Friday, 5 March 2010

Jan Moir does it again

I came across this piece of hate-filled garbage on the Mail Online website today. Some may remember Jan Moir from the national outrage over her piece insinuating Stephen Gately died because he was gay. Well, this time the target of her drivel is breastfeeding mothers.

Where to even start with this?

She's referring to an incident that happened in East Dulwich where a shop manager, Steve Symonds of Mind charity shop apparently spied on a woman in a changing room, ordered here to leave, before spraying her with air freshener saying "Your breastmilk stinks."

Moir admits that this is not a "diplomatic" way to handle this "small incident". She seems to be entirely ignorant of what the law says about breastfeeding in public. Shall we talk about that for a moment?

What Mr Symonds did here is against the 1975 Sexual Discrimination Act, which created legal protection for a woman under the provision of goods, services and facilities section. This covers breastfeeding a child of any age and means that she cannot be discriminated against for breastfeeding in a place such as a shop.

There is some confusion over the 2008 amendment to the SDA which specifically gives additional protection under the grounds of maternity as well as sexual discrimination for babies under the age of 26 weeks.

For her part, Mrs Baker - true to breast-feeding mummy form - was 'amazingly insulted' to be told that her milk was odiferous and challenged the manager for looking into the cubicle in the first place. Now, she wants Mind to announce a clear policy allowing breast-feeding and guaranteeing privacy behind curtains.

Really. What self-righteous humbug. Why should Mind do anything of the sort?

Well, actually, under the law, it is illegal for Mind to do otherwise. In fact they do not need a specific policy "allowing" breastfeeding because women are already protected by the SDA. Mr Symonds did not have the right to do as he did. And does Moir really think it is by any means okay for a man to spy on a woman in a changing room?

Especially as it seems possible that she snuck into Mind with the express intention of feeding her baby there.

Really Moir, we know this how? This is a random assumption with zero basis in fact. Baker states in her account quite clearly that she was trying on clothes, that there was another changing room available, and there was only one other customer in the shop. I'm really not seeing the problem here.

Power to Mind, though, as their chief executive has written to Ms Baker apologising and has ordered an investigation.

Why, breast-feeding is the most natural and beautiful thing in the world, they cry. Well, so is urinating, but no one insists on doing that wherever and whenever the need takes their fancy. Not outside France, at any rate

Really, Moir. If you don't know the difference between eating and urinating I'm never going to eat at your house. Not that I'd want to, frankly.