A woman has been shamed by a shopping centre after she wrote a Facebook post explaining that she was unable to find somewhere to breastfeed her baby.
By way of a response to her post staff suggested the woman take her “home chores” elsewhere.
Following a visit to the South City Mall in Kolkata, India earlier this week the woman took to social media to reveal how an employee at the mall had suggested she go to the toilets to breastfeed her baby, an idea she described as ‘disgusting’.
In a now deleted response, the manager of the Facebook page commented to suggest the woman should have planned her day better.
“Funny how you found this to be an issue because breastfeeding is not allowed on the floor for a number of reasons,” the response, which was shared on social media before it was deleted, read.
“In case of emergency we can make arrangements to help someone but certainly [sic] this big place that we have is meant for shopping so with all due respect madam, please make sure you do your home chores at your home and not in the mall or at least plan it beforehand [sic].”
“It’s not like your baby needs to be breastfed at any moment,”the response continued before going on to say that they needed to protect other shoppers.
“We cannot compromise the privacy of other people in public places can we?”
Unsurprisingly Twitter wasn’t that impressed with the reaction of the mall.
#SouthCityMall, whoever wrote the comment on your behalf needs to be reminded that he/she must have had mother’s milk. This is an absolute disgrace and you guys must immediately apologize to the young mother. It’s the least you can do. pic.twitter.com/bos7mzPTqc
— Nirupam Muhuri (@nirupammuhuri) November 29, 2018
Dear South City Mall, whichever company you have outsourced your social media to, is definitely not helping improve your brand image. Is this how you reply to customers? Is misogyny something you endorse? Such a crass, sexist comment is this! #Shame on you #BoycottSouthCityMall pic.twitter.com/OXzULzvYyE
— Agnivo Niyogi (অগ্নিভ নিয়োগী) (@Aagan86) November 28, 2018
Following the backlash a spokesperson for the mall has since published an apology via a statement on its Facebook page.
The spokesperson explains that the centre does cater for breastfeeding mothers, but the baby changing room is being renovated at the moment.
“We still apologies for inconvenience caused to the concern patron despite all the amenities available at Mall,” they wrote. “We never intend to hurt anyone’s sentiment and/or disrespect.”
Dear Patrons,We had made an unconditional apology for the remark/comment made by our agency in accordance to the…
Speaking to the Times of India, the mall’s vice president Manmohan Bagri explained that the response was written by an employee of an external agency that manages the mall’s social media platforms.
“The rude and aggressive reply was posted without our consent. We have removed the agency,” he told the publication.
Despite the apology breastfeeding supporters have continued to bombard the mall’s social media feeds with comments, with some even calling for a boycott of the centre.
“Being mother of a breastfed child, I find your mentality and action towards another mother absolutely disgusting and loathsome,” one user wrote on Facebook.
“I henceforth boycott South City mall forever, and will prohibit all of my friends and family to go there. your futile and cheap attempt to cover up the issue by continuously posting promo ads is not fooling anybody, guys.”
“#shamesouthcitymall you should be ashamed of yourself, not allowing breastfeeding in your mall. I am boycotting you forever,” another wrote.
“South City Mall you called a baby’s need to have her/his meal a “Home chore” and gave the poor woman a stinking toilet to feed her baby in. Would any of YOU eat your meal in a toilet? Would you? And what gives you the right to not “allow” breast feeding? [sic] If an infant wanting lunch or dinner is prohibited, perhaps your mall shouldn’t have food courts and/or restaurants going by the same logic. Please be more empathetic and considerate towards people, ESPECIALLY mothers.”
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