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Do you think a photo of someone breastfeeding is obscene? Facebook does!

December 23rd, 2008

Dr Petra

Over the past few months there’s been a growing number of complaints against the social networking site Facebook for their policy on allowing images of nursing mums on their site. Put simply, Facebook appears to consider images of breastfeeding ‘obscene’ and demands folk remove any images of breastfeeding from their personal pages.

This seems more than a little ironic from a site that does seem to allow fan clubs of various glamour models and movie stars to include raunchy pictures.

Currently within many Western cultures the numbers of women who breastfeed is dropping steadily, although there is no doubt that breastmilk is definitely best for baby. Many women do struggle with breastfeeding because it can be uncomfortable, because they’re not educated on how to nurse, nor supported to do so. And women also find it hard to breastfeed because they are often made to feel uncomfortable about nursing in public places – or can’t find places outside the home to feed. Balance this with a sexualised culture that suggests breasts are really only about sexually pleasing a partner, and it’s easy to see why many women struggle with nursing their babies. The result is mothers feeling guilty and hopeless. Unfortunately rather than tackling the wider social issues that get in the way of feeding a lot of health professionals and educators focus all their energies on trying to make mothers comply with feeding and leaving them feeling incompetent or a bad parent if they don’t nurse.

Within such an atmosphere any place that makes breastfeeding seem ‘obscene’, dirty, or unwelcome is contributing to the uphill struggle many mums face. We take issue with cafes or other public spaces that refuse mothers the right to feed their babies, and we should challenge any social networking site that deems an image of a nursing mother to be unacceptable.

Which is why you are invited to share your dissent with Facebook on the 27th December 2008. Details of the protest below.

M.I.L.C. Mothers International Lactation Campaign.
Because breastfeeding is NOT obscene!

Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!(Official petition to Facebook)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Time: 12:00am – 11:55pm

Location: Your Facebook profile page

Street: Your street, my street…no real location, this is a virtual event

i.e.: There is no reason to not attend! read on…

Facebook continues to classify breastfeeding photos as obscene content. They continue to arbitrarily remove these photos from member albums and profiles, accompanied by warnings of account termination. This is highly discriminatory and an affront to nursing mothers everywhere. In protest of this, Mothers International Lactation Campaign (M.I.L.C.) has
planned a virtual day of protest.

Not only is human lactation responsible for the very survival of our species, it is in no way a sexually explicit, lewd or despicable act. It is also protected by law in most countries, including specifically the state where Facebook is headquartered in the USA.

In protest to the discriminatory and unjust policy of Facebook administration classifying breastfeeding images as obscene content, on December 27th, 2008 M.I.L.C. is asking all of you to change your profile picture for one day, to one which includes an image of a nursing mom.

This could be a picture of you or someone you know nursing a child, it could be a painting or image of a sculpture of a breastfeeding woman, it could also be a photo or image of any nursing mammal….We ask that you include the status line of “Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!”

In addition to this ‘virtual nurse-in’, there will be other events planned around the globe. Please check the link above often for regular updates and added information. We will also be including images that you can use for your profile picture on December 27th.

Babies everywhere thank you for your support!!!!!

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