Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Friday, February 10, 2012

The post in which I let my lactivism show...

Have you seen this story?  Basically, a Houston mother was fired from her job because she wanted to use a back unused room at her work to pump breast milk for her baby at home.  She took her employer to court and the judge ruled that it was not discrimination, that employers are under no obligation to let a woman pump during her regularly scheduled work breaks.

Can you see the steam coming out of my ears?

Working on the computer and cuddling Belgee.
We have this idea in our society that because a woman can decide not to breastfeed and use formula instead that she should make that choice.  Lactation is not seen as the inevitable conclusion to the biological rhythm of life.

The rhythm of life goes like this: a woman ovulates.  If she doesn't get pregnant, approximately fourteen days later she menstruates.  Approximately fourteen days later she ovulates again.  Repeat, repeat, repeat until she either gets pregnant or hits menopause.

Menstruating is the natural conclusion of the 28 day cycle.  It is her natural state.  She can choose, of course, to take medical means to interfere with that.  But, can you imagine an employer firing a woman because she's not on the pill.  (Unless her employer is a pimp.)  Would a judge rule in favor of an employer who didn't give a woman the time and appropriate place to change her tampon?  I think not.

Lactation is the natural and obvious conclusion to the cycle of ovulation, fertilization, implantation, gestation, and birth.  Lactation is simply what happens next.  It is how human mammals feed their babies.  A woman's body does that all on its own.  A woman can choose, of course, to take medical means to interfere with that.  But, should she be required to?

The judge in this case said that lactation was not pregnancy-related.  (Methinks this gentleman needs a biology lesson.)  As a result of this faulty understanding the judge ruled that firing a woman because she is pumping breast milk is not sexual discrimination.  Are you serious?  People get breaks to smoke, use the restroom, make personal calls, etc.  But, if you want to use your break to pump it's out of the question?  Of course it's sexual discrimination; only women lactate!

Have sling.  Will travel.
I can hear some of my readers saying that this Houston mother shouldn't have been in the workplace if she had a nursing baby.  Regardless of how I personally live my life (I stay home with my children and don't even leave the baby with a sitter), I cannot be too quick to judge another's situation.  Many women, for one reason or another, work. We don't live in a perfect world.  Ideally, I believe a woman should be home resting while on her period (red tent anyone?).  But our world doesn't ordinarily give women the space to do that either.

The fact that breastfeeding women are not protected under the law is ridiculous, in my opinion.  President Obama's health care law does address breastfeeding and requires employers to give new moms a break to nurse.  However, it doesn't protect women from being fired if they ask to pump!  There's a severe chink in this logic.  (The more I learn about the President's healthcare law, the angrier I get.  There's no room for following the dictates of your conscience, is there?!)

I think some nurse-ins are in order.  Who's with me?


Lady Dorothy said...

Did they fire her because she wanted to use the room or because she wanted to pump? It's not real clear.

I really don't understand - what employer can tell anyone what they have to or can't do on their regularly scheduled breaks?

I've never heard of anyone asking if they could pump at work. Why would she? I would have just done it. And did. It never occurred to me that my boss would care what I did behind closed doors on MY break.

Mrs. and Mama K said...

going to Houston? ;)

Allison said...

Obama doesn't have a conscience of his own (or if he does, he has mastered the task of shoving it under the table), so he doesn't understand that those of us who DO have a conscience, would like the freedom to be able to follow it. :)

Cassandra said...

I am a working mother and I did my research when I found out I was pregnant. If your place of employment is large enough to be required to provide maternity leave under FMLA (though it does not have to be paid), then they are required to provide a space for a woman to pump (that is not a bathroom).

I can't say that it surprises me, but it still burns me up that this happenes. Staying home is not a viable option for many woman (it certainly isn't for me), and not only is breastmilk more nutritionally benificial for children, it is also a lot more affordable!

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