At least not women with a shred of dignity who have the audacity to believe that every aspect of their bodies and lives shouldn't be subject to the whims of "libertarians" like old Billy Boy.
The final (rant) section of his New Rules on Friday (which begins about midway through the below video) was on the subject of breastfeeding. And what I bet you didn't know is that women who breastfeed in public aren't good mothers—they're annoying narcissists! Annoying narcissists who are "too lazy to either plan ahead or cover up." (Yes, breastfeeding mothers of America—why do you consistently fail to plan for your infant children's hunger better? You selfish whores.) Worse yet was Maher's classification of breastfeeding as "an intimate act," and lest you think he didn't mean that as a euphemism for a sex act, he quickly clears it up by joking, "I don't want to watch strangers performing intimate acts. At least not for free," and then comparing it to masturbating in public.
Maher also reduces the incident on which he's basing his rant to "the case of a woman who was breastfeeding in public and asked by an Applebee's manager not to leave but just to cover up a little bit," which is a mendacious misrepresentation of what happened. Brooke Ryan was discreetly nursing in the restaurant when she was asked to cover up with blanket in violation of Kentucky state law, which flatly states: "No person shall interfere with a mother breastfeeding her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be." Nonetheless, Maher insists "Look, there's no principle at work here, other than being too lazy to either plan ahead or cover up," and "It's not fighting for a right, it's fighting for the spotlight." I didn't realize it's fine for people to be denied their legal rights if Bill Maher finds the exercise of those rights distasteful. (I guess he really is a libertarian, after all.)
And after his demeaning tirade about women's breasts being seen in public actually doing what they were designed to do, he tries half-assedly to turn it into a comment on the Iraq War, saying "there will be no end to this dumb war until there is a draft," without a hint of irony or seemingly any recognition of the classic images associated with the draft, e.g. wives cradling fatherless infants and mothers collapsing in grieving heaps at the news of a fallen son.
Transcript: And finally, new rule—and I never thought I'd be the one to say this—but don't show me your tits! [laughter] Last week the world's first nurse-in was held to protest the case of a woman who was breastfeeding in public and asked by an Applebee's manager not to leave but just to cover up a little bit. Because the wait staff got tired of hearing, 'I'll have what that kid's having!' [laughter]
I'm not trying to be insensitive, here. I know your baby needs to eat, but so do I and this is Applebee's, so I'm already nauseous. [laughter] Breastfeeding a baby is an intimate act, and I don't want to watch strangers performing intimate acts. At least not for free. [laughter] It cheapens it.
But breastfeeding activists—yes, breastfeeding activists, called Lactivists [laughter]—say this is a human right and appropriate everywhere, because it's natural. Well, so is masturbating, but I generally don't do that at Applebee's. (laughter and applause) Not in the main dining area, anyway. I mean next thing, women will be wanting to give birth in the waterfall at the mall! [laughter]
Look, there's no principle at work here, other than being too lazy to either plan ahead or cover up. It's not fighting for a right, it's fighting for the spotlight, which you surely will get when you go all Janet Jackson on everyone [laughter] and get to drink in the oohs and ahhs from the other customers because you made a baby! [laughter] Something a dog can do. (laughter and applause) Only in America do women think they deserve a medal for having a kid. In China women give birth on their lunch hour and that afternoon they're back on line painting lead onto Barbie dolls. (laughter and applause)
But this isn't really about women taking their breasts out in public—as much as I'd like them to. It's about how petty and parochial our causes have become, and how activism has become narcissism. It's why Al Gore can't get people to focus on global warming unless there's a rock concert. Melting icebergs, brought to you by Smashing Pumpkins. It's why there will be no end to this dumb war until there is a draft, because at the end of the day, Iraq is somebody else's problem.
And by the way, there is a place where breasts and food do go together. It's called Hooters! (laughter and applause)"
Hilarious. Meanwhile, I'm wondering how much of both the original complaint and Maher's "New Rule" was influenced by the fact that Brooke Ryan is fat?