The most famous set of breasts since Kate Middleton’s are still fueling debates across the country a week after their debut. American University professor Adrienne Pine, reluctantly become the new face of the feminist movement after breast feeding her infant in the middle of a class lecture. Pine felt uncomfortable leaving her sick daughter at her regular day care center. Rather than cancel her first lecture of the year, Pine thought it would be better to bring her daughter to work with her. During the lecture the infant was crawling around on the classroom floor, and at one point the TA (Teachers Assistant) felt it was necessary to hold and comfort the disrupted baby. Although this must have all been very distracting, the highlight of the lecture was when Pine unbuttoned her blouse and breast-fed her child in the middle of lecturing.
The debate over whether this act was right or wrong has a few different elements. However, the first question has to be is this even legal? In Washington D.C. it is in fact legal to breastfeed in public, so Pine has a strong defense. The next question raised would be, did she cheat the students out of quality class time? The answer to this one has to be yes. Despite Pine’s claim that her actions did not hinder the quality of the lecture there is no way she would be able to care for her child and teach effectively. The last matter of debate would be if Pine had any other option than to breastfeed during class. This is where Pine loses my support. I believe breastfeeding is natural and women should have the right to breastfeed when and where they want. After all they did carry a person in their stomachs for 9 months, it’s the least we can do as a culture. But I do not believe in this particular situation that Pine made the right decision. These students (or their parents) are paying an outrageous amount of money to attend American University. She very easily could have stayed home with her sick child and let the TA or a substitute professor conduct class. It was the first day of classes, you don’t exactly need a Ph.D. to read the syllabus to the students. Just stay home and take care of your kid.
Family comes first, but if you are getting paid to do a job you are responsible to perform your duty to the best of your ability. If for whatever reason you cannot do this, it is your responsibility to find a suitable replacement while you tend to other needs. I would feel jipped if I was a student attending this class.