A connecticut mom was thrown out of court for breastfeeding her son this week…even though there is a law that protects her right to do so. Twenty five year old Danielle Gendron was sitting in a Norwich, Connecticut family court room waiting to testify as a witness when she attempted to breastfeed her 3-month-old son, Maddox. After being made to feel “uncomfortable,” as Gendron put it (which I think is an understatement, I would have been humiliated) a female court employee ushered her out. According to Gendron:
“I went to feed him and the marshal, just you know she immediately just waved me out. That’s never happened to me so I wasn’t sure she was speaking to e at first so I kind of looked around and she was like you know get out. It almost make you feel ashamed which is terrible because you shouldn’t feel that way.”
All of this drama caused Gendron to miss testifying and she was rightfully outraged at the incident, especially considering that she knew she wasn’t breaking any rules. She doesn’t understand what the court employee, a marshal of the court, expected her to do (besides sit out in the cold, or in a filthy bathroom I suppose):
“If we could all sit home with our babies 24/7 that would be great but no one can do that and no one would be asked to leave anywhere if they were giving their baby a bottle.”
After Gendron got in touch with the local news station, News 8, the station contacted a court representative who told them that the marshal was reprimanded and “reminded of the law.” Not only that, but all court employees were reminded of the law, to ensure that a misunderstanding like this doesn’t happen again. An apology was also given to Gendron’s sister, who called to complain on Gendron’s behalf.
Now, I’ve written about this subject enough to know I will probably get a fair share of “she shouldn’t have been nursing there, she doesn’t get special rights, etc. etc. BLAH BLAH BLAH MISANDRY!” First of all, I think the female breast has been so hyper-sexualized in the media and society that it makes it hard for women like Gendron who just want to feed their baby. It’s a BREAST, folks. This is what it’s for. Second, it’s so easy to discreetly nurse a baby. It’s not like she whipped out her tit and started spraying breast milk all over the court (though that would be hilarious). As you can see in the video below she was able to nurse ON CAMERA and they didn’t have to blur anything out. If it’s safe for day time TV, how is it hurting some court marshal’s sensibilities?
That being said, I think it’s great that the court acted quickly in reprimanding their employee, and I certainly don’t think the woman should be fired. What good would that do? The key in these situations is for sensitivity training and making sure all employees are aware of the laws, so I think the Norwich family court did the right thing.