When I become who I was defending
I know that I have neglected this blog for way too long. I keep thinking about what I am going to write and how I am going to write it but that was never at a time when I could sit down at the computer.
A lot has happened, Zen is almost a year old and Shammy is almost 3. I am planning their birthday party while trying to avoid being too OCD and obsessed about it (ha!)
One of the reasons that kept me from updating (besides lack of time) was the fact that I really wanted to write about something that I couldn’t go public with yet. I can’t go into details due to a pending legal process but I can at least get the gist of it off my chest.
For 2 years I have been such a strong advocate of nursing in public; defending those that had been harassed, thinking that it wasn’t all that common if I had nursed in public so often and in so many places with for so many months without any issue. Until it finally happened to me and it was completely different from how I imagined it would be.
In a nutshell a waitress at a local restaurant that shall remain nameless (at least for now) draped a cloth napkin over my chest and Zen’s head when he was 3 months old. I had a very strong emotional reaction. How different would my reaction be if it had been verbal harassment instead of physical?
I think I would have preferred her saying “you have to cover up” or “you can’t do that here”, it would have been easier for me to snap into a response. The most I could manage was taking the napkin and saying “thank you but he doesn’t need that”. Because I didn’t want to ruin the celebratory mood of the group I was with I kept quiet when what I really wanted to do was to make a huge scene.
In hindsight I regret leaving without saying anything, I should have waited until everybody else in our group left and addressed the issue on the spot but I was still too shocked to think straight.
I thought that I could send a complaint letter to the owners of the restaurant asking for an apology and that would be it. It took me 2 weeks to cool off enough to send a polite letter. The Best for Babes NIP Harrassment Hotline was very helpful in this process. It’s been over 6 months and no apology, because I was so nice in trying to resolve things quietly and giving them time to respond I feel like I missed on the window of opportunity for taking public action, I really wanted to write a press release back then.
Now I regret not having organized a nurse-in at that restaurant, I know hundreds of breastfeeding mothers in the area and know that we could have gotten a good turn out and media attention to teach the restaurant that they can’t ignore this issue and that their staff needs sensitivity training.
Instead now I am stuck in the slow and tedious process of getting lawyers involved. I hope I never have to go through this again but if I do, I think I’d rather make a scene, call the media and plan a nurse in than try to sue, god knows how long this will take.
I know that the waitress had the best of intentions, she may be a mom herself and only looking out for what she thought was my best interest. I know that her intent was not to harass me just like my intent wasn’t to be a problem customer.
Yes, the waitress should have been aware of the law prior to coming over to me but it isn’t a well-known law and probably not something they would have even anticipated needing to know. What is not right is her trying to touch me and my baby, that is BATTERY! She is lucky I didn’t call the cops.
This happened in October 2012 and here we are in June 2013 and I am still worked up about it so I am going to stop writing here and go back to planning this year’s Big Latch On event….
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