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Court Tosses Breastfeeding Discrimination Case Because Men Can Lactate Too

(18 Posts)
NotAWhacktivist Sat 10-Feb-18 19:50:25

This is one of those, This Would Never Happen, scenarios, except now it has. This was in the US which is terrible on things like maternity leave. Shows that trans-rights might have a negative impact on women in the future.

The headline is a bit misleading, as this was not the main reason for the case being tossed, but it was given as part of the reason. The case was clearly one of sex-discrimination though, as the woman was clearly targeted for taking maternity leave.

Court Tosses Breastfeeding Discrimination Case Because Men Can Lactate Too
www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ames-vs-nationwide-breastfeeding-discrimination_n_6653418

Patodp Sat 10-Feb-18 19:53:20

Another mass wave of peak trans to follow?
That poor woman. sad

NotAWhacktivist Sat 10-Feb-18 19:53:53

More info on the case

Blog post from an ACLU lawyer about the case here:

"The trial court also held, nonsensically, that even if Angela had been fired because she was breastfeeding that was not sex discrimination, in part because men can lactate under certain circumstances.

The court's reasoning in this case echoes old Supreme Court pronouncements that discriminating against pregnant women at work isn't sex discrimination because both men and women can be non-pregnant. Congress long ago rejected this ridiculous reasoning when it passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. It's disheartening to see it resurface again.

Perhaps most shockingly, in Angela's case the trial court also found that the "just go home and be with your babies" comment was gender-neutral."

www.aclu.org/blog/speakeasy/firing-mom-because-shes-breastfeeding-sex-discrimination?redirect=blog/womens-rights/firing-mom-because-shes-breastfeeding-sex-discrimination

OvaHere Sat 10-Feb-18 19:57:51

How long have we been saying this would eventually happen? hmm

Geronimoleapinglizards Sat 10-Feb-18 19:59:26

Gosh that is really shocking

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 10-Feb-18 20:00:21

It is terrible, but I should perhaps point out that article is very old.

NotAWhacktivist Sat 10-Feb-18 20:00:40

Yeah I was one of those who started off thinking women were worried about nothing with the trans thing, and gradually I have seen that everything we were warned about has come to pass.

Thanks to Mumsnet for allowing discussion on this issue as I would have had no idea what was going on under our noses otherwise.

OvaHere Sat 10-Feb-18 20:03:24

It is terrible, but I should perhaps point out that article is very old.

Looks like it was 2015. That's kind of worse, that some sort of precedent was set 3 years ago. I can imagine the argument getting used even more frequently in the current climate.

RatRolyPoly Sat 10-Feb-18 20:05:40

Trump hates women, even more than America with its zero hours maternity leave already did.

RatRolyPoly Sat 10-Feb-18 20:06:44

Looks like it was 2015

Ah, so it didn't even need Trump's hand in it. I take it back.

sleepingdragon Sat 10-Feb-18 20:07:42

This isn't about trans issues though?? Some biological men can lactate, its just not done anymore (or talked about) in western society??

HelenaDove Sat 10-Feb-18 20:07:50

WTF Is this even safe for the baby?

www.romper.com/p/a-transgender-woman-has-exclusively-breastfed-her-baby-its-a-dream-come-true-8146751

NotAWhacktivist Sat 10-Feb-18 20:19:24

Sorry I should have put the year. It is quite recent to my mind, but probably makes it a bit worse that it is from a few years ago.

The reason I think this ties in to the trans issue is that the courts could now make other similar decisions for the same reason. The more wishy-washy the sex definitions are, if we can now see men as women and women as men, then it will be harder to prove sex-based discrimination, as the concept of sex will have been eroded beyond all recognition in law.

Maybe laws regarding trans people should really be more about people being able to change gender and not sex, in order to protect women? But maybe this wouldn't be such an issue if changing gender or sex was confined to transexuals, and not open to all who self-id?

Self-ID is just a minefield not just for safety and privacy reasons but legal reasons like this. The more "men" can become pregnant etc. the less issues around maternity leave and so on will be seen as a sex discrimination issue.

If we get rid of biological sex as a definition based on biological reality, the less able people will be to prove sex-discrimination.

RatRolyPoly Sat 10-Feb-18 20:43:26

Maybe laws regarding trans people should really be more about people being able to change gender and not sex, in order to protect women? But maybe this wouldn't be such an issue if changing gender or sex was confined to transexuals, and not open to all who self-id?

Do you know what, for the most part I bloody agree with you. Although I will say I think it's a question of being allowed to express and being accepted as their actual gender rather than changing it per se, but the distinction's academic.

The problem for me with self ID is that I hear it was one of a good number of suggestions put to the government as things that could improve the rights and lives of trans people, many of which would arguably go further to achieve this end.But it's been picked up and run with for two reasons; showiness and COST. Unsurprising from a government with no compunction over disregarding the human rights of anyone for the sake of a cost saving exercise (pip and the disabled, anyone?). But that's my personal politics.

SenecaFalls Sat 10-Feb-18 20:58:46

This isn't about trans issues though??

No, it isn't. It's nothing to do with trans. The relevant discussion is in the first opinion of the trial court. The appellate court didn't even mention this aspect of the trial court's reasoning. I agree that the result in the case is wrong (they held that she did not have a case for constructive dismissal based on sex or pregnancy discrimination), but it has nothing to do with trans.

www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/ames_trial_ct_op.pdf

www.courtlistener.com/opinion/2656567/angela-ames-v-nationwide-mutual-insurance-co/

OvaHere Sat 10-Feb-18 21:02:12

It's not specifically to do with trans but it is part of a bigger picture that seems to be seeking to alter the reality of women's lives and remove some of the rights we have taken for granted.

OlennasWimple Sat 10-Feb-18 21:04:28

From a quick skim through those links that Seneca provided, it seems like the company botched the whole return to work process (telling her that her mat leave was a month shorter than previously advised??)

Materialist Sat 10-Feb-18 21:41:41

Yes, if gender identity supplants biological sex in law, and men (meaning TIFs) can be fired for getting pregnant or lactating, then how is it discrimatory for firing women for the same reasons? This is particularly concerning in the US, where workers have almost no legal protections except anti-discrimination laws, and even then, it’s very difficult to win a case.

There is an unspoken link, I think, between support at high levels for genderism and the wrenchings taking place in Anglo-American neoliberal economies that don’t provide enough jobs for everyone who needs one while at the same time the govts. are rolling back help to people who need it. Always, when there’s scarcity, the needs of males take precedence, because females, in the minds of men, can always marry and be taken care of.

Lots of policy already enacted and in process now serves to make it more difficult for women to maintain stable employment. In the US, attacks on women’s reproductive control. In both countries, austerity cuts hit women hardest and increase women’s care burden. Genderism hits women from a different direction, and will esp. hit hard if self-i.d. TIMs count as women in employment.

Employers don’t like to hire women; that’s evidenced by every single fight women have had to make to be able to work and for working conditions a female body can work under.

People say no man would go through even the minimal self I.d. process to perv on women in toilets. But what if self I.d. meant a good paying job?

This fight is so much bigger than toilets.

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