Monday, November 17, 2014

Breastfeeding in Public and Wackjob Cousin II

My wackjob cousin hasn't sent me anything from the rabid right in a long time. She's probably written me off as a lost cause. It's likely I won't be invited to the next family reunion. And that's just as well, since there's an old saying among the men in the Farnsworth Clan that the best place to hook up with women is at family reunions and funerals... (we do have our roots in Appalachia, after all).

But, living proof that nature abhors a vacuum, we now have a contender for the official title of Wackjob Cousin II. This time it's a cousin of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed who fortunately, for all concerned, lives in SoCal and gets up here only once a year or so.

Sidebar: She works with the chronic poor and the thinking impaired in the WIC program, the significance of which will be apparent shortly.

So I'm doing my level best to avoid her, but SWMBO came into my study and asked me point-blank to come out in the living room or she'll think I am avoiding her.

If there was ever a Duh! moment, that was it. But those of you who have been in a "significant other" relationship for any length of time will understand why I didn't belabor the obvious and why I agreed to show my face for a while.

The saving grace was that we watched a movie on Netflix and that ate up about two hour and a half hours -- the movie was genius director David Lynch's great Mulholland Drive".

Then things turned to shit on me.
"So, do you ever watch The Daily Show?" I asked. Innocent question, right? I thought so too, but apparently WJCII had an issue.

"No," she shrieked, frightening the cats who ran under the furniture. "Jon Stewart said that women breastfeeding in public was disgusting!"

"Huh?" was my considered response, followed shortly by. "I don't believe it."

"I heard him say it! I heard him say it! Are you saying I'm lying???"

"Uh, okay, no...I believe you think you heard him. I don't believe he really said it."

"I heard him say it! I heard him say it!"

"Okay, maybe he did, but gimme a break. It was part of a bit. It's a comedy show."

"You just don't know! They are very subtle..."

"Okay, prove it to me. That show is online with all the episodes. It ought to be easy to find it."

And then the "conversation" took an unsuspected turn: "This is the only country in the world where a woman can't breast feed in public! And it's all because of Hugh Hefner!"

Me: "??!"

As you can imagine, this caught me flat-footed. I didn't think until it was too late to ask if that statement was true for places like Saudi Arabia or Yemen (I think not) or what the hell Hugh Hefner had to do with it, since boobs have been around since long before he was born.

"These," she yelled, pointing at her relatively flat chest, "are FOOD! How would you like to eat under a blanket?"

"It's a fucking baby! It doesn't know and doesn't care where it eats. If it comes with your attitude, then it IS disgusting!"

Well, given that this is an issue about which she obviously feels very strongly -- irrationally, some would say -- some more verbal dueling ensued in the heat of the moment, culminating in her screechingly repeated, "I am not coming back here! I am not coming back here! I am not coming back here!"

Jeez, have a cracker, Poll Parrot. So then I retreated back into my man cave. She whipped out her Apple laptop and started a search. Not trusting her, I did my own search.

This is what I found: Absolutely NO reference to Jon Stewart saying anything remotely like that, which didn't surprise me since it would have been totally out of character for him. But what I did find is that Bill Maher was the one who said it. And, as I suspected all along, it was a fucking joke. If you've ever watched Bill Maher in action, who can be an obnoxious asshole, you'll understand.

So, long story short, I ended up apologizing for my part in this. After all, I was as SWMBO pointed out baiting her. Kind of. But I also swore that if she goes back on her threat and does come back here, I will have some important business out of town to take care of during her visit. Like volunteering to pick fly shit out of pepper in a school cafeteria in Walla Walla.

I think I prefer my wackjob cousins to be in touch by email. If at all. It's too hard on me to deal with it in the personifiction of an escapee from the Atascadero State Mental facility.


Nan said...

Whew. What a relief. When you mentioned the cousin worked with WIC recipients, my first thought was that she was going to be pushing formula. Instead she's an advocate for breast feeding! That's wonderful. You'd be astounded (or maybe not) by the numbers of nurses, social workers, and others who counsel low income women to keep the boobs in the the bra and do bottle feeding instead even though using formula puts an incredible financial burden on low income women and isn't nearly as good for the baby. Of course this is a sensitive area for her -- she's fighting an uphill battle for her clients and asshats like Maher aren't making it any easier.

I'm not surprised Maher made a joke about breastfeeding. From a woman's perspective, I tend to find that Maher has no trouble sliding into sexist territory -- and then he'll complain that women have no sense of humor or that we just don't get it. Oh, we get it. We just don't think it's funny.

Farnsworth68 said...

I will admit that this whole thing caught me off guard. I'd never realized it was an issue. Seeing someone breastfeeding in public has never been an issue where I live. But admittedly I live in a county that is a liberal bubble surrounded by wingnuttery, especially the county just to the south of here. I just never knew that there was even a controversy over it. I guess you can still learn stuff even from the strangest of circumstances.
BTW, I appreciate passion and I don't mind someone launching into a rampage, but I would like it to be fact-based. Pinning something like that on the wrong person rubbed me the wrong way. "They all look alike to me" is not an excuse, but that's what she said later... to SWMBO, not me, of course.
--The F Man

the yellow fringe said...

F68, that's a doozie of a story. Thanks. I have a couple of right wingers in my family too, they make things interesting, wierd thing is one group of them hate governement though they are all living off it, social security, wages from state jobs, military pensions, disability, student loans, yet they want it all cut, just not their little part of it though when you ask.