I’m happy to say that the complaint has now been settled out of court by the Quebec Human Rights Commission.
I received an email this week that just made me so angry. It was a letter from another mom who wrote that just last week the exact same thing happened to her. She says that she too was kicked out of a store for breastfeeding.
Last Thursday, April 21, a mom says she was asked to leave a public area of Les Promenades Saint-Bruno shopping centre on the South Shore of Montreal. The mother, Kama, says she was sitting on the garden swings on sale in the central area of the mall, breastfeeding her baby, when a sales clerk approached her and told her stop.
“She told me that I would have to leave because “C’est publique.” “Publique!?”, I repeated, “Madame, c’est tres acceptable d’allaiter en publique maintenant.” She then carefully schooled her features into a more pleasant expression and said “Je n’ai rien contre ça, Madame. Ce n’est pas moi qui a fait la loi.”
Because if you don’t ask, they won’t know it’s important. And it is.
And they won’t say anything about it. And they should.
What should happen every time a woman is in the news for being kicked out of a store for breastfeeding in public, is a loud vocal reminder from politicians that they’ve already made a law that prevents discriminating against breastfeeding: a federal law, a provincial law, and yes you can even have a municipal law that protects breastfeeding, though these are rare.
But what actually happens when it comes to politicians…. is very little.
According to the Vancouver Sun, the store owner told mother Samantha Watt that “It was shocking to me, especially when she said, ‘I can do what I want,’” he alleged. “I told her it was a private space compared to a public space.”
It’s a commonly held opinion. In fact several people wrote to me to tell me that they think stores are private spaces and store owners should be able to do what they want.
They are wrong.
Continue reading “Private vs Public”
You could tell by the second question and the last question the journalists asked me, that this was going to be a story about my breasts. And about Charlize Theron’s breasts.
Are you a breastfeeding mum in Quebec? Interested in making public breastfeeding more accepted?
There is a cool photo project called “Allaiter partout… simplement!” [Breastfeed everywhere… of course!]. The plan is to take photos women breastfeeding in public, for a gallery showing this October during International Breastfeeding Week.
The organizers hope that by showing photos of women breastfeeding in public, the general public will get used to the idea and be more accepting.
Seems I’ve just been invited to a nurse-in.
Wednesday, January 19 · 1:00pm – 1:30pm
Orchestra – Montréal Complexe Les Ailes
677, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montreal, QC H3B 1B9
View a map
There is a facebook event here, if you care to join in.
Text from the facebook event page: “Le magasin Orchestra, est un magasin pour enfants (sic!) situé au niveau métro du Complexe les Ailes de la mode à Montréal.” Nice!
Merci à Genviève pour l’invitation. C’est très touchant.
And a gentle reminder that all are welcome, whether you are a breastfeeding mom, or a mom who bottlefeeds or otherwise doesn’t breastfeed, or even (gasp!) a man. You just need to be in solidarity with breastfeeding moms and breastfed babes and behind the right to feed your kids the way you like. After all, it would be a poor fight against exclusion that then excluded others.
Yesterday I was asked to stop breastfeeding my baby. And I’m pissed.
I was shopping at Orchestra, a kids’ clothing store at the Complexe Les Ailes shopping centre in downtown Montreal. They have a small semi-secluded seating area for kids with movies playing. My older kids were sitting in their stroller watching the movie when my youngest got hungry. So I fed her. She’s 5 months old and she eats breastmilk. From my actual breast. Shocking, I know!
I wasn’t even the only mother breastfeeding. I was being discrete, as if it matters, which it doesn’t (but that’s for another blog post). And I hadn’t finished shopping.
And that’s when the store clerk showed up and asked us both to stop.
Continue reading “A tired hungry baby”