Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still Outraged

Melech, milk on chin, enjoying MOMA despite the breastfeeding outrage.
Part of the exhibit on the surrealist object, this breast from 1947 is one of many breasts as art on display at Moma.

Trying to enjoy the free time remaining on my maternity leave, I took Melech to MoMa today. As soon as we arrived at the first exhibit I wanted to see, he stirred in the Moby wrap, indicating that he was ready to eat. The sculpture garden was open and might have been a good place to nurse, but we were all the way up on the 6th floor. And then lo and behold, right outside the Ron Arad: No Discipline exhibit, there were these fabulous couches. I picked a spot at the end and, finding the couch comfy indeed, started to nurse.
A guard gave me a confusing sign, a kind of wave. He asked me to move.
"What?" I asked. I didn't get it. He wanted me to move.
"Why?" I asked.
He made it clear that he "wasn't saying I couldn't feed my baby" but "you can't do it here". He wanted me to move to a bench somewhere down the hallway.
"But this is comfortable," I said. Yeah, but he told me to go.
"Um, this museum is like, full of pictures of breasts!" I said in dismay, feeling a bit stunned now. "Can I ask why I can't sit here?"
He told me I was "making people uncomfortable". I surveyed the people around me. They appeared to be mostly Europeans. They appeared quite comfortable, especially those seated at with me on the long couch.
I thought about asking to speak with a supervisor.
But I was afraid that if I opened my mouth, I would cry. The hormones work that way, you know. Slowly I moved towards the direction the guard had indicated. At first I saw only two very exposed benches behind a fenced off area where a bauhaus sign was going up. Then I saw where he really meant: a narrow bench in a hallway on the way to the restroom. Absurd. But I went.
Needless to say this made my visit a lot less fun.
I would like to go back with more mothers to have a nurse in. About 40 of us could fit comfortably at the Ron Arad couch. Where can I find lactivists?