The Courier-Journal has posted Nancy Miller's comments regarding her recent review of Palermo Viejo. While enjoying a plate of beef, Miller had observed a "nursing mother" at a neighboring table and, though noting the act is "undeniably a natural and loving bonding experience," wished the woman "would have thought to bring a cover-up." Miller's review went on to say:
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.Somehow nursing mothers received the wrong message from this passage, and have taken to Twitter, Facebook and the Courier-Journal's comment section to express their dismay. After several hours, Miller responded to the criticism of her criticism. An "Editor's note" offers the explanation that the "relevance to the review was that the restaurant's atmosphere is conducive to a mother feeling comfortable with her baby." After that awkwardly worded "Editor's" note, Miller pens her own response, which is somewhat less than apologetic.
Here is Miller's response in its entirety:
My review of Palermo Viejo that appears in today's Courier-Journal has piqued the ire of quite a few readers who vilified me for "shaming" the mother who was breastfeeding at the restaurant.· Restaurant review: Palermo Viejo [Courier-Journal]
In no way did I shame the mother. I did, however, suggest that other diners might not "welcome being that close to what is undeniably a natural and loving bonding experience." Never did I mention shame nor did I intend it even though a considerable number of people are insisting that was my intention.
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.
Many of those same people said I should put a blanket or towel over my head when I eat in a restaurant. I'm planning on going out to dinner tonight. Their comments give an entirely new meaning to the question, "What to wear?"
· Twitter messages addressed to Nancy Miller [Twitter]