Monday, January 26, 2009

Facebook Continues to Reinscribe Patriarchal Ideology



In an effort to amplify its reinscription of the tired patriarchal status quo, Facebook has banned photos of breastfeeding. I continue to be amazed at the idiocy, sheer heavyhandness, and lack of social thought that goes on with this "social" app. The postmodern dinosaur metaphor still holds for these guys.

13 comments:

jkd said...

Take a look at who runs Facebook - a bunch of Harvard and Stanford kids who went straight from college to being world-famous millionaires, and the VCs and legal sharks they picked up along the way. Who are pretty much all... dudes. The privileged social status of its founders and management has been a pretty good (at least partial) explanation for me about many of their missteps, from Beacon &c. up to this. No less obnoxious but makes all kinds of sense in this context.

hilltaylor@unc.edu said...

yeah, i started to use the moniker "frat boy" but felt that to be too pejorative...

Ross Maiwand said...

Do I really need to see pictures of a mother breast feeding her kid? I think not! People are too easily offended now a days. Tell the moms to get over it, why take pics while breast feeding your kid.

Nina My said...

I never knew that the founders of facebook had so many rocks for brains. The ban on breastfeeding pictures shows how uneducated, stupid, uncivilized, ill-bred the founders or manipulators of facebook really are. Breastfeeding is natural and to condone it or pictures of it is incredibly sexist. In addition, censorship should only be used in moderation and for really offensive acts. Were they doing this to assert their power?

E46 said...

It's just breastfeeding. We (if not everyone) has done it and it's a highly emotional time for mothers. This is a strong emotional and physical bond and I think if they want to express it to friends and family it's perfectly fine. Overseas in Europe it's perfectly acceptable to breastfeed in public. Here you would get a multitude of rude comments.

El MC de Club Silencio said...

Here's my stance: I think breastfeeding in public is extremely awkward. Especially if I'm feeding myself in a restaurant while the woman the next table over is feeding her infant. (True story).

But to ban photos of it? No one forces you to look at a specific photo on Facebook. The women who post these are proud of their motherhood and child, and they have every right to express themselves in a photographic manner.

It's not porn. It's not even vomit.

Got milk? Facebook doesn't.

MekaBoo said...

I personally find nothing wrong with breastfeeding and sharing that experience with friends and family. Like E46 said, this is a very personal time for the mother and if she wants to display this on facebook, then I see nothing wrong with that. The founders of Facebook need to be more worried about pictures displaying underage drinking or illegal activities. Breastfeeding is the least offensive.

Tim T. said...

I think you've missed the point, Ross - though I can see where you're coming from. It's not that "eww we don't want to see it" doesn't matter, but that's far too simple - a gut reaction, if you will. What I think prof. is getting at is the social predicates and hierarchies that are being established by such an action - You can argue that no one wants to see it, but you can't argue that they have a right to put up whatever they want. That right is being squashed by people (men/hegemony/whatever you'd like to call it), who consider those pictures "wrong" and worthy of removal, equating breast feeding to, let's say, drug use. Honestly, I'd rather see something humanizing like that than a million-and-one pictures of "edward-forty hands" or some other drunken charade.

What we should be asking ourselves, as these "new" technologies solidify themselves in our cultural landscape, is how we can use it to fight antiquated conceptions of dominance. The internet is a place where walls can be broken down and people can rise again to the top. Long passed are the days when men with money can sit atop their high-towers and imprison the ideals of the masses... hopefully..

Feminist perspective said...

This issue crosses a line between privacy and public information. Although one's page is private in some ways it is illegal to publicly breastfeed. The internet is not a physical siting of the action but it still exposes breastfeeding. Complaints can be sent but someone is always going to be offended by what another puts up on their own site. It's ridiculous to be petty about the showing of breast feeding because it crosses the line of privacy. If another person is allowed to censor something on your page because it offends them then many people will have to completely censor their pages. Not everyone is going to be completely satisfied with what one may put on their page and it is ignorant to take one aspect of society and censor it. If breastfeeding is illegal by law then pictures of underage drinkers should be taken down as well or not allowed. Other pictures of people fighting or kissing in public should be taken down. By targeting a specific group which is women...it seems society has taken another leap to keep them in their place. Why are they not allowed to express themselves on their "won" page. What is the point of having pictures up that you want everyone to see, just for another person to flag it and demand it is offensive to them. The targeting of these women does show the patriarchal society visibly showing their oppression of women. I also would like to know what the gender of these complaing people was...maybe MALE?

LuCetry said...

Honestly i just feel that the whole thing is a little ridicules overall. First of all, facebook was intended to contribute to the networking between young students in College and now high school students as well of this generation, not for women in there late 20s and up to expose pics of them feeding their babies. Honestly what is the purpose of posting pics of you breastfeeding your child...seriously? If you want to show the world your beautiful child, please do not do it with them sucking on your breast.Im sure there are specific sites made just for mothers to come together and and expose pics of them and thier babies and their breast and chat about it or whatever, but facobook is not one of them.
Secondly, yes breastfeeding is natural and everyone has the right to do it...however, it is illegal to do it in public places..is it not? By posting pics of a woman breastfeeding her child on the world wide web, it is made open to the public...which makes it illegal.

However, on the other hand, if the breast is not fully exposed then it isn't as bad. Also, there are many other pics of illegal activity that are not permitted in public that are posted on facebook, so would be fair to just focus on breastfeeding?

Anonymous said...

Sex is also natural and beautiful, do you want to start arguing why you cant post pictures of people having sex on Facebook? No, the beautiful/natual argument is crap.

Someone said it further up in the posts, but breastfeeding is personal. I think that it is a bit inappropriate to expose the full breast, why not cover up a little bit? I dont really want to see the breast and nipples of my highschool friends or my friend's mom breastfeeding.

'Nuff said, back to my takehome socology final.

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