Typically, Molly Forthright's advice column in Fort Worth, Texas Magazine goes completely unnoticed by the Internet. Her insights on proper gym etiquette, obnoxiously over-involved sports parents, and snoring husbands garnered nary a comment or Facebook share.
Then, Forthright went and wrote about breastfeeding, and the Internet exploded.
In the column she penned for the March issue, Forthright responds to a reader who complains of being distracted by a woman in a neighboring pew at church who began nursing her infant midway through the service.
Forthright begins with a simple "Ick" before going on to elaborate.
"I know that many think a woman providing nourishment to her baby is a beautiful and natural thing, but putting on a show in the house of the Lord is unacceptable in my book," she writes. "In fact, I can't think of a place in public where I would want to ever see that. So for those women out there who bare all at the mall food court or in line at the supermarket, consider waiting until you can be a little more discreet."
She then goes on to lump breastfeeding in with clipping fingernails, having a really irritating country music ring tone, and smuggling Big Macs to a Broadway performance of Les Mis.
Cue backlash in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
"What do you think Jesus' mother did when she had him?" one commenter wonders. "Did she hide in shame? Most likely not. Pretty sure she went to church and breastfed when he was hungry."
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SHOW ME HOW
And another: "The discriminatory statement, 'Ick', is appalling and offensive. God did not sexualize breasts, humans did. If God had an issue with breastfeeding then he wouldn't have made breasts a source of nutrition."
And another: "It's appalling that you would compare breastfeeding in a public place of worship to clipping toenails ... [Y]our disdain for the practice is offensive. And really? Your advice is for me to take off my shoes and practice hygiene in response?! Shameful."
And so on. WFAA's ran a story on the controversy on its website last night, which jumped the shark just a little when reporter Jobin Panicker asked the magazine's owner if he plans to apologize and quoted an anonymous minister who thinks breastfeeding doesn't belong in his sanctuary. But the story does include the helpful news that the La Leche League is staging a nurse-in at Fort Worth Magazine's headquarters on Friday.
That should teach them a valuable lesson: writing dismissively about breastfeeding is a helluva way to get pageviews.