Being a mother means celebrating little self-care victories: grabbing a coffee, having date night, getting a mani-pedi in.
One mother's self-care victory would've been the ability to hit the gym for the first time since having her daughter. Unfortunately, things didn't quite pan out the way she expected.
After dropping her daughter off in the childcare room, mom Ruha Tacey found she needed to breastfeed her child to calm her down.
Tacey initially dropped her daughter off in the childcare room while she hit the gym, but her baby was having trouble without her mom present. Tacey returned and tried to breastfeed her child in order to calm her down.
“She was still distressed when I tried to leave again, so we left and came back this morning,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “When I badged into the front door, the very friendly guy at the front desk said, ‘Hey, can I talk to you about something really quick? In terms of feeding your child, when you need to do that, could you just use the restroom?’ The restroom? I asked. I have absolutely never been asked to do that, I said. ‘Well, we’re a family friendly facility, you see, and yesterday while you were feeding her a man walked by the window.’”
Apparently, making a man uncomfortable took priority over the gym's "family-friendly" ideals.
“I told him a man shouldn’t feel shame when he sees a woman breastfeeding," she continued in her post. "And especially if you’re family friendly, you should be super-pro breastfeeding! He said, ‘I’m not telling you not to breastfeed, I just think a little discretion is in order.’ What a shame, I said. Can I cancel my membership?”Damn straight.
The gym eventually apologized, but only after media attention and a "nurse-in" in front of the gym.
The gym's response? It's retraining all of its employees with current breastfeeding laws, and the regional manager personally apologized to Tacey for making her feel so unwelcome and ashamed.
However, there was still no personal apology from the front desk operator (who, by the way, totally broke the law by asking her to go to the bathroom in the first place).
At the end of the day, breastfeeding is totally natural and shouldn't be sexualized.
Because our society views breasts as sexual objects, some people have a hard time wrapping their minds around breasts being used for things other than an object that exists solely for a man's pleasure.
Tacey put it best: "The main message I’d like to get across to the public,” she said, “is that breastfeeding is natural, it’s normal, and it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Individuals are welcome to have their own opinions about whether a nursing mother offends them, but I would hope that they could think of the child first.”