It was quite a successful week for people who are in favour of breastfeeding and all the foundation work done by the Gibraltar Breastfeeding Association.
The well timed schedule tied in with World Breastfeeding Week, including their annual ‘Big Latch On’ on Saturday. This is part of their efforts to the acceptance of breastfeeding in public, which they also used to introduce the ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme’. Local businesses are invited to sign up to the initiative which would help mothers who breastfeed feel welcome.
It was all backed by Minister for Equality, Samantha Sacramento, who had also proposed a law in June 2017, which would make it discriminatory for businesses and establishments not to permit breastfeeding. This was brought to fruition on Saturday for the Big Latch On and the legislative amendendments to the Equal Opportunities Act 2006 would “benefit women who wish to breastfeed”. Everything looked remarkably positive.
Cue Gibraltar Panorama and an author publishing under the pseudonym of Armando Lagrande, with their article ‘Women going about half-naked’. It was nothing less than absolutely shocking, opening with the line “So they are going to pass a law to make breastfeeding in public legal, what next?”
The article, pictured above in a Facebook post, appears to have been a poor attempt at light humour, but unfortunately for them, it completely missed the mark and consisted more of misogynist rhetoric.
‘Armando Lagrande’ kept true to poor form throughout the article, adding “If breast-feeding in public is to be made legal, how long will it be for the exhibiting by women of their breasts at all times being commonplace.” How he has the ‘bottle’ to draw that audacious parallel I’ll never know, but the reaction on social media spoke for itself.
The Gibraltar Breastfeeding Association released a statement in response on their Facebook page:
“In reaction to an offensive and misogynist anonymous opinion piece in the local press, the Gibraltar Breastfeeding Association wish to clarify the facts on the change of the equality law to protect the rights of breastfeeding families. According to law it is now discriminatory for an establishment to ask a women to stop feeding or move when breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is natural and has always been legal. New mothers are particularly vulnerable and vocal opinions such as this can have dangerous and deep lasting affects. Members of our association are incensed and such outdated views have no place in today’s progressive and inclusive society. We wish to encourage families in Gibraltar to be confident when breastfeeding and if the article has affected you please contact us on our page or group for support.”
I wanted to finish with a music video by UK poet Hollie McNish titled ‘Embarrassed’, were she perfectly summarises the issues that women who breastfeedin public face.
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