A Museum Tried To Shame A Mom For Breastfeeding. Yep, It Totally Backfired

Naked breasts on statues are a yes. Breastfeeding an actual human with real boobs is, apparently, a no.

Photo by Haylee Sherwood/Flickr.

Head to any world-class art museum, and you’ll see plenty of statues from the age of antiquity. The figures, especially the Greek ones, tend to be either scantily clothed or completely naked — marble breasts bared for all the world to see. But if you’re a woman visiting a museum with a hungry baby that needs to be fed from your flesh and blood human breasts, you might be shamed by an employee for doing so.

At least, that’s what happened this week to a breastfeeding mom while she was visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The woman, who goes by Vaguechera on Twitter, took to the social media platform to explain that she’d “flashed a nanosecond of nipple while breastfeeding and was asked to cover up.” Yeah, that staffer must’ve missed the memo that folks really, really appreciate a mom’s effort to keep her baby from doing the full-on hunger howl in public.

But what made her tweet go viral was how she cleverly pointed out the irony of the marble breasts being acceptable while her human pair were not. Along with her initial comment, Vaguechera tweeted photos of the many statues at the museum of bare-breasted women.

Her witty response has been shared on Twitter more than 7,500 times and liked about 15,000 times so far. But she wasn’t finished calling out the museum for shaming her. Throughout the rest of her visit, she tweeted more photos with brilliant captions justaposing her experience with all the boobs on display.

But what’s also admirable is that Vaguechera went on to educate folks about why what happened to her matters.

“Reason it's important: embarrassment about #breastfeeding one of most common reasons that women give up,” she tweeted. The World Health Organization has found that breastfeeding saves the lives of about 800,000 children every year, but whether a mom chooses to breastfeed is completely up to her, and it’s no one else’s business. However, if she decides to nurse her child, that choice shouldn’t be stigmatized.

But if our cousins across the pond are anything like us, there might not be full support for breastfeeding in public. A survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about one-third of Americans think that it’s “embarrassing for a woman to breastfeed in front of others.” Combating that attitude and building a “landscape of breastfeeding support” is one of the reasons that August is National Breastfeeding Month in the United States, and the first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week.

And Vaguechera shouldn’t have been shamed by the employee. The U.K.’s Equality Act 2010 says “it is discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding,” and that “applies to anyone providing services, benefits, facilities and premises to the public, public bodies, further and higher education bodies and association.”

To that end, Tristram Hunt, the director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, tweeted a classy apology to her.

“Our policy is clear: women may breastfeed wherever they like, wherever they feel comfortable & shld not be disturbed,” Hunt wrote. Vaguechera replied that she accepted his apology and then made a suggestion that plenty of places other than Victoria and Albert would probably be wise to adopt: “Staff training maybe,” she wrote.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet