Green Room

Facebook Reawakens The Lactivist Monster

posted at 5:06 pm on November 29, 2010 by

Originally posted at David Horowitz’s Newsreal:

There are few people easier to offend than the “lactivists”. These are the breastfeeding moms who think that breastfeeding is akin to something holy and sacred, and get outrageously outraged if you mention that formula-feeding is just as good as breastfeeding — and even more so if they aren’t allowed to breastfeed anytime, anywhere they wish. Every so often there will be a story in the news about some hapless manager of a restaurant or a store asking a breastfeeding mom to cover up. The lactivists promptly descend upon said establishment to show their “right” to breastfeed in public and show their boobs to the entire world. The latest target of lactivist rage is Facebook, for daring to limit how much boob can be shown in breastfeeding photos.

The Facebook breastfeeding controversy is nothing new. For three years now, lactivist moms have been complaining that Facebook has been pulling photos of moms breastfeeding their babies. Time Magazine, however, posted an article a week ago fanning the flames, spotlighting a mother who has had her account suspended four times.

In one of the photos that keeps getting Emma Kwasnica’s Facebook account suspended, the Montreal-based mother and breast-feeding activist is tandem nursing, with a newborn at one breast and a two-year-old at the other. Classical art and public health be damned, Facebook has censored countless breast-feeding photos for violating the company’s terms of use, a policy that has inspired more than 250,000 people to join a Facebook group called “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene!” Kwasnica has protested her four account suspensions by e-mailing administrators and keeps doggedly reposting photographs and organizing virtual “nurse-ins” via her Facebook group, Informed Choice: Birth and Beyond.

The Facebook group mentioned above, arguing that breastfeeding isn’t obscene, would like you to believe that the nasty people who run Facebook are just breastfeeding haters who are looking for an opportunity to promote bottle-fed babies over breastfed infants. Hey, what’s a good protest without a little conspiracy thrown in for good measure, right?

Recently, Facebook has started ‘pulling a myspace’ by not allowing people to post profile pictures of babies nursing. The pictures have been reported as ‘obscene’ and have been removed- their posters warned not to repost or fear being kicked off of Facebook.

We’re wondering: what about a baby breastfeeding is obscene? Especially in comparison to MANY other pictures posted all over Facebook that really are obscene.

Facebook, we expect more from you, and we expect you to realize that nursing moms everywhere have a right to show pictures of their babies eating, just like bottle-fed babies have a right to be seen. In an effort to appease the closed-minded, you are only serving to be detrimental to babies, women, and society.

So does Facebook really have a secret anti-breastfeeding agenda? Uh, not so much.

While lactivist moms like to pretend that breastfeeding is so sacred that it means they can violate Facebook’s Terms of Service, that’s not quite the truth. Nor is Facebook hunting down and deleting profiles of mothers with pictures nursing their children. The woman mentioned in the Time article, Emma Kwasnica, currently has a profile photo of her nursing her baby with pretty much her entire breast on display. But hey, just ignore that. This is controversial, dammit. Also ignore that Facebook doesn’t censor the lactivist groups angry about the Facebook breastfeeding controversy. (You might think that if Facebook really had an anti-breastfeeding agenda at play here they would delete the groups, too, but ssshhh — stop thinking so logically! Jeez!)

Reality isn’t quite so controversial. Women can show breastfeeding photos to their heart’s content, displaying as much boobage as they desire — as long as the nipple or the areola is not shown. And so the controversy becomes diluted. Facebook doesn’t give a hoot if you’re showing breastfeeding pictures provided you don’t show too much of the boob. A Facebook spokesman even gushed about how beautiful and natural breastfeeding is.

“We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we’re very glad to know that it is so important to some mothers to share this experience with others on Facebook… photos containing a fully exposed breast – as defined by showing the nipple or areola – do violate [the site's] terms on obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material and may be removed… the photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain.”

This is the same standard applied to pictures of girls in skimpy outfits and bikinis. If Facebook suddenly decided that displaying the entire breast was A-OK for breastfeeding moms, then why can’t women post topless pictures? Far from catering to the closed-minded, it seems clear that Facebook is trying to fairly police their obscenity standards. And their Terms of Service do not allow photos showing a fully exposed breast. Is the real beef here that lactivist moms don’t get special treatment? Gee, how horrible — they’re expected to follow the exact same rules as everyone else while using Facebook. What an outrage!

One might think that there’s no controversy here whatsoever. After all, no one is required to use Facebook. Facebook is a private organization with its own rules and standards, and even if they were deleting every breastfeeding photo on the site, they are absolutely free to do so. Angry lactivist moms would likewise be free to stop frequenting Facebook and perhaps create their own social networking site where moms can show off their fully exposed breasts to their heart’s content.

Of course, you would have to assume you’re dealing with reasonable people willing to consider rational arguments. You would be dead wrong — after all, lactivists have a history of going overboard with overblown protests.

Over a year ago, I wrote about how one lactivist threw a temper tantrum over a Chik-Fil-A manager asking her to cover up while breastfeeding. As I noted at the time,

I have to say, I feel for the manager in this situation and not much for the breast-feeding mom. First of all, a restaurant owner or manager should absolutely be allowed to decide how their business operates. If they don’t want breast-feeding moms in their place of business, then that’s their business. It may cost them customers, sure, but it’s their decision to make. Second, you see these stories all the time. Some establishment doesn’t want a mom to breast-feed in public without covering up, or wants them to use the restroom, and you see scores of breast-feeding moms out there in protest. But do those moms ever stop and think about the other patrons? No, because it’s all about them. They want to breast-feed in public, dammit, and to hell with what anyone else thinks. They’re going to stamp their little feet until they get their way, much like the children they’re breast-feeding would do. It doesn’t matter whether or not other customers are uncomfortable, it doesn’t matter if business operators should be able to run their businesses the way they should be run. Women should be allowed to breast-feed in public whether the public likes it or not. When you really think about it, it’s pretty childish.

The lactivist moms don’t seem to care how other people feel about them whipping out their boobs for everyone to see, do they? While most people have no problem seeing a woman breastfeeding in public, they don’t feel particularly comfortable when you can memorize the exact size, color, and placement of the breastfeeding mom’s nipples. A little discretion is all that’s usually asked for, and that request is met with the outrage of a temper tantrum thrown by a two-year-old. They pretend that breastfeeding is some kind of civil right, when it’s nothing of the sort. No one is trying to stop moms from breastfeeding. They’re just asking that when a mother decides to breastfeed in public that she doesn’t give everyone around her a glimpse of what they can also see in Playboy.

I’m expecting my first child next year. I plan on breastfeeding, and there will probably be times when I have to do it in public. Does that mean I feel the need to force my breasts on everyone else? Nope. Does it mean that I suddenly don’t mind seeing every detail of another woman’s boobs? Not really. Unlike lactivist moms, I don’t think discretion is an outrageous request — heck, I don’t want scores of other people looking at my breasts. I also don’t particularly care to make other people feel uncomfortable, and openly breastfeeding without covering up even a little makes many people feel uncomfortable. Most women don’t look at another women’s boobs and think “SEX”, but it doesn’t mean they want to see them, either. Most men don’t mind seeing a woman’s breasts, but when it’s a breastfeeding mom they’re uncomfortable as well — after all, if they so much as glance in her direction for a fraction of a second too long, then they get called a pervert and a creep.

But hey, who cares about how other people feel about it?? Breastfeeding is natural. So women shouldn’t have to show discretion when breastfeeding, right? Well, urinating and defecating are natural, too. But we don’t encourage people to do either of those things in public, do we? A lot of things are natural, but that doesn’t make them suddenly sacred.

Earlier this year, Lori Ziganto wrote about a new Obamacare provision for working mothers to get their very own special breastfeeding rooms at work. Unrelated to the Facebook controversy? Maybe, but it’s an example of how government can step in and force private businesses to cave to outrageous demands from lactivist mommies wanting special treatment.

How far do the Facebook lactivists want to go to get their way?

Follow Cassy on Twitter and read more of her work at CassyFiano.com and Hard Corps Wife.

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You remember when restaurants used to have smoking and non-smoking sections? Now there will be boobage and non-boobage sections. The wonders of progress.

gryphon202 on November 29, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Ah, yes. The lactivists. Haven’t calmed down any since I first encountered them on AOL 12 years ago, I see. Don’t worry about them. It’s your relationship with your child, not theirs. My oldest I was able to nurse for a year, and my youngest for six months. I work in a high-stress business, and that affects lactation. All I can tell you is to love that child, and appreciate him/her for the unique person they are, and for being the product of the love you feel for the father of that child.

Oh, and sleep when the kid sleeps. And nursing is sooo much better for night feedings than bottle-feeding. TRUST me!

You’ll be fine. Congratulations.

Sekhmet on November 29, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Formula feeding isn’t as good as breastfeeding– if it were, formula packaging wouldn’t be required to say flat out that breast is best. ;)

Your whole point about how lactivists are to blame for the ObamaCare nursing area mandate is pretty silly, especially given that you admit that their goal is to normalize breastfeeding so it can be done anywhere.

If you checked out the Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene page, you’d see that it’s not just nursing pictures that feature aerola or nipple that are being deleted– even some that show no breast at all are being marked as violating terms of service.

Your outrage at their outrage should probably be put on hold until you actually have a child and have experienced nursing. No one deliberately “forces others to see their breast” while nursing– but not all babies will tolerate a hot blanket over their head while eating, and you may find that the opinion of your hungry child matters more to you than what others might think of having to *gasp* turn their head.

As you know, civilians often change their stances on the military once they or a loved one enlists… perhaps you should consider than women often change their views on parenting once they, you know, become parents. ;)

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 5:32 PM

“But hey, who cares about how other people feel about it?? Breastfeeding is natural. So women shouldn’t have to show discretion when breastfeeding, right? Well, urinating and defecating are natural, too. But we don’t encourage people to do either of those things in public, do we? A lot of things are natural, but that doesn’t make them suddenly sacred”

I envy your future child….

You’re gonna be a great mom if you equate feeding your child with taking a dump…

phadedjaded on November 29, 2010 at 5:36 PM

The lactivists promptly descend upon said establishment to show their “right” to breastfeed in public and show their boobs to the entire world.

I’m often tempted, when I see a woman breastfeeding in public without covering up, to take out my cell phone and start filming just to provoke a reaction. After all, if she’s so proud of this natural activity, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing it in public, then recording it and posting it on the internet should be no problem, right? She’s the one declaring it’s a public, not a private, activity.

Laura Curtis on November 29, 2010 at 6:05 PM

You remember when restaurants used to have smoking and non-smoking sections? Now there will be boobage and non-boobage sections. The wonders of progress.

gryphon202 on November 29, 2010 at 5:22 PM

No, there will be no non-boobage sections. Leftism does not tolerate choice.

joe_doufu on November 29, 2010 at 6:16 PM

No one deliberately “forces others to see their breast” while nursing– but not all babies will tolerate a hot blanket over their head while eating

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 5:32 PM

So those are the only options? Expose your breast or starve a kid who won’t eat under a blanket? I realize I’m not a mother, but that argument just doesn’t hold any water.

and you may find that the opinion of your hungry child matters more to you than what others might think of having to *gasp* turn their head.

Or these mothers might have to *gasp* plan accordingly when going out with their breast feeding child, either finding an appropriate place to feed where the incidental nudity won’t be an issue or bottle feed breast milk for one meal, or even wait until the baby is fed before going out.

You’re gonna be a great mom if you equate feeding your child with taking a dump…

phadedjaded on November 29, 2010 at 5:36 PM

There’s nothing wrong with taking a dump, so I don’t even get your complaint here (it is the end product of breast feeding), but it’s far from the only natural activity that we ask that people do in private. Sex is also natural and wonderful, but that doesn’t make it appropriate in public. Child birth is likewise a beautiful thing that many would even go so far as call miraculous, but that doesn’t mean anyone is at all interested in photos of the process.

Need any other examples or are you just content to preemptively call her a bad mother?

Esthier on November 29, 2010 at 6:31 PM

I’ve nursed babies many times in public without exposing myself to the masses…it wasn’t that hard.

Bob's Kid on November 29, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Esthier on November 29, 2010 at 6:31 PM

As you said, you’re not a mother– so you probably don’t know that not all kids feed on a schedule, especially when going through a growth spurt, and especially not breastfed babies who aren’t trained to down 8 oz of liquid at a time and ignore their own hunger ques. Some breastfed babies don’t even accept a bottle unless they’ve been trained to by being away from their mother and having secondary caregivers feed them.

I think people without kids suggesting that they know more about their eating habits and what is and isnt’ appropriate in dealing with how to feed them is far more offensive than the suggestion that a parent remind people without children that perhaps it’s not as simple as they like it to be.

I was able to nurse so discreetly that often people didn’t even realize I was breastfeeding at the time. That said, not everyone is that skilled at discretion.

Claiming that someone who has nursed has an argument that doesn’t carry any weight is precisely the kind of thing that mothers hate. The hardest part of having kids is dealing with people who have NFC what they’re talking about, but simply can’t resist chiming in with their 2 cents.

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Further, if you can’t see in which way feeding a child is different from having sex or using the bathroom, I don’t even know why you’d think yourself capable of an argument on this topic.

Feeding a baby is equivilant to… feeding an adult.

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Rach… so if you were nursing in public, and someone took video of that without your consent (which they don’t need because you’re in public) and put it on the web, you’re okay with that?

Laura Curtis on November 29, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Totally fine by me. My baby was cute as a freaking button when he nursed.

I’d be more mad if someone took a video of me without my consent while doing something like loading groceries into the car with my undies peaking out the back of my jeans.

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 8:06 PM

I breastfed my son for a full year. He never used a bottle. Went straight to sippy cups. I had little trouble being discreet while breastfeeding in public.

BTW, Sekhmet is absolutely right, nursing is the best for night feedings. For the first few months, my son was in a cradle right beside my bed so night nursing was easy. When he outgrew the cradle and moved to his crib, my hubby would bring him to me for night feedings then tuck him back in bed. Made for some lovely father/son bonding time for them and easy nursing for me. lol

Cassy, may you have a safe and easy delivery and a healthy baby. :)

Kirin on November 29, 2010 at 8:18 PM

BTW, Sekhmet is absolutely right, nursing is the best for night feedings.

A bottle feeding at night does take longer, but the upside is that there are fewer of them. My 3 bottle-fed babies all slept through the night by eight weeks, because their tummies were so nice and full right before bedtime. And, no dependence on nursing to sleep. And daddy gets to be involved in feeding. We loved/love it (youngest is 8 months).

Don’t let the lactivists get you down, Cassy. Sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t work out. I sucked at it, or my kids did, or something (too long a story and TMI to write here). I pumped exclusively for six months each with the first two; unfortunately with the third there just wasn’t enough milk. Incidentally I have the healthiest kids I know – my girls at 7 and 4 have fewer than six non-checkup doctor visits between them.

You’ll do great.

Missy on November 29, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Totally fine by me. My baby was cute as a freaking button when he nursed.

Sure, but people with a breastfeeding fetish aren’t thinking about how cute your baby is. Breastfeeding mothers could well end up on a porn site. Probably have, for that matter. You were discreet – great – but I wonder if these lactivist types who let it all hang out ever thought of how they’re exposing themselves to all sorts of people.

I breastfed my daughter, and while I don’t think breastfeeding is anything to be ashamed of, I still had a healthy appreciation for my own privacy and for other people’s comfort and sensibilities.

Laura Curtis on November 29, 2010 at 8:53 PM

The latest target of lactivist rage is Facebook, for daring to limit how much boob can be shown in breastfeeding photos.

Good for Facebook. All they did was shut down another group of activist trouble-makers starving for attention.

Dogs pee on hydrants and liberals pee on the commons — every chance they get. Using a kid for agitprop is what is sick. People like this delight in the controversy and discomfort they cause others. The Michael Newdows of breast-feeding can take their arguments and stuff it.

Feedie on November 29, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Kids playing at the park is just as, if not moreso, likely to end up on the internet for sickos. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to let my kid play outside. There are a wealth of informative videos on youtube regarding nursing that show how-tos of latching on, etc. If sickos are getting their kicks from watching nursing, they’re more likely to be checking those out anyway.

And seriously, this whole thing of women who nurse in public waving a whole boob around while they do so is so silly it’s hard to believe that people genuinely believe that it even happens.

I’ve seen countless women nursing in public (the Pac NW has some of the highest breastfeeding rates in the country) and never have I seen a women nurse uncovered where she showed any more than a moderately revealing top would. I imagine in more conservative areas that it would be even less likely to encounter a whole breast.

The image used for the article shows more than you can see when someone throws discretion to the wind when nursing uncovered, unless you walk up to them and stand over them. The image is also showing far, far more than many of the pictures taken down from FB.

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 9:14 PM

As for other’s comfort and sensibilities, it’s sad that anyone would be offended by a baby eating. When I was in the presence of people that close-minded, especially if I was in their home, I always asked if they would prefer I nurse in a bedroom or other private area.

No one wants to be given dirty looks or be judged, and chances are if you see a women nursing uncovered who looks less than discreet, she’s more embarassed about it than you are for having to turn your head.

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM

When I was in the presence of people that close-minded, especially if I was in their home, I always asked if they would prefer I nurse in a bedroom or other private area. RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM

So you put the burden of social friction on them. If they ask you leave the room, then they’re the meanies. How thoughtful of you.

Feedie on November 29, 2010 at 9:28 PM

@Missy – You’re absolutely right! Nursing doesn’t always work for a variety of reasons and we moms all just do the best we can for our kids with the hands we’re dealt. Sounds like you’re a fine momma!

I was hoping to pump and have my hubby help with some of the night feedings, but my son never ever did take to a bottle. lol

@Laura Curtis – Amen, sister! :)

Kirin on November 29, 2010 at 9:31 PM

If sickos are getting their kicks from watching nursing, they’re more likely to be checking those out anyway.

I was nursing my daughter at a cafe when she was a month old and a guy offered me $100 to remove the diaper and let him watch me nurse. (I was using an unfolded cloth diaper as a cover-up.) I was totally creeped out. Since then, I’ve been hyper-aware of breastfeeding in public and whenever I see a nursing mother, I catch myself looking around to see who’s looking at her. And a lot of people do watch, and they don’t all have that tender, “aw, look at the cute-as-a-button baby!” expression on their face. Whether people like it or not, for the vast majority of women, our breasts were sexual organs long before they were milk-producing organs, and people – men and women both – DO look at even partially exposed boobs. Seriously – next time you see a nursing mother, don’t watch her, watch everybody else. You’ll be surprised at what you see.

And seriously, this whole thing of women who nurse in public waving a whole boob around while they do so is so silly it’s hard to believe that people genuinely believe that it even happens.

It absolutely does happen; I’ve seen women do it.

Laura Curtis on November 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM

I was nursing my daughter at a cafe when she was a month old and a guy offered me $100 to remove the diaper and let him watch me nurse. (I was using an unfolded cloth diaper as a cover-up.) I was totally creeped out.
Laura Curtis on November 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM

This is reality, as unfortunate as it may seem. There are benefits to all parties of greater discretion, but the activists won’t hear of it.

Sorry you had to endure such a thing. That is creepy. Contrary to liberal mythology, the old days were better days in many ways. In a different time, men would’ve messed up a creep who pulled a stunt like that.

Feedie on November 29, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Laura Curtis on November 29, 2010 at 9:38 PM

You make many good points in your post. Not sure why it shocks; men like looking at breasts. You are quite correct about men staring at breast-feeding women. (For the record, I’m the father of four breast-fed kids, so I do know something about this.

My wife breast fed in some public areas (subtly, under a covering blanket,) but would work with the circumstances; if someone would likely be bothered, she’d switch to a different room/area/whatever…

I don’t recall anyone ever getting super-freaked about it, but again, she wasn’t especially militant about it either.

massrighty on November 29, 2010 at 10:40 PM

For what it’s worth, I once really wanted to link to your site because you wrote an awesome post (can’t remember now what it was), but decided against it because I felt that the picture (with the gun) was inappropriate to direct my male friends to, for pretty much the same reason as these lactivists are having their pictures withdrawn. Oh, the irony.

tikvah on November 30, 2010 at 12:07 AM

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 5:32 PM

You know how I feel about this.*smiles*.
I’m a bottle baby who had a bottle baby. Granted-he was lactose intolerant as an infant so it wouldn’t have mattered-but I intended to go ‘bottle’ no matter what. Had I had more children they would have also been bottle babies.
I’ve always found breast feeding to be on the immodest side and too touchy-feely due to my Asperger’s.(Please tell jenfidel I mentioned my autism again)
I don’t feel like I missed out on anything-but that was my choice. Others feel differently-that’s their choice. The lactivist loons want those who chose bottle feed to feel guilty because they’re supposedly cheating their babies.
My son is now 6′ and still growing.
My body. My baby. MY choice.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 30, 2010 at 1:01 AM

These are the breastfeeding moms who think that breastfeeding is akin to something holy and sacred, and get outrageously outraged if you mention that formula-feeding is just as good as breastfeeding

I absolutely agree that breastfeeding isn’t holy or sacred. But it IS natural. It’s a function of our bodies uniquely designed to feed and equip/protect our offspring. While I’m no LLL zealot, I certainly defend the science. Breast is, by our very biological makeup, best. So, regarding the second point, formula-feeding isn’t “as good” and can never be as optimal as breastfeeding. While there are certainly lacto-extremists, there is a significant amount of defensiveness on the pro-formula side, as well.

Still, every parent from conception to the grave must make these choices, some more significant than others. We’re going to make mistakes (all the time over here!) and disagree. There is absolutely no cause for hysteria in our conversations with each other unless there is abuse. We need to support loving parents (particularly of the conservative variety), not ridicule them for making a choice which differs from our own. I’ll share my opinion, even stridently, but I won’t call anyone a bad mommy for choosing different methods of feeding, training and/or disciplining.

By the way, I’m a mom of two. I breast fed both babies, the first for about 14 months and the second until about 10 months. I would have gone longer had she not gotten distracted, tearing herself off by her teeth. Now that’s a pain I’ll never forget. I did supplement my first child with one formula bottle a day. Since I was a single mom, I just needed a boob break. ha. I always fed on demand and at the end of the day, and the prospect of overnight feedings with no husband to help, I did what I could. :) It never interrupted my supply although I’m aware that doing this has affected others.

Bee on November 30, 2010 at 5:33 AM

A bottle feeding at night does take longer, but the upside is that there are fewer of them. My 3 bottle-fed babies all slept through the night by eight weeks, because their tummies were so nice and full right before bedtime.

Missy on November 29, 2010 at 8:52 PM

I think this is child-specific. My first didn’t sleep through the night until 8 months old (he was breast fed except for one nighttime formula bottle) but my second who was exclusively breast fed got her sleep rhythm down at 8 weeks and was sleeping for 7 hours at night.

Regarding public breastfeeding: I did sometimes, but I always used a cover, although my daughter freaked out when anything was on her head and wouldn’t tolerate it. Both were embarrassingly noisy eaters, and because I was insecure about insane breast size (Wow. Just…WOW. NO ONE needed to see that. haha.) I went into bathrooms or the car. More of a neurotic personal choice than a public decency issue, I think. :D

Bee on November 30, 2010 at 5:45 AM

As you said, you’re not a mother– so you probably don’t know that not all kids feed on a schedule, especially when going through a growth spurt, and especially not breastfed babies who aren’t trained to down 8 oz of liquid at a time and ignore their own hunger ques.

I’m not a mother, but I’m also not an idiot. Being a mother isn’t quite as esoteric as joining the military.

Some breastfed babies don’t even accept a bottle unless they’ve been trained to by being away from their mother and having secondary caregivers feed them.

Ah, so you’d have to plan ahead then, as I said earlier. Still not seeing the problem.

I think people without kids suggesting that they know more about their eating habits and what is and isnt’ appropriate in dealing with how to feed them is far more offensive than the suggestion that a parent remind people without children that perhaps it’s not as simple as they like it to be.

Except, no one’s doing that. I’m not telling any woman how she should feed her baby. No one is. In fact, with this specific issue, FB is only saying that it doesn’t want pictures of a woman’s nipple on its website. As the author of the post explains, if this were an issue of breast feeding itself, FB would remove the groups as well, but it doesn’t.

Just because someone doesn’t want to see your nipple, doesn’t mean that person doesn’t want you to feed your baby. The two have nothing to do with the other.

I was able to nurse so discreetly that often people didn’t even realize I was breastfeeding at the time. That said, not everyone is that skilled at discretion.

So they might need to practice. Oh the horrors!!

Claiming that someone who has nursed has an argument that doesn’t carry any weight is precisely the kind of thing that mothers hate. The hardest part of having kids is dealing with people who have NFC what they’re talking about, but simply can’t resist chiming in with their 2 cents.

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Your own subsequent comments have invalidated completely the idea that it’s just not possible for a woman to consider others and her child. So don’t blame me.

Of course, another option is just not going out with the baby if you’re just incapable of discretely feeding your child or feeding him/her before or finding a more appropriate place to do so, or just not posting pictures that violate FB’s policy.

Regardless, restaurant managers will always have the option to remove people from their restaurants who can’t abide by their rules. Doesn’t matter if these people aren’t mothers or never breast fed. Somehow, they still get a say.

Esthier on November 30, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Feeding a baby is equivalent to… feeding an adult.

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Which would be creepy and not at all beautiful and easily cross into the obscene. Not the comparison I would think you wanted.

And seriously, this whole thing of women who nurse in public waving a whole boob around while they do so is so silly it’s hard to believe that people genuinely believe that it even happens.

It happens, and it’s the entire point of this post. This isn’t at all about breast feeding itself.

The image used for the article shows more than you can see when someone throws discretion to the wind when nursing uncovered, unless you walk up to them and stand over them. The image is also showing far, far more than many of the pictures taken down from FB.

RachDubya on November 29, 2010 at 9:14 PM

That FB is overly aggressive in removing flagged photos doesn’t prove that they’re specifically targeting nursing mothers. They’ve also removed photos like the one above and worse. And they’ve also been overly aggressive with non nursing photos.

It’s their site.

Esthier on November 30, 2010 at 11:29 AM

there is a significant amount of defensiveness on the pro-formula side, as well.

Bee on November 30, 2010 at 5:33 AM

I think the defensiveness on both sides are for the same reason: no one wants to be called a bad mother. And when it comes to formula, many mothers don’t have another option. My mother had to use formula because she was starving her child, either because I wouldn’t cooperate or because her body wouldn’t, I’m not sure.

Some women are just uncomfortable with the idea of breast feeding, and while I agree that it’s better for the baby, it’s not something you can force.

It’s great that you don’t take these disagreements to call another woman a bad mother, but some people aren’t as kind, so I get why this is such a big issue. It’s a good thing that both sides are so concerned about what’s best for the baby. Of course, what’s best for the baby usually doesn’t involve making the mother feel like a failure, or worse.

Esthier on November 30, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Kirin on November 29, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Thank you! It is nice that some folks understand. :)

I think this is child-specific.

I’m sure you’re right. But anecdotally, in my experience, and this includes myself and my siblings, bottle-fed babies on the whole seem to sleep through the night faster. And all of my friends who still have 1, 2, and yes, even 3 year olds needing night feedings are needless to say, all nursing.

Another plus for bottle feeding is that in a few months they learn to hold their own bottle! Kinda nice for me now since I have two other little ones to run after. ;)

Missy on November 30, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The fact that there’s even an argument about this means we ALL live lives that are too cushy so that we have WAAAAAY too much time on our hands.

I only clicked on the link because I didn’t know WTH a “lactivist” is. This is like a bar fight over which Harry Potter character is the best.

Merovign on November 30, 2010 at 10:05 PM

It might not be that easy to get a bunch of doctors to agree that formula confers all the benefits of breast milk to babies.

See colostrum and immune systems.

audiculous on November 30, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Merovign on November 30, 2010 at 10:05 PM

The story itself or the debate over how to feed our children? Because if you mean the latter, it’s actually a very important topic for parents and one which women routinely discuss. It is, after all, something our bodies…do.

It might not be that easy to get a bunch of doctors to agree that formula confers all the benefits of breast milk to babies.

See colostrum and immune systems.

audiculous on November 30, 2010 at 10:19 PM

It’s pretty miraculous. Also great for the budget! :)

Bee on December 1, 2010 at 5:36 AM

Esthier on November 30, 2010 at 11:46 AM

I’ve had many friends who couldn’t BF and felt horribly about it. I try to present facts and my experience, but I understand that many women simply have a hard time and have to make a tough decision, often quickly. I realize it’s a fine line to walk. I hope nothing I’ve said makes any mother feel anything less than loving and good to their kids. It’s a tough job!

Bee on December 1, 2010 at 5:42 AM

It’s a tough job!

Bee on December 1, 2010 at 5:42 AM

Agreed, and I would never tell a mother what she should and shouldn’t do (aside from things like verbal or physical abuse of course). But that doesn’t mean that we need to be a part of those decisions.

Esthier on December 1, 2010 at 4:44 PM