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    Default Controversy Surrounds Professor Who Breastfed During Lecture

    Adrienne Pine, American University Professor, Starts Controversy After Breast-feeding During Her Lecture

    American University students' reactions are largely split, not surprisingly, between those who thought she was inappropriate and others who consider breast-feeding totally natural. American University officials, quick to note its breast-feeding policies are in accordance with D.C. and federal law, focused on the sick condition of her child and expressed some level of disapproval that Pine decided to bring her into the classroom, saying that personal days and other options are available in these instances. The university did not comment on breast-feeding in the classroom but said Pine's blog post was unprofessional.
    It appears she has since rescinded her blog post, but snippets of it have survived on the internet. It's probably survived in its entirety somewhere.


    If I considered feeding my child to be a “delicate” or sensitive act, I would not have done it in front of my students. Nor would I have spent the previous year doing it on buses, trains and airplanes; on busy sidewalks and nice restaurants; in television studios and while giving plenary lectures to large conferences. I admit those lectures haven’t always gone so well (baby can get fidgety), but as a single parent without help or excess income, my choice has been between sacrificing my professional life and slogging through it.
    “So here’s the story, internet: I fed my sick baby during feminist anthropology class without disrupting the lecture so as to not have to cancel the first day of class. I doubt anyone saw my nipple, because I’m pretty good at covering it. But if they did, they now know that I too, a university professor, like them, have nipples. Or at least that I have one.”
    • One of the popular arguments in favor of Professor Pine is that she was teaching a Sex, Gender, and Culture fem. anthro. class. and complaining about child-rearing in front of the class is ironic.
    • One of the popular argments against Professor Pine is that a (sick) child should not be brought to work and that she should've taken time off.


    What do you guys think? Was it inappropriate? Was it a big deal? I'll reserve my thoughts till later.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  2. #2
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    The professor's primary responsibility is to actually instruct the class, and present an effective lecture/class.

    Breastfeeding whilst attempting to lecture is going to detract from ability to present an effective lecture. On her end, by having to adjust, pay attention to the baby, etc, thus not being 100% focused on the lecture and her Role/responsibility, and on the students' end, by the fact that most if not all will have a certain % of their focus directed to the baby/breastfeeding rather than the actual lecture.

    So - inappropriate.
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on what options she had available.
    Similar to cascade's response, I think it's not an optimal thing to do... but it might have been better than the alternatives.

    My other reaction is just to shake my head, at the things our culture feels the need to create so much drama about. It's a woman breastfeeding a baby. *gasp* That's all.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    The professor's primary responsibility is to actually instruct the class, and present an effective lecture/class.

    Breastfeeding whilst attempting to lecture is going to detract from ability to present an effective lecture. On her end, by having to adjust, pay attention to the baby, etc, thus not being 100% focused on the lecture and her Role/responsibility, and on the students' end, by the fact that most if not all will have a certain % of their focus directed to the baby/breastfeeding rather than the actual lecture.

    So - inappropriate.
    You're in no position to make that claim. A student attending the lecture, on the other hand, might be. I was once in a lecture where there were literally thousands of things happening simultaneously.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    You're in no position to make that claim. A student attending the lecture, on the other hand, might be. I was once in a lecture where there were literally thousands of things happening simultaneously.

    How many people attended the lecture in this situation? Was it 1000 students in a huge room with the teacher far away, or was it 15 students in a tiny little classroom where they were all close to the teacher?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Much ado about nothing.

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    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    [*]One of the popular arguments in favor of Professor Pine is that she was teaching a Sex, Gender, and Culture fem. anthro. class. and complaining about child-rearing in front of the class is ironic.
    That's what turns this into a genuine joke with a setup and a punchline.
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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Here is the professor's linkedin profile:

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/adriennepine

    Adrienne Pine's Summary

    Goals: overthrowing corporate capitalism, raising chickens
    Professional experience: see website (http://quotha.net) and book: _Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras_
    Specialties

    Union negotiation, purchasing, government liaison, branding and identity, server architecture, mergers and acquisition, salary arbitration, international law.
    Adrienne Pine's Experience
    Assistant Professor of Anthropology
    American University

    Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

    July 2009 – Present (3 years 3 months)
    Assistant Professor of Anthropology
    American University in Cairo

    Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry

    August 2007 – June 2009 (1 year 11 months)
    Lead Educator
    California Nurses Association

    Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Hospital & Health Care industry

    July 2004 – May 2007 (2 years 11 months)

    Political education for RNs; designed and taught CE courses focused on the political economy of healthcare from a critical medical anthropology perspective to thousands of nurses in and outside of California.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Adrienne Pine's Summary

    Goals: overthrowing corporate capitalism, raising chickens
    Oh noes! Think of the chickens!!!
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I guess it might have been good if she had sent out an email letting students know she would be bringing her sick, suckling infant to class and excusing anyone that was uncomfortable with that.

    I don't really see it as a huge deal. With the way the working world is today, sick days are fairly dear for a lot of people so being exposed to sick people at school, in the workplace, and in public places in general is pretty common. Little ones are generally happier with a parent or other loved one when they are sick and relatively oblivious to location otherwise, so I doubt the baby suffered from being in the classroom instead of at home.

    I really wish I'd had more exposure to people who were comfortable breastfeeding in public when I was younger. It would have saved me a lot of anxiety and my kids a lot of discomfort back when they were infinks. If we didn't make breastfeeding such a big, hairy deal maybe more moms would do it and we'd have healthier kids.
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    ~ John Rogers

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