Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Actually, the law IS fighting for us, but why aren’t we winning?

I'm sure everyone has already heard of the whole thing that happened in a Houston's restaurant in Boca Raton. In short, a nursing mother was asked to leave because she was nursing her baby at a table (if you haven't heard about it, you can catch up here). I wasn't going to discuss it on this site because it seemed such old news by the time I started blogging about breastfeeding. However, this article struck me because of something in particular. Besides all the nasty comments on this article, I found out that Florida has a breastfeeding law. Huh? If Florida has a breastfeeding law, then why did that gal get humiliated and banished? Why?

I am fairly new to this. Before I started this site, I lived in my own little bubble of support groups, family and friends so I've always declared my right to nurse in public. Or perhaps, I really don't care what people think, as I like to pretend. I'm not sure which is which at this point - it's very easy for to say I don't care what people think, but then again, I've never been asked to leave an establishment! I like to think that I would calmly invite the person to call the police to have me evicted, but maybe I would freeze. Maybe I would be scared. Maybe I would be humiliated, too. It's easy to have courage and honor in the absence of any battle, eh? You see, Kansas does have a law, so in theory, I should have a leg to stand on.

When Kansas passed its law, my breastfeeding support group handed out sweet little cards to everyone. The card gives information on the law and the card supposed to be something the mother could present to someone if she were ever asked to leave a public site. I still carry it. Not because I think it will really work in defending my honor, but rather because I think it is sweet. I will definitely put it my daughter's baby book. I hope it serves as a stark reminder how archaic our society used to be and perhaps, someday my own daughter can chuckle gently at how freakin' backwards we used to be. As she freely nurses her child wherever she wants.

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