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Angry Moms Stage “Nurse-In” At SixApart

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Popular blogging site LiveJournal.com and parent company Six Apart have attracted the ire of breastfeeding bloggers after images of breastfeeding were banned from the site. After a letter campaign, “lactivist” mothers staged a “nurse-in” at the Six Apart San Francisco headquarters on Monday.

The nurse-in BreastfeedingIsNormal.org, a lactivist (their term, not mine) organization promoting healthy alternatives to the formula use. Though the organization reports thousands of letters being sent to LiveJournal to change their policy, Valleywag reports they were only able to get three breast-baring mothers to show for the nurse-in.

The saga begins mommy-bloggers posted images of breastfeeding on their blogs. LiveJournal suspended users displaying the 100×100 pixel icons that were deemed “inappropriate.” The debate escalated to a discussion of areola color, whether real or bottle nipples were okay to show on television, and what exactly can be considered “sexually explicit.”

After asking for clarification of the site’s policy regarding what constituted sexual explicit material, LiveJournal changed the wording to include “nudity.”

From BreastFeedingIsNormal.org’s press release:

Claimed Live Journal Abuse Staffer ‘Erin’ in a post on the site, “That’s really a matter for the FCC to decide. The standard for the FCC is that bottle nipples are a-okay.” These statements, however, are false. The FCC does not consider the act of breastfeeding on television to fall under the definitions of indecency or obscenity and therefore would be appropriate for any television programs or movies. Nursing photos not showing visible areola are considered acceptable on LiveJournal. Whether or not areola is visible is dependant on a number of factors, including skin tone of the mother and physical changes undergone during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding is exempt from nudity laws throughout the United States, but more notably in California where the SixApart offices are located. Advocates are urging LiveJournal to adopt the same national criteria.” “It is regrettable that LiveJournal has chosen to target breastfeeding mothers instead of standing up for the protection provided them by law.” says Carrie Patterson, Executive Director of ProMom.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and public acceptance of breastfeeding. Advocates state that the feeling that breastfeeding should be hidden only fosters the idea that the natural act of nourishing a child is scandalous.

ProMom.org has a picture gallery of banned breastfeeding icons on the site. Some of the images come with captions like “suck this,” “LiveJournal: Where Areola Size Matters,” and “Feeding our babies with our breasts since time began.”

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Angry Moms Stage “Nurse-In” At SixApart
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