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Listen up, retail managers: Moms are fed up with being told they can't nurse in public. They want everyone to know they have the right to breastfeed anywhere in public without being harassed -- and they're taking to the streets next week with their message! Or at least, they're taking it to a Target store near you.
Michelle Hickman was breastfeeding her baby at a Houston Target when two female employees asked her to take her breastfeeding to a changing room. Hickman told them she had a right to nurse in public, and they told her they were just doing their job: They'd been trained to direct nursing moms to changing rooms. So Michelle is calling for a nurse-in at Target stores all over the world on December 28 to pressure the retail giant to train its employees better. But this isn't just about Target.
I could write an almost endless post about all the stories about women harassed for public breastfeeding just this year. We've seen moms harassed at restaurants, courthouses, airplanes, buses, and even museums! (What the hell? I'm pretty sure I've breastfed my son at every art museum in Washington, D.C., including the Hirshorn.) It seems like there's another incident every week!
Well the harassment isn't silencing women and it's not sending them back into bathroom stalls. If anything, these stories are fueling moms' outrage and making them bolder about breastfeeding in public. And I only say "them" because I'm no longer breastfeeding. I'm in complete solidarity with these women. I hope a few of the nurse-in gatherings on the 28th are big, and I hope they change a few minds.
Someday, maybe 5 years from now, maybe 10, breastfeeding in public will become no big deal. I think we're heading in that direction. As more and more moms come "out of the closet" with their public nursing, the more people just get used to it. Occupy Wall Street may not be resonating with moms in a huge way. But Occupy Boob -- that is really hitting a nerve with us.
Do you think harassment for public breastfeeding will someday end?
Image via Daquella manera/Flickr