Dear Man In The Office Lactation Room: GTFO
Can you spare a moment? I wanted to talk to you. Are you comfortable? Before I begin, I want to make sure that you are comfortable.Can I get you anything before we start? A glass of water? A glass of Sprite? A cigar?
Anyway, I just wanted to talk to you because...well...I noticed you don't have any breasts. I also noticed that you are a man. And yes, while it's true that transgender moms and dads and people without breasts can lactate, I also noticed that you don't have a breast pump in your hand.
So considering that you're in the office lactation room, I'm wondering why that is.
Forgive me if I'm being rude. I’m just a little shocked that you wandered into this room, where the production and storage of breast milk is literally the entire scope of operations. You see, this room is designed specifically for women who are lactating. See the sign? Look up! It says: "Lactation Room." And yet, here you are, sitting cross-legged on the floor in your Lululemon workout pants, listening to your Headspace guided meditation for the day.
This room is NOT. FOR. YOU. Not all of the spaces in the world are for you.
I realize that you're not the only man to make this mistake. In fact, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is rumored to have used the office lactation room for his own purposes, too. I also realize that this is a large office, and it's not hard to get lost. So let’s do some backtracking and figure out how you got here. Did you get this place confused with somewhere else? Were you trying to get to another conference room?
Wait — what did you say? You knew where you were? And you didn't think anyone was using the room, so you just decided to go in "for a sec"?
Oh, wow. OK. I see how it is.
So you're not confused, and you're not lost. You're just entitled.
Listen to me, son — because that is who you are, someone’s son. (And I guarantee that if I told your mother where you had decided to park your entitled a*s, she would be ashamed of you.)
This room is NOT. FOR. YOU.
Not all of the places in the world are for you.
Your ego doesn’t grant you entry here. Your desire to feed your baby does.
What led you to believe you were allowed to be here, with the working mothers who give their bodies to their babies, even when they are not able to physically be with them? What made you think it was acceptable to take up this space that was meant for mothers?
Think about your female coworkers for a second. We are leaking. We are uncomfortable. Let us tend to our bodies in peace. Let us take care of our children.
Have you ever fed someone from your body? Don’t bother thinking too hard about this, because you almost certainly haven’t. (The time you iced your frat bro by putting a Smirnoff Ice in your butt crack doesn't count.) But try, for a moment, to imagine that you have.
Try to imagine your nipples leaking onto your shirt as you sit on a conference call. Try to imagine your breasts growing heavier and more painful throughout the day. Try to imagine looking at the clock between meetings, waiting for the moment you can finally sneak away for 10 minutes to relieve your discomfort in private. Try to imagine taking out your bloody, swollen, cracked nipples and hooking them up to a humming piece of plastic. Try to imagine counting the drops one by one, trying to determine if you've made enough for your hungry baby.
This might be too much to expect, but think about your female coworkers for a second. We are leaking. We are uncomfortable. Let us tend to our bodies in peace, just like you would want to do for yourself. Let us take care of our children. Because, if you're a father, they're your children, too.
Get out of the room.
GET OUT OF THE ROOM.
Turn the handle. Exit to the left.
AND IF YOU EVER COME BACK IN, I WILL SQUIRT YOU IN THE EYE WITH MY OWN BREAST MILK.
SO GET OUT. AND STAY OUT.