Friday, December 26, 2008

Join the Facebook nurse-in on Dec. 27

If you're a breastfeeding advocate and use Facebook, consider joining the M.I.L.C. (Mothers International Lactation Campaign) nurse-in, sponsored by the group Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!

holy familyTomorrow, Dec. 27, attendees will change their profile picture to a breastfeeding image -- personal photo; image of a sculpture; reproduction of a famous painting, as the Holy Family illustration here, by Francisco de Zurbarah, in honor of the Christmas season -- and change their status to "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene."

Facebook has a history of pulling down "offensive" breastfeeding pictures, even though their official stance is that only images of fully exposed breasts are subject to removal, as per the overall guidelines of the site, including the children who visit. That's right -- Facebook's censoring breastfeeding for the children.

But if you go to the group's page, you'll see Kelli Roman's photo that was originally removed as the profile picture there. There is a tiny pie-shaped wedge of white skin visible under the baby's cheek. There's no areola, no nipple, and barely any breast tissue. Apparently someone found that offensive enough at one point to flag it as unacceptable, and Facebook agreed then -- though it hasn't pulled that one in particular since.

From the M.I.L.C. page:

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....

From the Palo Alto Daily Newspaper, by Will Oremus (quoted on the same page; original source here):

“Where I live, I can breast-feed in public or private, and there are laws that say it’s not obscene or lewd or indecent,” said Farley, 23. “If I can do it in public, why can’t I do it on Facebook?”

Censoring such images, she said, reinforces stigmas that discourage mothers from a healthy, natural practice.

Now I just have to go pick out what photo I want for my profile today.

I have so many to choose from!


Wilderness Mama said...

I was going to do this but I totally forgot! I remembered at around 11:55.....when it ended! :(

Cool picture with the dad watching. I don't think I've ever seen one with the dad before!

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