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Breastfeeding Assault

Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Leonard and Peter and Scenes from the Life of Saint Peter (between ca. 1265 and ca. 1290) – Magdalen Master

It’s just a cartoon by Cecília Ramos we shared on our social pages, but it looks like it really happened. And maybe the author was inspired just by this episode for her short story. We are in 2016, in Stockton, West Virginia, where a woman, Wanda Rogers, was arrested because a man was yelling at her to “put her damn tits away” while she was in public, and she retaliated by squirting him in the face.

“This is a simple assault, yes, but an assault none-the-less,” said police chief Joel Chambers. “Mr. Marks was ‘extremely embarrassed’ by the incident, and even though he’s a jerk for yelling at her in the first place, it was his right to press charges and have her arrested.”

Breastfeeding – Cecília Ramos

According to witnesses, it was Marks who should have been arrested.

“He saw that poor mom sitting there on the park bench, minding her own business, feeding her baby, and he went right up to her and started screaming in her face, calling her a bad mother,” said Mary Lambert, a witness to the incident. “He was yelling and calling her names, and the baby started crying, and I think the poor mom just lost it.”

“I didn’t think it was a big deal. This giant douche was yelling in my face, and was scaring my baby, so I simply squeezed a bit, and shot some milk in his face,” said Rogers, who at the time was a nursing student. “It didn’t hurt him, it just caught him off guard. My lord, it’s just milk. Maybe if his momma had breastfed him, he wouldn’t be such a jerk.”

Mary squirting breast milk onto the eager lips of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (he was praying before a statue of Our Lady when the miracle reportedly happened) was considered a holy image, whereas today it would likely provoke tittering, and frat boy puns.

Rogers was held for 24 hours and let go on $350 bail.

Of course, everyone is free to have their own opinion on the matter. However, considering that the Nursing Madonna, for instance, was a common type in painting until the change in atmosphere after the Council of Trent — 1545 —, and that at that time St. Bernard Receiving Milk from the Virgin Mary was considered a holy subject, we like to end with the words by certified lactation consultant Norma Escobar, who defines the current common sense of discomfort with breastfeeding as a consequence of a “purely cultural belief”: “In a society where breasts are seen as sexual,” she said, “the sight of a baby feeding at a breast can seem inappropriate.”

Virgin Mary squirting milk on Saint Bernard of Clairvaux – Unknown

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