Saturday, December 20, 2008

Memo to Facebook: Moms Nursing Their Babies are Not "Obscene"

I'm a fairly modest person and when I'm nursing a baby, I personally prefer to look for a place where I can have some privacy if we're away from home. But I strongly support the right of other moms to nurse in public if they so desire. God designed a woman's body to feed her child, and it's not at all obscene for her to do so. Just because I personally feel more comfortable with a higher degree of privacy when I'm nursing does not mean that other women should be required to do the same.

I was therefore appalled to discover via Lisa Belkin's "Motherlode" blog on the New York Times that Facebook considers pictures of moms nursing their babies to be "obscene". Several moms have apparently had the site censor photos of them nursing.

A spokesman for Facebook told Ms. Belkin:
"[Nursing] is a natural and beautiful act and we’re very glad to know that it is so important to some mothers to share this experience with others on Facebook. We take no action on the vast majority of [nursing] photos because they follow the site’s Terms of Use. Photos containing a fully exposed [bosom] do violate those Terms and may be removed. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children (over the age of 13) who use the site. The photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain."

Facebook allows all kinds of highly provocative photos that I find distasteful and not particularly appropriate for minors. But a mother feeding her child? That's not obscenity, people!

On December 27th, there's going to be a virtual "nurse-in" on Facebook to protest the policy. Anyone can participate, whether they're a nursing mom or not. All supporters have to do is to change their profile photo to a picture of a nursing mom and to and to change their status to the sentence, “Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!”

I don't have any photos of me nursing, and wouldn't really feel comfortable posting them to Facebook if I did, so I'm thinking of using Our Lady of La Leche. And nobody could reasonably complain that that is "obscene"...


Kristina said...

Thanks for this heads up!

Momma said...

I am upset I just read this or I would have participated!! The only way it would make sense to take down pictures of mothers nursing is if facebook insisted upon also taking down pictures of girls boobs hanging out of their shirts. But since that is ok with them it makes no sense to not be able to post nursing photos. arg!!