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Published On: Tue, Jan 8th, 2013

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.

mall breastfeeding sitin protest lactivistsNBC 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.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news for Examiner, starting and writing for several different websites including the diverse blognews site Desk of Brian. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Displaying 5 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Karla says:

    Poor Charlie, you’re so right. We should’t have to explain to young children that the natural and normal way for a human child to get its nutrition is from milk produced by their mothers. It’s so much easier to continue misinforming them that breasts are evil and only used for sex. Yes, that’s the message our young children need to see, not breast feeding infants! I mean, bottle feeding is what’s normal, right? Thats why we’ve had bottles and formula since the beginning of our species… no wait, that’s breasts and babies. How traumatizing for you and your child to have to learn the truth of basic biological science. *eye roll* get over yourself. It’s a boob and a baby. Tell your child the baby is eating. End of conversation. Don’t pass your perverted sexual hangups on to the next generation please!

  2. Charlie says:

    I have an adolescent son with Autism. I would not want to be walking in a store or through a shopping center and have him see a mom breast-feeding her child. I have no problem with mothers breast-feeding their babies, but openly doing so in a public family area is inappropriate for other young children to see, not to mention that it shows a lack of common courtesy to everyone else. I would have a lot more respect for you is you found a quiet area in the shopping center to lactate, or whatever.

    Not out in the wide open……..that’s just rude.

    • @Wolf_Mommy says:

      There is nothing wrong with children knowing how babies are fed. It is, in fact, impossible to prevent children from seeing breastfeeding because it is a child that is eating! It is not sexual in any way. It is not rude to feed a hungry baby, that’s ridiculous. I would respect you a lot more if you taught your son that breasts are feeding babies, not selling beer, or whatever.

  3. @Wolf_Mommy says:

    Peacefully protesting ones legally protected human right is not a “crazy stunt”, nor is it just “stirring up trouble”, it’s an important part of democracy. If they were being rowdy or breaking the law, the mall cops should have cited that as the issue–not breastfeeding.

    They were not “testing the law” (for which the Concord Mall would have failed, incidentally), they were calling awareness to an important public health issue which came into public light when a mother who was nursing her baby in a Hollister was subjected to humiliation and discrimination. Clearly the Concord Mall in Delaware was in need to of such awareness.

    Posting a picture of yourself breastfeeding on Facebook is not “shock factor”. Breastfeeding is the normal process by which mothers feed their babies, it’s not “shocking”. Normal is not shocking.

    Lactivist is not a dirty word.

    II can see exactly how you are “fighting” for our legally protected right to breastfeed in public. By telling us not to protest when those rights are violated. I think we’ll just leave that just leave that job to lactivists and breastfeeding mums, shall we?

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