21 comments

  • anon

    leave the poor Mom alone. you only bust it out on the train because you HAVE to…not because you want to. trust me.

  • I think it’s illegal to not allow a woman to breastfeed in public, but I can’t be sure.

  • Michael Dowling

    You asshat. I think the problem is people like this op taking a picture of someone breastfeeding and posting it on the web.

    I realize that what you do in public is subject to having your photo taken from a legal standpoint, but is it ethical? Was this truly necessary?

  • polar ninja

    It is OK to breastfeed.
    It is NOT-OK to invade Mom’s privacy by taking photos.

  • Anonymous

    Of course it is okay and appropriate to feed your infant. What can be wrong about providing your baby with basic needs? Would you prefer that she allow the baby to scream and cry to avoid offending some idiot who thinks that breastfeeding is weird? I am shocked that this is even an issue in a progressive area like the bay area. Breast is best. Plain and simple.

    It is COMPLETELY inappropriate and unethical to photograph her without her permission!

    Rude.

  • I’m definitely speaking for someone else, but I really don’t think Jon’s intent was to judge this woman. As his tweet implies, he, a photographer, felt like capturing something he’d never seen before. Not passing judgment. And neither, I believe, are we at Muni Diaries by asking for people’s thoughts/feelings on the subject. I for one am okay with it, but I’ve heard plenty of people complain about this.

    Also, in general, we post things that are sent to us unless they involve hate speech and/or incitements to violence. I don’t think this is necessarily an invasion of privacy. You cannot see the act of the baby feeding in the photo. It’s more an observation of a social phenomenon, to my mind. And that’s sort of the essence of this site.

  • eugenia

    Well, let’s remember that Jon didn’t send this photo to us to express an opinion on breastfeeding, public or not. And neither is Muni Diaries. We post what happens on the bus — a public space — and this blog is here for you to freely opine. We’ve blurred out faces in this photo, if anyone is wondering.

    You can say that breast feeding is natural and good for the baby – no one will disagree. But can you honestly say that you would not look twice if a woman next to you started to breastfeed her infant? Can anyone honestly say that this would not give you pause? Even if you think breastfeeding in public is the most natural thing to do, when you see someone breastfeed on the bus, you probably wonder what your fellow passengers think. You hope they would not gawk at her, or maybe you feel slightly uncomfortable.

    Whatever your opinion might be, it’s clear that this is an issue that stirs up passion and opinion and, I hope, not personal attacks.

  • Jon

    Hi all. This conversation is invigorating and probably requires an interpretation of the 4th amendment and reasonable expectations of privacy. This woman has exposed herself to public observation. That being said, my intention as a photographer and professionally as a journalist is never to pass judgment; simply to record life. I found this moment interesting and decided to post it. Ultimately the act captured is a testament to the comfort and open mindedness we enjoy as residents of San Francisco.

  • Jonno.N

    I’d rather have to awkwardly avoid looking at some woman’s tit than hear her baby scream. Besides, who can be adverse to FEEDING BABIES?? Babies need food, no matter what social situation your adult brain is placed in. Get over it people, food comes from breasts (in baby world). That’s exactly what they’re there for.

  • Jonno.N

    And I don’t think photographing this was wrong. No breasts are exposed in the photo, people’s faces are blurred. While the photo is not necessary for the debate, we could safely argue the debate would not have occurred on this site without the photo, and since it is a photo of somebody doing something on MUNI which would spark debate, I think it’s appropriate for this website. In this day of technology, if you don’t want people photographing you exposing your breasts in public, then make preparations in your life to not do so (i.e. get a breast pump and fill up a bottle before you go out)

  • Schtu

    Although I do not think there was any animus in either taking this photo nor posting it I do think it was inappropriate. First, I am not sure what the photograph does to advance the discussion. Secondly, although the faces are blurred, a woman breast feeding her child is an incredibly intimate moment. This feels like a violation- and that to me gets to the heart of the breast feeding discussion. As a society it should be part of our social contract that we grant women the privacy to fulfill a very intimate biological role even when physical privacy is not possible. In the context of Muni I think it is something that is especially important.

  • Pearlharbor

    If it’s such an intimate moment, don’t do it on the freaking bus. GET OVER THIS, PEOPLE.

  • Beth W.

    Good for her! And I agree, this isn’t really an intimate moment — I mean, it is, but it has to happen where-ever you happen to be. It’s no more or less private than reading a book on the bus, or eating at a sidewalk cafe. It just is.

  • skor

    Breastfeeding happens. If you’re a shy or modest mom, use a shawl. They’re are plenty of fabulous such things to protect your privacy. Not every baby goes for it at first because they like to look out, but if you’re determined, it will work.

    Blurring the faces before posting the photo was appropriate and courteous, though, as the Internet opens people up to a lot more than anyone bargains for, even on MUNI.

  • skor

    Correction, *There are*.

  • Beth W.

    @Tara, by the way, it is totally legal to breastfeed in public. If you do it on private property (like say a restaurant), fellow patrons/staff/etc can request that you cover up (and, I think, ask you to leave if you refuse to do so), but in public you can just let it all hang out.

  • Wendy

    It is actually illegal to prohibit someone to nurse in public in California. It’s a protected right.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Babies NEED to eat. Those of you who think it’s weird need to be reminded that even YOU came out of your mother’s vagina.

    It’s mean to take pictures of people breastfeeding. And it’s not so easy to use a bottle when you are out. Breast milk is very fragile and needs proper refrigeration. It can only be warmed in a container that is gently placed inside another container of warm water. And, even if the baby drinks from a bottle, the mommy’s breasts get uncomfortably full, even to the point that she cannot lift her arms. Then, who’s going to hold the baby???

    Just ask your own mother how she would feel if this was a picture of her, and then make your comments. Besides, you probably owe her a call anyway.

  • Ok, everyone agrees that babies need to eat. Everyone agrees breastfeeding is natural and best for the baby. This is not THAT debate. Relax.

    There are some things you don’t do on the bus. Nobody’s saying breastfeeding is weird. Breastfeeding on the bus, however, is a little odd.

  • Anonymous

    The thing is there is not anything odd about feeding your baby on the bus. Babies eat every three hours. It is very difficult to make sure you are in the comfort and privacy of your own home every three hours to feed your hungry baby. And why should a mother feel she should have to hide at home to feed her baby? Unlike adults or even toddlers, babies cannot wait 30 minutes extra to eat. Babies demand to eat when they need to eat and it is only appropriate that a mother respond with breastfeeding.

    It is very offensive that anyone would state that this poor mother is odd for feeding her child on the bus. Let’s all hope that “Concerned Breeder” has an epiphany prior to breeding him/herself!!

  • Breastfeeding in public can be uncomfortable for some people. I think that society has started to censor such events. This is nothing strange.

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