Restaurant Critic Mentions Breastfeeding Mom In Review, Proving Mom-Shaming Will Never End

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shutterstock_141180832__1408111577_142.196.167.223A restaurant critic for the Courier Journal devoted and entire paragraph of her review of a Argentinian steakhouse to shaming the breastfeeding mother at the table next to her. Wow. That’s relevant to the restaurant’s performance. How can this reviewer – a mother no less – actually think this is okay?

Critic Nancy Miller has barely finished describing the decor of the place when she launches into her breastfeeding mom diatribe. From the Courier Journal:

“I’m all for mothers (I am one) and 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.”

This weird departure from the necessary elements of a review is sandwiched between a description of the ambiance and an explanation about Argentina as a world-wide purveyor of delicious beef. It makes no sense. The fact that she even thought to include it is just bizarre. Was she hoping the woman who she was so clearly offended by would read it? Is this the ultimate passive-aggressive move? If it was, I think it worked. This was posted to the newspaper’s online comment section:


Who knows if this is actually the mom, or just an awesome woman standing up for her. I hope it’s the latter, because this is glorious.

Of course Miller took to the site’s Facebook page to explain herself – and of course she didn’t really apologize:

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.

“Sorry, not sorry.” She should’ve just written that.

I’m truly amazed by the number of times I’ve had to write a story like this. It seems like breastfeeding women will never stop being shamed for doing this perfectly natural, perfectly legal thing. That’s okay – I’ll never run out of insults for those who feel the necessity to “school” them.

(photo: chevanon/ Shutterstock)