As we've reported many times throughout the past year, it is increasingly common for women to fight back when nursing moms are shamed for breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding demonstrations, or nurse-ins, have been held throughout the U.S. -- at Facebook, Target, Hollister, and even on the National Mall -- and around the world too. Now, the latest example of "lactivists" banding together to protest comes from down under.
On Tuesday, Feb. 26, protesters gathered at the Satellite Cafe in Sydney, Australia after mother of two Regan Matthews was allegedly asked to stop nursing her 9-month-old a few days earlier. Matthews claims that cafe owner, Ash Houghton, called breastfeeding in public an "offense to humanity" but Houghton denies ever using those words, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
After hearing Matthews' story, the group Lactivists Australia created a Facebook event announcing their plans for a nurse-in at the cafe. The description stated that the cafe had apologized to Matthews, but they felt the protest was still necessary because "it took a few goes to get to that point."
And so, around 50 protesters showed up on Tuesday holding signs -- and babies -- to educate the public about breastfeeding. "Mothers in Australia are saying 'enough is enough.’ We are tired of being told that we should be ashamed of our bodies and their natural functions. We demand respect as women and as human beings. This is 2013, not 1950," Victoria Brookman from Lactivists Australia told The Australian.
Houghton, the cafe owner, did not attend the nurse-in. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Houghton was allegedly cyber-bullied following the announcement of the protest. She claims that "she had received threats, including calls for the business's windows to be smashed and hopes that it burns down." Matthews says she was unaware of such backlash and that the event was "about educating people, not revenge."