Hey, Facebook, Breastfeeding is NOT Obscene!!

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For all the logical reasons that breastfeeding in public is permitted and protected, there are still people who will argue that it is not or should not be allowed. Usually, these  are usually a knee jerk reaction to an image of the breasts we have become all to familiar with and most arguments against nursing in public hold little water when rationally examined.

For the last couple of years, a group on Facebook called "Hey, Facebook, Breastfeeding is not Obscene" has existed to protest Facebook's position that images of breastfeeding are obscene and harmful to children, and therefore do not belong on Facebook.  In that time, the members have heard every possible argument against nursing in public. For instance, my personal favourite...

"Well taking a shit is natural is I don't do that in public/take pictures of it". Shitting is excreting waste from the body; breastfeeding is eating. I'm sure even a moron can figure out the difference. One is a bacteria ridden waste and the other is life giving nourishment. The part of this argument that bothers me the most is that noone would ever compare themselves eating to taking a shit, so why babies? Why do babies have to be subjected to such repulsive comparisons just because their food is manufactured in a breast instead of a factory? And why is human lactation held in such low regards that most people equate it with human waste? These are attitudes I long to understand, and change.

"Breastfeeding is intimate/a bonding experience like making love, and we don't do that in public/take pictures of it". Ummm...I do;) Seriously though, my main issue with this argument is that is is sexualizing breastfeeding just because it involves the breast. It's hard for some to see the breast as anything but a sexual object and confuses them to see it as anything else, especially in the context nurturing and nourishing children. The truth is that breastfeeding has very little in common with love making...besides the fact that both CAN be a bonding experience, and both can NOT be a bonding experience. Sometimes sex is just sex. Sometimes breastfeeding is just feeding.

"Breastfeeding is private". If breastfeeding is private than so is bottle feeding and so it adults eating supper for it's all the same thing!!! Let me ask this, when is the last time anyone here grabbed a ham sandwich and took into a private room to bond with it before you ate it? ANYONE? I didn't think so. I am pretty sure the majority of us just eat our food, just as babies deserve to do.

"You don't need to post breastfeeding pictures on Facebook". And for that matter noone needs to post anything at all on Facebook. You do not need to post a picture of yourself standing in front of the CN Tower, but you do because it is a snapshot of your life. For a breastfeeding mother, a nursing baby is a snapshot of her life. In the first few months she may spend 8 hours a day with a baby to her breast. She will attend weddings, picnics and other social events with her baby and that baby will need to eat. Pictures are taken and shared, breasts are shown, no big deal. Just another normal day. 

It could be easily argued that there is a need to post nursing pictures on Facebook. Many of the photos were removed from groups dedicated to breastfeeding support. Pictures of breastfeeding often give mothers a good visual aide when it comes to latch and positioning. In a society where breastfeeding is no longer the norm and support is scarce, these visual aides and online support are all some women are able to get access to. Denying them of this valuable information is shameful.

"I don't want to see your breast". I don't want to see your ugly face, but unfortunately I have no right to demand you to fuck off and wear a paper bag. Instead, I just do this thing called 'looking away', very cheap and easy to do. I wait for the day I can use this one in real life...it will be priceless.

If you agree, please join us on Facebook for the Mother's International Lactation Campaign (or M.I.L.C) in protest of their removal of breastfeeding images from the site (including priceless works of art and barnyard animals) and to the deletion of nursing Mother's accounts from the site, for doing nothing but sharing pictures of their babies precious lives.

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