I recently shared my politically incorrect views that “lactivists” take things a bit too far. I’m 100% in favor of breastfeeding but I think it’s not too much to ask women to cover up or otherwise feed their children inconspicuously. I have breastfed in public many times and always with concern for modesty. It doesn’t chap my hide in the least.
But this story out of the United Kingdom is getting people all in a tizzy. And it goes much further than just asking a woman to cover up. According to the Daily Mail, Emma Mitchell was in a multicultural community center and was told to leave after she tried to breastfeed her five-month-old son. She was asked to do her feeding in the restroom (yeck) and she declined the offer.
Seriously, the restroom? I mean, I guess I would do it in an emergency, but I certainly wouldn’t want to eat anything in the restroom. Anywho, she was told she had to do this because otherwise she would offend Muslims. I’m not even sure if that’s a true claim — that Muslims would be offended by public breastfeeding — but that’s what the story claims.
She finally was offered another room but said she was so upset she just went and fed her baby in the car. She was seriously displeased:
”If someone from another culture started praying in the waiting room, I wouldn’t say, ”˜Excuse me, you”˜re offending me’ I would respect it because it’s their culture.
”So I shouldn”˜t be made to feel what I wanted to do was wrong just because it’s not in their culture.
Local councilman Shoab Akhtar defended the community center. On the other hand, he later issued a statement saying that the action was completely inappropriate.