I’m not a mom, yet. And I don’t know if I would ever choose to breastfeed in public. But that would be my choice. That said, it is extraordinarily frustrating to see women loosing their rights, or capitulating when their rights are questioned. Whether it is women who is being paid less than she deserves or a woman who is being told she may not breastfeed in public. I’m glad this woman is going through with her lawsuit. She’s not asking for compensation, or any type of emotional damage. Just that her legal fees are covered and that the system re-educate their deputies and other staff. Check out the video for more information and an interview with the mom herself. Also included in the video is a helpful tip from a Facebook follower of the news channel covering the story- suggestion breastfeeding women carry a copy of the law. Great suggestion!
What’s even more frustrating, are the comments I’ve seen over at the Huffington Post where I first read this story. It’s no wonder a young mom feels the need to find justice, when there are still comments like these:
These comments almost frustrate me more than the deputy who asked the woman to stop breastfeeding in public.
Let’s start with the first one. In some cultures, it is not usual that women not leave the house for 4 weeks after giving birth. Let’s add onto that, that if she was a new mom- she probably has tried to avoid breastfeeding in public as much as possible. I’m sure it’s awkward and not necessarily something everyone wants to do. But let’s move on with that, and talk about the fact that this person assumes that it is the women’s historical heritage that is making her think she deserves a handout. Nevermind that this woman may be on unpaid maternity leave and is only temporarily seeking help from WIC to provide for her child’s health.
The second one- nothing to reactionary, except the fact that apparently she/he can’t read or listen to a news report. Since it was clearly stated that she is not seeking any monetary compensation (outside of legal and court fees for starting the injunction process).
The third comment- Yes, apparently women are nutty for wanting to breastfeed their children. How dare they choose to keep a consistent routine and not give their children artificial nipples. Yup- we’re all nutty. (Part of me is hoping this guy is just being sarcastic- but I’m doubtful).
What’s frustrating about these comments are the assumptions that are made, despite this woman being completely within her rights. It does not matter that she was their for WIC related services, or that she may be from a minority group. What matters is you have a woman, who is trying to do best by her family. You have no idea what her situation is (there were 40 shootings last week in Chicago- maybe her husband was caught in cross fire and can’t support them at the moment, maybe she was raped and kept her child like pro-lifers want her to do, or MAYBE IT DOESN’T MATTER! She was within her legal right to take care of her child in a public place.
How would you like to eat in a bathroom?