Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whatcha Wanna Know? Wednesdays: "Why I get all 'crazy' about breastfeeding" (aka-- The Facebook 'Nurse In' rant)

Remember those family vacation pics you posted this Summer? The ones of your daughter(s) & wife in swimsuits? The candid shots of you and your girlfriends catching some rays in your bikinis on the OBX before a night of dancing? How much skin was shown in those albums?

Are you friends with anyone who's 21-22 years old? Are you, yourself, in this age range? How many albums of drunken nights have you seen posted to your wall? How many pics of you and your friends getting smashed have you posted? How many of those albums showed various states of undress, drunken displays of affection, or the aftermath of too much alcohol?

How many group pages have you 'liked'? Do you know how many of those types of pages will come up if you search for the various names for breasts and genitalia? Thousands..... And what would a page be without a matching photo?

Yet, Facebook allows all these and worse.

When you invite me to 'attend' or 'like' a brand/product event or page and I don't , it's because I don't like that brand/product.
When you invite me to 'attend' or 'like' a political event or page, you're asking me to show my support for a person whose views I may or may not agree with. I will rsvp/like accordingly.

Never will you get a game request from me. Nor will I solicit your 'like' for a brand or product that I don't think you are genuinely interested in.I'll never invite you to hoaxes for free gift cards or sweepstakes.
Yes-- I will solicit your 'like' for RockStar Confections, because many of my 'friends' don't 'like' my business yet.

When I invited you all to the Facebook Nurse In, it wasn't a 'select all' feature that required no thought or consideration. I selected each person's name one by one thinking, "I hope they read what I wrote and what I will post about this even though they may not feel that this event pertains to them since they aren't a nursing mom.", and of course there were those where I thought "oh, I know they're going to attend & repost!".

This nurse in isn't to give breastfeeding moms a free pass to 'put it all out there'. Breastfeeding is not sexual. It's not done to get attention. It's not a political statement. Well, for me, it's not. For me, I'm just feeding my baby. If it happens to get someone's attention, fine. If it happens to make a statement, fine. If you happen to catch a glimpse of boob or nip, I'm frickin' sorry.. but if you're a man & have never seen one, it's about time and if you're a girl/woman, you have your own, you see them daily, get over it. If I had invited you to attend an event to raise awareness for breast cancer, would you have RSVP'd differently?

What part of a breastfeeding duo bothers you?

*I found this on my cell! 1 of my now 2 nursing pics! Killian eating at 8 hours old!*

Is it the mom? The tummy pudge? The side-boob? Is it the aerola? That's just darker skin! The nipple-- which we typically draw the line at when qualifying nudity in movies-- is usually busy and likely not exposed. It is the baby? Is it the point where nipple meets mouth? Are sleeping babies less offensive than awake babies (you know-- how they smirk at the camera in jest looking so contented)? Please tell me so I could (draw even more attention to it by) place(ing) a star or heart or little black bar over it.

I personally choose to nurse covered, uncovered, boob over the top (of the shirt) or rarely under the hem. I have 2 photos of me nursing Killian. None of Marley nursing. None of Chloe nursing. It took me 8 years and 3 kids to not only take these photos, but to have the courage to practice what I preach (that nursing is natural and not shameful) and post these pics.
I invited you all to this event to support ME. To support my right to post photos of my child being fed as freely as any bottlefeeding mother, should I chose to do so. To support my right to post these photos without fear that they will be sought out and deleted by Facebook. To support my right to do this IF I CHOOSE TO-- which until now.. 3 kids and 8 years later... I haven't chosen to. I haven't chosen to post the two photos that I have of Killian nursing until now due to my desire to keep those photos and moments private. However, when I also cannot post them out of fear that my account will be deleted, while Facebook allows such sexually explicit pages without batting an eye, there is a problem.

Facebook is deleting these photos and sending messages that the content makes Facebook 'dangerous for children'.
First-- 'children' do not belong on Facebook. Those who are, should be well supervised, lest they stumble upon much worse.
Second-- 'children' don't have a problem with nursing photos. They haven't been taught that breasts are sexual yet, and if they have, then you as a parent are more peverted than the nursing mom who posted the photo.
Third-- 'children' need to see breastfeeding. If you were at the zoo (or watching tv) and came upon a tiger nursing her cubs... if your family cat had kittens, you wouldn't tear your child away while the babies nursed! In animals, breasts are functional-- but in humans we are taught that breasts are solely for sexual pleasure and that man has successfully replaced (formula) what our bodies create naturally. Again-- who is the one endangering their child? How are they supposed to make sense of such mixed signals?
Finally-- the 'children' who have access to my profile (as I maintain a private page) have likely SEEN me nurse. In person. The ones who haven't are peering over their mom's shoulder (or likely boob!) as she is on my page. And yes, I'm friends with some men (these women's husbands or my own relatives) and I can promise you, for most of them, my boob isn't the first they've seen in a kid's mouth.

If Facebook wants to be a 'breast-free' zone, fine. Take down the breastfeeding photos, but take down the photos of half naked skinny chicks, too. Take down millions of vacation photos... yes, including the ones of you men-- man boobs are included in the ban if we're being 'breast-free'.


Amanda9542 said... [Reply to comment]

Great post. I also have kept the one breastfeeding photo I have private up until now. I do it for myself, but also for other moms, so that they can have the freedom to nurse when and where they want/need to and feel ok about it.

tanniah said... [Reply to comment]

I totally agree. When my son was born, the pic I used, without even thinking about it, was of my hubby and me with the kiddo nursing. We all looked so happy that I didn't even think abut it until a friend asked in the comments, "Are you NURSING??" as if to give me the heads up. Her only hint was the position of my shirt and this was still considered shocking. (She has WAY gotten over it in the last couple of years.)
Yeah, I was, and I don't care, its still posted.

Mrs. Obie said... [Reply to comment]

I actually posted something about breastfeeding being "disgusting" the other day on my blog after reading a comment on a friends picture. She had JUST had a water birth, and was nursing her son who was just a few minutes old. This "man" had the nerve to tell her that it was disgusting that she had this on facebook. You couldn't see anything, other that my friend, who was quite tired from labor, and her loving husband, trying to get their son latched on for the first time.

I was pretty livid with that comment, and had it not been made months and months ago (and she hadn't already torn him a new one) I would have said something.

I have posted at least half a dozen pictures of my daughter nursing. Thankfully, I have such like minded friends that they don't say anything negative. And the ones who don't like it, won't say anything to me, hopefully because they respect me. Or our of fear, who knows. My daughter even nurses her babies and there are pictures of her on there "nursing" as well.

Great post!

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