These Hong Kong Moms Fought the Patriarchy By Breastfeeding In Public

Source: AP
Source: AP

If you're a mom who's ever breastfed in public, you've probably dealt with stares, side-eyes and passive-aggressive comments from strangers. But a group of mamas in Hong Kong have had enough of breastfeeding-shaming — and they're taking a stand against it. 

According to a survey by the Hong Kong Committee for the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 40% of mothers who have breastfed in public have had a "negative experience," ranging from strangers telling them to go do it elsewhere to people stopping them in their tracks and complaining. 

Last Saturday, the nonprofit MamaMilk Baby Alliance organized a breastfeeding flash mob, in which 100 mothers breastfed en masse outside the Tai Wai metro station. The gathering of proud mamas was part of the community's annual protest against breastfeeding shaming, in which mothers feed their kids on or near public transit.

Although the World Health Organization and UNICEF have published reports attesting to the importance of mothers breastfeeding their babies, women around the world still face discrimination when breastfeeding in public. An American public opinion survey in 2001 found only 43% of U.S. adults believed that women should have the right to breastfeed in public places. 

This global stigma hasn't dwindled over the past decade. Last month in the United Kingdom, a businesswoman who opened a cafe for breastfeeding families was subject to extensive harassment. In the aforementioned Hong Kong survey of over 3,540 mothers, 77% of those who answered they don't ever breastfeed in public because they are concerned about public reaction and embarrassing their loved ones. 

In response to breastfeeding-shaming, local female celebrities have published their own personal breastfeeding photos, from food bloggers to pop singer Ella Koon, who also promoted the weekend protest on her Facebook page.

Moms banded together this weekend in Hong Kong to fight breastfeeding stigma. They called the event a 'Mama Flash,' or a flash mob of proud breastfeeding moms. 

h/t People

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

MORE FROM

A Czech company made interns compete in a bikini contest to get hired

A spokesperson from the company said the competition was to "promote technical education."

Trump's Medicaid and immigration policies will make home health care more expensive

The predominately female work force that serves the elderly and people with disabilities in their homes is under fire from two fronts.

Poland makes emergency contraception a prescription-only drug — even for rape survivors

There's a relatively small time frame in which emergency contraception is effective. Requiring prescriptions may mean many Polish women will go without.

Bill Cosby publicists insist speaking tour has nothing to do with sexual assault

Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt accused the media of twisting Wyatt's words, when really there is a video record of his announcement.

Third Vanderbilt football player, Brandon Banks, convicted in rape case

A jury found Brandon Banks guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of sexual battery, sending him to a probable 15 years in prison.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

A Czech company made interns compete in a bikini contest to get hired

A spokesperson from the company said the competition was to "promote technical education."

Trump's Medicaid and immigration policies will make home health care more expensive

The predominately female work force that serves the elderly and people with disabilities in their homes is under fire from two fronts.

Poland makes emergency contraception a prescription-only drug — even for rape survivors

There's a relatively small time frame in which emergency contraception is effective. Requiring prescriptions may mean many Polish women will go without.

Bill Cosby publicists insist speaking tour has nothing to do with sexual assault

Ebonee Benson and Andrew Wyatt accused the media of twisting Wyatt's words, when really there is a video record of his announcement.

Third Vanderbilt football player, Brandon Banks, convicted in rape case

A jury found Brandon Banks guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of sexual battery, sending him to a probable 15 years in prison.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.