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Breastfeeding professor: Students get lesson in nursing debate

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(Read caption) Camie Goldhammer, chairman of the Native American Breastfeeding Coalition, held her daughter Johanna, 6 months, after testifying before the Seattle City Council, April 9, 2012, on a municipal law that would make it illegal to discriminate against public breastfeeding.

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So, an American University assistant professor breastfeeds her baby in class. Before you know it, there’s a Washington D.C.-meets-academia scandal at hand, complete with dogged journalists, passive-aggressive official responses, outraged defensiveness, female body parts, and a nice dose of commentary about concepts like “white privilege” and “gendered essentialism.”

It all makes me incredibly tired. And squeamish.

Not, mind you, because of the breasts involved. No, it seems to me that we should just get over our cultural issue with those. (And that goes for the people who don’t think women should be seen nursing their babies, as well as for the in-your-face, here’s-my-breast lactation soldier. I’d venture that we can all just relax.)

But squeamish I feel. 

In large part, I’ll admit, this is because the student journalists involved in this kerfuffle (“The Eagle,” the university’s student newspaper, plays a leading role) remind me of my own career as a college gumshoe, and it makes me want to cover up my ears and say “la la la” until the image goes away. 

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