All Your Milk Are Belong To Us: Breastfeeding is not connected to pregnancy! Who knew!

8 years ago

Who knew!?

You know, I've been pregnant three times, gave birth to live,
healthy babies three times and nursed each of my three babies.  If
breastfeeding my babies was not related to pregnancy, someone tell me
what was going on with my body, k?

Kate Harding at has an excellent take-down and analysis of this gobsmackingly narrow decision regarding Totes/Isotoner's pregnancy discrimination that defies common sense.

In the strictest legal sense, the ruling is logical:
Allen admitted she took unauthorized breaks, and that's a firing
offense. If she can't prove that someone said, "Ha! Now's our chance to
get rid of her for being a woman!" then apparently, she can't prove
discrimination. But it's manifestly weaselly to suggest that her
"insubordination" can somehow be separated from the fact that she was
lactating, especially since they were responding to a decision that
included this colossal eye-roller:

"Allen gave birth over five months prior to her termination from
[Isotoner]. Pregnant [women] who give birth and choose not to
breastfeed or pump their breasts do not continue to lactate for five
months. Thus, Allen's condition of lactating was not a condition
relating to pregnancy but rather a condition related to breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding discrimination does not constitute gender discrimination."

Of course not.


Hey, you know - Totes obviously has no idea just how many women wear
Totes-like socks during labor and delivery.  Do they really want every
hospital to stop purchasing those items from them?  How about hotels,
spas - also places lactating and pregnant women like to go - often for
non-pregnancy related occasions.

Let me tell you something, Totes - you don't think breastfeeding is
connected to pregnancy?  Well - I don't think wearing your brand of
socks is connected to keeping my tootsies warm anymore.

Game on.

NB:  Anyone ask the thousands of doctors across the country, who
tell women to breastfeed as long as possible because of the health
benefits of breastfeeding to the babies, how they feel about this
decision and whether breastfeeding is connected to pregnancy? And how
about how our country ranks embarrassingly high on infant mortality, with countries like Germany, South Korea, Britain - oh, and Cuba doing better? Nah - guess Totes could care less about that.

Both cross-posts at Writes Like She Talks and The Moderate Voice have good comment threads.

Here's the customer service contact info for Totes/Isotoner:

"You can reach us via email at
or by phone at 1-800-762-8712 Ext. 8519."

And here's its corporate info - note that it has nearly $54 million in sales annually.  Hmmm...

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