Missy Smith is a mom in Oklahoma who came home on Monday last week only to find that all of the tomato plants in her garden had been chopped down, presumably by a landscaper employed by her landlord, using a weed cutter. So she went into the property manager’s office to lodge a complaint. But what the manager told her cut sharper than any weed whacker.
“His response was your tomato plants are the least of your worries, all of the neighbors have been complaining about you breastfeeding on your porch without a cover, and one of them has informed me that the next time they see you nursing outside that they will call the cops, and that he would have to file an eviction,” the mom wrote on her Facebook page.
Stunned — knowing that Oklahoma law permits public breastfeeding and does not require nursing moms to cover themselves when feeding their babies — Smith called the nearest police station in hopes that an officer would read the riot act to the manager in charge of the duplex her family rented.
Instead, she says, a woman at the police station told her, incorrectly, that if she did not cover herself while breastfeeding, she’d be required to go back indoors.
“It makes me angry,” Missy Smith told the Yahoo! Parenting site. “I am angry with the woman I spoke to at the police station who told me I would have to cover or stay inside, and I am angry at the neighbors who think it’s OK to stare — and then constantly complain.”
She was also outraged and perplexed that every time she asked why her breastfeeding was supposedly prohibited, she got a new answer.
The building manager told her that calling the police to remedy the situation would break her lease — a claim she knew was ridiculous. Then they told her that the issue had nothing to do with breastfeeding, and the manager’s only concern was the neighbor’s complaints. But that reason didn’t fly either.
“I had my husband reiterate that the complaints are about me breastfeeding so it still is about me breastfeeding,” she wrote.
Finally, the property managers accused Smith of “putting my daughter in danger” by breastfeeding outdoors on her porch. Why was breastfeeding on her own porch dangerous to her child?
Because a “pervert” might see her in the act of feeding her child, she says she was told.
The public breastfeeding issue has made world headlines this week after Australian supermodel Nicole Trunfio posed on the cover of Elle Magazine in that country with her baby nursing at her breast.
Finally, the managers backed down and actually apologized to Missy Smith and told her that she is not in danger of getting kicked out of her home for breastfeeding. But only after her friends organized a “nurse-in” to support her cause.
[Image: KOKH-TV Screen Grab]