The woman in the photo is Conner Kendall from Indiana, who was unhappily surprised to see the image floating around Facebook. On the post, the man who took the unauthorized photo wrote that he knows feeding is natural, but he wanted to quiz his friends to find out if a mom feeding her child is appropriate — there are kids around and oh my gosh he's trying to eat his TGI Friday's and really should you be exposing your boob in public?
Kendall spotted the post and decided to send the man a private message first to share a few things with him. "I wanted to thank you for showing the public your ignorance and for shedding light on a topic that is near and dear to my heart," she explained in her message. "Through your violation of my and my child's privacy you have done a few things." She goes on to say that he has shown his true character and has inspired her to be stronger and to share her experience with others.
She received what she felt was an insincere apology from the man and then posted her message to him, in its entirety (with his name excluded), to her own Facebook page. And from there, it went viral — it has been shared nearly 100,000 times.
Breastfeeding shaming is somewhat new, because with the modern power of social media and online commenting, you can easily write things you'd never say to the face of another human being. Keyboard warriors are often quite bold as they sit behind their phones or computers, and breastfeeding has become an easy target.
As most U.S. states, Indiana has a law that specifically allows a woman to breastfeed her child anywhere she is legally allowed to be. The bottom line? Kendall wasn't doing anything inappropriate by feeding her kid. It's not a sexual act, so a child who sees a mom breastfeeding won't be scarred for life. In fact, the child probably won't even notice, and if she does, she'll easily understand that the mom is feeding her child and may grow up to — wait for it — not take photos of nursing women to bully them online.
Whether the bully in this instance learned anything from her post or not remains to be seen, but hopefully her message reached someone who now realizes that taking photos of nursing moms and posting them online is a really crappy thing to do. We definitely need less of this in the world, and hopefully as time marches on, there will be.
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