Restaurant Kicks Out Mother Because Our Great New American Pastime Is Shaming Breastfeeding Women

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 11.44.37 AMA Labor Day outing turned into a social media war this week, when Big Woody’s restaurant in Virginia kicked out a mother for breastfeeding. She says she was discriminated against. They say they were concerned about her consumption of alcohol while nursing. How sweet. This woman is an adult, dummies. I’m pretty sure she cares about the health of her infant more than “Big Woody.” Why do we have the incessant need to treat breastfeeding mothers like babies themselves?

Crystal Dize was breastfeeding her 11-month-old. She ordered a beer and something called a “Fireball” shot. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds disgusting. I would never drink that — but back to the story. A few customers saw a breastfeeding mother with a shot in front of her and lost their damn minds. A manager approached the table. This is Crystal’s story of what happened next:

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Big Woody’s responded to her complaint, but they may as well have said nothing, because their response addresses nothing. Here it is:

Our sincere apologies for not responding sooner, but due to the seriousness of the issue, we wanted to make sure to interview staff and patrons and review our security video to be sure of all the facts. Let us first state that we are very sympathetic to the needs and cares of all our nursing mothers. In our five years of being in business, this is the only issue involving the treatment of breast feeding mothers.
With that said, in this particular incident, we were asked to address concerns by other patrons who were observing the situation. Our manager went to address those concerns and accommodate all parties involved. Unfortunately, we were unable to do this and attempted to rectify the situation amicably without success. We feel that providing more details publiclly would not benefit the situation. We would rather use this incident as an opportunity to provide knowledge to others and help educate the public on the rights of nursing mothers.

We have always strived to be a positive influence in our community and our mission is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all of our customers, regardless of age.
Respectful Regards,
Big Woody’s Ownership and Management

Since their response doesn’t speak to what happened at all, I am left to make my own assessment. I love speculating! Here we go:

Crystal ordered some drinks because she is an adult and is entitled to decide what she puts down her gullet. One of those drinks happened to be served in shot form. (I looked it up, it’s cinnamon schnapps and Tabasco sauce. Gross.) Customers around her became sanctimonious and judgy because being sanctimonious and judgy about breastfeeding mothers is our new great American pastime. The managers joined in. They didn’t want to call her a terrible mother to her face, so they pretended they were offended by her boobs. When she dropped some law on their asses, they decided to resort to plan B – acting like they were more concerned for her child than she was and ejecting her from the restaurant so she wouldn’t be able to get her infant child drunk.

First of all, the absolute safest time to consume alcohol if you are going to consume alcohol while you’re breastfeeding is while you’re breastfeeding. It takes a little time for the alcohol to absorb into your bloodstream. But that is neither here nor there, because Crystal claims she had only taken a few sips of her beer and planned on finishing her other drinks when she was done breastfeeding.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.45.05 AMThe restaurant should have minded their own business. It is not against the law for a breastfeeding mother to drink and it is not an establishment’s responsibility to make sure she doesn’t, either. Big Woody’s overstepped – big time. Nursing mothers are adults and are allowed to decide what they consume and when. Big Woody’s is also a private establishment and has the right to decide who sits in their chairs. But no way should they try to spin this into a “we care about the rights of breastfeeding mothers” PR opportunity. They treated a grown woman like a child.


(photo: WKTR)

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