Welcome to 2018, when it’s somehow still more believable for people to eat Tide pods in public than it is for a woman to breastfeed on camera. Thankfully, one woman running for governor in Maryland is on a mission to bring the narrative about breastfeeding into the 21st century.
Krish Vignarajah, who’s also the only woman to throw her proverbial hat into the state’s gubernatorial race, has a message for people in her new ad video: Get used to women and, more specifically, mothers in power, because the time for change is now.
“There are no women in statewide or federal office in Maryland. None,” Vignarajah says in the video as images of her breastfeeding her daughter flash on the screen. “This isn’t just about representation; it’s about policy. States with women in government have better schools, better health care, lower incarceration rates. I want all of that for Maryland.”
Um, yes, please! What makes Vignarajah’s pitch even more compelling is that she has the résumé to back it up. According to The Cut, Vignarajah got her law degree at Yale before serving as Michelle Obama’s policy director; and, yes, working for the former first lady comes with its educational perks.
“What I learned from her is that she owned it, right?” Vignarajah told The Cut about her experience with Obama. “She very explicitly declared that she viewed herself first and foremost as Mom in Chief and that her priorities were taking care of her children while also raising them in the public eye, while also taking on some of the most challenging, most important issues that our nation faces.”
It’s that same transparency and commitment to excellence that Vignarajah hopes to bring to the Old Line State. She’s not just in this for the notoriety; she wants to create a future in which her daughter — and daughters everywhere — can thrive.
As The Cut notes, Vignarajah isn’t the only woman to breastfeed on camera this election season. Earlier this month, Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Kelda Roys also breastfed her child in a campaign ad while calling for a ban on BPA chemicals in baby bottles.
Unfortunately, not everyone is as impressed with these women’s commitment to normalizing one of the most natural things a parent can do. People left comments like, “I’m just sad they didn’t show the tiddy [sic]” and “sorry but theres [sic] a time and a place for things, you can make campaign video when your [sic] not breastfeeding all for attention, gross” under both videos.
Hopefully, candidates like Vignarajah and Roys can help people realize, one by one, that unlike their dated perceptions of motherhood, breastfeeding openly is here to stay.