It’s 2016 And Somehow Women Are Still Being Shamed For Breastfeeding At The Gym
It is 2016 and somehow despite the fact that it is completely legal for women to breastfeed anyplace they are otherwise allowed to be, women are still being bothered and snarled at and told to go sit on a toilet or just stay home until the kid’s on solid foods.
According to Cosmopolitan, Ohio mom Aidan Johnson says she was nursing her 8-month-old baby at a gym when she was “shamed” for nursing in public by a gym employee. According to the woman’s post, she wasn’t breastfeeding on the machines or anything, just sitting in an out-of-the-way cafe area at her gym when the gym’s HR manager came over and asked if she’d like to move.
“‘[The HR person] began saying that the gym supports breastfeeding and she “understands” because she breastfed. They “just wanted to make sure I was accommodated” so I could go up to the kids area which is private or I could go into another room which wasn’t occupied until the afternoon,” Johnson wrote on Facebook. “Over and over she kept saying how much she “understood” and how they just wanted to “accommodate me”. I said “no thanks, I’m fine and clearly my sleeping son is too”.
Johnson seems to have felt that the woman was using the guise of “accommodating” her to get her to cover up or move out of the cafe area, which is annoying, but she says she would just have left it alone after that, but that her husband had a very frustrating conversation with the gym’s male manager about the incident.
According to Johnson’s Facebook post, the gym manager admitted that he’d sent the HR woman over in an attempt to get Johnson to cover up or move out of the way. When her husband pointed out that Ohio law says Johnson doesn’t have to do either, the manager reportedly accused her of acting “like a victim.”
“He said that if I wasn’t the type to meet them halfway, maybe we should find another gym. He repeated multiple times that I was just acting like a victim,” Johnson said.
It’s getting a bit ridiculous. How many of these stories need to run before gym managers and restaurant managers and other people realize that public breastfeeding is legal and unremarkable, and that it would be a lot more disruptive to harass a nursing woman than to just ignore her and let her feed her baby in peace.