Target Customers & Employees Defend Breast-Feeding Woman After Verbal Attack

Photo: Getty Images.
Jessie Maher was breast-feeding her baby in a Target store in Torrington, CT, when a fellow customer verbally assaulted her because he did not approve of her breast-feeding in public. Maher captured part of his rant on video, but notes in her Facebook post that before she started filming, the man angrily said to her, "Can't you do that somewhere else? That's fucking disgusting. You are nasty." When Maher responded that she had a right to be feeding her baby in public, the man launched a verbal assault, continuing to call her "fucking disgusting," adding that she was a "whore." To be 100% clear here: This was all because a woman was feeding her baby.

Maher's video captures part of his rant as she breast-feeds her child, shaking. (Warning: The video contains some disturbing language.)
Thankfully, another patron flew to her defense. "You shouldn’t be ashamed of feeding your baby, okay? He can go the other way. This is a beautiful moment right now. If he doesn’t like it, he can go," the woman can be heard saying. Though Maher says in the video that the man complained to staff and requested a refund, it turns out that the Target staff wasn't having any of his rant, either. In the video, a line of employees can be seen walking out to stand between Maher and the man. You can also see one of the employees gesturing for the man to leave the store. Maher also noted in one of her comments on the post that "One male employee was so sweet... He kept saying, 'it's your right to nurse wherever you want here.'" Maher's video, shared on Monday morning, has since gone viral, with over 5.2 million views at the time of writing. Commenters have left messages of support for the breast-feeding mother, with one person remarking, "I'm sorry you had to go through this, but I'm proud you handled yourself the way you did. I don't think I would have been so level-headed." Breastfeeding in public is a legal right in the state of Connecticut. According to Today, Target's policy dictates that "guests may openly breast-feed in our stores or ask where they can go to breastfeed their child," and that the company supports breast-feeding "in any area of our stores." "For this particular incident, the team members at the Torrington store were simply helping to ensure this guest and others had a great experience," Target said in a statement to local CBS affiliate WFSB. The unidentified man's verbal assault is intense and jarring, but it's good to know that there are people out there willing to step up to protect breast-feeding moms and their babies.

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