Jill Miller's Milk Truck: ice cream truck converted to breastfeeding station

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63 Responses to “Jill Miller's Milk Truck: ice cream truck converted to breastfeeding station”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The first thing that came to mind when I saw the picture was that breastmilk ice cream that got posting a few weeks ago. I’m imagining a bunch of kids following this truck down the road asking for breastmilk ice cream sandwiches and rocket pops as a jangly version of “Daisy” blares from the speaker embedded in the nipple.

  2. hassenpfeffer says:

    I’m going to sidestep the whole BFIP debate and merely say, WTF does breastfeeding have to do with Andy Warhol or Pittsburgh? Are our women’s bohunk boobs supposed to be more massive mammaries than others’?

    • knoxblox says:

      Follow the link and your questions will be answered.

      • hassenpfeffer says:

        Well, I’m still unclear on the “why the ‘Burgh?” question, but I did catch this:

        You don’t have to be a “yinzer” to support The Milk Truck

        …but it’s apparently helpful if you are a yinzer.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m happy I live in a state where I am protected under anti-discrimination law, and can breastfeed my baby in public places. It is hard enough being a new mother to get out of the house as it is, for someone to tell me I can’t stay in a cafe/restaurant while breastfeeding adds one more difficulty I don’t need.

    Likening pooping to a child breastfeeding? Really? How puritanical is that? It’s a breast, people, don’t look if you can’t handle it, and get over it.

  4. mhsenkow says:

    Please Please Please…someone with access to a bunch of breastfeeding women. Go look up Cazwell’s icecream truck. Now make a parody/supportive youtube video for this icecream truck. Please. I’ll give you the biggest hug ever.

  5. RebNachum says:

    I don’t get it. How do they get the kid on the roof?

  6. Halloween Jack says:

    One of Miller’s previous projects:

    Pissip is a two-channel video installation. Videos on both monitors are edited so that a continual stream of water/fluid/piss flows into the mouth of the woman on the monitors. The arc of fluid actually breaks in some places – however the audio track is continuous, creating the perception of an endless stream. Further, swallowing sounds – completely fabricated – were added to the audio track, adding to the illusion of struggle, trauma, and endless gulping.

    And now we have another example of the sort of thing that makes Kickstarter in general seem like kind of a joke. I mean, seriously, aren’t there already about a zillion breastfeeding advocacy groups out there that aren’t about putting a giant tit on a truck, but, you know, actually lobbying and organizing feed-ins and whatnot?

  7. Sekino says:

    Great. I was wondering how long it would take until someone made the inevitable comparison between breastfeeding and defecating *eyeroll*

    In every conversation about breastfeeding, there’s people saying “I think breastfeeding is fine BUT women need to hide/cover up” or be otherwise made to think that it is not a proper thing to do in public altogether. It sounds as if there is a huge MOB of women out there with triple K naked bewbs spread all over everything, knocking stuff off tables and sticking them tits in strangers’ faces. Where?? I’m out and about a lot and I hardly ever see a woman breastfeeding, much less making a huge spectacle of it!

    The vast majority of women already are considerate and discreet when breastfeeding. It gets old to hear that they ALL should be further self-conscious and hiding under a blanket because some rude woman, somewhere, some time, terrorized innocent bystanders with her baby and tits.

    Then again, the point isn’t really about skin but about the fact that many people in North America find the mere CONCEPT of an infant feeding off a human breast disgusting enough to disrupt their meal. The blanket idea isn’t to hide the little bit of cleavage but to make the whole ‘gross act’ disappear altogether. IMO, it’s WAY more rude and inconsiderate that mothers have to endure such open disgust and be compared to someone taking a shit for feeding their kid in public. They shouldn’t have to hide and pretend, for other people’s comfort, that breastfeeding isn’t happening: WE as a society should discuss why we have such a huge problem with human milk and where it comes from.

    And, you know, if you ever actually have some woman whip out her boob and chase patrons around, just deal with HER and quit stereotyping all other women just minding their own business.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The misogyny in these comments is sickening.

    Feeding a baby does not equal shitting.

    Antinous, if it wasn’t so fucking sad and true, I would laugh. The fear and hatred of women has become almost palpable…

    As for the truck: silly! But amusing. I’d smile if I saw this rolling around my city.

  9. narddogz says:

    You just know somebody is going to respond with another truck fitted with a giant hand to park alongside this one and cop a feel…

  10. DooReelkow says:

    How about stickers “you don’t want to breastfeed in this restaurant” as a sign of protest/warning if one’s been asked to go out to breastfeed in a closet, dungeon or alike? That will draw attention to the problem and with enough following will bring negative PR to the puritan restaurants. Plus, people afraid to see other people’s skin or eating, will use this sign as indication that their feelings will not get hurt.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’ll chip in as a currently breastfeeding mom – the milk truck is ridiculous, impractical, and frankly embarrassing. I have no problem nursing in public when I have to, and would fight for my right to do so, but I don’t want anyone seeing my boob any more than they want to! I’ll wear clothes that I know I can nurse in without exposing myself, or bring a nursing cover. Sometimes both. Most of the time people don’t even notice, they just think you’re holding your baby. And no restaurant owner (at least here in Canada) has the right to ask you to nurse elsewhere. All that aside, I wish people would realize that nursing a baby isn’t as easy as some people think. Some babies refuse to nurse with a blanket or nursing cover, LOTS of babies won’t take a bottle (mine certainly wouldn’t), and for a new mom trying to keep covered and get a good latch is virtually impossible. I think we could all stand to give each other a little grace when it comes to this whole issue. No obnoxious flaunting of boobs… no arrogant superiority complex over breastfeeding mothers. Like a previous commenter said – would you rather listen to the baby scream bloody murder? That’s the alternative!

  12. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Fascinating how many commenters can’t distinguish between eating in a restaurant, which is what a baby is doing when it’s breastfeeding, and having sex or taking a dump in a restaurant. Freud must be trying to claw his way out of the grave right now to get in on this discussion.

    Of course, this whole problem would go away if American women would just wear burqas.

    • Sekino says:

      Fascinating how many commenters can’t distinguish between eating in a restaurant, which is what a baby is doing when it’s breastfeeding,

      But Antinous, don’t you know babies aren’t people? The things they do aren’t ‘people things’. Babies are just some pets until they’re about 16. There is a time and place for babies, but society in general ain’t it. Quit anthropomorphzing.

  13. jere7my says:

    That noise you hear at the next table at the restaurant may well be a baby filling a diaper

    Not. Helping. Your. Case.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It’s illegal isn’t it to demand someone stop feeding their baby. I know at least in canada you have the right to whip your boob out and breast feed in the middle of “insert seemingly shocking situations” if that’s the time to feed the baby.

    I think the idea of a milk truck further victimizes mothers. b/c lets be frank, it’s not really feasible to run a truck to someone who needs to breast feed the baby. If the truck came with an army of lawyers to scare the shit out of the owner of the resturant, well then you’re talking.

  15. clarence says:

    This is pretty stupid. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it should be done at the table in a restaurant. It doesn’t bother me, but is it so hard to cover up? I know a few other natural things that one shouldn’t do in public, too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you saying eating shouldn’t be done at a table? What exactly do you think the baby is doing when nursing?

      • jere7my says:

        Are you saying eating shouldn’t be done at a table? What exactly do you think the baby is doing when nursing?

        This is catchy, but a strawman. The issue is not with the baby eating — this can be demonstrated by the lack of complaints about bottle-feeding.

        More people might be upset by “OMG boobies!” but I think that’s a strawman too. I think the real issue is that bodily fluids — blood, saliva, mucus, semen, urine, milk, and the rest — squick some people out, no matter how benign they are. This doesn’t always make a lot of sense — by way of example, I remember a kid in junior high who would hawk a loogie straight up into the air, then catch it in his mouth, which was incredibly disgusting. This is despite the fact that it was his loogie, it started out in his mouth, and all of us carry saliva around in our mouths all day. It still made people go “Aiuggh!” Granted, one of the first thing that happens to parents is the complete extinction of any lingering disgust over bodily fluids, but not everyone has undergone that process.

        I personally support mothers’ rights to breastfeed wherever and whenever they want, whether they cover up or not. But I understand why some people might be distressed by the thought of bodily fluids — even life-giving, nurturing, delicious bodily fluids like breast milk — coming out of an actual body five feet away while they’re trying to eat. We don’t always have control over our squicks, and it’s polite for both parties to bend a little to keep society clicking along. Nursing mothers can try to be a little discreet, and diners can try to get over their squeamies.

    • CH says:

      Um, so you are saying that eating shouldn’t be done at a restaurant table, right?

      What really are you expecting to see when you see a baby breastfeeding? Breastfeeding in public is pretty common in my country, and I have never seen anything more than a baby’s head, really. And no, mothers here don’t “cover up” with some (IMnotsoHO) stupid piece of cloth that just draws more attention to what is going on. So if you see something dirty, it’s just your own mind.

      That said… that breastfeeding truck is, again IMnotsoHO, not in any way or form a good idea. Thrown out for breastfeeding and you call a truck to sit in and breastfeed? Why? Why not breastfeed just right outside the establishement’s door, if you want to protest. Or call the police for them violating your rights? Or if public breastfeeding isn’t protected by law in your area, have it changed so it is. Or, my favorite, just call all your breastfeeding friends and have them all sit at the restaurant, or whatever, and breastfeed. But a truck??? With a giant boob on top??? Um… no.

      • clarence says:

        I never said I think it’s dirty. It’s great. It’s a beautiful thing. That’s not the debate. Taking (or leaving, actually) a crap is a natural, great, beautiful thing. But as dculberson said, sitting at a table in a restaurant isn’t the place for it. There is a time and a place for everything. Why don’t you change your kid’s diaper at the table? Because there is a time and a place for everything. You don’t have to go in the bathroom to feed your kid. Go outside. Ask the manager if there is a more private place you can go to. Maybe feed your kid before you go out. Have some scruples.
        As far as “so you’re saying that eating shouldn’t be done at a restaurant table, right?”, come on, give me a break. That’s a bit of a stretch, isn’t it.

    • OldBrownSquirrel says:

      Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it should be done at the table in a restaurant.

      The purpose of a table at a restaurant is to provide a setting for eating a meal. I’m eating a meal. My wife is eating a meal. My son is eating a meal. My daughter is drinking a meal. How is my daughter’s meal so different? It’s not like the restaurant is losing a sale; my daughter isn’t going to eat anything on their menu until she has teeth, and the best way for the restaurant to ensure our future business once she starts solid foods is for them to treat us politely. If, as a customer, you’re somehow bothered by what a party at another table is eating, you’re free to leave.

      • davidasposted says:

        Some mothers who want to breastfeed their children in public places feel inconvenienced when others want them to do so in private.

        Some people who do not want to watch women breastfeeding in public places feel inconvenienced when mothers want to do so in public.

        Either way, someone is going to feel inconvenienced. Why should you and your wife’s rights come before those of the diners at the next table? Why do you feel you have the right to make others feel uncomfortable?

        • Gilbert Wham says:

          Because of the tiny, hungry baby?

        • OldBrownSquirrel says:

          Why should you and your wife’s rights come before those of the diners at the next table?

          Our daughter has as much right to eat in a restaurant as anyone. Why should we bothered that some people are in a pathological state of denial about what it means to be a mammal?

          • davidasposted says:

            And does the restaurant owner have a right to throw you out if s/he does not want you to breastfeed in her/his establishment. Would that decision constitute harassment, according to Ms. Miller’s explanation for her Milk Truck?

        • Anonymous says:

          Some interracial couples who want to hold hands in public places feel inconvenienced when others want them to do so in private.

          Some people who do not want to watch interracial couples holding hands in public places feel inconvenienced when the lovebirds want to do so in public.

          Either way, someone is going to feel inconvenienced. Why should you and your black girlfriend’s rights come before those of the Klansmen at the next table? Why do you feel you have the right to make others feel uncomfortable?

          Does that answer your question?

          • davidasposted says:

            Not exactly, you simply rephrased the question to imply an answer you think is self-evident: that the right to act in a way which makes other people feel uncomfortable supersedes the right to not feel uncomfortable. But I suspect there are limits to your maxim. For example, does John Galliano’s right to offend other diners supersede those who were the object of his racist remarks?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Fragile flowers should probably stay in the hothouse. But kudos for comparing breastfeeding to cheering for the holocaust.

          • davidasposted says:

            Way to miss my point.

          • jere7my says:

            kudos for comparing breastfeeding to cheering for the holocaust.

            To be fair, he was responding to someone who compared feeling uncomfortable about breastfeeding to being a Klansman.

      • clarence says:

        As I said, it doesn’t bother me. Feed your kid. If I see a titty, I see a titty. Awesome. Moving on, time/place=everything.

  16. Michael Smith says:

    The hospital my son was born in runs a one day breast feeding clinic for new mothers in a hotel room. Its a high rise building in the city and it was all very discrete until the window cleaners showed up.

  17. Anonymous says:

    the weak audio doesn’t suit the glorious and important mission.

    .~.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The idea of this truck is pretty crazy and demoralizing to women and breastfeeding babies.

    I have BF both of my children and I will my future children. I agree completely with Old Brown Squirrel… Get over it people. This is such an age old argument and it needs to die down at some point. The people arguing against BF in public were probably BF in public at some point (if their mothers breastfed in the first place) and no one noticed. I don’t know what is wrong with our society when people need to disagree about something so natural and healthy. If you see a women’s breast it should be nothing new, right? If you are a woman, you see them all the time. If you’re a man, you probably have seen them at least once before. Get over it and let it be what it is…a meal for a hungry child.

  19. bcsizemo says:

    I don’t really have an issue with breast feeding in public. I’m not a teenager anymore, while I do visit 4chan occasionally, I am married and do know what boobies are….

    But what gets me is why in these arguments no one ever mentions bringing the milk pre-bottled so to speak? As a male is there something I don’t know about how all that works? Is it painful for some women? (Beyond the obvious fact that something is applying a vacuum to your nipple…) Is it not as healthy for the baby? Why is this not a valid middle ground?

    I want my wife to breast feed, and she wants to as well. Unless she feels strongly about doing it o-natural, then I think we are looking into pumping as a nice median. (For when she is not available, or we are out type of situations.)

    • OldBrownSquirrel says:

      Pumped milk requires warming, which is impractical in restaurants, and is highly perishable. Milk on tap doesn’t have these limitations. The pumped milk we have at home is mostly reserved for times my wife is unavailable, and we mostly store it in small quantities (in order to reduce waste) and move it directly from the fridge to the bottle warmer to the baby. Even then, the process of warming takes several minutes and can lead to a loudly complaining baby by the time the milk is finally ready. I expect most restaurant diners would be happier if the baby were to shut up quickly, even if it meant a fleeting glimpse of nipple.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good lord, the whole “pump before you go out” argument is SUCH GARBAGE. Oh yes, I am going to haul an extra bag of my bottled milk that needs to be kept cold, then warmed up, just to keep from offending someone by my natural milk containers that NO ONE is going to see! And I really have tons of time with my four kids to pump milk, and pack it up. I find that idea way more offensive than a tiny bit of exposed skin. The idea that I should take a whole bunch of extra time that I don’t have to do something that I don’t need to do just because American society is backwards…yeah. NO.

      I breastfed my 15 month old in a waiting room the other day and I don’t think anyone even noticed! I don’t need a hooter hider, my baby’s body and my shirt are plenty.

    • Sekino says:

      Not every infant can switch from breast to bottle on demand.
      During the first few months, the baby has to develop a good latch (proper way to suckle) at the breast and it can take a lot of effort and practice for both mother and child. In many cases, introducing a bottle too early- or at all- can cause the baby to refuse the breast or develop a bad latch, which is painful and a huge hassle at best and can cause early weaning.

      Also, the body adjusts itself and milk supply according to the exact frequency and lenght of the feedings. If the baby suddenly feeds more often or longer, the milk supply will increase accordingly within the very day. For some women, messing up the baby’s timing and amount can negatively affect their milk production. Feeding on demand and frequently is the best way for them to maintain adequate supply.

    • Anonymous says:

      I nursed my first son a year and am currently nursing my second son. Pumping is great… if you can do it. I tried to several times while nursing my first son for convenience sake, but was unsuccessful. I simply didn’t have a large enough milk supply to pump, couldn’t seem to get a “let down” without the baby, and yes – it was very painful. After a session of pumping I would cry every time I tried to nurse for the next several days. Needless to say I gave up. It’s definitely a legitimate option and I’m not going to attack you for suggesting it, but it just doesn’t work for everyone. Personally – I always bring my nursing cover with me when I’m out and about!

    • surreality says:

      I don’t know whether it’s painful, but I can imagine it being a pain in the ass. I think that would be good for some situations, but having to do it for every time you’re in public and the baby is hungry seems a bit much.

      • Anonymous says:

        You don’t pump every time the baby is hungry; you pump at home and keep a few bottles on hand. The reason this isn’t more popular is probably that it is inconvenient to heat up a bottle when you’re out and about. I’m not sure if babies will take a lukewarm bottle, but most parents heat them before hand. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone makes some kind of baby thermos for this exact scenario.

        • Brainspore says:

          I’m not sure if babies will take a lukewarm bottle, but most parents heat them before hand. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone makes some kind of baby thermos for this exact scenario.

          Unpasteurized human milk can’t be warmed to body temperature, carried around town and safely consumed hours later any more than unpasteurized cow’s milk can.

  20. Jake0748 says:

    Stupid is a little harsh, isn’t it? I think it’s kind of nice.

  21. knoxblox says:

    If they’re out to shame the shamer, I think a more blatant look is in order for the truck, so there is no confusion about the intent.

    People who’s minds don’t follow logical trains of thought might get this confused between the visual idea of an ice cream truck which attracts children, and the actual utility of the breastfeeding station, and start to think that they’re trying to pervert our children.

    Yes, I know that’s a stretch, but I wouldn’t put it past a political campaign manager to use this as fodder for a “conservative values” push.

  22. knoxblox says:

    Still trying to figure out a way to connect this to a drunken woman spraying breast milk at unsuspecting officers, but I’m at a loss!

    (head on desk)

    *thunk*
    *thunk*
    *thunk*

  23. Aunt Babe says:

    As a Mom who breastfed both kids (10 and 6 months, respectively), if I’m “in a situation where she is discouraged, harassed, or unwelcome to breastfeed her baby in public”, I ain’t gonna wait for a truck to show up to feed my screaming child!! First off, this is a fact of life, and as much as I fault the businesses/public for not being tolerant of a natural process, it doesn’t mean a mother shouldn’t plan ahead to find a place where she can breastfeed.

    @Clarence, why should a woman have to leave the table, making her food cold, and go to a smelly bathroom to sit and feed her child? Our kids will be healthier (and Moms lose that ‘baby fat’ faster) when babies are breastfed.

    That said, I unfortunately agree with you on one point; public feeding is OK if you are discreet. I personally don’t want to see you whip your boob out to feed your baby while I’m chowing on my panini. There are lots of options out there for covering up (http://pregnancy.about.com/od/breastfeedingproducts/tp/breastfeedingcovers.htm), I even know some thrifty Moms who make their own.

    • EvilCatBucky says:

      THANK you! I agree completely. I have no problem with a woman breastfeeding, but have a little consideration. I’ll cover my mouth when I sneeze, I’ll chew with my mouth closed, please be discrete and have some consideration for others.

  24. GreenJello says:

    Jill sounds like a RL troll. Natural breast feeding is a wonderful thing, I encourage all women to do it. However, do we really need “truck does what it does best – creates a spectacle.”

  25. dculberson says:

    Breast feeding is indeed a wonderful thing, so is sex, brushing your teeth, talking to a loved one on the phone, pooping, and any number of other things I hope the person at the table next to me in a restaurant isn’t doing. I’m not going to complain or even get upset, but it’s still not really the setting for it. Just because it’s natural, good, and should be done often doesn’t mean it should be done in all possible settings everywhere at any time.

    • knoxblox says:

      I get your argument, but in all fairness, the breast milk vs. pooping is a weak analogy.

      Breast milk is supposed to be good for you, and fecal matter is not. There’s a distinct difference.

    • Brainspore says:

      Breast feeding is indeed a wonderful thing, so is sex, brushing your teeth, talking to a loved one on the phone, pooping, and any number of other things I hope the person at the table next to me in a restaurant isn’t doing.

      Interesting analogy. Did you know that most restaurants are required by law to provide a place where their patrons can poop? True fact!

    • CH says:

      So you don’t eat in a restaurant?

      • dculberson says:

        I eat food served by the restaurant. I don’t eat food that I bring in with me, nor do I eat that outside food off of my wife’s bare breast.

        In other words, your false equivalency is false.

        • CH says:

          So… you wouldn’t feed a baby a bottle of formula at a restaurant table either, unless you bought it from the restaurant?

          Just admit, it’s the boob, isn’t it?

        • Anonymous says:

          dculberson said “I eat food served by the restaurant. I don’t eat food that I bring in with me”.
          Perhaps restaurants could charge a corking fee similar to that imposed on those who bring their own wine to a restaurant.
          Problem solved!

  26. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    And does the restaurant owner have a right to throw you out if s/he does not want you to breastfeed in her/his establishment.

    If they ask us to leave, we’ll leave. FWIW, it’s never happened to us, and I’ve never seen it happen to anyone else, but if I were to see that happen, even to another family, I’d never give that restaurant my business again.

  27. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    For those suggesting that breastfeeding be done exclusively in restrooms and implicitly or explicitly comparing breastfeeding to defecation, it’s worth noting that babies generally aren’t in the routine habit of defecating only in toilets. That noise you hear at the next table at the restaurant may well be a baby filling a diaper, and yes, that is indeed the time and place for the baby to be doing that. For babies, the bathroom is for changing.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Don’t like what you see? Turn your head.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I should preface this by saying that I am perfectly fine with public breastfeeding personally. With that said, though, I don’t think that a bit of discretion—with the understanding that not everyone is comfortable with the idea of bare boobies at the dinner table—is a bad thing. It seems like a good compromise. Like, even if I had an unquestionably good reason to take my shirt off in a restaurant, such that no one would question my *right* to do so, I’d still try to be as discreet about it as possible. And if I knew in advance that this would happen I’d probably bring something along to cover up with.

  30. Anonymous says:

    just reminding everyone, this project is for an exhibit at the warhol museum, meaning it’s a piece of performance art, Jill is a video/performance artist. Sooo, the logistics aren’t the main point…it’s existence seems to be for mocking the people who think that women breastfeeding in public is a spectacle by making it an ACTUAL spectacle.

    also i am truly surprised by the ignorant, sexist comments I found here, AND the lack of women responding to both those comments and the project itself. this is why i don’t visit BB much anymore.

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