If you spend any time in the Mormon feminist community, you may have read this story. Basically, a friend of a blogger has been released for breastfeeding (uncovered) in church and will be asked to cover or nurse elsewhere if anyone else complains about it.
I find my position on this is a bit different from the majority over at FMH, so I decided that taking a position on my own turf would be a safer move on my part.
Here's the thing: I don't think it's all that unreasonable to ask a woman breastfeeding in church to use a cover. If you want to nurse uncovered in a park, restaurant, store, or train station, go ahead. You have the right. It's a public place.
But church is a little different. We're a part of a culture where nudity isn't acceptable, but that's even more potent at church. Yes, it's an issue of culture, I don't deny that, but the norm here to to nurse with a cover. Cultural standards may be arbitrary, but people still find them important. More importantly though, you can leave or move or turn the other way in a number of public places, but at church you don't have the option to leave and choose another place, like you would with a park or store or restaurant. We are required to attend with our ward at a scheduled time and I don't think it's okay to nurse uncovered where people don't have the option to leave.
And really, it's such a small request. I just can't fathom that someone would get repeated complaints and then insist on breastfeeding uncovered. I just don't buy oft' repeated line that there are babies who "refuse to feed with a cover." 99% of women manage it just fine.
So yeah, I'm not falling with party lines on this. It's really quite selfish to insist on doing something that makes so many people uncomfortable, when you've repeatedly been asked not to.