Jessie Maher, a Connecticut woman, uploaded a video to her Facebook page showing a visibly angry man criticizing her for breastfeeding her infant in public inside a Target store.
Maher said she “got verbally assaulted by an old man in target for breastfeeding my baby,” she wrote on her page.
However, in a turn of events, Target employees jumped to her aid and told him to go the other way as he continued his verbal assault.
“Can’t you do that somewhere else?” the man angrily asked Maher, she said. Maher , of Canton, Conn., said she had the right to breastfeed her child, adding that he should walk away.
“Because I’m feeding my baby, this man is going crazy—and I’m shaking,” Maher is heard saying in the video. Another customer also came to her aid.
“She’s being disrespectful to me,” the man says. Another woman responds to him, “Then don’t look, then.”
Target employees then formed a line to separate her from the man. One employee then demands that the man leave.
Connecticut law protects women who choose “to breastfeed their babies in places of public accommodation.”
“Mothers can generally breastfeed at a time, place, and manner of their choosing while in a place of public accommodation. They do not have to go to a special area or go into the restroom,” the law stipulates. “They do not have to cover the baby with a towel or blanket. The owner, manager or employee of a place of public accommodation cannot request that the mother stop breastfeeding her baby, cover up, move to a different room or area, or leave.”
Target’s corporate policy also allows women to breastfeed.
Maher later urged her friends not to spread rumors about the man’s identity.
She also received praise from other mothers, saying they “have opened up and told me their stories, they’ve said they stand by me, [and] they understand what I went through because they too have been in public with a screaming baby.”
Regarding mothers with small children, “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,” she wrote.
“This is all in fear of the reactions we get, [whether] 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,” Maher noted.