Why I hear you ask? Well, because I dared to upload a photo of me, breastfeeding my daughter less than an hour after her birth. Without a doubt, this is one of my most cherished memories and an awesome snapshot of this time in my life.
Here is the offending photograph; me in all my breastfeeding, birthy glow glory...
Last Tuesday afternoon I received an email from Facebook to say that I had violated their terms and conditions by uploading an 'offensive' photo.
Since they work hard to keep Facebook 'safe for children' it was deleted and my account was disabled until further notice. I assume it was disabled as I recall at least 2 other occasions where I have had a photograph removed and received warning- oh yes, both were breastfeeding photos.
I queried why my account had been de-activated, and after 24 hours, it was re-activated, with the above photo removed and an 'understanding' from me that this was offensive material. Seriously.
Now, this is not a new issue; it has been happening for a very long time and people are angry.
I have had a number of friends whose accounts have been disabled due to them uploading similar 'offensive' content. One of my good friends has had her fan page disabled for well over a month as I type this; with no explanation. It is beyond ridiculous!
I was so worried about my 100 photo albums I have on the account, all uploaded over the past 3 years, I really can't afford to lose them. Some of my fellow lactivist friends have seen so much of their hard work be discarded because of an anonymous report from someone. That is all it takes. A 'tip off' from a person who finds the idea of feeding a child disgusting (yes, I can't wrap my head around it.) Maybe if these folks had been breastfed more as children they wouldn't feel the way they do about boobies *oh snap!*
So what do I think? Besides thinking Facebook is run by misogynistic, sexist, infantile men? That people are offended by women feeding children because they are conditioned to believe that breasts are only for men to ogle, that formula is 'just as good' as breastmilk, that if you are going to breastfeed your child, it is a private thing that should not been done in public.
Don't even get me started on my theory that most complaints about this come from women! As my friend Dave said, 'What man complains about breasts- any breasts?' (thanks for the giggle, Dave.)
You can find groups on social networking sites like Facebook for just about anything, including I Love Boobs yet women are having photos from their personal accounts deleted because nourishing a child the way nature intended is offensive. Quite simply. Tools.
We as a society need to see women feeding their children as they have been for centuries, new mothers need to be supported and encouraged before and after birth to give their children the very best start in life. It is not hard, and it is not easy- SUPPORT and EDUCATION. The more we see it, the more 'normal' breastfeeding will appear. Yes, it saddens me to even have to type that.
So what can I do? I am a friend to offer you any help/tips I can, an ear to listen to when you need to talk about what is going on and how you feel, a Mother that breastfeeds her 10 month old in Starbucks, on a train, on a plane, in a meeting with HR (yes- I did!) ANYWHERE she needs to be fed. End of.
So, the marvellous thing here is that on my blog, I can post whatever I like.
Since I believe so strongly in the value and importance of breastfeeding and SEEING IT, so it is not considered 'weird, uncomfortable or indiscreet'... feast your eyes on this goodness...
Not me... but a great postcard I found in Mt. Tambourine
I promise you, I am not an exhibitionist, but my mind boggles that people are offended by a child being nourished, seriously?? What the fuck is wrong with people? For my photo to be deleted someone had to report it, and that someone is probably on my 'friends list' and to that person I say, "Number one, get help as you have a problem and number 2, DON'T LOOK.... 'unfriend me'... whatever!"
So, quite frankly Facebook, you can suck it! (pun intended.)