Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ask me why...

I won't be dining at the Old Barber House in Streetsville.

I just read an article about a new program about Peel Region encouraging restaurant owners to put stickers in their windows to let mothers know they can feed their children there.

The owner of the Old Barber House in Streetsville, Victor Tetrovsky commented on the program, saying "I don't know how our (patrons) would react to that. They are spending $200 on a bottle of wine. I have no problem with it but ... the people who come here might ..."

I suspect this is a case of "oh, well no, of course I wouldn't have a problem with it, but hmm, ya know I think other people will."

Peel Region's program to put stickers in windows of restaurants that are breastfeeding friendly program rather shocks me - in 2006 do we really have to have stickers placed in restaurant windows to let mothers know that it's ok to feed their children? Sure, maybe some women are shy (their right), but breastfeeding is something that we protect under the human rights code, and, while I'm not a parent yet (or anytime soon), I definitely have strong feelings on the issue and can't believe anyone could be "offended" by a mother feeding a child. I can't see why a restaurant owner would suggest people get uncomfortable. Am I alone here?


cinnamon gurl said...

No you are not alone. I'm a breastfeeding mum, and I just breastfeed when I need to. I don't ask, I don't sneak, I just do it. It's taken me a while to get to this point, but I'm here now.

You are so totally right. This seems like a very misguided program. So if we're in Peel Region and I don't see a sticker, I shouldn't breastfeed in there? That's crap.

Thanks for pointing it out. (BTW, I think this is the first time I've commented... I grew up near the Shwa... always tried to go to bar underage there.)

daysgoby said...

It seems to me that restaurants and public places should be required to have a place where women could (not SHOULD, or HAVE TO, but COULD) go if they're uncomfortable with disrobing in public. Not the bathroom.

I find it hard to believe that the selling point of a certain restaurant would be 'Look, honey, you can breastfeed there!'

Odd things policymakers decide.

Sandra said...

WOW. You are SO not alone here. Why? Why? do we need stickers?

kittenpie said...

To give him the benefit of the doubt, when I hear about a restaurant that is serving a $200 bottle of wine, I think it's not a kid-friendly place in general, and that maybe the entire atmosphere of the place is simply not conducive to bringing children of any age. I know a lot of people have problems with that too, but I can see where peple wanting to be out for really fine dining and high atmosphere, (which usually goes with either a business occasion or a romantic one) could object to a potentially disruptive situation - I mean a child in general, not specifically breastfeeding. It's just opposite of what most people are looking for there, because otherwise they could eat at Swiss Chalet with all us kid-toting types. I do get that side of it. As I say, giving him the benefit of the doubt on what he really means about what his patrons are looking for in their dining atmosphere.

Heather said...

cinnamon gurl: I grew up near the 'shwa as well (Cobourg to be more precise).

daysgoby: More private areas for breastfeeding for shy women wouldn't be something I'd oppose, it's just that to me it should be something done openly and without hesitation already. I support programs that raise the profile of breastfeeding being normal, natural, and not something that should be relegated to the bathroom, it just surprises me that there would be anyone who would object to a woman breastfeeding - in any setting.

Sandra: exactly!

Kittenpie: You raise very valid points, though I think that when we have kids I will cry at the prospect of being relegated to bringing them to swiss pigeon for dinners out.

mamatulip said...

Nope. Not alone. And you know, I don't give a rats ass what people think if I nurse my child. I did it discreetly, with a blanket, and I did it in public. I did it at a restaurant, I did it at Wal Mart, I did it in front of friends and family. I did it in front of my FATHER.

I'm FEEDING MY CHILD, not starring in a fucking porno.

(It's mamatulip...Blogger Beta hates me.)

Heather said...

mamatulip: I plan on doing the same! It bothers me that breasts are so overwhelmingly seen as sexual objects that when they're used for their intended purpose people get all hot and bothered.

The Waghorns said...

As perceived indicators of fertility breasts are a primal indication of sexuality. Unfortunately breasts have become so far removed from their biological intent they're automatically associated with impropriety and sexual gluttony.

I really think that a "breastfeeding friendly" sign is not only insulting to those who wish to breastfeed and those who don't. It assumes that that women a.) Need a safe place to breast feed implying that anywhere else is unsafe and b.) women want to make what is an intensely personal issue and make it public/political.

I find the whole concept of the campaign insulting to all involved. Not only does a woman NOT need a breastfeeding friendly sign in order to feed her child wherever, whenever and however she wants but I feel that the implication that the rest of the world isn't safe or accepting of breastfeeding actually counteracts what the stickers are trying to do in the first place.

I could see something as ridiculous as this happening down here in Virginia where the attitudes are much more Victorian, but in Canada and in the TORONTO area is unbelievable.

kittenpie said...

Hey, you grew up in Coburg? I remember going to the Coburger on the way to our cottage in Presqu'ile! Coburg always meant we were nearly there.

Heather said...

kittenpie: I practically grew up at Presqu'ile! I think I spent every summer camping there from before I could remember. And yeah, grew up in Cobourg, but was lucky enough to escape so no monster truck in the driveway, no crunchy perm on my head. :)