Marisca Bakker

Marisca Bakker

Breastfeeding is good, but so is backing a local business

Marisca Bakker on the Telkwa breastfeeding error and the reaction from keyboard warriors.

One of the beautiful things about living in B.C. is that you can feed your baby whenever and however you wish. Whether you bottle or breast feed, you have the right and the privilege about doing it comfortably.

Some babies like the comfort of their own home and some need food on demand, no matter where their mothers might be. Mothers shouldn’t be housebound just because they are mothers. I breast fed my daughter for 14 months and sometimes she ate in public — and I never once had anyone tell me that I couldn’t. Apparently, I was fortunate.

I know some mothers, including myself, were recently flabbergasted at a sign in a local bakery telling them they couldn’t breastfeed and would be refused service if they did whip out a boob. That sign was wrong. It was also illegal.

Women were up in arms about this as they should be, and everyone knows that momma bears are the fiercest predators out there. However, as mothers we need to use that power wisely, and for good.

People took to social media to share their anger and disgust, some called for a boycott of the bakery. Nasty names (even some racist) were thrown at the owners. The owners, who aren’t originally from Canada, thought about closing down their business, the business they probably worked very hard to create. They made a mistake and were bullied for it.

I am not condoning their actions, the sign was wrong. But I am also not condoning the keyboard warriors on a witch hunt who almost shamed them out of town. Don’t get me wrong, I love that women banded together and stood up for one another. But how it was done wasn’t right either. Two wrongs don’t make a right. How many women simply called up the owners and asked them about the sign or told them to their faces how hurt they were by it? We live in a small town, why can’t we talk to our neighbours?

Our small community thrives on small businesses, we can’t afford to lose any of them. We also shouldn’t be allowing businesses to break the law, but there are better ways of fixing the problem than a total boycott. The issue was not handled sympathetically on either side, even in the aftermath, but we can learn from this and hopefully move on.

I’m pro breastfeeding in public, but I’m also pro loving your neighbour (especially ones that serve coffee.)

Smithers Interior News