A few weeks ago, California mom Marcella Mares went viral after her professor humiliatingly denied her the right to breastfeed her daughter during their class Zoom sessions. This man had the gall to tell the class that she was requesting permission to do “inappropriate things” during class. This week we learned that he’s doubling down on this attitude, even after being asked by Fresno City College to apologize for his Title IX violation. Are you ready to get even angrier?
Let’s back up and recap this very 2020 story.
“Please do not breastfeed your daughter during class time because it is not what you should be doing. Just do that after class,” Hung Hua, a math professor at the college, emailed Mares when she asked about breastfeeding with regard to his new policy of requiring all students to have their cameras on during class.
He then decided to address the matter in class, as she shared on Facebook in September.
“I’m in class right now, and he said, ‘I got a weird email from a student about her having to take care of some things that have nothing to do with my class. You guys need to put those distractions aside and give your full attention to this course,'” she wrote. A classmate later informed her that he said “inappropriate things.”
First Mares was embarrassed. Then she got angry. In addition to venting on Facebook, she took her story to her school’s Title IX coordinator, who is in charge of fielding complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex. The school and Hua eventually apologized to Mares. But in the meantime, Mares received a poor grade on an exam and was advised to drop the class.
“It has nothing to do with breastfeeding nor was it retaliation,” he told TheLily of her grade. What’s worse, he still doesn’t really seem to think he was in the wrong, even though California law requires schools to make accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding parents. Instead, he is going on about how she made that request.
Here’s his gem of a quote in the Lily:
“She went too far. I think she got offended in a way that I didn’t let her breastfeed her baby, [like] her baby’s going to die of starvation. There are other ways of feeding the baby besides feeding it with their breasts. You can feed it with the bottle.”
Wow, this guy does not know how babies work.
The problem here is that not all moms treated this way go viral. Not all of them can get angry and take action. This kind of microaggression wears you down and makes you feel like you don’t belong in a place of learning.
I want to live in a world where people can get an education, get jobs, and contribute to society, even after they become parents. This fragile dude not being able to handle seeing a mom’s breast during class should not get in the way of that. Maybe you need to deal with your own problems after class, professor.
Sorry, fragile men, parents like these are working hard to normalize public breastfeeding.