What is this bit about “private” that you do not understand?

A classical musician who is breastfeeding her 11-week-old daughter was banned from taking the baby into an exclusive private members club.

It is a private club. Their gaff, their rules.

They might be bloody stupid rules, they might even be insane ones, but they are still their rules on their property. Deal with it.

35 comments on “What is this bit about “private” that you do not understand?

  1. Is the justification for breast feeding in public (tits in full view or perhaps not) that its a normal bodily function? If so, what’s wrong with couples having sex in public (private parts in full view or perhaps not)?

  2. The article mentions a by-law barring under-12s from entering. It’s not clear whether it’s a local council by-law or the club’s own rules, but it sounds like the former.

  3. The ‘rules is rules’ stance rather overlooks the issue that the mother was engaged to work at the club.

    In the circumstances it takes a wooden-headed jobsworth to insist the babysitter and the child sat in the car outside rather than in the dressing room provided.

  4. “Ralph,

    No-one’s life depends on having sex.”

    Everyone’s does!

    She would have been fine if she had agreed to pay corkage.

  5. The by-law was the club’s own rule.

    I’m getting tired of the constant barrage of articles making out that it’s terrible disgrace the way mothers who breast-feed in public are treated. I’m actually not against it, my wife used to do it, but discreetly. But she never thought it was her right to do it against the wishes of the owner of the place. But there are always screeching harpies who cannot stand not being able to do what they want anywhere they want to, at any time (but who don’t extend that right to anyone else).

    It’s particularly galling that the Daily Mail is running so many of these articles, trying to make people ashamed. This is a paper that not so long ago would have been running the opposite sort of story, trying to shame mothers who breast-feed in public.

    Having said all that, not letting this woman have the baby in her dressing room while she was performing was rather stupid.

  6. The Meissen Bison – “Well she had every excuse if they really forgot the apostrophe.”

    +1

    Squander Two – “No-one’s life depends on having sex.”

    I am sure that to a lot of teens it feels like it. Taking a sh!t then. People’s lives do depend on that sort of thing. Just ask Tycho Brahe.

    GeoffH – “In the circumstances it takes a wooden-headed jobsworth to insist the babysitter and the child sat in the car outside rather than in the dressing room provided.”

    It is incidents like this that bring the worst out of the British. Both the activists who want to rub our noses in it, so to speak, and the jumped up little man with the funny hat and frock coat. A private room in a private club could have been found and everyone would have been happy.

    I sneeze in threes – “She would have been fine if she had agreed to pay corkage.”

    I predict great things for you around here, son.

  7. No-one under 12 allowed sounds like a bye-law covering premises licensed to serve alcohol. Nothing to do with club’s own rules. Maybe the club admin is scared of l;osing its licence.

  8. What TW passes over is that to the modern post-Marxist activist, the word “private” is perfectly understandable. It means “what is rightfully ours”.

  9. >No-one under 12 allowed sounds like a bye-law covering premises licensed to serve alcohol. Nothing to do with club’s own rules.

    The Daily Mail article says: “The by-laws banning children from the venue are the club’s own regulations”.

    (I notice Tim actually linked to a Telegraph article. I was referring earlier to a Daily Mail article on it.)

  10. I think talk of rules and by-laws misses the point somewhat. Does anyone seriously think this (or any) club obeys every rule all the time? Of course not; no-one can live that way any more. People routinely, and quite rightly, ignore and flout pointless rules that don’t bloody matter. Then, when they want to stop something because they personally object to it, they come out with, “Oh, but it’s nothing to do with me. It’s the rules.”

    Breastfeeding is such a fundamental part of being human that I find it baffling that so many people object. Either we want the species to continue or we don’t. If we do, and we don’t want to lock mothers away for the first couple of years of their children’s lives, breastfeeding is going to happen. And of course, the people who object to breastfeeding also object to babies crying. You know why it’s crying, mate? Because it’s fucking hungry, and you won’t allow it to be fed.

    And the only reason it’s even banned is because a bare breast is supposedly sexual. I worry profoundly about people with such an inability to see context that they can discern no effective difference between a woman feeding her child and pornography. What, do they think the baby is getting sexually aroused by it? Do they think it’s foreplay?

    Honestly, some people.

  11. GeoffH,

    “The ‘rules is rules’ stance rather overlooks the issue that the mother was engaged to work at the club.”

    How is that an issue? She’s there to do a job, and her baby is basically her problem.

    I wouldn’t expect a supplier of mine to turn up with a baby. If she did, with a nanny, well, OK, we’ll try and accomodate that. But I’d be enraged if someone who I’d hired and done my side of the bargain then went to the press and complained about it.

  12. SQ2. Hear, hear.

    The Stigler: To describe a baby as ‘problem’ reveals a pretty unpleasant mindset.

    The Times piece on this story has rather more context than the DT – behind their paywall so not linkable.

  13. Geoff,

    > To describe a baby as ‘problem’ reveals a pretty unpleasant mindset.

    Travelling around a bit, I find this mindset tends to become more prevalent as birth rates go down. (Except in Italy, for some reason: Italians love babies, but have stopped making them.) The people who want to live in a child-free world are getting their way. I wonder how that’ll work out for them?

  14. Squander Two – “Breastfeeding is such a fundamental part of being human that I find it baffling that so many people object. Either we want the species to continue or we don’t.”

    Sorry but you can say the same about sex. Still not a reason to do it in public.

    “And of course, the people who object to breastfeeding also object to babies crying. You know why it’s crying, mate? Because it’s fucking hungry, and you won’t allow it to be fed.”

    I don’t mind breast feeding but I do mind crying. It is not because it is hungry all of the time. Sometimes it is because the mothers are useless. Crying babies are invariably White or Black. Never Asian. Well, rarely Asian.

    “And the only reason it’s even banned is because a bare breast is supposedly sexual.”

    Come on, that is nonsense. We are social animals. We can only remain social animals if we hide a great deal of behaviour related to sex and reproduction. It is necessary for us all to get along that we do not display rampant penises. So we can pretend that these things don’t happen. In the same way, if we want to treat women as equals, we need to pretend they are. Hide menstruation for instance. If women breast feed in public, we are forced to acknowledge and hence adapt to their different status.

    Which I am, for one, fine with. By all means, let us be protective of the feeding mother. But that means things feminists do not like. We want equality, we have to hide the things that are not equal. Simple.

    “What, do they think the baby is getting sexually aroused by it?”

    No but I think the mother often is.

  15. “The Stigler: To describe a baby as ‘problem’ reveals a pretty unpleasant mindset.”

    OK, Mr Picky. Feeding her baby is her problem. Better?

    None of the people I work with bring their babies into the office, except as a one-off. I doubt that the editor of the Telegraph would be very pleased if toddlers were running around. So, why is this woman entitled to a room for her nanny and baby?

    Looking after your kids is broadly speaking, your problem. And we’ve all given other parents a hand. But this sense of entitlement to do what you like where you like is rotten.

  16. > Crying babies are invariably White or Black. Never Asian.

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, is there anything you won’t drag race into?

    Apart from that, all your other points boil down to seeing no substantive difference between breastfeeding and sex. Grow up.

  17. “So, why is this woman entitled to a room for her nanny and baby?”

    In case you hadn’t noticed, Ms Jenkinson is a working musician and so, as is quite usual for performing artists, was planning to use the dressing room provided. Nothing special. Just the routine accommodation for performers at any venue.

  18. And we should stop obviously pregnant women appearing anywhere anyone might see them. We all know what they’ve been doing.

    Doubly so if they’re black. How else can we pretend that they’re human beings?

  19. “Crying babies are invariably White or Black. Never Asian.”

    You’ve never been on a train in China, have you?

  20. The people who want to live in a child-free world are getting their way. I wonder how that’ll work out for them?

    They won’t give a fuck, because they’ll be dead. But I do wonder what sort of world the children will grow up in, especially seeing the sorts of policies being introduced supposedly on their behalf.

  21. Looking after your kids is broadly speaking, your problem. And we’ve all given other parents a hand. But this sense of entitlement to do what you like where you like is rotten.

    Quite.

  22. S2 and others

    It’s the rules of the place, and that is all there is to it. The owners are entitled to apply the rules selectively, non-owners are not.

    Otherwise, we might as well have a free for all, where everyone pleases himself. I don’t think that would be a nice place to live. I understand they’ve been experimenting with loosening social obligations and doing away with niceties on some housing estates, and that it’s not working out all that well.

    As for ‘it’s natural’ and ‘the baby might cry’, others have addressed the natural bit, but re the baby crying, ah well, take it outside.

    Our society is most weird in that we have elevated the mother and baby to something sacrosanct and secularly holy, at the same time as most of the madwomen doing the elevating don’t actually want babies, and indeed will do anything to avoid them.

    The west is dying for a surfeit of idle thinking and a want of backbone.

    I predict a riot. I only hope I’m still vital enough to do my bit. It could be fun.

  23. Having read S2’s extreme fundamentalist views on lunch he is at least being consistent in their application to others here.

    My view – Mama’s and their babies win. Don’t fight it you’ll only make it worse for yourself.

  24. Well the thing I have difficulty getting my brain around is the position of the breast in radical modern female Marxist dialectic.

    How to reconcile the praiseworthy overt display of the thing qua bento with the degrading and reprehensible display of the same article on Page Three and elsewhere?

    I suspect that there is a connection with the possibility of giving pleasure to males with adult teeth (which seems to be the point at which they become rebarbative) but I’m not entirely satisfied with that reasoning either because lezzers must fancy boobs too, don’t they?

  25. >So, why is this woman entitled to a room for her nanny and baby?

    Er… it was her dressing room that she was getting anyway because she was a performer. Nobody else was going to be in there. It wasn’t like bringing a baby into the Telegraph office. So there wasn’t really a problem.

    I don’t like people who get all militant about public breast-feeding, and I think the club is entitled to make their own rules. But if I was in her situation I’d be pretty annoyed with the club. (But not enough to run to the papers about it.)

  26. The mother could easily have expressed he rmilk and left it at home for the baby sitter to feed to the baby. That’s what the rest of the world does, and it would have saved her the cost of a second baby sitter, the inconvenience and risk of transporting her baby to and fro, her colleague’s hours of negotiations, and her own upset. Not to mention all the energy invested in the comments here.
    I sometimes wonder about my fellow British.

  27. Why is this thread all about the breastfeeding? Y’all got mummy issues? The situation here was that the sprog wasn’t allowed in at all. Had the child been 12, she could have come in and, presumably, been breast-fed.

    This is a story about something else that’s been presented in such a way as to leverage the fuss over actual breastfeeding stories. Don’t bite.

    All that said, I agree with Squander Two. Again.

  28. Squander Two – “Oh, for fuck’s sake, is there anything you won’t drag race into?”

    Dunno. Have to see.

    “Apart from that, all your other points boil down to seeing no substantive difference between breastfeeding and sex. Grow up.”

    No it isn’t. You simply failed to understand what I said.

  29. Interested – “Our society is most weird in that we have elevated the mother and baby to something sacrosanct and secularly holy, at the same time as most of the madwomen doing the elevating don’t actually want babies, and indeed will do anything to avoid them.”

    And they have elevated the killing of said babies in utero to a de facto sacrament. Even killing them post-utero in some cases.

    “I predict a riot. I only hope I’m still vital enough to do my bit. It could be fun.”

    We can hope. As the slogan goes, too late for voting, too early for civil war.

  30. Did she ask whether she could bring the baby when she applied for the job?
    Can *no-one* ask the core question?

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