Breastfeeding Discrimination

Facebook's Misogyny Needs to End Now

Facebook censorship of breastfeeding photos has been a long standing issue with hundreds of photos being removed over the years Facebook has been active, along with entire pages and profiles removed, many had thousands of followers. The site 'Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is not Obscene' has been created to document many of the photos removed, though this is said to be a fraction of what may have been removed over the years.

Beautiful Breastfeedings Facebook page has recently come under fire from FB censors, who warned that the breastfeeding photos used on the page were "sexually inappropriate". Eight photos were removed and the page administrator banned for a short period of time. Facebook censors warned that if any more photos were reported, the page would be removed.

Like the Beautiful Breastfeeding blog, the FB page is filled with hundreds of beautiful photos and artworks of breastfeeding women and animals from around the world. Below are a sample of the photos removed.

These photos are not 'sexually inappropriate', these women are feeding their children, not performing a sexual act, or provoking sex. Lets remember too that breastfeeding is the most important evolutionary purpose of breasts, and standards for dress are different all around the world. Facebook argues that these photos are classed as 'nudity'. Why then are mens chests not classified as nudity, why are women singled out, particularly when women need to use their breasts so often to breastfeed their children? Logically womens breasts should remain bare, free to feed children as often as required. And in many countries they are, as evidenced in the above photos. So why not us here in Western countries?

In Western societies breasts have become a sexual icon, womens breasts have been 'fetishized', prompting women to cover their breasts so they don't appear sexually provocative. Is this fair? Shall we expect all women to cover their feet as well so we don't get potential foot fetishists all hot and bothered? No we don't cater to foot fetishists. So should we cater to breast fetishists? Many of our men have been taught that it's OK to oggle at breasts, it's OK to plaster pictures of breasts on their walls, they've been taught that objectifying breasts to the point of obsession is OK. This breast obsessed culture has been hundreds, if not thousands of years in the making. But it's not OK.

Let's get one thing clear, this is not about prudishness, this is about respect and fairness. All of us, men and women, need to respect a womans body, it's not fair to make a woman feel objectified, judged or embarrassed of an essential body part that she may one day use as a necessary tool to feed her child. The price of sexualizing breasts has been the inhibition to breastfeed. As a society our priorities are revealed by the fact we have put sexual gratification above the needs of women to breastfeed their children. We are content to perpetuate a breast obsession, while women feel too inhibited to breastfeed and children go without breastmilk. 

No, this is NOT OK. The only way it will end is when we, both men and women, stand up and refuse to participate in the objectification of womens breasts; when we create nudity laws that treat men and women equally; when we as a society respect and embrace the necessity of breastfeeding.

I'm asking you to join us in changing our society, so we can free women from this objectification. Please share this blog post or write your own on the issue, or send an email to Facebook administrators, telling them their misogyny needs to end now. Tell them breastfeeding is not 'sexually provocative', tell them bare breasts are not 'nudity' just as a mans chest is not classed as 'nudity' either.

One of our goals is to change Facebook policy, to allow all breastfeeding photos to be exempt from removal for reasons of being 'sexually inappropriate' or 'nudity'. So please join us in bombarding FB administrators with your disapproval of current FB policy that discriminates against breastfeeding women.

Mark Zuckerbergs official FB profile where you can send him a private message (he is the founder and chief executive at FB):

Chris Cox FB profile where you can send him a private message (he is the vice president of product at FB):

Facebooks official FB HQ page where you can comment:

You can also sign a petition to exempt non-sexual breastfeeding images on Facebook from removal for nudity:

And another petition to stop removing breastfeeding support pages and pictures:

This is the message I've sent to Facebook, feel free to copy, paste and send (insert your own name):

Dear Mark / Chris / Facebook Censors,

Are you aware of the misogyny and female discrimination that goes on within your company? Photos of breastfeeding women are constantly being removed from FB, being labeled by your staff as "sexually inappropriate" and "nudity". US federal law states that breastfeeding, in whatever fashion, is NOT classified as nudity. I implore you to please align FB policy with US federal law and exempt breastfeeding photos on FB from classification as nudity. Breastfeeding is in no way sexual, it is how all mammals feed their young. Breastfeeding mothers have a hard enough time establishing and maintaining breastfeeding, without having to deal with judgment and condemnation from their community. Please help our breastfeeding moms and show that you are supportive of them by allowing their lovely photos breastfeeding their children, that they are so proud of, to be allowed on FB.

Beautiful Breastfeeding

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  1. We are staring at a very ugly situation: it is tacitly OK to exhibit any part of a grown woman's body, as long as doing so rings some till, actually or potentially. There is no money in BFding -- in contrast to erotica -- and so images of women BFding are not OK. This is NOT a place where we want our childrearing and sexual culture to be. The only way forward that I can think of, though, is to remove the breasts from the scope of the law bearing on indecent exposure, once the owner turns, say, 21.