Breast Practices??

Mon, September 17, 2007


OK, let me make sure I’ve got this straight — if I’m a breastfeeding mom, I can’t share photos of breastfeeding my child on MySpace or Facebook, but if I want to starve myself until I look like this, no problemo.

I knew that Bill Maher decided to publicly mock breastfeeding mothers, but, not being one myself, I wasn’t aware of Facebook and MySpace deciding that such photos were obscene until I took a look at this post by David over at It’s Not A Lecture.

It seems like everybody’s out for the breasts these days and not in a good way.

The message that’s being sent is clear and it’s not a good one — breasts in their natural state must not be seen in public, but breasts for entertainment, especially “enhanced” ones — AWESOME!

So the issue that’s been unspoken for years is finally out there — men’s entertainment vs. the health of women and children. Boob jobs vs. natural mammaries.

The occasional inadvertent “wardrobe malfunction” brings a half million dollar fine. On the flip side, who knows how much the photographers of Britney’s formerly private parts got paid to share them with us.

As adults, we can sift through the hypocrisy and make our own judgments. We can ignore the photos or choose one social networking site over another. But as for our children, especially our daughters, the messages that are being sent in the media they frequent are the worst possible.

If I tried to post the image above of Picasso’s work Maternite on Facebook, it would get removed. Wasn’t there a time when images of breastfeeding mothers were celebrated?

Clearly those days are gone, and we’ll be stuck with images like this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

as “art” unless we do something about it.

Boycott, anyone?

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27 Responses to “Breast Practices??”

  1. Izzy Says:

    You make a great point about the messages this crap sends our daughters. Add that to the list of cultural messages our daughters are getting from the very socially irresponsible American media

  2. suicide_blond Says:

    i agree folks are just out of their minds on this one….

  3. Mom101 Says:

    I just watched the Bill Mahar link and honestly, I was thinking “eh, it’s just a joke” until I got towards the end and it got really venomous.

    I’d be more mad if I didn’t know (and I do know) that he’s a lonely misogynistic bachelor with both a Peter Pan and a Napoleon complex – bad combo – and probably a lot of his own hangups about his own failure to have raised a family.

    It makes me sad. Like the old guy at the bar who’s trying his same old tricks to pick up the 20-somethings, not realizing that his time passed about 2 decades earlier.

  4. Sunshine Says:

    There is something seriously wrong when the perception is that breastfeeding is “icky” or shameful and seeing Britney’s nether regions brings the big money.


    And Mom101 could NOT have described Bill Maher better. He’s a deplorable little man.

  5. Sornie Says:

    I, for one, am all for breasts. I am not easily offended and if breastfeeding is done with a degree of modesty, go for it.

  6. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Dude. I am soooo putting up a breastfeeding picture on my blog tomorrow.

    Stick it, Bill.

  7. Florinda Says:

    “So the issue that’s been unspoken for years is finally out there — men’s entertainment vs. the health of women and children.”

    Yep, I think you nailed it right there. With – hopefully! – the exception of their own children’s mothers, a lot of men just don’t want to know what a woman’s breasts are supposed to be for, other than toys for boys.

    I’m not sure why anyone would actually want to post photos of themselves breastfeeding their babies, but considering a lot of the truly offensive stuff out there, I don’t see what’s wrong with it.

  8. jen Says:

    but would pictures of my non breastfeeding boobs be okay? I agree w/ Izzy. And of course, you.

    it’s why i want to go live in the jungle.

  9. Dana Says:

    sornie: Breastfeeding cannot by definition be an indecent act. It is therefore pointless to admonish nursing moms to be “decent” or “modest” while they’re doing their thing.

    florinda: It doesn’t make any more sense to photograph a baby being fed with a bottle, then. I don’t want to put photos of myself BFing my daughter up on the Web but I recognize that is my own hang-up. It has nothing to do with the validity of putting such a photo on the Web per se.

    We need to stop playing the guys’ game and pretending there is anything qualitatively worse about breastfeeding such that it must be hidden away in shame. Considering we’re mammals and, y’know, actually feeding our babies the way we have been adapted to do so, not to mention feeding them in a more healthy way? Why are we the ones who are supposed to hide?

    And moms who advocate for BFing are narcissistic? That’s rich coming from a guy who gets paid to mouth off on TV.

  10. Jen M. Says:

    God – I had forgotten about Britney’s privates. Great point. I know this is extreme, but I think obscene can be better defined as giving your child soda in a bottle (seen it! more than once!) or knowingly NOT breastfeeding just because you don’t want to – even though the benefits are out there in so many different studies.

    All lactivists SHOULD boycott people that encourage ridiculous, incendiary viewpoints regarding one of the most natural, nourishing, human acts out there.

  11. Ruth Dynamite Says:

    This whole discussion illustrates the power of women.

    Our very nature – our life-giving, milk-filled breasts – are very threatening and dangerously titillating to weak men.

  12. SusieJ Says:

    I hate that this is even an “issue.” Does it matter to anyone that having a baby is so much work, and thank God, we have that one teensy weensy “break” that our milk is ready, and at the perfect temperature at all times? And now, they want to take that right away from us?

    Just don’t look Bill. No one asked you to anyway.

  13. Alex Elliot Says:

    Breasts tend to be either objectified or sexualized. Not that it matters, but I also don’t see what there is to get so upset by when you can’t even see anything when a baby is breastfeeding anyway.

  14. Jenny from Chicago Says:

    I posted on this too. Here’s my link:

  15. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Yep, I did it. I put a breastfeeding picture up. Just because I can.

    Damn, I almost wish I were still breastfeeding so I could go stake out BM and flash him.

  16. Amanda Says:

    Cover your breasts if they are not used for the overt sexuality so gloriously shoved down our throats ’round the clock from every imaginable media outlet. I’ve seen tops that bear more than I do as nurse my daughter.

    I am spitting mad and beyond exhausted by this ridiculous issue.

  17. Amanda Says:

    Ok, sorry, just watched Bill Maher’s bit. I cannot think of a time that I have ever seen a woman pull her breast out to feed her child and have it just hang there. Half the time people don’t even know I am doing it. Looking for attention? This guy is shallow, insecure and just plain smarmy. The only person looking for attention, Mr. Maher, is you. Guess you got it, shame on me.

  18. painted maypole Says:

    if I weren’t already boycotting out of sheer laziness and disinterest, I’d joing the boycott with you! it’s all appalling! great post

  19. Julie Pippert Says:

    Yeah nothing obscene about Paris Hilton or poor Britney Spears’ ladybits. Not at all. That’s TITALLATING (yes, pun intended) thus fine.

    But feeding a baby. Now that’s obscene.

    /sarcastic irony

    It’s so distressing.

    I linked you. :)

    Using My Words

  20. Mrs. Chicky Says:

    I’m disgusted by the whole thing. It makes me want to be a breastfeeding mother again, just to prove a point. Especially to people like Bill Mahar who compared me and all mothers, including his own, to a dog.

  21. Karen Says:

    I’m so incredibly beat down by all of this, all I can do is agree with you – and I do, completely.

  22. Kelly Says:

    What is it with the whole breast phobia in this country? I was watching a movie the other night and I got the f-bomb, the c-bomb, the s-bomb, and lots of other bombs I can’t remember right now. Then out came the topless lady, and I got…the black bar bomb. I found it very odd!

  23. TZT Says:

    I thought we were making progress on this – good laws in a lot of states protecting women’s right to breastfeed in public (even here in Ohio, just in time for me), plenty of public awareness campaigns about the health benefits. Is there some kind of astrological reason for this?

  24. VDog Says:

    Great post. This whole BM/Facebook/MySpace thing is ridiculous.

    My post is called, “Boycott Bill Maher!” heheheh

  25. Anonymous Says:

    A couple of months ago my 2 very modest breast feeding pictures were taken down from Facebook. I received an e-mail from them stating it was considered obscene material. I was warned not to reupload the photos or my account would be shut down. I was furious but had no outlet, so I just dealt with it. Today I come home to an e-mail from, where I have been an active for several years. They too have removed the photos. The reason they give: “the photos are not family friendly”. I am so frustrated and angry! I don’t understand how people can view breastfeeding as obscene…. I need a larger outlet to voice this issue and I just don’t know where or what that is. All I know is that I am sick and tired of being told to put “them” away. I wonder why I wasted all this time, effort and painstaking frustration to be able to breast feed. I could have taken the easy way out but I worked my butt off to be able to breast feed. Myjourney started with weekly appts with a lactation consultant, drinking teas and other concoctions and taking medication to increase my milk. Not to mention the hours of painful pumping in order to boost my milk supply. All this and what for? To be constantly made to feel like it’s shameful and dirty…To be looked at with disdain and horror when I discretely feed my child in hidden away corners and bathrooms? Would these people want to eat THEIR meal in a bathroom? What do we need to do to get back to basics. You know, the days when formula was suplemented to help out in desperate situation where NOTHING worked/breastfeeding was imposible and children were going to starve without it? Too many people have taken the easy/lazy way out over the years and those of us still trying to do what doctors say is best, are suffering.

    I AM SO SICK OF IT!!!!!

    The problem I have is that I have this huge opinion and a loud voice, but no clue what to do with it.

    here is my photo:

    Is it really that horrible?

    Thanks for reading!


  26. michaelw777 Says:

    I just happened to surf on in to this conversation. I haven’t read the Bill Maher rant, but I don’t need to.

    Ladies, I agree with you. To call breastfeeding an obscene act is to sexualize it.

    I for one, as a man, am sick and tired of the constant manipulation of all the sexual content in the media. And amazed that breastfeeding has been singled out this way.

    The message I would get from this schizoid behavior is that sex is ok, but the consequences of sex—babies—is not. I also agree with the commentator who noted that while breastfeeding, more of the breast is covered than in many ads and other pictures shown in various media.

    I just thought you should know, not every man agrees with the strange hypocrisy our society has demonstrated on this issue.

    I like looking at the female body as much as the next guy—but I don’t want to be manipulated into doing it by ads or as a way to get my attention for entertainment.

    A baby breastfeeding is obscene? Calling nourishing another human being obscene is obscene in itself.

    - michael

  27. Betty Boop Says:

    Sorry to disagree with you all, but I just don’t want to see it in public. Don’t want to see naked pictures of Britney Spears either, but she’s not likely to show up in the outfit above next time I’m eating in a restaurant. So glad I live in a state where I don’t have to put up with it. Is Bill Maher single?

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