The boobs at Delta, that is.1
See that photo, to the right? That’s Emily Gillette breastfeeding her child (as you can see, she’s virtually dancing topless!). And that sight is apparently sooo offensive that it can’t be allowed on planes. From the Burlington Free Press:
Gillette said she was seated in the second-to-last row, next to the window, when she began to breast-feed her daughter. Breast-feeding helps babies with the altitude changes through takeoff and landings, Gillette said. She said she was being discreet — her husband was seated between her and the aisle — and no part of her breast was showing.
Gillette said that’s when a flight attendant approached her, trying to hand her a blanket and directing her to cover up. Gillette said she told the attendant she was exercising her legal right to breast-feed, declining the blanket. That’s when Gillette alleges the attendant told her, “You are offending me,” and told her to cover up her daughter’s head with the blanket.
“I declined,” Gillette said in her complaint.
Moments later, a Delta ticket agent approached the Gillettes and said that the flight attendant was having the family removed from the flight.
The airline’s behavior is appalling. To make it even worse, this happened in Vermont, where state law says that mothers have the right to breastfeed in public (Queenbadmama has the text of Vermont’s law).
MomsRising.org has a petition you can sign, “to tell Delta Airlines to get a clue and be supportive of breastfeeding mothers. And tell Congress it’s time to pass the Breastfeeding Promotion Act, which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect breastfeeding mothers.”
As you’d expect, the Momblogs have been covering this story. More blogging on this topic: Queen of the Bad Mommies (who I adore based on her blog name alone!), Blogher, Playground Revolution, Blogging Baby, Mama Knows Breast, The Zero Boss, Mother Talkers (which has a great header image, by the way), Strange As Angels (who is pissed off!), and Aurelia Ann (whose post is titled “Throw Momma From The Plane”).
Thanks to Bean for pointing out this story to me!
[Crossposted at Creative Destruction. If your comments aren’t being approved here, try there.]
- Freedom Air, actually, but Freedom Air was acting as Delta, or Delta was doing business as Freedom Air, or something. I’ve never quite groked all the little airline intertwining. [↩]