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Woman Behind Controversial Military Breastfeeding Photo is Fired from Her Civilian Job http://shine.yahoo.com/...

    Excerpt: The photo that caused the initial uproar featured two military moms breastfeeding their babies while wearing their Air National Guard uniforms. While many people were supportive of the women's right to breastfeed whenever necessary, others felt that the picture was disrespectful to the military.

"We live in a culture of dipshit. No one should see a picture of a human female naturally breastfeeding her offspring as disrespectful to anything or anybody. Nursing a baby is Nature and intrinsic to every mammal that walks upon Planet Earth. Why is it when you see a cat or a dog or a cow feeding their young it seems beautiful or cute, yet when a human mother is seen nursing her young, it brings about feelings of disgust and aversion? I blame it on capitalism and the use of sex in marketing. Firing this woman for taking part in a photograph of women naturally feeding their infants, in military uniforms, is another notch on the belt of those who view women as inferior and in need of subjugation through laws that diminish their freedoms. I’ll bet Schryver Medical is a GOP contributor." thinkingblue

More Excerpts: Scott -- who served in the Army from 2000 to 2006, including a tour in Iraq, and whose husband is still in the military -- was surprised by the outrage. "I'm an X-ray tech and I breastfeed in my uniform all the time," she told Yahoo! Shine in an interview on May 30, the day the controversy ignited. "Granted they're scrubs. But people do it all the time in their uniforms. If you have a hungry baby, why would you take the time to change completely?"

The two members of the Air National Guard who appeared in the controversial photo, Terran Echegoyen-McCabe and Christina Luna have been reprimanded because the photo "violated a policy that forbids military members from using the uniform to further a cause, promote a product or imply an endorsement," the Air Force Times reported.

"The uniform was misused. That's against regulations," Captain Keith Kosik, a spokesman for the Washington National Guard, told the Air Force Times. "I want to be very, very clear about this. Our issue is not, nor has it ever been, about breastfeeding. It has to do with honoring the uniform and making sure it's not misused. I can't wear my uniform to a political rally, to try to sell you something or push an ideology. That was our point of contention."

more here: http://empowerednews.net/...

I know there will be all kinds of rhetoric (rationalizations) on whether or not violations to this or that took place but give me a break! “The Uniform Was Misused!” "Tell that to a hungry baby, will ya!"   thinkingblue

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm not reading this to say you can't breastfeed (4+ / 0-)

    in uniform. Just that you can't use pictures of you in uniform breastfeeding (or anything else) to promote a cause. If that is correct that is exactly what the regulations say and how they have been interpreted.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 07:27:38 AM PDT

  •  Who was the civilian employer, please? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy

    For some reason I can't pull up the link.

    History merely repeats itself; it doesn't cure its own ills. That is the burden of the present.

    by ZedMont on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 07:31:45 AM PDT

  •  Some people are directed by their superficial (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    optics.  What they see sets off an instinctive, hormone-driven response and, if they are lacking in the ability to reflect and reconsider, they become upset.  The image is at fault as the trigger, largely because their awareness of themselves is slim to none.  It's like a bird contesting with its image in a side-view mirror.

    That "appearances are deceiving" doesn't help.  It just means that people who rely mostly on their sense of sight to inform them are destined to often be wrong.  That makes for insecurity.  And insecurity makes for ire.  That's why conservatives are often angry.

    "In the name of the nation, and of the dollar and of the rule of law, you and your children shall sacrifice for the good of all." Rmoney's prayer

    by hannah on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 07:32:41 AM PDT

  •  Military has odd rules. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1

    No one should see a picture of a human female naturally breastfeeding her offspring as disrespectful to anything or anybody.I read somewhere that men aren't allowed to hold anything in one of their hands in case they have to salute.  So we're talking about some very peculiar, particular rules for uniform, and IMHO women shouldn't be treated any differently than men w/re/to these wacky and arbitrary rules.

    •  mulligan. (0+ / 0-)

      That first sentence shoulda been blockquoted:

      No one should see a picture of a human female naturally breastfeeding her offspring as disrespectful to anything or anybody.
      I read somewhere that men aren't allowed to hold anything in one of their hands in case they have to salute.  So we're talking about some very peculiar, particular rules for uniform that may not line up with our common-sense notions of disrespect.  IMHO women shouldn't be treated any differently than men w/re/to these wacky and arbitrary rules.
      •  But men don't get FIRED for that. (0+ / 0-)

        Breaking a rule of military etiquette will normally get you a counseling statement at worst.  If it was blatant disrespect, you might be looking at an Article 15.

        Pulling the "Disrespecting the uniform" is just selective enforcement of the rules.  A reprimand is way over the top, IMHO.

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:08:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the moms didn't get fired, either. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaveinBremerton

          re: selective enforcement: I didn't discuss that, so I'm not sure why you're replying as if I did.

          Maybe you meant to respond to someone else's comment.

          •  To a military member, a public reprimand (0+ / 0-)

            can be a career ender, What we're looking at is the military going after this person not because of what she did, but rather because they wanted to send a message.

            The diary stated that the military member in question was fired from her civilian job as well.  Of course the military has total lack of responsibility for that. (Or at least can CLAIM total lack of same.  I recall several instances of unfair firings in the civilian sector that just happened to work closely with the military and got "The call" from the sergeant.)

            And the "Disrespecting the uniform" is the statement of the Captain.  You stated that women shouldn't be treated differently than men.   This is not the way that the military would treat a six year veteran who broke one rule.  

            I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

            by detroitmechworks on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:28:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  women shouldn't be treated differently than men (0+ / 0-)

      Yes but we have a third party involved... A HUNGRY BABY!
      It doesn't make sense... As if nursing your child is an immoral act, if you wear a USA military uniform. It's beyond sickening and ugly, IT’S MADNESS! Something has got to change, women are not just sex objects to be seen and not heard, we, as a society have got to fight this deplorable image the Republican Conservatives are labeling upon our sisters, mothers, daughters, granddaughters etc.!

      EXCERPT: "The uniform was misused. That's against regulations," Captain Keith Kosik, a spokesman for the Washington National Guard, told the Air Force Times. "I want to be very, very clear about this. Our issue is not, nor has it ever been, about breastfeeding. It has to do with honoring the uniform and making sure it's not misused. I can't wear my uniform to a political rally, to try to sell you something or push an ideology. That was our point of contention."
      ---
      In other words, I guess, fighting for the right to breastfeed is equivalent to SELLING SOMETHING OR PUSHING AN IDEOLOGY?

      The purpose of the military is to defend society, not to define it

      Asking a soldier to change her clothes before feeding her baby is a major set-back to common sense. Hmm, that makes me wonder... Is it OK to feed your baby in uniform if you use a baby bottle???

      A search for truth will find injustice!

      by thinkingblue on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 11:56:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm confused: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1

    Did the breastfeeding take place at a political rally?

    I can't wear my uniform to a political rally, to try to sell you something or push an ideology.
    That seems to be the objection of the man trying to justify this unjustifiable action.

    Or does he truly think breastfeeding is promoting an ideology -- or even worse, a product??

    Being the single intellectual in a village of 1,100 souls ain't much fun, especially when 1,099 of those don't think you're all that smart.--Lucy Marsden

    by Miniaussiefan on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 08:57:20 AM PDT

    •  The photos were taken for use in an (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndieGuy, DaveinBremerton, FG, Gary Norton

      "awareness" campaign -- thus, explicitly, they were photographed in uniform in order to connect the campaign's message to the uniforms.

      There really isn't any doubt that they violated policy, though there's plenty of doubt about what should have been an appropriate consequence.

      And the woman who was fired was (according to her employer) fired because she blew off work in order to meet with the media -- indeed, she drove to some sort of media event using a company vehicle, didn't tell anybody where she was going (or even that she was going), and then later lied about it, taking sick leave for the time off.

      I think the whole thing is pretty fucking sad, because I certainly support the objective of Crystal Scott's campaign, but she clearly made some big mistakes in the way she carried it out, and her mistakes ended up creating a professional problem for the two airmen.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:11:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

        I couldn't get to the link posted in the diary.

        And yes - sounds like mistakes all around.

        Being the single intellectual in a village of 1,100 souls ain't much fun, especially when 1,099 of those don't think you're all that smart.--Lucy Marsden

        by Miniaussiefan on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:15:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Shouldn't Two Sides of the story be heard first... (0+ / 0-)

        Before you pass judgement? I have seen excuses for all kinds of injustice in my lifetime. Of course they would find some other justification for the firing other than the photograph the woman was involved in. Hypocrisy is everywhere and one should be alert and aware of it.

        A search for truth will find injustice!

        by thinkingblue on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 12:09:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

          I did note that this was "according to her employer".

          On the other hand, it's unusual for an employer to be so publicly explicit about the cause for firing someone, and if they're lying about any of those specifics -- e.g., if she did not take the vehicle, or she did not claim sick leave for the time, or she did not spend the time in question traveling and meeting with media, then they have libeled and/or slandered her, and they're going to be in much deeper trouble than they were to begin with.

          As to the matter of the purpose of the photos, I don't think there's any real doubt or contention about that.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 08:38:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure military rules even address this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy

    I spent 25 years on active duty, including many years as a supervisor or senior NCO, and I don't recall any policy toward breastfeeding while in uniform.  The weight of other policies would tend to disallow it.

    There certainly is very detailed policy toward wear of the uniform, and there is also detailed policy toward what is and is not appropriate in the workplace.  And, there is policy concerning use of the uniform to promote social or political causes.

    Generally, child care is not considered appropriate in the military workplace.  You get your kids to daycare early enough to get to work on time, you go pick them up after putting in a full day, and you don't spend a lot of time on the phone dealing with family issues.

    The only work situation I can imagine where a woman might need to breastfeed her child would be official travel of some kind.  In most cases, travel in civilian clothing is permissible and the issue simply would not come up.

    As for wear of the uniform, Air Force standards do not allow for wearing a uniform in a way that would permit breastfeeding.  The blouse is either properly buttoned or it is removed.  The tee-shirt is always tucked in.  There is even a rule for how the fly of one's shirt lines up with the fly one's trousers.  It's called a "gig line".

    Uniforms cannot be worn at political rallies or to promote any commercial enterprise or non-military organization.  This includes promotion of worthy causes.  When in doubt, the right answer is to get permission first, and then participate in the event.

    Given a work situation where the women were with their children and simply needed to breastfeed, I say "no foul".  But if they did so as part of a campaign to promote breastfeeding, it should have been approved through the local Public Affairs office first.  Absent that approval, they stepped out of bounds.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 09:34:26 AM PDT

    •  Breastfeeding should not have to be PROMOTED. (0+ / 0-)

      It's nature and even the military is a part of nature, whether they like it or not. The subject is common sense and shouldn't be analyzed as anything else...

      common sense - noun
      sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native (inherent) intelligence.

      A search for truth will find injustice!

      by thinkingblue on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 12:17:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Defecating is also natural (0+ / 0-)

        However, public defecating in order to create a photo op is going to be frowned upon.  The same could be said of having sex.  The argument that natural biological functions should be allowable in public while in uniform is doomed to failure for some fairly obvious reasons.

        I am not advocating for one side of the issue or the other.  I am merely reporting on how I believe the current rules would apply in this situation.

        Another observation would be that neither woman is wearing a hat even though this is an outdoor photo.  Hats are mandatory uniform items and are always worn outdoors unless one is part of a work detail.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

        by DaveinBremerton on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 12:38:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is against regulations. Not breastfeeding (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Norton

    in the uniform but allowing your picture while breastfeeding in the uniform to be published as a part of an issue campaign.

  •  Old Marine Here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaveinBremerton, Gary Norton

    I once got a gig (verbal repremand not in permanate record) for having my shirt and pants line 2 inches out of line.  The rule in the marines contains the word discheveled(?). That is the uniform should be squared away and neat at all times publick and private.  Add in that this was for an issue add and i think the ladys were far off the reservation. The CO could have gone as far as Conduct unbecoming and a cort marshal so they got off fairly light.  The one who lost her job wasnt even about the ad it was about misuse of company property theft of company time and lying to the boss about it.  

    18. As I would not be a slave, so I will not be a master. Abraham Lincoln

    by Yoseph on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 11:52:21 AM PDT

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