A Connecticut woman filmed a man screaming at her for breastfeeding her newborn at a Target store in Torrington, CT earlier this week. In the video, the man can be heard demanding a refund before other customers and Target employees come to the mother's defense.
Jesse Mahler posted the video on Monday on Facebook, wondering, "Anybody know this asshole who verbally assaulted me in Target this morning while I was breastfeeding my baby? (He's wearing an Avon shirt)"
Before the video started rolling he looked at me and said (very angrily), "can't you do that somewhere else?... That's fucking disgusting.. You are nasty" (he said a few other things under his breath) I responded with, "I am feeding my baby, and I have the right to do it here...walk the fuck away..leave me the fuck alone"
He responded with, (as he's walking closer and closer to me and getting louder) "you are fucking disgusting...you are fucking disgusting...you are fucking disgusting...you whore" he said a bunch more bullshit that I can not remember ....by this point EVERYONE came to my defense! Target staff and shoppers... Then I started rolling the camera....
You can hear a female customer asking Mahler if she's okay and reassuring her that she's doing nothing wrong: "He has no right to be doing that. It's fine," later adding, "You shouldn't be ashamed of feeding your baby... This is a beautiful moment right now." The same customer yells at the man, who claims he's being disrespected, 'THEN DON'T LOOK,' and then wonders why he's so upset about this moment "with all the horror" in the world right now.
Mahler says that one of the Target employees "was so sweet… He kept saying, ‘It’s your right to nurse where ever you want here.'" Connecticut law states, "Connecticut law allows mothers to breastfeed their babies in public places and the workplace. The law also protects employed mothers’ rights to express milk during the workday."
She later posted a thank you for all the support she's received:
Mamas have opened up and told me their stories, they've said they stand by me, they understand what I went through because they too have been in public with a screaming baby...some run home and deal with the screaming baby, some hide in a bathroom, some sit down and cover up with a blanket, some sit in a hot car. This is all in fear of the reactions we get, wether it is a dirty look or the extreme situation that I endured yesterday. I choose to openly breastfeed my child when ever and where ever she happens to be hungry. I choose not to cover up because I am not ashamed of what my breasts are intended for. I stand with all mamas breastfeeding, bottle feeding, covered or not. It is hard enough being a mother, period. We need to build new mothers up not tear them down. After all they are raising the next generation of people in this country. Let's be kind, let's be gentle. Let's teach mamas future mamas that they have rights when it comes to breastfeeding! Let's normalize breastfeeding, because that is exactly what it is, normal, nothing more nothing less.
Id love to extend my a big thank you to Sarah Pasquariello-Pera, John Smith and the Target staff that came to my defense yesterday. You were all amazing in coming to my aid as I defenselessly sat and fed my newborn daughter.She also asked people to stop doxxing the man
, "I would like to ask that you all hold back from discussing the identity of the man in question. Please keep your thoughts regarding this to yourself, please. He knows who he is, and this going viral is enough. Please let's focus on the positive."
In New York, mothers have the right to breastfeed in public and private places; the NYCLU says, "This includes stores, day care centers, doctors’ offices, restaurants, parks, movie theaters and many other places. No one can tell you to leave any of these places because you are breastfeeding, and no one can tell you to breastfeed in a bathroom, a basement or a private room."