Breastfeeding is obscene?

Cross-posted at Mama Drama because it’s that damn important.

I love Facebook. It’s a social networking website that’s a lot like MySpace but less annoying. It’s a great way to keep up with friends and I’ve joined several Facebook Groups that are making a difference in the world.

And this week I’m going to get banned forever.

You see, Facebook recently removed images of breastfeeding moms and even banned some of them for posting “obscene content”. A lot of people have written about this, some far more eloquently than me, and I thought for sure by now Facebook would have said “Wow, are we a bunch of morons. I don’t know what we were thinking by banning something that is legal everywhere in America. Sorry. Our bad.”

But surprisingly, they haven’t. They still feel all nipples are offensive, even those being used to feed a hungry child. And to be entirely honest with you, I’m not a big fan of nipples myself. I don’t really care to see yours and I was a miserable failure at breastfeeding so I’m more than a little jealous when I see pictures of women doing it so easily. But are they offensive? No. What is offensive is the idea that facebook is banning something legal, important and often quashed by others. What’s offensive is the idea that woman everywhere have to fight to be allowed to breastfeed in public places, that they’re made to feel shame about their bodies and that bloggers have to write about this ludicrous crap to bring attention to the hypocrisy of a site which bans “obscene” breastfeeding photos but has no problem supporting pro-anorexia groups, groups sharing suicide methods, racism, hundreds of photos of women’s butts and pictures of dead babies.

Now I’m not saying that all those groups should be banned, because I believe in free speech. What I am saying is that banning images of something that is absolutely healthy, natural and encouraged by doctors is ridiculous if you are okay with promoting something that is absolutely not.

That’s why starting today my current facebook profile picture will be changed from this:

me3.jpg

to this:

Related: Want to join the fight? Check out the League of Maternal Justice’s call to join The Great Virtual Breast Fest this month.

61 replies. read them below or add one

  1. I’m not anti breast feeding, it’s a fact of life.

    I am confused though. How is it that I can get looks that would strip paint from a wall from a woman who thinks I’ve looked a millisecond too long at her fully clothed breasts, yet that same woman demands the right to expose her breasts in a restaurant while I’m trying to eat?

  2. Sorry, just to be clear, I meant to say I’m not against breastfeeding in public places. Nor do I think there’s anything sexual about. I’m not trying to be inflammatory, I am genuinely confused as to where the line is.

  3. Willowtree – I think the problem you’re having with women is that when most men stare at a woman’s breast too long they aren’t using binoculars and a camera.

  4. I haven’t joined Facebook…but I’m tempted to join just for this. 😉

  5. Fabulous idea, Jenny! I’m going to do the same thing.

    Willowtree – The thing is, you’re looking at breasts in purely a sexual way. I think that’s the point many of us are trying to get across. That’s NOT what they’re for. They’re for feeding babies. And babies sometimes need to be fed in public. (Oh & you’ll probably get that same withering look if you stare at a woman’s boobs while she’s breastfeeding too.

  6. You are awesome. I bow down to your awesomeness.

  7. I just heard the best slang phrase evah:
    “NIP” or “nipping” which stands for Nursing In Public. I want be the #1 offender in my geographic area – I aspire to be “The Nipmaster”. Bow down to the functional boob!
    Once upon a time, it was a big deal for a woman to be seen wearing trousers. Enough women started wearing trousers that it stopped being such a freaking huge deal. Perhaps it’s overly simple, but my thought is that if enough people -do- nurse in public, it will stop being stare-worthy.

  8. It’s funny. I just got two nasty comments on an old post of mine about breastfeeding. Apparently, breastfeeding past the age of teeth is borderline paedophilia. Yeah.

    Facebook bites. (Get it, teeth, bite? *crickets*)

  9. This is awesome. Seriously, awesome. I’m so glad I discovered your blog. I am shocked and appalled at Facebook.

  10. BF is erotic. It is sensual. It is the basic
    foundation for life. I still like to BF, at least go through the motions. Straight from
    the tap. Yes sir, ya can’t beat that. It’s
    relaxing, soothing. Folks should do it more
    often to relieve stress, at least the sucking
    motion.

  11. 11
    Just A. Reader

    Did you miss the big stink last year over the Babytalk magazine cover (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14065706/)? They had readers shredding their magazine over a breastfeeding cover photo. People who were reading a magazine about babies. People who, one might think, were used to seeing babies breastfeeding. Don’t try to make sense of it. It will only make your head hurt.

  12. Right on – Let’s change the world one nipple at a time! I don’t care that much about Facebook because I don’t use it, but the way people react to breastfeeding is just absurd.

    Side note – I was reading Mom-O-Matic today and she had this e-bay ticker add for Halloween miniatures (dollhouse sized). I was thinking, that is pretty neat- too bad I don’t have a dollhouse full of freaky stuff…better tell The Blogess.

  13. 13
    The Original Lisa

    In just a few short (yikes) months I will once again be a member of NIPers. Not that I let it all hang out there, but you got to do what you got to do, and my babies drink straight from the tap. If anyone has a problem with it, I’ll have a blanket I can offer them to put over their heads until I am done. If we are at a restaurant and anyone is offended I’m sure there is a lovely bathroom they can finish their meal in.

  14. Great pun (Facebook sucks). The funny thing is, Facebook kind of DOES suck. I’ve been on it for about 2 months now and pretty much can live without it.

  15. LawyerMama – You’re kidding right? What planet do you live on that breasts aren’t considered sexual? Both by men who appreciate the form, and women who do their utmost to display them.

    Oh, and did you miss the part where I said
    Nor do I think there’s anything sexual about.

  16. Oh and I just have one more question raised by you comment…”That’s NOT what they’re for. They’re for feeding babies.

    In what way do silicon implants aid the delivery of milk?

  17. People who are offended by breastfeeding are the same ones who get “turned on” when they look through National Geographic magazines of African tribal women.

    I wish I was a member of Facebook – just so I could add that picture.

  18. Willowtree – I think what LawyerMama is saying (and I could be wrong)is that when you pull a boob out to get gnawed on by a baby the boobs immediately become a non-sexual part of you during that moment. Kind of like when you whip out your Mr. Friendly to pee in front of another guy at the urinal. You’re holding your penis and other guys are next to you holding theirs and from the outside looking in it could seem erotic and sexual but I would almost guess that you would probably say that at that moment your penis wasn’t used for sexual enjoyment…it was simply being whipped out in front of other men out of necessity and you couldn’t understand how anyone could confuse the two things. Same difference. Sort of. Or maybe not at all. Now I’m confused.

    And while I have you…why do you men pee in front of each other? I don’t know a single woman that would be comfortable with a group pee like that. Is it really that difficult to walk into a stall?

  19. 19
    AnotherMom (from mamadrama)

    Boobage for the appropriate reason, no problem. Passing gas in the presence of mixed company, not so much (another analogy). While it’s perfectly okay to *poof* at home, in the company of loved ones (although they may not love you so much afterwards),*poofing*, at work, when you are in the company of others in a cubicle environment, uh, no. And I should know, that’s how I spent my afternoon. Then they get all pissy when I won’t supply them the necessary Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS for all you technical types) for my ozone-depleting disinfectant spray. They think I’m the crazy one?!? Men are from Mars, women from Venus, so they say. Gender differences obviously negate polite discussion without some sort of discourse on what annoys and displeases us. Myself, I’d just like the world to attempt manners, like back in the day. I’ll shut up now.

    Congratulations, Jenny, on your incredible ability to provoke thought and diatribe on this important cultural issue. And I’m not being facetious.

  20. oh, now that is brilliant 😛 must go stalk you on facebook, now. assuming you haven’t been deleted, of course…

    hm…. and I do need a new profile pic

  21. Jenny,

    We don’t have much choice. The way bathrooms are designed it is merely a functional aspect to stand shoulder to shoulder with your junk in your hand.

    Now, the variety of urination poses is another matter. For example there is what I call “The Superman” (both hands on hips, no guiding of the junk through the relief process).

    That is just for showing off.

    Otherwise we just generally use the “Writing In the Snow Pose.”

    Perhaps I will expand on this later but right now I have a little girl who I have to run back to bed. My little escape artist.

  22. me too! I’m gonna get the boot, too!

    woot! boot! toot!

    uh.

  23. also, WOAH. the urinal analogy you pointed out, followed by Houston’s explanation? just made my head roll off my shoulders.

    woah.

  24. There will always be the exhibitionist who ruins it for the other mothers who just want to breastfeed a hungry baby…. and be able to live a normal life while doing it. Usually shielded by a blanket or something of that nature.

    It can be done with out drawing attention. Unless you have a kid that squeaks and slurps.

    If someone doesn’t want to observe breastfeeding, they can discreetly turn the other way.

    I would much prefer to hear a child having a quick nip, then listen to it cry for it’s hunger pains. poor wee ones.

  25. Considering what is about to happen to Facebook, I am reminded of that famous quote by somebody:

    “That poo-poo is so not going to have a nice day.”

    ~EdT.

  26. All these thought-provoking deep comments and *I* just wanted to say I totally love your haircut in that picture.

    ‘Cause I’m all shallow like that. And am also currently obsessed with my hair since I just found out my stylist moved to FLORIDA, right after she learned this fab new cutting technique that she used on my most recent haircut and now I have nobody, NOBODY who knows how to cut this! And will have to break in a whole new person! Cripes, people, do you not KNOW that you must remain at my beck and call for LIFE?!?!

    Yeah, back to your regularly scheduled programming. mk

  27. Guess I won’t be able to join “From The Nipple, Straight To The Ripple” group on Facebook. Oh well. Don’t know why I’m thinking this, but do you watch The Sarah Silverman Program? If not, you should. I’m just saying.

  28. Galoot – I’m right there with you on the Sarah Silverman Show.
    Love it.

  29. Yeah, what Houston said. It’s even worse in sports stadiums. Men get this 30 foot long stainless steel trough to belly up to and do their business shoulder to shoulder. You have to try to squeeze into a spot with enough clearance so you don’t get sprayed by the next guy’s backsplash.

    And when you’re done you can buy nachos and cheese at the concession stand!

  30. Gag, Facebook!

  31. I’ve read about it and I completely think it sucks, but I really had no idea what FaceBook was before this, so I guess I won’t be looking into it now.

  32. First, your comment to WT about the binoculars and camera is why I love coming here. (he knows I love him)

    And I never had a problem BFing in public. If I got a stare, I glared right back. In fact I perfected the shop while you feed maneuver. I once dropped about $500 while Pete did his thing. He was happy, I was ecstatic, the store made money. It was a win-win-win situation.

  33. First of all, I am a moron and it took me like 10 minutes to figure out who you are….yeah, I figured it all out now.

    Second, I didn’t know abut this Facebook/breast thing. Stupid, stupid, stupid – I am off to find a breastfeeding pic of myself to put on facebook. I think I have one.

  34. Wow there are some intelligent people on here. . Every single guy I know is disgusted by women breastfeeding in public. Is it that hard to use the blanket that you are carrying around for the baby, just to cover up for 15 minutes. Heck, lets be like canada. Why do we even wear shirts at all. Lets just go topless and forget the hassle of pulling our boobs out to breastfeed. Its natural right. In fact, I might go pantless as well so when I have to use the bathroom I can just squat down. What do you think?

  35. Oh and another thing. Facebook can set up whatever rules they want. Your little attitude of “I should be able to do whatever I want” is a two way street. If they only wanted tall blonde men on their site they could say so. So go cry to someone else about not being able to show your pictures of your boobs (which i’m confused as to why you would want to in the first place) and start your own website. In fact there are plenty of websites out there for you to choose from already. Have you tried penthouse?

  36. To all maliciously thinking that public breastfeeding is indecent, for your information it is equal to ignorant of mammalous devotion as a human being. For being not given a chance for hungry babies to eat through her mother, even any place of public is a great manifestation of violation of their right to grow and live. Indeed, people who thinks public breastfeeding is offensive you live in a dark psychological problem, so wake up its not to late!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Yes to what Michael said. It must be so hard to cover up. but wait, if michael and other guys can honestly tell me they haven’t ever looked at any woman but their wife, or even been tempted to with all the sleazy advertising and porn out there, maybe we wouldnt feel like pulling out the number one sex symbol for men, to be indecent.

  38. Im not quite getting the big deal, I live in Canada, I breast feed all the time in public and I dont believe anybody even knows Im doing it.(my breats are never exposed and nobody even takes a second look) Ive been walking around grocery shopping with babe in a carrier, a receiving blanket draped over her head and a lady approached me to see the baby and I had to say sorry Im feeding her… no big deal. I must comment on Nat’s misinformed info about Canada though what does “heck, lets be like Canada why do we even wear shirts at all?” obviously you’ve never been to Canada? what exactly is your comment impling or mean? I think Id get alot of attention if I walked around topless “Girls gone wild” is in the states last time I checked!

  39. well perhaps you are all really as intelligent as I perceived. First of all, if you had read anything I wrote you would see I have no problem with breastfeeding in public, its the girls who are too lazy to cover up that disgust everyone. Secondly, there are parts of Canada where they made it legal to walk around topless, didn’t you know eh?

  40. Oh and another thing, I am half Canadian, have been there plenty of times seeing as I have full citizenship

  41. Oh.. I read everything you wrote and I never disagreed with you on women covering up… but not once did I feel a need to call girls lazy or disgusting! and if every guy you know is disgusted by women breast feeding in public you must not know very many. Im embarrased to know you have full canadian citizenship, (I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt but now I realize your just ignorant) have you ever seen topless women walking around in the plenty of times you’ve been here? Yes in Toronto you are allowed to walk topless where ever a man can, but Ive yet to actually see anybody do it and I believe thats the same in New York as well as a few other states, so unless you go searching for it at the odd nudie beach, or some feminist rally.. come on eh? do you even have kids? what are you doing on this blog anyway besides being mean?

  42. Boob feeding is pretty erotic. I wish I could
    go to a Breast Fest and feed away, straight from the tap. I hear it’s healthy in a variety
    of ways. Heck, even if the tap is dry, I’d still put the ol’ vacuum seal on them.

  43. If you want to expose your breasts, save it for the next Girls Gone Wild video. Breastfeeding is best, but it’s a new era. Breasts have been flaunted for years now. In this society, it’s turned into something more sexual than ever. Just look at the filth in TV movies anymore. All breasts of women, but no men parts. Why? What’s the difference??? People whine about the man boobs… Give it up. They’re men. Be a woman and have some morals. I surely don’t want my husband seeing another woman’s breast in the middle of the mall or a restaurant. I would be very offended. He may as well go to a strip joint cause men love women’s breasts… A famous actress who died last year used to walk around her house buck naked with her young son there. She said it was natural. I’d say that’s sick… What do you think????

  44. Many of you may think it’s not a sexual organ by whipping it out and feeding your child, but a lot of men will see your breast and think it is. Think about it. This world is a sick place anymore. Have some respect. Respect others. How would you like it if your man whipped out his privates? Any of you with morals will not want that to happen. Use your brains since many of you know it all…….

  45. If a man whipped out his privates to feed his child I would be sickened. Because he’s doing it wrong. Also, you’re kind of talking to no one because this post is from 2007. I wrote it so long ago I don’t even remember if I agreed with you or not. Come up to a recent post and you can comment there. Of course, your comments won’t make sense because I’m not talking about breastfeeding anymore but honestly they don’t make a ton of sense here either. I mean, honestly, feeding a baby with a penis? That’s unpossible.

  46. PS. I used “unpossible” on purpose.

  47. Why is this blog still on the internet if its outdated? You want input from the public you got it. If you didn’t figure it out already, I wasn’t talking about feeding a baby with a man’s private part. That’s just stupid to respond in such an ignorant way. I think your way of thinking is UNpossible.

  48. Okay, I went back and read this post so I would at least know what we were talking about and now I totally agree with you. Men should not feed babies with their private parts. Let’s be friends.

    This blog is not outdated but this particular post is because it’s from 2007 so no one is here but us. See. It’s all echo-y. It’s still on the internet because when you write a blog, old stuff stays up in your archives. I’m not saying you can’t leave a comment here, just that no one’s really looking at this post but us and it feels a little futile. For you. Not for me though because I’m always happy to find people who agree with me that feeding babies with penises is just wrong. 🙂

  49. You are so right. How dumb of me to think that. You are such a wonderful friend. I am overjoyed that you want to be my friend. You’re the only friend I have. Thanks for making a difference in my life!

    God Bless!!!!

  50. Ditto, chica. Let’s go on vacation together. I promise not to show your husband my boobies. Unless I’m drunk, in which case he’s totally seeing the goods.

  51. Jenny, you should totally teach classes in “Snark”. I would enroll in your school! And then? You could teach “Drunken Boob Flashing 102!” (I don’t need 101, I’ve got that down)

    Ariel’s last blog post..Torn

  52. Man I’ve been doing it all wrong. I thought I was supposed to spout vitriol on CURRENT stuff. Thanks for setting me straight Jenny.

    Miss Grace’s last blog post..What’s making me happy right now?

  53. And since I too believe that it’s wrong to feed babies with penises, I think that you, morale, yaugs and I should get together and form a coalition. Of course, I think our official stance would be one of opposition to child pornography, and I believe that’s ALREADY ILLEGAL, so I’m not sure the fight we’d be fighting. Perhaps we could crusade against sex tourism?

    Miss Grace’s last blog post..What’s making me happy right now?

  54. So….what are my boobies for again? Feeding trolls? no, that’s no right…damnit now I’M confused.

    thordora’s last blog post..Guest Post: “Community cannot long feed on itself, it can only flourish with the coming of others from beyond: their unknown and undiscovered sisters and brothers.”

  55. Man, my first troll told me a tattoo is a bad idea. I didn’t get any of the super helpful advice that morale gave! If only ALL the internets trolls were so eloquent we wouldn’t make fun of them so much. No, wait, we would.

    Heather, the wrist twister’s last blog post..Where I play Dictionary and say No to Massage Envy

  56. I think your stand against men feeding babies with their penises is outmoded and wrong. Come on, Jenny – it’s 2007. Get your head out of the sand.

    People who think of it as a sexual thing are simply objectifying a harmless, functional body part. Personally, when a man flops his penis out in the middle of a shopping mall and feeds his baby, I think it is a beautiful, life-affirming thing. The bond between the two is so magical, so wonderful.

    Now, granted, it can go on too long. I think there’s a time when penis-feeding ought to stop. When a child can go up to a man, undo the zipper, and actually ask for the penis, it may be time to wean. There are some who feel it should stop earlier – say, when the child begins teething. It’s a personal decision every man should make with the advice of his doctor. And possibly law enforcement officials.

    Nils’s last blog post..Allie and Fred

  57. I’m going to have to tell my husband that when he calls me baby and tries to feed me that we are doing it wrong.

    And should evidently be in public.

    I think I’m the most confused.

    I’m pretty sure it’s because I wasn’t breastfed.

    Betsey Booms’s last blog post..Spike TV is Stupid and Totally Snowing Men

  58. you single handedly contained a troll, that’s very impressive. the first time i see a man whip out his penis to feed a child, i’m cutting that thing off even if i have to use my finger clippers. that’s just wrong all those men and their penis feeding ways.

    i could give a shit less if my husband looks at another women’s boob, it doesn’t mean he’s going to run off and marry her or anything. i’m not sure i would care if he did, i’m tired of him trying to feed our dogs with his penis anyways.

    leah’s last blog post..i married a serial killer (why couldn’t *i* have gotten the ax murderer?)

  59. I think “whipping it out” is a beautiful thing, unless you’re going to nurse a baby. Then it’s disgusting. Because formula makers need money in this economy. Of course Jenny wrote this post in 2007 when the economy was going strong. I hope that we can all learn from her mistake. I assume she made a mistake, because, well, it’s Jenny and I’m not reading an ancient post.

    Marinka’s last blog post..I’ll Just Sit Here and Look Pretty

  60. Just so you know, some of us recently discovered you and may (or may not) be able to read the latest posts without going back to catch up on what we missed. It’s taking us so long that we’re getting impatient with ourselves because new posts keep popping up that we can’t read because we haven’t caught up yet. And it’s getting ridiculous that we keep referring to ourselves as we, considering that there’s only one of me actually reading and writing here – even more obviously so because clearly I’m back in 2007 and 2009 with ‘Morale’, who I believe may be an atheist. God bless!!! ;P I’m also so totally stoked that my anal-ness has paid off, because not only have I now snorted L&P up my nose from laughing too much, I now feel belatedly righteous about penis-feeding children – indeed, it is wrong sir!

    Becs recently posted Roots Canvas Print - $35.00.

  61. Just wondering why it’s totally fine for men to have shirtless pictures on facebook, even though they also have nipples, and aren’t doing anything as cool or nurturing as feeding a baby with them.

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