Writer Expresses Disgust for Breastfeeding Mom In Restaurant Review

breastfeeding momRestaurant critic Nancy Miller who writes for The Courier-Journal had a very delicious meal at Palermo Viejo, so I've learned. I'm not one to read random restaurant reviews from cities I don't live in or have immediate plans on visiting, but this review of the Louisville, Kentucky, Argentinian eatery caught my attention because Miller not only choose to review the meal, but the meal that another person was having at the table next to her. A baby's meal. A baby who was having breastmilk.

Miller's review starts out raving about the delectable dishes such as fideos al estofado and cerdo con repollo and how she wants to eat eat eat at Palermo Viejo as much as possible. Then she takes up issue with a mother breastfeeding her child right there in the restaurant. 

Miller, who makes certain readers know is also a mom herself, is dining on pork and steak. She's fancy. Having a fancy meal. She's so fancy she doesn't want to use the same fork and knife that she used for her appetizers for her dinner. She's so fancy that she thinks a breastfeeding mother should be draped in blankets. Or a light scarf. Miller cannot handle the sight of a baby enjoying breastmilk and she wanted the mother to cover up. How dare she breastfeed right there in plain sight of her beef?! Perhaps all vegetarians should now start asking Nancy Miller to hide herself beneath a blanket while she enjoys her meat. Perhaps all appetizer forks and knives should run and hide after Nancy uses them for how dare they be re-used on dinner!

Check out all she has to say on this breastfeeding mom, in her review ... for a restaurant:

I'm all for eschewing baby formula for the real thing. But I wish the nursing mother at an adjoining table would have thought to bring a cover-up or would not have assumed that other diners would welcome being that close to what is undeniably a natural and loving bonding experience. However, Palermo Viejo is the kind of place where guests feel comfortable to be themselves and revel in the togetherness that's fostered by a much beloved neighborhood restaurant. That's a good thing, but so is a cover-up.

I love the use of eschewing there. The impersonal feel of the word is a dead giveaway that Miller is one of the more than half of Americans who think breastfeeding is obscene. Just the use of that word tells me that. Her use of the words "natural and loving bonding experience" won't make up for the fact she mentions "cover-up" twice. In her mind, Palermo Viejo just isn't the kind of place to breastfeed. Kentucky law, however, says that a mother can breastfeed wherever and whenever baby is hungry. And that no person can interfere with that mother and child's right. Maybe Miller can eschew on that. Moms deserve respect, especially from other moms. If she didn't like the sight of it, maybe she should keep her eyes on her estofado.

Miller, realizing that breastfeeding moms and those who support us aren't happy about this, typed out an explaination on her Facebook page in what Mommyish writer Maria Guido calls a "sorry, not sorry" apology. Agree. Wrote Miller:

I am not advocating that mothers avoid going out in public while breastfeeding. I wholeheartedly support the law that states they have the right to do so, but I do not think it is unreasonable to assume that not everyone wants to watch it. Nor was I advocating placing baby and breast under several layers of blankets. A scarf would do the trick and wouldn’t affect the baby in the least.     

Several people called for me to apologize to the mother, other nursing mothers and, I assume, breasts in general. Since I did not shame or attack the mother, there is no apology needed and I don’t offer one.  

Well then. Here is just another fine example of human beings being discriminatory and unapologetic about it to others. I also need to point out that there is a chance that Miller received a free meal because she is a restaurant reviewer, while the breastfeeding mother at the table next to her was a paying customer. A little human decency and kindness goes a long way. There was no reason for Miller to thinly-veil her disgust over the sight of a woman breastfeeding in her restaurant review. The Courier-Journal should be embarrassed. I think this is a fine opportunity for Palermo Viejo to issue a statement -- not that they were directly involved, but their name is associated with this incident due to Miller's review. It is an Argentinian eatery, and Argentinian women are known to very openly breastfeed without anyone thinking it's unusual, obscene, or necessary to cover up.

Breastfeeding moms, I hope, are not dissuaded from breastfeeding in public. We deserve respect. We have rights. Our babies deserve to eat just like everyone else with everyone else.

What do you think of this reviewer's choice to include the breastfeeding mother in her review?


Image via Caitlin Regan/Flickr

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Movie... Moviebuff

Oh well people need to get over it.

IKnow... IKnow0101

Well I agree with her. No matter where you at I think it's appropriate to have a light cover up. I may be old fashion but I don't think everyone should be looking at your business.

AliPa... AliParker

I didn't read this while article because, well we all know the just of what it said. But I read what she wrote and she was polite and seriously just stating her opinion. Which as much as some breast feeding moms hate to acknowledge, she is very welcome and free to have. She didn't bash her or call her names or throw a blanket at her. I breast fed both of my children as newborns and I plan to with the one I'm currently pregnant with. But I would never just whip out my nipple and think "get over it". I have more respect for myself and the other human beings around me. This is another great reason why people love to hate breast feeding moms. They take a persons personal opinion and blow it up into a big "I will do what I want where I want, I don't care about others, get over it" argument. You're not entitled to acting like a brat because you breast feed.

Snapp... SnappleQueen

Meh. She needs to get over it and you, Michele, are being absurdly sensitive. She never suggested the woman should be stopped. She simply stated her opinion on breastfeeding without a cover. Sheesh. 

nonmember avatar Stacy

Wow! To have the audacity to actually approach a complete stranger just to give her YOUR PERSONAL OPINION shows loud and clear what kind of woman you are. KLASSY. (Yes, classy with a K) Did it even cross this self-absorbed woman's mind that nobody asked for her opinion, because nobody cared about her opinion. So quick to judge a mother feeding her infant. If you don't want to see it, stop looking. It's that simple. If I had been the woman whom you had the balls to approach, I would have broken suction and sprayed you directly in your face. So count your lucky stars that the woman you had no right to approach has CLASS, and won't engage with trash or lower herself to your level. I commend her for the way she handed this situation. I'm proud of her and I pray her husband is proud, supportive, and obviously grasps what a real, true woman is. To all women, be the loving mother, woman, wife, daughter, friend and person that you are. Don't let the downers get you down. They are jealous and insecure that they are not half the woman you are, no matter how hard they have tried to be. Just smile and keep on going. From one woman/mother/wife to another.

nonmember avatar candice

I'm offended by the fact that this critic critiqued a patron, and not solely the establishment. The breastfeeding patron will not always be there for every other diner to experience, and should not have been included in the review of the restaurant. The critic used her platform to be petty, and retracted from the validity of her critique of the restaurant. If I was either the restaurant owner or her employer, I would be disgusted at the lack of professionalism she has shown,simply by going off-topic and ranting.

deku deku

Once again AliParker has hit the nail on the head. Other people have feelings too. Period. Their feelings cannot be made less valid then your own. If you can't respect me how can you expect me to respect you? It is not the end of the world or an attack on breastfeeding to ask that moms use a cover in public. It is common courtesy and respect.



And Stacy, I'm really not sure what being "jealous and insecure" has to do with having the courtesy to use a cover while breastfeeding in public. And yes, I exclusively breastfed my son and will do the same with the baby I'm currently carrying. But I will, and always have, used a cover in public. For me personally, my breasts are a very private part of my body reserved for my husband and feeding my babies. No one else needs to see them. Period.

Corey Kepple

As a mom who breastfeeds in public without a cover (gasp!) I can tell you that when it does happen I could not care less how you feel about it. Not only do I not care, if you said something to me I would tell you exactly where to shove it. So sick of these uptight women who think they are so important everyone else should bow to them. If it doesnt kill you I DONT CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK.

nonmember avatar Zainab Arzoo

I agree i myself am a mother who breastfeeds and i dont have problem with where i breastfeed i prefer to just wrap up with a scarf for my own sanity,y wud i want people staring at my breasts for?

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