I was kicked out of a store for nursing in the dressing room!!!! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 10:19 AM
 
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I have a question- if this store manager broke the law, why is nobody getting the law involved? Shouldn't the OP file a police report to charge the manager with harrassment- IN ADDITION to creating all this negative publicity for the store?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#62 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 10:55 AM
 
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I have to be the dissenting voice here. She has no obligation to let you use her changing room to breastfeed in - you could tie it up for an hour while she has customers walking out in annoyance. It's for trying on clothes, not feeding children. people need the change rooms to try stuff on, you don't need to be in there while your kid eats.

yes, she could have been more understanding since you were half naked, but sitting on the chairs outside the dressing room or on the floor by the cash register while you BF doesn't keep her other customers from trying things on.
Wannabe, have you perhaps missed the crucial detail that the OP was already IN the dressing room as a customer trying on clothes when her baby needed to nurse?

That, like any attached and responsive mother, she nursed her baby as soon as the baby cued, without taking the time to put all her clothes back on first?

That the store owner thereupon promptly verbally assaulted this half-dressed mother with baby at breast -- who wasn't bothering or inconveniencing ANYONE -- and demanded that she move to the store's BATHROOM to feed her child?

Lactivism really won't get anywhere as a movement until we can all get behind the idea that the whims of property owners do not outweigh the needs of nursing babies and their mothers.
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#63 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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I have a question- if this store manager broke the law, why is nobody getting the law involved? Shouldn't the OP file a police report to charge the manager with harrassment- IN ADDITION to creating all this negative publicity for the store?
The law is not designed to protect the rights of breastfeeding dyads against the whims of property owners. Here is the relevant passage in the Florida law, which is typical of state laws that "allow" us to nurse our babies:

Quote:
(1) A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.
Sounds good, but in actuality, that phrase about "where the mother is otherwise authorized to be" is giant loophole for property owners. The store owner who verbally assaulted the OP simply revoked the OP's authorization to be in her dressing room. She did not break the law.

As Jake Marcus says, laws like this are quite useless, because "a right without a remedy is no right at all."
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#64 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 11:06 AM
 
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That's actually a great idea! What if we all printed off the BF symbol with a little note and stuck it in the mail to the store? It could be like a little virtual nurse-in and no one has to know about it except the owners and us. They would really understand that women all across the country know how unfriendly they are and are telling all of our friends to never shop there should they be in the area. Maybe then they will understand that treating one local woman unfairly has nationwide consequences. Anyone have comments, concerns, suggestions??
Oh come on is my idea so bad that no one will even say?...

I thought this was a pretty neat way to get the point across and we could ALL participate. Not only that we could have a chance to educate these people without the reactions from the public, i.e. "they're just exhibitionists looking for attention." Let me know what you think!

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#65 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 11:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post
See, this is where we get our understanding of nursing in public as a feminist issue. If you have to get up and move somewhere else, no matter how you are feeding a baby, because babies are a nuisance (even fed with a bottle) and breasts are nudity--then mothers of young children are essentially restricted in our ability to move around.

Advocacy for breastfeeding is advocacy for women as mothers. Babies aren't inconvenient distractions from real life--babies are one of the central points of our existence as human beings. This isn't about being an entitled brat who thinks her own offspring is the most important thing--this is about refocusing the energy of the entire society on the things that are important to us as a class, as women and mothers.

When you say, "Well, I wouldn't be as inconvenient to the owners of that store as this mother was"--you miss the point. The point is that we should all be able to go out in public with babies, like normal human beings, and feed them like normal human beings--when they need to eat, with breasts, the normal way. I'm desperately sorry for people who were unable to nurse, but you know what? I feel like this is advocacy for you, too, because no matter what you're using to feed a baby this is about you.


Thank you for a beautifully stated response.
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#66 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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The law is not designed to protect the rights of breastfeeding dyads against the whims of property owners. Here is the relevant passage in the Florida law, which is typical of state laws that "allow" us to nurse our babies:



Sounds good, but in actuality, that phrase about "where the mother is otherwise authorized to be" is giant loophole for property owners. The store owner who verbally assaulted the OP simply revoked the OP's authorization to be in her dressing room. She did not break the law.

As Jake Marcus says, laws like this are quite useless, because "a right without a remedy is no right at all."
Exactly. All these laws do is clarify that breastfeeding is not the same as public indecency. They're just "feel good" laws.
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#67 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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The ignorance and rudeness of people baffles me...

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#68 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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The store owner who verbally assaulted the OP simply revoked the OP's authorization to be in her dressing room.
She revoked it BECAUSE of breastfeeding which is illegal as a dressing room is msot definitely a place and is not out of the reach of the law. The law doesn't read "A woman can breastfeed any place she is otherwise authorized to be, unless she is interfering with people trying on clothing or inconveniencing other customers." Irregardless of who she is inconveniencing, she has the right to nurse where she wants including dressing rooms; the law didn't exclude them.

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#69 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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Irregardless of who she is inconveniencing, she has the right to nurse where she wants including dressing rooms; the law didn't exclude them.
Regardless.
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#70 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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My grandmother takes 5 pills everyday, at certain times. She has a water bottle and the pill case in her purse. When her timer goes off, she sits down and does her thing. After that, she stays seated for a bit because 'she has to get over that feeling of the pill going down."

I wonder if this store owner would have barged in and told her to leave becuase she stopped trying on clothes to sit down and take a pill and then stayed seated for a bit after.

I wrote to the manager about this and other ideas.

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#71 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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I obviously can't get inside the store owner's head, but based on experience at other stores, I have to think she had an issue w/ the BFing. If OP was on her cell phone, chatting it up and obviously taking a break from trying on clothes, would the owner have asked her to leave? Probably not. If she sat down and had a few chugs from her water bottle, would the owner have intervened? Doubtful. So yes, for those of you who are saying that the dressing room is just for trying on clothes, that is the purpose of the room, but come on. People do all sorts of things in there -- some of which I don't really want to think about because... ew. Nursing a child for a few moments in the midst of trying on clothes should not be grounds for getting booted.

I'm so sorry, OP. You did not deserve that treatment.
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#72 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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The store owner who verbally assaulted the OP simply revoked the OP's authorization to be in her dressing room.
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Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
She revoked it BECAUSE of breastfeeding which is illegal as a dressing room is msot definitely a place and is not out of the reach of the law. The law doesn't read "A woman can breastfeed any place she is otherwise authorized to be, unless she is interfering with people trying on clothing or inconveniencing other customers." Irregardless of who she is inconveniencing, she has the right to nurse where she wants including dressing rooms; the law didn't exclude them.
Moonfirefaery, you are describing precisely what the law OUGHT to say and mean.

However, the law does not in fact make it illegal for a property owner to use breastfeeding as the grounds for revoking someone's authorization to be on that property.

Breastfeeding and lactating, IMHO, ought to be protected as a civil right -- meaning that using them as grounds for denial of service or unequal treatment would constitute illegal discrimination, just like denying housing or employment on the basis of race, religion, or sex is illegal. If we could get this to happen at the federal level, then mothers wouldn't have to worry about which state they're in before they can feed their baby!
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#73 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 02:42 PM
 
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I once sat down in a store, which shall remain nameless, to nurse my ds. I was out of the way of foot traffic, by the wall so I could lean back against it. Still a salesperson told me to go to the dressing room to nurse because I was a hazard. So which is it? Nurse where we are a hazard or nurse in the stall where we are taking up space? How about nurse where we want cause the baby needs to eat. Maybe people can just send a bunch of bfing advocay gear to the owners. books, stickers, etc.

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#74 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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To the OP, I am so sorry you were treated this way!
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#75 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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The law includes the words "otherwise authorized to be" with the keyword being otherwise, as in, when not breastfeeding. That does indeed mean you cannot revoke the right because of breastfeeding. She's allowed to nurse in any place that she'd be allowed to be in were she not nursing. That's what "otherwise authorized to be" means.

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#76 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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The law includes the words "otherwise authorized to be" with the keyword being otherwise, as in, when not breastfeeding. That does indeed mean you cannot revoke the right because of breastfeeding. She's allowed to nurse in any place that she'd be allowed to be in were she not nursing. That's what "otherwise authorized to be" means.
To ordinary people like all of us here -- yes.

To police, judges, and (non-lactivist) lawyers -- apparently not.

I found this thread informative; I think it hits the very point we are discussing.
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#77 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your support! What a great forum this is- I'm so glad I posted. I wanted to give you all an update.....

I decided to write the owner/salesclerk a letter with a copy of the law included. As for the news station or newspaper I decided to write an annonymous letter to alert them of the problem at that store. Hopefully they will pick it up and "investigate" further.

I LOVE the idea of a virtual nurse-in. If everyone on this board would write a letter with a copy of the law and/or breastfeeding symbol I think it would really get the point across to the owners. Hopefully she will learn a lesson and never treat other customers like that again. As for me- I'll never EVER step foot into that store again.

To answer the questions about how she knew I breastfeeding- I have NO idea!!! I had picked my daughter up when she first woke up and carried her out of the dressing room with me when I went to look at what i was trying on in the full length mirror. She made a comment at that point about how spoiled my baby was and how she knew how to get what she wanted. It was when I went back into the dressing room to try on the bathing suit that this all happened so maybe she was standing right outside? Or, perhpaps (and more likely) since I had the stroller in the dressing room she was watching on video to make sure I didn't steal anything by putting it in the stroller????

After re-reading my original post I realized that I made the owner sound much nicer than she actually was in person (she really was awful!). It was a nasty experience that I hope no one ever has to go through.

Thanks again for your support and PLEASE take the time to send a letter or email. Let me know if you get any responses....
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#78 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 08:24 PM
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After re-reading my original post I realized that I made the owner sound much nicer than she actually was in person (she really was awful!).
I don't think that people who make babies eat in the bathroom are nice! Not in the slightest.

Nor do I think that of people who watch women undress without express permission from those being watched. How disturbing!
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#79 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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I don't think that people who make babies eat in the bathroom are nice! Not in the slightest.

Nor do I think that of people who watch women undress without express permission from those being watched. How disturbing!
Is it even legal in Florida? Where I live they MUST post a sign that they are doing it.

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#80 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 08:56 PM
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I don't think she should have said to go to the restroom.

If my baby had needed a bottle, (or nurse if I'd been able to) and I was in the middle of trying on clothes, I'd get dressed and go feed her. I wouldn't tie up a dressing room for 20 minutes. If itwas something that'd only take a moment or 2, no problem, otherwise, it's a changing room, not a baby lounge.
And that would be ridiculous. If I were in a dressing room trying on clothes that I intended to buy if they fit, with my little ones, and the baby started crying from hunger, I would nurse her, get dressed, pull all the kids out of the waiting room, find a clerk and ask him to hold my clothes, then find a place to sit down and nurse. I'm not that cruel to a screaming, hungry baby. My babies nurse where they are hungry, unless there's a sanitary reason not to. Like, being in a filthy bathroom.
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#81 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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That owner sounds like a very insensitive UA violation.

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#82 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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My immedate question was also-how did she know?
Was she standing right outside listening for sucking noises? Looking under the curtain for your feet movement? Both of whichis wierd.

But I remember back in the early 80's-watching Good Times.The mother was working as a security guard at a dept store. Her job was to sit on the other side of the vhange room wall and watch people dress etc. The mirrors were 2 sided!
I have NEVER forgotten that show and think about it every single time I look in a change room mirror-wondering if somreone is laughing at my body....

Something is not right here.
And I'm wondering why she would care so much if the store was empty?

A disgusting, shameful situation. She deserves to be shown the error of her treatment of you-both as a customer and as a bf mother. GAH!
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#83 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 10:33 PM
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I like to kid myself and think that I'm pretty normal, and I talk to myself and DD pretty much all the time when we're out. So if she woke up from a snooze and wanted to nurse, I'd be talking to her and probably say something like, "do you want to nurse now sweetie?" ... which would be a pretty obvious clue to anyone who overheard that what was going to happen. So the owner figuring out what was going on doesn't seem too creepy to me.

The reaction to it certainly DOES seem creepy though. In an uncrowded store where the dressing room is not sought after by another customer, it seems beyond unreasonable to rush one customer out simply because she'd need a little extra time to nurse her child.
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#84 of 147 Old 10-16-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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I"m not getting why you think it was nursing she had a problem with. I wouldn't have bottlefed my baby in a changing room. It's for trying on clothes.
Because the bathroom is for peeing, pooping, changing dirty diapers, washing hands.....NOT for eating in!!!!
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#85 of 147 Old 10-17-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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Because the bathroom is for peeing, pooping, changing dirty diapers, washing hands.....NOT for eating in!!!!
A-men sister!
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#86 of 147 Old 10-17-2007, 12:18 AM
 
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Thank you all for your support! What a great forum this is- I'm so glad I posted. I wanted to give you all an update.....

To answer the questions about how she knew I breastfeeding- I have NO idea!!! I had picked my daughter up when she first woke up and carried her out of the dressing room with me when I went to look at what i was trying on in the full length mirror. She made a comment at that point about how spoiled my baby was and how she knew how to get what she wanted. It was when I went back into the dressing room to try on the bathing suit that this all happened so maybe she was standing right outside? Or, perhpaps (and more likely) since I had the stroller in the dressing room she was watching on video to make sure I didn't steal anything by putting it in the stroller????

....
I can't believe no one said anything about this! I don't even let my family say stuff like this. She was just laying in on thick with you, huh?

I am so sorry that you had to experience this. I'm in FL, but not Orlando...but, if I ever am, I'll be sure NOT to go there!
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#87 of 147 Old 10-17-2007, 12:20 AM
 
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oh, and another thing, I had NO idea that it was legal for stores to video tape you trying on clothes....how disturbing. Yuck. I don't think I ever want to buy clothes again.
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#88 of 147 Old 10-17-2007, 12:46 AM
 
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Wow...that store sucks.

I'm really, really pregnant right now. At the stage where I need to pee really, really often. I gotta say...if I were in that store and someone were tying up the bathroom with nursing because the owner said she had to, I'd be really put out. I might would cop a squat in a dressing room...

Ok...I wouldn't do that, but I would seriously be on the verge of tears with discomfort.
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#89 of 147 Old 10-17-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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:

I've become MORE feminist after having a baby.

I now see just how anti-family, anti-woman the world really is.
I hate being called a feminist. What's really sad is how the feminists of our mother's generation have bought into the anti-mother attitudes of the establishment. I remember 17 years ago at my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary party all the aunts asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. When I said a stay at home mom I thought I was going to get hog tied and tarred and feathered. Especially when the main reason was that I saw the damage not having a parent available after school was impacting my generation and I wanted better for my own children. I was bombarded with questions about career and supporting myself and the value of education. I told them that when I started a family that family came first and that I would always value education, just that I had different priorities, and the latest "things" weren't in that equation. Not what dyed in the wool former bra burning career moms wanted to hear from a 14 year old.

I'm lucky that I found a job where I can take my kids if I need to and supports the ideals I believe in where I get to talk about my favorite topics: breastfeeding and kids. I love that I get paid to promote breastfeeding and help other moms succeed. I love that I have the contacts to help moms make ends meet or get baby items for free or little cost. (I have at least 2 moms hooked up with miracle diapers) Ok, so we don't have as much money for extras that other families with two full time incomes have. We have everything we truly need, and a good deal of what we want. My whole concept of what Feminism should be about tends to go against the grain of the women of our mother's generation. It's not just about being able to do anything a man can, but being able to do anything period. If that means being the CEO of a huge corporation, great. But that should also mean that being a mother should be equally valued. I also recognise that there are differences between men and women that should be valued and accepted.

This lack of acceptance of the differences between men and women and the lack of acceptance of a woman's choice by women to be mothers, is what undermines our ability to do something as simple as feed our babies as nature intended. So, here is the conundrum as I see it. How do we change the underlying attitudes while still fighting for the individual issues? Between lactivism, equal pay, flexible work hours, childcare, etc, are we splitting our attentions without truly addressing the heart of the problem; respect for women and families, period? captain optimism pretty much put it the way I feel feminism should be in post #43. Regardless of what the specific issue is, if it restricts our freedom of movement, physically, socially, or economically, simply because we are mothers we must stand up.

Wow, I got on a rant there... I like the idea of snail mailing the breastfeeding symbol and a copy of the state law. I like the idea of e-mailing the store manager. If the OP wouldn't mind, we could cite this incident and others this year when writing our representatives in Washington to encourage them to support The Breastfeeding Promotion Act. That would put breastfeeding as a protected class for civil rights on the federal level and we won't have to worry if we're "covered" if we're uncovered when we travel from state to state.

Anna
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#90 of 147 Old 10-17-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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See, this is where we get our understanding of nursing in public as a feminist issue. If you have to get up and move somewhere else, no matter how you are feeding a baby, because babies are a nuisance (even fed with a bottle) and breasts are nudity--then mothers of young children are essentially restricted in our ability to move around.

Advocacy for breastfeeding is advocacy for women as mothers. Babies aren't inconvenient distractions from real life--babies are one of the central points of our existence as human beings. This isn't about being an entitled brat who thinks her own offspring is the most important thing--this is about refocusing the energy of the entire society on the things that are important to us as a class, as women and mothers.

When you say, "Well, I wouldn't be as inconvenient to the owners of that store as this mother was"--you miss the point. The point is that we should all be able to go out in public with babies, like normal human beings, and feed them like normal human beings--when they need to eat, with breasts, the normal way. I'm desperately sorry for people who were unable to nurse, but you know what? I feel like this is advocacy for you, too, because no matter what you're using to feed a baby this is about you.
I know Captain O's post has already been quoted many times - and rightly so, because it's brilliant - but I wanted to add that this is exactly the kind of statement, maybe condensed just a bit, that should be given to the media. It gets across the point that it's not just about one mother being asked to sit somewhere else; it is a much larger issue.
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