Lactivists Diana Hitchens, Autumne Murray and Jessica Hitchens: breastfeeding freedom fighters or troublemakers?
The headlines will summarize “Three mothers claim they were harassed by security guards while they were breastfeeding their children at the Concord Mall in Delaware Sunday afternoon,” but these women make no secret of their intent on pressing the public breastfeeding issue into public debate.
NBC Philly detailed the events in a Tuesday article which involved mall security, a state trooper and then rallying fellow activists to crusade for their “rights” to breastfeed in public with a “public nurse-in.”
The women walked through stores nursing, even announcing it to employees who were asking if “they needed anything” – all in an effort to “educate everyone.”
“We’d like them to be more educated about the law for nursing in public,” said Jessica Hitchens of Newark, Delaware.
According to Delaware state law, women are allowed to breastfeed in any public or private location, but apparently we need to test mall cops and shoppers to ensure they are full aware of the law.
Jessica Hitchens is a self-proclaimed “Lactivist,” on her Facebook page, which is an advocate for breastfeeding.
Even Wikipedia warns that “One form that lactivism can take is the staging of a “nurse-in” (a play on “sit-in”), which involves women gathering in public to breastfeed their children, usually to protest incidents in which a nursing mother was asked to cover up or leave a location because she was breastfeeding.”
Back in December, just before Christmas, Diana Hitchens updated her Facebook profile picture to a photo of her child suckling on her breast, so the trio are well versed in the “shock factor.”
So, there’s the rub.
The issue becomes some sort of vendetta against the norm instead of just a “civil right.” Most mothers casually breastfeed in public, cover-up to be courteous to others and not parade through the mall looking to get into a fight with Paul Blart.
Of course, the matter is compounded by the irresponsible journalists turning these three into milk producing martyrs, who then rally woman to their version of a “sit-in.”
A battle over the benefits of breastfeeding will be relegated to the back burner because of crazy stunts like this.
Possibly I’m wrong and these three innocent ladies strolled through the Abercrombie & Fitch unprovoked, but that doesn’t seem to be the case or the message of the “lactivist.”
I’ll fight for your right to breastfeed in public, your legal right, but not your ability to stir up trouble. Behave accordingly.
About the Author
Brandon Jones writes for several websites, particularly Examiner.com where he covers several topics, but no focuses on The Global Dispatch and keeping truth in the news.
He began ‘blogging’ on CrazedFanboy.com before it was called blogging. DeskofBrian was formed as a collaboration and grew in popularity. Brandon publishes his Pop Culture articles (“Splash Page”) and the heavier “State of the Nation” which deals with religion, politics, economics, here on The Global Dispatch.