***EDIT: I had the settings on this blog set to "Adult Content." I changed them because I feel that when you open up an internet page, you are opening yourself up to what is on that page. YOU are taking the risk and therefore, YOU need to be responsible for filtering out what YOU don't want to see. Same goes for life: Don't like it, don't look. If I get myself in a situation I'd rather not be in, removing myself from the situation usually alleviates the stress for me. However, I'm not stressed about posting my breastfeeding photos, so therefore, I won't be leaving! And as for children and what they see on the net, that is for THEIR OWN PARENTS to discuss and limit, not me. Happy Reading!***
That's the question of the hour, it seems, especially over on the FB Stop Harassing Kwasnica and ALL Breastfeeding Women page on Facebook. So, why don't I just leave Facebook, start my own site where all breastfeeding photos and discussions are welcomed, with like-minded individuals who aren't offended by the site of babies sucking on breasts? Call it "Faceboob" and have at whipping our tits around and showing off the repulsiveness of a baby eating on our own page. Why shouldn't I just gather up my militant breastfeeding posse and hitch it on over to our own site? Why?
Let me tell you why.
Because I don't want to. Facebook is the third largest community IN THE WORLD and I want to be a part of the community. I want to share on Facebook and connect with friends and family. On Facebook, I have access to a treasure trove of information on subjects OTHER than breastfeeding that I enjoy such as Crochet, Natural Parenting, and some happy little venting about parenting, complete with crappy pictures, not to mention my slight obsession with The Earth's Children book series and all fan-atic stuffs therein! Facebook is where I learn, connect, write, share, and most of all, where I go to help women breastfeed.
I've met many people online and have a contact base that includes people from all walks of life. They know that if they need advice on breastfeeding, I'm open to sharing and passing on information. They can see my pride and acceptance of breastfeeding and breastfeeding full-term in the pictures I post of my children nursing. Sure, we could meet up elsewhere, but why should we 'get off the bus' if we aren't the ones who are having an issue?
There is a policy on Facebook in regards to uploading breastfeeding pictures. While it is a bit vague, it does set some guidelines for posting and viewing of the photos and even states that Facebook follows the same guidelines as print and television media. They've even changed up the words a bit to include 'child' and not just 'baby.' They say they won't take action on the photos that are compliant, but as can be seen on Jodine Chase's blog posts detailing further deletions of breastfeeding photos, Facebook isn't exactly following their own rules.
My question to those asking me to leave is this: Who should leave? If you are uncomfortable with the photos, shouldn't you leave? Maybe not Facebook, but leave the area/forum/page in which they are posted? I've asked my friends and family to either unfriend or hide my posts instead of reporting and I had 9 lost friends (and who knows how many just hid me) that day. They knew that I wasn't going to lighten up on the issue and that they didn't want to see my photos, so they took their own comfort into consideration and removed themselves from the situation. Again, I'm not suggesting you leave Facebook, but removing the chances that you might see the images, and therefore, be offended, isn't a bad idea, either. I don't really like house pets, so I don't go to house pet pages or forums. See, easy!
Honestly, I don't believe anyone should leave, not even the 'trolls' or 'haters.' I believe that the more people see breastfeeding, whether it be in person or via photos on Facebook, the more people will accept breastfeeding. It won't be cool to tell me how gross or vile or useless breastfeeding is anymore, because it will be the minority opinion. And once you truly consider that breastfeeding is feeding a child, how can you even think of it as gross? It's a child, a baby, a toddler, a CHILD. Eating. Being sweet and cute and just being!
There are choices to be made in this world. I am free to leave or stay on Facebook. You are free to look at the photos or not. Your choice!
I've made a vow with myself to be nice during this and to give information as well as my opinion without spewing hate or words that will make others value themselves or their opinions less. I'm trying and I will continue to try. I hope I can inspire some of you, whether you like the photos or not, to try, too.
Jen (who isn't going anywhere!)