.

You're saying that once she got to class with a baby, she had to run the class with a baby present, and all coping mechanisms at that point are more-or-less equivalent.

So neither of us is really arguing the other's point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:24 AM
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155 without seeing 154. Maybe we are arguing after all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:24 AM
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I'm not comfortable saying that she was obviously being deliberately transgressive rather than scrambling for "what's the least disruptive way to get through today's plan?"

Have you been around 18 year olds? If she thought that was the least disruptive route, she's massively deluded.

Again, it's not invalid or wrong, but it makes a point. It's not merely the least disruptive way to survive class.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:26 AM
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If she thought that was the least disruptive route, she's massively deluded.

The Counterpunch piece suggests she is at least a little deluded.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:30 AM
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Done!

Calm down, tweaker.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:31 AM
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If she thought that was the least disruptive route, she's massively deluded.

This seems weird to me -- if you've got a ten minute chunk of time in which your options are 'lecture while breastfeeding' or 'cancel class', for lecturing while breastfeeding to be worse than cancelling class you have to assume that not only will no one learn anything during that ten minutes (which gets you to a tie with cancelling class), but that the disruptive effects will poison other parts of the class when you're not nursing. That's not an impossible outcome: it does seem to be sort of what happened. But hoping that your students could listen despite the nursing and then not hold a grudge about it afterward doesn't seem like a massively deluded hope.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:31 AM
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Now if she'd breastfed while operating a fucksaw, that clearly would have been inappropriate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:32 AM
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Stepping outside for ten minutes &neq; cancelling class.

but that the disruptive effects will poison other parts of the class when you're not nursing.

She doesn't yet have a repoire with these students! They don't know her. She can't read them. It isn't midway through the semester in a cozy upper level seminar. It makes a point.

Quite possibly a point that's compatible with feminist anthropology, but it's not merely a means to an end.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:37 AM
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I guess that's not the html for "does not equal".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:38 AM
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163: That's also not the standard romanization for "rapport".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:40 AM
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Oh right. I tried a few options but nothing looked right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:41 AM
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We're going around and around here, but I really don't like 'it makes a point' without an acknowledgment that she denies intending to have made a point, and that you don't have direct evidence of her intent. She made a decision in the moment that's not the one you would have made, because you think it would affect the students' experience for the rest of class. The fact that her decision was different from what yours would have been does not mean that her intent was to make a point -- it just doesn't seem implausible to me that her intent was to get her class taught with the minimal disruption possible under the circumstances.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:42 AM
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repoire ≠ rapport.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:43 AM
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I'm with heebie. She's a feminist anthropologist, and presumably this isn't the kind of thing that students see all the time, and she should know that. She also knows presumably that many 18-year-olds aren't terribly mature around boobs. So this was a perfect teaching moment, and the reporter was right. She did do something radical. Own it, for fuck's sake. "Yes, I did something radical but here is why it shouldn't be a big deal, because [story about boobs]."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:43 AM
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Chris Y, I'm 32, so the guy I'm talking about would have been 19 or 20 (I know not 21 because he couldn't carry back alcohol on the plane) and didn't have any younger siblings, grew up in a well-off suburban suburb. I think for him it was "Ewwww, my advisor showing her body!" in a way that was more extreme than if she'd worn a bikini in front of us or something else out of the ordinary, but not scarring or anything. It was the combo of never having seen anyone he knows breastfeeding and seeing his teacher/mentor doing something unusual. My own advisor had suggested a classmate and I needed French maid outfits in as non-sexually-harassing way as possible and I was amused rather than scandalized, although I reminded him that teasing the Women's Studies student liaison like that usually wouldn't go over well, so mileage varies significantly.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:43 AM
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I tried a few options but nothing looked right.

I'm told a sling is your friend when trying to lecture while breastfeeding. Plus, added Guatemalan authenticity!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:44 AM
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She also knows presumably that many 138-year-olds aren't terribly mature around threads about boobs.

( . )( . )


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:44 AM
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I'm not Rappaport either.


Posted by: Opinionated Repoire | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:45 AM
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she denies intending to have made a point,

I don't actually believe her. Or rather, I think she's a melodramatic person who doesn't appreciate the volume of her choice of actions.

it just doesn't seem implausible to me that her intent was to get her class taught with the minimal disruption possible under the circumstances.

It is implausible to me, or she's massively tone-deaf.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:45 AM
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169: Oh, hey, is this the minor sexual harassment thread? Walking back from court today, a colleague and I were behind a woman in a tube top with tattoos, and he asked, "So how come you're not showing your tattoos?" And because I'm actually not all that confrontational with colleagues, I passed it off with "I've decided that keeping visible body art to a minimum in the courtroom is a good idea," rather than getting actively pissy about it. But I'm still annoyed. Twerp.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:48 AM
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173: I think we've gotten to the 'agree to disagree' point.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:49 AM
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Jammies' friend's boss got walked out recently. A woman was negotiating a counter-offer, and the boss said "We can offer you X" and she said no, and he said "I'll throw in sleeping with me!" and she was really upset and went to HR.

Obviously this story has played telephone and I don't actually know what happened.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:51 AM
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174: "That costs extra."

Or "Stick around for the late show, maybe you'll get lucky."


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:51 AM
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175: And here I thought y'all were honing in on agreement.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:55 AM
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You apparently think you can play on me like a stringed instrument, just because you know a couple of things that annoy me. You have another think coming.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:57 AM
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179: Well played, esquire.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 11:58 AM
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Then the BABY said unto Moses, "Go in unto Adrienne Pine, and tell her, 'Thus saith the BABY, God of the breasts, Let your titties go, that they may serve me. For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt not release them, Behold, the hand of the BABY is upon thy books which are on thy desk, upon your students, upon their asses, upon their computers, upon their backpacks, and upon their accessories: there shall be a very grievous murrain.... Let your titties go, that they may Serve me, For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy students, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence...." Following this, Adrienne Pine sent, and called for Moses, and said unto him, "I have sinned this time: the BABY is righteous, and I and my students are wicked. Intreat the BABY (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and terror; and I will let my titties go, and and conceal them no longer." And Moses said unto her, "As soon as I am gone out of the classroom, I will spread abroad my hands unto the BABY; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more terror; that thou mayest know how that the breasts are servants of the BABY."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:01 PM
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177: I think something involving the phrase "three-legged donkey" would better suit the situation.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:02 PM
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In retrospect, I'm annoyed with myself for not getting pissy. Feh.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:03 PM
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183: Call a reporter from your office newletter.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:05 PM
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"newsletter"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:06 PM
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Breastfeeding while delivering oral arguments to the Supreme Court would be right out.

An exception should be made for lawyers who take out their boobs at the moment of saying "May it please the court".


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:07 PM
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183: We can disagree to disagree, if that helps?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:10 PM
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The position the professor is taking is that what she did was within the range of acceptable public behavior that it is inappropriate to consider newsworthy.

That's one of her positions. She also takes the position that her anonymity should be protected.

And she also takes the position that this is newsworthy enough for a column in an opinion magazine, and should be discussed with no anonymity.

So her actual problem has nothing to do with whether this is "newsworthy." Her real problem is that this issue might not be discussed in a fashion that she finds appropriate - whether favorable or unfavorable, accurate or inaccurate, anonymous or not. And heck, that's understandable. I feel the same way myself about pretty much everything. I wish people would stop having their own opinions and would let me dictate the terms of conversation in all instances.

All I'm saying to her is: Too bad. That's not the way it works, and not the way it ought to work.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:10 PM
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Who put this tittie on my Coke?


Posted by: Opinionated Justice Thomas | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:11 PM
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188: Oh, come on. Her position before there was a story in the school paper about it was that there shouldn't be. And then when it was clear that there was going to be a story, she at first asked that it not be part of her google trail. And then after thinking about it she decided that it was out there now, and she might as well explain her thinking. None of that seems inconsistent to the point of deserving condemnation to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:15 PM
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I've generally agreed more with heebie in this thread, but I think 190 gets it right.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:19 PM
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My boss (whom I like a lot) just quit to take a part-time job at my company, because she's finding the job too much with a baby. One of my male co-workers suggested having 2 managers and bringing the kid to work. She thought that job sharing was the wave of the future but my organization is just not there yet, and she didn't think she'd get anything done if she brought the kid to work (something she said in response to my coworker). I don't think you'd want to have a kid there on a regular basis, since there's a non-trivial risk of violence.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:22 PM
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I don't think you'd want to have a kid there on a regular basis, since there's a non-trivial risk of violence.

I know they sound angry sometimes, but really, how much damage could a newborn do?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:24 PM
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I know they sound angry sometimes, but really, how much damage could a newborn do?

Depends whether you have the kind that shoots fire.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:25 PM
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It is implausible to me, or she's massively tone-deaf.

Responses don't seem to be something that people have, Professor Pine expects to dictate the response. The reporter comes in for special contempt for acknowledging that some students had an unapproved response.

I suspect that had she gotten no response, she would have been disappointed - but as LB points out, this is speculation. As evidence, however, I offer the fact that she only went public after she was assured anonymity. It looks to me as though that for her, the ideal outcome would have been the newspaper reporting the article and using her name over her objections.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:26 PM
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I know they sound angry sometimes, but really, how much damage could a newborn do?

How many newborns do you think you could take in a fight? I mean, I'm a clumsy wimp, so I'd say 5, 4 if they have gout. Babies have gout, right?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:27 PM
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got walked out recently

Wait, is this widely accepted slang for "fired" now? I had to read 3 times to figure out that it wasn't garbled.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:28 PM
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195.2 is about as uncharitable as you could possible be. I don't agree with the way she's handled each step along the way either, but my conclusion is not that she is an attention hound.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:30 PM
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Depends whether you have the kind that shoots fire.

HOW COULD THEY CUT THE POWER, MAN? THEY'RE INFANTS! GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!


Posted by: OPINIONATED BILL PAXTON IN "ALIENS" | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:31 PM
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BABIES HAVE GOÛT!


Posted by: OPINIONATED FAT BASTARD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:31 PM
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That whiny-ass line (and/or delivery thereof) totally took me out of that movie.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:32 PM
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201: So, it was game over, man?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:33 PM
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Wait, is this widely accepted slang for "fired" now? I had to read 3 times to figure out that it wasn't garbled.

I took it to mean you get sat down and fired, and then chaperoned while you have 15 minutes to get the fuck out of there. Maybe that's always SOP when you get fired? That was the phrase the way it was told to me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:34 PM
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202: it nuked him to orbit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:35 PM
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how much damage could a newborn do?

They can by god ruin upholstery.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:41 PM
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And nipples.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:42 PM
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205: Projectile shitting is an art lost by toddlerhood.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:42 PM
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203: I'd never heard it either and didn't realize the guy got fired until you clarified.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:43 PM
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Oh! I thought you meant he "got walked out on", as in someone was so annoyed they walked out on the conversation.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:46 PM
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And then after thinking about it she decided that it was out there now, and she might as well explain her thinking.

If Prof. Pine had stuck to an account of why she breastfed during class, I suspect that reasonable people would have shrugged and said "she was in a tough spot, not a big deal" and interest in this story wouldn't have lasted this long. Her criticisms of the AU student newspaper and her description of dealing with the student reporter may well explain her thinking, but (at least to me) they make her a less sympathetic speaker.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:55 PM
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209 was my reading, which seemed a little easy on the guy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 12:59 PM
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If Prof. Pine had stuck to an account of why she breastfed during class,

But she couldn't do that, because one of her key points is that no such account is desirable or necessary.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:03 PM
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The guy definitely got fired. Not sure what "got walked out" distinguishes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:07 PM
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This is topic o' the day on a science listserv aimed at women. A lot of it is professional details on what kind of sick-baby services are available where, and for how much. One of the problems the senior profs are pointing out is that in the first week of classes few people are sure of their schedules, including all the professors and TAs, so reciprocal arrangements are unreliable; but the requirement that the prof be there for the first lectures is understandably rigid, given how many would rather squeeze a last week of field season.

I liked Marcotte's article, especially the bit about a Facebooker complaining about distraction.

Aside from that, I was surprised upthread somewhere that there's anyone who has never seen a kid being breastfed outdoors. I was a La Leche League kid in the late '60s in the US Midwest; a shocker then, but I assumed it had sort of soaked in in the last 40 years.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:07 PM
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This is topic o' the day on a science listserv aimed at women. A lot of it is professional details on what kind of sick-baby services are available where, and for how much. One of the problems the senior profs are pointing out is that in the first week of classes few people are sure of their schedules, including all the professors and TAs, so reciprocal arrangements are unreliable; but the requirement that the prof be there for the first lectures is understandably rigid, given how many would rather squeeze a last week of field season.

I liked Marcotte's article, especially the bit about a Facebooker complaining about distraction.

Aside from that, I was surprised upthread somewhere that there's anyone who has never seen a kid being breastfed outdoors. I was a La Leche League kid in the late '60s in the US Midwest; a shocker then, but I assumed it had sort of soaked in in the last 40 years.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:07 PM
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They come in pairs.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:08 PM
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And he is currently apparently completely falling apart emotionally, unfortunately.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:13 PM
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Maybe that's always SOP when you get fired?

Only SOP, I think, when they're being fired for something especially objectionable like sexual harassment, embezzlement, etc. Or at asshole corporations.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:14 PM
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I liked Marcotte's article

I did, too. People ought not wig out about breastfeeding.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:15 PM
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I was surprised upthread somewhere that there's anyone who has never seen a kid being breastfed outdoors.

The thing is, if you don't expect to see it, you don't see it. I can barely ever remember seeing women breastfeed before having children myself, but I'm sure they were there. Mostly because I was never around babies - I was the youngest, didn't have friends with baby siblings, etc or younger cousins, etc.

Like JRoth above, I'd held a baby maybe once before having my own.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:17 PM
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Not sure what "got walked out" distinguishes.

But you wrote it!

This is taking the deprecation of authorial intent too far.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:20 PM
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I assumed it had sort of soaked in in the last 40 years

No, still delivered orally just like in the olden days.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:20 PM
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221: Don't shoot the messenger! I quotated sources.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:22 PM
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Not with quotation marks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:22 PM
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One of my co-workers had her kid at work for the whole day a week or so back. I presume she had some sort of child-care crisis. I don't think anyone had a problem with it. He was pretty quiet, and did some colouring, had a wander about the office being nosey, and didn't get in anyone's way. My boss (boss's boss, really) sometimes has his kids at work during school holidays. Not regularly, but maybe one or two days over the summer, and a couple of days at other times. He has a large office, though, so they largely stay out the way. Although his daughter did turn up at my desk one day, asking in sad voice for her Daddy (he'd gotten way-laid somewhere and was away from his office longer than expected). And when we did an office move/decoration his kids came in to help hang pictures and move pot plants around and things.

I don't think anyone minds if it's not disruptive and not a regular thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:24 PM
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I took it to mean you get sat down and fired, and then chaperoned while you have 15 minutes to get the fuck out of there. Maybe that's always SOP when you get fired?

It was certainly SOP at private sector places I worked and it's what I assumed you meant by the phrase.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:24 PM
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his kids came in to help hang pictures and move pot plants around and things.

I truly love this divergence in usage between the US and UK.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:32 PM
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I tried to take a pot plant to show and tell as a kid. I called it "my palm tree." My parents thought it was hilarious.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:35 PM
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How to manage journalists
* If you don't like being the subject of their article, suggest that they start writing about something new from scratch. They may complain about deadlines, but really, journalists and editors hate inconveniencing people and would be happy to go off in completely different directions at a moment's notice. And don't worry about coming across as self-righteous on the process - that might bother anyone else, but reporters are keenly trained to see all points of view.
* Make it clear that you're an important person, so your view counts extra. Good reporters are always respectful of authority. Especially when they're young, and therefore more likely to be idealistic.
* Demonstrate your familiarity with their publisher by offering constructive criticism of their publication. Even if the pieces in question may have been written before the reporter in question wrote there.
* Feel free to base all kinds of conclusions on the exact word choices used in e-mails. Reporters are wordsmiths, after all, so even in quick questions they are always aware of the loaded, politically charged meanings of words like "uncomfortable" and wouldn't use them unless they meant exactly what they said. Or your first impression of what you think they probably said.
* If it's not a good time for you to talk, talk anyway.
* Make it clear just how much the reporter is responsible for, using terms with strict legal meaning if at all possible. They always should consider whether every human interest article could result in consequences years down the line.
* If things aren't going your way, lawyer up. More importantly, escalate. Drag their name through the mud before they have the chance to drag yours through it.

Maybe that sounds too much like blaming the victim, but I think or at least hope it's more motivated by sympathy for the journalist more than by sexism. Breast-feeding the baby in class isn't in the top 5 mistakes Pine has made.

120
It's interesting that the professor finds the tone of the article, or its accuracy, fundamentally irrelevant.

FBOFW, it seemed to me like Pine was convinced from the start that the article would be slanted against her. Not sure if that makes things better or worse.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:37 PM
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I think there's a bit of a false dichotomy in how heebie and politicalfootball, maybe others are viewing Prof. Pine's decisionmaking -- she can't possibly have thought that undergrads would handle her breastfeeding in front of them without being disturbed, so she must have set up the situation to intentionally send a message, and she's being disingenuous by not admitting that breastfeeding in front of her class was a political stunt.

She doesn't have to have thought that the students would have been totally unfazed to have thought that it was a practically reasonable thing to do. She just has to have thought that standards are such that being publicly freaked out over a professor's breastfeeding would be recognized as unreasonable, so that she could expect anyone actually troubled to keep their issue to themselves, and thought that anyone actually troubled would be wrong to have that response. At that point, nursing during class rather than leaving or cancelling class seems reasonable: she wouldn't have had to have thought that everyone would take it in stride, so long as she thought that it wouldn't blow up into a big thing and that the people who disapproved would get over it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:37 PM
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so she must have set up the situation to intentionally send a message, and she's being disingenuous by not admitting that breastfeeding in front of her class was a political stunt.

"Political stunt" is crueler language than I've used. I've said that it is a valid point to make - just that it does make a point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:38 PM
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My parents thought it was hilarious.

Me too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:39 PM
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it seemed to me like Pine was convinced from the start that the article would be slanted against her.

Don't think so, except in that she thought that the fact of the article, identifying objections to her breastfeeding in class as newsworthy, was a problem in itself. She's snotty and hostile, but this:

although she appeared to admire that I had committed some sort of radical feminist act, which was not in this context at all my intention--that it became clear that the goal of the article was to explore/create a controversy where there was none. I could envision her asking leading questions that will bias my own students or other AU students against me (I am so very thankful to have the support of colleagues and administration), or the Eagle trying to turn this into a bigger story, which in the current national anti-woman climate is just terrifying. The last thing I want is to be a cause célèbre for breastfeeding, which could happen even if it's a perfectly positive article.

looks like she expects a positive story, but really doesn't want a story about this at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:41 PM
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231: I have the impression from what you've said that you think it's implausible that she would have made the same decision if she didn't intend to make a point -- that without the intent to send a message, it's very very unlikely that she would have nursed in class rather than cancelling or leaving class. And that, I think, is wrong: even if she knew some students would be bothered, she could have decided to nurse in class because she wanted to get through her lecture and she thought she'd get away with it without blowback.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:45 PM
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230.2 doesn't quite make sense to me, but I keep being interrupted by students.

I agree that she didn't think it would blow up and become a thing. She definitely got unlucky.

That's not why I think she was intentionally making a point. She's intentionally making a point because almost universally, 18 year olds have extremely sexualized beliefs about breasts, and she knows that, and she's confronting that. If she doesn't realize she's confronting their ingrained beliefs about boobies, she's an idiot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:45 PM
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Demonstrate your familiarity with their publisher by offering constructive criticism of their publication.

I thought the list was completely sincere until I got to this one. I'm not sure what that says about me.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:46 PM
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229: Doesn't that all come down to "don't pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel"? Sure, if you piss off a reporter, they'll mess with you, and you don't have a lot of recourse. That doesn't mean that anyone who pisses off a reporter is in the wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:47 PM
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I have the impression from what you've said that you think it's implausible that she would have made the same decision if she didn't intend to make a point -- that without the intent to send a message, it's very very unlikely that she would have nursed in class rather than cancelling or leaving class.

Right.

And that, I think, is wrong: even if she knew some students would be bothered, she could have decided to nurse in class because she wanted to get through her lecture and she thought she'd get away with it without blowback.

I agree that she thought she'd get away with it without blowback. I would have thought so, too.

However, there's no way that she didn't realize she was confronting her students up against their pre-conceived notions about women's bodies. Which is valid. But deliberate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:49 PM
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237: I'm willing to say that faculty shouldn't call the newspaper at their school third rate in print.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:50 PM
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It's hard to fault a college newspaper for believing in the "newsworthiness" of a professor breastfeeding her baby in class, when every paper and magazine is all over the women/work/life/parenting/breastfeeding beat (often/usually in pretty sexist ways, but still).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:51 PM
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The paper very likely is third rate, but still.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:52 PM
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239 is correct. Also, I didn't much admire the smearing of the paper via an obviously gross opinion piece on rape. When I was editor of the school paper, I published an utterly demented "Platonic" dialog in which one of the interlocutors was the Virgin Mary and they discussed how having free condoms available for students undermined the college's mission. Didn't have anything to do with what I believed or what was usually in the school paper.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:54 PM
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If things aren't going your way, lawyer up. More importantly, escalate.

Can't stress the importance of this one enough. I'm always available for a reasonable fee.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:55 PM
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I don't know what 'confronting her students up against their pre-conceived notions of women's bodies' means exactly. If it means that she thought that (1) probably some of the students are going to think "Titties! Sex!" (2) anyone who has that reaction should get over themselves, and is going to have to learn to get over themselves around nursing women sometime (3) here I am with a fussy baby and a lesson plan I want to get through, might as well be now.

That still doesn't make it seem like intentional point-making to me, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:55 PM
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In re 242: Let me make clear that "published" here does not mean "wrote." OBVIOUSLY I didn't write that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:56 PM
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Did you build it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:57 PM
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Certainly, by the time she wrote the opinion piece she was clearly seriously angry about the whole thing and not behaving well in consequence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 1:59 PM
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Somewhere in her article she mentions having breastfed on public buses in her current town and also while chairing a panel at a conference. Her town may be more cool with it than her students are. If the freshmen just moved, does that reduce their normative claims?

One of the other editorials in Slate explains that motherhood is 24/7 jobs and therefore a single mother can't expect to be a professor. Way to make Marcotte's point about parenting expectations and antifeminist outcomes.

The Counterpunch essay strikes me as pedantic and confrontational in exactly the way I expect humanities scholars to be -- and I love you all for it.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:00 PM
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246: I stuck it on a giant piece of graph paper with hot wax and a roller.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:00 PM
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That still doesn't make it seem like intentional point-making to me, though.

It depends on the relative weights of thoughts (1), (2), and (3). If you think (1) includes nearly all of your students and that it's going to jerk them out of paying attention for a minute or two (a mature student) or worse: snickering and joking and dissolving of the back couple rows, then (3) no longer follows as the least disruptive option.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:00 PM
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229, 236: I mean, reporters are easily distracted and kiss ass to authority.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:03 PM
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250: Sure. She might have misguessed how well her students would handle it, or she might have guessed most of them right, but been wrong about how much of a fuss the ones who had a problem with it would make.

I haven't seen any indication that class became disorderly as a result of her nursing: the blowback seems to go back to the jerk who tweeted/FB'd about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:05 PM
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Wow, 250 comments and we're still on-topic. Is this a sex thread or a food thread?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:07 PM
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If Prof. Pine had stuck to an account of why she breastfed during class,

But she couldn't do that, because one of her key points is that no such account is desirable or necessary.

I was being imprecise, sorry. What I was (however clumsily) trying to say was that her CounterPunch piece did not advance her key points, in large part because of her attitude toward/criticisms of the student paper and reporter. At least in some circles, the CounterPunch piece morphed the story into "prof tries to supress student reporting," which rarely comes off looking good for the prof. See Petula Dvorak's column in today's WaPo Metro section. Probably not the most desirable Google trail.

On preview, almost totally pwned by 229.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:07 PM
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Here is what I would love to know: did she preface breastfeeding to the class before doing so? If she said "The baby is fussy, and I know you may not be used to seeing a woman breastfeed, but we need to get on with class" then she handled the situation professionally and acknowledged that she was making a slight point - it's more important to get on with class than to be hung up on titties.

If she said nothing and just whipped out a tit, she's kidding herself that there wasn't a shock-value aspect of it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:07 PM
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252: I was being even about it, but no, I actually think she's foolish to think that kids aren't going to be so distracted as to compromise the next ten minutes. Is it worth it to compromise class? Sure, for a larger point. But it's nonsensical to me to claim that it's strictly expedient.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:09 PM
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249: I was the one of the last people to lay out my undergrad school's alternative paper that way. Then they switched to newfangled gimcrackery with computers and shit. Then they folded. Could be the computers, could be the sucking. Most likely the computers.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:10 PM
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255: Man, does this seem like unwarranted second-guessing and mind-reading to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:10 PM
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253: Both. We'll hit 500 on-topic for sure.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:11 PM
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258: To be blunt, you're coming across as someone who hasn't any contact with 18 year olds.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:11 PM
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the requirement that the prof be there for the first lectures is understandably rigid

Someone should tell this to one of my colleagues. Although said colleague would presumably be too busy texting to notice anyone explaining anything like this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:12 PM
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To make clear MY point of view, which is extraordinarily important*, I think that the mistake was visibly taking care of her baby during a lecture. Once that mistake was made, the breast feeding was fine and she's within her rights to be peeved that people are giving her a hard time for breast feeding specifically, as opposed to what they should be giving her a hard time for, which is inappropriate baby-care during a lecture generally.

*Because I am a man, and a powerful one at that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:12 PM
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255 seems like a really unfair fork to me; if she had said "And now, breastfeeding, which I know you don't expect" then unsympathetic persons would be against her for calling attention to the unprofessional act, and lampshading it, and knowing that her students would object, and on and on. Actually, most of your argument so far in this thread makes me feel like you'd have objected even more if she had done that.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:13 PM
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I could with equal truth say that you're coming across as someone with very low standards for what 18-year-olds are capable of, and a great deal of willingness to attribute politicized dishonesty to Prof. Pine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:14 PM
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he'd gotten way-laid somewhere

I'm not used to this hyphen. It makes me want to read this as having a very different meaning.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:14 PM
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To be blunt, you're coming across as someone who hasn't any contact with 18 year olds.

Everyone I've had contact with is at least 18, I swear.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:14 PM
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257: We switched my junior year. PageMaker 1.0, baby.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:14 PM
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a powerful one at that.

Always with the Cross-fit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:14 PM
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So pwned. But I have regular contact with 18-year olds. I think that's where I got this damn cold.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:15 PM
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254 was me, trying to hone in.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:16 PM
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As the Counterpunch article shows, this woman is kind of an idiot and should not have tried to teach class with her sick baby crawling around the floor and crying in any case. But if she wanted to be prepped for feeding, why didn't she pump and bottle-feed? Or (gasp) whip up some formula, which will not poison your baby for a single feeding?

Also, she could have defused this by just apologetically explaining to the reporter that she was a single parent who got caught in a jam and it won't happen again because she is finding backup child care. That would be the normal human response, but she was too self-righteous to take it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:16 PM
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Actually, most of your argument so far in this thread makes me feel like you'd have objected even more if she had done that.

I haven't objected to a goddamn thing she's done. I've said fifty times that it's valid and reasonable and compatible with her class. Just that it's not expedient.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:16 PM
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politicized dishonesty to Prof. Pine.

Oh give me a break. Making an instructional point is politicized dishonesty?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:17 PM
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261: Is colleague actually missing lectures colleague should be giving? Tell.

Also, it would not be unlike management to get more and more rigid about a requirement because they couldn't figure out how to get that one Teflon person to be halfway reasonable.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:17 PM
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264: No, heebie is equally happy to call the prof. naive-to-stupid. I'm fine with that. I have no problem with what she did, but if she was as surprised as she says she was (and I tend to believe her) then she doesn't pay a lot of attention to the students in her class.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:18 PM
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249, 257: We were laying out our university paper that way in 1999.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:19 PM
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260 258: To be blunt, you're coming across as someone who hasn't any contact with 18 year olds.

Somehow I'm not expecting LB's opinion will change significantly once Sally and Newt hit that age.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:20 PM
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269: cold s/b cold sore.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:20 PM
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263: She's denied she was trying to do anything but get through class in what seemed to her to be the most expedient way. You don't believe her. Where does that get you but politicized dishonesty?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:21 PM
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236
I thought the list was completely sincere until I got to this one. I'm not sure what that says about me.

Granted, in real life reporters often do toady up to people in power and stuff, so one could be forgiven that part of the advice was meant sincerely. But they aren't supposed to.

237
229: Doesn't that all come down to "don't pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel"? Sure, if you piss off a reporter, they'll mess with you, and you don't have a lot of recourse. That doesn't mean that anyone who pisses off a reporter is in the wrong.

A good reporter loves it when the subject of an article is unhinged and provocative. (Until they lawyer up and escalate it, and even then, that depends on the power relationship involved. It's an unfortunate fact that most student newspapers have nothing like freedom of the press.) The thing that really pisses off a good reporter (and I suppose I shouldn't assume that about anyone involved in this) is silence. As I understand the story so far, the Eagle never actually published anything - maybe the administration put pressure on them, maybe they just decided it was too much trouble. She was winning until she published her own Counterpunch thing. Alternately, if she had cooperated with the article, then in my opinion it would probably have been a small local thing, the week's gossip, maybe it would never have been associated with her online at all if she had asked to not have her name used.

I may not be making my point well, but it's time to go home for the day. Maybe I'll try again later.

Also, "in the wrong" wasn't my phrase. Dumb, certainly, but it's often not immoral to be dumb. I agree with 107/110.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:23 PM
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274.1: Yeah, didn't show up at all to the first class. Made it to the next few. Asked me to cover one next week and someone else to cover the other one. I suppose once you're famous enough you get away with this sort of thing. (I know someone else who taught the entirety of a semester class in two weeks, because he lived in Europe but was being paid to be a professor in NYC.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:23 PM
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When students are Facebooking and IMing and deviantarting and daytrading* during lecture, it's often hard for the speaker to tell if they're reacting to the speaker. Calling them on it, "Ferris? Would you like to read that note to the class?" tends to be even more disruptive.

*And breaking even, as far as I could tell as the TA in the back.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:24 PM
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279: If I take that at face value, then I think she's an idiot. We'e back to the OP.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:24 PM
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I agree with 255 (and 275) and am a bit befuddled by 264. The point isn't that if she had made some clarifying remarks before breast-feeding that no one could possibly have objected, it that that would be the professional thing to do with a new class of students.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:24 PM
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281: The Teflon Noncompliant!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:25 PM
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I AM SO SICK AND TIERD OF THESE BARE CHESTED BABY NUZZLERS WITH A FUCKSAW IN EACH HAND. I LEARNED ALL THE FEMINIST ANTHROPOLOGY I NEED TO KNOW FROM WATCHING "HEAD OF THE CLASS" RERUNS.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:27 PM
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I think, in places where public breastfeeding is common, that the etiquette is instead for everyone to not notice. Seems to be true in Seattle and Portland, anyway. No great change for people who actually just want to get on with life, and we are spared disquisitions on the difficulty and/or sublimity of it, on the one hand, and thinly disguised nipple-leering, on the other.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:30 PM
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So, if she's not dishonest, then she did something that wasn't wrong in itself, and overestimated the ability of her students to handle it like adults. I think you're condemning her a little more harshly than necessary for that class of error.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:31 PM
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OK, I finally figured out what is wrong with this from 287. It's one thing to take care of your baby (including, but not limited to, breastfeeding) in situations where people can plausibly look away and pay attention to something else. That's part of life and a world in which there are babies. It's totally different when you're in a lecture, a situation where the whole deal is that people are forced to look directly at you. You're not just taking care of your baby at work, you're saying "LOOK AT ME TAKE CARE OF MY BABY. LOOK AT ME BREAST FEED." Which is not the point of the lecture.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:33 PM
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I was the one of the last people to lay out my undergrad school's alternative paper that way.

I was among the last to lay out my school's non-alternative paper that way. Same school, I believe.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:36 PM
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The "look, no hands" moment to show how strong the suction is may have been over the line.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:37 PM
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Oh, huh. They do still make Tab and sell it in the US.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:39 PM
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289: That's not what one *does*, though: one continues to look the speaker in the eye, as one would in any case.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:41 PM
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So, if she's not dishonest, then she did something that wasn't wrong in itself,

I'm getting really irritated at this language. She didn't do anything wrong in itself. I've said that fifty times.

As to the magnitude of the error of underestimating her student's reaction to breasts, (if she is in fact an idiot and not dishonest) ...I dunno. Sure, maybe she's likable and self-effacing and friendly and had a bad day. Maybe we'd be BFFs. I still think that underestimation was idiotic. (And that it's more charitable to assume she thought it was worth shocking them to make a point.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:41 PM
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I thought the way 4 year schools worked these days, as soon as someone exposed their breasts, the cell phones all came out and the whole thing is posted to youfaceporntube.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:42 PM
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279: The alternative seems to be to believe that a scholar of anthropology was so completely ignorant of the folkways and mores of her students that she was honestly surprised that anyone would think that breastfeeding in class was inappropriate, such that she was shocked that anyone found it remarkable. I think it's more charitable to think that she was making a small political point that she then handled horribly once it went to the Mainstream School Paper.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:42 PM
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292: oh yes. I hadn't seen 14. Tab is quite the voguish drink among tech billionaires.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:42 PM
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That Counterpunch article, which I've finally read, does suggest that she's pretty much an idiot, even if not totally in the wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:44 PM
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230 to 296: She doesn't have to have been completely blindsided by the idea that some her students might have found her breastfeeding remarkable to have been surprised that they actually felt entitled to make a fuss about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:45 PM
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The more I think about it, the more I think she screwed up by not totally capitalizing on the teachable moment. She's a feminist anthropology professor. She should be able to talk about attitudes towards women's bodies in different cultures, google up some images from someplace in Africa where breast feeding in public is no big deal, and then have an open discussion about how the students feel about her breastfeeding in class.

Getting a high-impact lesson like that is well worth falling behind on your syllabus.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:46 PM
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299: That's not what rings phony. Her claim that she was doing the most expedient thing possible rings phony.

I would not have expected them to make a fuss afterwards, either. Like I've said, she got unlucky.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:47 PM
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In other words, I'm with LB in that I think she was being clueless, because if she was trying to make a political point, she could have done in much better. Also, she really should have been trying to convey a lesson to her students.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:49 PM
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But wait. Who really made a fuss? Some AU brodude tweeted and posted something on FB and then an admiring college reporter wanted to write something about it. Being completely shocked by a brodudes being brodudes is kind of dumb. But that is the entirety of "fuss" right, until she started wrangling with the reporter?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:50 PM
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-a


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:50 PM
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290: Likely using the same equipment. There's a joke in there that I can't figure out how to pull off.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:52 PM
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Re people being uncomfortable with nursing in professional contexts: I formerly had a co-worker, an elderly male, who felt the same way about visibly pregnant women. Meaning: since, uh, having sex made their bellies look that way, he found it very distracting, to the point that he had trouble concentrating on other things. He didn't think pregnant women needed to be confined to their homes, but thought they ought to only wear mumus or similar drapey clothing that would obscure the shapes of their stomachs. He thought clothes that reveal the shapes of pregnant stomachs shouldn't be worn in public, period, and certainly not anywhere professional.

For some reason, ever since, whenever someone expresses discomfort with nursing in public, I think of him.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:52 PM
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I think I've mentioned that before. Oh well.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:52 PM
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That's not what rings phony. Her claim that she was doing the most expedient thing possible rings phony.

She can have done what she did for reasons of expedience without being right about it having been the most expedient thing possible. If no one makes a fuss about it afterwards, then (1) she got through her lesson plan for the day; (2) no one was injured; (3) if anyone was too distracted to follow her lecture, sucks to be them and they'll grow up sometime. That's pretty expedient sounding to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:54 PM
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303: Well, in the absence of her wrangling with the reporter, there would have been a story (sympathetic or un) about her troubling breastfeeding and how disturbed it made her students feel in the school paper. You might think she should have sucked it up and taken the hit, but that does sound like fuss to me, and I'm not surprised it made her unhappy. (I don't think she handled her unhappiness well, but come on -- she fucked up her childcare on the first day of class, students were tweeting about her tits, and now the student newspaper was going to make it the subject of an article? That'd make me unhappy.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:57 PM
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306 is great, and I don't think you had told it before.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 2:58 PM
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Or at asshole corporations.

Pretty much everyone who gets laid off at my boyfriend's company is walked out the door unless very senior. The former president of the US operation was clearly pushed out, but he announced that he was choosing to pursue other opportunities and got a party.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:01 PM
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309: Now you're making stuff up. Pine herself says that the reporter thought what Pine did was exciting and radical. You don't know that the story would be about her "troubling" breastfeeding -- it may well have been about how the awesome professor was sticking it to the man and the brodudes couldn't take it. (Now, she didn't want any part of that story either, but you really are making stuff up.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:02 PM
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Also, students are always already tweeting about your tits.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:06 PM
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She can have done what she did for reasons of expedience without being right about it having been the most expedient thing possible.

We're not quibbling about a stopwatch. It's whether or not she thought it was worth it to expand her students' horizons. Which she did. Which is a point.

After the fact, she's pretending she didn't think it would expand their horizons, which is part of her whole over-reaction and anger defensive. I don't actually think she's an idiot who didn't realize they'd have reactions - that's your interpretation, without the word "idiot". I think she's downplaying that she was forcing a reaction, in hindsight. Maybe she thinks it's the more credible route.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:08 PM
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No, I'm not. The story can be positive or negative, but there's no story unless students are troubled. The story can be "Professor's breastfeeding troubling to reasonable students" or "Professor's awesome breastfeeding troubling only to assholes", but the story is about the fact that by breastfeeding in front of her students, she upset some of them enough to be newsworthy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:08 PM
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306 was normal until.... when? Through the corset decades, but how far into the girdle era? Or the situps regime?

I will ask my mother. She always has entertaining memories from public health classes as a nurse in the 1960s, and what to wear while pregnant would definitely have been in the list. Best horrible memory: nurses at the time were pretty sure men found handwashing after urination unmasculine, and were waging a quiet creeped-out campaign to change this. Or, at least, to get them to pussy up and wash their hands.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:10 PM
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re: 306

Heh. That reminds me of a colleague of my wife's, who was very very pregnant, but continuing to dress in the black mini bodycon type dresses that she always wore. She looked great, but my wife was amused/surprised at how distracting bordering on disturbing some people found it and my wife's take on it was precisely that. That her look made people think a lot about fucking.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:10 PM
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I don't think she's pretending she didn't think it would expand their horizons, I think she's furious that her sheltered brodude and sorbabe students consider it a thing when the average busrider doesn't blink an eye. Because if there's one thing needed to make this more stereotypically explosive and pissy, it's arguments over class.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:12 PM
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then she did something that wasn't wrong in itself, and overestimated the ability of her students to handle it like adults.

she did do something that was wrong in itself -- she came to teach a class with her sick baby. The students paid a lot of money for that class and had the right to expect her undivided attention during a lecture. The breast feeding is not separable from the irresponsibility of trying to lecture while managing a sick baby, which is distracting in the extreme. You can't ignore that in assessing the breast feeding, it's just a part of the baby management problem. (Her TA apparently did some of that, which begs the question of why she didn't just send her TA to another room to do some babysitting, somewhat unfair but better than inflicting it on the whole class).

I don't think she was trying to make a political point, she just got overwhelmed in a very human and understandable way with all her single parent responsibilities. But instead of admitting it, apologizing, and moving on she got all huffy and tried to make it political.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:13 PM
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Isnt Heebie's real point that she seems like a self-righteous drama queen? Whatever you think about the merits, that's definitely the impression I get from her article.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:13 PM
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Also, not to go OT, but her bio says "Adrienne Pine is a militant medical anthropologist". I can't tell if those are intended to be unrelated adjectives, or if that's a single compound phrase. I'm not sure what a "militant medical anthropologist" would be, exactly, but it sounds like it would be awesome.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:14 PM
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Yeah, I don't think a positive story about something she did in class counts as a "fuss" in the way you were using the term.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:18 PM
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319: If the problem is bringing a sick kid to class, then that should be the basis of the argument. Her students were fine with the sick kid, but were pissy about the breastfeeding. I agree that bringing the sick kid to class is very non-ideal, but I can see it as the sort of non-ideal thing that happens sometime.

But anyone who wanted an apology from her for fucking up her childcare arrangements wasn't going to get one by giving her a hard time for breastfeeding.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:18 PM
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That her look made people think a lot about fucking.

Well, this gentleman was quite open that, in his mind, this was exactly the problem. He actually once likened walking into a meeting with a visibly pregnant stomach to walking into a meeting with photographs of oneself having sex (because both advertise publicly: "this is the result of the sex that I had").


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:19 PM
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Since she is a militant medical anthropologist, I completely get that she wants breastfeeding while lecturing to be a completely unmarked act. (Me too!) But if she is a militant medical anthropologist, she ought to know that it isn't.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:20 PM
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322: You don't think it'd make her the nine-days-wonder as 'breastfeeding prof shows up brodudes as the assholes they are'? I really wouldn't want an article in the student paper setting me at odds with a segment of my class, even if it took my side of the argument.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:20 PM
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just send her TA to another room to do some babysitting

Yes, great solution, and to go pick up the professor's dry cleaning while at it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:21 PM
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324: A horrible teenage friend of Buck's made a habit of saying, with regard to pregnant teachers, "I know what you've been doing."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:22 PM
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326: Oh no, I get that entirely. But "fuss" was being thrown around as if there was mass *objection* to what she had done, and as far as I know, there really wasn't.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:23 PM
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324, 328: would the same apply to a wedding ring?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:23 PM
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why she didn't just send her TA to another room to do some babysitting

Holy shit.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:23 PM
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would the same apply to a wedding ring?

Of course. That's why I don't wear one. As would the existence of children. Which is why it's unprofessional to talk about them.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:26 PM
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But anyone who wanted an apology from her for fucking up her childcare arrangements wasn't going to get one by giving her a hard time for breastfeeding.

actually, I think if she'd been smart an apology for the childcare arrangements was exactly the right move to respond to getting a hard time for breastfeeding. Making it about breastfeeding is exactly the way to turn it into a big water cooler/viral/irresistible story. But when you reframe as an unfortunate one-time incident by single mother trying to do the best she can then you would feel like a dick for writing about it. It takes it out of the public sphere somewhat. I think if she had taken that apologetic tack she could perhaps have run the student newspaper off the story, and if she'd apologized sincerely to her class she could have limited the rumor mill as well.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:27 PM
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331: the TA is *already* doing babysitting. Sending her to another room to do it just spares the rest of the class. The prof has already fucked up, it's just a question of how to manage it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:28 PM
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No, I meant 'fuss' at all, positive or negative. I'm sure the reporter was wellmeaning, and she's a kid too so with every excuse for being obnoxious without intending to. But it seems pretty clear to me that treating an incident of breastfeeding in class, resulting from a childcare screwup, as newsworthy is going to be unpleasant for the woman involved, and that the reporter either didn't get that or didn't give a damn.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:29 PM
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333: She certainly could have groveled about it better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:30 PM
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LB, have you read the Counterpunch article? Whatever you think about what she did, she is clearly not very socially savvy and is kinda a drama queen, no?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:34 PM
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Could be, I don't really give a damn, though. My guess would be not so much that she's generally awful as that she's blind with rage about how this all went down, and so she's handling it badly. The 'don't write the article', 'look, at least don't use my name', 'fuck it, now that the university is issuing statements about the whole thing, I'll write my own goddamn article' trajectory sounds to me like she got caught in a childcare bind, and handled it in a way that she thought she'd get away with because she thought she was living in the future, where people know they're not allowed to give you a hard time for breastfeeding in public. When she found out that instead of having solved her childcare problem in a non-ideal but reasonably inconspicuous manner, she was going to be the postergirl for "Single mom who can't handle her childcare or keep her tits to herself" she wigged out.

She shouldn't have wigged out, but having her shitty first day of class turn into a cause celeb is a rough position to be in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:41 PM
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having solved her childcare problem in a non-ideal but reasonably inconspicuous manner,

removing paper clips from the mouth of a crying baby while lecturing a class is inconspicuous?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:45 PM
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It's one moderately messed-up class period. Not a huge deal to anyone who wasn't in the room, until suddenly it was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:46 PM
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(I may be importing some decade-old anger at the fellow associate who pointed out in a meeting that my breasts were leaking so badly that they'd soaked through the pads in my bra and my suit jacket. Which they were, and I was trying to get out of the room inconspicuously but had been hoping that the dark suit meant people wouldn't figure out what was going on.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:51 PM
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she was going to be the postergirl for "Single mom who can't handle her childcare or keep her tits to herself"

Yeah, no. You're being as inflammatory as you were accusing heebie of being. College newspapers are allowed to cover things, especially things that are very much topics of public discussion. There is zero indication that your inflammatory take was going to be the story. Heck, you even concede there was very little objection to what she did. It's clear she didn't want to be part of any story, but, you know, tough luck.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:53 PM
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Okay, wow. Having first read this thread, I expected something a lot worse from the Counterpunch article. She doesn't come across as a drama queen, or socially unsavvy, or disingenuous, or really doing anything wrong at all. She was clearly irate about the incident, and that comes through in her writing. So what? She should have been irate.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 3:57 PM
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removing paper clips from the mouth of a crying baby

Where do you get this from "The flow of my lecture was interrupted once by '"Professor, your son has a paper-clip in his mouth'"?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:00 PM
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Whatever the take on it, the facts of the story would have been that (1) she took a sick kid to class (which is something g that people in this thread are willing to condemn her for -- not everyone, but some) and (2) that she upset some o her students by breast feeding at them. Sympathetic or unsympathetic, the story makes her notorious as "mother with childcare problems and bodily functions", which is an unpleasant place to be in in a professional context even if it's true, which it is here.

She screwed up -- she didn't hide her childcare problems and bodily functions well enough to keep people from making an issue of them. I'm not surprised, though, that she's furious about how her screwup played out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:02 PM
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I think she's furious that her sheltered brodude and sorbabe students consider it a thing when the average busrider doesn't blink an eye.

Because she's the center of attention. (As has been pointed out.)

On my drive home, I was trying to conceive of a situation where the center of attention, among strangers, is breast-feeding while presenting material, in a professional setting, and it is seriously unusual. This is not the bus.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:07 PM
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She screwed up

I don't get this. The people making an issue of her childcare problems and bodily functions are the ones in the wrong.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:10 PM
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It's one moderately messed-up class period. Not a huge deal to anyone who wasn't in the room, until suddenly it was.

No, it was extremely crucial that she continue to deliver information for those ten minutes. It was the most expedient thing ever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:13 PM
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OK, so my take is, whatever her intention or lack of intention, once it was going to become a thing (in the form of a likely positive article in the school newspaper), she ought to, as a soi-disant radical medical anthropologist, turned it into a teachable moment and dealt with the reporter generously. I entirely understand how much she apparently hated being the center of a story, but to me, "radical" does, or ought to, have a strong pedagogical component. And if that happened, this almost certainly does not end up on A1 of the Washington Post.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:19 PM
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I don't get 348 at all. Of course it wasn't "extremely crucial" that she continue to deliver information for those ten minutes. If there'd been a fire alarm, surely she'd have cleared the classroom and found a way to make up the time later. The question is whether it was more crucial to continue to deliver information for those ten minutes, or to avoid the possibility that anyone might be offended by seeing a woman breastfeeding.

She doesn't come across to me at all as "trying" to prove a point--I really doubt she gave this any thought at all, other than possibly "will anyone care if I breastfeed? Probably not, and if they do, fuck them."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:22 PM
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I think there's a bit of a false dichotomy in how heebie and politicalfootball, maybe others are viewing Prof. Pine's decisionmaking

This thread has gotten away from me and I'll try to catch up, but I wanted to make a quick note that I think heebie and I are addressing different issues. I'm talking about what Professor Pine did *after* the matter came to the attention of the newspaper.

To address heebie's point, I don't actually think Professor Pine intended to make any kind of political point. I think her point was that she *personally* was going to do whatever she wanted to do, and any effort to examine that is outrageous. That seems the view that's most consistent with her own testimony, anyway.

Katie Roiphe does this sort of thing. She's sympathetic to single mothers, as long as the single mother is her.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:25 PM
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Her friend told her that morning that it would be a teaching moment. The friend obviously thought it would be a teaching moment because it was far enough out of the ordinary to make the students think differently about life in society. She now says she didn't want it to be -- but can hardly be surprised that it turned into one.

Once it was clear that the childcare solution was incompatible with the first day of class, she could and should have pulled the plug, as heebie says above.

And the TA *was* babysitting, some, in the class. Why would she do that, even though the prof told her she didn't have to? Because she did have to, for the kid, and for the students.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:27 PM
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The cluelessness with which she insists that it's just like riding a bus is just amazing to me. The appropriate comparison would be if she was driving the bus. And guess what, if she did that, everyone would be talking about it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:31 PM
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I don't get 348 at all.

It was a snarky dig at LB because earlier I was saying "Who cares if ten minutes gets wasted on the first day of class?" and LB was saying "Maybe she had a lot of information she needed to cover."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:40 PM
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She screwed up -- she didn't hide her childcare problems and bodily functions well enough to keep people from making an issue of them.

I don't even think she screwed up. I just think she's not owning what her actual decision in the moment was.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:41 PM
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And I think that's kind of normal, given that I also think she's melodramatic and defensive - everyone rewrites their thought processes in hindsight. Calling that revision "politicized dishonesty" makes it sound more evil than it is, which is just doing what humans do. But there's just no way that she was that oblivious that boobies impact young kids in the moment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:46 PM
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Seriously, the reactions of people in this thread are actually making me angry, and I'm not even a breastfeeding woman, much less the breastfeeding woman in question. I can only imagine how irate I'd feel if I were.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 4:48 PM
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I have no idea how my point could piss someone off. What she did was fine. I've said that forty times. The shitstorm was not predictable. But it's utterly disingenuous for her to claim that breastfeeding while giving a class to new students is just the most expedient thing to do. She was making a point, and she should own that.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:00 PM
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358: FORTY times? Upthread it was fifty! Get your story straight, Heebie.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:11 PM
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Cooking for tea people. Silly.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:13 PM
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I meant to say tea times.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:14 PM
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Because you hate tea people? And refuse to cook for them? Just give the tea people a chance!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:16 PM
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Milk, milk, lemonade. Where on tea people is tea made?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:20 PM
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FACTCHECK: Heebie has made that point only 3 times.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:21 PM
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I started thinking about that way too much. Gross.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:23 PM
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GROSS, Halford. Fact checks are so ew.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:23 PM
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This fuss could have been avoided if she'd only thought to bring enough for everyone.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:25 PM
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Wait, she made the point 3 times? Or she made hyperbolic claims about the number of times she'd made the point three times? Because she also made the point right before each hyperbolic claim And there were at least three of those so I think there's more than three total of point-making.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:26 PM
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Driving a bus takes both hands and upper-body strength, which is incompatible with nursing in a way that talking isn't. Now that we're plummeting down the falls of the Analogy Ban, all a prof has to be is the oversocial local who talks the whole ride home, and that can be done while nursing.

Unless someone in the room is all 'breastfeeding is totally OK as long as it never crosses my line of view!', which, the hell with that.

heebie, the norms where you are & where I've lived are clearly way different, and it strikes me that DC may be one of the boundaries between. Or just her students. Don't know.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:28 PM
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OT: Hey, Siegfried's on PBS.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:29 PM
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Without Roy?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:37 PM
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Bryn Terfel looks a little heavy.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:41 PM
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Komm, mein Schwert, schneide das Eisen!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:43 PM
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369: I've lived outside of Texas. I've even lived in DC.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:44 PM
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Not that I've taught or breastfed there.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:45 PM
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364 is wrong.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 5:46 PM
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If the professor had Asked The Mineshaft at any point before writing the CounterPunch article . . . something might have been different.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:04 PM
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Actually, there are only 17 comments and 1 OP where I said that she didn't do anything wrong and that the point is legitimate, especially given the content of the course. Not for tea times.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:09 PM
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369

While the public norms in the Northwest may be much more accommodating of breastfeeding, it would still be highly noteworthy if the teacher started doing it in class.

I think if you get past all the "ew, breasteses", you'd still find that most people would disagree with breastfeeding in almost any circumstance where you are presumed to be devoting your full attention to the task at hand.

If the professor had answered her cellphone in front of the class, it would have been just as disruptive, though it would probably not have made the school newspaper.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:15 PM
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Aargh! I hate it when mom and dad fight.


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:23 PM
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FACTCHECK: Robert Halford did not do a factcheck.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:25 PM
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FACTCHECK: My opinion is the rightest.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:27 PM
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OT-ish in that this isn't a breast-feeding type of parenting, but we heard tonight that our odds of adopting Nia are even higher than we'd thought, though I'm also worried that her parents are not being given a fair shot. At any rate, she'll probably be with us another year at least, which would be great.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:45 PM
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heebie, the norms where you are & where I've lived are clearly way different, and it strikes me that DC may be one of the boundaries between. Or just her students. Don't know.

The thing is, in Seattle and Portland and anywhere else,
1. not many people are breastfeeding at any moment
2. some people are teaching classes or giving presentations

but pretty much nobody - statistically - is ever breastfeeding while being in the center of attention in a professional setting. Ever. Unless they're running the La Leche meeting. In Humboldt county or Evergreen state college.

So what she's done extremely unusual, even if it is totally great and legitimate and laudable. I bet no one here has ever seen someone give a professional presentation having nothing to do with breastfeeding, while nursing.

So fine, just own that you did something unusual. It serves a pedagogical purpose. But doing something way out there is not just the most convenient thing at the moment.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:47 PM
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She's repeating herself, LB. You've got her on the ropes.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:49 PM
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Why can't I shut up about this?

Anyway, Thorn, I'm totally rooting for you guys to adopt Nia. It just fits like puzzle pieces.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:49 PM
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Or maybe she isn't repeating herself. Weird.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:50 PM
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Von Wafer is delusional.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:50 PM
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Yes, how weird. There, there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:51 PM
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Why can't I shut up about this?

Because titties.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:52 PM
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Maybe.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:54 PM
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Maybe titties!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:56 PM
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Should I start talking about how I totally saw Mara pretend to breastfeed from one of her new student teachers today and she got livid when I busted her on it because she likes "breasting Ms. Elena." We'd already left the classroom, so Lee can have an awkward conversation with Ms. Elena tomorrow.

I want to adopt Nia because she's so great here and the two girls together are just magic, but of course I want her mom to get her shit together and be able to parent rather than be a mess. It's reassuring to know that things were done right in giving Mara's parents chances and I hate to think that Nia's mom is being screwed over because her caseworker and Nia's new Court-Appointed Special Advocate think she's some kind of evil genius. I don't think she's super abusive in the scheme of things but I'm also not sure what kind of supports she'd need to parent in a safe way. I don't know when/if we'll meet her, but if she is able to start visits with Nia it will be in the context of going to play-based (PC/IT) therapy together, which I hope will help.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:58 PM
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Maybe titties Mitt Romney mutton taters!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 6:58 PM
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This is going to sound totally sappy, Thorn, but it's a bit humbling having you around.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:02 PM
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The same is true of apo, of course. You make me want to be a better man, apo.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:03 PM
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I'm going to assume I'm humbling in an apoesque way because my almost-5-year-old tries to faux breastfeed near-strangers (though also me) on a regular basis. Seriously, I'm just a parent of little kids like Heebie or Halford or anyone. It's just more of a surprise when the kids show up than it is for people having kids a more traditional way.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:08 PM
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Probably 4/5 days 397 is true, but what you do that sets you apart is go to extraordinary lengths to keep their biological families connected, and also supporting kids that you're not planning on adopting.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:11 PM
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Yeah, I've got little kids of my own, which is why I know that 397 is bullshit and 398 is right.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:13 PM
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But if it makes you feel any better, Thorn, 397 is pedestrian enough bullshit that I'm no longer humbled by you. You'll need to up your bullshit game considerably if you want to keep me in my place.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:15 PM
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But it's utterly disingenuous for her to claim that breastfeeding while giving a class to new students is just the most expedient thing to do. She was making a point, and she should own that.

It pisses me off because this is wrong, and you're being arrogantly assuming about it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:18 PM
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398: Yeah, that's not what I think all parents should do, but I think it (or something in its place) is what almost all foster/adoptive parents should do. I'm very judgey about that. But that's also because it's been so easy, in the scheme of things. Mara's family is awesome. Nia's grandmother is so sweet. If you knew these kids and how much they love and miss their families, you would probably do what you could to reconnect them too. I'm just sort of trying to be vocal about that. I think this is all part of the (less than $1/hr) job.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:20 PM
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401: You're wrong and arrogant.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:24 PM
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I genuinely do not even understand your claim that leaving the room altogether for 10 minutes, or cancelling class entirely, would have been more "expedient". I can imagine special circumstances where that would be the case--she'd just given them some project to work on by themselves for a few minutes, and the baby happened to get hungry right then--but as a general matter?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:30 PM
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What happened to you people? 400 comments and still on topic!?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:31 PM
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Fact: Urple routinely gives presentations while breast feeding.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:33 PM
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400: I'm just not comfortable with the idea that fostering is some magical thing special people do and want to push against that, though it's probably not what you meant. I'm lucky that therapeutic parenting has been a natural fit for me, but I suspect many others here would respond similarly, quite likely better. I just happen to be the one doing it, which matters in some ways and not in others.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:35 PM
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Can someone who understands academia comment on whether her (Adrienne Pine's) current position is tenured, tenure track or what?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:37 PM
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Anecdata: I attended the university in question as an undergrad. While there, two (somewhat) relevant things happened.

1) The assistant director of a program that employed me paid me to babysit her sick little girl (during a time I was not working in her office, of course). I took the kid to my dorm room and we pretended to be pandas.

2) I attended an anarchist conference on campus, and one of the panelists breastfed her child during her presentation. She prefaced her remarks by explaining that she intended to feed her child, and that she was making a particular point by doing so. Honestly, Heebie is right about this--there is no way in hell the professor in question didn't realize she was making a political point. Hell, as a young female professor I think about the politics of virtually everything I do and say in front of undergrads.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:39 PM
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Also, students are always already tweeting about your tits.

Last year a student wrote "wear a bra!!" on my instructor evaluation.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:42 PM
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410 was me.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:42 PM
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What happened to you people? 400 comments and still on topic!?

Well but it's breasts.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:42 PM
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410 was written by helpy-chalk.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:43 PM
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Huh, I was way off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:43 PM
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I genuinely do not even understand your claim that leaving the room altogether for 10 minutes, or cancelling class entirely, would have been more "expedient". I can imagine special circumstances where that would be the case--she'd just given them some project to work on by themselves for a few minutes, and the baby happened to get hungry right then--but as a general matter?

Cancelling class seems a lot more expedient to me. They're not going to learn anything anyway, either while staring at your breasts or while listening to your caterwauling child. Might as well reschedule.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:49 PM
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Maybe YOUR child is caterwauling.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:53 PM
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Hey, Thorn, I dreamed last night that Scomber Mix and I were on Skype with you and Lee, and Lee asked him whether he were at Current University. "No," he said, "I'm a California Republican." And then we all looked at him like he had three heads and five dollars.

Waaaaaay upthread, BG mentioned that the nursing cover-ups seem unnecessary and prudish. (Expensive, enh, surely they're not that hard to make if you don't want to fork out?) I don't have the experience to have my own opinion on the necessity just yet, but a good friend found that they were quite necessary to keep her son on task so that the feeding didn't take hours and hours. But prudish? Seriously? Normalizing breastfeeding in public is great, but it seems weird to me that we should simultaneously de-legitimize some women's preference for staying more covered up. Boobs out, boobs veiled, whatever; isn't the point that it should be only the mother's call?


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 7:57 PM
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413 would have been great but for 414.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:05 PM
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398 is right, Thorn. I've known several otherwise lovely people in the practice of fostering with an eye towards adoption, all of whom, except you, inevitably demonize the birth mother/family and reationalize that they ought to be able to keep the child because they've done such a good job of parentling them already. It's an understandable emotional response, but I still get to judge them a little for it and admire you for not doing it.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:16 PM
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We're all glad you admitted doing it, L, but surely that's not the kind of thing they want you to put in the evaluations.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:18 PM
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Also on inconvenience of bodily functions front: One hole!!!


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:24 PM
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I forgot how boring Siegfried was. There's only so many hours you can wait for the magic fire music.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 8:25 PM
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Bryn Terfel looks a little heavy.

And the costumes are terrible. In the full get-up, he looks like about 2 1/2 Stevie Nickses.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:02 PM
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he looks like about 2 1/2 Stevie Nickses.

I wish I was back in school so I could write that on an instructor evaluation form.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-13-12 9:33 PM
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I'm surprised that no one has brought up that many kids (especially older ones) do not love nursing cover-ups, and knock them away. (It's not like they're eating ortolan.)


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:07 AM
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423 and 424 causing a snort of laughter as I have a friend who is a teacher who looks exactly like 2.5 Stevie Nickses (or one Bryn Terfel wearing a wig).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:24 AM
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I would love to have been in lectures where the professor interrupted himself in order to eat ortolan.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:37 AM
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I imagine it happens all the time at Bologna or the Sorbonne.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:41 AM
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I'm not sure what a "militant medical anthropologist" would be

You go to the doctor to get a routine prescription reissued and she and her comrades burst into the room waving AK-47s and force you to complete a detailed questionnaire about your symptoms and your ethnicity. Happens all the time.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:56 AM
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FWIW, I've read a fair bit of medical anthropology [militant or otherwise]. It's interesting stuff. Self-describing as 'militant' borders on the pretentious, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:04 AM
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re: 429

Or bursts in, 'Stop, this medical condition is socially constructed!'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:04 AM
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Tedra has now posted about this on CT but I c\an't read it because the site seems to be borked.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:07 AM
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||

Fuck, Henley has mouth cancer.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:57 AM
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432: Her take on it is not the same as ours, though:

So the main argument seems to boil down to whether or not one thinks that this professor's students--those poor young things!!--were somehow ill-served by the fact that she brought her kid to class/breastfed it in class.

I don't think anyone here feels the students were ill-served or violated in some way. At most that she was unprofessional to bring the baby to class in the first place.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:30 AM
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433 is awful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:33 AM
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417: Everyone's choice, of course. It's just that the only people I know who use those are very UMC. I think you could be equally modest without one and some sort of not purpose-built thing could be rigged up. I guess that's my Yankee roots surfacing. I can't stomach how expensive those things are.

But, obviously, if the baby won't settle without it, then the mother should do what works for her.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:00 AM
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Thorn is amazing, as 398/399 demonstrate.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:01 AM
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I can't stomach how expensive those things are.

I don't think they have to be? A quick google found ones from Sears for $11.99.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:21 AM
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The 'don't write the article', 'look, at least don't use my name', 'fuck it, now that the university is issuing statements about the whole thing, I'll write my own goddamn article' trajectory

The professor wrote her blog post 6 days before the university wrote its statement. It was Professor Pine who forced the university's hand, not vice versa.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:59 AM
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OT: Kotsko's piece on Žižek got linked at Arts and Letters Daily and he got a sweater vest. Moving up in the world.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:22 AM
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Caveats: I've never read Žižek and I can't be certain that the sweater doesn't have sleeves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:24 AM
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432:Tedra has now posted about this on CT but I c\an't read it because the site seems to be borked

For, I don't know more than a week, when I click the CT link at the left at Unfogged I get Holbo's Flashman post. Possibly bad html in there.

I then go upper left and click "home" at CT and I'm current.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:56 AM
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Parismon brought it up here earlier this week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:57 AM
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442. It's the difference between "www.crookedtimber.org" which is stuck on the Flashman post, and "crookedtimber.org" which is apparently OK. I pointed this out before, hoping that somebody like Tweety would explain what was going on, but the thread was dead, so nobody responded.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:02 AM
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Topical. (Safe for work unless you work around undergraduate students.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:03 AM
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446

445: In the old days people appreciated the importance of good hygiene.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:06 AM
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447

I forgot how boring Siegfried was. There's only so many hours you can wait for the magic fire music.

It does have some incredibly tedious stretches, but it's going to be especially disappointing if you're waiting for the magic fire music, which is in another opera!


Posted by: Mister Little-Bitch-Case | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:11 AM
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448

444: beats me, man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:12 AM
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449

From Tedra's post: I submit that a society in which children are a problem is a society that is deeply inhumane. Seems sensible to me.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:14 AM
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450

I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:16 AM
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451

447: Yes, that would make Siegfried extra long. Like Zeno's arrow long.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:17 AM
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445: I don't remember that scene from Metropolis.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:17 AM
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450 is the worst thing that ever happened in a pop song.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:20 AM
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454

The device in 445 strikes me as an attempt at a sex toy disguised as something else (the way vibrators are passed off as massagers). I suspect it is not anywhere near as exciting to use as the breast-fetishizing inventor supposed.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:28 AM
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455

Maybe you need to sanitize the breast between babies?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:31 AM
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454: I would actually guess that the ad itself was supposed to be titilllating (heh), and the product didn't exist, or if it did exist it was meant for use in performance rather than as something anyone would use for themselves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:36 AM
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457

I suppose it would have come in handy for Karen Finley after the show.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:44 AM
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455: The OB nurses at the hospital told me never to wash my breasts. (For real.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:45 AM
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Never ever or never outside of regular bathing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:46 AM
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Never ever while still breastfeeding. I had to turn down a role in Porky's VI.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:49 AM
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461

What if you got raw chicken on them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:52 AM
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||

I had a dream that Robert Brandom had good things to say about Cryptic Ned's theories of art, culture, and commerce. Brandom also observed that Ned has written quite a lot.

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:53 AM
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463

461: Water-bleach-water


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:04 AM
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464

Pumice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:08 AM
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never to wash my breasts.

Yes, what could possibly get smelly about leaking milk for weeks on end.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:09 AM
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466

Strange.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:09 AM
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456.last: It's a hydraulic fucksaw.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:09 AM
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Seriously, what I was told to do was not to directly wash those particular bits, but allow water and residual soap from other bits to wash over. It was more "Might scare the baby from the feeding!" stuff.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:13 AM
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Babies hate the smell of Dial.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:13 AM
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Did the OB nurses also remind you not to let other people handle your baby, as you might not recognize it as yours, and then kick it out of the nest?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:15 AM
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Maybe that's why nobody lets strangers lick their baby.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:17 AM
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I remember being told not to get soap on the nipples, but I thought that was about drying/skin irritation/maintaining the natural oils in the skin.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:18 AM
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I think, as it was presented to Junie, there was also a concern about extra soaping worsening the cracking and bleeding funtimes.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:20 AM
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We were very concerned in the first week or so when Hawaii had blood in her diaper. No worries - it was just blood from my nipples.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:23 AM
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They make pads for milk-leakage. No need to put diapers on your chest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:25 AM
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cracking and bleeding funtimes

You know, there is just this little window of time that boobies are actually performing their infant-feeding function, compared to all the time that you walk around and they are just hanging there. You'd think that when actually called on to feed, they'd do so smoothly and effectively. But so many people report that getting the things to work is like trying to start a 1970s Ford pinto that has been in a garage for decades.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:32 AM
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476: I think part (although obviously not all) of that may be a real 'on the veldt' problem. (The following is shameless speculation, that I haven't looked for anything academic to support.) The whole breastfeeding process is driven by all kinds of feedback, hearing the baby, smelling the baby, and so on, and modern parenting just does involve a whole lot less time spent in physical contact with your baby than pre-industrial parenting did. While there are all sorts of good reasons for that, and it's mostly worth it, I think it does make breastfeeding a lot harder.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:42 AM
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477: Alternate theory: On the veldt, they had a miserable time.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:45 AM
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479

But so many people report that getting the things to work is like trying to start a 1970s Ford pinto that has been in a garage for decades.

Were Pintos the ones that exploded easily?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:47 AM
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479: Yes.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:04 AM
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Alternate theory: On the veldt, they had wet nurses. Maybe not.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:05 AM
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480: I call faked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:07 AM
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Part of the argument that boobies played a role as sex cues in human evolutionary history is that the mammary glands of most mammals are not distended unless they are nursing. I wonder if competing evolutionary pressures have made hooters less functional as feeding devices. The ones that are big all the time don't work as well, or something.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:10 AM
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That seems implausible -- you'd need a hell of a sexual-attraction advantage to outweigh the evolutionary downside from starving more infants that you've already put a substantial investment into.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:16 AM
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Also, AFAIK, there's no link one way or the other between breast size and nursing success. Under your theory, you'd expect women with A cups to be perceptibly less prone to difficulty nursing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:18 AM
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Oh, I don't see how evolution would be influenced by factors like "how many infants starve".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:18 AM
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487

I don't understand why there was never a sequel to Top Secret. Or Real Genius, typed the man with the "I [Heart] Toxic Waste" t-shirt.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:25 AM
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On the veldt first-time mothers were probably like fourteen on average. One wonders if that isn't part of the story.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:28 AM
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Not sure about that. Your typical woman on the veldt would be an endurance athlete by our standards, no? And that's the sort of thing that delays the onset of fertility. I don't actually know one way or the other, but I'd be unsurprised if typical fertility were delayed to the later teens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:33 AM
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Top Sectret and Real Genius are both awesome.

In TS I especially like the fact there's a French Resistance in East Germany in 1980.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:35 AM
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488. Doubt it. Unless you're talking pre-sapiens:

In a !Kung San population studied by Nancy Howell of the University of Toronto, women experience their first menstruation at an average age of 16.6 years, and it is at about that age that they first marry (Daly and Wilson R144 40). The husband is likely to be at least 5 years older than his wife, and may not be the man she would have chosen for herself. Adolescent fertility is low, and the first child is born at an average maternal age of 19.5 Nursing commonly continues until age 4 and exceptionally until age 6. The child is typically weaned only when the mother discovers that she is again pregnant and informs her disgruntled toddler that her milk and energy are henceforth required by a younger sibling-to-be. Well-nourished but thin, !Kung San women seldom conceive within the first couple of years of nursing due to the frequency of suckling on demand.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:36 AM
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On the veldt, commenters who took the time to find support for their opinions were frequently pwned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:38 AM
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The whole breastfeeding process is driven by all kinds of feedback, hearing the baby, smelling the baby, and so on, and modern parenting just does involve a whole lot less time spent in physical contact with your baby than pre-industrial parenting did.

I don't buy this. I don't really remember being separated from Hawaii or Pokey in the first month.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:39 AM
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I don't think changing "14" to "19.5" materially changes my point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:39 AM
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I bet, though, wet nurses is the reason. That if you are in a small society and your breast feeding is failing dismally, another mother of an infant steps in, and so there isn't actually enough deaths occurring to weed out faulty breasts-havers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:41 AM
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494: Try that argument in court.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:41 AM
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495: It's possible, but I can't think of an example of that sort of thing in literature (which is what I base everything on). Upperclass women hiring wet-nurses, yes. Women in any class nursing orphaned babies, yes. Wet-nursing as a response to a healthy, living mother with difficulty nursing, I can't think of an example.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:53 AM
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I'm picturing the veldt, as made up in my cliched imagination. Savages with full body hair and articulate grunting. We all know that when Murg couldn't breastfeed, it's highly likely that Durg would help out with a breast.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:56 AM
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I can't think of an example of that sort of thing in literature (which is what I base everything on)

I'm sure if you combed through the rich literature inherited from analphabetic peoples from near the dawn of evolutionary time, you would come up with something.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:04 AM
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498: Impossible! "Durg" is totes a boy's name.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:05 AM
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I think you mean the Anal Phlebitic peoples.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:07 AM
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That's what makes these proto-people exactly so savage.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:07 AM
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If "a large percentage of women have enough difficulty nursing that without a wetnurse or formula their babies would starve" has been consistently true from the veldt through today, this should have been an issue in the post-agricultural/pre-formula era that would show up in literature as well as back on the veldt.

Of course, I'm madly generalizing based on novels I've read, and possibly neighbor-nurses-baby-for-healthy-present-mother-with-poor-milk-supply was a conventional course of events right up until formula got good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:09 AM
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500: Insanely, I had this same thought.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:09 AM
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re: 504

I don't know why you think it's insane. English has fairly clear patterns/norms for male and female names, violated though they may sometimes be. "Durga" on the other hand is an actual name. Viz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLSGYZpsg9k *

* trivia-mind threw that up. That the singer's name was Durga.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:16 AM
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Because they're not supposed to be speaking English, they're supposed to be speaking Veldt-grunt. As a non-speaker of Veldt-grunt, I'm pretty sure I can't tell a man's from a woman's name in it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:19 AM
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We all know that when Murg couldn't breastfeed, it's highly likely that Durg would help out with a breast.

Sarah Hrdy, in Mother Nature (WHY HAVEN'T YOU ALL READ IT YET), notes "Mother's milk, with its special immunological and nutritional properties, has always been too valuable to share indiscriminately. Among other primates, it is rare for a mother to let another female's offspring nurse her... [but] a look at ethnographic accounts reveals a pattern of casual reciprocity... allomaternal suckling [is] a mutually beneficial courtesy extended by coresident women - affines, neighbours and blood kin. "


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:20 AM
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In particular, she adds, OPINIONATED GRANDMOTHERS.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:21 AM
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509

"Durga" on the other hand is an actual name.

As in Kali Durga.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:22 AM
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507: Cute Overload is sure filled with pigs nursing tigers etc.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:22 AM
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Or Durga, the kid I went to school with, who was the offspring of vegan super hippies and was therefore destined to be more passionate about hearts and sparkles and pink than anyone else I knew.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:23 AM
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512

I read a story last week about a young mother in Nigeria who had post-partum depression and had stopped nursing, and her sister or sister-in-law had taken over that for her. So, probably pretty plausible that it's happened before for reasons besides maternal death.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:24 AM
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507: Interesting, but not really on point. "Casual reciprocity" and "mutually beneficial courtesy" explicitly excludes a situation where one of the mothers can't reciprocate, no? Doesn't mean it didn't happen, but evidence of "I nurse your baby while you nurse mine" doesn't address "I nurse your baby because you can't".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:25 AM
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Your typical woman on the veldt would be an endurance athlete

NO.

50-75 % of babies in some contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes are nursed by people other than their mothers.*

*Which by the way is an indication that attachment parenting might not be all it's cracked up to be.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:27 AM
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412: I'm sure it has happened on occasion here and there. I kind of doubt that it happened enough to account for how pre-formula babies survived if the percentage of women with severe difficulty nursing has always been this high.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:27 AM
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514.1: Erm, is 'endurance athlete' a bad word in paleo-speak? Or am I missing something else?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:29 AM
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512: Sometimes Salma Hayek will nurse your baby for you.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:29 AM
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Actually, many mothers in developing countries have been forced to dissuade Salma Hayek from nursing their babies by shooting her with water from spray-bottles. ("Down, Salma! Put the baby down!")


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:32 AM
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499: Babies totes shows one Namibian mother nursing three different babies in succession, at least one of which is definitely not biologically hers but just a baby who was hanging out in the vicinity and got mad about not being offered a snack.

My discomfort with LB's literary theory is that it seems unlikely that milk supply problems would be talked about in literature, so I could see that getting elided if it's what everyone knows goes on or something like that. I'm not coming up with a whole lot of classical literary breastfeeding scenes anyway, but maybe I need to read more Trollope.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:34 AM
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The cooperative breeding hypothesis.

There's actually a pretty good theory that human evolution was shaped very heavily by a willingness to allow alloparenting -- that is, for people other than a child's mother to take care of the child, including (but not limited to) in nursing. If true, that could help explain why breastfeeding works like a 73 Pinto.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:35 AM
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Erm, is 'endurance athlete' a bad word in paleo-speak?

Yes. Crossfitters/powerlifters hate endurance sports with a passion.

Amusingly, I ended up watching a bit of the CrossFit Games over the weekend, including an off-road biking stage. The CrossFitters were both hilariously ungainly on the bikes and unable to do simple things like wear a bicycle helmet properly.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:37 AM
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522

Or, since no one reads the links:

In Mothers and Others, the hypothesis is that the key development in the transformation of our ape ancestors into early hominins was the emergence of the extended family, and especially of alloparenting (see below), long before larger brains or language or complex technology appeared. Furthermore, as is made explicit in the book's subtitle, The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding, the cognitive and emotional processes underlying the structure and functioning of the family must be tackled if we are to know why natural selection acted to produce this result.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:37 AM
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509 beat me to it. Totes a girl's name.

Wet nursing is codified in Islamic family law such that if a non-blood related woman nurses a child a certain number of times (I forget the number, but it's pretty low) that woman becomes family to the child so marriage to her children is forbidden, laws and customs regarding covering as in public are relaxed, etc. There's loads of legal literature about this.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:37 AM
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Yes. Crossfitters/powerlifters hate endurance sports with a passion.

So, not big into the Daniel Lieberman "humans evolved to hunt by outlasting their prey" theory I guess.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:43 AM
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Sometimes Salma Hayek will nurse your baby for you.

Good thing she's not a university professor; there's no way I'd be paying attention to the lecture.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:48 AM
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it seems unlikely that milk supply problems would be talked about in literature, so I could see that getting elided if it's what everyone knows goes on or something like that. I'm not coming up with a whole lot of classical literary breastfeeding scenes anyway

There aren't actually that many scenes of eating in literature. You find it in fairy tales, and it is quite consciously included in some kinds of realism, but in general eating itself has often been elided.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:08 AM
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512: I have it on excellent authority that this occasionally happens in the Boston area. (Well, just once).


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:08 AM
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Wet-nurses and foster-mothers do show up in literature, though -- breastfeeding scenes no, but the relationship yes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:10 AM
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Milk supply problems are a plot point in The Group. Priss has lots of trouble with milk supply (the novel implies it's because she is tiny and thin and nervous and stressed). The baby nurses want her to switch to formula, but her husband -- a crusading and modern young pediatrician -- forces her to keep trying as the whole ordeal makes her sicker and sicker.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:13 AM
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Right, but they're there because a dead mother and an evil foster mother is a good plot device, not, I suspect, to reflect accurate breastfeeding norms.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:13 AM
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breastfeeding scenes no

Steinbeck had one in Grapes of Wrath IIR. Pretty daring for its day.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:15 AM
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532

Or a good foster mother. Of course, trying to come up with examples, so far I'm at Dombey and Son and um, lots and lots of other books. That I'll remember real soon now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:15 AM
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I don't think Trollope is going to be likely -- there aren't a lot of children in his books, IIRC. Catherine M. Yonge, Maria Edgeworth, that's where I'd look; but it will be veiled. Also lethal, in CMY, but that's just her: the bad die painfully, the good slowly.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:25 AM
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Oh, and all the mud-and-laundry social realists, who I have not previously read because they were so depressing. Surely someone fails to latch in Tess of the D'Urbervilles?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:27 AM
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GWTW:


"Go tell Mammy to look after the cow. Tell her she's got to fix the cow up somehow. Miss Melanie's baby will die if he doesn't get something to eat, and --"
"Miss Melly ain' -- kain --?" Pork paused delicately.
"Miss Melanie has no milk." Dear God, but Mother would faint at that!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:27 AM
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535: Yes!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:28 AM
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Mothers and Others. Lots of alloparenting and cooperative nursing in here. But, why bother turning to ethnography or evolutionary anthropology when there's 19th Century Literature available.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:31 AM
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Piggybacking on someone else's research (Morisot painting of a wet-nurse!):

Very common in Victorian England, because women in Lying-in Hospitals and workhouses could be separated from their newborns to work as wetnurses. The rich then worried about transmission of bad habits and disease. However:

David Kertzer, in Amalia's Tale, writes about the legal fight of an Italian peasant woman for justice after she contracted the disease from a baby she was wet nursing. Although she won the case, during the years in which it was fought, Amalia Bagnacavalli lost her own little girl to syphilis, her husband contracted the disease and her pregnancies ended with the death of the newborn either at birth or shortly thereafter.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:32 AM
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539

Crossfitters/powerlifters hate endurance sports with a passion.

My personal fitness goal for the post-oil dark ages is called the frigate plan. I need to be fast enough to be able to out-run anyone big enough that I can't out-gun them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:36 AM
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frigate

"Captain, what do you call that kind of ship over there on the horizon?"

"Frigate."

"Yeah, you're right. Who gives a fuck?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:37 AM
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533: I was only joking about him because of the other thread. I'm going to have to work on not seeming so humorless that everyone always takes me seriously.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:38 AM
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||

I just got a call from some debt collector with a Maine area code, but I don't have any bad debts! I'm trying to figure out if I should just look up their address and send a cease and desist letter or ask for validation. I'm planning on pulling my credit record.

Ugh!

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:40 AM
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543

Did they ask for you by name? Not that they'll always stop calling you if you tell them nobody lives there with whatever name they want, but it does make it unlikely somebody opened credit lines in your name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:43 AM
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544

Here is more on alloparenting and breast-feeding specifically

All primates have some trouble breast-feeding, apparently, and humans have the worst set of problems. In all primates, breast-feeding (from the mother's perspective, not the infant) is learned behavior, not instinctual. There's some good evidence that alloparenting a la Murg and Durg emerged to help solve this problem.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:45 AM
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545

All primates have some trouble breast-feeding

Even lemurs?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:50 AM
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543: I didn't answer the call, but there was a voice saying this is a call for Bostonian Girl. And Bostonian Girl was clearly a computer. And then it said, "If this is not the intended party please call.... It's very important that I speak to you or your legal representative contact me about a personal business matter. When you call please reference [computer voice] number 5 billion 1"


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:50 AM
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546: It's sales call spam. Ignore it. The only way to stop it (assuming you're already on the do not call list) is to figure out which company you've done business with is being an asshole* and drop them. But they can still call you for a certain period after you drop them and whoever you switch to could have it's own robots.

* Probably a credit card company.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:54 AM
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547: Spam, sure, but they identified themselves as a debt collector. A search for Br/yan/t, Hod/ge and Associates gets a lot of complaints.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:56 AM
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544: While that article talks about breastfeeding as a learned behavior, it also quotes this stat on successful breastfeeding rates in what it describes as "traditional cultures":

Evidence for this picture of ancestral approach towards breastfeeding comes from traditional cultures, where breastfeeding is the norm and women are frequently exposed to it. Recall that these cultures show a breastfeeding initiation rate of ~100%, and a 6- month continuation rate of 98% (Houston, 1981; Lee, 1979).

Either those stats are way off, or severe difficulty breastfeeding isn't a significant problem where there's support for learning how.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:56 AM
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550

544: Well, if you aren't a computer, they're clearly just confusing you with someone else.


Posted by: Crypitc ned | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:59 AM
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551

549 -- they mean that breastfeeding for infants continues at a rate of 98% after six months in traditional cultures, not that 98% of mothers breastfeed after six months. The difference is that there is alloparenting -- women who are not the mother of children who provide the nursing.

Also I see I was long ago pwn'd by Ajay but WHATEVS.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:59 AM
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552

Not that they'll always stop calling you if you tell them nobody lives there with whatever name they want

Just when I think they must have finally found Camille, whatever number she has now, I get another call. I've had this mobile number for six years now.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 11:59 AM
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553

548: Then check your credit report also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:01 PM
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551: What about that article makes you think the quoted statistic refers to percentage of babies who are breastfed, rather than percentage of mothers who are breastfeeding their babies? I don't see that at all. An earlier quote from the same article is clearer:

Western breastfeeding initiation rates (percent of mothers who start breastfeeding) compared to countries where breastfeeding has always been the norm (and breastfeeding initiation rates are close to 100%; Houston, 1981). And indeed, while the initiation rates vary greatly between Western countries, none are as high as in more traditional societies. In the United States, the rate stand at 64% (Taveras et al., 2003), in Canada and Australia, 84% (Lawson & Tulloch, 1995; Sheehan, Krueger, Watt, Sword, & Bridle, 2001), and in New Zealand, 91% (McLeod, Pullon, & Cookson, 2002). What is worse, the continuation rates of breastfeeding drop off dramatically in all Western countries (typically by 25% every 3 months- Endressen & Helsing, 1995; McLeod et al., 2002; Taveras et al., 2003) compared to traditional cultures that remain at around 98% at six months (Houston, 1981). There appear to be two primary barriers to mothers breastfeeding their babies: technique and support (McLeod et al., 2002; Isabella & Isabella, 1994).

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:05 PM
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555

552: I think you could write a cease and desist letter if you want.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:07 PM
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556

The only mention of nursing by other women in the article linked is as follows:

In numerous cultures other mothers provide the newborn with supplemental milk (Hrdy, 1999). This may help to moderate any breastfeeding challenges experienced by the mother by giving her and her infant time to resolve any problems.

That doesn't describe a woman who can nurse taking over completely for a woman who can't. That describes the provision of supplemental milk, which "may moderate" challenges. Which sounds perfectly plausible, but not compatible with the modern experience that a significant proportion of healthy women can't breastfeed successfully.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:11 PM
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557

On the veldt, great big bunches of babies died.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:26 PM
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La Leche League is sort of for wetnursing and cross nursing, with giant cautions:

The mother who is cross nursing may experience a reduced supply of milk for her own baby. Nursing another baby during the day may leave the cross nursing mother with an inadequate amount of milk for her own baby later in the day. Various factors including the ages of the two babies and the regularity of the cross nursing schedule would affect whether or not the cross nursing mother's milk supply would build up to meet the needs of both babies.
Babies of different ages require a specific composition of milk. Milk from the baby's own mother will provide the exact make-up the infant needs; another mother whose baby is not the same age may not provide the same components.
Cross nursing can also affect the baby psychologically. A difference in the let down, either in the timing or in the forcefulness, can confuse and frustrate an infant. In many cases, a baby will refuse to nurse from a cross nursing mother/ child care provider, especially if the baby is four months or older.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:27 PM
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559

By four months or older, the baby can just eat ham.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:28 PM
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560

1 TO 559


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:29 PM
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561

Not really sure what you're arguing about, LB, but there's lots of evidence that (a) almost all women can breastfeed some and also (b) that "a [significant] percentage of women have enough difficulty nursing [for whatever reason] that without a wetnurse or formula their babies would starve [or suffer other negative consequences]" So allonursing is extremely common in traditional societies, as was wet-nursing (basically, paid allonursing). Basically the Murg and Durg story is right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:53 PM
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I like LB is likely right about bonus neighbor boobs only moderating the importance of being able to nurse, not replacing it. Given the small sizes of human societies on the veldt, if the success of nursing wasn't higher than today, there would have been a good chance that no other nursing female with extra milk was around. Except whole bunches of kids just died back then, so maybe that was part of it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 12:58 PM
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I don't think that there was wholesale replacement of maternal nursing by nonmaternal alloparents. But there was (and is) a lot of use of allomaternal nursing as a survival mechanism for babies and their mothers. It's not an either/or proposition -- serious difficulty nursing doesn't mean no nursing at all -- but allonursing was an important human adaptation that matters (Hrdy argues) for why we're different than other animals. Again, Durg had trouble breastfeeding, Murg helps. Or whatever.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:10 PM
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561: I'm arguing that the article you linked cites a 98% rate of babies being breastfed by their mothers at six months in traditional cultures. It says literally nothing about cross-nursing as necessary to avoid negative consequences in any significant percentage of cases -- the one mention says only that cross-nursing "may moderate" difficulties.

Taking that statistic as reliable (the article seems to be from a respectable source, and it sounds very plausible to me), it's in conflict with the modern experience of breastfeeding, in which (I'm making up numbers) maybe between a third and half of women who are trying to breastfeed are unable to do so successfully.

The conclusion I draw from this is that inability to successfully breastfeed among a significant percentage of healthy mothers is not merely the universal human condition, but is somehow related to the modern developed-country cultural environment.*

Still confused about what I'm arguing?
______________
*Luckily, formula exists, so this isn't a tragedy, or even a hugely significant problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:10 PM
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inability to successfully breastfeed among a significant percentage of healthy mothers

Ah, I see what you're saying. "Inability to successfully breastfeed" isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. Almost all women can be taught to breastfeed, some. But there are lots of significant problems with breastfeeding, both for the mother and the child, including in non-modern populations, for which alloparents (i.e. wet nurses and others) have stepped in and helped. Nursing is not instinctual behavior for a mother; it has to be taught, it has a high cost, and there's a lot that can go wrong with it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:13 PM
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566

Also, just because it irritated me, can we agree that 551 is a flat misreading of the article -- straightforwardly wrong?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:14 PM
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567

On the veldt, schools didn't send mass emails about a case of headlice. Now my head itches. (They don't say which kid, I think to discourage parental betting pools on it.)


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:14 PM
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568

between a third and half of women who are trying to breastfeed are unable to do so successfully.

You think it's this high, when support services are available? I think having a lactation expert around would decrease this to ~10%.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:15 PM
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569

565: Foolishly, I was engaging with Heebie's 495 and 498, both of which postulated an inability to breastfeed severe enough to kill the infant.

I bet, though, wet nurses is the reason. That if you are in a small society and your breast feeding is failing dismally, another mother of an infant steps in, and so there isn't actually enough deaths occurring to weed out faulty breasts-havers.....

We all know that when Murg couldn't breastfeed, it's highly likely that Durg would help out with a breast.

I missed the transition where you had started talking about something else entirely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:17 PM
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568: Well, I think it's likely that having the right kind of support around would get it down to 2% or so. But anecdotally, I know an awful lot of women who stopped breastfeeding, despite wanting to continue, because they couldn't do it somehow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 1:20 PM
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571

It's likely that "the right kind of support" is more likely to be present among Murg and Durg, just because they don't have iPhones and Catholicism, in my mind.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 2:04 PM
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572

It's likely that "the right kind of support" is more less likely to be present among Murg and Durg, just because they don't have iPhones and Catholicism Wacoal bras, in my mind.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 2:11 PM
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573

Super Catholics founded La Leche League.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 2:22 PM
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574

It seems plausible that if nursing is your only option, you'll really have to try to make it work (with some alloparenting, maybe), and if nursing is making you miserable and you have to get back to work and formula and clean water is widely available and you don't have a lot of older women to help you out, it's easier to decide that nursing isn't worth the hassle.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 2:45 PM
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As far as I know, people in Europe/US/etc. prior to the development of formula just gave babies cow's milk (or perhaps milk from other farm animals) if they were starving. I don't know if they would dilute it, or give it in small quantities, or what, and I don't know how risky it was. I was just reading a biography of someone born in 1880s Central Europe, and it mentioned that he was given cow's milk as an infant because of his mother's low milk supply (and that she was really stubborn about resisting).


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:07 PM
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576

(I'm sure other things were done as well, but this was considered a viable option, at least by some.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:08 PM
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577

All that seems very plausible to me, certainly. Modern parenting demands (including working) make nursing more difficult; there's less support in terms of other experienced nursing women around; and there are other options that are only incredibly marginally, if at all, inferior to breastfeeding. There's nothing mysterious or subtle about the cultural factors that make breastfeeding harder for modern women than for pre-industrial women, I don't think.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:08 PM
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575: I'm pretty sure that for a young infant, cows milk is a very risky substitute for breastmilk or modern formula. The kid might live, but it's not that close to what they need, and there's a good shot they won't do well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:11 PM
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Oh, man, I forget what it is, but what they plan to give the newborn Oliver Twist after his poor mother dies, is not good and not even milk.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:15 PM
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Goat milk might be better. Sometime maybe somebody should google that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:16 PM
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581

Pap? I was never clear exactly what pap was, but I think you fed it to orphaned babies. I think I pictured stale breadcrumbs soaked into a paste with milk, but I don't know why.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:16 PM
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582

Comma fault + maybe I am totally misremembering!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:16 PM
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583

581: Yeah, it's like "sops" or something? Weird.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:17 PM
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584

Aha. "Gruel." Which potentially could have milk in it, I guess?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:19 PM
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585

"Please may I have some more?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 3:23 PM
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On the veldt, great big bunches of babies died.

How did parents on the veldt stand the recurrent devastating sorrow? They can't all have played King David.*

* "While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:01 PM
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586.last: No, no, Flippy. That is too sad.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:03 PM
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588

Not as sad as the (ancient Greek) funeral lament, a woman for her child: My little ear of wheat, husked and reaped before your time.

(That makes me cry every time I think about it.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:08 PM
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Terribly, terribly sad. I think the Flip-Pater referenced it when describing a pastoral visit to some young bereaved parents.

Moby, more gruel jokes, please.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:10 PM
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"And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:18 PM
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591

Starving, living children. Hooray!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:20 PM
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592

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy...


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:32 PM
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593

My grandfather was one of nine siblings born into what was a prosperous family by early twentieth century Polish peasant standards. Five of those siblings survived their early childhood and this was not seen as anything unusual. When this came up last Christmas, my mom and my aunt sad that they suspected that the high death rate was related to the need for my great grandmother to engage in what was effectively heavy manual labor day in, day out and thus not be able to properly feed and care for the babies.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:48 PM
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594

Egil Skallagrimsson's Sonatorrek [On the Loss of Sons] is another tragic one:

http://www.consolatio.com/scandinavian_icelandic/

Not many translations online, sadly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:48 PM
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My grandfather (dad's side) was the oldest of nine boys in what was a poorish family by early 20th century U.S. standards, but they all lived to be adults. I suspect great-grandma had a very hard life with no daughters to help.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:53 PM
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Gruel is basically the same thing as porridge but more watery.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 4:59 PM
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597

Both my maternal grandparents were from big families. Ten, I think in one, and eleven in the other. By the time I was old enough to remember anything, I think there was two siblings left on one side, and one on the other. I don't know how many died young, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:01 PM
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the need for my great grandmother to engage in what was effectively heavy manual labor day in, day out and thus not be able to properly feed and care for the babies.

That actually makes me sadder than the lamentations. A little bit sadder. I'm good and sad now, you jerks.

Cow's milk is indeed crap food for infants -- but apparently better than nothing sometimes? A friend found an old guide to feeding babies that praised the virtues of the gentle cow over slatternly wet-nurses. Did it cause a baby die-off? I have no idea. It's not worth considering how poorly my kid would have done with it.

Milk for babies (II, III)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:05 PM
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Nursing is something that many women for a variety of reasons -- including pain, health reasons, need to work, etc. -- don't want to do, or at least not to do much of or for an extended period of time. That's been as true in pre-modern periods as in modern ones. Women are basically looking for ways to have their babies survive on things other than exclusively their own breast milk, and always have been.

Wet nurses and allo-parenting existed in most hunter-gatherer tribes that we know about and are well-attested in basically the entire historical record we have until the invention of formula, although they went into and out of fashion. Wet nurses are mentioned in the Code of Hammurabi and show up in some of the oldest records we have; as I mentioned above in a lot of current hunter gatherer societies something like 50-75% of kids get nursed by women who aren't their parents.

Before the invention of formula, there are also a lot of non-formula, non-breast milk things that various cultures have tried, most of which (until the invention of formula) have been pretty terrible. A lot of those are still given to babies in traditional cultures, which freaks out that La Leche people and public health advocates. Obviously, formula has pretty much made the wet nurse a non-necessity, but pre-modern people put a lot of effort into shifting the burden for an infants' feeding away from exclusively the mother's breastmilk.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:07 PM
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600

The people who complained that my great-grandfather was going to come to America and generate legions of papists were basically right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:10 PM
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601

Though they greatly exaggerated the level of drinking problems.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:28 PM
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602

Says the guy who regularly posts from a barstool.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:38 PM
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603

Fairly accurate on the level of drinking. Just not on the problems.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:40 PM
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604

But in a lovable Cheers way, not a sad "Wheresh mah bourbon?" way.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:41 PM
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605

Is there a "depressed alcoholic Cheers" parody? It seems like there should be.

Moby's a pretty fun drunk, if he's drunk.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:44 PM
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606

Wait, I'm not actually saying Moby's a drunk. NTTAWWT.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:45 PM
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607

I haven't had a drink since Wednesday.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:47 PM
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Like a beer-goggles-off version, where everyone is bedraggled and talking past each other with their problems, so very alone despite the illusion of company. And the bartender is abusive. And there are roaches.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:48 PM
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609

But I didn't comment that night because this.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:53 PM
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||
I've been scarcely able to keep up at all here lately. Very busy at the job for a while. What sucks is that it's been *so asinine.* Within two weeks of taking on this project my co-lead any I had figured out that there was no "there" there, and that we could have done a 10 minute presentation liming the *actual* boundaries of corporate knowledge and feasible options.

So, 6 weeks after that, here we are, playing "bring me a rock."

Good times.
|>


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 5:53 PM
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611

But that doesn't sound like any fun.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:06 PM
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612

Yeah. At least I'm making the medium bucks.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:14 PM
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613

I don't understand how to play "bring me a rock."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:15 PM
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614

I don't have a rock. Ready?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:19 PM
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615

It's not a metaphorical rock?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:23 PM
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I've been scarcely able to keep up at all here lately. Very busy at the job for a while.

Hey, me too. It really is hard to keep up with this place without reading during the work day.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:28 PM
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617

Most rocks are in some sense metaphorical.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:28 PM
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618

Some rocks are metaphorical, and some are metamorphical.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:39 PM
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619

617 sounds deep but I have no idea what it means.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:42 PM
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620

I'd rather have a rock in metaphor than a met in rockafor.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:42 PM
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621

"Bring me a rock!"
"Here you go"
"This isn't the rock I want, bring me another"
"Here you go"
"No this isn't quite right either. Bring me another."
"Okay, what about this rock is dissatisfying?"
"I don't know, bring me another"
-rinse and repeat-


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:53 PM
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622

619: Hey, me too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 6:55 PM
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623

600.1.2: Is that like meeting a Met in Far Rockaway?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:02 PM
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624

Like a Retina Mockaway.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:02 PM
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625

Oh, that game. I want to take out the scissors and get stabby.

Also, figures in requirements analysis nightmares.

BTW, TJ did you see the parrots in the courtyard today? Beautiful plumage!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:04 PM
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625: Sadly, no. I barely made it out of my cube today. On the positive side, the sandwich bar at food-by-the-pound makes a good egg salad-avodado-bacon on raisin bread. As though that could be bad. Next time they're toasting it and I ascend to a higher plane.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:13 PM
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Sounds like a rotten day.

One of my colleagues loves that sandwich. But she goes with white bread. Eesh.

Well, there were lovely parrots in the courtyard for some Combined Federal Campaign event. (I usually walk across the courtyard as I'm in corridor 6 and the 5/6 apex is completely opposite the Metro entrance.) The Wilson Parrot Foundation is a charity in the area that rescues parrots. I never thought such even existed!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:23 PM
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628

In Pasadena there were lots of those green parrots that went feral. They sure messed up a lot of car hoods.

I gues they usually make that sandwich o pumpernickel but I thought raisin would be better. It was. Much.

I always enjoy the weird little expositions in the courtyard.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:36 PM
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629

625: no, silly. You want PAPER.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:42 PM
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630

629: Not penis, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:50 PM
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631

Both 629 and 630 made me laugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 7:52 PM
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632

629. True that. But, Paper, we got. Oy, do we have paper.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:19 PM
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633

I have parrots who live in my backyard tree! It is one of the top 11 things I have going for me. They are so great. They were gone for a while after the great crow-parrot war, but the seagull-parrot war defeated the crows and now the parrots are BACK.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:58 PM
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Damnit, the seagull-crow war.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 8:59 PM
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633: Is this your undernourished lemon tree?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:02 PM
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636

So the Parrots are France, the Crows are you-know-who, and the Anglophones are the Seagulls.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:04 PM
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637

Flock of Seagulls
Counting Crows
Jimmy Buffet


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:05 PM
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638

Am I to understand crows beat parrots, seagulls beat crows, and parrots beat seagulls?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:37 PM
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639

Where do the penes fit in?


Posted by: Eggplants | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:38 PM
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640

The vaginae.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:42 PM
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641

The penes fit in the vaginis, but they go into the vaginas.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:55 PM
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642

I don't understand how to play "bring me a rock."

Could you bring me a slab instead?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 9:57 PM
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643

A slab of what?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:01 PM
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644

I guess it's a slab of rock.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-14-12 10:04 PM
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645

"Bring me a rock!"

This is a very helpful way to think about online dating.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 09-15-12 7:50 AM
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646

A rock hard man is good to find.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-15-12 7:54 AM
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647

I know I missed this thread, but I just wanted to point out that the reason pregnant women make Urple's friend think of sex is almost surely that Urple's friend is attracted to pregnant women.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09-15-12 9:15 AM
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648

642-646: Personally, I'm appalled that you people see the Investigations as nothing more an extended Craigslist advert.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 09-15-12 9:53 AM
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649

647: Could be the other way around.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 09-16-12 10:34 PM
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