Monday, February 26, 2007

MySpace Yanks "Obscene" Pics of Breastfeeding Moms

How coincidental that I should write today about banning shame from breastfeeding in public on the same day that mothers in huff over the same topic launch a cyber protest of MySpace? Seriously, I had no idea or I would have joined them earlier.

Because there's nothing more offensive on MySpace than an appropriately employed lactating breast, right?

Without users' permission, the powers that be at MySpace have been removing photos of mothers nursing their children. Have you heard of this?

First Starbucks. Next the airlines. What next? Our own front yards?

Check it out. The following was excerpted from an Associated Content article written Feb. 19 by Summer Minor:

"As a virtual protest many mothers have begun changing their user pictures to that of nursing babies. The breastfeeding mothers claim that nursing is not offensive at all, and that by being more public about it they are helping to normalize something that has been hidden under a cloud of shame for years. Many feel that the sexualization of the female breast makes it difficult for many to see a difference between using the breast for sex and using the breast for its intended purpose, which is to feed a child. This is on top of an already diminished view of breastfeeding held from the early 1950s when doctors often told women that their milk was not good enough and many families felt that formula created by science was a better choice.

The debated over breastfeeding photos has sparked a fire among those who support breastfeeding in public and those who feel it is disgusting. Many mothers who have breastfeeding photos are finding themselves attacked by those who feel that the breast is a purely sexual object. Hate filled messages are being sent out to many mothers on MySpace for sharing their breastfeeding photos, some are going as far as reporting every photo that the mothers have on their account often resulting in all of the photos deleted by MySpace.

The mothers involved are furious and are not going to take it. So far MySpace has not yet commented on the issue, but breastfeeding photos are still being removed. Many women are claiming that this is discrimination. Images of partial and full nudity that includes the breasts are found on a majority of MySpace profiles, yet it is the breastfeeding photos that are being removed. As the ban on breastfeeding photos continues the firestorm continues to grow. One mother on MySpace commented 'The power of lactating women has been demonstrated often in the media lately (Delta, Pork Board, etc.). Now it's time for us to take on Myspace.'"

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14 Comments:

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Lara said...

yeah, i thought of that when i read the first post, because i had just read another blogger's post about the myspace controversy. strange, strange times, i swear. good for you for standing up and speaking your mind about it. :)

 
At 4:25 AM, Blogger mandarine said...

Next thing, they'll be banning natural birth and imposing c-sections, to avoid untainted unborn children having to... you know.

 
At 5:13 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

All that icky breastmilk...I have no idea how the species has survived thus far! Thank God My Space is taking the moral high ground to protect us from thinking that breasts might just have a use outside of being the play things of men....or maybe women should that said man be so lucky.

I really think I will rest easier now that I can look at slutty My Space profiles of young girls without getting all confused that skantily clad breasts might just be put to use in the scope of motherhood one day.

Whew...Im so glad they are on it!

We shall see how long my default picture at my space lasts....

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger Rae said...

I've had MINE up all week!!!

www.myspace.com/thegirluluvtohate

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger you da mom! said...

i read this article about a woman whose husband would humiliate and berate her because she breastfed her (and his!) baby. are there seriously people out there like this? and how sad for women who don't know any better. "all natural" doesn't just pertain to food, people!

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger charlotte said...

As someone who's raised and breast-fed three babies in Europe, I find the MySpace attitude hard to understand. I breast-fed them in restaurants, shops and planes, and at playgrounds and swimming-pools - wherever and whenever. I guess the breast has become overly sexualised and now people just can't cope with viewing it outside of a sexual context.

Over here we were just as puzzled about the Janet Jackson boob thing - it's just a breast, for goodness sake! I do live in the land of co-ed naked saunas (not gone there myself - yet), where nakedness is considered very normal, no matter what people look like. It's a pretty healthy attitude, I find.

 
At 2:36 PM, Blogger Em said...

This is just nuts. First of all, there are actually photos on myspace that might really offend some folks. So why are they dealing with photos of breastfeeding? Goodness.

Secondly, my wife breast fed all three of our kids. It was great for her. For them. It is a natural thing. Women should be allowed to breastfeed in all these places. I mean, give me a break.

 
At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Helen said...

It is such a coincidence to read this. I had just been thinking about posting on my blog the only photo I have of me breast-feeding my son. He was in intensive care and this was the first time we'd been able to pick him up. I still have problems even looking at those photos because I ended up not being able to breast-feed him for much longer than the first week. They had already started him on formula in intensive care without telling me (not that I am criticising them for this, I respect their judgement, they saved his life after all). I didn't produce any milk either i.e. barely a single drop - not that I have any answers as to why because I was openly described as a "failure" by midwives, nurses and doctors alike. Their attitude appeared to be: "Let's dump the second-rate mother into the failure bag and give our full attention to the real mothers and crowd round them, worshipping them as 'natural breast-feeders'." I had this idea that if I could post that photo, it would be one step towards letting go of the pain, guilt and anger I still feel about not being able to breast-feed. But I still don't know if I can write the post. Maybe one day. I'm nowhere near as angry about it as I was. Oh, and when I do find the courage, that breast-feeding photo will be going straight up onto my myspace profile. You bet! You know, if people weren't so weird in their attitudes towards breast-feeding, perhaps I could have got the help I needed at that vital time? It's time we stopped polarising women into "natural" and "unnatural", "angel" and "demon" etc.

Another thing - I've been criticised by family, friends and even complete strangers for "causing" my baby's difficult birth and subsequent medical problems by "trying to go natural and not demanding a caesarean". As if the matter was in my hands. As if I was capable of making major medical decisions after being in labour for 36 hours and already half out of my mind! I asked my doctor and the midwife if a caesarean could have prevented the problems and they both said without hesitation: "No." Still that doesn't convince people that I'm not at fault. Why are mothers such easy scapegoats? I didn't realise this until I had a baby.

Oh, and despite all this angst, my formula-fed boy is now a happy, bouncing fifteen-month-old, so we're very thankful for that.

I'm just really glad you're discussing these issues. It's important.

 
At 11:55 PM, Anonymous karenkt said...

I breastfeed everywhere. I nursed #1 for 20 months and now I'm 6 months into nursing #2. But I do buy nursing tops from expressive.com to be more discreet. I agree about Europe. It's totally different about nudity there.

 
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