One of the most popular pins I have on Pinterest is an editorial cartoon from three years ago, where an official complains about a breastfeeding mother in public while standing in front of a Victoria’s Secret store with a model displaying boobs for commerce. My comment to this obvious irony was an ironic snark: “Nursing a child in front of a Victoria’s Secret store is criminal. Guys don’t need any more help in visualizing boobs.” This week I got a drive-by hate comment regarding this pin, which I promptly deleted as inappropriate.
Here’s the unedited comment from Dee Gee:
Your disgusting. The only one sexualizing a completely innocent act of feeding a baby is YOU! You’re the problem. Not that mother who’s natural instinct to her child crying is feeding her. “Why don’t you pump and bring a bottle? It would make everyone comfortable.” BECAUSE IM NOT GOING TO PUMP FOR 2 DAYS TO MAKE YOU COMFORTABLE FOR 10 FREAKING MINUTES!!!!!!! Ugh! Put a blanket over your own head you sexist.
For the record, I have no problem with breastfeeding in public. I’ve seen mothers use a blanket to cover up while breastfeeding on park benches to mothers who take off their shirts to let it all hang out while breastfeeding on buses. Of course, I live in Silicon Valley. I’m used to dealing with people from different cultures from around the world, speaking languages other than English and behaving in ways that I wouldn’t behave as a white metrosexual.
But I do have a problem with this comment.
The woman who wrote this projected her hatred on to me, calling me disgusting and sexist, and that I was sexualizing a situation I’ve never actually experienced. Why? Because I pointed out the irony of the double standard that exists in the United States regarding public nudity as expressed in the editorial cartoon, where breastfeeding is scandalous behavior but advertising boobs for commerce is not.
Sometimes the irony gets lost on some people who are too literal-minded. It then becomes their God-given right to leave a drive-by hate comment; as if their insights will change anything in America (the rest of the world doesn’t have this puritanical hang-up). The only thing this comment show is how ignorant the person is.
What makes this more interesting is that Dee Gee repinned my pin to one of her boards. She’s probably unaware that I’ve deleted her comment 15 minutes after I received the email notification and 45 minutes after she posted it. Her one and only follower—probably mom—won’t ever see her comment. By repinning my pin without her comment, she is effectively endorsing my ironic snark regarding the underlying situation.
Her “thank you” board is a blend of news items from the right-wing echo chamber that my lily-white, tea-party loving relatives in Idaho send to me all the time. This kind of nonsense since the beginning of the Obama Administration in 2009 is what turned the 2016 presidential election into a reality TV show, dooming the Republican Party to the same fate as the Whig Party in 1848.
As a content creator, I have the God-given power to delete comments willy-nilly. I don’t delete comments unless they are inanely stupid—and this one qualifies. A drive-by hate comment isn’t something I want to promote on Pinterest or anywhere else.
Update 07 August 2016: Not surprisingly, Dee Gee’s Pinterest page went away. I guess mom didn’t like the drive-by hate comments.