Kelly Stanley is taking a (hand) stand for breastfeeding in public.
The new mom and yogi was eating dinner with her parents at a Bonefish Grill in Tennessee when her 9-month-old daughter, Maya, started fussing. Stanley knew she needed to feed her, so she started breastfeeding at the table, to her father’s dismay.
“I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was trying to cover me,” Stanley writes on Instagram. “I went off on him and I’m glad I did. You know why? Because the gesture was humiliating. Because no woman should ever feel like she is being inappropriate or immodest by feeding her baby, anywhere, ever. Breastfeeding is NOT indecent exposure. It’s not inviting men to gawk at my breasts. EVEN IF GOD FORBID THE BABY UNLATCHES AND THEY SEE MY BARE NIPPLE.”
“We can’t sit here and tout that breast is best and then have a fit about how inappropriate it is to feed a baby in public,” she says. “You can’t expect women to WANT to breastfeed and then [sic]shew them to the car when their baby gets hungry, or expect them to let the baby wail in hunger or need.”
Stanley then says that her family tried to tell her that she needs to think of other people before she breastfeeds.
“They continued to say that I needed to be considerate of those who might be offended (men who sexualize breastfeeding ) and I’m over here thinking it’s the men who should be considerate and not sexualize breastfeeding,” Stanley says. “We need to stop making excuses for men and start expecting them to act like mature human beings who are capable of being in control of themselves.”
While her post garnered over 7,000 likes and hundreds of comments in support, Stanley says she’s been “called a whore, an exhibitionist, and an attention seeker,” since sharing her story.
“I am not trying to put on a show. I’m just trying to feed my child in a way that is comfortable for BOTH of us,” Stanley wrote in a second post. “I tried using a cover when Maya was younger, and she hated it.”
“I want all of those moms to know that they aren’t doing anything wrong by feeding their child freely. They’re not immodest, indecent, or inconsiderate. They are simply good moms for feeding their child when their child is hungry, despite the fact that it puts themselves in a vulnerable situation. If you don’t like it, it’s quite simple to just look away.”