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The Breast Protest

You might have noted that there is a bit of blog deletion going on today in livejournal land. It is, from what I understand, a protest against a ban of nipple icons.

If you've not read about this, you can go here, and do so:

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 - Women on the popular blog site LiveJournal are calling foul at the company’s decision to brand images of breastfeeding as ‘inappropriate.’ Many users of the site have joined together to urge LiveJournal's parent company SixApart to address their concerns and reevaluate the policy.

Small "userpics" of no more than 100 by 100 pixels represent LiveJournal members throughout the site. Users can define one of these icons as "default icon" which plugs it into the user's public profile. These default icons were originally not permitted to be ‘sexually explicit or graphically violent.’ Recently, icons which depicted breastfeeding were cited as being ‘inappropriate’ by the LiveJournal abuse team, a group of volunteers who monitor complaints on the site. After clarification was requested, LiveJournal changed their FAQ to reflect a no nudity rule and is claiming that icons with visible areola or nipple are not permitted. Whether or not areola is visible in a photograph is dependent on a number of factors, including skin tone of the mother and physical changes during pregnancy.

To be quite honest, I'm not real worked up about the breast feeding aspect of this. Of course women have a right to breast feed, and of course it's ridiculous to ban the icons. But the battle for breast feeding in public and breast feeding images is for other people to go out there and fight. If you want to read a bit more about that there's a post here at Making Light, with a bunch of links.

The real problem, here, however, is that this is just another example of sanitization. Of something that might offend someone being removed so that that one person can browse through the pornography saturated internet web without having their eyes burnt out. Or some such shit. And that's a real problem, because that kind of mentality will find itself into a lot of different areas. Which is stupid, because the response to someone who finds breast feeding offensive--in fact, anyone who finds anything offensive--is simple, "Don't read it anymore."

There is a petition to sign and while these things might not be worth much, I signed it anyway. You want, you can too.

(And so it is said, I am a paid user of livejournal. I have not had any problems with livejournal. But this is the kind of thing that would see me move my dog and pony show that is this blog to another service. Because as I said up there, if you don't like something, you can, ultimately, go elsewhere. If this becomes a trend of livejournal, I will.)


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Jun. 6th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
Just another manifestation of the movement to sand down all the sharp points and airbrush out all the inconvenient nipples on the Internet, until we reach the point that nothing can be found that isn't at a child's level. Think of the children, Ben. Think of the irreperable damage that could be done if they see a nipple before they're old enough to legally fuck its owner! I'm sure we all sleep more safely knowing that there is no way a child will ever see a nipple before the age of 18, now that breastfeeding has been banned from Livejournal.

Remember, mothers: if you must breastfeed (you filthy, deviant, PERVERTS) ensure your child wears a blindfold at all times.
Jun. 6th, 2006 04:11 am (UTC)
i try not to think of children. evil little things. they have nipples, you know.
Jun. 6th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC)
Dunno about the rest of you, but I was born with nipples. And, omg, I see them every day.

There are scarier things in the world. Noses, for example. There are a whole lot of noses on the early morning train that need censoring.
Jun. 6th, 2006 04:07 am (UTC)
i wasn't born with nipples. that's why i'm so fascinated with everyone elses.

i have a nose though. it's disgusting.
Jun. 6th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)

That's like how you weren't born with hair too, right?
Jun. 6th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
i was just born a freak.
Jun. 6th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC)
Does that make you an anti-witch, having no nipples?
Jun. 6th, 2006 04:22 am (UTC)
what, like a warlock? i don't burn real well, either.
Jun. 6th, 2006 04:29 am (UTC)
I agree with your take on the subject. I also think that it represents a need for livejournal to get its approach to abuse together. I actually kind of get their situation trouble with this-- but there was an opportunity to manage this in a kind of cool way, and instead they handled it in a really stupid way...
Jun. 6th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
yeah, i think if they had handled this in a cool way they would be avoiding the whole thing.
Jun. 6th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I almost posted about this a few days ago when I heard about it. I really can't believe with all the vile user pics I've seen (Paris Hilton!!!)and all the vile user names I've come across, that a baby sucking on a titty could really be considered "explicit" or "offensive."

I breastfed both my kids and I understand it makes some people uncomfortable in person, they don't know where to put their eyes. (Oh my god, she has tits! And if I looked I could see them!) But on the internet? Just click your back button, ya idiots.
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