Peeping Passenger

October 18, 2009

in Baby & Kid Stories

[Mature content]

I was on a connected flight from DFW to Austin to San Jacinto with my fiance and our then 8 month old daughter. I wanted to take the late flight in hopes that the baby would go to sleep easily and not make a lot of noise (the sleeping didn’t happen, luckily she’s an extremely well behaved baby). I sat closest to the window and my fiance sat by the aisle so we could have some privacy while I breastfed. There was a man not doing a very good job of pretending to be asleep in the seat across the aisle who kept staring at me while I was trying to feed the baby! I kept covering us up more with a blanket and he kept leaning further to try and catch a glimpse. Seriously, gross!

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel October 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm

You whipped it out in the middle of an airplane. What did you think was going to happen when other passengers noticed? If I was you, I would've breastfed in the bathroom, not in public view.

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Gem June 22, 2010 at 10:13 am

Eww, eating in a bathroom, especially on an airplane. Way gross.

He shouldn't have stared, though I think perhaps you need to thicken your skin.

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david October 18, 2009 at 6:56 pm

i understand that it is important to many that it is important to breastfeed, but i also think that in certain situations it should be covered up more, such as in airplanes, i agree with rachel that they should go to the bathroom

but that is just freaky and wrong for that guy to do what he was doing and that is uncalled for, she tried to cover up and be as decent as possible but there are some crazy people out there that get a kick out off whacked out crap

i do believe that there are places where breastfeeding shouldnt be done, due to the situation it is in and a plane is one of them…….i know people are going to say just look away but when something like that is going on with nothing to distract people than it is alot harder than it sounds

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AfricaNomad October 18, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Guys, breastfeeding is a natural and very necessary thing. A mother should not have to go stand in the bathroom to meet everyone's WASP conservative quirks.

If you read she was trying to cover up with a blanket, not standing in the aisle flashing herself to everyone.

This is a case of a pervy passenger, the mother did NOTHING wrong in this story.

AfricaNomad.

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Maggie October 19, 2009 at 3:20 am

The bathroom?! Really!!!! First, would you want to eat your meal in an airplane bathroom? Well, neither would this baby. Second, I'm sure if the mother had decided to feed her child in the bathrrom, she would have been harrassed for taking up the bathroom for 20 minutes or more. Feeding a child isn't a 2 minute exercise. She covered up in deference to other people and this guy should have been courteous enough to not draw attendtion to her let alone be skeevy and try to sneak a peek.

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Demotage October 19, 2009 at 9:23 am

The "peeper" was probably the same guy who was offended by breastfeeding a couple of stories ago.

Seriously folks, people need to travel, and babies need to eat. Nobody would be happy if nursing mothers monopolized the bathrooms. There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding, and if you can't look somewhere else, then it's you who has the problem. Almost all breastfeeding mothers I've encountered have taken steps to be discreet, and I'm sure most of them would prefer some privacy, but on an airplane, where is she supposed to go?

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Sabrina October 19, 2009 at 11:31 am

Not only was this mother covered up by a blanket, her fiance sat in the aisle seat in an effort to block and give his woman and baby privacy. Sounds like the guy who was peeking around the seat was a total perv. Breastfeed in the bathroom? Are you insane? I think YOU should try and having your next air plane meal in the restroom. And you call yourself a woman!

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Demotage October 19, 2009 at 2:39 pm

So……I've been thinking (always trouble) about the social implication of this breast-feeding in public issue.

The female of mammalian species evolved breasts as a means of feeding their offspring. Indeed, for all of mammalian history (with one exception), survival of a particular mammalian species would not occur without mother's milk feeding of infant offspring. Put more simply, without feeding via mother's milk, mammals would be extinct. The one exception to this is, of course, humans. To be even more precise, the exception is very recent humans. In the one million-ish years that something akin to homo sapiens has been present on Earth, our species has breast-fed, and breast-fed in public, for all but the last 200-300 of those years, or 0.03% of our existence, and even then only in a minor percent of the world. If you want to consider mammals as a whole, they've been 'breast'-feeding for all but the last 3-one millionths of their existence (and only one species of them has given it up).

So why did we humans stop? I posit that there are 2 major reasons that breast-feeding has become somehow 'taboo' . The first has been the sexualization of the female breast, and the second has been the marketing of artificial formulas by companies bent of making a profit from them. Infant formula is in many ways more convenient, and essential to those rare infants with milk allergies, but it is now widely recognized that it is not as healthy for babies as mother's milk for a variety of reasons. The resurgence of breast feeding has rested partially on this realization. The sexualization of the female breast also contributed to the decline in breast-feeding because it became socially unacceptable for women to display their breasts in public (at least in some societies). Because breasts were viewed as sexual objects, it became 'indecent' to show them publicly.

Now with the resurgence of breast-feeding, comes the resurgence of public breast-feeding. The fact that breast were meant for the purpose of feeding babies does nothing to remove the societal view of breasts as sexual objects. People object not because they object to the feeding of infants, but because they perceive the feeding of infants as some kind of lewd behavior.

However, if you examine this view more carefully, it is likely very very rare that a breast-feeding mother whips out the 'ole mammary for the purpose of being sexually provocative. This can be completely assured in the case where the woman takes the extra step of being discreet about it.

Soooooo…… In these cases of people objecting to the breast-feeding of babies on airplanes:

1) These is no question that breasts have developed two 'uses' in our society – as baby feeders and as sexual objects. The former has been the important function for far longer than the latter.

2) However, breast feeding has been the natural biological imperative for 300 million years, save the last 300.

3) The feeding of a baby is not a sexual act.

4) Nobody sane would be offended by the idea of a baby being fed, thus, there is no other reason to be offended by breast feeding except that one believes that the woman is being sexually inappropriate because the feeding of a baby requires some breast-display.

Therefor: since the woman is not committing a sexual act nor is she being sexually provocative, then the "problem" if you will is ENTIRELY in how the offended party views the act of breast feeding.

In other words, get your mind out of the gutter and let the kid eat!!!

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saw October 19, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Ok Demo.. you get the prize for the longest comment.

As for peeping people … well… if you're exposing yourself in an airplane with 200 people you've never met in your life, you have to expect it.

Not saying it's right – just that it's not a surprise at all.

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MJD October 19, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Nice treatise about the evolutionary function of the breast Mr. Demotage. The problem is that breasts fulfill 2 roles. Certainly the organ's primary function is to feed the child so that it survives. But it also has a sexual role. Let's be honest here – it's also enjoyed by both men and women during sexual play. Nerves in the nipple can create arousal in women, and for men there are probably psycho-social forces in play. It's the dichotomy that creates the moral confusion.

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EB October 19, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Nicely written Demo.

A woman does not need to shake bare breasts to feed said baby. If someone were trying to 'sneak a peek' they're obviously at social fault. Babies do need to eat. When a woman covers themselves with a blanket, it (for a man) may be lucrative to look, but it's pretty much a faux pas.

Further MJD – I have a tendency to enjoy my neck being rubbed. Depending on the circumstance I may feel more relaxed, or in a intimate atsmophere being turned on. I also may uncover, by accidental necessity a lower thigh or a bit of waist whilst adjusting myself in a plane. I understand that you're allowing for basic human interest and arousal in each 'sexual play' situation, but you must allow for basic human self restraint as well.

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Demotage October 19, 2009 at 8:57 pm

MJD

Nothing you wrote is in disagreement with what I wrote

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D-Money October 20, 2009 at 9:34 am

Evolutionary BS aside, if you whip out a boob in a public setting, some people will stare, regardless of the reason the boob was whipped out.

Just accept it, because no amount of complaining can change the fact that some people are breast-obsessed.

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Jodi October 20, 2009 at 11:26 am

Wow. Okay I don’t agree with the breastfeeding in the bathroom that’s just unsanitary. Personally I’m wondering why her fiancé didn’t take care of the situation. Perhaps I’m old fashioned? I’m thinking if she’s breastfeeding your child and keeping herself covered, the last you can do is glare at the guy until he stops trying to look at her. Sheesh.

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Craig October 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Although I'm a guy, I don't believe you should have to go to the bathroom since this is a natural thing. It is kind of creepy that the guy kept starring. I'm surprised he didn't get the hint when you tried to cover up more. People are way to prudish, especially when it comes to women's breast. I wonder if anyone would complain so much if a guy decided to wear a very skimpy tank top or no shirt at all!

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saw October 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Ok… I'll say it…

Why are women upset that men want to see their breasts?

If you're taking it out, and it's being looked at – couldn't you consider that "admiration" and just let it pass? All over Europe and elsewhere, women walk around topless and everyone looks and nobody cares – why are we different here?

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MJD October 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I agree with Mr. Saw. He expressed better than I did that it's natural for men to have feelings and appreciation for bare breasts. Let's all accept that premise. If a man stares at a breast that a woman willingly exposes, she should understand that it's natural masculine behavior and that no harm is intended.

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EB October 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm

In my opinion there is a huge difference between popping a breast out for all to see to feed a kidlett, and demurely covering oneself up with a blanket (or whatever). When a woman exposes herself without even an attempt at concealment; sure, people will look – no harm no foul… that's just human nature. However, if she's doing her best to cover herself up, determined ogling is innapropriate and rude!

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Benstin October 23, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Keep in mind that we're only getting her side of the story. Ask the guy what he was up to and he may only have taken a peek or two. Or rather than oogling, he may have been aghast that someone would pop it out in public. "Is she REALLY doing that? OMFG!"

Taking a dump is a natural and necessary thing too, so that argument is pretty much a non-starter as far as logic goes. Personally, I'm all for more naked boobs in public! Americans are way too puritanical when it comes to nudity and their bodies.

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Auriya November 13, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I just can't believe that people still scold a woman for breastfeeding in public. She was covered up, she wasn't standing in an aisle flashing the whole plane, she was in her seat, with a blanket covering her and her child.

For someone to make a big deal out of that is just dumb. And to suggest that she feed her baby in a bathroom is barbaric. Why don't you go eat in an airplane bathroom? If YOU wouldn't do it, why would you suggest that someone else do it? The baby is human too!

Eat in a bathroom…. you people who think breastfeeding in public is bad make me sick.

ITS JUST A BOOB! Get over it.

And creepy peeping guys, come on, get some therapy for your mommy issues and stop being nasty.

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Inka November 29, 2009 at 9:07 am

All over Europe and elsewhere, women walk around topless and everyone looks and nobody cares – why are we different here?

———————————————

Mr Saw, I don't know where in Europe you've seen this, but I suspect in some dreams of yours. lol I'm from Europe (and not only Europe, but from a Nordic country which are far more liberal than the rest of Europe), travelled all over and never encountered such behaviour except occassionally somebody suntanning topless on the beach.

Women in Europe certainly do NOT go around topless, they do however (without the nonsensical biggoted prudish American/British attitude) breastfeed in public. And let anybody complain if they dare.

We have a woman parliament member who breastfed during a session, so what? Nobody cared.

As for those suggestion that the mother should breastfeed in the bathroom, well, it might be best that they lock themselves in there while the mother feeds the baby so that oh my god poor people wouldn't suffer from a bit of breast. Get real!

And for the ladies being shocked by breastfeeding, take off your clothes and look at yourselves in the mirror. Yes, you have breasts. You might have not been aware of the fact since your pruddish nature doesn't allow you to face certain facts, but yes, they are there. :O)

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