I never had any skin in the "public breastfeeding" debate, but when it came up one time at a bar with some friends, two female friends, BOTH conservative, were ADAMANT that they have the right to breast feed in public for everyone to see.
I said I wasn't "offended" as much as I found it gross and was repulsed by it.
This threw them into a tizzy.
I spent the remainder of the debate telling them it didn't matter how they felt, it wasn't going to change the fact I was viscerally repulsed by it and instinctively found it gross. But this distinction fell on deaf ears. Failing to listen and letting their emotions run rampant I was yelled at, lectured, called names. I tried multiple times to get emotion out of it and to make the distinction that I, as well as the majority of men, didn't have a choice in finding it gross, it was our natural reaction. I tried to convey to them that they could pass as many laws as they wanted, it still wouldn't change people's natural reaction to it. Of course I failed.
But there was something of an observation I had that was very interesting. One of the girls has been desperately trying to get her boyfriend to commit to her long term and propose. He was sitting right there next to her while she was going on about how they have a right to breastfeed in public and how dare men oppress them and their children and blah blah blah. And while she was going on you could see him shaking his head, looking at me as if to say,
"This girl just doesn't get it. She thinks I'm going to marry HER with this attitude and insanity? I'm bad or evil for being grossed out by public breastfeeding. Look at how she doesn't even factor in whether or not I approve. Look how she is incapable of thinking of other people. Good lord, and she wants to have kids! If we ever did have kids, I'd be thrown under the bus in half a second. The hell if I'm EVER going to pop the question to her!"
Which more or less was the nub of the point.
Lay down as many laws as you want, it isn't going to change people's natural reaction. Yell and scream and berate people all you want, it's not going to change their automated responses. What's ultimately bothering you isn't that there's not enough laws protecting rights or what have you, it's that you are angry that people find something you do disgusting and you (foolishly) think enacting laws will somehow FORCE people to not find it disgusting.
If that's the case, then make it illegal for men to find fat women unattractive. Or women to find short men unattractive. You can make all the laws in the world you want, and you can breastfeed in front of my face just for a power trip or out of spite (which I think is behind a lot of this anyway), you're still inconsiderate, you're still selfish, and I still find it disgusting.
So pass all the laws you want. Make employers flee the state. Selfishly force inconvenience and discomfort upon the public. And berate people for finding things disgusting. You'll simply drive people away from you because you're advertising quite loudly to the world:
"I'm the only one that matters and I value myself more than anybody else."
Because no matter what the official "law" says, society still holds you to a set of unspoken laws (people called these things "manners" or "decency" back in the olden days), and those aren't going away. Choose to obey or disregard them, you'll still be judged.
Post post - A duly noted distinction arising from the comments. I am talking about what would be considered "flagrant" breastfeeding. Not the "discrete" breastfeeding wherein the mother covers her baby with a towel, which I (and I would believe most other people) are fine with. I'm talking where I'm eating and I see a woman's breast at the dinner table.