KLM Says Mothers Can Breastfeed If It Doesn’t Offend Other Passengers. Close Your Eyes If Breasts Offend You, Man!
Growing up in a punjabi household would mean that you were subject to all sorts of policing. From not having too many boys as friends, to wearing a skirt that touches your knee, the policing by our parents was not-so-subtle and we’d think that is the most we could get away with. But we’d be wrong, because if there is one place that will screen you and your clothes more than even your father, it will be the airlines you choose to travel in. Especially the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Clearly, there’s nothing royal about this.
Breastfeeding is permitted at KLM flights. However, to ensure that all our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board, we may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this.
— Royal Dutch Airlines (@KLM) July 16, 2019
In a recent ‘progressive’ tweet, the airlines graciously made an announcement about how they now permit the passengers to breastfeed during their flights, provided the mother agrees to cover herself up to avoid ‘offending’ other fellow passengers. And yes, you read that right. Apparently, feeding your infant is now an offensive act and you must not inflict this horrifying natural process on others, and to avoid that you must just agree to feed your baby under an uncomfortable dish cloth.
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And as predicted, perhaps poorly by the Royal Dutch Airlines, Twitter and a lot of us reading it did not take it well, and we don’t wonder why. Breastfeeding, a perfectly natural process has been treated as taboo for a long time, all because people think it is ‘uncomfortable’ to see a woman feed a hungry baby. And while the concept of such natural acts fly above their heads, what flies above ours is how the airlines and possibly many others would actually turn their noses up at the sight of it. Not like their mothers ever had to feed them outside the confines of their own house.
And it isn’t the first time that such absurd norms have been laid out for young mothers either. Last year, a woman in Kolkata was asked to breast feed her crying baby in a washroom cubicle all the while touting rubbish like ‘this is not the place to do it’. Well yeah you don’t say. And now, we have an airline on board such nonsense, laying out its priorities crystal clear. Not like the people feeling awkward could choose to look the other way, the mother must cover up, because god forbid we see a baby being fed.
Also Read : Kolkata Mall Amused That They Can’t Offer A Mother A Place To Breastfeed. Hilarious. NOT.
And perhaps what they don’t understand is that the mother herself wouldn’t want to publicly strip in front of the passengers, and that her actions would be solely be for feeding her child. On an average hundreds of young mothers travel with their infants in flights, and denying them the comfort of feeding their child is not just insensitive, it is inhuman. If anything, THEY need to be made to feel more comfortable and not the others who always have the option of looking the other and minding their own business as they should.
Do you think it's acceptable to ask a mother to cover her child while feeding? Why would breastfeeding cause anyone to "feel offended"? I'm very curious to know how feeding a child could be viewed as offensive?
— Heather Yemm (@HeatherYemm) July 16, 2019
— Contently (@ContentlyLondon) July 17, 2019
I don't feel comfortable with people who feel uncomfortable with mothers breastfeeding, so could you ask them to cover themselves in a large blanket? I don't want to have to look at them. Thanks.
— Simon Bruni (@SimonBruni) July 17, 2019
This is outrageous, KLM. I know you're trying to be fair, but this is not the way to do it. You're pandering to those who would control women's behaviour, prioritising their feelings over the process of nurturing an infant.
— Paul Milnes (@nonklatink) July 18, 2019
But guess, Royal Dutch Airlines would rather have heard it from the angry netizens first before realising just how short-sighted, bad for business and absolutely insensitive their ‘permission’ for breast feeding was. Seems like they’ve ended up offending a lot more people than they ever would’ve offended while entertaining a breast-feeding woman in a flight.