When 32-year-old Amanda Garcia was verbally attacked by a man who saw her breastfeeding in a public park, she had the perfect response to her shamer in person, which she later recounted on Facebook. But while we appreciate Garcia’s stand in support of women’s rights to publicly breastfeed and want to fully praise her for taking a stand, we do have a few notes.
Let’s take a look at her original Facebook post that was so, so brave of her to share with us:
Garcia’s Post Is Classist and Insensitive to Other Women
While Amanda so courageously stood up to a man in public, Garcia’s post fails to mention is that some women can’t breastfeed for health or logistical reasons. So calling breastfeeding the “best” thing for a child is not sensitive to various factors in a woman’s life such as whether she is able to produce enough milk or whether her work schedule affords her the luxury of pumping breastmilk. What is really the “best” decision for any child should take into account the needs of that child’s mother.
Garcia Shamed Formula Feeding
Even though her message has helped lift up women everywhere, it can also be hurtful to women who don’t breastfeed to call breastfeeding “natural” as Garcia does, as if their choice to use formula makes them and their babies somehow “unnatural.”
What about covering up? Why didn’t you mention that, Amanda?
Also, while we’re here, we’d like to point out that Garcia’s words don’t really speak to the moms who do choose to cover up. While we respect a woman’s right to not cover her breasts while feeding her child in public and think Garcia’s championing of that right is nothing short of amazing, it should be mentioned that there is an emotional labor on the part of women who do to deal with the reactions of those around them, and not every woman has the emotional bandwidth to deal with this on a daily basis. So for the sake of inclusivity, it would’ve been nice of Garcia to include a mention of that in her post as well.
Overall Garcia’s response to breastfeeding shaming was SO perfectly on-point. We just want to make sure she understands that we women are fighting this fight together, and she should try not to pit us against each other like she so clearly did in this post. What a strong mama!