“Comment is free” – it better be, I hope they didn’t pay for this!!

Firstly, big thanks to Amanda Lorenzani for Tweeting about this post on the Guardian website. It’s finally given me something I feel strongly enough to blog about, whilst I get five minutes with my 9 week old daughter snoozing 🙂

So, Facebook decide to ban breastfeeding photos. Well that in itself is ridiculous when you think of all the shitty content they have on there, you’d think a bit of love and breast might spice it up a bit. But today, I’m not gunning for Facebook. We all know it’s pretty lame at the best of times, so this move doesn’t surprise me.

What I am blogging about is the blog written by Stephanie Mangold on the matter. I realise that some people still haven’t quite understood what’s been happening with the web these last few years. Well, in fact, over a decade now. Christ, I feel old. But it still makes me somewhat amused that the whole way that people, and in particular, the next/current generation use the Internet is just passing some people by.

In particular, this comment made me raise one eyebrow in a large arch:

The problem with breastfeeding pictures is not that they are sexual or obscene. The problem is that these photographs are deeply personal and aren’t necessarily appropriate for public consumption.

Er, what?

What planet is this woman on? Breastfeeding too personal for public consumption?! Aha – I think I’ve found one of those strange people who think that breastfeeding should be hidden from everyone, the sordid act that it is!! Shocking.

I breastfeed. I enjoy it. I take pictures of it. And, watch out – I DO IT IN PUBLIC!!! Woohoo! Check me out and my naughty ways. Oh, except, hang on, it’s how my daughter eats! And a very large amount of other babies in the world.

For Stephanie to think that in some way me breastfeeding isn’t appropriate for public consumption is well, offensive. I hazard a guess she doesn’t have children. I also feel for her if when she does, she decides not to breastfeed for fear of never leaving the house in case her hungry offspring decide they need a feed.

Breastfeeding is nowhere near on a par with “wildly dancing sans panties” (the delightful comparison Stephanie uses). In fact, they are pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum. Seriously, where is this woman coming from? Did she even think to speak to anyone who breastfeeds before launching her views out there on a high profile blog?

Some more bits I take issue with:

As Victoria Coren pointed out in the Observer on Sunday: “The problem is that nobody can do anything anymore without putting pictures of it on the internet. It’s as if something doesn’t exist unless it has been recorded.”

Um. Really. Why is that a problem? What a bunch of arse. This isn’t journalism, is repetative sensationalism, on a par with something my Nan might say because she doesn’t understand the medium so decides to have a completely un-thought out pop at it. Total bloody cobblers.

However, unlike Coren, I’m not apt to quickly side with the breastfeeders. For the record, I’m also not apt to side with college students posting pictures of drunken beer bashes, or with users whose profile pictures show them wearing less clothes than you find on some beaches.

There we go again, us breastfeeders are now being compared with “college students posting pictures of drunken beer bashes” – gee thanks. Then I hope you won’t me comparing your writing to on a par with the drivel I’ve been enduring from shitty women’s mags I’ve absently been reading during my many hours of breastfeeding since my daughter arrived.

I’m not pro-censorship; I’m pro-discretion. We’re not alone on the internet, and posting even the most innocent of images can have unforeseen repercussions in our lives.

No, they are only unforseen to people such as yourself who don’t quite get it yet. Out of interest, did Stephanie used to write for the Daily Mail? This smacks of OH MY GOD THE WEB IS FULL OF PERVERTS! Let’s have a War on the Internet!

Wait, there’s more:

Facebook’s foul is not in the fact that it banned photographs of bare breasts, and thereby photos of breastfeeding, but that it fails to police the scores of obscene or sexually suggestive photos that do not show bare nipples.

Is this for real? It’s not April 1st is it?

.. and then even I may be forced to come down on the side of pro-breastfeeding photography.

Oh wow, thanks. You’re too kind, can’t wait to have someone with such incredibly unthought out views as yours fighting our corner. I can see how that would help.. er.

I thought the Guardian employed decent journos, what happened in the last 10 weeks since I had my baby?

About Thayer Prime

Tall. Eats a lot. Talks too much. I tweet over @thayer
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5 Responses to “Comment is free” – it better be, I hope they didn’t pay for this!!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Thayer – calmed down yet?!? Don’t let the dinosaurs wind you up 🙂

    • Thayer Prime says:

      NO! 😉 It really is the biggest bunch of arse of an article I’ve ever read. I can see why it’s filed under comment is free, cos if they paid for that they’re mugs!
      So, she’s not into technology by her own admission, has never breastfed (clearly) and yet she writes an article on Facebook and breastfeeding.. Hmmmm!
      I’m going to make my lunch*. I might have calmed down after that.
      * after all, I’m pretty hungry after being such a rebel and getting my BREASTS OUT at home to BOOBY FEED my daughter. Full coverage over on YouTube.
      It’s tough being this shocking you know.. 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    Some people are so backward
    I’m stunned by some of the comments, i’m a vegan and actually find the idea that humans drink from cows all their life kind of creepy.
    The stigma around breast feeding makes me sick.. i think a few hundred woman should congregate outside parliment and breat feed! right now
    great post

  3. Anonymous says:

    Get it off your chest
    Hey Thayer – in terms of Stephanie M understanding the state of the web, I would quibble with her much earlier in the argument. Facebook isn’t ‘public consumption’ in the same sense as someone acting a particular way in public. It’s public-consumption-in-principle. There are all sorts of ways I can manage my use of Facebook (or Flickr for that matter) in order to avoid all but the most fleeting exposure to something I don’t want to see… which could be as much about a personal phobia of (say) pigeons as it might be breastfeeding.So, whatever the pros and cons of breastfeeding in “public”, an argument which equates Facebook with unmediated ublic exposure doesn’t even make it to first base. IMHO. ;0)

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