(Our Grab The Popcorn posts look back at the biggest Mommyish stories of 2014. Read them all here.)
2014 was a year packed with the endless shaming and humiliation of breastfeeding and pumping women, with a couple of bright spots in between. Strap on your nursing bras and let’s look back on the past year in boobs and nips.
Ah, let’s kick off this long line of “please do that in the bathroom” stories with this gem from Oklahoma, where breastfeeding is perfectly legal. Angelica Williams was feeding her 3-month-old McKenzie while waiting to checkout, and using a cover to boot. And yet!
Jacci Sharkey shared a photo of herself breastfeeding at her graduation from the University of the Sunshine Coast, and the internet responded with…kindness.
The picture, shared on the university’s Facebook page, went viral and garnered comments like:
A woman was asked not to breastfeed in her pediatrician’s office in a hospital, because – oh right! – the world is horrible and filled with garbage humans.
Conclusion: EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.
Ingrid Wiese Hesson was shopping at Anthropologie in Los Angeles with her 6-week-old. After dropping $700 on flowy things, she went to breastfeed on one of their giant couches and was asked to move “off the sales floor.” The good news is that a bunch of women warriors rose up and staged a nurse in, because nobody puts babies in the corner.
Conclusion: Shop at Madewell.
Crystal McCullough was asked to leave Big Woody’s restaurant in Virginia after customers complained about her nursing her baby and drinking a beer while doing so. Ah, the magical double-shame! Nice work, jerks.
Conclusion: Next round’s on me, for nursing moms only.
A restaurant critic for the Courier Journal included this mom-shaming moment in her review of an Argentinian steak house, because seeing a woman breastfeed in public totally changes the flavor of food:
”I’m all for mothers (I am one) and I’m all for eschewing baby formula for the real thing. But I wish the nursing mother at an adjoining table would have thought to bring a cover-up or would not have assumed that other diners would welcome being that close to what is undeniably a natural and loving bonding experience. However, Palermo Viejo is the kind of place where guests feel comfortable to be themselves and revel in the togetherness that’s fostered by a much beloved neighborhood restaurant. That’s a good thing, but so is a cover-up.”
Conclusion: This idiot review made me lose my appetite.
After spending $150 at a Victoria’s Secret in Austin, Texas, Ashley Clawson asked to breastfeed her son in a dressing room at the store. Instead she was directed by a salesperson to breastfeed in an ALLEY behind the building “where no one usually goes.”
Conclusion: A store that’s all about supporting boobs should know better.
A woman breastfeeding at Starbucks was met with kindness from a male teen barista after a customer complained and asked staff to tell her to cover up.
Conclusion: My love for this kid could fill a Trenta cup.
A principal at a middle school wrote this eloquent shame speech delivered to a mom breastfeeding on school property.
Conclusion: Someone needs a lesson in breastfeeding laws.
One restaurant in the UK went so far as to post a sign demanding that groups of breastfeeding customers nurse their kids in their disabled bathroom. This leads to a lot of unanswered questions like: Where are the disabled customers supposed to pee, and what’s their beef with groups of breastfeeding women? Do they circle the cafe like packs of ravenous wild dogs, hangry for a place to chug tea and nurse?
Conclusion: Time for a nurse in.
There’s a reason it’s often impossible for women to “lean in” — idiots like these lawyers make it really hard for us to have it all. A woman taking the bar asked for accommodations – a private room and extra time – so that she may pump during the exam. She was denied, and advised to pump in the bathroom. of course.
Conclusion: Being an a-hole toward breastfeeding and pumping women should be against the law.
Let’s end on a good note, shall we? A Mommyish reader emailed us this awesome note she received at a restaurant, from a fellow patron who also paid for her meal.
Conclusion: MORE OF THIS IN 2015 PLEASE.