I’ve read a few posts regarding the whole brouhaha over Facebook banning pictures of breastfeeding. As a breastfeeding mother who uses Facebook quite religiously, I find myself on the fence. Both sides are right. Both sides are wrong.
Facebook has deemed pictures of breastfeeding inappropriate and obscene. What?
“Photos containing a fully exposed breast (as defined by showing the nipple or areola) do violate those terms (on obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material) and may be removed,” Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said in a statement. “The photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain.”
Hello? You allow pictures of scantily clad girls, drunken teenagers, and foul language. How are those images appropriate? There’s no rating system or disclaimers. Many users are young and impressionable. If you’re going to determine what is explicit, then be consistent. At least breastfeeding is natural.
However, Facebook is a FREE service and should be allowed to set the rules and guidelines for what can be posted. If you want to show pictures of breastfeeding, don’t show nipple or go to another web site. You don’t have to use Facebook.
By the way, why do some women want to show pictures of themselves breastfeeding in the first place? I have never understood that. I have never had that desire to show people, “Look at what I can do!”. It’s as if breastfeeding is some sort of parental status symbol. Yes, it’s beautiful and wonderful to do. But, many women have trouble or are unable to breastfeed. Contrary to popular belief, it sometimes isn’t easy. Don’t you think putting such pictures up would be rubbing it in their faces? I think that if I was a bottle-feeding mother, having all these images of breastfeeding and “Breast is best!” bombarding me constantly would drive me insane. The saying “Flaunt it, if you got it!” does not apply here.
But, just because I don’t feel the need to show the world, does not mean that I think breastfeeding pics should not be shown. Knock yourself out. Maybe just use a little discretion.
You notice how Barry said:
“The photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain.”
So other people have brought these pictures to Facebook’s attention. They have taken it upon themselves to complain and have the images removed. Who are these people? Hello? If you don’t want to see pictures of mothers feeding their babies, then DON’T! Better yet, use your energy and resources to fight a bigger cause. Homelessness? Pollution? AIDS? Take your pick.
Mothers have made great strides in getting the right to breastfeed in public and to have the resources to do so made available. But, the problem is that some people (both men and women) will never get past the belief that breasts are just sexual objects. Well, they are used in sex. But that’s beside the point.
What am I saying? Should mothers be allowed to post their breastfeeding pics on Facebook? Ultimately, does it matter?