I began reading with interest the recent letter concerning the breastfeeding incident at Denny’s, until the writer began to list the virtues of breastfeeding the infant and the benefits of bonding and nutrition [“Milk of Human Kindness,” Feb. 25]. In no way do I want to negate the benefits of breastfeeding, but I feel that listing the benefits is missing the point.
I believe the point of argument concerns the appropriateness of feeding the infant in public without taking into account the other people [around you]. I do not wish to walk in a public right of way and see someone’s butt crack exposed—be it male or female. I also am tired of looking at the top of boxer shorts or thongs. I believe that some municipality has recently outlawed the exposure of underwear. I do not consider it appropriate to expose anyone around to views of underwear or butt cracks. I know that it is easy to turn your head to escape the sight—which I do. That being true, it is extremely difficult to look away when sitting in a small dining room, perhaps with children, if perhaps the breastfeeding mother is directly in front of the viewer. The mother should also consider the feelings of others, and merely turn or otherwise cover the child until lunch is over. I do not [support] asking the mother and child to go to a bathroom to finish, because we all know the condition of most public restrooms.
I understand that the mother in question asked for an apology from Denny’s, which she received. Now she and her support group are asking for a written policy for all Denny’s restaurants, supporting the right to breastfeed in public. Although I support the right of mothers to feed their children in public, I also support the right of others not to have to view the sight or move their position—giving up their rights to someone else.
— Kent Obergfell