It only became legal to breastfeed in public in all 50 states in 2018.

Idaho and Utah recently joined the party, meaning that parents in every state can legally breastfeed in public.

Over the years, stories of people who have been asked to leave restaurants or other public places because someone complained about the way they fed their babies have made headlines, prompting outcry from advocates and providing fodder for debate among the masses.

Prior to states passing laws, there was little recourse for parents in such incidents. In fact, breastfeeders could be cited and fined for public indecency if a law enforcement officer responded to a complaint in some situations.


Photo by Ezequiel Becerra/Getty Images.

These laws were not passed without controversy — in fact, Utah's almost didn't make it past committee.

Utah's Breastfeeding Protection Act passed the House Business and Labor Committee by the narrowest of margins in February, with a 6-5 vote in favor. Sponsored by Rep. Justin Fawson, the bill states that breastfeeding is legal "in any place of public accommodation." The original bill also clarified that it didn't matter whether the breast was covered or uncovered.

"I don't feel like we should ever relegate a mom to a restroom to breastfeed their child," Fawson told the local news. "That's a big reason why I'm running the bill. I'm seeking to further normalize breastfeeding and allow moms to feed their babies as needed."

Others lawmakers took issue with it, however. Rep. R. Curt Webb, one of the five who voted against the measure, expressed concerns about modesty.  “But this seems to say you don't have to cover up at all," he said. "[I'm] not comfortable with that at all, I'm just not. It's really in your face.”

When language about the breast being uncovered was removed from the bill, it passed in the Utah House of Representatives 66-5.

Breastfeeding parents have worked hard to get these laws passed through legislatures largely dominated by cisgender men.

One issue that has long affected the legality of breastfeeding in public is the fact that legislatures have long been dominated by people who don't give birth or breastfeed. Even in 2018, only a quarter of state legislators are women — a percentage that has barely changed in the past 20 years. In fact, Utah's House Business and Labor Committee (the one who narrowly passed the Breastfeeding Protection Act to send it to the House floor) is made up of 11 men and one woman.  

It's not that cis men can't pass laws that benefit cis women and folks of other genders who give birth — but when your whole gender historically hasn't done any breastfeeding, you may be less likely to sympathize with the needs of those who have and still do. Hence the need for decades of appealing to legislators, staging "nurse-ins," and other acts of civic engagement being performed by breastfeeding advocates to provide legal protections to nursing parents and babies.

Eligia Spinosa breastfeeds her 2-month-old son outside New York's City Hall during a rally to support breastfeeding in public in 2014. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

After all, these laws are only necessary because too many people see breastfeeding as something sexual or perverse.

Far too many people conflate feeding a baby with immodesty or exhibitionism. And while there's a lot that can be discussed about breastfeeding in public — you can read responses to common complaints about it here — there are a few points that must be reiterated over and over until the general public internalizes them:

  • There's nothing sexual about breastfeeding. Breasts are biologically designed for feeding babies. Yes, they have a sexual function, too — but so do mouths, and no one complains that people eat with their mouths in public. Two totally different functions that can, and should, be wholly differentiated.
  • If you really don't want to see someone breastfeeding, don't watch. Moving one's eyes a few millimeters in one direction is a whole lot easier than keeping a cover over a squirmy breastfeeding baby, and far more desirable than banishing a parent and baby away from people to eat.
  • Breastfeeding parents already have enough on their plate. Having a baby is hard. Let's give parents some grace and applaud them for keeping their tiny humans alive in whatever way they deem best — without forcing them to sit on public toilets to do it.
Hollie McNish - Embarrassed

Breastfeeding in public is 👏🏼not 👏🏼awkward.👏🏼

Posted by Upworthy on Saturday, February 24, 2018
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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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