Harassment

I didn’t think I’d ever do a post on nursing. I think it’s really awesome but I try not to talk about it a whole lot…until this happened!

Yesterday I was very discreetly pumping in my car at work.
I was parked way on the side of the building, in the backseat, with the pump UNDER my shirt, windows partially cracked.
My head was down, texting my husband while I ate an apple…great multitasker, right?
A group of two or three people walked up to the car parked right beside me. I heard laughter and I heard a man day “Oh my God. Dairy! Dairy!”
I ignored it; didn’t even look up. A young woman was there, and made a comment like “He’s running from it like a 12 year old.” But she was laughing also.
The man took it a step further as he was getting in the car, as if to get my attention, which had not yet been caught. He threw what was left of his melted ice water at me, right through my cracked window. I remained head down, looking at my phone. I’m proud to say he didn’t break my concentration or even disrupt my letdown!
“Haha, it’s raining!” he remarked before getting in the car and driving off. I suspect he was trying to get a response from me, and when he didn’t that was all he could think of.
My mind has gone all over the place ever since, about things I could have said or done. They range from telling him my legal rights, to labeling him an immature and uneducated asshole who should never have kids, to saying “Oh does this make you uncomfortable? I’ll show you uncomfortable!”
All of which would have been inappropriate responses in my work uniform.
All of which aren’t Christ-like.
All of which would have given him a story to tell back at the office.
Maybe being boring sometimes is a win.

Personally, I’m not embarrassed that this happened. (In fact I’m pumping in my car again as I write this!) Rather, I’m surprised and appalled that it happened…especially to me!
I’d maybe understand if it was a younger dweeb-type kid, but from a grown man? Seriously? This baffles me.
I nurse my baby everywhere, and never before have I encountered any negativity. People seem more or less supportive or oblivious to breastfeeding in my limited personal experience.
Would he have done it if I had been breastfeeding my son in the car? Say what you will about me, but leave my son out of it.
Hopefully I can help wipe out this type of ignorant harassment.
It isn’t a laughing matter.
It isn’t gross.
It’s food for a baby.
I think my body is pretty amazing.
I think working and stay at home moms are all amazing.
I think feeding my son the ultimate superfood is worth it.
I think people need to shut up and look away if they see something they don’t want to.
What does everyone else think?

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8 Comments

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  1. I think nursing is pretty flippin’ amazing too… and I really wanted to do it. After a very short while, due to medical issues, I was forced to become a Formula Mom. My two cents? More power to YOU for being the bigger person. I don’t think I have that kind of self control. I have been blown away by the complete ignorance of others… especially after becoming a mom. I have had both men and women chime in about how horrible it is that I’m giving my baby formula. Apparently starving my baby would be a better option? You and I are alike… in that we have both been judged for providing our children with food. I think what we really need to try to stomp out is people being judgmental of parents. At the end of the day, if we are doing the best we can for our babies… we are doing it right.
    … and there’s my soapbox. 😉

    • I hear you, girl!! Yes we moms need to support each other even when we do things differently. Formula feeding is very difficult also, and it’s no one’s place to judge. It’s all hard, but it’s all totally worth it.

  2. Hi Emily. I am so sorry for this situation you were put in. I wanted to say, what that man did, is criminal, as in grounds for filing a police report. I understand your stance to not aggress back, and I commend you. What this man did was both sexual harassment and assault. I know you may not think to do this to avenge yourself, but there is a bigger picture at stake. Consider for a moment, if you have a daughter some day, how much you would want the culture to revere breastfeeding, rather than a culture where people can get away with mistreating a mother in such a way. I am sure you wouldn’t want this for your sisters, a future daughter, or friends. I hope you will consider making a report, if not for yourself, but on behalf of all breastfeeding women who have been or who will be degraded for their loving and sometimes sacrificial gift of the best food a small child can have. No matter your decision, I uphold you as a fellow breastfeeding mother and sister in Christ. Thank you for your courage in sharing this experience.

  3. Woah! I am so appalled and annoyed this happened to you! I can say though, it seems to be a isolated incident. I’ve nursed all 6 of my kids in MANY different locations everything from restaurants (at the table b/c that’s where people eat, not in a bathroom), to once we were car shopping and I had to nurse the baby in the car dealership parking lot right there in front of the building as all the salesmen stand around b/c in a car dealership lot you pretty much have to park right in front of the building. I have to say in all that time I have never had anyone make any comments to me, but I have gotten a lot of dirty looks. I think the way you handled the situation was excellant! And now instead of playing into his little game of trying to get a rise out of you, he had nothing and left. People that attempt to start stuff like that are just looking for trouble.

  4. So proud of you for giving your baby such a wonderful gift! Jerks will be jerks and honestly I don’t think I could have held my cool like you did! And I don’t know if it is your choice to pump in the car, but legally your workplace must supply you with a clean room (not a bathroom) along with adequate breaks to pump. All in all boobs were created for milk. Period.

  5. I am appalled that a person would act so immature and hateful in this day and age. Congratulations Emily on not letting an idiot intimidate you. Your baby deserves the very best start and breastfeeding is the very best. I breastfed my babies until they were about a year old and nobody anywhere could convince me to do anything else. In those days, even doctors weren’t supportive telling me there is no way to know for sure that my baby was getting enough nutrition and I could be doing great harm to him. OH PLEASE! Like God didn’t know what He was doing when He created mother’s milk.

  6. Bless you Emily and your family. Don’t let those actions get you down. We live in a world that would rather do bad than good, wrong than right. Remember you have God on your side.

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