März 3, 2020
They should start by not firing women who want to breastfeed
For International Women’s Day, we have interviewed five amazing women, who we admire, to learn more about what their thoughts are about motherhood, empowerment and how we can strive for equality.
Say hi to Sophie, a badass feminist, and successful photographer and Director that last fall held an exhibition called “I didn’t want to be a mum”. Today she works on new projects and we have had to privilege to interview her.
What’s the best part of being a mum?
The love you feel towards your child and the love you get from them. There is nothing else like it. The idea that you could take a bullet for someone is something pretty strong that you don’t experience unless you are a parent. It’s beautiful.
How can the world be better at empowering women and strive for equality?
They should start by not firing women who want to breastfeed. In a recent piece for Creative Review, I wrote about being turned down for a job because I needed to breastfeed my daughter and I questioned the creative industries’ commitment to true equality.
The story goes like this: I had won a job from a large advertising agency in London. An agency, in fact, that bleeds hashtag feminism in many pieces of its work. After winning the job and mentioning that my daughter would be with me during the lunch break to feed, I was told it wouldn’t be possible and I lost the job. This made me feel insecure and unempowered rather than ready to take on a job. It made me angry because, like many working mothers, I am instantly judged not by my work and awards and past successes but the baby on my hip. I don’t think I would have written the article if it was just an isolated event. It happened many times during my breastfeeding journey. And my story is not specific to breastfeeding, but this issue is bigger than boobs.
Whether you breastfeed, pump or formula feed, options for mothers returning to work are extremely limited. In a society that craves female representation, workplaces need to ask themselves if they are designed for the realities of motherhood.
We should normalize it. Half of the entire world’s population has been doing it for thousands of years. We need people – men and women – to recognize breastfeeding for what it is: a normal part of life.
Similarly, to I Didn’t Want To Be a Mum, I didn’t really expect so many reactions. It was not about naming and shaming, but saying this shouldn’t exist. Now this article is out there, and the issue has been recognized; hopefully, women won’t have to experience what I have been going through.
What does your Birth Poster mean to you?
It’s such a beautiful idea and concept. It’s a way to stop time and remember how our babies were the moment they were brought into the world. It goes so quickly it’s hard to remember how small they were. You know that feeling when you look at clothes they used to wear and you can hardly believe (and remember) they were that small before. It’s also as much for us as for them to see how much they have grown. It’s a beautiful proof for them to cherish for the rest of their lives.