Around 100 women and their children gathered outside the Channel Seven studios yesterday to protest at the comments made by Sunrise’s host David Koch about breastfeeding needing to be ‘classy’ and ‘discreet’.
On air last week, Mr Koch brought up the issue of breastfeeding in public and said that it should be classy and discreet after a mother at a public swimming pool started breastfeeding in plain sight. Mr Koch said that “You’ve got to show respect to others”. His opinions have outraged many, but surprisingly, according to a Fairfax Media poll of 30,000 voters, 64 per cent agreed with his opinions.
Mr Koch did front the crowd gathered outside the studios on air and apologised to Amy Ahearn the organiser of the protest when she suggested that he had unintentionally harmed the reputation of breastfeeding.
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Read David Koch’s blog – I have an opinion … always have and always will.
The uncomfortable truth
There is a time and a place for everything in this world and there are also times when people need to simply learn to ignore things which make them uncomfortable. There are two common occurrences which make me very uncomfortable in public. They are a woman breastfeeding her child while I am eating a meal, or a couple with their lips locked while I am in an enclosed space such as a train. I found through discussions with my friends last night that I am certainly not the only one.
I have no issue at all with a woman breastfeeding her child when he or she is hungry, but I do agree with Kochie that being discreet where possible is preferable. In my daily life I go out of my way to ensure that anything which could make someone around me uncomfortable is avoided, even if it is acceptable under law.
I would defend my right to be comfortable with my surroundings in a public place until the end of the earth and will stand by the fact that I believe there is no reason for a baby to be fed in a shopping centre food court when there is a baby room 30 seconds walk away.
The protest outside the Sunrise studio yesterday seems to have attracted ‘extremists’ whose opinions surrounding breast feeding appear to be in the minority. These types of protests will only add to the negativity and stigma surrounding breastfeeding in public, especially if apologies are demanded when someone expresses an acceptable viewpoint on the matter.
What do you think? Is Drew a prude or should breastfeeding women show a little bit more discretion?