Crystal Scott, one of the driving forces behind the controversial photos of women in uniform breast-feeding their children, has been fired from her job as an X-Ray technician, according to reports, and the women in the photos have been reprimanded.
Having served in the military herself, Scott now lives on the Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane with her husband, who is on active duty. She is also the spokesperson for Mom2Mom, a support group for breast-feeding on the military base, and she claims that her employers blamed bad media coverage when letting her go.
However, she suspects the decision may really be rooted in a complaint she lodged several weeks ago about gender discrimination.
“I was doing something for the good of people. I feel like our organization is making positive changes for women all over the world. To be punished for something that was good was unfortunate,” she said to Right This Minute in an interview.
The women in uniform, on the other hand, have reportedly been reprimanded for violating a rule stating that military uniforms cannot be used to promote a product or cause.
Though the photos were meant to be released for National Breast-feeding Awareness Week, the Mom2Mom group reiterates that they were never intended to “exploit, promote or to use the military uniform to help [their] group” in any way.
Scott explained: “We love our military. We don’t want to go against them at all.” She only hopes, she added, “that it brings positive changes not only for military but for women across the board to show them they don’t have to hide in the closet.”
Regardless, the images have caused a firestorm of controversy, and have been featured on almost every major news network.
Some supporters maintain that breastfeeding is a “universal right” and the women are incredibly strong to be serving their country as new mothers, while at least one commenter on Facebook compared the photos to “defecating in uniform.”
Mrs. Scott explained to the Daily Mail: “No one can agree on everything and everyone is 100 per cent entitled to their opinion. But to compare breastfeeding to other bodily functions like defecating and urinating? It’s disheartening and saddening.”
According to law, a woman may breastfeed her child in any federal building or on any federal property, but the criticism is more from people who deem it “unprofessional,” rather than illegal.
Amid a flood of Facebook comments, one wrote: “I can’t believe someone would have the audacity to judge or criticize this photo, or any nursing mother. It’s pitiful.”
However, another concluded: “I [was] one of many women who fought long and hard to be accepted and respected as fellow soldiers and the right to wear these uniforms [and] feel shocked [and] angry at these published photos.”