A mother of a three-month-old was told she could not use a dressing room at a Target in Kyle, Texas to breastfeed her baby. She posted about her experience on Facebook and said “It was definitely embarrassing.”
The 23-year-old mother said, “She told me, that’s really not what they’re for but that there was a bathroom that I could use. She was the only employee back there and there were no customers back there other than me,” reported KHOU11.
The young mother, Jessica, also relayed, “She told me I couldn’t leave my cart with the unattended items. So, I asked her where I could put it, and she told me that I should probably not bring a hungry baby out.”
“She asked if she wouldn’t take a bottle, and I said ‘no she’s breastfed, we’ve had a hard time with bottles.'” The female Target employee replied, “Well, maybe you should feed her in the car, maybe you should just leave.”
Jessica says she covers herself when she is breastfeeding her baby. She does not want the media to use her full name because of the backlash she has received on social media.
The woman left the store and nursed her baby girl in the car. “The more I thought about it, the more outraged and more outrageous it seemed,” she said.
The Target Corporation responded to the incident by giving KVUE the following statement:
At Target, we want all our guests to feel comfortable shopping with us. We are proud of our breastfeeding policy, which applies to all stores, and it’s just one of the ways in which we support our guests. Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable. Additionally, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms.
A video of an altercation of a breastfeeding mother and an angry man in a Connecticut Target cafe went viral in June, as reported by Fox News. The man was reported to have called the breastfeeding in public “[expletive] disgusting.”
In April, Breitbart News reported that Target department stores announced its “gender fluidity” policy for use of its bathrooms. Those in the store may use whatever bathroom consistent with their gender identity on a given day. The statement released by the company said “We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day.”
By May, 1.1 million families had joined a boycott against the upscale retailer and its stock had taken a $2.5 billion hit. There was even a “Flush Target” anti-Target campaign that released a critical web ad. It featured a little girl scared by a man when he came into the stall when she was on the toilet. “Any man at anytime could enter a women’s bathroom simply by claiming to be a woman that day,” a woman is heard saying in the ad entitled, “Stop TARGETing Women and Children.” “No one is exempt,” the ad notes. “Even registered sex offenders could follow women or young girls into the bathroom. And no one can stop them.”
Breitbart News has reported about the sexual crimes that have been committed at Target stores. A man was arrested in Boston in June after he was caught allegedly using his cell phone to take a video of young females changing clothes in the dressing room. The same thing happened in Frisco, Texas in June but the man took cell phone video while in a Target bathroom. In July, a man dressed as a woman was arrested in Idaho for taking a video in a Target fitting room. Although these stories are not a comprehensive listing, a man in Revere, Massachusetts in June was also accused of peeping at a teenage girl who was changing clothes in a dressing room.
In August 2015, Target eliminated “gender-specific” labels and marketing for children. It announced it was going “gender neutral” for clothing and toys by removing blue and pink colors on displays and signs and by removing the words “boys” and “girls.”
In July of 2014, Breitbart News reported that Target management “respectfully” requested that law-abiding citizens leave their guns at home. Just days after the announcement, three men were arrested after allegedly committing armed robbery against a shopper in the parking lot. Within three days of the request by the company, a woman was beaten in a Target parking lot in the middle of the day in Decatur, Georgia. Her Mercedes Benz and purse were stolen.
A law relating to the promotion of breastfeeding and the prohibition against interference with or restriction of the right to breastfeed did not make it through the 2013 Texas legislative session (HB 1706); however, a law became effective in Texas in September 2015 that gives rights to breastfeeding public employees (HB 786). In addition, the Affordable Care Act mandates that employers must provide reasonable breaks so breastfeeding mothers can express their milk at work. A private restroom does not comply with the law, it must be a private area that is free from intrusion.