California breastfeeding picture controversy

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California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:19 pm UTC

I don't know if it's just the social circles I'm part of now, but I just heard this story on the radio for probably the 4th time this week. Apparently a woman was breastfeeding her 4 month old daughter during (or after? unclear) her college graduation ceremony, a friend took a picture and it was posted on Facebook, and people are kind of losing their shit about it in a ridiculous manner.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-m ... story.html
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:42 pm UTC

The last thing a baby should be exposed to is a breast. Don't you know? Nearly ever mass murderer in history was exposed to breasts as an infant. Such filthy images only corrupt young minds!

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:45 pm UTC

Yeah, I don't see what the big deal is. Congratulations to this lady and her family!

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Cleverbeans » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:15 pm UTC

She's now the most interesting accountant I've ever heard of.
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:33 pm UTC

Can someone enlighten me as to why 'Black Women Do Breastfeed' is a thing? Is there a stereotype that they don't?

Sarah, the article makes it sound like she posted it to her own facebook, and it generated mostly support and positivity, with, of course, internet and people stupidity.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:52 pm UTC

There is actually some truth behind the stereotype statistically speaking - black women are significantly less likely to breastfeed. I'm not totally sure why. I know women of color in general are less likely to breastfeed, and there's a theory that, particularly among older generations, the prevailing thought is that breastfeeding is what people do who are too poor to afford formula, so formula feeding is a status symbol. Here's a story on it. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =121755349

I think the mom in question posted the picture to the "Black Women Do Breastfeed" group, where of course it would generate support. The loss of shit I was referring to has mostly been on the news sites, which really begs the question of why this is news at all.
Last edited by PictureSarah on Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:07 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Beltayn » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:23 pm UTC

The part I found interesting was how a bunch of her critics were talking about her being a "single mother", which is simply factually inaccurate and totally made up. Presumably they jumped to that conclusion because of her age and race.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:59 am UTC

If I have my details right, a huge marketing campaign was launched many years ago to try and sell formula. Its better for your baby and if you don't buy formula you are a bad mom. Maybe some groups were more vulnerable to this marketing.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:56 am UTC

I know the marketing thing was a very real factor in the developing world and made the companies a lot of money. It's quite possible they also tried it on poorer populations of the US for similar reasons.
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Magnanimous » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:55 am UTC

Beltayn wrote:The part I found interesting was how a bunch of her critics were talking about her being a "single mother", which is simply factually inaccurate and totally made up. Presumably they jumped to that conclusion because of her age and race.

To be fair, she isn't n≥2 mothers.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:23 pm UTC

If facebook is any judge, there is a subset of mothers who feel somehow victimized for breastfeeding or what not. I'm a little fuzzy on how this works, because it seems to consist entirely of someone posting an article declaring that they have the right to breastfeed or summat, and a bunch of agreeing comments. It looks like an echo chamber, not a genuine controversy. I don't see people organizing to put down breastfeeders or anything. Sure, there's always the youtube level trolls or what not, but they don't count for much.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Mutex » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:35 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If facebook is any judge, there is a subset of mothers who feel somehow victimized for breastfeeding or what not. I'm a little fuzzy on how this works, because it seems to consist entirely of someone posting an article declaring that they have the right to breastfeed or summat, and a bunch of agreeing comments. It looks like an echo chamber, not a genuine controversy. I don't see people organizing to put down breastfeeders or anything. Sure, there's always the youtube level trolls or what not, but they don't count for much.


Facebook was notorious for taking down photos on breastfeeding pages (while leaving up videos of decapitations). I've heard of lots of cases of women in the US running into problems trying to breastfeed their babies in public, but not of any actual anti-breastfeeding groups. no. So these pro-breastfeeding groups might be an overreaction but I guess they just want to be pro-active in keeping public opinion on their side?

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:49 pm UTC

That always bothered me about American censorship. It's ok to show murder and death on TV, but one nipple slip and everyone freaks out.

You have a daughter. You walk into her room. What would you rather find; a naked boy or a dead one?

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:08 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:That always bothered me about American censorship. It's ok to show murder and death on TV, but one nipple slip and everyone freaks out.

You have a daughter. You walk into her room. What would you rather find; a naked boy or a dead one?


Or a naked dead one?

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:22 pm UTC

Given that weird movement of 'fathers protecting their daughters virginity', I think we know the answer to that question.
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:24 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:That always bothered me about American censorship. It's ok to show murder and death on TV, but one nipple slip and everyone freaks out.

You have a daughter. You walk into her room. What would you rather find; a naked boy or a dead one?


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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby PictureSarah » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:03 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If facebook is any judge, there is a subset of mothers who feel somehow victimized for breastfeeding or what not. I'm a little fuzzy on how this works, because it seems to consist entirely of someone posting an article declaring that they have the right to breastfeed or summat, and a bunch of agreeing comments. It looks like an echo chamber, not a genuine controversy. I don't see people organizing to put down breastfeeders or anything. Sure, there's always the youtube level trolls or what not, but they don't count for much.


As a newish mom (babychunk is almost 1 now), I can say that you're basically damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you don't breastfeed, you have the crunchy mama brigade telling you that you're a horrible mother for poisoning your child, and your child will be forever doomed to be stupid, obese and diabetic. (The moms that are actually this obnoxious are a small minority, but there are lots of perceived slights for an already-sensitive mom who has failed at exclusively breastfeeding). Programs like WIC will give you pamphlets on "The Risks of Formula Feeding" to make sure you feel even worse about yourself. Strangers will think it's totally appropriate to ask if you're breastfeeding, or if you're pumping at work, and they will judge you if you say no.

If you do breastfeed, you will be contending with people giving you the occasional dirty look or telling you to cover up. When my son was 2ish months old, an older woman actually told me to cover up at the pumpkin patch, where I was nursing in my car of all places. My own mom, who breastfed me for a short time and my sister for well over a year, covered me up anytime I nursed in public, much to my annoyance. Just a week or two ago, a local mom was told to cover up or leave her dentist's office), people saying stuff like "I totally support breastfeeding, but you should at least cover up!" (http://www.scarymommy.com/whats-so-hard ... in-public/), Possibly you will be actively discouraged from breastfeeding by the older generation that feels defensive because that's not the choice they made, and you turned out fine. If you have the audacity to have an extended breastfeeding relationship with your child (past a year or so), people will act like you're a pervert "There's just something wrong with breastfeeding once a kid can ask for it!" or ask if you're planning to breastfeed FOREVER?! - even though the weaning age historically has been well past two years old.
Last edited by PictureSarah on Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:09 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:39 pm UTC

Possibly related. Facebook relaxed its policy on breastfeeding photos today.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby mike-l » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:30 am UTC

I always find it so odd that people have a problem with babies eating
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Cleverbeans » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:33 am UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:That always bothered me about American censorship. It's ok to show murder and death on TV, but one nipple slip and everyone freaks out.

You have a daughter. You walk into her room. What would you rather find; a naked boy or a dead one?


Or a naked dead one?


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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby jareds » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:43 am UTC

Reminds me of the politician who quipped that the only way he could lose the upcoming election was to be found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy. Louisiana, I believe.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Thesh » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:29 am UTC

Kittens nursing.

I have never met anyone who would look at that and be disgusted. Why do people think humans breastfeeding is so gross?
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby poxic » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:26 pm UTC

Because we don't freak out over exposed non-human (and/or non-female) breasts.

American culture has taken a wide step toward the conservative since the '80s or so. It's a strange mix, part Western liberalism and part "assume The Public is an elderly ultra-religious white person with an anxiety disorder".
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Djehutynakht » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:22 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Given that weird movement of 'fathers protecting their daughters virginity', I think we know the answer to that question.


Well I suppose there's a decent chance of her virginity being protected (in a way) for a good amount of time if she's convicted on a murder charge.

Then again, if it's that kind of father... he might end up the suspect instead.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby johnny_7713 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:19 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:I always find it so odd that people have a problem with babies eating


The problem is not the babies eating part, the problem is the female breast being visible part; or at least according to American culture / society that's a problem.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Zamfir » Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:37 pm UTC

That's not specifically American, is it? You'll rarely see a naked breast in public here, outside of the beach. And topless bathing there is a lot less common than it used to be. I know women who would never breastfeed in public, and others who have to push themselves in a bit of a defiant attitude to do so, it's uncomfortable, they have to ignore disapporoving looks.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:42 pm UTC

I've seen naked breasts in public places. Naked 12 year old breasts. It was in Israel, and I think it was German tourists. Not something I'd care to see again, but I turned out well enough and haven't murdered more than several people.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby johnny_7713 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:35 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:That's not specifically American, is it? You'll rarely see a naked breast in public here, outside of the beach. And topless bathing there is a lot less common than it used to be. I know women who would never breastfeed in public, and others who have to push themselves in a bit of a defiant attitude to do so, it's uncomfortable, they have to ignore disapporoving looks.


It's definitely not only specifically American, but I do get the impression many European countries are more accepting of naked breasts in public / media than the US is. More accepting of course in this case not being the same as 'totally cool with'.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby morriswalters » Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:09 pm UTC

I find it odd that people are surprised that something which seems to be so simple, isn't. The same society where women are under pressure to cover up during feeding is the same society which spends tons of money either making those breasts bigger so somebody will like what they see more than they liked what was there in the first place. Where men spend money to see said women with those breasts exposed, and where billions are spent on putting men and women together in such a way so as to make it easy to shed those clothes that they otherwise expect to be in place. Gmalivuk said that there is always a subtext where men interact with women. He was correct. It seems to be related to that complex thing we call civilization. And as such is at least one reason why people go stupid over a women breastfeeding in public.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:28 pm UTC

On breast implants
Spoiler:
I don't find breast implants sexy. Not that I don't find breasts sexy, I'd rather have a real A cup than a fake C. It's because an implant says more than just "hey I'm attractive", it says "I have serious confidence issues and need constant attention". Unless you are getting them after a mastectomy or something like that, don't.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Shivahn » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:44 pm UTC

poxic wrote:Because we don't freak out over exposed non-human (and/or non-female) breasts.

American culture has taken a wide step toward the conservative since the '80s or so. It's a strange mix, part Western liberalism and part "assume The Public is an elderly ultra-religious white person with an anxiety disorder".

Real specifically, it's because we (American culture in particular, Western culture in general) have sexualized breasts a great deal, and have issues with sexuality (both of which I have opinion on). In cultures where other things are sexualized, women are expected to cover those up, but obviously showing breasts is fine. The expectation that women be modest and chaste plays into all of this.
CorruptUser wrote:On breast implants
Spoiler:
I don't find breast implants sexy. Not that I don't find breasts sexy, I'd rather have a real A cup than a fake C. It's because an implant says more than just "hey I'm attractive", it says "I have serious confidence issues and need constant attention". Unless you are getting them after a mastectomy or something like that, don't.

I'll remind all the people who are getting breast implants so you find them sexy of this, but I think you'll find that most of what women do, even the stuff that our collective consciousness believes is to be attractive to men, is because they like it or want it for its own merits and would do so in a world devoid of anyone to pay attention to them.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby mobiusstripsearch » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:38 am UTC

Since it looks like everyone's in agreement, I'm curious: Is there anyone who would like to argue that women shouldn't breastfeed uncovered in public?

Myself, I don't mind breastfeeding, but it seems just as easy to slip into a bathroom if it's quite the problem. If someone dislikes you breastfeeding in your car, then they're choosing to be offended.
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:54 am UTC

People generally don't like being made to breastfeed in loos because they're often not in the best condition and, well, even if they are, they're not a place you'd eat your lunch so why should your kid?

Nursing mothers breastfeedding in the loos is not a solution and just as bad as telling them to cover up.
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:39 pm UTC

It isn't illegal, immoral or unethical. If you feel like covering up to preserve peoples nerves do it, If you don't, then don't. People will adjust.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby PictureSarah » Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:45 pm UTC

mobiusstripsearch wrote:Myself, I don't mind breastfeeding, but it seems just as easy to slip into a bathroom if it's quite the problem. If someone dislikes you breastfeeding in your car, then they're choosing to be offended.


I wouldn't feel great about eating my lunch in a public bathroom, so I don't feel great about my kid eating lunch there either. Also, even if I felt like it was hygienic, I don't really feel like trying to sit comfortably on a public toilet (they usually don't have lids on the toilets or chairs in the bathrooms at most places) and keep my baby from bonking his head on a toilet paper dispenser or a wastebin for feminine hygiene products really sounds like a good time.
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:56 pm UTC

mobiusstripsearch wrote:Since it looks like everyone's in agreement, I'm curious: Is there anyone who would like to argue that women shouldn't breastfeed uncovered in public?

Myself, I don't mind breastfeeding, but it seems just as easy to slip into a bathroom if it's quite the problem. If someone dislikes you breastfeeding in your car, then they're choosing to be offended.

It is curious to me that breastfeeding is privy to people's opinions. People loudly chat on their phones in public, anyone around a sporting arena (or bar) has seen people swearing and shouting loudly, often blocking and jamming traffic.

But a woman pulls out a tit in public to feed an infant, and everyone loses their fucking minds. I think this was spot on;
poxic wrote:It's a strange mix, part Western liberalism and part "assume The Public is an elderly ultra-religious white person with an anxiety disorder".
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:30 pm UTC

Yeah, it could maybe be a little awkward(not covering up), but not more awkward than any one of a ton of other things people do. Nobody is harmed. It should be about on par with other minor social taboos. Like, I dunno, picking your nose. Maybe not perfectly appropriate in public, but not THAT big a deal.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Derek » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:08 pm UTC

poxic wrote:American culture has taken a wide step toward the conservative since the '80s or so. It's a strange mix, part Western liberalism and part "assume The Public is an elderly ultra-religious white person with an anxiety disorder".

I'm curious what makes you think that America is any more conservative about breast exposure or nudity in general than we were thirty years ago.

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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby mobiusstripsearch » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:04 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:People generally don't like being made to breastfeed in loos because they're often not in the best condition and, well, even if they are, they're not a place you'd eat your lunch so why should your kid?

Nursing mothers breastfeedding in the loos is not a solution and just as bad as telling them to cover up.


PictureSarah wrote:
mobiusstripsearch wrote:Myself, I don't mind breastfeeding, but it seems just as easy to slip into a bathroom if it's quite the problem. If someone dislikes you breastfeeding in your car, then they're choosing to be offended.


I wouldn't feel great about eating my lunch in a public bathroom, so I don't feel great about my kid eating lunch there either. Also, even if I felt like it was hygienic, I don't really feel like trying to sit comfortably on a public toilet (they usually don't have lids on the toilets or chairs in the bathrooms at most places) and keep my baby from bonking his head on a toilet paper dispenser or a wastebin for feminine hygiene products really sounds like a good time.


Hm, fair enough. But I still wonder at the general principle -- why not breastfeed in a private place when possible? Is this a thing on which there should be no compromise?

I'm sincere -- should breastfeeding always happen in public, even if it's possible to do it in private?

Izawwlgood wrote:
mobiusstripsearch wrote:Since it looks like everyone's in agreement, I'm curious: Is there anyone who would like to argue that women shouldn't breastfeed uncovered in public?

Myself, I don't mind breastfeeding, but it seems just as easy to slip into a bathroom if it's quite the problem. If someone dislikes you breastfeeding in your car, then they're choosing to be offended.

It is curious to me that breastfeeding is privy to people's opinions. People loudly chat on their phones in public, anyone around a sporting arena (or bar) has seen people swearing and shouting loudly, often blocking and jamming traffic.

But a woman pulls out a tit in public to feed an infant, and everyone loses their fucking minds. I think this was spot on;
poxic wrote:It's a strange mix, part Western liberalism and part "assume The Public is an elderly ultra-religious white person with an anxiety disorder".


Obnoxious phone conversations and loud swearing are also privy to other's opinions. (How many places have "Don't use your phone" signs now?)
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Re: California breastfeeding picture controversy

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:09 pm UTC

mobiusstripsearch wrote:I'm sincere -- should breastfeeding always happen in public, even if it's possible to do it in private?
Honestly; can you think of any reason why it should be?

Should kissing your partner be illegal in public? What about kissing your same sex partner?

Do you see why 'what offends someone' is a poor metric here?
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