Museum Asks Breastfeeding Woman To Cover Up In Building Full Of Naked Statues

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A mom in London was asked to cover up while attempting to breastfeed her 1-year-old at the Victoria and Albert museum during National Breastfeeding week. The woman was approached by a female guard after inadvertently flashing what she described as a “nanosecond of nipple.” She had been trying to cover up with a cardigan, but as anyone who has ever tried to breastfeed a wriggling and curious 1 year-old knows it is next to impossible to stay covered at all times. The mom, whose Twitter handle is @vaguechera, stated:

I had been attempting to be discreet and to feed under a cardigan, but with a distracted 1-year-old it can be challenging. The staff member was friendly and polite, but obviously asking me to cover up was still intrusive, unpleasant and embarrassing for me, as well as obviously ludicrous.

Even more ludicrous was the fact the museum itself is full of depictions of bare breasted women in various forms. As in, if you are offended by seeing a flash of nipple you should definitely not visit the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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The irony was not lost on @vaguechera, who tweeted about her experience complete with photos of the various different bare chested sculptures on display at the museum:


And even had a bit of a sense of humor about the incident:


As @vaguechera states, her point in sharing her experience was not to make the museum look bad, but to bring attention to an issue that may have been devastating for a new mom who was more unsure of herself:

The shame and embarrassment caused by that kind of interjection when you are trying to feed could be crushing for a woman who was less Teflon than me.

The museum has since apologized for the actions of its staff, and has made it clear that their “official” policy is to allow women to breastfeed wherever and whenever they choose. But this mom’s experience brings up a much bigger issue than museum rules: why is it ok for female breasts to be exposed in artwork, magazines, and on TV in a sexual way, but the minute a woman tries to actually feed her child with them she is being offensive? Seems like society has got it backwards.

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