Breastfeeding woman asked to ‘cover up’ in London museum
A woman breastfeeding her one-year-old child was asked to ‘cover up’ her breast in a museum in London even as the World Breastfeeding Week was being observed across the globe.more lifestyle Updated: Aug 14, 2017 16:34 IST
A woman breastfeeding her one-year-old child was asked to ‘cover up’ her breast in a museum in London even as the World Breastfeeding Week to spread the awareness about the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children was being observed across the globe.
Instead of bearing that in silence, she took to Twitter to express her amazement.
The woman, who posts as @vaguechera on Twitter, said she had “flashed a nanosecond of nipple” in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum’s courtyard when she was told to conceal her breast.
And she didn’t stop there.
She also posted pictures of “Mankind,” “Pluto and Proserpina” and “Vertumnus and Pomona,” among other pieces at the V&A, all of which prominently feature nude female breasts, highlighting the museum’s double standards.
'Excuse me madam, would you mind covering your breasts with this mask while you feed?' pic.twitter.com/yvRrcpbc3c— Vaguechera (@vaguechera) August 5, 2017
The woman told the BBC she was “stunned into silence” by the request from a female member of staff.
“I had been attempting to be discreet and to feed under a cardigan, but with a distracted one-year-old it can be challenging,” she said.
“The staff member was friendly and polite, but obviously asking me to cover up was still intrusive, unpleasant and embarrassing for me, as well as obviously ludicrous,” she added.
Tristram Hunt, the director of the Victoria and Albert museum, tweeted an apology to the woman.
“V sorry. Our policy is clear: women may breastfeed wherever they like, wherever they feel comfortable & shld not be disturbed (sic),” he said in a tweet.
.@vaguechera V sorry. Our policy is clear: women may breastfeed wherever they like, wherever they feel comfortable & shld not be disturbed.— Tristram Hunt (@TristramHuntVA) August 5, 2017
Our policy goes beyond legal responsibilities to welcome and encourage breastfeeding in our spaces and provide private spaces when requested— V&A (@V_and_A) August 5, 2017
'Baby's hungry - great! A chance to expose my breasts publicly to all these people!' Thought no #breastfeeding woman, ever.— Vaguechera (@vaguechera) August 7, 2017
The incident reignited the long-standing debate, where some appreciated her for speaking out about the incident, while others thought that a woman should ‘use a bottle in public’. Here’s how people reacted on social media.
Maybe you should try turning yourself into stone and seeing if it’s ok then?— Love Wapping (@LoveWapping) August 5, 2017
This is extremely worrying in an age when we are encouraging women to breast feed there should be no problems for a mum to breast feed— Lyn Surgenor (@LynSurgenor) August 5, 2017
Breastfeed or you're a bad mother, but do it at home alone... Preferably in a dark cupboard.— IamThePOND (@IamThePOND) August 5, 2017
A lack of necessary support for feminism amongst women, at least in the west, is as much an obstacle for you as anything men may throw up.— Julian Hullis (@julian_hullis) August 6, 2017
Honestly don't get this at all...why do some people get so offended by it! If I'd overheard that I'd have flashed mine in support ✊️— Creany (@skib38) August 6, 2017
So surprising. In 2004 in Italy, I breastfed my 18-month old in churches, museums, public squares with no trouble at all.— storchmonster (@storchmonster) August 6, 2017
Yes, I forgot that breasts are for art and not feeding children. Better for a baby to go hungry than you feel uncomfortable!— Sharmina August (@SharAugust) August 5, 2017
I respect and agree with breastfeeding. But I don't want to see it in public spaces, restaurants etc unless someone covers up...decent thing— sandra (@SandyJpetals) August 6, 2017
World Breastfeeding Week is held every year between August 1 to 7 in more than 120 countries by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), World Health Organization, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
First Published: Aug 14, 2017 16:24 IST