Target employees defended this mom against an angry breastfeeding shamer
If you’ve ever doubted that breastfeeding shaming is a thing, then you need to see this absolutely appalling video posted by a mom who says she was verbally assaulted by a stranger while feeding her daughter in a Target cafe.
Jessie Maher wrote on Facebook that she was breastfeeding her one-month-old, Zinnia, at a Torrington, Connecticut, Target store when an older man approached her and said, “Can’t you do that somewhere else? That’s fucking disgusting. You are nasty.”
Writes Maher, “I responded with, ‘I am feeding my baby, and I have the right to do it here…walk the fuck away..leave me the fuck alone.’ He responded with, (as he’s walking closer and closer to me and getting louder) ‘you are fucking disgusting…you are fucking disgusting…you are fucking disgusting…you whore.’ [sic]”
That’s when the bold mom took out her phone and started recording, capturing more of the man’s abuse, and eventually a group of wonderful shoppers and Target employees who came to her defense.
In the video, you can see the angry man yammering on about Maher’s breastfeeding to anyone who will listen. He even asks for a refund on what he was buying — because a mom dared to breastfeed in his presence. Get the hell over it, Dude. A few customers argue with him, calling him “rude” and telling him to leave her alone. About halfway through, a woman even comes up to make sure Maher is okay and tells her, “You shouldn’t be ashamed of feeding your baby, okay? He can go the other way. This is a beautiful moment right now, if he doesn’t like it he can go.”
Of course, the best part of the video takes place around the 1:38 mark, when a group of Target employees confront the man and actually stand between him and the breastfeeding mom until he finally walks away. As Fox61 reports, Target’s employee manual actually specifically states that customers may breastfeed openly in all their stores, and it looks like this group really took that message to heart.
Since Maher shared her video on Facebook, it’s been viewed more than two million times and has over 34,000 shares. It’s shocking to watch, because as much as we read about and discuss breastfeeding shaming, we so rarely witness it while it’s happening. The man in the video was so frighteningly aggressive, and as a mom, I can only imagine how scary that must have been.
Few people in Maher’s situation would’ve had the balls to pull out their phone and capture the man’s ranting for all the world to see, but it’s so good that this mom did. She put a face to the shaming and gave the world a glimpse into what these confrontations actually look like. When people talk about the need to normalize breastfeeding and to protect moms from people who judge their choices, this is what they mean. This is what moms are up against.
Hopefully this video will encourage more people to act like the ones who defended Maher, and we can finally put an end to mommy shaming for good.