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should I send this 'friend' a polite message?

28 replies

SisterCarrie · 26/09/2011 09:40

A woman I work with (early 30s, reasonably well-educated, decent job) has just updated her status with:

Miss A thinks breastfeeding on a crowded train is gross, why would anyone think that was a good idea?

Various comments from her mates along similar lines and only one person saying "well, maybe the mum was desperate to calm down her starving baby." Miss A's response was "maybe, but it's still gross".

I'm not a rabid breastfeeder at all, I only did it for 6 months or so and even then combined with occasional formula, but I am so shocked at this woman for posting a comment that is at best insensitive and at worst downright ignorant and offensive that I want to send her an email, explaining that she might want to think before putting very contentious and potentially insulting comments on her wall.

I don't want to get into a big debate in public view on her status update, but I would like to let her know that I didn't appreciate her sharing her opinion, though of course she is entitled to it. Apart from me, I can think of at least 5 other colleagues of hers who have recently had babies and have breastfed - maybe it's just me getting indignant and best to leave it, but I'm quite stunned by her comment and continued justification without thinking how personally offensive she has been to breastfeeding women.

Would she have preferred listening to a screaming hungry baby on her crowded train? Does she think everyone should be banned from eating on crowded trains? So, what's the consensus - should I not bother and just hide her status updates from now on, or should I send a polite and well-considered email? I think I know the answer already, having written this all down!

OP posts:
MmeLindor. · 26/09/2011 09:43

I would not send her an email.

Hide her status or comment on it.

"That was boobs were made for and anyone who finds it gross needs to grow up"

welliesandpyjamas · 26/09/2011 09:46

No, don't email her. That'd beoverkill. Plus you do have to work with her day to day, no point crerating bad atmosphere over a difference of opinion.

Ideally, you could post a Hmm face under her comment but sadlythat is just a MN thing Grin So handy sometimes!

If anything though, maybe post just a 'light' but true comment like "better than a screaming starving baby, an upset mum, and an irritating carriage of passengers"

LilRedWG · 26/09/2011 09:46

MmeLindor has the right idea.

GoldenGreen · 26/09/2011 09:46

I think it's up to you - saying it's "gross" is actually offensive to you, so if she has made an offensive statement in public, then you have every right to reply.

Sending the message as a private email means that you don't have to get into a public debate, with your colleagues gawping (!) but it does let her know that she is upsetting people.

welliesandpyjamas · 26/09/2011 09:46

irritating I meant irritated

MmeLindor. · 26/09/2011 09:47

or "You are right, it is sooooo grossssssss... Oh. No. Wait. We are not 15 anymore"

SisterCarrie · 26/09/2011 09:48

MmeLindor, thanks - that's the conclusion I came to after typing my post ^^.

Feel less cross after venting on here - still undecided about commenting on her status, but I'm going to hide her in case she decides to get on an anti-bf roll with the updates!

OP posts:
GoldenGreen · 26/09/2011 09:50

She is ignorant, and hasn't thought it through. Pointing out that mums and their bf babies simply wouldn't be able to leave the house for more than a couple of hours at a time for potentially six months if they didn't feed in public might just make her think a bit differently. Worth a try IMO. And while I love MmeLindor's comebacks - not sure you can get away with that with a work colleague!

GoldenGreen · 26/09/2011 09:51

sorry x post with OP - hiding her status a very good idea!

TheCountessOlenska · 26/09/2011 09:52

Agree with above posters - an email would just piss her off and make you sound like "a rabid breastfeeder" - a lighthearted comment on the post would be better.

What an insensitive, rude comment though. I never breastfed on a crowded train as I was paranoid that people would think like this - and it turns out I was right Sad

bibbitybobbityhat · 26/09/2011 09:53

Definitely comment on it! I like MmeLindor's second suggestion. Why on earth would you let that slip by? Comment on it and let her be embarrassed. Of course you should pull people up when they say twattish things online ... look at that stupid journalist who commented she couldn't feel sorry for the three teenagers who were killed on a coach in Thailand because they had posh sounding names. She was quite rightly rounded on.

I don't understand your reluctance?

MmeLindor. · 26/09/2011 09:58

Although, I don't know if I would comment - depends on the work relationship.

Do you work closely with her?

SisterCarrie · 26/09/2011 09:59

Bibbitybobbityhat, I'm going to do it (just didn't want to get into a huge barney on FB with a colleague who is also a good friend of DP) as suggested - not sure I will be sarcastic about it, maybe just factual and let her know she's offended me.

My reluctance was initially stemming from my personal (very angry) reaction to her post and knowing my own propensity for loving a good argument - especially one that's eminently winnable. I'm the sort of person who usually types/speaks first and thinks later - but trying to be less impetuous of late!

OP posts:
TheBride · 26/09/2011 10:00

put "[defriend]" in the comment box Grin

zipzap · 26/09/2011 10:03

Does she have any dc herself? Am guessing not from your post.

How about turning her comment around - 'just shocked that there are still people who find breast feeding gross! And there was me thinking we were living in enlightened times.'

SisterCarrie · 26/09/2011 10:04

MmeLindor - I am not going back after ML and 6-month sabbatical, so the colleague-ness of it isn't an issue from my perspective - but she and DP are good friends and work closely together. DP agrees with me, so maybe he could have a word with her later this week.

OP posts:
Badtasteflump · 26/09/2011 10:22

If she were a close friend I would have to say something, I think - but to her face, preferably, as IME emails can be analysed and have all kinds of things read into them which can cause a bigger fallout than you ever meant to have.

If she's just an acquaintance, I would hide her messages and think to myself that she clearly doesn't really have anything to say that's worth reading!

Meteorite · 01/10/2011 09:28

Just make one comment, then leave it. She'll probably post something else but you will have made your point.

SisterCarrie · 03/10/2011 13:43

Sorry to resurrect this thread - I ended up just posting a mildly PA/sarky comment : 'not sure [my DS] would agree with you that having his food on the train is gross - what else are breasts for, after all - would you rather the baby starved and screamed the whole way home?' and then unsubscribing from her feed.

BUT - there has been another person (this time a relatively good friend and former colleague) with a new SU : "Mrs A says NO to talking about breastfeeding on the train".

I've been using FB for 6 years or so now and have never seen anyone make comments about bfing before - although 2nd one is not worth commenting on as I know her opinions on children and the like - it's just really odd that 2 people in 1 week have criticised it, or the mention of it, on my feed.

OP posts:
bintofbohemia · 03/10/2011 13:46

I don't get Mrs A's update - clearly she doesn't say no! It's not clear whether she's backing you or the one who made the stupid post in the first place?

Redbluegreen · 03/10/2011 13:51

If you read the comments that came after yours you might get a better idea of what the second SU means? Your response was good, well done! I think I would have wanted to see the follow-up replies, even if I didn't comment further.

SisterCarrie · 03/10/2011 14:55

Sorry not to be clear. Mrs A was saying she doesn't like people talking about bfing on the train (as in she was on a train with 2 women who were talking about it and she didn't like it). I know Mrs A doesn't really 'do' kids, but she's not normally so vocal about something like that. Mrs A is different to Miss A (shouldn't have used the same initial!).

OP posts:
HenriettaFarthingay · 03/10/2011 15:01

Well I know I'd rather see a mother quietly breastfeeding her baby on a train than some of the office workers you see stuffing their faces on the way to and from work.

Personally I'd just ignore it, and remove her from my friends list, or just hide her posts if you don't want to do that.

bintofbohemia · 03/10/2011 15:03

They sound like a pair of nobbers. Unfriend!

Thumbwitch · 03/10/2011 15:10

FFS, some people (not you, OP)
I think your first comment was fine, good thing to have done.

The second SU is just bloody pathetic. It's words, it's someone else's conversation, she shouldn't even have been listening! Bloody hell - I'd rather not listen to young blokes effing and blinding when I have my 3yo DS on the train with me, but I'm not going to be so pathetic as to put it on FB! How stupid would I sound?!

Anyone would think breastfeeding was akin to wanking, the way some people go on about it :( Angry

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