A new mom was verbally assaulted while breast-feeding her newborn baby at a Target in Torrington, Connecticut, on Monday, June 13 — but she had plenty of people in her corner.
Jessie Maher recorded the incident and shared it on Facebook later that day. It has since been viewed 7 million times and shared nearly 80,000 times.
In Maher’s post she wrote that before she started filming, “He looked at me and said (very angrily), ‘Can’t you do that somewhere else? … That’s f—king disgusting … You are nasty.’” She also also said the man called her a “whore.”
The mother of 1-month-old daughter Zinnia was quietly nursing her child in the store’s cafe area when the disgruntled stranger spotted her and began yelling. “Because I’m feeding my baby, this man is going crazy and I’m shaking,” Maher is heard saying on camera. She added, “He wants a refund because I’m breast-feeding my baby.” (Watch the shocking footage above.)
During the 15-minute altercation, a mother of five stood beside Maher and comforted her. “Don’t shake, you’re fine. He has no right to be doing what he’s doing — you have a baby in your hands. This is a beautiful moment right now. If he doesn’t like it, he can go.” Target employees also rushed to Maher’s aid.
“They kept saying, ‘You have the right to be here. You have the right to be anywhere in the store feeding your baby,” Maher, who works as a doula, tells Us Weekly. “They had my back and I definitely felt safe.”
The 37-year-old says she doesn’t understand how breast-feeding has become controversial. “It just makes no sense,” Maher tells Us. “Breast-feeding is a normal act and you should be able to do it anywhere, everywhere, wherever you are, wherever your baby is hungry.”
She also takes issue with the sexualization of breasts. “I was sitting there feeding my baby, and he felt the need to get angry and scream at me, but it’s the middle of the summer and all these young girls are wearing next to nothing,” says Maher. “He wouldn’t think anything of that. It’s twisted. It’s very twisted.”
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!