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Somerset Mall in Troy Michigan Bans Nursing in Public–Wins Asshole of the Week Award

December 21, 2011

Women had gathered to organize a flash mob of breastfeeding moms in Somerset Collection, a mall in Troy, Michigan, when they were told by a security guard that the mall doesn’t allow women to breastfeed in public.  There are so many issues with this guard’s approach:

  1. Women are allowed to breastfeed in public in Michigan. (Michigan, while not having a law specifically protecting the rights of those wishing to breastfeed in public, does state that a nursing mom is exempt from public nudity or indecent exposure citations when feeding her child.)
  2. Women are allowed to breastfeed in public in Somerset Collection (but for some reason the security guard didn’t see it that way).
  3. Somerset Collection doesn’t allow flash mobs, but it does allow security to approach  nursing mothers…

There is another article about the nursing mothers at Somerset in which the nursing mom talks about Somerset’s reaction:

“Clearly, feeding your child a meal is offensive to do in the rest of this part of the mall, even though according to the state of Michigan, it’s permissible and encouraged,” Napoli said.

Edward Nakfoor, spokesperson for The Somerset Collection, said in a statement issued Sunday evening that the mall does allow breastfeeding, though it does not allow “demonstrating or protesting of any kind, as we are private property.”

(Note that this is at odds with what security told the would-be nursing moms, that they don’t allow breastfeeding “in public”…)

“I am extremely disappointed in the sheer ignorance of Somerset Collection,” said lactation consultant Brandy Walters, who was present when the flash mob was dispelled. “I know the breastfeeding community will be supporting Mary.”

It’s a bit like the Occupy Wallstreet movement, with strength in numbers and following the letter of the law only to be pushed by the interpretation of it. You can watch video of the encounter below…

Of course, I did find this video for a flash mob done at Somerset Collection, but it has nothing to do with nursing, so apparently Somerset believes only in disallowing flash mobs for nursing mothers:

Actually, if you look at the above video, it’s shot in the exact same spot the nursing moms attempted to use.

Here is another flash mob video shot at Somerset Mall, still including kids, but not nursing kids.  Nursing kids are not allowed at Somerset Mall:

Seems Somerset Mall spokespeople and security guards are liars, as proven by YouTube.  Somerset Mall:  you win the asshole of the week award!

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