How Do You Defend Your Breastfeeding Rights When You Really Don't Have Any? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-17-2012, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I live in one of two (maybe three?) that has zero, zilch laws to protect women who nurse in public. I have two kids, both breastfed, and have only been overtly harassed once (by a restaurant server). Still, with my third on the way, I'm dreading the prospect of that happening again. If I'm approached again, I won't be able to do what women elsewhere can...which is to pull out a hard copy of the law and show it to the offender.

In the first incident, the manager apologized and claimed that they comply with all state laws. How convenient, considering that there aren't any. eyesroll.gif. There's an effort underway to change that. But until then, what is the best way to respond to someone who tells me to cover up, go to the bathroom, leave the premises, etc?

Oh, and by "best," I mean as positive and productive response as possible....but still firm. I'm afraid that while extremely tempting, any snarky responses or middle-finger extensions won't fit that bill! lol.gif. I probably won't be faced with this awful scenario again, but does anyone have any ideas in case I am?

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Old 03-18-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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I was approached once and I said I wouldn't cover up and to tell the pervert staring at my chest area to stop. You should check your city code also. You don't need a law protecting every right to make it legal, I believe even our constitution says that.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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So don't comply.

 

If someone asks you to cover, say "actually, I prefer not to."

If someone asks you to leave, ask to speak to their boss. If you go all the way up the chain and they are still asking you to leave, here's a line you can use--"I'm sorry you feel that way, but I feel this is extremely unfair, and I should let you know that I'm alerting [local media] about this." 

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Old 03-19-2012, 08:53 AM
 
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Try to put up gentle resistance first. People will often back down from that.

 

If asked to move, first say, "Thanks, but I'm perfectly fine here." If asked to cover up, say, "Thanks, but I feel fine without it."

 

If they don't back down, you have to get firmer. Sometimes a business will say that customers are complaining. You can say, "I'm sorry they feel uncomfortable, but they don't have to look. I feel like you are putting their squeamishness ahead of my needs as a nursing mother. As your customer, aren't my needs important too?"

 

No matter who is complaining, always say, "I feel like you are discriminating against me because I am a nursing mother. Could you put aside your squeamishness so that I can still go about my day, too?"

 

Make sure to call it "squeamishness" because I feel that it's a good word that belittles how they are feeling about your nursing. How they are feeling (disgusted, uncomfortable) isn't a valid feeling to have. Relabel their feeling as just being "squeamish".

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Old 03-31-2012, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

 

If they don't back down, you have to get firmer. Sometimes a business will say that customers are complaining. You can say, "I'm sorry they feel uncomfortable, but they don't have to look. I feel like you are putting their squeamishness ahead of my needs as a nursing mother. As your customer, aren't my needs important too?"

All of the responses in this thread have been quite helpful.

 

I especially like the "squeamishness" suggestion! 

 


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