Lactivists v. Facebook

It’s snowing here, but here’s a little piece of news that will warm the cockles of your heart.  As we all know, there was a big stink over at Facebook awhile ago when they banned the pictures of nursing mothers, which then led to the formation of the facebook group Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is Not Obscene, which served as an official petition and currently has 50,000+ members.  However, not content with merely joining a facebook group, breastfeeding mother Heather Farley actually organized a breastfeeding protest outside the Palo Alto headquarters of Facebook on December 28th while visiting her family in the Bay Area.  Good for her!  The world needs more nurse-ins, and this is a perfect example of an online protest moving out of the world of blogs and into the real world.

While Facebook maintains that breastfeeding photos are okay, it does have a no-nipple no-areola policy, and will remove photos that other users indicate as obscene, which is apparently what happened with the breastfeeding photos that were originally removed.  I still don’t understand how photos of teenagers clad in lingerie are acceptable while photos of breastfeeding babies are not.  While some people argue that this is for the protection of the women and babies from predators, I really think what it does is send the message that public breastfeeding is not acceptable.  It seems like any use of the breast for anything other than sexual gratification is what’s considered obscene.  In our sex-drenched culture, sexy women in lingerie won’t even make us bat an eyelash, but a baby taking sustenance from a breast….that’s obscene.  How can breastfeeding not be considered “family-friendly”?  It’s the very essence of family friendly — it’s feeding and nourishing said family.  And for the folks who wonder why people would want to even take a photo of a nursing baby in the first place…just look at all the photos taken of babies with bottles in their mouths.  It’s cute, and as a parent, I can only imagine that there’s something very satisfying and fulfilling about watching your baby eat.  Babies are born to breastfeed, and it’s not obscene.  Anyway, kudos to the lactivists of California for making their real world presence felt outside the Facebook headquarters this holiday season.

And with that, I’m off for the rest of the year.  See you next year!

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