Luke Freaks Out Over Breastfeeding

LUKE: Why, why do they do this? This is a public place, people are eating here … This cannot be sanitary … When did that become acceptable? In the old days, a woman would never consider doing that in public. They’d go find a barn or a cave or something. I mean, it’s indecent. This is a diner not a peep show!

Luke is horrified when a woman nurses her baby in the diner. I have trouble accepting this “caveman” version of Luke, when he was depicted as intelligent and progressive in Season 1 – sometimes it feels as if the show couldn’t decide whether Luke was smart or stupid, progressive or reactionary.

He did tell Lorelai that he didn’t like small children very much, especially their messy, sticky side, and perhaps this is why he is having problems with seeing a baby fed, but it ends up being a judgement on the mother for putting on a “peep show” – therefore sexualising her need to feed her child, which is pretty creepy of Luke.

In Connecticut, women have been legally entitled to breastfeed in public since 1997, and it is prohibited for anyone to restrict or limit their right to do so. This includes restaurants and diners, so Luke has had five years to adjust to the law. As a responsible business owner, Luke would know of his legal obligations, and I don’t think he would behave like this, even if he did secretly feel a little uncomfortable.

As another mirroring scene, Jess is also shown being unable to handle seeing a woman breastfeed her baby. It’s not like this entire scene didn’t age well – it was outdated and unfunny at the time of first broadcast.

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