The solution to the issue of breastfeeding in public is incredibly simple. It's called "Move Your Eyeballs."
A Texas mom was kicked out of a public pool because apparently some people don't know what to do when a baby eats near them.
Misty Daugereaux was enjoying a day at Nessler Family Aquatic Center in Texas City, Texas with her nephew and two sons when she fed her 10-month-old.
She didn't rip off her top and start giving a lifeguard a lap dance. She didn't walk up to people's lounge chairs and shove her breasts into their faces. She didn't shout, "Hey everyone, come over here and watch my peep show!" She simply breastfed her baby.
Apparently, some folks at the pool took issue with Daugereaux feeding her baby near them, however. A lifeguard approached her and told her she needed to cover up. She said she didn't actually need to, and that she had a right to feed her baby there. Then the pool manager got involved. Then the police were called.
Yes, the police.
The lifeguard claimed that Daugereaux cursed at him when he asked her to cover up, but the mother says that didn't happen.
"I have two three-year-olds with me, I'm not gonna cuss somebody out," Daugereaux said to the police. "I'm just going to stand for what I believe in and feed my baby."
In bodycam footage, Daugereaux was near tears as she told the officer how she explained to the lifeguard that she had a right to feed her baby.
"I don't stand for a lot," she said, "but I will stand for that."
Daugereaux said the lifeguard told her she needed to "follow the rules," so she asked him to show her where in the rules it says that she can't feed her baby. He responded, "You need to cover up."
"Absolutely not," Daugereaux said. "It's your own discretion. I'm conscious enough to know I don't want every man in the pool looking at my boobs. But when you have a 10-month-old who doesn't take a bottle, I'm going to feed him."
She told the lifeguard to talk to his manager. But then the manager came over and told Daugereaux that she needed to leave. After speaking with the lifeguard, manager, and Daugereaux, the police officer told Daugereax to leave the facility.
The officer claimed that it was the cursing at the lifeguard, not the breastfeeding, that was the issue. However, Daugereaux claimed that never happened and even invited the officer to ask a woman who was nearby and saw the incident for her story. And considering the officer's vulgar comment at the end of the bodycam footage—"You can't just have your titties out everywhere. I know you gotta feed your kid, but go sit under a blanket or something."—it sure doesn't seem like he was there to defend this mother's legal rights.
Police Body Camera Video
The Texas City Police Department is releasing the body camera video taken on June 9, 2019, depicting the events that took place at the Nessler Park...
As a reminder, breastfeeding in public is legally protected in all 50 states, cover or no cover.
The Health and Safety Code for the state of Texas says that a mother "is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be." As of 2018, all 50 states have laws on the books protecting a mother's right to feed her baby in public.
People can voice their opinion that mothers should cover up all they want, but kicking a mother out of a public place because she is showing more breast than you feel comfortable with while feeding her baby is wrong. And considering the fact that it was 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity the day this incident took place, suggesting that Daugereaux "go sit under a blanket" or make her baby eat with a blanket over his head is just cruel.
Daugereaux has received a wave of support from the breastfeeding community, and dozens of moms staged a nurse-in at the pool to protest the incident.
Angela Dunn, a mother and a grandmother, expressed her concerns to NBC-affiliate KPRC. "I think it's especially ironic that there are women in swimsuit tops that barely cover their breasts," she said, "and it's shameful to see a mother feeding her child?"
The city has issued an apology of sorts, which it shared on the city's Facebook page.
"We, the City of Texas City are reviewing the nursing concerns raised at the Nessler Pool and how it was addressed by our staff. We apologize to Misty Daugereaux as it is clear she was offended by how she was treated at our City Facility. City policies and procedures will be reviewed and revised as deemed necessary. Any deficiencies regarding our employee's actions will be addressed with further training."
This kind of "sorry you were offended" apology seems inadequate, when the response really should have been, "We're sorry our city employees were ignorant of the law and harassed you for doing something perfectly legal." (Perhaps they could also tack on, "Hey, kudos for taking good care of your baby. You go, mama!" Just saying.)
The solution to the issue of breastfeeding in public is incredibly simple.
Debates over breastfeeding in public usually boil down to subjective standards of exactly how much breast skin or how many milliseconds of nipple is offensive to people's sensibilities when they're in the vicinity of a feeding baby.
But guess what! There's a super simple, 100% free, practically-zero-effort solution to this problem. It's so easy and readily available, I am constantly amazed that more people don't implement it. It's called "Moving Your Eyeballs," and it guarantees that no one ever has to watch a mom breastfeed in public. Here's a video that explains exactly how it works.
Seriously. So. Simple.
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