You can see it on Main Street, but breastfeeding moms are not allowed on Facebook. The social networking company has been deleting photos of women with their babies at their breast because it says it violates the decency standards set up for posting pictures on the site.
But moms are fighting back – with a Facebook group and plans for a “nurse in” at the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
Already the group, “Hey, Facebook, breast-feeding is not obscene!,” has attracted almost fifty-four thousand members, and a Facebook “event” page has been built for the Mothers International Lactation Campaign (MILC), a virtual protest to coincide with the nurse in. Members are being asked to change their profile picture to that of a nursing mother for the entirety of Dec. 27, the day women will protest in person in Palo Alto at 11 a.m. The picture need not be that of a human mother, the event creators say, but simply that of a mammal and her young in the act of feeding.
The company told a Daily News reporter that it has not actually banned breastfeeding on the site – photos that do not show an entire breast are allowed. That’s technically true – the profile picture for the Hey, Facebook group is that of a breast almost entirely covered by a mother’s blue t-shirt, the nipple encased in her baby’s mouth. Approximately an inch of skin can be seen between the baby’s cheek and the mom’s shirt.
I’ve got to tell you, I’ve seen plenty of freaky photos on Facebook – from the teenager I babysat when he was 3 looking so blitzed he might well have had alcohol poisoning (not indecent, I suppose, but definitely making me feel old) to the old tea bagging trick (why do guys do this to one another?). I could see removing this kind of thing – you know, underage drinking is against the law guys.
But a mom breastfeeding? Give me a break. I’m one of those people who prefers to give a mom her privacy, and I look away – I probably would avoid commenting on a friend’s photo if it was of her breastfeeding. But, in the end, it’s a mother and her child. It’s not a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. Women can walk down the street wearing nothing on her boobs but a pasty and be violating nothing more than the laws of taste (and fashion). Meanwhile, she’s showing more of her breast than a breastfeeding mom, and with no real reason for it.