Breasts, Feminism, Gender, Reader Polls, Weirdness, Women's Issues

The Breast Pump for the Corporate Woman

I can’t claim to know all of the difficulties nursing mothers are up against as they try to handle their personal and professional business. But I do know that the recession has pushed “work-life” balance concerns off the front page.

We’ve all heard stories about the travails of nursing mothers. Horrible stories about women who can’t get an exception to their firm’s “no curtains” policy, thus preventing breast pumping in their own office. Discriminatory stories about women who can’t get a reasonable break to do what needs to be done. We’ve heard positive stories too: like Simpson Thacher’s lactation room — which sounds like a thing nobody would call a “perk” if more women ran law firms.

However, I can’t recall any kind of technological innovation that could actually help nursing mothers manage all the things on their plate. Until now. The device below is beautiful … and terrible. It seems like one of the most unnatural contraptions ever invented to help a natural process. It is corporate and mammalian at the same time.

And it’s just a striking freaking image….

I imagine that many women in our audience have seen this particular device before (click to enlarge):

What I can’t get over is the fact that the woman in the picture is holding a BlackBerry. I mean, this really is the horrible logical extension of CHECK YOU EMAILS. What kind of world do we live in where a woman can’t take X minutes (I have no idea how long it takes) to unplug from her BlackBerry and plug into a breast pump?

But I’ve left out the best part. Here’s the tagline for this product:

I guess this is one way to “pump up” your billable hours. If people can bill while going to the bathroom, why can’t women bill while they pump their breast milk?

I don’t even know else what to say. Something deeply troubling is happening here; I just don’t know precisely what it is.

What do you readers think of this product? Take the poll below and help me try to make sense of what is going on here (click all that apply).

New York’s Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (NY State Labor Law §206-c) [Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

Earlier: Biglaw Perk Watch: Lactation Rooms

(hidden for your protection)

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