A Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate is drawing praise for a new ad in which she is seen breastfeeding her baby.
Kelda Roys, a former state lawmaker who is competing in the Democratic primary for a shot at Republican incumbent Scott Walker, spends most of the spot discussing her record. Specifically, she focuses on her success in getting the legislature to ban the use of the harmful chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, in baby bottles and sippy cups.
But at one point, the camera cuts to her husband off-screen, trying to calm their fussy infant. Soon, he’s handing Roys the baby, so she can feed it. As she carefully lifts her sweater and coos, the camera zooms in on her face, for a more modest framing—while the voiceover powers on about her efforts to pass the bill.
Roys says she didn’t originally plan to release the footage, thinking they would reshoot after the interruption. Whether that’s true or just savvy positioning doesn’t really matter. The point—that breastfeeding is a perfectly natural act that should be a social non-issue—comes across clearly either way.
It may or may not be a coincidence that Gap also just won accolades for its essentially perfect breastfeeding ad. Regardless, it’s a theme that warrants repeating until nobody blinks. And one reporter, at least, is hailing Roys’s ad as another front in the wave of women fighting back against a misogynistic culture—and generally sorry state of affairs.
“It’s like women looked at the current landscape—riddled as it is with pay disparity, environmental abuse, health care inequity, gun violence, presidential hush payments to a porn actress, rampant sexual harassment across industries—and went: Oh, it’s on,” writes Heidi Stevens in the Chicago Tribune. “We will march in your streets, America. We will run for all the offices. We will breastfeed our babies in clear sight of TV cameras and we will not be shamed.”