Nurse-In at the Hirshhorn

Dozens of women exposed their breasts in the halls of the Smithsonian’s contemporary art museum, the Hirshhorn, this past Saturday.

It wasn’t some sort of avant-garde artistic statement – it was a modern-day civic protest against the idea that breastfeeding in public could be considered indecent.

Nurse-In at the Hirshhorn
A mother breastfeeds her baby during a quiet moment in front of an Edward Hopper painting.

It all started on January 30th, when a mom from Rockville, Maryland was nursing her infant daughter while sitting on a bench in the Hirshhorn. She was told by a museum security guard that she couldn’t breastfeed in public, and was instructed to move to the ladies’ room.

After not finding a place to sit in the restroom, and being told to stop breastfeeding by yet another security guard, she and her family ultimately gave up on their day at the museum and went home.

But like any good Washingtonian, she decided to go on the Internet and find out her rights.

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