banned / breastfeeding / feminism / lactivism

BANNED!

I am writing you, dear readers, from the jail cell of my blog that I have been relegated to, since I am serving my 24 Hour Facebook ban for posting this (now edited) picture:

A friend and fan of my Facebook page sent me this, and I  LOVE it. I love the Mama’s smile. I love the little girl, her sleepy pigtails in the “big bed” and the careful, purposeful placement of her doll.

I was banned for 24 hours from Facebook and made, once again, to read their Community Standards guidelines, which touch on:

  • Violence & threats
  • Self-harm
  • Bullying & Harassment
  • Hate Speech
  • Graphic content posted for sadistic pleasure
  • Pornography & Nudity
  • Identity theft & False Representation
  • Phishing & Spam
WHY THE HELL am I reading about all of that horrible, awful, malicious stuff for posting a picture of breastfeeding?? 

I remember feeling just as shocked, angry & confused when I was banned the first time for posting the following picture, taken just minutes after my 4th child was born. Having attentive midwives at each birth has helped me recognize the importance for the first latch; my smile here is indicative of how easily it happened this time! Part of the reason I chose natural birth in the first place due to evidence that epidurals hinder early breastfeeding. and that latch is the single most important aspect of breastfeeding.

first latch

He had a great latch right away! I was (clearly) SO happy!

It was banned on April Fools Day- no joke. It prompted me to create Boobfood, my breastfeeding advocacy community and Facebook site, which has an always growing membership of supporters. I still don’t know why this photo was banned- I guess maybe someone thinks they can see some nipple? Is it the sideboob? I mean, HAVE YOU SEEN what you can “Like” on Facebook?? I’d check and link it if I could, but I’m pretty damn sure you could just type in “sideboob” and it probably has a whole community with thousands of fans all to it’s half-moon self.

So what gives?
Why isn’t this logo banned?

Seriously. WTF?! The photo I posted shows a child (and her shoulders! The nerve! Would it be more or less sexual if she was wearing a matching bra?) pretending to nurse her doll while her mama breastfeeds her little brother. It shows MUCH less skin and (what we would refer to in our family as) “private parts” of the little girl than the renown Coppertone logo. Logic -and the Facebook rating system-  applied here would leave this innocent photo in the R-rated category for its own nudity display, though the picture is OBVIOUSLY not sexual. (Unless you are a total creep, in which case, I can’t help you. Also, kindly hit that little “x” up in the upper left corner of your screen. Now, please. Don’t make me use my mom voice.)

If this picture gets a free pass because it’s “an icon”- shouldn’t breastfeeding -the way every baby on earth prior to the birth of formula companies 50 years ago has sustained life- get the same,”Well- we’re just used to seeing it!” treatment?

A crowning characteristic of children is their “Monkey see, monkey do” tendencies. Breastfeeding is what women have breasts for. Imitating what they see parents do is as natural as the reason why practically every kid, every where has played “house” and why there are aisles upon aisles in the toy stores of toddler-sized play kitchens, houses, dress-up clothes and SO many other things that encourage this natural and important part of development. Little Miss in the picture is exercising exactly what every little girl, everywhere on the planet has done- she’s mimicking her mama.

The photo I posted shows a mother nursing her baby. Coming up with reasons why breastfeeding isn’t sexual is nearing ad nauseam for me. It’s like having to explain why wanting to pinch baby butts isn’t sexual. DUH, people. Seriously, here. (and again with the creep clause.) Without more input from Facebook, I will never know why my picture was banned. Apparently, there’s a misogynist robot under the employ of Facebook- something, if it continues unchecked and widely accepted, is indicative of another problem, beyond breastfeeding, in and of itself.

Breastfeeding is natural, normal and vital to both mother and child for proper growth and attachment. (I suppose a child COULD subsist on Fast Food entirely, but why would you pay for McDonald’s every meal for meat and vegetables you could raise in your backyard- especially if you literally had to do NOTHING in order to produce said sustenance? How is giving a baby formula any different?) Breastfeeding has been a form of therapy for me since my father’s passing. We can’t let money and conglomerates interfere with our babies’ and our own physical and mental health for their sole benefit. I posted about that here.

I will continue posting photos of myself, friends and supporters breastfeeding on my blog and facebook site. If you’d like to share yours, come by the wall and post on The Progressive Parent community site or e-mail them to me at theprogressiveparent@gmail.com.

I’ll see you on Tuesday, when they let me loose again.

In the meantime- if you feel, like me, that Facebook should eat a dick change their photo guidelines, check the official petition to amend FB Breastfeeding photo guidelines in particular here:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Facebook_to_amend_breastfeedingphoto_guidelines/ 

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12 thoughts on “BANNED!

  1. Thank you for your efforts to normalize the completely normal in our upside down society! I have breastfed all 4 of my children, and God-willing will do the same for our newest due to arrive in 35 days. I have received the shocked stares, ugly looks, and rude comments which I am sure are familiar to most nursing mothers, but I just look at those same people with pity. Pity for their ignorance.

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  2. Pingback: The Status Status | The Progressive Parent

  3. For those of you who have been so supportive about Facebook's repeated censorship and disabling and deleting my Breastfeeding Basics Facebook page, check out this recent article in the Guardian.There's a mention of the controversy, anda link to the blog "Facebook's War on Nipples" from my website, http://www.breastfeedingbasics.com.Visit the page and sign the petition to let FB know that BF is not obscene!http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/aug/03/twitter-guy-adams-online-censorship?INTCMP=SRCH

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  4. Oh, this irritates me to no end. How do they even know the photo is there? Does it mean someone is creeping on all the photos? Or that you were reported? How is making this decision? You'd have to think that it's relatively young people that do THAT job, so what does this say about that generation? Scary.Of course, I breastfed ANYWHERE – i.e., based on when my baby was hungry and needed food (e.g., Starbucks, parks, hiking trails). Have some people seen what they look like when they eat – – now THAT's digusting and should be banned from public viewing! lolI'm visiting from the Feed Me Friday Blog Hop. I am now following via email. Pls. visit us if you get the chance.This is fabulous timing because all email subscribers to our site automatically get entered into ALL of our Summer Reading Weekly Book Giveaways. Pls. check it out and enter! Thanks so much and have a great weekend! :-)http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/summer-reading-weekly-book-giveaways-weeks-4-5/

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  5. Facebook is just ridiculous in how arbitrary and nonsensical these removals and bans are. We are calling for Facebook to assign a staff team to deal with errors when they occur so they can quickly reverse bans and fix problem they create with accounts when their staff misinterpret their breastfeeding photo policies. And of course, they clearly need to amend their policy – their staff aren't getting it!

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  6. i just dont get it! check out Mindy Robinson… she has been reported 100's of times and not deleted. in fact some people have gotten notes back saying it doesnt violate TOS… but this does SERIOUSLY! ughhh

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  7. ITS APPROPRIATE EVERYWHERE! ITS NATURAL AND NORMAL! I take pictures AAaAaAaLlLlLLLL the time of myself, with my beautiful 2 month old daughter LOVING MY BOOB, be it with her breast feeding OR just laying on it after she has fallen ALSEEP… and YES I posted them for the WORLD to see on my FB page. BECAUSE ITS BEAUTIFUL, ^_^ and my daughter looks adorable sleeping with her hand patting my breast and a smile on her face 100% blissful ❤ lol thats just what it is. Yes, It is a sacred bond between mother and child. That needs to be acknowledged and shared NOT kept in the dark, or made to seem like it is taboo. What's NOT appropriate for FB is the women/girl/ bitches/ hoes in their panties and scanties or the ass shots, or the sexy half naked "LOOK AT ME" pictures FB allows. If they want to ban a page dedicated to knowledge, support and love that happens to show breast feeding pictures with NO NIPPLES. Then they need to ban ALL those other people that have WAY to much showing. period end of story. ❤ A Breast Feeding Mother WITH her OWN breast feeding pictures posted ❤

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  8. I cant believe they banned you ❤ ❤ LOvEd reading your page MY mother even subscribed ❤ Keep up the good work and I will send a complain and ask my mother to write one as well about your page being banned when nothing negative was said or shown. ❤ We love your work ❤ Love a Breast Feeding Mom and Other Mothers Everywhere ❤

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  9. Signed your petition and hope that others do the same! How did the most natural thing in the world become so twisted in the eyes of so many?? I just don't get it and support you all the way, Julie!

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  10. Sister wants you all to visit her in cyber jail! Leave a comment on her post, or sign her petition! This is insanity. My nephews only form of nutrition comes from her boobs, do you think she should be banned for being proud of that? TAKE A SIP, JUST DON'T SHOW THE NIP!

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  11. Its not appropriate for FB. Too many creeps and you put yourself and kids at risk from predators out there. Keep this type of beauty sacred as is the special bonds between Mother and Child. It is not important to share these moments with the world.

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  12. Preach on Julie! I have no regrets on letting you use this sweet picture of my beautiful family. Question – if I were bottle-feeding my son and my daughter sat next to me and bottle-fed her doll, would that be offensive. God forbid we teach our children that breast is best! Insert giant eye-roll here.

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