Dear breast-feeding mums,
I have absolutely no problem with you breast-feeding in our store. It is a natural thing that shouldn’t be sexualised. Your child is trying to grow, as are you.
Breast-feed anywhere you want: in the changing rooms, in the middle of the store, hell, even behind the till. We are here to make the customer feel comfortable and that shouldn’t extend to only just those browsing or buying. When you enter our store, you are our guest, and we’re here to help.
Then, that man came in with his wife, gave you a once over and proceeded to say to his wife, “Let’s go somewhere else, that’s something I don’t want to see. Why can’t she do that sh*t in private.”
I could see you were uncomfortable, you were embarrassed and you were angry. So were we. As a luxury women’s store, we are here for women, we support them and we try to inspire them in anything they do.
Breast-feeding isn’t unnatural and shouldn’t be cause for a man within a women’s retail store to make you feel like you shouldn’t belong. Of all people in there making women feel uncomfortable, your child is the last.
When the wife turned to you to have a look, she paused, turned to her husband and blatantly said. “How do you think your children ate when they were that age, dumbass? Go wait outside, you’re embarrassing.”
She sent him outside, not before taking his credit card, however.
She turned to you and apologised for her husband’s actions. Which was relieving as my manager, who is also in the stages of trying to fit her breastfeeding around men’s sensitivity, was about to try and fight someone.
We are for women here. We support you in everything you do. And if it ever comes down to putting someone in their place for commenting on something they know nothing about, then we will support you with that too.
Are you a retail staff member with a story to tell? Share it anonymously with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 749 April / May 2017