This state legislative session has been generous with whacky melodrama. Facebook and other social media outlets have become fertile grounds for all manner of missteps, as lawmakers are free to go rogue. Yesterday, public breast feeding grabbed the spotlight.
State Rep. Debbie Riddle, a Republican from Tomball, is catching some heat for a comment she made on Facebook suggesting that mothers should be “modest” when breast feeding in public. Her post was about House Bill 1706, which is designed to outlaw anyone interfering with or restricting the right of a parent to breast-feed in public. As of now, there are 984 comments reacting to Riddle’s post:
“Legislative Update – House Bill 1706 was brought before a House Committee today – it is about breast-feeding,” she said in her post. “Now, I am all in favor of breast-feeding – however it is important for women to be modest while feeding their baby – and most women are modest and respectful. But, a bill that would allow for lawsuits if one “interfered” with a woman breast feeding is really going a bit far. If a business owner objects to a woman who is not being modest then be fearful of a law suit is government out of control. Most of our laws and bills being considered for law would not be necessary if people would simply be considerate and thoughtful of others. Needless to say – I am not supporting this bill.”
In true Facebook tradition, the masses smelled blood and the comments piled on.
“It is not a breastfeeding mother’s job to protect your delicate sensibilities while attending to her hungry child,” one woman wrote.
“You are a disgrace to women and mothers,” taunted another.
At one point Riddle hid the original post. And one woman posted a picture of herself breastfeeding in the comments of another one of Riddle’s posts.
The post is back up for all to see.
So tune in for tomorrow’s episode of “As the Texas Legislature Turns.”
My guess is that the next “pitched” battle in the leg. will involve HB 177, “relating to housing prisoners in a tent or other facility in lieu of a county jail.”
Gotta love Texas lawmakers. Get your popcorn ready…