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Mother Told Not to Breastfeed in a Museum

Read 1 Mom's Response to Being Told She Couldn't Nurse in a Museum That Celebrates Women's Rights

This past weekend I was in my sisters wedding. It was a beautiful day darkened by one situation. While taking pictures...

Posted by Emily Locke on Monday, March 21, 2016

Emily Locke was at her sister's beautiful wedding, taking photos at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, when she took a break to nurse her 9-month-old son. She looked up when she heard a woman's voice say, "You can't do that here," and responded that legally, she could — as a mother is permitted to nurse wherever she is permitted to be — and that was just the beginning of the scenario that put a damper on her sister's special day.

Locke refused to stop breastfeeding, so the staff member called her manager, another young woman.

She said I would have to move and they had a private area where I could "do that" I said I was fine where I was . . . She then told me she was just trying to protect the innocent children. I was pretty shocked. I think I responded with a blank stare, considering the place was nearly empty and the only innocent children around were my children, and also, I was nursing a child not walking around topless. She stared at me for a moment and said "I guess there is nothing I can do then." I said "I guess not" and she walked away while I finished nursing my son. I was so disappointed and saddened by this. I was treated as if I was doing something disgusting and inappropriate. That I was in some way hurting the innocence of children. I was treated this way by women in a museum which actually has exhibits celebrating . . . women's rights. A museum that has nude female form on display as art, but could not see the art and beauty of a woman nursing her child. Mostly though, it concerned me that they believe it is okay to have a policy against nursing. That they would so aggressively try to stop me.

Locke considers herself a confident woman who knows her rights and will "always crusade for justice," but her concern is that if she was approached by these women, the members of staff would have no problem approaching other women who may not be as confident about their rights.

Read her full post above, which she is sharing in the hopes of spreading awareness for breastfeeding laws.

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