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
- Bullying & Harassment
- Hate Speech
- Graphic content posted for sadistic pleasure
- Pornography & Nudity
- Identity theft & False Representation
- Phishing & Spam
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.
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.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: