Target Calls Cops On Breastfeeding Shoppers

The AP says that police were called when Target employees tried to throw a couple out of the store because the woman was breastfeeding in the electronics aisle. The husband, a Detroit police officer, says they were told by the security guard that the act was “against the law.”

Obviously, as police officer, he knew that wasn’t true.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says that Michigan is one of the 28 states that exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws.

Target says they regret the incident, but, “This specific situation escalated to a point where we were concerned for the safety of our guests, so law enforcement was called. We regret the incident in our store and will continue to provide a shopping environment that respects the needs of all guests, including nursing mothers.”

The mom told the local Fox affiliate, “Forcing me out of the store. Two security guards, the manager or team leader, two officers, they just made a spectacle and a scene. I feel like I can’t go to that specific Target anymore.”

The manager of the store told Fox breastfeeding is “not discouraged” in her store. Hmm.

Nursing Mom: Target Called the Cops [MyFoxDetroit]
Breast-feeding mom says Target kicked her out [Detroit Free Press]

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  1. zentex says:

    I just don’t understand why boobs are so vulgar in this country.

    well, I do. Damn those Puritans of yesteryear!

  2. temporaryscars says:

    Why anyone would want to stop a free show is beyond me. Men pay good money to see that in that place down by the freeway. They’re just freedom haters.

    • admiral_stabbin says:

      Due to the following (for me), the quality of the free shows degrades significantly:

      -100,000 cool points: Infant attached to the exposed breast
      -500,000 cool points: Woman is married and her spouse is present.
      -400,000 cool points: Woman would likely glare at you for glaring at her exposed breast

      The bottom-line is that public breastfeeding is 1M cool points in the red (from this dudes point-of-view).

      It’s still many magnitudes greater of cool points than wearing a Snuggie in public would be.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        I’m under the impression that there are quite a few men who’d assign positive cool points (or hot points, perhaps?) to the married+spouse present scenario. People ask for that sort of thing in their personal ads.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          heck, i have a friend in the business and she says people pay extra for it. her boyfriend still isn’t into hanging around though

        • admiral_stabbin says:

          That’s why I tossed in the “(for me)” part, although I do imagine that the majority (even if by the technicality of 51%) of adults in this world prefer monogamous relationships. Either way, that’s still only half my points allocation. :-)

      • whateverlolawants says:

        Oooh, I’m sure all the mothers out there who are just trying to feed their babies are very saddened to hear your voyeuristic appraisal.

    • mac-phisto says:

      screw the free show. i’m of the opinion that a baby with a mouthful is 1 million times better than a baby that’s screaming its head off. if you have to whip out a breast or two to shut that kid up, by all means, go for it.

      • grimJack says:

        Exactly. Snotnosed rugrats and infants wailing their tiny little lungs out because of a woefully inept parent is one thousand times more vulgar than a sagging tit.

        Child abuse or a boob? Choose wisely, America.

      • friday3 says:

        AMEN to that shit. Just last week, I was in Target and this brat was SCREAMING, and the mother stood there like she couldn’t hear it. Finally, I went up to her and told her, it may not bother you, but every other person is glaring at you and it is rude. Would you like me to scream in your ear when you are having dinner with your husband or at work. She said I was rude. i told her to get the f*ck out of the store before I really get rude.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    To me, I would have to know whether she was properly covered up or not. Some people are very discrete and subtle about it, and you’d never know. But some people just don’t bother to be as discrete, and things get uncomfortable when you realize what’s going on. I’m not opposed to breastfeeding in public places, I just don’t want to have to see it when I’m walking down the electronics aisle. And I’m sure the parent doesn’t want people to see it going on, either.

    • Xerloq says:

      Mich. Comp. Laws § 41.181,67.1aa and § 117.4i et seq. (1994) state that public nudity laws do not apply to a woman breastfeeding a child.

      Regardless of how people feel, it’s not against the law in Michigan.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I wasn’t talking about the legality of it, I was talking about whether the people were causing any kind of stir. Just because it’s legal for them to do what they were doing, doesn’t mean the Target store is the most appropriate place. You can be more subtle about it if you insist on being in the store still. Go to the automotive department – people are never in those aisles there, employees or shoppers.

        • friday3 says:

          Why? Is seeing a breast feeding baby some kind of sexual turn on for you? Its a BOOB. We all have seen them, and if you haven’t maybe you should. Nobody is gonna get hurt and if you do not want to see it, you can turn your head. I would rather see that then the 50 year old fat broad in a snuggie and crocs with curlers in her hair walking in the store.

        • spamtasticus says:

          If you are offended by the sight of a mother feeding her child. That is your prerogative. Look away. Once again…. there is no right not to be offended in this country. Thankfully so. What one person finds offensive is of no consequence to the rest of us. That person can merely look away. Based on your standards of right and wrong a group of orthodox muslims should be able to run a woman out of a store because they are offended by the sight of her bare neck.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        It’s also not illegal to yell fire, thanks to the first amendment. But do it in a crowded theater or department store….

        • Xerloq says:

          Well, that depends. If there really is a fire, then by all means shout. However, I think if you read the SCOTUS opinion to which you’re referring, you’ll find that shouting “fire” when there is none is not protected under the first amendment, and may be restricted, e.g. it can me made illegal.

        • ArcanaJ says:

          The first Amendment allows you to complain publicly about your government without fear of reprisal, it does not allow you to yell “FIre!” in a crowded theater. That nonsense will get you arrested and, if there are damages and/or injuries, sued.

      • Kitamura says:

        I’m wondering though, couldn’t they book someone with a different law if they really tried to push the envelope?

      • kateblack says:

        Public nudity is legal in NYC also, but the caveat is that disturbing the peace is not. In effect, it’s legal to be buck nekkid in Times Square, but if someone’s upset about it, then it’s illegal.

      • lordargent says:

        It’s also not illegal for men to walk around shirtless, but that will get you booted out of restaurants.

        /some people just don’t know how to be discrete

        /I could take this way into the basement if you want, for example, maybe they were concerned about her getting milk on the electronics.

      • Wombatish says:

        Yes, but Target is also well within their rights to refuse service to anyone/ask them to leave the property.

        So… even if it wasn’t illegal, Target could still remove them. And while telling them it’s illegal when it’s not is a crappy move, Target didn’t break the law either.

        • Wombatish says:

          And just to be extra clear, I don’t think they should have kicked her out.

          Breastfeeding is not bad, in any way. While I personally think women should be covered up (if I ever breastfeed I will be), but they technically have the right (in those 28 states) to do it with whatever amount of covering they feel like.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          In fact, if their reason for removing her is her breastfeeding, they may NOT ask her to leave the property, any more than they could ask a member of a racial minority to leave the property for being a minority. When someone has a protected right to be some place or do something, asking them to leave “because we can refuse service to anyone we want to” is disallowed.

          It’s like people missed the entire civil rights era, I swear. Lunch counters could “refuse service to anyone they wanted to” but we had a whole movement and a bunch of laws about it. Jesus.

          • mythago says:

            A lot of people wish the civil rights era hadn’t happened, because it offends their tender pseudo-libertarian sensibilities.

        • friday3 says:

          Actually they did. Target does NOT have the right to refuse service to a breast feeding mother anymore than they have the right to refuse service to a person who is “too dark skinned” . It is clear WHY Target asked her to leave, and it is ILLEGAL to do so.

          • Wombatish says:

            This isn’t a case of discrimination (well, it is, but not legally)… Unless shopping centers are specifically spelled out in the Michigan law, Target can still remove her because it violates their sensibilities. Since “breastfeeding mother” isn’t covered under anti-discrimination law, it’s still at Target’s discretion.

            She can’t be charged with public indecency, and Target telling her what she is doing is illegal still sucks (Target doesn’t have the authority to tell her that even if it had been true), but they were still allowed to ask her to leave.

            It’s just like the “No shoes, no shirt, no service”. Not wearing a shirt isn’t illegal (for men). Sadly, bear-chested men are not a protected class, so they can still be asked to leave a private business.

            • Wombatish says:

              /le sigh.

              First: spelled out in the Michigan public indecency law, or more correctly the law that excludes breastfeeding.

              Secondly: Bare**. Though bear-chested men would be freakishly awesome.

    • FilthyHarry says:

      Ya, I know some people don’t like to see that, (don’t know why. It a titty with a baby on it. Whats the problem?) but the larger issue is why should people behaving, frankly in a quite normal and natural way, have their behavior modified because someone else is bizarrely squeamish?

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      Doesn’t matter. When you’re a dairy-producing human, you’ve got a right (in 28 states) to wave those udders around to your heart’s content.

      • treimel says:

        “Not illegal” is not the same as “good idea” It’s probably not illegal to feed your kid a platter of scrambled eggs and hotcakes in the electronics aisle either, but I know I wouldn’t do it.

        • myrna_minkoff says:

          Exactly. And why would you WANT to “wave those udders around”? If I’m at work, I don’t announce on my way to the ladies room: “Well, this is gonna be a monster dump. Don’t expect me back for awhile.”

          Can’t we keep our bodily functions at least semi-private?

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            If you don’t understand how breastfeeding is different than defecating, I really can’t help you.

            • dragonfire81 says:

              Eyebrows, I think breastfeeding is something that, in most cases, is viewed very differently depending on whether it’s a man or a woman addressing the issue. I find most women aren’t offended by breastfeeding and although I can understand some men having an issue with it, it does perplex me. It’s sad that breastfeeding, a completely non sexual thing has been turned into such a big deal by folks who have supposedly given it a new sexual connotation.

              Despite the general societal attitude, nudity DOES NOT always equal sex related. It’s the same phenomenon that causes parents who take nude pictures of their kids in the bathtub to end up facing child pornography charges.

              • kaceetheconsumer says:

                Actually most of the people I’ve ever heard complain were women, and mothers to boot, but almost none of them breastfed.

                Irrational judgment of others knows no gender. :D

            • H3ion says:

              If she doesn’t understand the difference, her children are going to have interesting meals.

          • DangerMouth says:

            Really? Unless you regularly eat your meals into the bathroom, your analogy is lacking.

            There are plenty of ‘bodily functions’ we do in public.

            • myrna_minkoff says:

              I stand by my earlier statement: If it involves a stranger’s bodily fluid, I want it covered up to the extent that it is possible: nose blowing, breast feeding, whatever.

              • floraposte says:

                The thing is that what you want isn’t necessarily the law, and the store is obliged to follow the law, not your wishes.

                • myrna_minkoff says:

                  I realize that. I never said it was illegal nor that it should be. It’s legal to pick your nose in public — doesn’t mean you should do it or that people are wrong for being grossed out by it.

                  I have yet to hear a good reason why some mothers (and yes, I realize they are a minority) just HAVE to expose themselves when they breastfeed and seem to relish doing it in public when most mothers manage to cover up for the most part and/or find more secluded places to do it.

                  I haven’t seen anyone in this thread say “OMG, I can’t stand even the suggestion of a brief nip-slip.” But if you have the temerity to say, “Gee, maybe you should try to not expose yourself in public while you’re breastfeeding,” that’s what you’re accused of. I’m not a prude, I don’t hate other women, I just would like strangers to have respect for the fact that we would prefer not to see you semi-naked in public if it’s at all avoidable.

                  • lordargent says:

                    I’m only replying to this comment to see how thin the CSS will make my text :D

                    • El_Fez says:

                      Me too – although I really should have more text than just “me too”. Hopefully this is one of those posting kinks that the Consumerist sysops can work out in the near future – it’s annoying as hell!

                    • Smashville says:

                      Good lord…perhaps we should keep testing this bug to see if it moves the scroll bar.

                    • Wombatish says:

                      I dunno.. while it’s not ideal, the “comments will not nest below this level” thing that some other sites have is annoying. Someone always says something worth reacting to in that last comment.

                      /off-topic (apologies!)

                  • friday3 says:

                    THEN DON’T LOOK!!! You have decided that she whipped her titty out and flaunted it, when you know NOTHING of the facts. In a PUBLIC place, you may see stuff you do not want to. If it’s an issue to YOU, then YOU should stay home.

            • myrna_minkoff says:

              Like what? I said covered to the extent possible. I realize sneezing, coughing, etc. may not be able to be postponed. But you should still cover you mouth when they happen. If you want to include eating, even that has some “rules” that polite society demands (don’t talk with your mouth full, etc.)

              If you’re engaging in other bodily functions in public, I feel sorry for your neighbors and friends.

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      Hope you don’t mind a small correction, but “discreet,” not “discrete.” Stupid English homophones.

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        Oh, don’t be so homophonic. :D

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        HOMOPHONE!

        Yeah, I know it’s discreet but I’ve been writing a report for work all day, and I’ve been using the word discrete, so THERE! Damn that lack of edit button. And I’m crabby, too. Stupid report.

    • myrna_minkoff says:

      My feeling is, any activity you engage in that results in the expression of a bodily fluid, should be done as discretely as possible. I don’t understand why you *wouldn’t* want to be a bit discrete about it. No one is saying you can’t feed your kid, but I don’t want to look at strangers (male or female) semi-topless in Target.

      But saying that has led to very good friends of mine telling me I have “boob issues.” (I should note that I’m a woman with a rack, so, yeah, I’m actually pretty comfortable around boobs.)

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        That’s my point! Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I don’t think I have issues because I think I should be able to silently walk past you without ever deriving from our brief 3 second passing that you were breastfeeding. Be discreet!!

        • floraposte says:

          Sure, but even if you’re not discreet, it’s not permissible to arrest you in Michigan. Which I think is the key point here.

          • treimel says:

            To be fair to these Target boneheads (and don’t get me wrong, I agree that they’re boneheads for starting this nonsense) I’m I’d bet the cops were called as a result of a disturbance/refusal to leave, not the breast-feeding per se.

            • floraposte says:

              I suspect that’s true, but it’s still pretty much store rationalization. However they failed to comply with the illegitimate request, it was still a request they didn’t have to comply with, and a disturbance that occurred because Target failed to recognize that.

        • BluePlastic says:

          Does the store have a right to toss you out if they object to what you are doing, even if what you are doing is not illegal? I thought stores did have that right.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            Not exactly. If what you are doing is a protected right — having a service animal, breastfeeding, using a wheelchair — the store can NOT throw you out for exercising that protected right. My state uses the phrase “places of public accommodation,” which is the same phrase that’s used in civil rights statutes relating to race and gender. Basically, if the business isn’t allow to throw out minority patrons for being minorities, it can’t throw out breastfeeding women for breastfeeding.

            Now if she’s hooting and hollering “I have BOOOOOOBS! And they’re NAAAAAAKED!” we’re probably well outside the protected right. Like if someone were taking their service animal and going, “Take a dump right here, Fido!” But the act of breastfeeding or the use of a service animal is protected and stores can NOT say, “Sorry, no, you’re not allowed in here with that — we can refuse service to anyone we want!”

            People often invoke the idea that businesses can refuse service to anyone, but that is a limited ability — I sincerely hope no one would argue a business would be within its rights to refuse service to all Asians simply because “they can refuse service to anyone.” State and federal law circumscribes businesses’ ability to refuse service to protect various civil rights and other state interests that the state finds compelling. In 28 states, that includes breastfeeding.

            • henrygates3 says:

              I think that what they are getting at is that while breastfeeding in open public (like while standing in the middle of a huge crowd without a cover) is perfectly legal, it’s not polite or socially acceptable. I’m in my right to pick my nose in the checkout lane or scratch my butt, but I don’t because it’s not really polite. It really is not difficult to locate a seated area out of the major traffic path to feed baby. Yes, my wife breastfeeds in public.

              • kaceetheconsumer says:

                Picking your nose is unhealthy. It spreads germs to others, which is rude.

                Breastfeeding an infant is the MOST healthy way to feed a child. It does not spread germs to others (unless you’re squirting milk all over, in which case, you’re not feeding the kid at that point), and in fact boosts infant immunity so it protects others in the infant’s immediate community.

                Breastfeeding is a healthy act that is good for society. Nose-picking is not.

                Breastfeeding keeps a child alive. Nose-picking does not serve any noble, life-sustaining purpose.

                Breastfeeding can quiet a screaming child. Nose-picking at best may make an older child laugh at you.

                Soooooo not even in the same category.

            • jesusofcool says:

              First of all, I respect your opinion, but find your comparison between the right to breastfeed your baby in a store and the right for persons of color to receive guaranteed service a store a bit extreme. The No shirt, No shoes No service analogy is more apt IMO.
              Also I think the issue people have is not with breastfeeding in public it’s with people who make absolutely no attempt to think “gee, maybe this isn’t the best place/way to go about this.” I have issues with LOTS of people who do things in public and don’t think about that…couples that practically grope each other on the sidewalk, people who pick their nose or fart in public.
              Ex. I’m in the student union of the university I work for yesterday around noon, the most crowded time. In the center of the crowded food court, a woman is very very clearly nursing her baby. Now, there are four thousand immature co-eds around her and lots of lounges or less crowded areas in the building or the room that she could have gone to.
              I’m not saying she should have been kicked out, which is part of the reason why I think the Civil Rights analogy is poor. Like the other cases I mentioned, I’m saying this is a case where the woman could have used some discretion.

      • jesusofcool says:

        Thanks for saying that…every time one of these “breastfeeders rights” articles come up I feel a little weird. I too am a girl with slightly large assets so I’m clearly not boob-phobic. Still, maybe it’s just my age (I’m in my lower 20s), but I wouldn’t be comfortable with someone suckling their young in the electronics section of Target unless it’s totally discrete. And by totally discrete, I mean I should have to get within a foot or two of you to know what’s going on. Further, I’m not a parent so I’m not really in that mindset yet, but I also can’t imagine ever feeling comfortable whipping out my boob in public like that…hell, I won’t even do it now if you give me 20 bucks and some tequila shots in a dive bar… maybe that’s another reason I’m always surprised by these stories.
        Anyway, ometimes hardcore public breastfeeding rights advocates people come off to me as yuppie parents who feel they’re more entitled than the rest of society. It may be legal, but I just don’t think it’s courteous. Once again though, my rant only applies to people who make no attempt to be discrete or go somewhere less public if they can.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          It changes once you, or someone close to you, joins the ranks of parenthood. (I mean, a dozen people in the operating room saw my intestines. What do I care if some dude at Target sees my boob?) I was also more uncomfortable about it before a lot of my friends started having kids.

          “Lactivists” annoy me too, but the problem is that some people get soooooo wound up about breasts that women CAN be discreet and still be attacked, and that babies are not always cooperative and maybe junior pops off and OMG NIPPLE! I’m a pretty discreet breastfeeder, but sometimes I’m juggling an 18-pound baby who is strong enough to express his opinions, my shirt, my coverup, my boob, and sometimes not everything goes according to plan. The reason we have to have these laws is that while most people just politely ignore your klutzing around and accidental flashing, some people COMPLETELY FREAK OUT and, you know, call the cops, or store security, or start a confrontation, or whatever.

          As I said further down the thread, I haven’t really had a problem; I mind my own business, other people mind theirs, and the most public place I’ve breastfed was in a corner of a “breastfeeding friendly” cafe. But women shouldn’t have to worry about touching off a panic if their kid suddenly comes up for air and exposes nipple. :P

          • Copper says:

            Just wanted to say that I really liked your comment. I think sometimes childless people tend to not realize how much being a parent changes a person.

            Personally, as long as I’m not getting splashed by the milk of a breastfeeding mother, I don’t care what they’re doing or if boob is showing. Some things gross me out, but those are my problems and other people shouldn’t be worried about what I might think of them. There is a difference between being courteous and having to bow to random strangers. It goes back to the PC crap. IMO, people should just calm down and get on with their lives. Is that breastfeeding mother in Target going to ruin your day? I doubt it so stfu.

        • ArcanaJ says:

          I am all for discretion, myself. I don’t care to be invited into the personal space of others, just as I don’t care to invite them into mine.

          That said, however, I will say that, after having an entire medical circus (the clowns! dear god, the clowns!) performing around one’s nether regions during labor and delivery, that a certain amount of personal modesty just goes the hell away. Add to that the fatigue of caring for a baby while trying not to become an unwashed social hermit and well… Sometimes, convenience of the moment wins out over other considerations. It happens.

          The good thing is though, if I don’t care to encounter more than a receiving blanket and some slurping noises, I can always move along to another aisle.

      • spamtasticus says:

        If you “don’t want to look at” something… ummmm look away. Don’t try to impose or encourage others to impose your narrow minded provincial and puritanical views on the rest of us. Besides, you shop at target, I hardly think you are in a position to criticize anyone’s public habits. ( that was a cheap shot btw. but I feel feisty and somewhat justified since most of your comments are not really based on reality )

    • FigNinja says:

      Some babies just won’t put up with being covered. I had a nephew like that. If you put a blanket over his head he would cry, refuse to eat, and try to rip it off.

      • myrna_minkoff says:

        But you can cover up without putting the blanket totally over the kids head. You can arrange a burp cloth as, well, sort of a snuggie for the boob.

        I’m not advocating burkas for breastfeeding, just an attempt at not totally exposing yourself.

    • friday3 says:

      AMEN to that shit. Just last week, I was in Target and this brat was SCREAMING, and the mother stood there like she couldn’t hear it. Finally, I went up to her and told her, it may not bother you, but every other person is glaring at you and it is rude. Would you like me to scream in your ear when you are having dinner with your husband or at work. She said I was rude. i told her to get the f*ck out of the store before I really get rude.

    • kaceetheconsumer says:

      I usually agree with you, but not on this one.

      What the heck does “properly covered up” even mean? Do you wear a burka when you drink? Why should the infant have to be under wraps, which is hot and uncomfortable for everyone involved, just so you don’t have to see something? Because you can’t cover the entire breast without covering the infant’s head. It just doesn’t work that way.

      I find Fiji water offensive because it’s bad for the people of Fiji and it has a huge carbon footprint. Do I get to now demand that anyone drinking Fiji water cover up so I don’t have to see it?

      Sorry, but just because something makes you uncomfortable doesn’t mean someone else has to be limited by that.

  4. davere says:

    That excuse is totally generic. As if they had a program with check boxes: it generates the same text every time and then it adds things like “including nursing mothers” at the end based on the input.

    • David in Brasil says:

      “concerned for the safety of our guests” is right up there with “uhh, cuz of 9/11, ya know”

  5. FilthyHarry says:

    Just think about all those sensitive electronics!!! Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the electronics?

  6. Xerloq says:

    Target = Idiots.

  7. backbroken says:

    In these states that exempt breastfeeding from indecency laws, is there an age limit on the breastfeedee?

    Cause if not, I have a wonderful idea for a counter-protest.

    • backbroken says:

      I guess it wouldn’t be a counter-protest. It’s just a regular old protest.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      No. no age limit. However, kids space out their breastfeeding over time, so you’re less likely to see a toddler breastfeeding than an infant. In the beginning babies breastfeed every 2-3 hours, around the clock. My little guy is six months and can go 8 hours overnight, and then usually every 3-4 hours during the daytime. Later on, especially if you keep breastfeeding after age 1, they stretch out to 2 or 3 breastfeedings a day total (morning/evening, or breakfast/lunch/dinner).

      (I don’t intend to go into the toddler years, but I have friends that have.)

    • qbubbles says:

      When I was a high schooler I saw a lady pull aside her 6 year old for a quick nip of the boobage. I blinked repeatedly to make sure I was seeing this correctly, and then quickly turned away so that I didnt embarrass anyone… but seriously? Once kids start to have the ability to hold a fork, I think the boobs have outgrown their use.

      When I have kids, I’m definitely breast feeding, though I’m also investing in one of those cape thingies. And will make it a point to find a spot to do it in a Target. ;)

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        I have found that a cardigan sweater, especially a short-sleeved one, is perfect. I wear it over my nursing tank and if I need to breastfeed, I can take it off, tuck it under my strap so it doesn’t slip, and drape the baby with it. It doesn’t scream “HIDDEN HOOTERS!” the way a “hooter hider” does, and it’s one less thing to carry around.

  8. ElizabethD says:

    It’s certainly the mother’s right to breastfeed wherever she pleases in public spaces. However… the electronics aisle? Sometimes multitasking should take a back seat to giving yourself over to the moment… Perhaps a seat in the snack bar area where mom and baby could relax and not be quite so… In Your Face with this. Not every person in the U.S. has grown up in an era where people are comfortable with nudity etc., no matter what the wholesome purpose. I’m for more discreet, quiet breastfeeding in public, preferably with the chest covered by a nursing blouse or burp cloth or whatever. It’s courtesy I’m critiquing here, not the law or Target’s silliness.

    • trellis23 says:

      In the snack bar area? Really? You don’t think people would complain about having to see that while they are eating? Pretty sure if you’d rather not see it in electronics, you’d rather not see it while your eating. Just a thought.

      • BigPapaCherry says:

        Seems to me like the most appropriate place to do it. It’s a feeding area, and the people in there should be allowed to receive nourishment.

      • ElizabethD says:

        Umm, it’s MILK, dude. Not poop or something. (although one thing can lead to another…)

    • jaya9581 says:

      Have you ever had a hungry baby start demanding his lunch? Electronics is pretty far from the snack bar… No kid I know would ever wait that long. It’d probably annoy far more people to carrying a wailing child across the entire store than to just shove him under your shirt and have done with it.

      If people aren’t comfortable with something, THEY SHOULD NOT STAND AROUND AND WATCH IT.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        One of the Targets near me has electronics right next to the entrance, with the snack bar on the other side of the entrance. Targets are not all the same.

      • ElizabethD says:

        Yes, I have. I was always able to make it (usually to my car; I wasn’t all that cool with flashing the boobies in public, even though there is nothing wrong with me) while baby was fussing, crying, whatever. Just have to maintain your poise and smile a lot while walking.

        • ElizabethD says:

          Oops, instead of “there is nothing wrong with me” I meant “there is nothing wrong with IT” = showing boobies while putting baby on the breast. D’oh!

  9. oldowlisher says:

    Enter text…The store guard is obviously a boob……

  10. Scooter says:

    “This specific situation escalated to a point where we were concerned for the safety of our guests. . .”

    My mind boggles trying to figure out how exactly breastfeeding endangers those around you.

    • zentex says:

      maybe she threatened to squirt someone’s eye out?

    • treimel says:

      Well:

      Fact 1) some rent-a-cop told them this was illegal.

      Fact 2) “The husband, a Detroit police officer…”

      I think that speaks for itself as to how it would get ugly quick.

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      Well, you know, one stray squirt, and BAM! Someone’s lost an eye.

    • Preyfar says:

      True, but who knows if the woman was doing it out of protest and screaming at anybody who looked at her direction. It’s hard to know all sides of it. Did she feed her child, and put up a protest to those who looked? Decide to make he way to a quieter place? Was there a crowd of people due to holiday shopping season, and they were pushing by her and the security was concerned that somebody may bump into her and she’d drop her baby, or the bay could be injured?

      There could be a lot of circumstances that may not be readily apparent.

      • ben says:

        She might have been feeding her child out of protest?

        • Preyfar says:

          I don’t mean she was feeding her child out of protest, but not moving out of electronics, causing a scene about it, etc. We don’t exactly have all the details. I agree that she has the right to feed her child, and I totally respect and dig that, but just because the law says you can can do it anywhere without repercussion doesn’t necessarily mean that “anywhere” is a good idea, so she may not have moved. Who knows what reactions were had by other shoppers. It’s hard to say if her actions caused a commotion, if they asked her to politely move to an area more appropriate for feeding a child and she started causing a scene, etc.

          Sort of like the right to free speech. Just because you can say whatever you want doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea to say

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      The implication is that an argument ensued, but it’d be nice to know what specifically transpired. Apparently the security guard was wrong if he told them it was illegal, but it sounds like what happened after that is the issue here.

  11. hibbit says:

    What the security guard *meant* to say was that Target wanted the customers to leave, and that their continued presence in the store was therefore illegal (i.e. – trespassing).

    On a more serious note, it is very difficult to draw conclusions from one side of the story. It may be an example of a simple misunderstanding that escalated.

    • pwillow1 says:

      But the state law is that a woman can breastfeed her child in any place, public or private, where she is otherwise authorized to be.

      So that means a store cannot tell her that she is trespassing and use that as an excuse to eject her. Under state law, if she is allowed to be there WITHOUT breastfeeding, she is allowed to be there WHILE breastfeeding.

      And because Michigan law states that breastfeeding is exempt from public indecency laws, the store can’t use the excuse that she was exposing her breasts to remove her from the store.

      Women often employ slings or carriers so they can nurse while they’re standing. My guess is that this mother was standing in the electronics department, baby was hungry, so she hooked baby up (so to speak) and may have exposed her nipple for a moment or two.

      Honestly, I just want to shake people sometimes when I read these stories. How about everybody take a big dose of Grow the Heck Up?

      • bshockme says:

        Unfortunately, the law in Michigan does not exempt people from the trespassing laws. The only law (other than a child welfare law) on the books exempts women from public indecency while breastfeeding. There is no mention of exemption from trespassing. If they store wanted her gone, she would have to go. I don’t believe this is right, but that is the law in Michigan.

      • [DFX] Deimos says:

        Doesn’t work that way. Target is a private company and can revoke the persons right to be on their property at any time with or without reason. As soon as she was asked to leave, her invitation to be there was revoked and she was trespassing.

        • DangerMouth says:

          But the law gives some weight to breastfeeding woman being a protected class. As in other areas, you can discriminate for a good reason, or a bad reason, but you can’t discriminate for an illegal reason.

          Once the security guards told her that Target didn’t allow breastfeeding, thhey lost any hope of exercising their right to boot a tresspasser.

        • pwillow1 says:

          I’ll say it again: The law gives women the right to breastfeed in any place, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, where they are OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO BE. That means that the store cannot tell her she is trespassing based merely on the fact that she is breastfeeding. If she was allowed to be there when she was not breastfeeding, she is allowed to be there when she is breastfeeding. ar

          It is the same type of situation as if she were in a wheelchair. Or if she had a seeing eye dog. Stores are required under law to make accommodation for those customers, too.

          • [DFX] Deimos says:

            You can say it as many times as you want, but that doesn’t make it a fact. A person can be removed from private property at ANY TIME, for ANY REASON. Period.

            Once Target asked her to leave, NO MATTER THE REASON, her invitation to be there was revoked and she was trespassing.

            • palfas says:

              Dude, you’re just wrong on this one. The law apply a bit differently to places of business that are open to the general public, like anti discrimination laws. You cannot be asked to leave or prevented entry from such a place with out due cause. They are called “places of public accommodation” look it up.

  12. Kuchen says:

    Stories like this upset me on many levels. I’m annoyed by the people who continually try to claim that breastfeeding in public is illegal or indecent. But I’m also annoyed by the mothers who would just plop down in the electronics department and whip out their breasts. Yes, you have the right, but you should also have the common courtesy to at least try to find a more appropriate place.

    As a breastfeeding mother myself, I’m not all that comfortable nursing in public. I can do it discreetly, but it’s kind of a pain sometimes. If I know I’m going to be someplace where it would be uncomfortable or inconvenient to nurse my baby, I will pump beforehand and bring a bottle with me.

    • Magspie says:

      It’s great that that works for you, but it’s kind of ridiculous to expect it out of everyone. My baby won’t take a bottle and for the occasional pumper, pumping is hard. I’m always discreet nursing in public, but that is to satisfy my own modesty. I do not expect every nursing mother to find a deserted place and cover up fully. Why should they have to? I feel a little proud of those who are bold about it. Breastfeeding is not easy and I’m proud of doing it and love to see women who are comfortable showing it off. Good for them!

      • Kuchen says:

        I’m not saying everyone should do what I do. Obviously, having a bottle on hand won’t work for everyone. But breastfeeding does NOT give you license to disregard your manners entirely. Manners are how YOU treat others, not how others treat you. You should always at least be aware of how your actions affect those around you, even if you can’t always avoid making other uncomfortable.

        Yes, there will be times when your baby needs to eat NOW and no comfortable, out of the crowd location is available. Go ahead and nurse him. I have no problem with that.

        • ben says:

          Right, and gay couples shouldn’t hold hands in public because it might make others uncomfortable. Yes, people should always be considerate of others, but if a normal, natural act causes someone to be uncomfortable, that’s 100% their issue.

          • supercereal says:

            Going to the bathroom and sexual intercourse are perfectly natural acts that would undoubtedly make you uncomfortable if you stumbled upon them in the electronics isle. The “but it’s natural!!!1111″ excuse is really for suckers without an actual argument.

      • hoi-polloi says:

        My wife increasingly fell into the bold category of nursing moms. She made efforts to be discreet initially, then realized that it wasn’t worth the fuss. There’s very little to see when a child is latched on, and no one has ever died from incidental exposure to a nipple. I’m of the opinion that any location where it’s appropriate to take an infant is also an appropriate location to breastfeed. I’m glad my state feels the same way.

        It’s absurd for Target to claim that the safety of other customers was in jeopardy. Their staff was entirely responsible for creating this scene in the first place.

    • H3ion says:

      If the child being breastfed has to shave, I might think a little differently about public feeding.

  13. Magspie says:

    I started to read the comments on the Detroit Free Press article and began to feel all defensive and ready to protest, but come on, why do we still have to defend breastfeeding? Seriously. It’s ridiculous.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      I honestly have not had one single person in six months get annoying about it. I know it happens — we see the news reports and all — but not a single person has said anything or even gawked when I’ve breastfed in public or semi-public (at a friend’s party, f’ex). The *only* thing that’s happened is sometimes little old grannies like to tell me about their grandkids when they see me sitting breastfeeding.

      I don’t know if I just live in an MYOB part of the country, or if it’s becoming less of a problem generally.

      • Magspie says:

        That’s true and I know I shouldn’t get worked up over and act like one news story means that it’s common, because I know better than that. I haven’t gotten anything worse than a few dirty looks, and I’ve gotten way more of what I would call indulgent smiles. What really gets me though are the commenters all over the internet that are disgusted and make me feel like we need to defend ourselves.

        I’m so tired of mommy attacks and mommy defensiveness in general and I do my best to ignore the ‘mommy wars’. I don’t care if someone is a stay at home mom or works full time or has her own special arrangement. I don’t care if you cosleep or cry it out or something in between. Even people without kids seem to have vehement opinions on how children should be raised and I just feel like breastfeeding is something we should be done arguing about. It should not be an issue anymore.

        • myrna_minkoff says:

          There would be fewer “mommy attacks” if there were fewer entitled mommies. I’m not saying you are one, nor are most, but they are out there, and they are annoying as all hell.

          • floraposte says:

            But I think it’s like the airplane arguments–there’s an assumption of entitlement in response to the mommies that’s just as strong. There actually isn’t much of a right not to be subjected to things one doesn’t like, and there is often a legal entitlement to said things.

  14. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    Once again, Consumerist, you posted the breastfeeding story as I’m surfing while breastfeeding. I’ll make sure to cover up so as not to offend the screen!

  15. SkokieGuy says:

    Target was concerned about the safety of their guests?

    Did this women possessed some sort of mutant giant amazon nuclear enabled breasts? Exactly how was the safety of other shoppers put at risk?

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      Judging by your example, in the most awesome way possible.

    • floraposte says:

      Mutant giant amazon breasts in the electronics aisle? Isn’t that kind of par for the course?

    • grimJack says:

      Maybe this lady was just plain ugly. We will never know how this act of ‘breastfeeding’ was classified as a danger to the other shoppers.

  16. MostlyHarmless says:

    Et tu, Target?

  17. frank64 says:

    I have a right to wear pajamas in public too, but that does not mean a restaurant can’t have a dress code and not let me in.

    • floraposte says:

      Sure, unless a law is passed that requires pajamas to be tolerated–like breastfeeding.

      • Saites says:

        legal != tolerated

        The way I read it (which may be just plain wrong) is that Target has a right to kick you out (it’s their store, after all), but you can’t be arrested for it.

        • Smashville says:

          Except they don’t have the right to kick you out for it for the same reason they can’t kick you out for being black or disabled.

        • utensil42 says:

          The can only remove you from the store if you are not authorized to be there without breastfeeding. That is, breastfeeding cannot be the reason for trespassing you.

          • supercereal says:

            They could invent any number of possible reasons to boot you that don’t involve using the term “breastfeeding.” What was the legal act of public breastfeeding just became the illegal act of public disturbance; don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. Target’s mistake was calling her out on it. Asking her to leave without giving any reason whatsoever would have been perfectly fine.

      • frank64 says:

        In Michigan, I think it allows it, but doesn’t make it mandatory to be allowed, so we go back to the desire of the store, and politeness.

        It doesn’t bother me a bit, but some people are bothered and a store is trying to balance this out. They are between a rock and a hard place, but even though it doesn’t bother me, I think a store should be able to set the atmosphere in its own store where it is permitted, that mothers should try to be as discreet as possible, and people shouldn’t get all that offended when some mothers are not as polite as they should be.

        • treimel says:

          Well, you may feel that way, but the law is clear: breastfeeding *cannot* be used as an excuse for demanding that a person otherwise authorized to be present (i.e., any customer) be made to leave. So, no, you’re not correct: the store can NOT have a rule that forbids brestfeeding on the premises; Target is not between a rock and a hard place, they are between following the law or breaking it.

  18. prag says:

    You could probably carry a loaded gun around target but a loaded boob? Now THAT’S obscene!

  19. twophrasebark says:

    It’s really hard to tell what’s going on in these breast-feeding stories anymore.

    Yes, I defend any woman’s right to breastfeed. Yes, they can be as discrete or as flagrant as they want. But I think also some people are looking some people are looking to assert their rights and are just dying for a confrontation about this issue.

    Regardless, Target is wrong.

    • floraposte says:

      Oh, I certainly think there’s a reasonable chance that I’d find this couple annoying to personally know (but then I find many people annoying to know). But I think focusing on that misses the issue–I hope most of us don’t really think that it’s okay to breach the law as long as it happens to the annoying. Especially since those are often the people who ensure that the rest of us achieve or retain the rights we enjoy.

      • twophrasebark says:

        “I hope most of us don’t really think that it’s okay to breach the law as long as it happens to the annoying. Especially since those are often the people who ensure that the rest of us achieve or retain the rights we enjoy.”

        I agree. Flagrant, attention-seeking or discrete and demure, all should be treated the same.

  20. LoveyH says:

    I firmly believe that breastfeeding is best for babies; I’m breastfeeding right now, actually. But I’m not comfortable doing it in public, my son tends to pull the blanket off for the world to see what’s going on, so I usually nurse him in the car before I shop. However, breastfeeding harms no one, so if I was walking down the electronics aisle and passed a mother nursing her baby, I would probably question her judgment, but it wouldn’t bother me. I’m not sure why this bothers people, you can see more boob on billboards than you can during bf-ing.

    • Viciouspixie says:

      Agreed.
      Neither my son nor I enjoy breastfeeding in public, he likes to snuggle up and get cozy instead of hearing all the many distractions around him. Nursing in an electronics aisle is a tad odd, I would think it would be one of the more busier aisles.

      However I think the store freaked out for no good reason, the guards were most likely rude about it to the mother and the father understandably so, reacted feeling he needs to protect his family. Security guards don’t exactly get trained in sensitivity..

  21. Preyfar says:

    I wonder if Target could have applied the “no food or drinks” policy to breastfeeding? I’m not against breastfeeding, but it reeeally doesn’t belong in the electronics aisle.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      In my state at least, no. My state guarantees a right to breastfeed in any “place of public accommodation” and that’s regardless of whether food and drink are otherwise allowed. The language (place of public accommodation) is the same language that’s used in civil rights statutes forbidding racial discrimination, so it’s a pretty expansive right.

    • activist9 says:

      So where DOES it belong? Behind closed doors, as if it were some sort of “sinful” thing? The Church shouldn’t have any authority over what is done in public.

      • Preyfar says:

        I’m just saying there are probably better places to feed a child than in the middle ofthe electronics section. Some place where you can sit down, give your baby proper need than while browsing the latest 360 games.

    • Span_Wolf says:

      Maybe that’s the safety reason they cited…

  22. TigerChan says:

    Why is this a big deal? Do people really get offended by breast feeding? Would it be better if the mom just let the kid starve? The conservative values in this country are very frustrating at times.

    • idip says:

      I’d like to know what happens if a guy or a few guys just follow her around and watch.

      I’m sure there are some people that get off on it.

      My idea is if you are going to complain if someone watches… then you shouldn’t do it in public. If you want to breastfeed in public, be aware that there are people who may look at you and ignore that baby.

      • Etoiles says:

        That’s… kind of a lousy standard.

        Guys like to stand at the bottom of subway stairs and look up ladies’ skirts, too. Does that mean every woman should wear trousers?

        Harassment is harassment, and isn’t relevant here at all.

        • idip says:

          Actually… it’s not a lousy standard.

          It is one thing is a girl/woman is wearing a skirt and a guy is standing at the bottom of the stairs to sneak a peak. That is unacceptable because he is TRYING to view her secret areas.

          BUT… if the woman is showing those bits and pieces… well then… it seems as if she wants people to see.

          For example: It’s a hot day. A chick decides to wear a skimpy low cut, cleavage showing wife beater and those skimpy 2 inch long shorts that when standing tall you can see all up her thighs and if bending over you can see her undies…. well… it seems as if you want people to see that.

          My sister uses the excuse, “It’s hot out here!”

          REALLY?! How come there are women dressed in clothing that isn’t slutty and there are men out here who are wearing jeans and shirts.

          Then of course.. when the perverted guy walks over and just kinda stares at her… she gets all offended. Um… I’m sorry but he is just looking there is nothing wrong with that. If you don’t want people staring at your cleavage or seeing your ‘va jay-jay’ when you bend over… then don’t wear clothes that reveal those body parts.

          Breastfeeding, although not a sexual activity does relate.

          If a woman has her boob exposed to the world, she must realize that there are people who are going to take advantage of that and she has no right to complain. If she didn’t want anyone to see her boobs then she could move it to a restroom or changing room, or even ask if there was an office she could feed in real quick.

          The point… do it if you want and it is legal in your state. You’re allowed to… but… just because you’re allowed to expose yourself in public doesn’t mean you’ll always get the reception you want. People might stare, people might whisper… might people even run by and take a picture?

          • whateverlolawants says:

            Maybe your sister gets hotter faster than other people? How rude to call her clothes slutty… wtf does that even mean? I’m so tired of hearing that word. Meanwhile, maybe people should take into account that a) staring is rude and b) breasts exist to feed children. Yeah, they can be sexual too, but so can ears.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Please. A kid isn’t going to starve if it eats 10 minutes later than right now in the electronics aisle. People who are saying “be more subtle” aren’t against breastfeeding in public, they just don’t want to have to see it.

      • Etoiles says:

        No, of course the kid won’t starve if you wait ten minutes. But then everyone will complain about “that damned screaming baby in electronics, why do its parents take it out in public if they can’t shut it up?”

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        So you’re okay with the baby screaming its head off?

        Which bothers you more, 80% covered boobage or screaming?

        Babies don’t understand “wait 10 minutes.”

        • floraposte says:

          I do kind of love that this happened amid the male holy of holies, electronics. Next she’ll be breast-feeding in the power-tools corral!

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          What about moving to a better location where there isn’t so much foot traffic? I get that babies don’t understand 10 minutes later, but saying it’s going to starve is pretty melodramatic. Go to the automotive aisle to take care of your baby. It’s not the breastfeeding that was the problem, I suspect, it’s that someone noticed. Just go somewhere else where there aren’t employees lurking around, manning a counter or watching for theft.

          • friday3 says:

            Have you been to t aTarget? There are video cameras EVERYWHERE. People will notice no matter where you go, and if you try to enter forbidden areas they will think you area thief. Get a clue

        • Preyfar says:

          Does it really take 10 minutes to walk across an entire Target store? I’m a fat guy, and I can walk the distance in about about two minutes. If that. Targets aren’t /that/ big.

      • Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

        Yeah kinda like how all you guys bitch about a kid crying on a plane, I am sure all you guys would bitch if the kid was screaming his head off while the mother tried to finish up her shopping.

  23. SNForrester says:

    Breastfeeding discreetly in public is fine. Breastfeeding in the electronics aisle? Sorry, that’s just weird.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      Of all the comments on this article, this is the train of thought that puzzles me the most — why is the electronics aisle in particular weirding people out? Is it because it’s perceived as man-world or something? Babies and DVDs don’t go together? LOL

      • Slave For Turtles says:

        No kidding. I’m recalling nursing my baby in a hardware store. Nice quiet baby made for a very pleasant shopping experience. I remember that I strolled through the aisles a bit more than usual and ended up buying so much more including a great deal on a programmable thermostat! No one stared or gawked.

      • SNForrester says:

        It’s not the electronics aisle in particular. What puzzles me is the idea that she cannot pause her shopping for the time it takes to feed the baby. In my experience, the majority of mothers with babies do not breastfeed while walking around and shopping. That this mom chose to do it is weird to me.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          Aha. That makes sense.

          I don’t walk-n-feed, but I know some women who do, especially sling users.

      • oloranya says:

        milk + electronics = broken electronics?

        But how breast milk is going to end up on the electronics, I don’t know. It’s not like a cup of coffee.

  24. Miraluka says:

    Breastfeeding: “Not Discouraged” but definitely “Not Allowed”. I guess that Target store just lost a customer for life.

  25. diasdiem says:

    Horde of angry nursing mothers staging a nurse-in in 5, 4, 3….

    Seriously, you do not want to mess with women who want to breastfeed in public.

    • Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

      Makes me think of that Married With Children episode where a bunch of breast feeding mothers sat a sit in at Als shoe store, lol.

  26. activist9 says:

    Thank God I’m no longer a Christian Fundamentalist, Chiefs of the Pleasure Police!

  27. GMFish says:

    This specific situation escalated to a point where we were concerned for the safety of our guests…

    But of course the escalation was caused entirely by employees of Target.

  28. NoThankYou says:

    You don’t see me eating a cheeseburger while shopping for a tv.

    I am not opposed to a woman breastfeeding her child, but seriously in the middle of the store?

    • ohiomensch says:

      Maybe not a cheeseburger, but I have been known to carry around a bottle of soda or cuppa Starbucks, to drink while I am shopping. They sell em right as you walk in. So this is just a case of the bottle carrying the baby. The only reason its creepy is because the boobage has been objectified as something it is not. When used for its intended purpose why does everyone get their panties in a bunch?

    • korybing says:

      You also don’t have to eat every few hours regardless of where you are. : ) Infants aren’t tiny adults, they’re babies. Sometimes you can’t decide when they’re going to get hungry. I’ve seen parents bottlefeeding infants while they shop and nobody seems to get up in arms about that.

  29. pmr12002 says:

    I don’t know about anyone else is having this issue but I am getting the mobile phone version of the page when I click on the link. Here is the full version with video.

  30. MsFab says:

    This is just the dumbest thing ever. Why didn’t the security guard defer to the police officer, since I’m sure he’s more well-versed in law than the security guard is?

    Breastfeeding is natural, and its actually best for a baby, no matter what huge companies want to tell you. People need to get over themselves, babies are meant to be breastfed.

  31. d0x360 says:

    I have no issue with Breast Feeding in public, if you want to whip them out then go ahead and do it but arent there better places than walking down an aisle? Perhaps one of the many benches Target has, or maybe a fitting room stall? Couldnt you finish up your shopping trip and sit down in the car and do it before you go home?

    True the people working in that store were idiots but not everyone wants to see your boobies, whether they are feeding a child or not.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      Why would you prefer this woman to be sitting down? If she’s going to be breast-feeding in public, which you say you don’t have a problem with, why does it matter to you whether she’s sitting or standing?

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      I prefer men not adjust Jim and the Twins in the middle of the electronics aisle either, but that doesn’t seem to stop them. Look away and move on. The world contains other people and not all of them conform to your or my standard of public behavior that’s not hurting anyone else. And as long as it falls into that “not hurting anyone else” category, you gotta let a man adjust his junk and a baby have his lunch.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      I love the old, “I have no issue with ____, but…” It’s a sure sign someone’s about to provide a detailed list of their objections. Maybe the mom should take her child to the bathroom and turn off all the lights so no one can see her shameful display of nurturing?

      When an infant is hungry, finishing shopping and nursing in the car is a much worse option than exposing a breast long enough for the kid to latch on. If the mom waits until she’s finished shopping, you have a store full of people glaring at the inconsiderate parents that let their kid cry like that in public. When my son was young, my wife could easily nurse him in his sling while we were walking the dogs, shopping, etc. I can’t recall any negative reactions.

  32. stanner says:

    How come I’m never around when something interesting like this happens? My trips to the store are almost always boring and free of confrontations. I might shop more often if I stood a chance of seeing something mildly entertaining happen.

  33. outlulz says:

    I don’t mind breastfeeding in public but women do need to have some discretion about it. It is public nudity depending on how you go about doing it. In an environment like Target there are lots of kids and some parents don’t their parents seeing a bare breast. If the mother had a privacy cover then fine, if she just whipped it out she probably should have gone to a more discrete location in the store. I think the baby could have waited until she found a seat in the cafe or something.

    • pwillow1 says:

      No, actually, in the state in which this incident occurred, the law says that breastfeeding is NOT public nudity. The law is clear on this point. It isn’t considered public indecency.

      I don’t understand these comments that are all, “I think breastfeeding is fine as long as they don’t _______.” As long as they don’t do it in the electronics aisle. Or as long as they cover up. Or as long as they do it in the restroom, or in the restaurant, sitting down, in the corner, away from children.

      This is the same attitude that people had during the civil rights era, when minorities were discriminated again. Yes, the can ride the bus, but they have to sit in the back. Or they could come to the public parks, but they shouldn’t use the bathrooms. Or, they could use the public bathrooms in the public park, but did they have to be so BLATANT about it?

      When you adopt that attitude, you are denying a person an essential part of their humanity and their freedom. You’re saying, “This person doesn’t have the right to participate in society fully. They have fewer rights. They are less than human.”

      • outlulz says:

        You have a boob in public. It’s being nude in public. It may not be a crime but your boob is out in a public place.

  34. lukesdad says:

    Oh, no! Boobies?!

  35. [DFX] Deimos says:

    It clearly isn’t against the law, and doesn’t make sense from a PR perspective, but if Target doesn’t want mothers breastfeeding in their store, that is certainly their prerogative.

    • floraposte says:

      It’s not, actually–that’s the problem. The law doesn’t permit them that prerogative.

      • [DFX] Deimos says:

        It absolutely does. You can be asked to leave private property at any time for any reason. I know people think they are special when they have kids, but having the ability to squeeze a mass of cells out of your vagina doesn’t confer any special rights upon you.

  36. clamjuice says:

    peeing is natural also, but you don’t see me doing it in public.

  37. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    I just want all you breastfeeding supporters out there to keep in mind that I’m watching you (metaphorically speaking) and keeping note. Because if you are the same moms that starts whining when junior gets to elementary school and beyond about Playboy, a new porn shop in your neighborhood, or any video game that might have someone with slightly exaggerated milkshakes, I’m going to cry foul on you faster than an ex-governor on a biased talk show.
    It seems women only think THEIR breasts are beautiful. But I want to see perfectly legal, non-sustinence producing lactation factories? Stay out of my business, too.
    Breastfeeding is beautiful!
    And so are regular boobs. Don’t be hypocrites.

    • LochBox says:

      Don’t be an idiot. Breasts used for their intended purpose – Feeding a Child – is not the same as pornography, video games, advertising, etc.

      But keeping making a list based on your failed logic.

  38. Mr_Human says:

    On a completely separate note: I really can’t stand how some stores call their customers “guests.”

  39. 2 replies says:

    Target: “… will continue to provide a shopping environment that respects the needs of all guests, including nursing mothers”

    Dear Target,
    You can only continue to do something if you did it and currently do it.
    Obviously you didn’t at this store, so you can’t claim to continue to. That would imply that you DID respect her needs, which you obviously did not.

    • outlulz says:

      Target as a corporation can’t control the minds and actions of their employees. They can only act after the fact.

  40. DangerMouth says:

    oh, good, my first ‘blame the op’ post:

    I feel Target was waaay out of line here, and a woman certainly should feed her child when he’s hungry, but seriously, does anyone think it’s a good idea to take a newborn infant into a store at christmas time?

    • runswithscissors says:

      1) Where does it say “newborn”?

      2) What is she supposed to do, stay indoors for 6 months? Not buy things she needs? Not every new mom has a support system of people willing or able to either babysit an infant or do her shopping for her.

  41. wheresmymind says:

    If the mother wants to show discretion out of modesty or politeness for those around her, that’s great. But really, I don’t think there’s very much “offensive” stuff on display anyway. I’d say a typical nursing infants face probably covers up about as much as a modestly provocative bikini or tank top.

    • SNForrester says:

      But beach attire is not appropriate in other places. A guy in a speedo at the beach is no big deal. A guy in a speedo at the electronics aisle would freak me out!

      Different places have different levels of modesty expected. This woman erred by being in an unexpected place.

  42. coren says:

    I know that I would feel in danger if someone breastfed in Target. Gosh!

  43. EdnaLegume says:

    just what the hell was on such a sale that she couldn’t tear herself away from the electronics aisle long enough to feed her kid?

    I’m pro breastfeeading and did so with both my kids, but jee sue pete, does it have to be such a production? if I were out and about, I would just go back to my car. I didn’t want to make others uncomfortable, regardless of whether of felt that was their problem. I also didn’t want to expose myself in public. my children and I weren’t the most discreet.

    however, they make those blanket thingies that moms can wear to cover up the whole show. if she had something like that and you couldn’t even see the baby……. mountains out of mole hills.

    this makes me sad for my beloved target. I don’t want them to be butt heads.

    • BarbiCat says:

      It’s interesting to see how many supposed ‘pro-breastfeeders’ there are, that are only pro-BF when it suits their own personal standards of when and where.

      Cars can be cramped, cold and super awkward to nurse in. I don’t know where you live, but nursing in a freezing car that took twenty minutes to warm up was not a super fun ‘option’ when my monster was younger. Nursing shields? Draw way more attention to a nursing infant, than simply nursing without one. Your anecdata about nursing =/= someone else’s experience.

      And why do you assume she ‘couldn’t tear herself away’ from something on sale? Maybe she didn’t feel that she should be forced to leave her husband simply because her child was hungry right then?

  44. chocotaco says:

    I bet if she was wearing a chickenbitch.com shirt they would have never called the cops on her.

  45. Nekhebet says:

    Ask yourself, honestly, which is more disturbing:

    One sweaty, beet red, stiff, screaming bloody murder at the top of its lungs hungry infant with frazzled parents trying fruitlessly to calm it down?

    or:

    Possible nipple exposure?

    It really shouldn’t come down to that, however: I have breastfeed, and have been in the presence of said hungry furious screaming babies…as well as seen the nipples of people that I’d have rather never seen. Of the two, I can easily forget the nipple, but the blaring siren noises emitting from the kid give me a headache…and usually make me leave the area if not the store! I think that the police officer was right to be upset, as was his wife. Target may be a private property, but its clear its in store security needs a little training as to what and what NOT to say. The security officers lack of customer service skill escalated the situation to the nth degree whereas he may have simply suggested that other customers might be uncomfortable, and if she didn’t mind, could she please cover up?

  46. LESSTHANKIND says:

    I’ve never understood why women don’t just bring a bottle with them (can breastmilk not be bottled?) when they go out and know they will need to feed the baby. It seems they just want to take a stand, make a point to everyone around them that they can breastfeed and no one can stop them! OK, we get it. You’re breastfeeding, you’re an earth mother. WHATEVER. Cover your breasts in public, just like I do. No one’s saying women shouldn’t breastfeed, or should be forced to use formula instead. But you all have breast pumps for a reason. Use them, and bring a bottle.

    As for the arguments that anything that’s “natural” is OK to be done in public, I wonder if you’ll feel that way ifn someone takes a dump in the electronics aisle because they just couldn’t wait. Or if I get my period and put in a tampon in the middle of the store because waiting would mean ruining my clothes. Or if people have sex right in front of you. After all, these things are “natural,” and sex is also “beautiful,” right?

    Seriously, people. I’m certainly not against breastfeeding, and I’m as liberal as liberal gets. But I’m also mature enough to know that not everything that’s natural or legal should necessarily be done in front of an audience. Especially an unwilling one.

    • Nekhebet says:

      So just because you’re breastfeeding you’re an “earthmother”?

      Um…yeah. Sorry, but breastmilk is FREE, formula, which isn’t nearly as good, can wrack up a pretty good bill over time. Plus it makes the baby vomit stain among other things.

      And YES, breastmilk can be bottled but what if you happen to run out? Ample supply available…no bottle necessary. It may not be my personal choice, or yours but don’t assume someone is trying to make a stand when they’re just trying to feed the baby or at least satisfy it enough to make it be quiet…

    • Sanveann says:

      The problem with bringing a bottle is that it requires you to:

      1) Own a pump, which are often $200-$300.
      2) Risk possible nipple confusion, especially with a very young baby. (Some babies come to prefer the artificial nipple, and then refuse to nurse altogether … this happened with my older son)
      3) Have some way of refrigerating your milk and then heating it up.
      4) Use formula, which many women (myself included) don’t want to do.

      The fact is, VERY few women WANT to breastfeed in public. My terror of doing it led to the issues I discussed above with my older son. With the younger, I refused to go down that road and nursed him wherever I was. I didn’t LIKE it, but the alternative was being trapped in the house 24/7.

    • KittensRCute! says:

      well put, i fully agree

    • TexasMama37 says:

      I can’t speak for others, but I TRIED to pump and was never able to get more than about 1/2 ounce. That’s certainly not enough to bother with taking with me to Target. So I would nurse my child wherever I needed to. Personally I was never able to nurse in a sling so I would have been sitting down in the cafe or on a bench outside the dressing room rather than while walking through the electronics department. But if someone else is able to nurse while walking like that then more power to her.

      The bottom line here is that it’s LEGAL and NOT PUBLIC NUDITY if a little bit of breast shows for a second while latching the child on. Target was wrong to ask her to leave since the law clearly states that if she and her child are welcome then she is welcome to breastfeed.

    • inkywalnut74 says:

      It is called nipple confusion. Some babies have a very difficult time feeding from a bottle when breast fed

  47. hoi-polloi says:

    What people seem to be repeatedly missing is that it doesn’t matter if Target or its employees aren’t fans of nursing mothers. It doesn’t matter if you’re personally offended by women nursing in public. Despite your comfort level with breastfeeding and Target’s actions, breastfeeding in public is protected by law in 28 states, including Michigan. That this is even an issue boggles the mind.

    Nursing in public is not akin to urination or defecation. It’s not sexual. Nursing moms don’t have to ‘go somewhere quiet’ or cover themselves for your comfort. If you don’t like it, feel free to move along yourself. You can hide in the bathroom, the food court, or your car until the offending party puts away her breast. Or, you know, just hide under your coat for a few minutes.

    • floraposte says:

      Yup. The Target employees can snicker and say “Eew!” to one another (privately, of course) if they wish, and other customers are free to make faces and text disapprovingly to their friends. There’s no requirement that everybody be supportive or comfortable with this. But when the law says they have to allow it–then they have to allow it.

    • KittensRCute! says:

      ewww you think defecation is sexual?

  48. Tonguetied says:

    What I can’t figure is who exactly is supposed to be offended?

  49. sspeedracer says:

    Target sells Infant Formula. Why would they want a advertisement for free healthy natural breast milk walking around their store? Target is about profit, not family.

  50. SanDiegoDude says:

    Oh no, a human nipple! You’ve tainted my mind!

  51. Ronin Democrat says:

    Enter text… Really, the baby was crying soooooo much it couldn’t wait for mom to get to the ladies room? We are raising a nation of pussies if the answer is yes.

    I thInk those breast feeding laws are designed to help in a non restroom situation.
    Not to have a teet whipped out in the middle of a retail aisle.

    And just because her husband is a cop doesn’t mean he knows the laws it just means he can enforce the law and is protected from prosection when acting lawfully.

    • Nekhebet says:

      Have you ever seen a Target ladies room?
      Would you REALLY want to eat in it???

    • inkywalnut74 says:

      Would you eat in the bathroom? I know I sure as hell wouldn’t. That is disgusting. All the fecal spores floating around etc. Seriously, if you wouldn’t eat in the bathroom neither should the baby.

      • KittensRCute! says:

        but would you eat at the electronics section?? i wouldnt and no one i know would so why feed a baby there? what is so wrong with a cloth 8in x 8in to cover you and the baby up

  52. SacraBos says:

    Kudos for this lady! I really irritates me that people get upset at breast feeding. What’s obscene is the idea that a hungry child should be forced to have Mom feed them in a bathroom or worse. Would you be upset if you started to have a snack in a store and be told you have to got to the bathroom to eat that?

    My wife was feeding one of our kids in Sam’s Club once, and we found a chair out of the main aisle, covered her with a blanket, and fed her. Ironically, those with the most disgusted looks were from women.

    It would probably be inappropriate for me to praise a woman for her decision to feed in public (or worse – freaky), so I’ll say it here. You go girl! If your child is hungry, by all means take care of them and ignore everyone else that has a problem with it. They need to get over themselves.

  53. KittensRCute! says:

    why do people need to do this in public. what target doesnt have serviceable bathrooms?

    really i think these women just want to act a fool in public.

    • TexasMama37 says:

      Seriously?? You want her to nurse her child while sitting on a filthy toilet? Why don’t you go ahead and take your cup of Starbuck’s and a scone and have your snack in the “serviceable bathroom”?

      • Sanveann says:

        Exactly. I don’t eat in a restroom, and I don’t expect my children too, either. I don’t LOVE nursing in public, but I do it because, well, I need to leave the house, and my baby needs to eat. But frankly, I’d rather nurse him topless while standing on top of a counter at the Target checkout than feed him in a public restroom. Barf.

      • KittensRCute! says:

        you dont have sit on the toilet, again there are options, but some people LOVE the attention and LOVE acting a fool.

        if its “legal” they will do it. its not about the baby, if it was you would put the babies needs above the so called deals at target. take care of your baby, there is NOTHING wrong with online shopping if the bathrooms are that offensive to you.

  54. C4 says:

    Boobs are for feeding babies! You’re alive because your mamma fed you. Have some respect!!

  55. SenorBob says:

    Oh for crying out loud. If she doesn’t want to go to the bathroom or cafe, why not the baby section of the store? They usually have rocking chairs out, and certainly no one shopping in that section would have any issues with breastfeeding in public.

    • Difdi says:

      Why would anyone go to a restroom to feed a baby? Do you often eat your meals in your bathroom?

    • KittensRCute! says:

      you could have a baby section with leather seating, ergonomics rocking chairs, snacks for the mother, free soft keep for the baby nursing section and some women would STILL pop one out in the dvd section and complain about how they are treated. this is not about baby, this is about high maintenance mammas

  56. TexasMama37 says:

    “…police were called because there was concern for the safety of their guests.” Safety?? A mom nursing her infant poses a danger for other customers? I’d love to take my child to my local Target to nurse him just to see what happens but he thrashes around too much at this age and I wouldn’t be able to do it discreetly. I know for a fact, though, that I have nursed my other children while in Target and no one ever said anything; I doubt anyone even noticed.

  57. friday3 says:

    I am guessing those so against breast feeding would be appalled if a service dog was brought in the store too. Comparing it to no shirts no service is STUPID. I like how everybody says go to the car, but fail to realize it is DETROIT IN NOVEMBER.

  58. AdvocatesDevil says:

    If this woman’s breasts were causing the store employees to be worried about their safety, I demand photographic evidence! :)

  59. AdvocatesDevil says:

    If this woman’s breasts were causing the store employees to be worried about their safety, I demand photographic evidence! :)

  60. bfmom says:

    Don’t get what the BFD is!
    So what if she is in electronics?? Would people throw her out if she whipped out a bottle and fed the baby?
    I BF anytime/anywhere I please. I try to be as discreet as I can..even then someone might know or see a little skin(read NOT boob) Definitely no more than anyone would if they saw me in a modest swim suit. And for sure no more than I have to look at on a daily basis..thanks to VS, any fashion/people hunter magazine or most eve tv shows.

    GET OVER YOURSELVES..and you nursing mothers that see a problem with it..you should be ashamed of yourselves IMO

  61. d says:

    Those must have been some ginormous boobs if Target was fearing for the safety of their guests… hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…. what a bunch of boobs those Target guys were…. Oh yeah folks, tip your servers well, I’ll be here all night…

    Seriously, Target – grow a brain OK. Women have been breastfeeding the human race since time immemorial… Just because some marketer invented bottles and formula – which you happen to sell – doesn’t make it a STORE EMERGENCY requiring a team of people to toss out a mother and her hungry infant…

    I can tell you this much – I’d SUE their asses, make them pay me, and donate so much money to the Breastfeeding Coalition (La Leche? I think it is) that they’d feel it for 1,000 years…

  62. ramblinwreck says:

    My wife is still breast feeding and I know for a fact I would stand up against some store idiot telling her she couldn’t feed our son in the store. Yes, we bring a bottle with milk, but sometimes babies need more and they simply CAN’T and DON’T wait for satisfaction. She covers up with a shawl for decency, but it’s either put up with the crying or the feeding, which would you think your patrons prefer?

  63. imsnowbear says:

    “Madam, the sight of your exposed breast is highly offensive to me. You have exactly 25 minutes to cover yourself.”

  64. DanFromDetroit says:

    As someone who grew up near this Targets location I can say I can understand why the store employees wouldn’t want this going on in their store. Pretty sure she wasn’t hot

    /sarcasm

  65. korybing says:

    Wow, every time I see a story like this I just don’t understand why people make such a big deal about breastfeeding. I’ve seen women breastfeeding and most of the time it doesn’t even register, as they’re being discrete as hell about it. Why do people get their panties in such a wad over this?

  66. inkywalnut74 says:

    I think we should have a breast feeding sit in at all Local Targets.. If anyone is interested let me know.. You can email me at inkywalnut74@gmail.com We should do it on a Saturday since that is when most people are out shopping. Especially since it is the Holiday season. I would love for this to be a country wide nursing in public day. Lets do this!!!

  67. pot_roast says:

    So what was the safety issue? The mother that was breastfeeding or the unholy flaming pallet of whoop-ass that she was about to unleash?

  68. crunchberries says:

    Ah, I love breast-feeding posts here. They always bring out idiots bleeting the same disingenuous bullshit comparisons and arguments over and over again. Like “peeing is natural too”; “why don’t women bring a bottle?”; and the always lovely “why doesn’t she use the bathroom/cafe/etc. instead?”

    (And by love, I mean hate. Seriously, can’t any of you come up with something new to complain about when it comes to breastfeeding or are you just going to whale on that poor dead horse until it becomes jerky?)

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      Maybe if those things weren’t true, and it wasn’t gross and un-hygenic then we’d stop complaining. And just because you cynically outline our arguments doesn’t make them wrong. Babies need their diapers changed too for health reasons, but you don’t do it right there in the electronics department.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      You do bring up a good point. If a woman can breast feed in the electronics isle, a man should be able to freely pee in a bottle if he is playing one of the game demos and doesn’t want to risk losing the console to another customer by going to the bathroom.

  69. amerrickangirl11566 says:

    For the several dozen people who wrote this, it’s spelled “discreet”, not “discrete”. Look up the difference.

    And someone mentioned how it might not be wise to bring a newborn baby out Christmas shopping. Well, babies continue to nurse into their second or third year, so this may not have been a newborn (and that could be one reason the security guard freaked out – it’s bad enough that women nurse infants, but try nursing a toddler – people just can’t wrap their little heads around that concept).

    For those worried (or excited) about seeing “a boob”, I breastfed my two kids for over two years each and no one ever saw anything except the back of their head and my shirt. If they were hungry I fed them wherever we happened to be. Why should I have to go out to the car just to appease uptight or squeamish people? Nursing hurts no one and if you don’t like seeing it, turn your head or walk away. It’s that simple.

    And why would anyone want to feed their baby in a cubicle in a disgusting public restroom? Most restrooms don’t come with a comfy couch to sit on. People poop in there and change their sanitary pads! Those rooms smell awful. Would you eat in there? I sure wouldn’t.

  70. SimonGodOfHairdos says:

    These stores should take a cue from Nordstrom’s; have a ladies lounge with comfy couches and a pleasant overall atmosphere where moms can feel comfortable nursing their babies. I don’t want to see your boobs, but I also don’t think that mothers should have to feed their kids in a dirty bathroom stall. Giving them somewhere nice to nurse will prevent them from doing it in your aisles, and might also keep them in the store longer if they don’t feel like they have to rush out in order to feed the kid.

  71. xanxer says:

    Target’s assets protection team members and team leaders are low paid, and poorly trained. Yeah they learn how to catch shoplifters and most stores have a camera system that can read the date off of a dime on the ground of the parking lot, but they have NO understanding of law. IF they did understand the law, do you think they would be working a crappy job at Target?
    They are not police officers ( and many police do not understand much of the law anyway)

  72. KittensRCute! says:

    you know target has perfectly serviceable bathrooms and if you dont like the bathrooms, target online is a great website and often the prices are cheaper than in store purchases. so me thinkgs is all about the attention and not at all about the baby.

  73. MyDarlin says:

    This whole fiasco stems from ignorance! Total ignorance of the rent-a-cop and then of course you don’t want to piss off a mother and her cub. Don’t you dare tell a mother when and where she can feed her offspring. I’m sure that’s when it got ugly, not to mention the cop v. rent-a-cop.
    Seriously though, i have never in my life met a mother who didn’t discreetly nurse. I mean unless you stare long and hard, you won’t see anything.
    Just wait till the other breastfeeding mom’s get together for a ‘feed’ at this Target. You’ll have a store full of them and ain’t nothing Target can do about it!
    Total ignorance!

  74. timistheword says:

    Hmm…let’s see…a bare breast, or a screaming baby. Which is more preferable. Hmmmm…I just can’t decide.

    The concept of a woman’s breast being inappropriate is inappropriate. Grow up, people. It’s a friggin’ boob, and boobs are awesome. They feed babies. Babies who would be screaming if they weren’t eating. Figure it out!