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Obscene or Not?

This photo of Kelli Roman nursing 3-month-old Ivy was removed from Facebook for violating the site's obscenity policy.

Mom Kelli Roman got an unexpected Christmas Eve surprise: Facebook yanked her privileges to use the social networking site not long after she received an e-mail warning for "misusing certain features on the site." Roman has been at the center of a growing controversy on Facebook that's been brewing since last summer (and that we discussed last fall) -- that some photos of breastfeeding are obscene.

The group that Roman started after Facebook removed a photo of her breastfeeding, called "Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is Not Obscene," now has more than 64,000 members. It is hosting its first virtual protest of Facebook's policy tomorrow.

"In response to the ongoing discrimination and oppression of Facebook's policy of designating breastfeeding photos as obscene and the subsequent and seemingly random removal of breastfeeding photos from member albums and profiles, we are planning a group related 'event' to further raise awareness of this injustice and increase a more coordinated and widespread campaign in support of the rights of breastfeeding mothers and their children everywhere," writes group administrator, Stephanie Knapp Muir. Until Christmas Eve, Muir was a co-administrator of the group, along with Roman.

"We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we’re very glad to know that it is so important to some mothers to share this experience with others on Facebook," writes Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt in response to queries about the site's policy on breastfeeding photos. "We take no action on the vast majority of breastfeeding photos because they follow the site’s Terms of Use. Photos containing a fully exposed breast (as defined by showing the nipple or areola) do violate those Terms and may be removed. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children (over the age of 13) who use the site. The photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain."

For the virtual event, the organizers are asking its members to post profile photos tomorrow of a nursing mom of any sort (human, animal or in art) along with a status line of "Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!" There will also be an in-person nurse-in outside Facebook's Palo Alto offices.

Schnitt said the site has no plans to quell the protest. "We certainly respect the right of the mothers to protest. ... the photos we remove are flagged by other users. We’re not planning to do anything proactive about these photos."

What do you think of this whole flap? Does it make you rethink how you and your kids use Facebook?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  December 26, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Babies
Previous: Making the Most of Winter Break | Next: The Vaccine Schedule Debate


The photo you posted is not "obscene" by Facebook's own standards. It would be hard to post a picture of a child eating that also showed a nipple - by definition, unless the mom was showing off the other breast - which is unnecessary. Breastfeeding itself it never obscene.

Posted by: MomSarah | December 26, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

On Parenting: Are Breastfeeding Pics 'Obscene'?

Only to conservative white men who feel it necessary to control women.

Posted by: swatkins1 | December 26, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Of all the galaxies above and flowers below, there is nothing more beautiful in this universe than a mother feeding her baby. Calling that obscene shows a sick mind and heart and a warped society that would if they could ban flowers because they are sex organs.

If you want to ban the obscene, ban Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield and all the TV preachers.

Posted by: garethharris | December 26, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

"These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children (over the age of 13) who use the site."

What the hell does that mean!? Facebook doesn't know that kids under 13 use their site? They think that knowledge of breast feeding is harmful to children? Hello-oo! Babies are born knowing damned little, but they know how to suck on a nipple. You're going to have to do some fetal brain surgery--delicate business, I'm told--to keep kids from knowing about breast feeding.

As for the notion that obscenity is defined by the visibility of the nipple and/or areola, I advise the Facebook "management" not to travel outside the U.S. in order to prevent irreparable damage to their fine sensibilities. And cancel your subscription to Nat'l Geo and don't watch PBS. O, the humanity!

Every time--every single time--I think this country can't get dumber I am proved wrong. I am waaay too optimistic.

By the way, the Facebook concept itself is inestimably dumb. I can't imagine why it would attract anyone.

David Illig

Posted by: Davoud | December 26, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Did you consider the idea that Facebook is not censoring pixs of breastfeeding as an end to itself? Maybe Facebook is trying to enforce the rule against nudity in general. I think that Facebook would be hard pressed to allow pix of breastfeeding and just of a bare breast. Silly you say? What would the rules for posting bf pixs then? The baby must be firmly latched on? The baby must be within 3 inches of the nipple? The baby must be in the arms of the mother? In the same room? Not too far of a stretch for a woman who wants to expose her breasts for whatever reason just to hold a baby, lactating or not!

BTW, I personally know many women of color and non-white males who think bf is disgusting, swatkins1. Everything is not about conservative white men controlling women.

Posted by: Hereandthere | December 26, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Nowhere near as obscene as photos of flag-draped caskets caused by Bush's intelligence failure. But I guess those photos are now also banned.

Posted by: bdunn1 | December 26, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The notion that the human breast or any other part of the human body is obscene, is absurd. Breastfeeding is a normal and quite often public activity in every healthy society on earth. Discouraging or disparaging the practice constitutes a threat to the health of the human immune system.

The Puritans left parts of this nation with a set of beliefs which need to be relegated to the waste heap of failed and misguided policies and procedures. It is the 21st century people, not the 17th!

Posted by: thw2001 | December 26, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

What could possibly be 'obscene' about breastfeeding? Only in America would we allow sexualized images to dominate our mass media and tantalize adolescents into early and inappropriate sexual activity while judging nursing a baby as 'obscene'. Hypocrisy is obscene, and profiteering by hypocrisy is even more obscene. Mark Gary Blumenthal, MD, MPH

Posted by: markomd | December 26, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I've found it's the idea of breastfeeding not the images that cause the trouble. I had special breastfeeding shirts that made it nearly impossible to tell what I was doing so men would come over to admire the baby and when they figured out that I was doing more than cradling her, they jumped out of their skins and beat tracks. Quite funny really. Some people are never going to be comfortable with breastfeeding and "seeing" a little skin isn't the problem.

Posted by: annenh | December 26, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Mammal-- ": any of a class (Mammalia) of warm-blooded higher vertebrates (as placentals, marsupials, or monotremes) that nourish their young with milk secreted by mammary glands, have the skin usually more or less covered with hair, and include humans."

Think about it. It's what we are and what we do.

Posted by: lvia55 | December 26, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I could not find that group on Facebook.

Posted by: rosepetals64 | December 26, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Get over it. Facebook is removing photos that other USERS define as obscene. One of this woman's FRIENDS had to flag it that way. Stop seeing this as some conspiracy of "them" trying to stifle breastfeeding mothers (I was one and see nothing wrong with this photo) and see it for what it really is, Facebook trying to protect themselves in this over-litigious, politically-correct society.

Posted by: mchandris | December 26, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm just wondering, but would Facebook's community standard prevent the posting of Medieval or Renaissance art works containing an image of the Madonna and Child where the Madonna's nipple is exposed?

Posted by: Amory | December 26, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm far from a prude, but I don't want to see anyone having sex or defecating even though those are "natural" acts. And I don't want to see unnatural acts like torture and violence either. Probably the majority of my countrymen will share my taste or at least (in the case of violence) indulge my sensibilities.

On the other hand, I am quite liberal about nudity and don't believe there is anything necessarily obscene about a completely nude body, though I am willing to compromise as long as it's fair. So if Facebook or anyone else wants to ban pictures of an exposed nipple or areola, fine, but ban men's ughly, hairy breasts too! Not only are they obscene, they're as useless as teats on a bull. And you can't say that about breastfeeding.

Posted by: RaymondTAnderson | December 26, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is why women want to post pictures of themselves breastfeeding.

It's one thing to sit quietly in a public place feeding your baby (after all, the kid needs to eat) and quite another to post pictures of yourself doing it. Do you also post pictures of yourselves giving your children their baths? Or training on the potty chair? Or listening to you reading them a story? Or anything else related to your daily activities with your child?

It seems to me that mothers who post pictures of themselves breastfeeding are either showing off (of what I'm not sure) or indulging some kind of exhibitionist tendencies. Otherwise, why would you do this?

Posted by: kjohnson3 | December 26, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Breastfeeding is not obscene. Showing your boobies in public IS.

Posted by: oldahmed | December 26, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Obscene? No. Hot? Yes.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | December 26, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Nothing is "disgusting" in and of itself. We experience disgust because values we CHOOSE to hold are violated. If those values are not rational, we need to change them. Otherwise we are choosing irrationality over reason, neurosis over health. There is no rational reason to feel disgust at the sight of a mother breastfeeding. There is no rational reason to consider the breasts a sexual organ or to regard breasts as "obscene." There is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE that the sight of a woman breastfeeding is harmful to children in any objectively measurable way. The only "values" that are being violated here are anti-life, anti-child, anti-mother, anti-family, anti-reason and anti-common sense. They do not deserve the consideration of any rational person.

Posted by: baddabing1 | December 26, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

What is so bad about a woman nursing a baby? What did God put brest on woman for anyway? If you don't like the picture don't look at it. One person's art is another's pronography. Some of the greatest works of art in the world are nudes; beauty is in the eye of the beholder, censer yourself not your neighbor. "Pluck the log out of your eye so you can see the speck in your neighbor's."

Posted by: OldCoot1 | December 26, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I kind f agree with kjohnson3. I have not problem with breast feeding publicly or privately, but I don't understand why people post pic of their kids all over MySpace and Facebook. I don't think that people realize that anyone who is a friend of one of your friends can see your photos.

When I was working on my M.Ed., it was made very clear that posting pictures of kids with their names is dangerous. If it's a social networking site for adults, why are folks posting their kids? Would they let their 2 year-olds have their own accounts?

Don't trust the privacy settings. These sites can be a great way to communicate with friends and family. Just remember to edit.

BTW, I don't find Kelli Roman's photo offensive at all. I just don't understand why she would want to post pics of her kids.

Posted by: MzFitz | December 26, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

unbelievable..something so pure and natural turned into something dirty. I have seen all kinds of sexy pics on facebook and it seems there is no problem...what a distorted convulated people americans have become-who could find this wrong? Weren't you breast-fed? If not maybe thats why your brain hasn't formed properly-all that man-made fake crap in formula-oh maybe you had the kind that was in china recently--yeah pay big bucks for something you could get for free..makes sense to me...duh.

Posted by: rastaluv | December 26, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Of all the galaxies above and flowers below, there is nothing more beautiful in this universe than a mother feeding her baby."

Well, this is maybe an exaggeration in the other direction. But, whatever, I think most would agree with the notion that breastfeeding is fine, and that we're rather hysterical in this country when it comes to anything involving the human body and/or sexuality.

But what's all this with Facebook, anyway? Why do so many (mostly young) people want to live their lives in public?

Posted by: fdrew | December 26, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

No one seems to be noticing one thing: Facebook is a private website, and posting there is a privilege granted by its owners, not a right. Ms. Roman and her allies have a perfect right to lobby Facebook, argue that the regulation in question does not apply to that photo (good point), or start up their own websites. And as much as they may pout and state how "natural and beautiful" such an act is, the fact remains that many people disagree at the present time. I doubt those same people waxing poetic on the beauty of breastfeeding would be equally sympathetic to the "natural beauty" of a grotesquely obese nudist, or the "natural" function of a person urinating or defecating, or vultures picking apart a carcass. "Natural" simply doesn't trump a person's judgment, unfortunately.

Posted by: LNER4472 | December 26, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

fr rastaluv:

>...what a distorted convulated people americans have become-who could find this wrong? Weren't you breast-fed? If not maybe thats why your brain hasn't formed properly-all that man-made fake crap in formula-oh maybe you had the kind that was in china recently--yeah pay big bucks for something you could get for free..makes sense to me...duh.

I was one of the original formula babies, as I could not digest cow's milk, and was born in 1956. I also see nothing wrong with the picture.
In short, get a clue, grow UP and realize that not everybody can digest cow's milk.


Posted by: Alex511 | December 26, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

to rosepetals64: Here's a link to the group:

Posted by: StaceyGarfinkle | December 26, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a setup column. Nowhere do I see Facebook characterizing this picture or others like it as "obscene." No, they are invasive, inappropriate, unnecessary, etc. Facebook has rules for a reason. If the woman in the picture knew that some 12 yr old boy in the onslaught of puberty who lived down the street from her was viewing her photo every night, would she feel comfortable?

C'mon people. Just a little PROPRIETY, please. (Look it up, if you don't know the meaning of the word.) And stop conjuring up fake controversies.

Posted by: theduke89 | December 26, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I've seen plenty of things that are more obscene on Facebook than a woman breastfeeding (usually things of a sexual nature)

Posted by: palipride47 | December 26, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

A few months ago, a dear friend of mine who is from a different culture posted photographs on Facebook of her children playing on a European beach. Her kids were nude, not abnormal for children at the beach, and she was blissfully ignorant of the way Americans view such things. It fell to me to tell her that even if her profile is private (it is), you never know who can get hold of those photographs, and I had to gently hypothesize the worst-case scenario without coming off as "gross, naked kids!"

It wasn't easy or fun, and she was genuinely surprised at some people's prudishness. While I admire her ability to view the naked body as a beautiful, natural thing, I had to let her know. Luckily she's an understanding woman and didn't get angry at the messenger.

The particular photo above is not obscene--I've seen more exposure in photos of college kids partying than in that photo of a purported exposed boob. Breastfeeding is not obscene. It's not particularly attractive, but lots of things aren't. Still, I've never been an advocate of posting photos of one's children on a public site--dressed or not. There's just too much that can happen. If I were breastfeeding, the last thing I would want is for someone to take a photo of it, and if they did, it certainly wouldn't end up on the Internet.

It may be a beautiful, natural thing, but so are many other bodily functions. That doesn't mean I document every bodily function I have, regardless of whether I think it's beautiful. It's one of those "to each her own" things.

Posted by: Monagatuna | December 26, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Let me guess...the only people excited about this are Americans, the same who disparage modesty (like the burkha) in others, the same who go about the world telling the rest how to live.

Intelligent people worry about exposed breasts like they worry how many angels can dance on a pin.

Posted by: observer100 | December 26, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Years ago, when younger son (now 11) was a baby, we got the opportunity to model for a professional photographer, and I got to choose the set-up and content of some of the shots.

This photographer worked mostly with nudes, and I was in good shape and willing to pose without my clothes. My absolute favorite from the shoot is of me sitting under a tree in a "nest" of long grass. My then-baby is nude in my arms, nursing. He's looking up at me, and I'm looking down at him with a slight smile. His free hand just happened to land on my other breast before the picture was taken.

So, this beautiful work of art would meet Facebook's standards - neither of my nipples are shown. The baby and I both have our legs arranged covering our genitalia. But if they pulled Ms. Roman's photo, I'm quite sure they'd also find ours inappropriate.

Too bad - that photo is every bit as beautiful and inspiring as any Renaissance master's painting of the Madonna and Child. That was my intention when I set it up - a modern-day Pagan Madonna and Child - and I was lucky enough to be working with a skilled photographer who saw and captured what I had in mind, and more. Someday, I hope that gentleman finds a publisher for an art photography book of his work. And I'll be enormously proud to show anyone my family's contribution.

Posted by: SueMc | December 26, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Every time that I hear about a mother being hassled for breastfeeding, I think of Maxim magazine, GQ, etc.

Our society accepts nearly nude images of women all over the media! (Have you noticed how those magazines are often placed directly in children's view?)

Yet somehow, when a woman is breastfeeding and maybe a portion of skin is showing, that is considered obscene?!

If she put her baby down and took a photo with anything else covering her nipple THAT would be acceptable by today's standards.

Why isn't there more support for women who are breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding leads to healthier mothers and babies.

Breastfeeding is natural & healthy and yes, even kids should know that breasts feed babies.

Posted by: kcdoula | December 26, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"I was one of the original formula babies, as I could not digest cow's milk, and was born in 1956. I also see nothing wrong with the picture.
In short, get a clue, grow UP and realize that not everybody can digest cow's milk.
Posted by: Alex511 | December 26, 2008 1:01 PM"


This is not about who can or can't digest cow's milk. It's about what motivates a woman to want to display herself bf-ing to tens of millions of people.

No one cares if a woman is sitting somewhere in public bf-ing a baby. Better, for instance, to do it sitting at a table in a restaurant than in the restaurant's bathroom in a toilet stall. That part is natural and no big deal.

What's weird is a woman who gets herself photographed doing this "ordinary, natural" thing and then posts it online for the whole world to look at. Why do you suppose she does this? It's simple enough to email photos to the family and/or friends you want to share the experience with. But what reaction are you expecting -- or asking for -- from the millions of strangers you seem compelled to invite into your private life?

Such an action suggests any of several scenarios:

1) The woman is emotionally needy and wants admiration from anyone and everyone.

2) The woman's husband or partner thinks it would be "cool" (again, though, why?) and pressures her into agreeing.

3) The woman wants to show off to impress strangers.

4) The woman (or her husband/partner, see #2) has exhibitionist tendencies and gets some sort of gratification from exposing herself.

Were I a relative or friend of this woman, my primary concern would be that this behavior could be a sign of some mental or emotional problems that she really needs to deal with as soon as possible. That kind of unhealthy need for attention and admiration is likely to do real damage to the kid(s) in the long run.

Posted by: kjohnson3 | December 26, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

So many posters here assume that women's nipples are a bad object to see. Facebook calls them obscene and pornographic in all situations. That's a lie and isn't even in accord with the law, in California an elsewhere.

Facebook also claims, as the article shows, that women's nipples harm children.

The Facebook administration is clueless and wrong and perpetuating what one high American court has called ancient and prejudicial stereotypes. That's harmful to a great many women and girls, breastfeeders or not.

Posted by: rapoport3a | December 26, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

kjohnson3 - Would you store food in your bathroom? Now, that's what I find disgusting! I've been in the presence of a number of women breastfeeding. A discrete cloth to conceal flesh that might your delicate sensibilities is all that's needed. Given what's available on the web without any filtering, a picture showing a baby breast feeding is not even prurient. [BTW-calling it bf'ing betrays your prejudice, that's a reference to an entirely sexual activity.]


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 26, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Today, impressionable children are exposed to violence - on the news, on so-called kids cartoons and movies, and in video games. Who knows what damage that causes their psyches. Yet a woman nursing a baby is obscene? Give me a break. I guess the corporatocracy can make money from scenes of beheadings and torture but haven't figured out how to make money from women nursing babies. Our priorities are all screwed up. Which would you rather have your child see?

Posted by: lorax2 | December 27, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The saps who made the ruling on Kelli Roman's Facebook space have filthy minds. I find nothing wrong with the photo posted in this Washington Post article. Instead of killing her account, they should run, not walk, to the nearest psychiatrist and begin therapy immediately.

Posted by: TonyX | December 27, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I would hardly call the pic in question obcene, although for some it might appear erotic. :)

I find the pic interesting from the standpoint that when I nursed in public, I always had a blanket or shawl over my shoulder to avoid making others uncomfortable. I wonder if Mom Kelli considered that she was not as demure as she might have been in public when she posted her pic.

Posted by: edensin | December 27, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

the continued view by a portion of our culture that all nudity is sexual is obscene.
it is not nudity that makes something sexual it is how your sexual organ responds to the nudity; if you are aroused by nudity then how about banning your sexual organ vs banning nudity that others do not view as sexual.
those of you that find all nudity sexually charged are SOCIAL DEVIANTS.
Your inability to keep your sexual organ under control is your problem; stop projecting your problem on the rest of us.

Posted by: AmericanSpirit | December 27, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm 67 and their are few things in life that so vividly describe our humanity as the sight of a woman and child bonding during breast feeding. I must also admit it makes me uncomfortable because I have a tendency to stare not at the sex of a breast rather at the miracle of it all. Uncomfortable because we all know the neocon christian repukes are judging everyone that sees this as beautiful as perverts. Perverts always see others as perverts first.

Posted by: qcdude3 | December 27, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I breast fed my infant and I did not make a big deal over it. I was discrete, often staying alone, in my car and other private, secluded places where I would not be on "display". I personally would not want my picture on the web for all to see. Obviously Roman is a proud mom and that is great. Should this be posted on Facebook? Considering the other tacky material so readily posted, I think that it is certainly not a problem. On the other hand we have many people who think changing a baby is public domain as well! Babies are cute, but they should be afforded privacy as well and not victimized as being pawns for moms and dads to expose whenever. What I think is needed here is a few lessons in manners and politeness. It is not a matter of white male supremacy, it is a matter of considerate manners and sensible behavior. Something that Hollywood is not providing. We should ask the would you like your own mom's breast-feeding of you to be done? I would vote for privacy.

Posted by: liseb | December 27, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

PERVERTED FAMILY VALUES - I have always thought that Americans have the most bizarre idea of what is and isn't obscene. A barely detectable flash of Janet Jackson's nipple caused the FCC to soil their Depends; but disembowelment on the nightly news or prime-time cop drama are just fine family entertainment.

Posted by: oneStarMan | December 27, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

If more Americans read I think they'd find more relevant fuel for their activism.

The internet hosts sites that feature anything from pictures of Native Americans making pottery, to people peeing on eachother and molesting animals. and .mobi were available when I posted this.

Posted by: zer0lin | December 27, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Kelli probably doesn't know who the daddy is and just wants attention...I hope she finds the pervert of her life...LOL

Posted by: JWx2 | December 27, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

potty training is also normal part of about we post images of sure the pedophiles and liberals would love that too!

Posted by: JWx2 | December 27, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

LOLOLOLOL Only you neocon christian repuke bigots can equate the breast feeding of a baby with "potty training".

Posted by: qcdude3 | December 27, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

(* y a w n *)


Posted by: T-Prop | December 28, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm with T-Prop. Read every comment, and still waiting for a good one. Although SueMc -- who thinks a photo of her is every bit as beautiful as the finest medieval art, and will someday make some brave publisher famous -- was pretty amusing.

Posted by: cerebral_but | December 28, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse I'm liberal. I can admit to that proudly. But...this...come on now.

1. It is not obscene. But why would you put this on a site for the world to see? OK so it's natural, but so is being nude. You see where this road leads. Just because it is natural and beautiful doesn't mean its for the world to see. If that's the case, you should have nude pics of you posted, right? After all you entered this world naked.

Add to that, reproduction and procreation. That's natural, it occurs with mammals as does nursing. So what then, post that to the site?

Not to mention taking a dump. That's natural isn't it? So people should be allowed to take pics of them taking a dump since its natural? Yea...just make sure that they are positioned so that no genitalia are present in the photo.

Add a pic of a mom using a breast it may not be pump...cause its something she needs to do to feed her see where this goes? There are about a thousand scenarios where you can say it "Natural" and even though they may be beautiful, it may not appeal to everybody.

2. OK, so they they deleted your pics. If you don't like it get off the site. I'm sure there are a lot of sites that would allow you to post pics of you breast feeding and wouldn't mind if you were even butt naked. You could even start your own and have full control of the content within legal means.

So, you give up some rights. It is a PRIVATE site. It is not run by the Government. If that's the case and freedom of speech and expression should not be limited, then you might as well allow just about everything that is legal right?

If they don't like, so what. This is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Posted by: janusjanus | December 28, 2008 3:55 AM | Report abuse

Should have read..."Add a pic of a mom using a breast pump, it may not be natural...but its something she needs to do to feed her post this for those who prefer to use this method? After all why should they be excluded for the way they choose to nurse their newborns? Do you see where this goes? There are about a thousand scenarios where you can say it "Natural" and even though they may be beautiful, it may not appeal to everybody."

Dont know why it posted the above screwed up version but oh well I guess...?

Posted by: janusjanus | December 28, 2008 4:05 AM | Report abuse

"kjohnson3 - Would you store food in your bathroom? Now, that's what I find disgusting! I've been in the presence of a number of women breastfeeding. A discrete cloth to conceal flesh that might your delicate sensibilities is all that's needed. Given what's available on the web without any filtering, a picture showing a baby breast feeding is not even prurient. [BTW-calling it bf'ing betrays your prejudice, that's a reference to an entirely sexual activity.]
Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 26, 2008 5:23 PM"


You didn't read what I wrote. My message says that it's BETTER for a woman to bf at a restaurant table than to have to do it in the bathroom. I was making the point that bf-ing in public is NO BIG DEAL.

As to your definition of "bf-ing," I can only imagine where your mind is. On a blog about parenting and motherhood, "bf" is a standard abbreviation. If you're reading it as an abbreviation for a sexual act, maybe you should be posting on a different blog.

Posted by: kjohnson3 | December 28, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh I finally get it....

Being on Facebook is a right.

You know....a civil right.

Posted by: T-Prop | December 28, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

It is very disappointing to see that this picture was removed as it does not contain any just shows an everyday mom feeding her newborn. There are so many studies showing that breast feeding has incredible health benefits for the baby and mom. Also it is great for maternal bonding as well as a healthy and inexpensive way to feed a newborn. It is a shame to see such a battle over something so safe and natural.

Mona Saint M.D.

Posted by: MonaSaintMDwwwwhatwomenwanttoknowcom | December 28, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse


Facebook is not saying "No" to pictures of women breastfeeding their babies. They are saying "No" to pictures of women breastfeeding their babies when their nipples and/or aureole are shown on the picture. That is their policy for ALL pictures of breasts. They are not removing other pictures of breastfeeding mothers.

It buts me when information is left out to make a (false) point, unintentional or not. People are protesting this and in doing so are fighting a strawman that is not the issue at all!

Posted by: mrburkley | December 28, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

To mrburkley:

They are not removing photos of all aerolas and nipples...merely female ones. That is illegal and discriminatory. This also implies that there is something inherently wrong with breasts that will cause irreversible damage to our offsring should they see them. Oh wait, breasts are there for our young! BTW, I really think that at an early age we should be taught exactly what mammory glands are: Modified sweat sexy. So I wonder how many people would say that they really like big sweat glands?

Posted by: Mathteacher314 | December 28, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

America, Facebook & co: Grow up.


Posted by: poortrekker | December 29, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I agree, there's some kind of sick double standard going on here. She's merely feeding her infant, not even showing any nipple, areola, or anything like that, and yet Facebook pulled it? Sheesh...that's the same kind of prudish logic that says women can't go around topless on hot days, while men can do the same thing (which is really unfair, especially when you consider that some men have "moobs" bigger than mine!).

I've nursed both my daughters (the first weaned herself at age 2, and my second is 21 months and still nursing), and I can tell you it has done them both a world of good. Their immune systems are happier, we've saved a ton of money not having to buy formula, and I've saved my shoulders not having to lug bottles and formula around in the diaper bag when I'm out and about. I've had few problems nursing in public, with the sole exception of the time a mall security guard got in my face for nursing in public when my older daughter was still a baby and told me to go into the bathroom to do it. He changed his mind after I asked him if HE was willing to eat where other people defecate and told him no way was I going to make my baby do that (just the thought of hearing all those noises and smelling those wonderful bathroom aromas is enough to make my body seize up on that one...yecch!). If Facebook is going to act like Puritans and say that a picture of a woman feeding her child is obscene, then all I have to say to them is the mistletoe hangs from my coattails!

Posted by: dragondancer1814 | December 29, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I happily left after the first banning of photos, and encouraged fellow moms and bfing supporters to do so (google Facebook Sucks).

I can't say I miss it.

What I love is that sexually explicit photos of girls are perfectly allowable on Facebook -- so long as they're not showing nipple.

Makes perfect sense.

Posted by: mublogger | December 29, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

According to Facebook's "logic", children should not even see a photo of a pregnant woman, so that it means that she had sexual relations. And it doesn't bother me whether nipples are hidden or not, because these photos do NOT have any sexual meaning for me.

Posted by: George_de_Moraes | December 30, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

You could always censor the photo! Use the Censor It application to do that in Facebook.

Posted by: Hinox | December 31, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Although SueMc -- who thinks a photo of her is every bit as beautiful as the finest medieval art, and will someday make some brave publisher famous -- was pretty amusing.

Posted by: cerebral_but | December 28, 2008 1:34 AM

You know what is even more amusing?

Someone who doesn't know the difference between medieval and Renaissance periods, and believes they can evaluate the beauty and artistic merit of a work they haven't seen.

Posted by: SueMc | December 31, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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