When a Marshalls store employee told Karina Gomez she’d have to breastfeed in a bathroom, she could have stormed out. Instead she went to the bathroom, sat down, put baby to her breast and fed her. And then she did something big.
Gomez posted a photo of herself breastfeeding in that bathroom stall on the Marshalls corporate Facebook page, along with details of what had happened to her:
Since posting the photo to its page, Gomez has not only seen tens of thousands of shares, but the store has also responded with an apology:
Thank you for reaching out to us. We have a breast feeding policy in place which instructs Associates to allow customers to breastfeed as they choose within stores. We have looked into this matter and regret that it may not have been followed in this instance. We apologize for any inconvenience in this matter.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is exactly why moms like Gomez are right to take a stand when their rights are being violated. Because the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
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Sure, she’s facing the same unfair criticisms constantly lobbed at moms who breastfeed in public — that by giving a hungry baby something to eat, she’s somehow seeking attention. But if there is ever a time to go out, wave your arms and yell, “Look at me,” it’s when you’re being treated unfairly and need to force change into action.
Moms are technically afforded the right to breastfeed in public in this country and the protections of the law to go with said right. Yet we see those rights violated constantly — from moms being forced to feed their babies in bathrooms, like Gomez, to moms being kicked out of restaurants or threatened with eviction.
The only way to put an end to these draconian attitudes about nursing in public is for moms to stand up, to get loud and to fight for their rights and the rights of their hungry little babies.
Take it from the viral nature of Gomez’ photo: A simple protest can make serious waves.