Yes, according to Facebook’s obscenity clause. Recently, the world’s largest social network, as well as the comedy website Funny or Die, have come under fire for taking down photos or videos of moms nursing their babies, citing the “obscenity” clauses in their terms of service as justification.
In recent weeks social networks like Facebook have come under fire for deleting pictures that show children breast-feeding and for closing accounts of the mothers who posted the photos. In some of these cases the mothers were told they had violated the site’s terms of service by publishing sexual or obscene material. A separate online campaign has urged the children’s television series “Sesame Street” to show more images of breast-feeding.
Funny or Die, which is directed at an 18-and-over audience, often posts R-rated movie trailers and other bawdy content. But it does not appear to have a strict no-nudity policy: bare breasts can be seen in blooper videos on the site, and in the short “Jon Benjamin’s Ultimate Trick Shot Video” the camera frequently lingers on the genitals of a naked man.
Does this make sense to anyone?
I, for one, don’t understand why Funny or Die permits close-ups of a naked penis but not a bare breast from which a child is eating. And Facebook is closing the accounts of moms who post breastfeeding photos…really? Some people might argue in support of the ban saying they don’t want to see someone else breastfeeding, but I say don’t look, or, if you’re really bothered by it, de-friend the person. I cringe every time one of my Facebook friends posts a photo of their baby’s genitalia–for starters, I think it’s a crazy violation of the baby’s privacy–so I just don’t look at those photos. If that parent is comfortable with sharing that kind of photo with their social network, who am I to stop them or say it isn’t right?
What do you think? Are breastfeeding photos obscene? Is Facebook and Funny or Die right to ban them? If so, are there other photos that should be banned on the same principle?
I absolutely support breastfeeding–after all, I breastfed my own son–and I think moms should have the right to feed their children wherever they see fit. But I question whether the nurse-in that took place at 250 Target stores throughout the country yesterday, or the thwarted breastfeeding flash mob at a Michigan mall earlier this month, are a productive way to bolster public support for breastfeeding. I think they’re an excellent way for breastfeeding moms to support each other, but I suspect that these types of gatherings won’t really influence anyone who is against breastfeeding, or breastfeeding in public, to change their opinion.
Am I mistaken? Perhaps. I pondered the issue while we were making the five-hour drive from Bluefield, West Virginia, to Washington, DC, last night, with a feverish baby in tow, and I decided to ask the Facebook fans of High Chair Times what they thought. It was close to 10 p.m. when I posted this question – Are nurse-ins, like the one that just happened at Target, a productive way to bolster support of public breastfeeding?– but I got a few responses and here they are, in the order they were posted. I think all four women made excellent points:
“No, not because I’m against breastfeeding [but] because I think making all this noise adds fuel to an unnecessary fire,” Nesie said.
“I breastfeed and I don’t think they do any good,” Jessica said. “Personally I will feed my son in public if I want to, I’ve only had one person object, I told her it was my right to feed my child how I choose and she just left without another word. I just think that things like this make it easy for someone against public breastfeeding to have something to fight against.”
“No,” Kerry said. “It just makes the anti breast feeders think we are crazy. It’s one thing to feed your own child where you need to when you need to, but to stage a nurse-in doesn’t help. ”
“I haven’t read up on the one in Target, but I’m itching to participate in something like that,” Kate said. “I hear of too many moms who are afraid to breastfeed in public that I’m happy to make a stink out of it if it will convince at least one mom to say to herself, ‘Well, at least I’m not behaving like THOSE people, I guess I’ll give it a try.’”
What do you think? Are nurse-ins and breastfeeding flash mobs a good way to bolster public support of breastfeeding?
Mary Napoli, of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, organized what was supposed to be a peaceful breastfeeding flash mob at a local mall yesterday–only to have security shut down the event before it began. Napoli, one of 11 women who came to the event, had just sat down to begin breastfeeding her son when a security officer told her to stop, according to the Troy edition of Patch.com.
According to the report, Napoli asserted that the mall manager was objecting to breastfeeding out in the open, not just the flash mob. When she questioned the mall manager whether he allowed nursing in the mall, he replied: “Not in public, we don’t.”
Edward Nakfoor, spokesperson for the Somerset Collection mall, said in a statement issued Sunday evening that the mall does allow breastfeeding, though it does not allow “demonstrating or protesting of any kind, as we are private property.”
(If the name Mary Napoli sounds familiar to you it’s because her controversial You Tube video went viral last month. Napoil claims her sons covered her living room in flour when she took a “five-minute bathroom break,” but some people insist the video is a hoax.)
In my opinion, women should be allowed to breastfeed wherever they see fit–but organizing a flash mob to make that point is misguided. Instead, just live your life and nurse your child when he’s hungry (if you’re nursing). What do you think? Do you side with the moms who planned to participate, or the management who wouldn’t allow the “mob” to take place?
Entertainment Tonight correspondent Samantha Harris recently told PEOPLE that she’s “happy her breastfeeding bust is gone”:
“There are a lot of women in Hollywood who are known for their bodies because of their cleavage — that’s something that I usually lack, and I’m okay with that,” the 37-year-old host told PEOPLE. “Except when I was pregnant and breastfeeding, there was an abundance.”
“I’ve decided that cleavage is for the men, but in practicality, if you asked most women out there, dealing with a large bosom is difficult to do going through life,” she says. “I don’t like the fashion choices I had to make when I was larger there … and exercise was no fun because you had to do double [the] sports bra and you feel constricted.”
Harris has two daughters: Josselyn Sydney, 4, and Hillary Madison, 10 months,
I didn’t breastfeed Mason for long but, looking back, I’ll admit that I enjoyed having a chest that that was literally twice its normal size. Unfortunately I was so worried about what my breasts weren’t doing (producing enough milk) that I didn’t spend enough time appreciating what they were doing, nor did I take a minute to actually enjoy my new body. What about you? Did you (or do you) like your breastfeeding bust? Take our poll now!
French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy welcomed their first child together on October 19.
In case you haven’t heard, Nicolas Sarkozy thinks breastfeeding “is a kind of slavery.” According to The Huffington Post, the French president expressed his jaw-dropping point of view while talking to a group of young French mothers yesterday. He went on to indiscreetly share that his wife Carla Bruni, who gave birth to their first child last month, is “worried about not having enough milk.” He also revealed that he’s pleased breastfeeding lets men off the hook. “It does free men of blame because we don’t have the problem of bottle-feeding. You don’t have to get up at night.”
What the h-ll were you thinking, Mr. President?!
Sarkozy’s comments made him sound like an insensitive jerk. He seems to have no compassion for the challenges that breastfeeding mothers face, nor does he seem to appreciate how sacred breastfeeding is. He should know that for many women, breastfeeding is hard and painful and grueling and exhausting, particularly at a time when their hormones are completely out of whack. He should applaud his wife for her efforts, not reveal personal details of her breastfeeding struggles to the world.
I admire Bruni-Sarkozy and every other breastfeeding mother so much. I wasn’t able to breastfeed for long, but I tried my very best, and I’m a little jealous of moms who succeed at breastfeeding. I’m grateful for the fact that Mason’s first food was my breastmilk, and I’m willing to bet Bruni-Sarkozy feels the same way when she feeds her daughter. I hope that after she stops nursing she’ll have some special memories from her breastfeeding experience. I’ll never forget the way Chris teared up the first time he saw Mason nurse, nor the pride and amazement that I felt as I nourished my baby in this special way.
I hope that Sarkozy looks back on his remarks yesterday with regret and embarrassment. (Wouldn’t it be great if his wife made him sleep on the couch last night?) Breastfeeding mothers need to be supported by others, and I’m so disappointed that a person with so much power would make such discouraging remarks about breastfeeding. I hope that he apologizes to his wife and tells her how proud he is of all the efforts she’s making to give their daughter a healthy start. And I hope that one day he’ll be able to recognize what a miracle breastfeeding is.