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Rotten Circuits
May 22nd, 2006
12:09 pm

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Babies on boobs
There's a small amount of fuss going around that livejournal have banned userpics of breastfeeding.

Now, ignoring the issue of general lj censorship, I can't really see a problem with that. Boobs with men attached are wrong, but boobs with babies attached are ok? I think not.

There's the start of an argument that breasts are designed for feeding babies, but they also serve as secondary sexual characteristics, and play an important part of sex - that's not stopped by the fact that there's a baby in your picture.

I find this and this equally obscene - how obscene is irrelevant - they fail to seriously offend me equally.

Just my two cents - I'm not gonna start on a tirade if there's a flood of breastfeeding posts, I'll just scroll my friends page faster.

Current Music: History of Guns - Break (DeathBoy remix)
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From:missyfern
Date:May 22nd, 2006 11:24 am (UTC)
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I hadn't heard about the ban. Can see your point, though.
My one problem is that society seems to want to deny that breast feeding goes on. They talk about banning it in public, and fair enough, but surely a better solution would be to provide secluded areas for breast feeding to take place? But that's another arguement. Anyways.
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From:longpig
Date:May 22nd, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC)
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I dunno... I find breastfeeding to be completely nonsexual. I also find it interesting that LJ changed their policy to forbid nudity/breasts in general in default icons only *after* people had gotten pissed off about the breastfeeding pic ban. TBH, I think that is in good part the reason people are pissed off; it is pretty clear to me that they were caught in their hypocrisy and were then scrambling to cover their asses.
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From:wererogue
Date:May 23rd, 2006 10:31 am (UTC)
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I agree that the act is nonsexual - but we're not the only ones viewing livejournal, and you can be pretty sure that somebody out there likes it. The breast is a secondary sexual characteristic whether or not its in a baby's mouth, and some people find that either arousing or offensive.

I don't know livejournal's userpic terms history, but I've never seen any naked boobs in userpics before, so my assumtion was that it was already banned.
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From:longpig
Date:May 23rd, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
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The old TOS banned 'graphically sexual or violent' default icons... I know I've seen nudity & sex in icons (Mr. Cat has or had one of two naked dudes grabbing each other) but I wouldn't know whether or not they are default icons. It was amended after this crap started to 'nudity or graphic violence.' Then it was decided that *some* BF icons were OK, as long as you couldn't see nipple or areola. There was a lot of backpedalling and inconsistency.

The argument for breastfeeding icons is that public BF is competely legal in the US & Candada and actually protected (as I recently learned) in California, where LJ's image servers are located.

On the other hand LJ is within their rights to change their TOS to say we all have to have My Little Ponies in our default icons if they want.

Also, I would think there are plenty of Livejournal peeps who aren't north american, and while a small icon of a baby eating isn't anything Little Sally Snotnose isn't going to see life-size down at the mall here, there are quite possibly people from more conservative countries/religions/whatever... One could argue that it is certainly wirhin *their* rights not to have to see something that is offensive to them while surfing through people whose interests include 'Disney princesses' or whatever...

My personal opinion is that while I think that breastfeeding and even the breastfeeding breast are nonsexual, and I think that LJ has gone about this in a very unprofessional manner, they are (as far as I can tell) within their legal rights to do so... and there is nothing to stop people from using a baby on a boob for every single comment and post even if they can't have it as a default. I can understand why people are mad (especially those for whom it hits close to home -- those who have had to deal with rude remarks and the like in real life), but I'm certainly not going to leave lJ over it...
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From:latsyrk
Date:May 23rd, 2006 10:26 am (UTC)
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Just because of that comment, when I get myself a baby, I'm bringing it straight over to your place and breastfeeding it while we're enjoying a nice cup of coffee and sweet that you'll inevitably offer.
I'm kidding, but I think it depends on the company. It would be rude breastfeed if the other people in the room felt uncomfortable, but if they all don't feel it would ruin their respective evenings, do what you have to do! Also, there are ways to be discreet.
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From:wererogue
Date:May 23rd, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
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I'd agree with you on those points, which is why I think a social networking site is within their rights to restrict the content which their site distributes - you're not breastfeeding in your living room on livejournal, you're doing it in everyones, and it's certainly not discrete.
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