Woman Uses Breastfeeding As Excuse to Complain About All-Gender Bathrooms at DNC Convention
When I heard that a woman was complaining about pumping in the bathrooms at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week, I was all ready to be on her side. But it turns out this is not a case of some new mother being forced to pump in a bathroom because there is no other space for her. Nope! It’s just a woman using breastfeeding as an excuse to complain about gender-neutral bathrooms.
On Monday the Washington Examiner‘s Sarah Westwood Tweeted her “confusion” about the “bathroom situation” at the convention in Philadelphia.
(Via Twitter/Sarah Westwood)
There is nothing confusing about that sign. It says “All-Gender Restroom.” It is just a restroom for people of all genders. It’s no more confusing than a package of pens. “These pens do not say they are for women! Who are these pens for!? I am so confused! Where are the lady pens!?”
When it was pointed out that she was just looking at a bathroom for people of all genders, Westwood tried to make this about her rights as a breastfeeding woman. (See? She wasn’t really “confused” at all. She knew what the words “all-gender restroom” meant.)
@ZackFord as a new mom I didn’t love idea of pumping where my male coworkers could walk in anytime. Not that you understand what that’s like
— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) July 26, 2016
The man Westwood addressed might not know what it’s like to pump breastmilk, but I sure do. Many of you probably do, too. If one is going to pump in a bathroom, whether or not there are men or women in it is irrelevant. There are stall doors in women’s restrooms just like there are stall doors in gender-neutral bathrooms. When the stall door is closed, nobody can see the pumping.
Now, the idea of pumping in a public restroom at a crowded convention center is actually pretty disgusting, but that has nothing to do with the bathroom being for people of all genders. Public bathrooms are terrible places to pump for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is because a toilet sprays an aerosol “plume” of microscopic water droplets tainted with urine and fecal matter whenever it is flushed, and nobody wants any of that getting near breastmilk. There are also no places to sit but on a toilet, no place to rest one’s pump, and very few non-disgusting places to place one’s bag.
Pumping in a public restroom is inconvenient and pretty unsanitary, but a gender-neutral bathroom is no more so than a women’s room.
On top of all that, nobody was being forced to pump in a bathroom at the Wells Fargo Convention Center at all. A woman could pump or breastfeed there if she wanted to, but there were also eight private breast-feeding and pumping stalls at the convention, provided by the Philadelphia Maternity Care Coalition. Each breast-feeding/pumping stall has comfortable chairs, side tables, bottled water, and electrical outlets, and the Maternity Care Coalition is even providing refrigeration services so the pumped milk can be safely stored.
If one is actually looking to pump breastmilk, one of those rooms would be a much better place to do so. But if one is actually just looking to start some drama about how liberals are ruining bathrooms, then it looks like she went to the right place.