I'm going to tell you that regardless of how you feel for someone, that doesn't give you the right to censor it. I'm speaking specifically to Facebook right now. They don't delete pictures based on the race or religion of the people in them. They don't delete pictures of girls in bathing suits, a guy kissing his boyfriend (unless it's like a really sexual picture, beyond an innocent kiss), or a picture of a woman feeding her baby formula out of a bottle. Not everyone agrees with these things, but it's considered HATEFUL to delete them, and there would be an outrage if Facebook did so. Yet they routinely delete pictures of women breastfeeding their babies.
Breastfeeding may not be beautiful to everyone, but the fact is, it's NORMAL. And it should be accepted. You can't tell someone "you look fat/ugly/gay/black/Jewish to me, I don't wanna see that, so you're not allowed to put pictures of yourself up." If you don't like looking at someone's pictures, you should just de-friend them. That is the polite thing to do. Not report them to Facebook for a picture that they hold dear to their heart and wanted to share with their family and friends who appreciate it for what it is: a normal picture of them feeding their precious baby. Who the heck cares if it is from a bottle or a breast. That is an innocent baby with a loving mother. It may not have a word like homophobia, racism, etc. But it's just as bad to be hating on breastfeeding moms as it is any other group of people, just for who they are. If you don't like the way someone looks or how they act, don't look at them. That's just the way the world works.
Facebook, what you're doing is not okay! And I hope this page's quickly growing number of fans will help show you that. The page was made in support of a woman who's entire account has been disabled for posting this picture. The message you're sending is that you only welcome certain people on your site, and with that attitude, I (and many other breastfeeders and breastfeeding supporters) will be leaving you soon for some other social network who doesn't discriminate against us! You can't create a world where everything is the way YOU want it. Next, you will be saying you only allow Christians to have Facebook accounts, or no pictures that support a sports team you don't like will be deleted, or something crazy like that. Don't get all high and mighty. Without your members, you are NOTHING! So don't drive us away, because make no mistakes, we can live without you.
I am planning on posting these pictures today... Let's wait and see if Facebook deletes the album. If they do, I will be boycotting Facebook. And that means sacrificing the fun I have on there, the easiest way I have to communicate to most of my family and friends at once, and my ability to share pictures with long distance people who really appreciate them. Believe me, I will be SO PISSED. But no pain, no gain, right? Gotta have sacrifice to make any progress!
So, why is it important to normalize breastfeeding and not hide it away, you ask? Well the truth is, anyone who wants breastfeeding to be a private act is contributing to a much larger problem. Breastfeeding rates are low and this is due in part to lack of support in the medical community and on a personal level. But it is also because of the simple fact that the act is not accepted. Many people make us breastfeeding moms feel extremely uncomfortable to breastfeed in public so we feel we have 2 choices. Hide all the time while breastfeeding or switch to bottles, which is highly insulting and sometimes impossible. The extra work we have to do to pump milk (pay for a pump, try to figure the darn process out, store the milk, heat the milk, etc.) and the fact that NOT ALL BREASTFED BABIES ACCEPT BOTTLES... It's just horrible that we are expected to sacrifice so much just so the public don't have to avert their eyes if they feel uncomfortable. It's downright horrible that I should have to shed tears over this when it's already challenging enough to be a new mother! And even more unacceptable that I should have to ask my innocent baby to accept a bottle that makes her fuss and cry. It is that feeling of making her unhappy that made me become such an activist. I should not have to choose between hiding in my house or sacrificing my child's happiness. Her needs are my main concern, not the wants of the general public. And anyone who tells me to go feed her in the bathroom better watch out because I will go absolutely psycho on them. Here I am, trying to help our nations insane health care costs here, and you're telling me to go sit in a dirty public bathroom. -_-
And don't tell me the "boys shouldn't see that" excuse. If boys these days are so over-sexualized that they can't see a baby eating, maybe they need to see it MORE, so they can stop being so obsessed with boobs. See, I'm helping out here! I'm directly helping with the problem of guys staring at boobs like they've never seen a pair in their life. I bet if boys grew up seeing them used in the normal and boring act of feeding babies, they wouldn't be unable to hold a conversation with a woman's FACE later on in life. There's some study somewhere backing me up, you can Google it if you like. =)
Breastfeeding in public really should be a basic human right. But I'm getting off topic here and I already posted about this, so I digress. Enough ranting for the day!