Friday, October 02, 2009

My mail to Moma

Let's see how they respond:

On Wednesday afternoon at 2:00, I visited Moma with my 7 –week old baby. As soon as we arrived up to the 6th floor to see the Ron Arad: NO DISCIPLINE exhibit, my son stirred in his carrier, indicating that he was hungry. I chose a spot at the end of the long couches outside the exhibit, near the audio guide counter, and began to nurse him. Within a few moments, I was asked by a guard to move to a less comfortable bench down the hall. Stunned, I asked him why. He made it clear that he was “not telling” me that I “could not nurse my baby” but that I was “making people uncomfortable” and would prefer if I would do it “over there”.
Uncomfortable? Were people uncomfortable viewing the 1947 surrealist work depicting a breast on top of a book, not to mention countless other representations of the human form on display at the museum?
Perhaps the guard was unfamiliar with New York law, specifically:
Civil Rights Law Article 7 CVR Article 7 § 79-e. Right to breast feed. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast feed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother's breast is covered during or incidental to the breast feeding.

Clearly, that law gives me the right to nurse in the area outside an exhibit of the museum. I suspect that I was the only one made “uncomfortable” by the guard’s insensitive harassment. I would appreciate clarification and an apology.
Yours truly,
Moma member