Adrienne Pine, an assistant anthropology professor at American University, was about to begin teaching “Sex, Gender & Culture,” but her baby daughter woke up in the morning with a fever. She had no good child-care options, so she brought her sick baby to class. The baby crawled on the floor of the lecture hall during part of the 75-minute class two weeks ago. When the baby grew restless, she breast-fed her while continuing her lecture in front of 40 students. This sparked debate.
While I’d love to hear how you feel about a single mom nursing her ill baby as discretely as possible in her classroom of college students in a feminist anthropology class, I’m more excited to share my dad’s reaction. My very conservative, ex-Marine, all around hard-ass (in a respectable way) dad.
He wrote an email to her:
I am probably on the opposite side of you in every aspect politically, socially, and anthropologically…
As the proud father of 4 daughters, there was absolutely nothing wrong with or inappropriate about your taking care of your ill baby whilst teaching your class.
Unfortunately while too many claim to be compassionate and sensitive and tolerant and broad-minded, they are accepting only when it does not apply to them… or does not cost them anything… or someone else pays for it…
The antiseptic upbringing most of your students have been subject to most likely precluded them from understanding that breastfeeding is the third thing a living being does after taking a breath and crying after birth!
Do not be cowarded by intolerance! You have my full support.
She kindly wrote back, appreciative of his support — especially from “across the ideological spectrum.”
I love this. I love that my dad is pro-breastfeeding, and that he took the time write her and show his support. I’m proud of him.