Posted by: webbhouston | November 17, 2008

Activism and me

I have always stood up for causes that I believed in.  I marched on Washington, protested and made signs. I believe I was born in the wrong decade sometimes… I would have done well burning bras and not shaving my legs.. oh wait. I dont shave my legs anyways….

This week there were two things that pissed me off:

First one. The new Motrin Ad. Basically it is an ad in print and in video that says this:

Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion.

I mean, in theory it’s a great idea.

There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch.

And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free.

Supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience.

They say that babies carried close to the bod tend to cry less than others.

But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t?

I sure do!

These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders. Did I mention your back?!

I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain; it’s for my kid.

Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom.

And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.

As a mother and a babywearer I find this ad offensive, ignorant, and in poor taste. Babywearing is not supposed to be painful, if it is… then you are doing it wrong.  Letters were written to Motrin and a great deal of anger ensued by many people.  Blogs were fired up and they made emails fly and were sent to many a group. I sent a response and so did many angry women (maybe we should try Motrin to feel better… HA). Motrin is supposedly going to remove the ad. It is on their website still so feel free to see it for yourself. It infuriated me.

The second thing that pissed me off today was part of our International Babywearing Week event today. While there a couple of us nursed our children, well… you wont believe it but it stirred up a s$%^storm and I was told to cover up and stop. Repeatedly.

Lets begin with Exhibit A. Here is a picture of one of the evil breastfeeding offenses. Can you see the evil?

Evil Breastfeeder

Evil Breastfeeder

Then… there is this little thing called the Texas Law.. that states:

Chapter 165. Breast-Feeding
Subchapter A. Breast-Feeding Rights and Policies
Sec. 165.001. Legislative Finding
The legislature finds that breast-feeding a baby is an important and basic act of nurture that must be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health and family values. In compliance with the breast-feeding promotion program established under the Federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. section 1771 et seq.), the Legislature recognizes breast-feeding as the best method of infant nutrition.
Sec. 165.002. Right to Breast-Feed
A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be

I was told by the employee at Discovery Green that she was trying to keep people happy and that people had complained. Needless to say I have already started my own little one woman campaign to email everyone under the sun and call the media outlets to get this rectified. What’s worse… this has happened to other moms at this park. This supposedly family friendly and green park that was paid for with our tax dollars in part is violating our rights. My anger isnt really about me as much… I dont mind nursing in public. I have done it in many a country and many a place. I will do it anywhere that I please. No security guard will stop me from doing it. But for those moms who are afraid of it and who might be discouraged from breastfeeding because of this, this is who I am trying to get this changed for.  Actions like this continue to further the idea that breastfeeding is gross and unnatural and continue to make our culture not breastfeeding friendly.

On a happy note here are some pics from the event.

International Babywearing Week 2008

International Babywearing Week 2008

This is my all bundled up with my “refugee” look, as Mike likes to call it.

I am wearing a babywearing poncho, Olives and Applesauce Mei Tai, and a wool Greek fisherman hat. 😉

Alma the Babywearing Refugee

Alma the Babywearing Refugee

Babies taste really good with Curry Ketchup.

Yum.

Yum.

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Responses

  1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and we regret that you experienced this situation while at the park. Please understand that this was an error on the part of our staff. The rights of a mother to breast feed in public was brought to our attention several weeks ago, and our staff was immediately instructed about these rights. Unfortunately, there was some confusion with a weekend staff worker. The Park Director was on site on Sunday and was told about this, to which he immediately explained to our weekend worker that she was incorrect. The Park Director arrived outside and was not able to apologize in person. Please call 713-400-7336 if you have any further questions.

    Thank you

  2. Opps! Please call 713-800-4700 if you have any further questions.

  3. I went to discovery green back in July and both my friend and I were nursing there. My friend was nursing her baby girl and was also told repeatedly to cover up by HPD cop on a bike. I argued with him for 10 minutes before he went away. I was flaming mad!!! He went to check the law and came back and apologized. And I was sitting there wondering why a HPD officer did not know the law!!

    Discovery Green, you have been having problems in this area ever since you opened and need to have signs up for park visitors that you are a nursing friendly establishment. If visitors don’t like it, they are more than welcome to JUST STAY HOME!

  4. hey joyce, we got a great response from discovery green and they were interviewed along with me and another mom on Fox news today. Thanks for posting your story!

  5. In all fairness, HPD officers can’t be expected to know each and every law and code. While he shouldn’t have argued, we have to give him credit for checking it out and then actually apologizing! That is a better resolution than I have had.

    I had my share of run-ins with restaurant waiters and managers, airlines, and complete strangers while I was breastfeeding. I realized that while I surrounded myself with other breastfeeding moms, we are still in the minority and many people just don’t know how to respond when confronted by an offended patron. It doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t alleviate our embarassment, but we owe it to all breastfeeding moms to stay calm and stand our ground.

    Having had some contact with both Alma and Jennifer, I can’t think of two better women for Fox to have interviewed. Two thumbs up!

    Alma and Jennifer…can you tell them that they are forgiven if they will install some darn changing tables in the washrooms?!?!?!


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