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Submitted by Jessica Shortall on Wed, 2014-01-22 05:00
I’m a working mother of two small children, and I’ve breastfed them both. In fact, I’m currently somewhere in the middle of breastfeeding my second child, who has cut some teeth recently and knows how to use them, so we’ll see how much longer this continues.
And it’s been interesting, being alive and mothering and breastfeeding during a time of historically high intrusion into women’s nutrition relationships with their babies. I’m not a breastfeeding crusader. I’ve found the whole situation to be exhausting and crazy and difficult. I am already sad about how fast my baby seems to be growing up, but I look forward to the day when I am not the source of her nutrition. I’m just kind of middle-of-the-road on this whole thing.
But I care about how our culture treats women, and there is one specific dynamic that I’ve been tracking, and been bothered by, in that way where you can’t put your finger on what bothers you. You turn it over and over in your mind, until one day in the shower it hits you.
On October 1, 2011, I sat on the bathroom floor of the LSAT test center pumping milk for my 5 month old son. I felt dirty, embarrassed, stressed, and alone. Things no one should feel as they are in the midst of taking one of the most important exams of their life. An exam that is key to gaining entry into a profession that fights for and defends the rights of all individuals to compete on an even playing field so they can live up to their full potential.
A few months before signing up to take the LSAT, I called the organization that administers the LSAT, the Law Schools Admissions Council, and asked if I could get an additional 15 minutes added to the break time provided, and be given a private place to pump breast milk. LSAC denied my application because breastfeeding is not considered a “disability.”