Outrages, Outrages Everywhere But Not a Word Gets Written

| Fri Oct. 5, 2007 11:37 AM PDT

I'm with Dahlia: what's with the QT on Sophie Currier?

A columnist whose work I all but inhale, Slate's Lithwick wondered recently why women, let alone feminists, had assumed radio silence about a story which makes its own gravy: Harvard Med's Sophie Currier won a landmark appeal allowing women everywhere (probably) to have extra break time to express milk during the grueling, nine-hour medical boards. This story's got everything: motherhood, McDoctors, babies, boobies and plain old boobs on the lower court. So offended they were that mothers hesitate to traumatize their infants (and risk turning their milk ducts into infected milk duds) by all of a sudden one day withholding the goods. Speaks volumes about our real interest in 'family values' and the plain old value of women: I'm here to tell you that breasts become a special kind of hell when you need to breastfeed and can't. Breastfed babies tend not to like it either, so the fact that we're talking about doctors here adds a lovely layer of surreality. So why didn't the 'breastfeed til puberty' crowd board buses for Boston while female pundito-activists bumrushed the blogosphere? (It fell to the whip smart Bill Mahr to take a stand (it's at the end of the clip) on this prickly issue, though it precedes Currier and is tangential to the issue of work-related breastfeeding.)

You should read Lithwick for her excellent analysis - to prove her point, I had never even heard about the case until her piece - but a larger point needs to be made. It's the cheapest trick in the book to go looking under bushes for the one measly outrage your enemies missed while picking up their cleaning one day, but every now and then the bullshit flag simply must be thrown; both feminists and the family values crowd either chickened out or played politics with this one.

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.