Facebook Says Public Breastfeeding is Obscene

Facebook bans breastfeeding photos, in case you’ve missed all the hullabaloo lately. Is public breastfeeding really obscene? Facebook seems to think so. At least, posting photos of nursing your child can get you removed from Facebook altogether. AllFacebook.com reported Monday that Facebook warned user Heather Farley to remove a photo of her breastfeeding her child. Farley emailed Facebook requesting an explanation.

“When Facebook didn’t respond to Farley’s email, she posted another photo and was threatened by Facebook to have her account deleted. This is when things got ugly—for Facebook, at least. Once Farley went public with her complaint against Facebook, stating that she felt bullied. So she protested.”

Facebook users posting breastfeeding photos like Farley have been warned to remove the “offensive” photos or risk losing their Facebook account. At the time of this posting, 83,000+ Facebook users have joined the Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene! group to petition Facebook to stop harassing users with breastfeeding photos and to possibly change their TOS (terms of service) to make room for these motherly expressions.

There’s a much larger issue at stake here. One which neither Farley nor Facebook have the power to change. But the handling of this online situation and the attention it will bring could at least make the public aware of the issue on a level that is more open and honest than you’ll get by hearing some random bitter person’s opinion at the local Starbucks.

Why do people react so strongly to public breastfeeding? What is REALLY at issue here?

Sexual Confusion
Men and women alike have abysmally poor role models in their parents, extended family, and teachers. Men are taught by example to view breasts as a intensely sexual parts of the female body. They are one of the hottest visual hotspots on a woman. Many men face a sort of sexual confusion when their wives or girlfriends first breastfeed a baby.

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These parts of the body that were once dedicated solely to gratify their sexual desire now give off a very non-sexual, motherly vibe, and the men go into shock. That whole oedipal thing still hasn’t gotten sorted out by the male gender, and reminders that the very object of our highest affection is not really ours, but a highly functional and amazing tool for feeding and comforting children has some of us all out of sorts.

Many childless women (and some mothers) react much the same way. They have been taught by the fashion magazines, Hollywood, high school, and all of American culture to view their breasts as male magnets. Women are taught by example to identify with their bodies in a singular, sexual fashion, rather than in the simultaneously dualistic sexual/motherly/nurturing fashion.

Simply put, public breastfeeding is a slap in the face of American glam culture, centered around airbrushing, Photoshop, yoga-like contortions, and expensive lighting. We are earthy, natural creatures after all, and no amount of denial and avoidance will change that fact.

Everyone trying to look, act, and live like they have the perfect enviable life want nothing to do with what they consider to be the basest of human functions. But we are doing ourselves a grave disservice to look down on public nursing as something crude, obscene, or improper. Breastfeeding is one of the most miraculous processes known to humanity, involving scientific and psychological marvels you haven’t even imagined yet.

On the other hand, there is something a bit artificial about a woman’s insistence on showing her baby nursing in a photo. What is the point? Someone said that it’s no different than showing a photo of your baby drinking from a bottle. Okay. I understand that perspective. But I don’t want to see a photo of a baby drinking a bottle either. You don’t need a photo of me with a forkload of spaghetti in my mouth, do you?

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This is where we need to find balance. The REAL issue is whether a woman breastfeeding in the line of sight of others is obscene and improper, to which I must decidedly say no, it isn’t. It is good, healthy, and natural for a woman to nurse.

A woman dedicated to nursing her child has every right to participate in the events of life, and should not be banished from the world because she takes the time and effort to feed her baby with the most nutritious and emotionally comforting food possible. 

Still, what’s with the photos? I don’t get it. In the real world, I can notice a woman breastfeeding and decide not to stare and ogle her in a sexual way. When I visit your Facebook profile, your pic is staring me in the face and saying, “See! My breast! Look at it! Look at it, but don’t think of it as you would normally think of a breast.”

Then again, maybe my personal understanding of breasts is still far too limited. Perhaps I need an awakening. Perhaps we all need a Breastfeeding Renaissance. 

Let me break this down into the simplest possible way I know how:

We should be VERY cautious to relegate wholesome, intimate, natural, healthy, and beneficial parts of humanity into something less… something repulsive. If you want to show your breast in a nursing photo, be my guest. But I don’t want to visit your page because I don’t need to look at it. However, anyone looking disdainfully at women loving their babies the most natural way possible is missing out on a critical natural

A woman does not deserve to be punished for being a good mother. And public ridicule, disgust, or contempt are unnaceptable displays of cruelty towards this, our most sacred act of nurturing life and the hope of our tomorrow.

 

72 Comments

  1. Chris Dymond

    Breastfeeding is completely natural, but of course so is having sex or defacating, so the ‘natural’ argument is not a great one. The argument should be about feeding an infant and again, that’s not a black and white issue as it depends on the age of the child (to me anything older than about 2 is starting to get a bit suspect).

    The problem seems to be to be nothing to do with breastfeeding, but to do with nudity, and there are no universal norms as individual cultures have vastly differing attitudes to nudity. So the real issue is whether facebook is an American service, and therefore is justified in reflected norms as they are socially negotiated in the States, or a global service in which case the facebook community itself needs to negotiate its own norms.

    For the record I voted ‘other’ in the poll, as I have no issue whatsoever with women breastfeeding in public (I grew up in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, where public nudity is common). So I have no reason to admire or celebrate the act.

     
  2. Whether or not breastfeeding is acceptable in public, you’re bound by whatever terms and rules the website puts into place. They have a right to tell you take it down.

    If you don’t like their stance on it, don’t use their site.

     
  3. I’ve written extensively about the liberation of breastfeeding from the jaws of obscenity (most recently here: http://www.badassdad.com/2008/12/open-letter-to-childrens-television.html). I think that it’s disgusting that a place like Facebook can’t accept something so intrinsic to being human, yet it’s perfectly fine for users to flaunt themselves in any sexual manor, promote porn sites, and everything else they do there.

    Matthew here is one of so many people of my generation (and the ones after mine) who are so willing to accept a policy as a golden rule because “It’s a company making money” and that “you don’t have to use it.” Why shouldn’t a complaint be registered? Why should we let huge media conglomerates like the one that own Facebook get away with making something as normal as breastfeeding seem lewd? Mathew, grow up, take a critical look at the world around you, and stop rolling over for every bigwig who wants to make a buck off of you.

     
  4. Why should I not respect their policy? If they deem it offensive, they have every right to their opinion.

    Sure, we can all state our opinions. There’s no problem with that. There is, however, a problem with expecting someone else to cater to your every desire.

    Sol, grow up, take a critical look at the world around you, and realize that your opinions aren’t the only ones that matter.

     
  5. Wow. It’s getting a little heated in here. I can see both of your opinions as legitimate. On the one hand, a company has the right to determine what is permissible on their website. On the other hand, doesn’t a website depending solely on user generated content such as Facebook, MySpace, and others have a responsibility to hear their users’ opinions and respond respectfully to them?

    After all, Facebook is nothing without user generated content. It is functionality with no content value. A company depending so heavily on the users for quality and value should be much more responsive to these types of issues.

    In the end, Facebook probably won’t suffer unless enough people disagree with its Terms of Service.

    Trust me, a company’s reputation may take years to erode, but it is possible that an issue like this be one step towards a major reputation crisis.

    I just hoped to bring the topic to light and discuss the different sides. I don’t actually want to see photos of breastfeeding, but I think most people’s reaction is based on a stigma that I don’t agree with either.

     
  6. The US government does not deem breastfeeding obscene. A woman has the right to breastfeed her child wherever she has a right to be. So Facebook (and Livejournal, for that matter) are in essence drafting their own obscenity law. Disneyland doesn’t have the right to make a woman not breastfeed around others, so neither should Facebook, virtual or not.

    What if Facebook said socks were obscene, or Pepsi, or shaved heads, or Louisianans, or freedom of speech? None of that would be acceptable. Breastfeeding, a natural act of human nurturing, is protected under the ninth amendment–this should hold true for any company running a business in America, regardless of their policy.

     
  7. First let me say that I’m not making a joke by saying this, but your poll leaves out the people that Facebook made the ruling to block and/or protect. As such, the poll doesn’t show whether or not Facebook may have had a valid reason for these removing pictures: Namely that some (many? most?) people that look at breast feeding pictures on Facebook do so because the pictures show breasts.

    And I think your first choice:
    I applaud women who breastfeed in public. It’s natural.

    Should be split into two choices. And I’m curious to see if the second option catches up even though it was added late. The wording can be non-explicit.

    You could use something like these two choices:
    I applaud women who breastfeed in public. It’s natural.
    I applaud women who breastfeed in public. I say the more the merrier!

     
  8. Excellent point, Brian. I did leave out at least one or two possible segments of people. Though I don’t know who Facebook is protecting. I guess you’re saying that Facebook protects these same women from pervy creeps?

    Or is there another group needing protection from seeing the photos? I’m not sure. I see no need to protect women from being seen by those looking for pictures of breasts if the women are the ones to volunteer their pics. They are obviously willing to risk being seen as sexual objects exposed. Then again, I guess it all still depends on whether the photos themselves are appropriate.

    I don’t see a big enough difference between the two choice examples you offered to warrant updating the poll. Maybe if you clarify.

     
  9. Breastfeeding, although it involves breasts, isn’t sexual. Hell, in many states, women are aloud to walk around topless any time they want.

    Any time you post pictures on the net, you risk having pervs use them for sexual satisfaction. Anyone posting pictures should understand that. That doesn’t deter some people from celebrating their breastfeeding relationship online any way they choose.

     
  10. I am really disappointed with facebooks stuffy attitude in this regard. I am in strong support of women who (at first exclusively) breastfeed their children; the resilience it takes and the profound beauty in encouraging the emotional and physical nurturing process have no equal in life experience, especially in at least the first two most formative years of a childs life. What with nutrition problems in the world, initiatives should be in active support… And a women should be allowed to decide what works for her (practically) for this very normal act of motherhood. Some choices are culturally relative or depend on personal comforts. ‘Modesty’ is a relative concept. But when we start ascribing shallow labels, then we complicate the matter. And we choose one more reason to make women feel ashamed of their bodies. I know of some cultures wherein the women cover their breasts at the time of feeding because they believe that a child is calmer that way (without distraction); some as a choice of modesty, etc. Discretion be left to the mother, I say. I doubt any women would walk around a shopping mall topless with baby on her hip just to make things ‘easier’ for feeding time.

    Come on, facebook… Surely there are real battles to fight? Don’t make this one of them!

     
  11. This is an issue confused in western tradition and morality as well as male biology and femaile security.

    1. Babies have a right to eat. Its a basic NEED. If someone posted a pic of them eating spaghetti, it wouldn’t be banned from facebook, even if most people wouldn’t want to look at it. So why should pics of a woman feeding baby be banned? Well, yes, as Daniel mentioned, because of the breast-as-sexual-object argument. We don’t really want pictures of penises and vaginas all over facebook, or it would be pornbook, so breast, as an inbetweener is really like a raven. Trickster raven. Trickster breast. Is it sexual charged object obscene and porn? Is it nice natural baby food neutral and ok?

    Ah, those tricksters like to confuse us and throw us in tizzies! Who would think that soft happy harmless breasts could bee oh so sneaky?

    2. Breast as sexual object ties into the western tradition of seeing sexuality as being obscene. Boob by itself – obscene. Boob with baby – not obscene. Is that the line? I can see how this line could be abused by people seeking to push the limits of obsenity.

    So where is the line? Maybe we need to think about the line in terms of context rather than only content. Boob with baby in sexually suggestive photoshopped pic, obscene? Boob with baby in a real case of mother feeding child and celebrating nursing, not obscene?

    I also think women posting like this is kind of like gay pride parade. The point is that women have not had this right, and they are touchy about it, and for good reason — it is still and issue. Facebook case in point. So they post the pics and source out where they get ostracized. It’s not a bad tactic actually.

    3. Male biology, female security

    When I was younger I used to think that women = men in terms of sexual behaviour, but cultural factors lead to way more men being stalkerish than women. Now, I’m not so sure. Seems research shows men are highly responsive to imagery, and it often physiologically hits them in more than the gut. So, for men, seeing image of boob, even with baby, hard to swallow with all that boob-as-sexual-object conditioning, plus their inclination to be sooooo responsive to such conditioned-sexual-imagery in a sexual way.

    The issue for women arrises if this imagery brings out primitive-hunter-stalker man, so then you get people thinking that women shuldn’t breast feed in public “for their own safety”.

    Well, to me that harkens of the chador/black long dress/face wrap thing in some cultures, and I, for one, do NOT want to go down that slippery slope…

    5. Solutions?

    I have a story. A few years ago I went to Hawaii and met some new friends. Now, one of these friends happened to have breast implants… really really BIG breast implants. (Did you get that? REALLY really big.) They were soooo big, it was actually physically HARD to talk to this girl without your eyes beign drawn down by what seemed like an actualy gravitational force of the mass of her chest. You would have to force your face and eyes to try and look at her face when chatting, and not falling into the gravity well.

    At first that it.

    The amazing thing is that after a week of knowing this person, being aroudn her in bikinis, tshirts, dresses etc… the effect, once rather alarming, WENT AWAY. It was no big deal any more. Her breasts blended into the landscape and didn’t set off all the neuologcial alarms that had previously been set to view such large breastal-appendages as freaks of nature to be oogled at.

    Moral of the story. Transformation.

    We are in transformation. Women are now allowed to breast feed in public, and they will continue to do so, and it will continue to set off alarms along the way until we acclimate and then go back to business as usual.

    The thing is though, it’s probably harder for men to come unhooked from their imagery-associated conditioning about boobs n such. So we also need to go gently into that good night as women and not be tooooo hard on the guys. The high instances of “strange” things that peeps often hold as fetishes is testament to the strength of such conditioning, so it will take time for guys in a culture to get used to boob-as-baby-food. The testament that men can get used to it? Look at aboriginal tribes that walk around half naked all the time. You see it every day in broad daylight, just like the triple D breasts in my above story, you get used to it.

    6. Special points

    My own views. Having had three kids (all breastfed), I completely agree with the view that breastfeeding in public should be ok. I wont go into all the reasons, but I personally did use a small blanket if I was around others because I’m not the type that likes to cause an unnecessary scene, especially in a restaurant or something like that. I don’t usually want to be the cause of someone spewing their fettucine across the table. So why would I when breastfeeding?

    Sensitivity and respect needs to be shown on both sides during such transformation. Hence, in place where people eat, I tended to be more careful and discreet than say a public park.

    7. Fringe future issues:

    So if breast feeding = natural bodily act, therefore ok to do in public and ok to put pics on facebook,

    what about other acts?

    Plucking pubic hair?
    Going to the bathroom?
    Ahem, taking that tango all the way, and all the imagery and fetishes surround this hot box.

    These are also “natural” acts.

    So if “this is natural act” is the argument that got breastfeeding in, these are the future gray areas. These are the real battlezones. This is the real slippery slope.

    My own rule of thumb for myself for what is obscenity in public includes, “Would I want kids seeing this?” as well as, Kant’s categorical imperative of if everyone could do this (with statistical corollories), would it be still be ok, as well as simple personal preference.

    This is what I think we really need to talk about. Our measures. Our criteria. This is what an educated society would get to when reviewing traditionally inherited taboos. When you grow up, you take a look at the “thou shalt nots” you inherieted with a critical eye. Where did these come from? What purpose do they serve? Are they still necessary?

    Trouble is, not too many of us study ethics or epistemology in school, so it is HARD for us to have clear and level conversations about these things.

    So, it’s not just about the issues like breast feeding in public, because there is a lineup of issues following right behind.

    It’s about us becoming better at evaluating these things in general, and trouble is, that takes time too.

    8 The take home:

    We are in the midst of transformation that is hundreds of years in the making. Societies around the world have histories of oppression at some time or other, and so some of our taboos (our thou shalt nots) as well as cultural incentives might actually not be in our best intersets.

    So, we are slowly evaluating the rules of the game, like with this breast feeding issue. Previous issues, slavery, women voting, racial issues, gay issues… And there are other issues still on the table.

    So, the take home is questions:

    What criteria make sense to you on how to evaluate whether taboos you grew up with should still be nonos? If you are having trouble coming up with clear and useful criteria, why is that? Why weren’t you taught these evaluative skills better? Why aren’t we teaching them to our own kids systematically so that when they grow up, they can properly check and evaluate the rules we are imposing on them?

    What kind of society do you want to live in? Yeah, think utopic thoughts. What would it look like? And NOT just for you, but for everyone. Put yourself in everyone’s shoes, and then think about what rules would be best. Something that may seem like it would be awesome for one person, may cause major suffering for someone else. These are the kinds of rules we want to avoid. Don’t we? Don’t we want to reduce the suffering and increase the general happy and contented quotient?

    What leads to healthiest, happiest behaviour in the majority in the long run?

    Ok, we’ll still probbaly have to duke it out over certain issues (abortion comes to mind), but maybe we’d make faster progress.

     
  12. The one of the reasons that Facebook is doing this is so that they don’t get added to the list of sites that may contain explicit pictures and so that services such as http://opendns.org don’t block them automatically.

    The group that Facebook is protecting (other than themselves) would be the (pre)teens who are allowed to visit Facebook at home and school because the site isn’t on any of the proxy block lists.

    If you wanted to make the distinction clearer you could say:
    I applaud women who breastfeed in public. It’s natural.
    I applaud women who breastfeed in public, because I like looking at boobs.

    :)

    Facebook doesn’t want to loose more schools and home networks because a minority want to post pictures of themselves and others breastfeeding. The dilema iswhose rights win? Those who would be denied access to facebook entirely or those want to post the pictures because they view them innocently?

     
  13. That is a good point Brian, and personally, I think it IS ok for kids to see breastfeeding (as I said above). If kids grow up breastfeeding, seeing siblings breastfed, and seeing it in their communities, it will cease to be a big deal.

    This is why I think Facebook needs to be careful at censoring images based on context as well as content. And this is why we need to also voice up our support for not just Facebook, but online and in media in general. Now I don’t know if it will lead to some weird rules (i.e. breast to baby quotient showing in the image) or what, but that’s where we need to figure out where the discretionary power lies, and what criteria they have at their disposal.

     
  14. Wow. Some excellent feedback from all parties here.

    I’m going to give Maria first crack at responding to your valid point, Brian. There seems to be understandable reasons why Facebook would benefit from being selective.

    The question remains, then, whether we need to go back and reevaluate the entire structure of what is appropriate and start over, rather than cater to public schools and website popularity.

     
  15. Right, if it were just Facebook as a site, I don’t think they would filter anything. In fact this is largely the stance they have been taking. Take a look at the group linked to above. It was formed in June 2007 and has a photo collection of 3153+ breastfeeding women. Facebook isn’t all that restrictive… It makes me wonder what the original photo contained.

     
  16. Michael Callaway

    I hate to sound like a ninny, but I have to aggree with Facebook, sorry

     
  17. I like Maria’s point about tribal cultures. It’s true that everyone gets used to breasts and breastfeeding as normal in those cultures. While we won’t be going THAT far (or wanting to, for that matter) any time soon, we should consider the reality that some things require a period of adjustment, just like she said.

    I’m sure it took Americans of all colors quite some time to adjust to desegregation. Seeing something you’ve never seen much before is always shocking. But history offers us plenty of opportunities to see where adjusting to change has been beneficial to our culture.

     
  18. I think people need to lighten up and let a teet be a teet. We’ve been on them, and American’s (yes, I’m one, but not one in spirit) are absurd when it comes to sexuality. We make a big deal if a kid see’s a teet, yet only 4 years ago he was suckling on one!

    I think it shows how immature the human species really is.

    As for Facebook, it’s their call. They run it, they pay the bills, they set the rules for their own site. Done.

    You humans just need to get over your own insecurities and let life be life. (I don’t think they’ll ever get it right…)

     
  19. I find pictures of drunk college girls in bikinis, not to mention 4,279 stupid apps sending me fake plants and asking if someone is hot or not, more offensive than a picture of a nursing mom.

    Maybe Facebook should’ve consulted with the Motrin people before they made this decision.

     
  20. Even though I voted “I applaud breastfeeding in public” I am not sure why one would want to put a photo of it on FB or any other site that is, UNLESS it was to take a stand against the people who find it offensive to feed your baby in the most natural way on earth.

    We see baby sheep, deer, lions and even monkeys and apes doing the same thing and everyone goes “AAaaahhhh…” Yes because of puritanical veiws which to my mind are really people with dirty minds who can’t control themselves many believe it is rude or inappropriate. Is it more appropriate that we feed our precious babes in a toilet cubicle?

    Now that’s off my chest I again reiterate, why put a photo on a website?

     
  21. The only obscenity here is Facebook’s cluelessness.

    I just can’t find any words snarky enough.

     
  22. You made some excellent, honest observations here. Breastfeeding is not obscene, and there are times when it is necessary to feed an infant in public – there should be NO shame in that. Nor should it be thrust in others’ faces; strangers should not be forced to watch a display of breasts that makes them feel embarrassed (for their honest, if confused, reactions) in public.

    So I vote for discretion; I fed my children in public but you would never have seen more breast than is visible in an evening gown. A child’s right to be fed has to come before anyone’s squeamishness, and a mother’s right to post a breastfeeding picture should not be abridged by Facebook – as you stated, you have a choice and don’t need to view the page, if you don’t want to.

    That said, women who are brave enough to post such pictures (ALL of the ones I’ve seen have been discreet and lovely, nothing even CLOSE to obscene) may embolden young mothers who are also “confused” about breasts and breastfeeding, and help them to see it as natural and healthy and entirely appropriate.

     
  23. In response to your question, Daniel. Us mamas that fell in love with our babies were not taking pictures of our breasts feeding a baby: We were (and many are) taking pictures OF OUR BABY. One of the most mind-boggling views was the incredible power and beauty of OUR BABY, NURSING. THIS is what I wanted then, and want now, to share with the world.

    I’m still too busy to dig up my personal nursing mama photos (my child is now 9), so I had to resort to a Picasso for the Facebook protest.

    Maybe start with a painting: Just stare at it for awhile. The painting isn’t going to stare back. :-) … and think about ALL your responses to all the stuff you avert your eyes from in public. If you do this in an adult way, allowing all your feelings to come up, without having to act on any of them, I am willing to bet you’ll discover something awesome about being human, about babies, about love and its power.

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. I really appreciate that you took the time to think it through, and to write it down.

     
  24. Oh, and here’s a good place to go for breastfeeding artwork:
    http://www.breastfeedingart.net

     
  25. There’s nothing offensive about breastfeeding. Someone may have reported the picture and then one of the interns at Facebook may have just sent a form letter.

    I do think that Facebook has a lot more explaining about that pornographic advertising. http://www.chrisbrogan.com/facebook-shows-me-boobies/

     
  26. Wasn’t FB supposed to be this little web site where college students could keep in touch and write graffiti all over each others’ walls?

     
  27. Queen of the Click is on it. The fact that Facebook posted an advert with breasts, and yet wont allow breast feeding pics, and the fact that in their Terms of Service that they state that they OWN your pics are becoming highly intolerable to me.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5841663547

    They need to figure out a better way, and respond to this appropritely SOON because this is NOT NOT NOT (NOT) ok… You mean Facebook OWNS all those pics of my teenage daughter, and yours?

    Ok, smallprint comes into the light and needs a rehaul!

     
  28. Penina, you’ve said it VERY well. It’s a matter of different perspective. It’s part of the reason why this is so polarizing. The moms are sharing pictures of their babies eating and what can be wrong with that? While there is another group that just wishes the baby wasn’t so much in the way.

    Or are there really two groups? That’s info that only Facebook can get by looking at their logs and the profiles and searching out patterns that indicate the WHY of how these pictures are being accessed. I suspect that even on school networks there are a lot of more explicit photos available and this is more administrative than anything else.

    I’m also of the opinion that if you educate the children about all of this in plain, detailed language rather than acting all scared and nervous about it, they learn not to make such a big deal about it either. And that it is only those who weren’t given the same opportunity that are scared and fixated by it.

    And yes, April, I also totally agree with you. Those are much more offensive things consistently on Facebook.

     
  29. Maria, did that actually surprise you? The only thing to do is not upload pictures to Facebook! There’s nothing that says Facebook can’t publish a Teens of Facebook monthly magazine or create another site for the pictures they’ve had to remove. They still own those too. To keep this remotely on topic, they could do a Breastfeeding Moms of Facebook calendar.

    Even if they changed the wording now, they would still own everything previously uploaded. Too many people think EULA don’t matter and don’t bother reading them. They just click the checkmark and hit ok. After a EULA is agreed to, it’s too late.

     
  30. Maria, the language in FB’s TOS is pretty standard for EVERY web site you’ve ever posted text or photos to. If you don’t believe me, LOOK. While the language is ridiculously and overly broad, it’s only to cover their butts. Without it, they could not legally display the content YOU ask them to display. YOU agreed to it when you signed up – are you saying that you did not read the TOS before clicking “I agree”? They don’t “own” your pictures more than you do, but yes – according to the TOS, they SHARE non-exclusive rights with you and could, in theory, syndicate your content, make a collage of various user photos, use them in ads, etc.

     
  31. Holly, I’m no expert here, but I don’t think the vast majority of teens and college kids who post all kinds of content on there are aware that their pics are not their pics.

    On the other hand, on Flickr, it is clear that you own the copyright to your shots, and if you want to go creative commons etc, it is up to you. I guess this is why photographers use Flickr, but generally don’t post their pics on Facebook.

     
  32. Maria, you still own the copyright to your content on Facebook as well, provided you ever did (i.e., are not copying someone else’s content to your page).

    And I don’t know what you’re trying to say, here, about Flickr – have you actually READ their TOS? (It’s Yahoo’s TOS, actually.) See section 9. http://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/utos-173.html

    That’s so vastly different…how??

     
  33. My partner breastfed our children until they were 3 years old, wherever she needed to, and had my total support.

    But I take exception to some of Danial Dessinger’s comments. They would be unacceptably misogynist if I expressed views about women in a similar tone.

    What kind of crap is this? “Many men face a sort of sexual confusion when their wives or girlfriends first breastfeed a baby. These parts of the body that were once dedicated solely to gratify their sexual desire now give off a very non-sexual, motherly vibe, and the men go into shock.”

    Many men think that breast are an erogenous zone belonging to their partner that give her sexual pleasure.

    “That whole oedipal thing still hasn’t gotten sorted out by the male gender”. Sigh. Freud. Who still quotes that nonsense?

    Seriously. Host your own photos. How obvious is it that loading photos to someone else’s website leaves you at their mercy (like the AOL photo service that was shut down, compelling users to move their pictures elsewhere or lose them).

     
  34. I’ve posted my own thoughts here: http://tinyurl.com/849o2h

    I think we need the lawyers & tech admins PR people to come out on this one. I’d like some proper clearification before I take more action…

     
  35. Bruce are you confusing “Daniel” (aka Danial) with “Danielle” and thinking that “she” is being hateful of men (and expressing mysandry) or are you saying that Daniel shouldn’t say such things about men if he couldn’t say them about women without being accused of mysogyny – the hatred of women?

    I’m confused…

     
  36. Bruce, I’m a woman, and I didn’t read anything “misogynistic” in it. Just honest thoughts from a man. When will we all be mature enough to have open conversations about these things? Of course a lot of men – not all, but many – have issues with their wives’ and girlfriends’ breasts becoming a source of food, something to be shared with a child. Of course it’s confusing – maybe not in a conscious, intellectual way (certainly not one that today’s enlightened man would often admit publicly) but deep in the psyche.

    Chris writes, “So the real issue is whether facebook is an American service, and therefore is justified in reflected norms as they are socially negotiated in the States, or a global service in which case the facebook community itself needs to negotiate its own norms.”

    I’m not even sure what that means. The U.S. is too diverse to ever come up with some sort of consensus about this. Facebook IS a U.S. company. It is not a “public forum” (not exactly, since it is privately owned) so it doesn’t EXACTLY have to conform to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. In short, FB can do whatever it deems best for the bottom line. It’s going to be a commercial decision, in the end, and the only thing that’s certain is that not everyone will be happy with the outcome. Those who are sufficiently unhappy will leave, so FB is faced with one question: “What’s the majority opinion?”

     
  37. I don’t have a problem with breastfeeding ‘in public’ as such, but I don’t think all public places are appropriate for breastfeeding simply because not all public places are appropriate for babies (there are many places where a crying baby will spoil the experience for others, and it’s just not polite to bring the baby there).

    I also don’t have any desire to see pictures of people breastfeeding, but understand that some people want to push it because they feel it isn’t as accepted as it should be.

     
  38. I have absolutely NO problem With public breastfeeding, as I myself did so with my DD. I do believe that there are people in the world that are perverse, so I used a cover. I also am not comfortable showing my breasts to other womens husbands. I don’t want my hubby looking at another womans breast. He is not a pervert, but I know it makes him uncomfortable.
    It is one thing to HAVE the right to do something, it is another to ABUSE that right. Why do you have to post a picture? What is the reason. It is necessary to feed your child anytime they are hungry, in public or at home, it is not necessary to take pictures for all to see.

     
  39. The 1,100+ visits today indicate that this is an important topic to both men and women around the world. After reading the first 10 comments here, I realized that it might be difficult to find an antagonist willing to actually say that Facebook’s decision is right.

    I don’t want to disparage those of you reading this who disagree with my conclusions. If you think Facebook has chosen the right side, please tell us why. We’ll keep this discussion civil, because honestly, without civility, sharing our opinions accomplishes nothing anyway.

    I know that several of you have mentioned that it is within Facebook’s right to set and enforce whatever rules they choose. And this is largely true. But having the right to do something and actually choosing to do it are two different things. I have the right to be a bastard to everyone who comments on my website, but aren’t I shooting myself in the foot by doing so? There is what is permissible, and there is what is beneficial. Not all things that are permissible are beneficial. I cannot stress that point enough.

     
  40. How ridiculous is it that there are sexually provocative pics on facebook and my space, of women with such low cut blouses, how is that different that seeing the top of a breast of a Mother while feeding an infant?

    We are in a time where old archaic, old thoughts and accepted beliefs are transforming. Does this come easy? Do I think this is silly that I nursed 26 years ago and we are still dealing with this stupidity.

    Yes, Facebook the difference between having a policy and having one that your users do not agree with when you apply it in a way that they find offensive, why can’t you learn to adjust and be flexible and a leader in transforming and responding to your users vs acting like a bully by pulling with no conversation or possible adjustment.

     
  41. Really? “Many childless women…” object to the notion of public breastfeeding? Well, okay, if you say so, but I’d like to see some evidence that, of woman objecting, childless ones comprise a greater number than “some mothers.”

    It’s possible, of course, but I’d be interested to know how that’s backed up, or if it’s just Daniel’s sortof anecdotal impression.

    Anyhow, as a childless woman – from choice – I both appreciate those women and men that have and rear children, and have no problem with public breastfeeding, nor the posting of breastfeeding photos on Facebook or similar. I would imagine that if I’d had a child, I would have preferred to be somewhat discreet about breastfeeding, when possible, but that’s a choice I wouldn’t have inflicted on others.

    I agree that our society has some very screwed-up, contradictory and hypocritical positions on breasts and their “obscenity” – as well as nudity and sex in general – and I wish we’d grow up. Maybe controversies like these help bring the unconscious aspects of these conflicts out into the light where they can dissipate a little.

     
  42. QuoterGal, I obviously don’t have some super secret statistics to pull out of my back pocket. I was noting my observations, which have shown me that more childless women are uncomfortable with public breastfeeding, and I think the reason is fairly obvious: there is more solidarity, in general, among people who have experienced the same problems.

    Not all mothers breastfeed for very long, and therefore those that do not may not feel the same connection with those who have. They may not have had the chance to experience the awkward vulnerable feeling of needing to feed your baby in public and worrying about offending people who will be shocked and apalled for no good reason.

    It’s human nature to identify with people of similar backgrounds and/or experiences. I don’t think my observations were so unfounded.

     
  43. So, what do you think of these? Obscene? Indecent? Not worth looking at? Or sacred, calming, peaceful, artistic, and worthy of hanging in a museum?

    http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Arts/Arts_/Pictures/2008/06/05/madonna460.jpg and the accompanying post: http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/art/2008/06/we_must_be_free_to_see_images.html

    and these: http://summamamas.stblogs.org/archives/2006/08/blessed-is-the.html

     
  44. Daniel, following all the tweets I had to chime in. Some very persuasive reasoning by the host, Maria and Brian. In the spirit of not taking the discussion to far off-track, I want to lay out the fact that I’m not a supporter of Facebook (FB) – the list of reasons is too long and I’d rather focus on the topic at hand. Suffice it to say that if I were the woman (or any of the women protesting the situation) the solution to the problem would rest squarely with the decision to not use FB anymore.

    With regard to Brian’s point about FB potentially being blocked for displaying sexually explicit content – I do believe the combination of FB’s TOS and profile-specific privacy settings spells out they are not responsible for any obscene content on their site. How opendns.org decides to arbitrate any transgressions is not something I’m familiar with, however it wouldn’t take much for FB to make images (publicly) non-searchable by default and that would resolve any matter stemming from obscene content. During the time I was a member, I saw many examples of obscene photos and content being shared amongst friends, and being used as profile photos which didn’t even come close to abiding by FB policy.

    One of the disheartening aspects of this debate is how the role of Mother gets drawn into a debate about sexual confusion. It seems as though any semblance of Motherhood is likened to something that robs women of their independence, their sexuality, and now with this FB debate, it appears that its even too confusing for men to understand the purpose of breastfeeding.

    Sadly, the discouragement of breastfeeding has gone even as far as some husbands taunting their own wives, likenening the natural act of a Mother feeding their own child to that of a cow. Humans can be complex, sophisticated creatures, but it seems whenever we are given even the slightest opportunity to revert to philistines, we hop on for the ride without much hesitation. I often hear enviornmentalists likening our planet as “Mother Earth” – there is no confusion with the use of “Mother” as a symbol or icon of purity, and wholesome survivor of the worst humanity can bring.

    Yet, we get confused with the role of Mothers breastfeeding in public because we don’t know whether to objectify her, or reward her for having the maternal instinct to care for her baby? Would those opposed prefer the Mother lives the life of a shut-in, pumps every waking hour, just to satisfy their intolerance to the maternal act? Of course, rather than trying to uphold cultural aspects that reinforce maternal activities like breastfeeding, and rationalize the act as a necessary function of Motherhood, we resign to the irrationality of sexual confusion.

    The option FB gives is no different than the women who doesn’t want to be treated as an indignant cow by their mate, and the act of censoring affords the same convenience as does a silicon nipple and engineered baby formula. If we can agree that all that is happening with BPA use in baby bottles right through to melamine contaminated milk is not fit for even the strong hearted, then coming to terms with breastfeeding in public should be palatable, and the risk tied to generations of chronically-ill kids becomes to heavy a burden for any nation to carry.

     
  45. I was just interested to hear what it was based on, Daniel – not attacking you. I was wondering if it was an offhand surmise or from a close observation of the phenomenon at close hand and with personal experiences on which to base it. I would have been surprised – but interested – if you had any studies with which to back it up, but it didn’t appear “obvious” to me from your article that you didn’t.

    Many folks – childless and those with children – are able to empathize with experiences they have not had personally (if not, we’d be in even more serious trouble as a species) and my thinking was that your statement, if unfounded, promulgated a stereotyped us/them adversarial condition about breastfeeding between the childless and those with children that I’m not convinced quite exists in the way that you noted.

    In my 53 (long) years, I have been close to many folks both with and without children, and I have not observed the same shocked reaction particularly from childless women that you mentioned – and I thought and still think that it was worth asking you what made you say that, and add my own questioning & differing perception.

     
  46. I have a ton of comments, but I’ll try to stick to the most relevant:

    – All the photos that were removed were signaled as obscene *by a fellow user*, so, yeah, there are some people who think those pictures are a problem: beleive me, those would be the same righteous passionnarias that now argue so loudly about “protecting the children”; most likely they were violently for breatfeeding a few years ago — but it won’t be the fist time someone is agressively against both side of the fence: only constance in some mothers is how agressive they are to the outside world. Most photos on the site and all profile pictures can only be seen by your ‘friends’ (modulo the many privacy settings, but it’s basically only people you approve); therefore, instead of joiing a group, ask around you if anyone would disapproves of your photos, and why. If your photo still gets banned and noone explains you why: guess what? You are such a lousy listener, your friends would rather not have this conversation with you and let an intern in California shut your mic.

    – This rule, like all rules on-line or elsewhere, is not for Facebook to determine: no matter what their (legally void) EULA says, those are community-decided and -enforced rules. No company has the means to control that discussion more fully then by expressionist takes. Can they be any horrible porn on Facebook? Provided you keep it between friends who won’t signal it, yeah, certainly (word has it that is why there are so many Arab users of Flickr) — and it is really easy to keep a photo album to a certain group. Breatfeeding, photos of you stealing street plaques or positive comments about the last Paulo Coehlo all abide to the same rule: relevance. Some consider them offensive, unlawful or too stupid for words, so keep them to people who won’t call for enforcement. You want to encourage breastfeeding? Publish a pamphlet for your expectant friends to read, but stop showing your boobs to imaginative teenagers, because, yes, a 14 y.-o. today has most likely has seen enough HBO to wonder if you were abusing the opportunity to signal your marital frustration to him and his newly discovered power — or at least, his mother will think so.

    – This conversation *is* mysogynistic: the only argument I need for that is simply to say that that’s how I read it; imagine having the same one about “peeing in public” and women mixed attitude toward an organ can be used to have sex or urinate. Am I getting offensive? Well, I’m only returning the favor. Yes, relieving your bladder is “wholesome, intimate, natural, healthy, and beneficial” — any doctor will tell you that, and not just when you have a baby around; it reduces stress, facilitates countless biological process, and basically prevents you from exploding. Neither it is porn to post pictures of you showing your disapointment at something by watering it, but it could be abused the same way. Stop saying Facebook prevents you from using the crapper only because some of your friends don’t want to be forced seeing your schlong. No doctor ever said breastfeeding had to be done in public — and I’m pretty sure a vast majority argued for a quiet, soft-lighted, warm environement, so nothing like “in public” to me.

    And stop using art as a pretext, or I’ll start using Michaelangelo’s David to shower you with gay porn. Once again, I’m only returning the favor.

     
  47. “And stop using art as a pretext, or I’ll start using Michaelangelo’s David to shower you with gay porn. Once again, I’m only returning the favor.”

    LOL – is that supposed to be a THREAT? In your face with great works of art!! Bring it on. You know what? I agree with you, to some extent. On the other hand, urine and feces are stinky human waste products. Breastmilk is nourishment for the growing human child. Admit it – it’s more pleasing, aesthetically. It’s not male anatomy or function that’s offensive. It’s the human byproducts of urinating and defecating. Natural as it is to do those things, it’s also natural to wrinkle our noses and hope for a speedy flush.

    Those bodily functions HAVE featured in art. I’d have to say that “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover,” offensive on just about every level imaginable and requiring a rather large and lengthy disclaimer at every box office upon its cinematic debut, used excrement to artistic (if stomach-churing) effect. That said, it’s disingenuous to claim that you can’t see a difference.

    Most mothers would prefer the “quiet, soft-lighted, warm environment,” but it’s not always available. You can eat anywhere you like. In fact, I’m somewhat grossed out by watching (and listening to) others eat. I often wonder why eating is a social activity in the first place – the sound of chewing and swallowing and lips smacking, punctuated by the occasional passing of gas from one orafice or another, is hardly an ideal experience. But you can swig your beer or chew a bite of steak (any vegetarians care to chime in at this point on what constitutes “offensive” or “gross”?) in public, without anyone batting an eye. When we get to the point that a mother breastfeeding in public attracts no more notice than a person at the next table munching on fries or a burger, then maybe we’ll have grown up a little and we can move on from this whole debate.

     
  48. I don`t find breastfeeding any different than an adult eating in public, but I wouldn`t be caught dead stuffing a cheeseburger in my face in a mall or other wide open public place. To me, anyone eating is a somewhat intimate act, so I`d breastfeed discreetly with a cover. And I`d take my lunch back to my office, too.

    As for FB, I think it`s inappropriate for them to call b-feeding offensive. If a woman wants to post a picture like that, let her. It`s no different from all the pics on FB that show people with beer bottles crammed in their faces. If we don`t want to see this stuff, we can stay off those people`s pages.

     
  49. I think it’s fairly standard for a popular international site to be conservative about the content that they allow. They could themselves face the possibility of getting into legal trouble if there are images of women’s breasts on their site, even if it is user-contributed content.

     
  50. Matthew: “If you don’t like their stance on it, don’t use their site.”

    Our interaction with each other and entities shouldn’t have to be like that. It is their site, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not allowed to protest it, or that we’re not right to publicly disagree with the policy. Just to say oh well and walk away without saying anything might even mean that Facebook loses users and they probably wouldn’t even know why!

    I think an appropriate term is social negotiation. But to just look at the “price” and say no without a discussion makes rules needlessly rigid, it’s not as if rules or their interpretations can’t change.

     
  51. I’m sure a majority of these women are acting out in support of normalizing breast feeding now, but the initial desire to post pictures of your baby sucking on your nipple is somewhat disturbing. I understand that it can be a beautiful thing, and in the right audience, it’s something to consider, but the prolific desire to share something like that is creepy. No, I don’t consider breastfeeding itself a negative or bad thing, but if a woman on the street said “Look at me, I’m breast feeding in public” and then proceeded to show me several steps and ask me to join in and enjoy it with her, I’d think she was a big creeper.

    Besides, Facebook is a private company that probably doesn’t have a personal opinion about breast feeding, but is instead at the will of an intelligent team of lawyers who would probably rather avoid dealing with the legal battles related to minors seeing nipples and potential child molestation charges against mothers with toddlers. Yes, all of the pictures posted thusfar are fine, but there’s a certain ambiguity related to these photos, and it’d only take creative interpretation to turn an innocent picture into something facebook has to deal with on an expensive scale. It’s absolutely within your right to protest their decision, but it kind of looks like you’re barking up the wrong tree, and taking this as an excuse to make a statement, instead of actually fighting something real.

     
  52. “It’s absolutely within your right to protest their decision, but it kind of looks like you’re barking up the wrong tree, and taking this as an excuse to make a statement, instead of actually fighting something real.”

    My intentions and motivations were plainly laid out in the post. Facebook says no to breastfeeding photos. A lot of people agree. A lot of people disagree. It reminds me of what I believe is the larger issue, and I am bringing it to the forefront: public breastfeeding. I then show how my opinion of public breastfeeding differs from my opinion of posting photos of breastfeeding on Facebook.

    Am I making a statement? Definitely. I make that obvious. I see no reason why you feel justified in saying that like it’s a bad thing.

    “Instead of fighting something real”? What does that even mean? Facebook’s objection to breastfeeding photos is real. People’s opinion of public breastfeeding is real. There’s nothing “fake” about this.

    I’m not upset with Facebook, though many people who commented here are. Being honest and not the least bit confrontational, I think your comment was lazy. It was either a poor explanation of your objection, or evidence of no susbstantive objection at all. What exactly are you objecting to?

    If you’d like to rephrase your last sentence, I welcome the opportunity to respond afterward. I was tracking with your train of thought until the very last sentence. It sounds like a critique, with no actual lead-in. It’s like you made two separate comments, without properly ending the first or setting up the second. None of the first paragraph or most of the second imply an objection on your part to the post. I hope you will explain so I can understand your point of view.

     
  53. I am not mad at Facebook but I think its wrong of them to delete the photos and the person who uploaded them, they should of just made them private if possible as a default. I think if a parent were running Facebook it would have been different…..there are lots of sites out there that don’t allow these pics or even pics where a baby has no shirt on like photobucket did a few years back. This maybe a shameless plug for my site but I am sorry lol This is one of the reasons why we exist (BabySpot.com) in our network we do not delete or disallow these pictures as long as the mother is comfortable with them. Plus they can just make the pics private or public as they please. Great Post!! This post needs a twitter push…tweeting now!

     
  54. So, Michael, why do you agree with Facebook? It doesn’t make you a ninny. As I mentioned, I personally don’t want to see breastfeeding pics from my friends, but i’m not opposed to breastfeeding or mom groups that do share them.

     
  55. who ever thinks breastfeeding is gross, you are the ones who are really gross 4 thinking breasts and sex have anything to do with eachother you perverted freaks. why dont you grow up and get a life! breastfeeding is what came first, long before girls gone wild or any other porn show that you sick freaks get off on. go back to school and learn something, BREASTS ARE 4 BABY. thats what breasts are made 4 you stupid freaks.

     
  56. what would any of you guys really know about breasts anyways? you don’t have breasts so get over it! how do you think your great grandparents would have lived way back in the days without breast milk? you should be thankful 4 it or els you would not even be here today.

     
  57. oh yeah, by the way michael im breastfeeding right now! so deal with it.

     
  58. Michael Callaway

    Yes well in that case you could say a penius is for peeing, you do that long before you have sex. Just because something is natural does not mean it needs to be seen by everyone. I think Moana is a bit more angry then what is needed.

     
  59. Moana, while we endeavor to allow people to share their differences of opinion here, it is premature, unfounded, and unacceptable to call our male users “perverted guys”. If you make an unfounded accusation again, your comments will be removed.

    Differences are celebrated here, though mutual respect is required. If anyone has a problem with that, this isn’t the the right place for you to be.

     
  60. i dont mean to be rude but it is true. this whole site would not even be here if the whole breast thing was not something to really talk about. i dont really care if my comments are removed because i already made them. and i will be more then happy to leave this site if you or any one els feels disrecpected. there are a lot of other sites where my comments would seem nice, givin to what some of the other girls have said.

     
  61. Seeing how this site has existed for the past three years and only just now mentioned the subject of breastfeeding, I hardly think we owe the site’s existence to the topic.

    If you’re referring to the social commentary aspect of CultureFeast, you have a point. We ARE all about providing commentary on what happens in our culture. But we do so within guidelines, because, well, I own the site and I decided what the rules would be.

    It has often been said in various phrasing that profanity is the weapon of a weak mind. Implied in that statement, I think, is that a person must have their wits about them and use their impassioned reason and wit to debate with others. Otherwise, we all just resort to name calling, which essentially returns us all to a prepubescent state.

    I’m no bastion of maturity, I think, but I do want our readers to feel safe commenting here. I want them to feel respected as people, even when we disagree with their ideas.

    Share your ideas. Tell us why you disagree. Just please leave the insults at the door. If not, thanks for stopping by.

     
  62. daniel, like i said before i am sorry if i disrecpected you or anyone els by my comments. you toled me before that i am premature and i know that you are right. but i am only 15, i guess i still have a lot to learn but when it comes to my baby girl some things peaple say make me easly mad because i know what is best 4 her and breastfeeding is the way to go. to me breastfeeding is a beautiful and sacred thing that only mothers like myself can really understand. and i do hope that other peaple not just mothers, will understand how beautiful it is someday.

     
  63. Moana, I applaud you for caring so much about breastfeeding your baby. I hadn’t really thought hard about anything baby-care related until our girl was born a year ago. I honor any mother who is willing to endure the inconvenience of breastfeeding. It IS natural, and the absolute best nutrition, comfort, and bonding with mommy that a baby can receive.

    Not all mothers learn what they need to know about breastfeeding before their baby is born, so I don’t fault them for doing things differently. And some moms have to work to support the family, and breastfeeding isn’t an option (though pumping ahead of time is better than formula).

    To all CF readers: We don’t want to make anyone feel unwelcome or judged. There WILL be times, however, where we share our strong opinions and beliefs, and they may disagree with yours. We hope you will consider them openly, and then decide for yourself whether you agree.

    We won’t all agree all the time… maybe even most of the time. But I appreciate Moana and other people like her taking the time to get involved.

     
  64. i really respect people like you who respect breastfeeding. and i also understand why some choose not to. everyone has there own path and the right to feel how ever they feel. i am from a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. 4 us (or at least some of us) breastfeeding is just a huge part of our culture it is simply the way it has always been for us. plus, not everyone over here can pay all the time 4 the high cost of formula. ( it adds up after a while!) a lot of the elders over here don’t even know what formula is. we like things to stay traditional. on the reservation people will put a blanket or something over themselves while breastfeeding if there are other people around. know one gives dirty looks or thinks its gross or anything like that. its just normal 4 us. it would be really rare to see someone over here formula feeding. 4 us girls on the reservation (traditional ones anyways) breastfeeding has always been, and always will be a big part of our lives and same 4 are future children.

     
  65. Michael Callaway

    Here is where I have agree with Moana. If you can, breastfeeding is so much better for your baby then formula. Despite what I may have said in my awesome article “More Diet Soda Please” (http://www.culturefeast.com/more-diet-soda-please/) if given a choice I prefer natural choices to artificial ones.

    Also, in the context that you bring up, public breastfeeding on a Navajo reservation is very different then pictures of breastfeeding on facebook. In the Navajo culture public breastfeeding is a perfectly normal part of the culture. If someone was complaining about your culture and was trying to restrict what happens on the reservation then I would agree with you 100%. I believe in the code, “When in Rome, do as the Romans” when it comes to determining what is “acceptable” behavior.

    When my wife and I were in France we were on a nude beach, there were many Americans who thought that it was just awful all the “pornographic” images that their children where seeing. You are in France that is what they do! In that context being naked on the beach is not pornographic, it is natural.

    Now, if you are on the shores of a lake here in Dallas and are naked that is going to be a problem because that is not what we do. One is not necessarily better then the other, it is just a difference in acceptable codes of conduct. The question at hand is what should the code of conduct be on facebook.com? Should pictures of women breastfeeding their children be allowed?

    This is not a judgment about the virtues of breastfeeding; it is a question about what is socially acceptable behavior on facebook. I would say that we as a society are more conservative and prudish then most and the reaction of facebook.com is a reflection of that.

     
  66. You can call me a freak all you want to, but just because you’re calling me one, doesn’t necessarily meant that I actaully am a freak. My point is that breastfeeding is obscene and gross. you can all say that I think breasts are sexual, but that’s not the way that I see them. I see them as useless blobs that sit on my chest. and they will remaint that way for the rest of my life. I plan on having kids, but they will either be pumped milk, or formula. You’d have to be a very sick-minded person to want to have a baby sucking on a very private part of your body.

     
  67. Jena, grow up and then think about going back to school and learning what breasts are all about.

     
  68. I’m not stupid at all. I’m smarter than you think I am. I’m in school, and I’m not going to bf my kids at all. It’s just too gross to imagine. I’m sorry I’d rather not do it, but the thought makes me want to puke. Nothing anyone can say will ever change my mind.

    Hey, maybe you’re the one who should be going back to school, and actualy learning something, because you’re obviously the one without a brain here, Tasha.

     
  69. Jena, i guess you would rather have not as healthy kids. so u are a very selfish person. i would do anything for the health of my kids, there well being comes first to me. sad that youre boobs make you feel so low as a person.

     
  70. i put 2 and 2 together… breasts, babies they go together. who gots the brains now! did you ever think about what would happen to babies in other countries where furmula or breast pumps are not in the picture? the babies would die! i guess you would not care anyways, it being so gross and all! you should really grow up and start thinking about other stuff besides yourself.

     
  71. Breastfeeding Mom

    I loved this post. I agree that I don’t want to sit and look at photos of people I know breastfeeding. My mom has issues with seeing me breastfeed my son. I respect that and cover up as much as I can when I am feeding him. I agree that we as a culture have been taught to look at breast wrong. America does seem to be one of the few places that see it as obscene to breastfeed in public. All over the world, it is seen as beautiful and natural except here. Go figure.

     

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