Wednesday, December 31

facebook: "Whoa, hold the nursing and give them more suggestive ads."

Why is this:

More sexually explicit than this?:

The first picture was removed by facebook a few days ago. The other is one of many ads (and photos) that facebook allows (or gets money from!), and continues to harass people who aren't interested in prostitutes. What is up with our standards? facebook has been pulling pictures of mothers nursing their babies to make it a comfortable place for "everyone" to go, but yet they do nothing about the countless suggestive ads (like the one above, which is for a dating site--yes, a "real" dating site)? Here is an article that addresses their policy. It is not just facebook either. The media gets away with all kinds of material that is supposed to by "child" friendly... what about the above ad is child friendly? But gosh, if a woman's breast is shown in the context of nursing, then it's taken down? Aren't a lot of these children still nursing anyway? 

Perhaps breastfeeding babies cannot afford to be airbrushed, nor do they bring in the same revenue of more obscene content.

I don't have a problem with facebook specifically. They can set whatever rules they want to, no matter how ridiculous or inconsistent. It is our society that has produced these backwards standards.


  1. That's ridiculous.

    Is the first picture one that a facebook user posted?

    If so, it was removed because no one paid to have it put up.

    As for the second one, why is she wearing that while sitting in a car?

  2. Yes, that was a user-posted facebook photo.

    As for the second one, I don't know who sits in cars wearing outfits like that other than those who get paid for it, but yes, it is an ad for a dating site, one the facebook is constantly advertising for.

  3. Perhaps because the men who make the decisions like to look at one and not the other?

    Yeah, that was my inner cynic talking, but I do wonder.

  4. I have to wonder too. That seems quite plausible. In my own experience, I have heard more negative remarks about nursing in public than I have about excessive cleavage.

  5. Yay! It's great to see a male advocate for breastfeeding. This is kind of a crappy situation - reminds me of something I saw on the news not too long ago about a mother who got KICKED OFF A PLANE for nursing. As you can imagine, she was livid...good post!

  6. This is one of the terrible things about America (and probably other countries as well). I NEVER saw anyone breastfeeding in America without at least a towel covering themselves. Most of the time, they would go to another room to do it. In Japan, they don't use anything to cover, nor do they even try to. It's a normal part of life, and shouldn't be looked at with the "sex is bad" outlook that lurks in America. My wife is Japanese, and when she came to America, she was kind of shocked how Americans covered up so much or went to another room just to breastfeed. Americans in general seem to be too embarrassed by it or something like that, so they feel the need to cover up. Come to think of it, when I was in Brazil, I saw this a lot too. They would just pull it out and start feeding. I'm curious as to if Facebook would take down advertisements for breast cancer or videos on how to check your breasts for cancer...

  7. well, it goes without saying that the world holds a double standard... this is just another example

  8. down with facebook! Hooray for la leche league!

  9. I have restrained myself from Facebook and now I feel some additional justification for that decision.

    So much hypocrisy in our society and on the web.

    Thanks for the post!

  10. Yeah, welcome to the UHSA, United Hypocritical States of America! :) In europe, it's no big deal. In fact, when I was in Germany, there was a 100 ft, I kid you not, see link here, ad encouraging breast feeding!!!! And any health official encourages it, yet society is discouraging it. It is things like this that will always hold this country back.

  11. Regardless of right or wrong- why would a mother want to post a picture of herself breastfeeding?

    I don't quite understand.

  12. Agreed. The contrast is pretty ridiculous. I'm less offended by the first picture. Actually, I'm not at all offended by the first one. But the ads similar to the second one are growing very old. (In fact I took "single" off of my facebook profile so I would stop getting as many of those stupid ads!)

  13. Salt H20: I betcha you could understand without thinking too hard about it. There are likely as many reasons why a woman might want to post a photo of herself feeding her baby as there are reasons why someone might want to post a graduation photo, or a vacation photo, or a snapshot of the family around the Xmas tree. Or all those people who post photos of their lunches on Flickr.

  14. Why wouldn't a mom (or anyone else) post a picture of herself, or any mother breastfeeding a baby? Why is it offensive? Is it a sexual thing for some people? Or is society just wrongly dictating again how we should think?

    I prefer a woman to be discrete about bearing a breast when breast feeding, but if a baby is latched on and that ruins it for a man (or woman apparently), then I say don't look or walk away!

    I'm offended/disgusted by overwhelming perfumes, tobacco smells, tattoos, cleavage, too much stomach and other nasty low life practices and yet people want to speak out or make a statement about a mother nursing a baby, come on people! We just have to be more intelligent than this...

  15. I believe that this was one of the more troublesome pictures that started off the whole thing:

    That's a little different than the one posted on this blog and the advertisement posted for comparison.

    I have no problem with modest (read: not broadcasting it to the world) breastfeeding (though I would suggest to a mother to kindly check with those around her, as some are more easily offended than others), but it does seem like it's a little less than modest to take pictures of you breastfeeding your child and then post for all to see the ones that show all but a completely bare breast.

    I don't exactly find the picture provocative, but I do have to say that facebook has to draw a line somewhere, even if it is in shifting sands. If they were to allow the photo at the link above(however innocently intentioned), it would be hard for advertisers to argue that they couldn't show the same thing in their ads, except their ads would be more intentionally titillating.

  16. J.Ro, Thanks for the comment!

    Having just looked at the picture, I don’t agree. I don't think it is any more sexual than the nursing photo above. I think the ad is in an entirely different category, and the intentions of it are more than obvious. I don’t think nudity is the point, but setting, intention, and meaning are.

    I do agree that mothers (and everyone) should be aware of their surroundings and be considerate of the culture they are in, but I also think they should have the right to feed their babies in public, and not in a dirty bathroom stall, or on the floor of a bathroom, like some women I’ve talked to do. If covering up with a blanket works for them, and the baby doesn’t mind, then great, but that doesn't work for everyone.

    I think your last paragraph hits at a key issue here, that society must draw the line somewhere, and that line has to be concrete for many of us to follow. Personally, I wish the line were set at “intentionally titillating” as you say, or ads or photos that the “reasonable man” (legal term?) would find sexually arousing, but perhaps that kind of line is impossible to enforce, hence our current standard on not showing nipples, which is completely odd, and allows for explicit ads while taking down nursing mothers.

  17. Actually, I think the standard of "not showing nipples" isn't bad at all. I haven't seen the nipples of any nursing mothers on here yet, but if you can see the nipples of nursing mothers, the baby obviously isn't getting any milk at that point, so they aren't technically "nursing." And if the nipple of the nursing mother becomes ok, then I'm sure the porn industry will jump right on that and get some good "nursing" shots to advertise with.

    Really though, does anybody even click on those sexy dating service ads?

    Intentionally titillating... nice play on words. ;)

  18. edit: the last sentence should have said " wouldn't be hard" (I think it was probably apparent though)

    I completely agree with your last paragraph too, Adam :) I wish that there was an easy way to set a standard. Hopefully it's not too far off-topic, but it reminds me of some people I know who were part of a protest in Orem against Victoria's Secret recently, indicting their ads for their blatant sexuality. Now, I'm all for sensitive advertising, but I think it's hard (and gutsy) to reasonably ask people who sell women's underwear not to use women wearing underwear to advertise their product. This is where the "intentionally titillating" issue becomes very apparent. There's more going on there too, but that's a topic for another time.

    I know that the young woman in these facebook pictures (an acquaintance of my wife's) isn't trying to turn on guys, but is very much an advocate of breastfeeding. And while her pictures make me reasonably (IMO) uncomfortable, and I don't fully understand what she was thinking when she did it, I don't know if I would have tagged it for removal, and think many of the facebook ads are worse by nature. The unfortunate bit of it is that it is such a subjective thing that in our wonderful free speech society it more or less becomes necessary to allow the purposefully provocative ads. Logistically, it probably is impossible to enforce a higher standard. It seems that the best option may be to divert our attention elsewhere, though that doesn't make up for the initial presentation of this type of ad.

    To facebook's credit, they've taken a lot of heat for some of the ads they've posted and have at least made efforts to provide options for their users. Again, it doesn't compensate for the initial presentation of possibly offensive material, but some effort is better than none. Every ad has a little thumbs up or thumbs down by it, which I'm assuming gives you the option to reject certain kinds of ads.

    Of course, I changed my facebook language to English (Pirate) so holding the cursor over the thumbs down pops up a box saying "This be a travesty, make it walk the plank! Arrrr"

    I assume that's the same as "Don't show me this type of ad anymore."

  19. J. Ro, that's fricking genius. I want to change my Facebook language to English (Pirate) too. Why haven't I already...?

  20. Dr. Doyle,
    “if you can see the nipples of nursing mothers, the baby obviously isn't getting any milk at that point, so they aren't technically "nursing."

    Gosh, the baby has got to breathe! :) And younger babies (and new moms) may have a more difficult time.

    “part of a protest in Orem against Victoria's Secret recently, indicting their ads for their blatant sexuality.”

    There was something on the news a year or so ago about Victoria’s Secret toning it down a bit. Granted it was an economic decision, but being a frequenter of a local mall, I have noticed that the outside of the store (which is located next to the food court) is not covered with as many giant mostly nude women.

    “I think it's hard (and gutsy) to reasonably ask people who sell women's underwear not to use women wearing underwear to advertise their product.”

    Agreed. Now, the dating site really was false advertising... I have no problem with people advertising what they’re trying to sell. The placement of the ads are the key.

    “Every ad has a little thumbs up or thumbs down by it, which I'm assuming gives you the option to reject certain kinds of ads.”

    Thanks for pointing that out! I’ve been looking at it (as well as thinking about changing my language to Pirate as well) but it doesn’t allow it for ALL the ads. That is a great option though.

  21. Interesting to get the context.

    I appreciated the comments.


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