So it sounds like you were given good information...to a point, and then someone interjected a silly opinion not based in fact.
If I had a toddler complain about me taking a butter knife from her so she couldn't stick it in an electrical outlet...well, too bad so sad little one! And if a toddler complained about rear facing (And my fairly extensive experience is is that they DON'T unless parents put it into their heads that they SHOULD), my response would be the same.
Kids are perfectly comfortable rear facing, and can see plenty. And even if they felt cramped and couldn't see a thing, that's still not a justification to turn forward facing considering the absolutely horrid potential results.