Wednesday, December 28, 2011

International Nurse-In Day

"The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother's food and clothing on a reasonable basis. No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of his child ... And fear Allah and know that Allah is All-Seer of what you do." (Qur'an 2:233)

It appears that some ignorant employees at a Houston, TX, Target store, and then management at Target's corporate customer service, put their stupidity and the store chain in the international spotlight.

According to Target Nurse-In, a Facebook group:

"Recently a mama was nursing her babe in a local Houston area Target. When she was asked to move to a private location, she refused, and was harassed and humiliated by three separate employees. She then called Target's corporate customer service number and was told by a representative, and then her supervisor that they were aware of the laws, but ...that just because something is lawful doesn't mean its acceptable in their store."

Way to go Target!  The Target Nurse-In group has 6,000+ members and is growing.  If only those group members stopped buying from you, if would significantly affect your financial bottom line.  Not good management strategy any time, especially in this poor economy.

Target Nurse-In called for an "International Nurse-In" day which was held this morning all over the world at 10:00 a.m. Target has retail stores all over America; they also have corporate locations in other countries.

The goal of the protest is to show Target how many mamas they offended, and to impress upon them that women have a legal right to shop (and do whatever in public) and meet their baby's needs at the same time. They also insist that public humiliation for breast-feeding in public will not be tolerated.

So my camera and I mosey on over to our local Target store which is located in Selinsgrove, PA, to see if any mamas would show up to take part in the protest. Selinsgrove is a rural-like area and a bedroom community to the state's capitol, Harrisburg, PA. People aren't super politically active here, but every once in awhile they surprise you! I had to pick up a few things at Target anyhow.

I arrived around 10:00 a.m. Looking around, I see no mamas, no protest signs, nothing unusual. So I proceeded to pick up the few things I needed. When I got to the check-out, I asked the clerk, "Any breast-feeding mamas show up this morning?"

"Not yet," she replied with a grim look. Guess the store manager warned the staff that there "could" potentially be some trouble this morning, lol.

I steer my cart out of the check-out aisle and head out of the store. I happen to glance to my right, just before exiting when I saw them: three mamas peacefully breast feeding their babies in a cafe area next to the store exit!

Peacefully ... so peacefully and discreetly that the Target staff didn't even know they were there! Peacefully ... probably the same way the mama in Houston was feeding her baby while shopping ... Peacefully ... until some ignorant folks accosted her and her baby ... .

I was so thrilled! I eagerly approached them and said, "Are you the Nurse-In mamas?!

Yes, they were! Three brave mamas! And one brave daddy who was supporting the mamas!

Before you poo-poo only three mamas, I want to tell you that their action this morning is HUGE for our area. They were very courageous, and I am proud of them and their families. Here they are:

All Images Copyright 2011, S. E. Jihad Levine
All Rights Reserved


Wendy said...

Lovely post, Safiyyah! It was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for your support :)

Mama Chocolate said...

That's awesome! I wish I could have made it to our Target for it...unfortunately I didn't have a car my lil' stinker daughter decided to wean herself a couple months ago. :-/
But I love that people are doing this! GO MAMAS! :-)

Mimi N said...

Woo Hoo for nursing mamas! I nursed all four of my kids for a total of almost 6 yrs. What a blessing it was!


graceling said...

Thank you for this informative and supportive post! It was great meeting you today!

Naya said...

Safiyyah, this was a great post! I really enjoyed your pictures as well. Wish I had remembered to take some!

Unknown said...

Masha'Allah..good for them..this issue has reared its head where I live too..recently a lady was hassled in a cafe for discreetly feeding her baby. We live in a very liberal university town..the mother arranged a similar event to the ladies in your post and got about 40 mums to join even made the tv..!
I fed all 3 of my children..the eldest now 25..and it really was a blessing..well done to these mothers at Target..!

AlabasterMuslim said...

Asalaamu alaikum!!
I was currently nursing my LO as i read this! Had i known about the nuse-in i would have done it. Those women are soo beautiful and so are their babies! Mashallah.

It would be great if more women breastfed, i honestly dont know anyone (around me) who has. And its the right if the child, you would think more would. This is a great post jazackallahu khairn.

mezba said...

What a great post, and a lovely ayah to tie it together too.

I don't understand why some people have a problem with breast feeding.

Or breasts in general.