Breastfeeding Mom Who Fought Back Against Shaming Stranger: Response Has Been 'Absolutely Wonderful'
Mom says the response has been 90 percent positive
Conner Kendall had no idea one of her Facebook posts, a response to the man who secretly posted an image of her breastfeeding in public, could go all around the world.
“I never dreamed it would reach so many people,” Kendall, 20, told PEOPLE. “I used to go to school in Indianapolis and I have some friends in Evansville, so I thought if they saw it that would cover half of Indiana and I thought that was fantastic.”
In a lengthy open letter on Facebook, Kendall rebuked the male stranger for “shaming” her when he posted the image asking, “I went [sic] to know if this is appropriate or inappropriate as I’m trying to eat my Fridays, there are little kids around,” according to a screenshot of the post.
(She wrote that she also sent the man her letter directly, in a private message.)
Kendall says she first learned about the post – snapped Wednesday while she ate at a T.G.I. Fridays in Terra Haute, Indiana, with her 4-month-old son, Carter – from another member of a local Facebook group for moms.
“Another member in there was friends with him on Facebook and had saw what he posted,” Kendall says. “She screenshotted his post and posted it on our group page saying, ‘How could someone post this … so disrespectful to take a picture.’ I saw the picture on the group page later that day as I was scrolling through and noticed it was at T.G.I. Fridays and looking closer, I realized it was me!”
“While I in no way, shape, or form owe you any explanation I would like to clarify a few things,” she wrote in her letter. “I did nothing wrong, I turned away to latch my son and pulled my shirt back up when he was finished out of respect for others in the restaurant.”
The response has been “absolutely wonderful,” Kendall tells PEOPLE, and 90 percent positive.
“Surprisingly – to me at least – what negative responses I have seen were mainly from women, and a lot of them are mothers themselves,” she says.
The unidentified man hasn’t responded since his initial “insincere apology” after Kendall sent him her letter, she adds.
She tells PEOPLE she’s been an advocate for breastfeeding rights in the past, “but I didn’t necessarily go to rallies or anything like that.
“I would tell people all the positive things and talk to them about breastfeeding if they asked me.”
As she told the man in her letter, “You’ve inspired me into a call of action. Rest assured, there will be action.”
Now a whole lot of strangers stand behind her.
“Little did I know it would reach people all over the world,” she says.
• Reporting by MARIA MERCEDES LARA