After a recent incident at a Friendly's in Norwich, Connecticut, a group of moms are planning to stage a "nursing demonstration" in support of mothers breastfeeding in Connecticut.
Mother Tabitha Donohue is claiming that employees at her local Friendly's asked her to "cover up," and that a manager asked if she "thought she was offending anyone." In response, Donohue and others have planned a "nurse-in" for today at 3 PM at the same Friendly's, an event to which 57 people have signed up. We'll have to see how many actually show, but that would be an impressive demonstration.
It's important to note that the law solidly backs Donohue up: Connecticut law states in no uncertain terms that an employee at any public place cannot "limit the right of a mother to breast-feed her child." This means that they "cannot request that the mother stop breastfeeding her baby, cover up, move to a different room or area, or leave."
Friendly's has already gone into damage control, saying that they welcome breastfeeding in their restaurants. According to them, the child was laying on the table at the time (I'm not sure how this changes anything? It's still more sanitary than the shit 90% of customers do to their tables), and that the manager approached Donohue "to see if there was a better option to accommodate them." Apparently, other patrons had also complained.
This isn't the first time this has happened: in 2010, a mother at a Glendale, Arizona McDonald's was asked to leave by a manager after breastfeeding her six-month-old son. Glendale moms then organized the same sort of nursing demonstration planned in Connecticut. As in the most recent incident, the law backs up the mom — Arizona law states that mothers are legally entitled to breastfeed in any public space where they are legally authorized to be.
I'll admit that I still find it momentarily surprising when I see a mother breastfeeding in a public place. I probably shouldn't, but we're really weird as a society when it comes to boobs in public, even when they're being used in their exact context for why they even exist, and that sort of conditioning doesn't just erase itself over night. At the same time, I really don't get the opposition some people have to it, and I'd sure as hell never complain or ask a breastfeeding mom to cover up. I mean, no one's trying to ban farting in public, and that's a bodily function that affects people around you WAY more than breastfeeding does. Also, no one wants to ban farts in public because farts are fucking funny.
Image via Valua Vitaly/Shutterstock.