Mom Threatened With Eviction When Nosy Neighbors Complain About Her Breastfeeding

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Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 7.02.29 AMPeople love to complain. I should know, because I am a person, and complaining is a top hobby for me. A little grousing, kept studiously on the home front or judiciously applied when the situation warrants it, never hurt anyone — it’s when complaining is used to get a barista fired for serving your latte three degrees too cool, or to explain to kids about how everything nowadays is horrible compared to what you grew up with that things start to go off the rails. And speaking of taking the beautiful art of complaining a little too far, take the case of an Oklahoma woman whose neighbors have been complaining to the property manager that she dared to breastfeed her baby — on her own front porch.

From the report by local news station KOKH-TV, Missy Smith wasn’t aware that her thoughtful neighbors had been complaining behind her back until she reported the destruction of her vegetable garden to the property manager. The manager implied that she would need to cease and desist her front-porch nursing sessions, because if the neighbors called the police to complain about the indecency of having a baby attached to her boob in the view of the public, he would have to write her out an eviction notice.

In case you’re curious, here is a shortlist of places in Oklahoma where women are legally allowed to breastfeed:

  • Literally anywhere

And yet, for some reason the headline of the original news coverage of this story was, “Breast-feeding mom miffed that neighbors complain” and not “Obnoxious busybodies look for literally anything to get worked up about, succeed”. Or “Oklahomans freak out over the possibility of their neighbor having a nip slip while they watch intently”, or maybe “Breastfeeding mom sets jerks straight on her legal rights”. Or possibly just, “Get a hobby, Oklahoma, are you for real right now”.

Fortunately, Smith was better informed of her rights than either the property manager or her neighbors are, and after the manager went off to do some research into the legality of the situation, he issued her a formal apology, which she has since accepted. I doubt she’ll receive any such concession from her neighbors for their eagle-eyed peeping on her activities in and around her own home. In fact, they’re probably out shopping for binoculars right now to catch her ‘indecently exposing’ herself through a tiny crack in the bathroom blinds. I’d really like to be proven wrong with a nice letter of apology, or better yet — seeing someone help her rebuild her ruined vegetable garden. That baby won’t be living on milk alone forever, after all.

You can watch the full video from Oklahoma City’s KOKH-TV below.


(Image: KOKH-TV)