“Hey, facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene” on Dr. Phil

h/t to Dorene at All Natural, Baby

$10 off “Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy”

I had previously mentioned M.I.L.C.’s Facebook awareness effort that breastfeeding is not obscene. In honor of the beautiful pictures of women breastfeeding their babies, Laura Keegan, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy is offering $10 off the price of her book, bringing the cost down from $35 to just $25. (Clicking on the picture of the book’s front cover will allow you to see excerpts from the book.) The code you’ll need to enter is Joy10 — and it’s only for today! I got a copy of the book a few days ago, and would highly recommend it to anyone who has any contact with a woman who may by any stretch of the imagination ever nurse her babies — pregnant women, just-had-a-baby women, doulas, midwives, lactation consultants — everyone! The pictures are just gorgeous — all those chubby “milk-drunk” babies are just delicious, plus the wonderful close-up pictures of correct positioning and latching, and the simple step-by-step instructions. As Dr. Christiane Northrup said, it *is* “like having a wise and loving grandmother” teach you how to breastfeed your baby, with comfort and joy.

I’ve just finished reading the book, and will be posting my glowing review of it soon, but I had to dash this off quickly to give you time to order the book today, December 27.

Mothers International Lactation Campaign

This is a Facebook virtual event set for Dec. 27. Here is the info from the group:

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A “VIRTUAL” EVENT AND DOES NOT REQUIRE ATTENDANCE AT A LOCATION…
i.e.: There is no reason to not attend! read on…

Facebook continues to classify breastfeeding photos as obscene content. They continue to arbitrarily remove these photos from member albums and profiles, accompanied by warnings of account termination. This is highly discriminatory and an affront to nursing mothers everywhere. In protest of this, Mothers International Lactation Campaign (M.I.L.C.) has planned a virtual day of protest.

Not only is human lactation responsible for the very survival of our species, it is in no way a sexually explicit, lewd or despicable act. It is also protected by law in most countries, including specifically the state where Facebook is headquartered in the USA.

In protest to the discriminatory and unjust policy of Facebook administration classifying breastfeeding images as obscene content, on December 27th, 2008 M.I.L.C. is asking all of you to change your profile picture for one day, to one which includes an image of a nursing mom.

This could be a picture of you or someone you know nursing a child, it could be a painting or image of a sculpture of a breastfeeding woman, it could also be a photo or image of any nursing mammal….We ask that you include the status line of “Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!”

In addition to this ‘virtual nurse-in’, there will be other events planned around the globe. Please check this page often for regular updates and added information. We will also be including images that you can use for your profile picture on December 27th.

Babies everywhere thank you for your support!!!!!

I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with breastfeeding — even in private. I know a lot of people do not want to show pictures of themselves while nursing, or would not nurse with others (except very close friends or family) in attendance. Other women have no problem with it, and will nurse whenever their babies need it. Some are even a bit more… militant? “in your face”? and will deliberately nurse around people who are uncomfortable with it, “just because.”

I don’t totally agree with the aggressive breastfeeders, because even though it’s totally normal and natural, it can be a stumbling block or hindrance to men (I’m thinking of my husband and brother, and then all men by extension) — they can be made uncomfortable by it, or even have sexual, impure, lustful thoughts while seeing it, and just as I would no more put pornography out for men or women to be shocked by, so I wouldn’t put certain breastfeeding pictures out, simply for the purpose of shocking people. Still, I don’t see a reason why discreet breastfeeding pictures shouldn’t be seen, especially in a day in which breastfeeding is still not promoted as widely as it should be. [Besides, I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the people who are so shocked and horrified by pictures of women nursing their babies would not be shocked or horrified by either female or male nudity when seen in movies, pornography, or “works of art”, regardless of how tasteless, vulgar, and gratuitous the images were. In other words, it is not the pictures of the breast(s) that bother these people but the fact that there is a child at the breast, instead of them just being exposed for purely sexual or artistic reasons.]

I have a tremendous amount of respect for the values of people who would turn away from any display of nudity, and consider it vulgar for anyone but especially women to be seen and/or photographed half-dressed or completely naked; but I believe a lot of other people to be hypocritical in that they will most willingly look at half-dressed or completely naked women and not see a problem with it, while turning in disgust from a picture of a woman who is more modest, yet obviously breastfeeding. It’s the hypocrisy that bothers me, not the standards. Most people who are disturbed by “breastfeeding pictures” are probably disturbed by ones that almost seem calculated to shock. And some of these make me uncomfortable, too, but it depends on the circumstances — in a birth video or pictures of a birth, I expect to see some female nudity and it doesn’t bother me; if I’m not expecting to see it, or it seems to be gratuitous flesh, it becomes a bit more disturbing. While I read “Navelgazing Midwife”‘s blog, I was extremely shocked the first time I saw the picture that is the header for the blog. Now that I know it’s coming, I always make sure my husband is not paying attention when I read it — if he is, I’ll wait until he’s not before clicking over there; and I always scroll down as quickly as possible, because he doesn’t need to see that woman’s breasts. It does seem gratuitous, but to each her own.

For Facebook to say that no breastfeeding pictures are allowed because they are all “obscene” is ridiculous. There are certainly some obscene breastfeeding pictures out there, and I don’t mind them deleting those, just as they might any other pictures that are obscene or even pornographic in nature, because there are children who use facebook that shouldn’t be exposed (literally) to such pictures. But such pictures can be allowed to be visible only to certain people, so not everyone can see them.

I’ve gotten a lot of people who happened across my blog because they were searching for lewd or sexually explicit pictures — I check my “blog stats” and I see the search terms people use to find my blog, and there have been many who came to my blog because I use terms related to birth that can also be related to sexual material. But my blog is not in itself explicit. Same with breastfeeding pictures. There needs to be a little sense from these people. Just as the people who came across my blog by accident were disappointed when they saw that I didn’t have sexually explicit material and exercised discernment to realize that what they were looking for wasn’t on my blog, even so the people at Facebook can use a little common sense to realize that not all breastfeeding pictures are sexual in nature.

And here is an excellent video to go along with the post, by way of Birthing Your Baby:

(btw, if you are on facebook, I’m the Kathy Petersen in Tupelo, MS)