This Thread About Pumping At Work Proves Male Coworkers Can Be The Worst

by Cassandra Stone
Image via Twitter/Ijeoma Oluo

Grab your popcorn for Ijeoma Oluo’s amazing story about pumping at work and her ‘breastmilk bowl’

If you’ve ever had to pump breastmilk at your workplace, then this Twitter thread is for you. Writer Ijeoma Oluo was inspired to share her own personal tale of workplace pumping woe, and be warned — it’s a doozy.

But it’s also the kind of story literally every working, pumping mom can relate to because it doesn’t matter how progressive we think we are as a society, there is always that One Person™ you work with (usually someone with a penis) who finds it “offensive.”

Oluo’s story takes place awhile ago, back before workplaces were required to offer designated, sanitary places for breastfeeding employees to pump (spoiler alert: we’ve still got a long way to go on that one, even in 2018). The content of her thread, however, is extremely relatable.


After each lunchtime pumping sesh, Oluo says she would take her supplies to the breakroom sink to wash them out and store her milk. She says every single day, without fail, she’d endure complaints about it, because people have some serious Freudian issues about breastmilk being out in the open I guess?

Like no, guys, it’s not jizz. It’s the literal nourishment breastfed babies need to live — oh, and also THE ONLY REASON WHY WE HAVE FUCKING BREASTS.

Because of course he was a woman-hating asshole. When it’s not some pearl-clutching prude, it’s always the women-hating assholes who do this.

Hoo, Richie boy, are you and your buzz cut in for a real treat.

OMG. Dead. Dying. D-E-A-D.


Oh man, this story is better than gold. Better than the liquid gold that caused this entire debacle in the first place, even. Why is it always men who cause the biggest stink about breastfeeding moms and pumping?

Plenty of nursing moms are probably reading through Oluo’s thread, nodding — I know I am. When I went back to work, my super progressive, super swanky advertising agency offered me the use of a dusty, musty handicapped restroom to pump in. The problem with that (aside from the fact that it was a dirty bathroom with no stall, just a toilet and a chair) was that it was apparently the Designated Shitter for every guy in I.T.

And boy, were they put out by the fact that once I returned to work, they had to waddle their dirty jeans all the way down to the eight-stall bathroom meant for able-bodied, non-nursing men. But that didn’t stop them from taking dumps in the handicapped bathroom, where I had to pretend tiny poop particles weren’t getting into my baby’s breastmilk. They harassed me about it through email, passive-aggressive comments, and even BY SCRIBBLING SIGNS ON THE DOOR to deter me from using their precious pooping space. Two years later, and I’m still livid every time I think about it.

Moral of the story: sometimes, men are the worst. Especially when it comes to women’s bodies, and mothers they work with. If this compels you to pipe up with “not all men,” go ahead and make like Buzz Cut Rich and see yourself out.