Imagine, if you will, that you are hungry. You are so hungry, in fact, tears well up in your eyes. Your Filet O’ Fish sits mere millimeters from your face and yet – YET – you are not allowed to eat it. You can smell it, oh can you smell it. You can feel its warmth caress your chubby cheeks. The anticipation of the softness of its bun makes your mouth water and your hands rub together anxiously. You begin to squirm because the Filet O’ Fish is not going away. It’s right there, right in your face. And you are very, very hungry.
Finally, the Filet O’ Fish is made available to you. You take a luxurious bite. It is exquisite, and then, even as you’re chewing, the sandwich is ripped away from you. As it hangs again, millimeters from your face, someone tells you it’s a liability to let you eat your sandwich there, even if you do it privately, away from other people. You think, "well that’s horseshit," but you’re starving, so you forgo the fight and go sit on a faraway bench outside to finish your lunch.
Once outside, you take a seat and lustily bury your face into your lunch. As you’re munching, eyes rolling in delight, you see… what? Gob from Arrested Development? A man on a Segway hums up to you, steam coming from his ears.
"You must take your lunch to the bathroom," he fumes. "You must finish it there. There will be no sandwich eating in public."
"COME ON," you protest, trying to get in his good graces by giving a dead-on impression of Gob at his most obfuscated. "I’m hungry, and this is a public place!"
"It is a private place," the Gob-ish "security" man counters, even though you are both outside and not in a living room. He dismounts his phallic idiot-mobile. "You must do that," and here he gestures at you in a way that shows he’s disgusted by you and your sandwich, "in the bathroom."
You refuse. There is a standoff. Ultimately, not feeling up for a fight with a certifiable asshat, you put away your partially eaten meal and leave the premises. You don’t understand why you’ve been discriminated against. There are other people eating their lunches while sitting on benches and they have not been bothered by Segway-driving possibly fictional TV characters. You look around for the Candid Cameras. There are none. You look for Ashton Kutcher, he’s nowhere to be seen. You are stumped.
Resigned, you take your sandwich, finish it in the car and go home. You do not buy anything on your trip, and you tell all your friends who enjoy sandwiches to stay away from the Round Rock Premium Outlets.
OK. That story above? It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Positively moronic. And yet, substitute Filet O’ Fish sandwiches with breastfeeding and the scene is tiresomely familiar.
Not only was a woman harassed by a Segway-driving security guard as she she tried to nurse her four-month-old (discreetly, on a bench outside) at the Round Rock Premium Outlet Mall, said security guard had been called by the manager of – wait for it – the Disney Store after the mama had asked if she could nurse her child privately in a dressing room for a few minutes. The Disney store manager informed her it was a liability to allow a mama to breastfeed her child privately in the store.
Why would that be a liability, Disney Store Manager? Could the mama’s breast fall off causing someone to trip? Could an overactive letdown accidentally shoot a stream of milk into an electrical socket and cause a blackout? Maybe the baby might burp really loudly, the burp would then be mistaken for a terroristic threat, and the whole store would be blown to smithereens by a renegade SWAT team of misguided vigilantes?
Not allowing a mother to privately nurse her baby in your store is top notch assholery, but calling Segway-driving security on her once she’s left the store? COME ON. It makes me laugh at the sheer preposterousness. A mother feeding her baby is a security risk how exactly? She will scare away other mothers? Doubt it. Her breasts will somehow escape her shirt and cause a car accident amongst lecherous passers-by? Probably not.
It doesn’t make any sense. It is, in fact, stupid that this happened. Actually, it’s all of those words we learn when we discuss discrimination – ignorant, degrading, embarrassing, litigious.
Oop. Did I say litigious? Well, why would that be? Oh, maybe because discriminating against breastfeeding mothers is against the law in Texas. Best read up on your statutes, dumbasses. And after that, an apology would be nice. Not just to the mama you humiliated and the baby you tried to starve, but to everyone else.
Apologize for not living in the 21st century. Apologize for your twisted views that breasts are only sex objects. Apologize for demanding someone eat their lunch in a restroom. Apologize for marring the sanctity of the Segway name.
And most of all?
Apologize for your idiocy. Because, damn.
COME ON, Round Rock Premium Outlets and Disney Store Manager. COME ON.