Women nursing babies on dirty toilets proves public breastfeeding should be OK
Consider this a public service announcement addressed to all pervy men and narrow-minded, childless women: when a mother unbuttons her blouse so that her child can feed from her bosom, she is not doing so to titillate, anger, or offend any onlookers but, rather, to give her baby some much-needed nourishment. A new poster campaign designed by art students at the University of Texas sheds light on how breastfeeding mothers have been critiqued, chastised, and shunned for engaging in the most natural of acts. The powerful posters in the "When Nurture Calls" campaign show women nursing their children while sitting, fully clothed, on toilets inside squalid public restroom stalls.
Students Johnathan Wenske and Kris Haro masterminded the ad campaign in hopes of garnering public support for the HB 1706 bill in Texas, which would legally protect breastfeeding mothers from discrimination. Sadly, many women continue to face scorn when they attempt to nurse their hungry babies in public. Recently, an LA Fitness club made headlines after a member, Monique Goleuke, was banished from the women's locker room and sent to breastfeed her 9-month-old baby in the bathroom. Goleuke had brought her two children to the gym's childcare area, but her workout was interrupted when a staff member pointed out that her baby was restless and crying. Goleuke took her children to the locker room and commenced breastfeeding her baby, when she was told she needed to relocate. The debacle ended with a dozen mothers staging a "nurse-in" in front of the gym to protest the establishment's discriminatory actions.
The "When Nurture Calls" campaign, then, sheds light on scenarios just like the one described. Below each image of a woman nursing her child in a bathroom stall, there's a block of text that reads: "Would you eat here? By law, breastfeeding mothers are not protected from harassment and refusal of service in public, often forcing them to feed in secluded spaces such as public bathrooms. To help take a stand, visit Whennurturecalls.com, because a baby should never be nurtured where nature calls."
The ads have been so fervently embraced by mothers and women's rights advocates, that they've now gone viral. Perhaps one day soon, moms will be able to nurse their babies without anyone even raising an eyebrow — much less shunning them to a vile, foul-smelling, uncomfortable bathroom stall.
Have you ever experienced discrimination when breastfeeding in public?