Saturday, January 3, 2009

Boobs on Facebook

Let me just start off by saying I support breast-feeding. I think it is the best way to give new babies nutrition, and that it helps mother and child bond. When and if I ever have children I plan to breast feed them until they are demanding chicken nuggets instead of my nipples, and then I will make them feel bad about that choice. That being said, I really don’t want to see it on Facebook.

A few weeks ago a woman from Provo was asked to take down a picture of her breastfeeding. The Facebook muckity mucks deemed it “obscene.” Now she has started a group on the site demanding Facebook reverse their position, and encouraging members to post their own breastfeeding pictures. Oh, and they have. There are more boobs on that page than there are in the audience of a Sean Hannity appearance. But while these women are waging the good fight, they are forgetting something very important – not everyone wants to see their boobs.

Now, I know, these aren’t “sexualized breasts” being featured, but rather “feeding breasts.” I don’t care, they are still breasts. In our society breasts have been sexualized, for better or for worse, and it makes some people uncomfortable to see them, no matter how “beautiful and natural” the process they are involved in happens to be. I like to think of it like smoking. If you wanted to light up in a crowd, you would ask first if anyone minded. Now, I know breasts aren’t cancer causing, but they do make some people cough just the same. A casual “would you mind if I pulled out my boob, my baby is hungry,” is just the polite thing to do. Since Facebook is basically a large conversation, the same consideration should be shown.

One other thing these women should think about when taking part in their “boob crusade” on Facebook is just how many boobs they want to see on the site. Yes, their boobs are involved in feeding. But if the site allows their topless pictures, then where is the line drawn. Only if an infant is attached? Only in a non-sexual context? Only when a pole is not involved? Once the boob battle starts they will have to answer all these questions. Trust me, there is always some jerk waiting to push a legitimate question to its ridiculous termination. In fact, some would probably say I am doing that right now.

Of course, this whole “controversy” is pretty much moot now. While Facebook asked the woman in question to take down her individual picture, they have had no problem with the thousands of pictures posted by her group. And one of these women was breastfeeding a child so old I thought it was a midget.

I am just begging them, please no crotch shots, even if it they are posted in the name of the beauty of childbirth…


Sprite's Keeper said...

I nursed Sprite until she was 13 months old and attempting to assist me in freeing the girls! That said, I can understand there are limits to what is considered feeding and just plain ogling. I never really stood on a side, but thought the mom was going after some attention by creating a group and basically giving possible perverts free access to breast shots.
I've always been a more modest person anyway, but I do think she made more out of it than necessary to get her point across. Yes, pictures of breastfeeding can be beautiful, but using said pictures to create controversy can make it ugly.You're linked!