Vulnerable

So I had no intention of taking a break from blogging while we were on vacation, but the place we’re staying charges $5 per day per machine for internet access. Since I’m not made of money, we’ll have very limited access. I may have the chance to put up a post tomorrow morning before my services expires, but if not, I’ll likely disappear for the rest of the week. I may pay for one more day sometime in the middle of the week, but possibly not. The sheer expense is mindblowing!

Since I’ve had Eve, one of the things I always do when traveling is to look up the state laws pertaining to breastfeeding. I’m lucky to live in a state that explicitly defends a woman’s right to nurse in public, and until now we’ve always stayed in states with similar laws.

This time, however, I have no such protection. While there is a law in place that will prevent me from being charged with a sex crime for nursing my daughter (the very fact that such a law has to exist makes me ragey), there is nothing in place that will prevent a private establishment from kicking me out if I need to feed my baby straight from the tap.

This has me feeling…uneasy, to say the least. For the past year I’ve been very, very lucky to have never been confronted aggressively or negatively for nursing Eve in public. For the next week, every time I unbutton my bra and cradle her close to my breast, I’m going to have to wonder whether we are going to be targeted, humiliated, harassed, shamed, or shown the door. I am afraid to feed my daughter. And I am realizing for the first time the extent to which I had taken the laws of my home state for granted; without them I feel naked, unprotected. The women who live here and nurse their children have to deal with this all the time. I found a website for the state in which parents have compiled a list of nursing-friendly businesses, a resource that is just not necessary in my home state (as well as 43 other states!) because all businesses are legally mandated to allow me to nurse.

It’s just a week. I know I can do it, and that even if we get kicked out of a pizza place or arcade, at least the law is on my side enough such that I won’t be put on a sex offender registry for having the indecency to feed my hungry baby while on vacation. I guess that’s a silver lining?

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One Response to “Vulnerable”

  1. Trans Women, Lactation, and Exclusion « She Has My Eyes Says:

    […] I feel snug and protected by the laws in my state that guarantee my right to nurse publicly, trans women do not have the same luxury. They cannot take for granted that someone will not […]

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