Airline Company’s Breastfeeding Policy Stirs up Anger

April 3, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. outrage /ˈaʊtɪdʒ/ (n.) – a strong feeling of being unhappy caused by a bad or hurtful event
Example: The spokesperson’s offensive remarks caused outrage among the public.

2. lash out /læʃ aʊt/ (v.) – to attack verbally or physically because of extreme anger
Example: The lady lashed out at the stewardess for ignoring her request.

3. sloppy /ˈslɒp (adj.) – careless and showing little thought or focus
Example: The saleslady got fired for giving sloppy responses to customers.

4. discrimination /dɪˌskrɪməˈneɪʃən/ (n.) – unfair treatment or action toward a person or a group of people
Example: Some women complain about the discrimination they experience in their workplace.

5. advocate /ˈædɪt/ (n.) – a person who supports a specific cause or idea
Example:  My mother is an advocate of women's empowerment.


Read the text below.
Twitter users expressed outrage after Delta Airlines tweeted that breastfeeding with no cover-ups will not be allowed during the flight.

Before the said flight, Lindsay Jaynes [LIND-zee jeyns] inquired via Twitter if she would be allowed to breastfeed her 10-week-old son during the flight even without any cover-ups. She emphasized that her son does not drink milk when he is covered and he cannot drink through a bottle. Delta Airlines replied that she cannot breastfeed her child unless she covers herself while doing so.

Because of this reply, many people on Twitter, especially breastfeeding supporters, lashed out at the company, some emphasizing that most state laws support breastfeeding in public. Delta Airlines apologized for the misinformation, saying that it welcomes breastfeeding on flights.

Despite the apology, some mothers and breastfeeding advocates were still angry. A blogger named Monica Beyer said that Delta’s sloppy handling of public relations would not be forgotten. Another blogger, Jessica Martin-Weber, suggested that authorities should normalize breastfeeding to stop discrimination against mothers.

Nowadays, the media’s portrayal of breasts as sex objects has led to society’s inconsiderate view toward breastfeeding. However, actress Mayim Bialik [MA-yam bi-YA-lik], also a breastfeeding advocate, stressed that breastfeeding is not a sexual act.

Although many people supported Jaynes, there were some who sided with Delta Airlines. A radio host tweeted that public breastfeeding will be accepted only when people get comfortable with men showing their private organs in public. Other tweets labeled Jaynes as an immature mother who just sought public attention.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you find Delta Airlines’ reply to Jaynes? 
·         Would you agree with a policy that allows public breastfeeding? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         In your country, how are babies usually fed, through formula/bottle feeding or breastfeeding?
·         Do you think this will change in the future? Please explain your answer.


April 3, 2014