Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Call for Sanity In Activism

As many of you know, yesterday came with an epic win - the return of The Leaky B@@b's Facebook page - and then an epic loss mere hours later. Not only was The Leaky B@@b page removed again, but so was the Bring Back the Leaky B@@b page. (Please note: if you are new to this story, go here for some background.)

Immediately, there was the normal backlash against Facebook. And that was normal, and expected. We should keep in mind, though, that most likely, it was not a human being at Facebook who took the page down at 10pm. More likely, it was the automated system, tripped because of other people, for whatever reason, reporting The Leaky B@@b as offensive. Mark Zuckerberg is not sitting in an office cackling and deleting breastfeeding pages because he has nothing better to do with his time.

Does that make things right? Absolutely not. And, as Jessica Martin-Weber, creator of The Leaky B@@b, has pointed out, it is indicative of a larger problem - Facebook's "delete until proven innocent" stance and the inability to be exempted if you are operating a page that has certain terminology but nothing of a sexual nature on it. (For more, please read Jessica's press statement.)

Since this is what's going on, clearly we should be doing things to ensure that Facebook changes that, right? ...Right????

Except that's not what's happening.

Overnight, angry lactivists have started seeking out and reporting other groups "because they're more offensive than breastfeeding!!!" (I want to make it VERY CLEAR HERE that Jessica Martin-Weber has NOT called for this to occur. This action is not sanctioned by anyone involved with creating or maintaining the Leaky B@@b or its online community. They should not be held responsible for these actions.) I won't list the fanpages that were reported here, but I will say that while they were raunchy in some cases, they were generally not containing nudity and were usually just silly, immature things that people had "liked." Many of them contained women in bras or bikinis. There was even a call - again, NOT from Jessica - for everyone to report Playboy at the same time so THAT page would be crashed.

This is bullshit, guys, and it's got to stop.

First of all, we all find different things to be offensive. I'm offended by Pajama Jeans and Cami Secrets, but you have the right to wear them. No two people reading this blog can probably agree on what is and is not offensive right now. And, guess what? It doesn't matter what I find offensive. I am a grown woman, and I can choose to not look at things that offend me. As long as something doesn't involve the abuse of someone else and it is involving people who are over 18, I don't really get to sit on my high horse and cast judgment on the masses. Sorry, but it's true.

Secondly, breasts have a dual function. I talked about this in my last blog post, but I'm gonna talk about it again. I have pictures on my profile at Facebook of me nursing my kid - and I have pictures of me with epic cleavage in the Victoria's Secret Miraculous bra. Neither one, to me, is offensive. I'm an adult, I posted those pictures, they convey different messages, yet they are both acceptable. A friend of mine has a burlesque company and posts pictures of her ladies and herself clad in their awesomely hot costumes. Another friend is a photographer and sometimes takes risque pictures. And yet another photographer friend has wrapped maternity pictures. I see nothing wrong with any of those things, but some of you may find them offensive. And that's whatever. Again, your right to have those opinions, and your right to not look.

The Facebook policy of deleting until proven innocent started as a way for people to get pages investigated that seriously did have adult content. Or abusive things. Or child porn. It has, because people are douchebags, morphed into "If I find it offensive, NO ONE ELSE HAS THE RIGHT TO SEE IT!" And that sucks. You don't actually get to sanitize the world around you to your specifications, folks.

And, finally, allow me to point out that if you're reporting pages and encouraging others to, and they aren't actually against Facebook's standards, you are just as much of an asshole as the people reporting The Leaky B@@b. Yup, pot, you're black. Just because breastfeeding is morally loftier to you than ogling boobs doesn't make you right. You're still a douche. The end.

Now, after that bit of tough love, here's how you can actually help the Leaky B@@b - no reporting involved!

Send an e-mail or call a local TV station or newspaper. Tell them about what's going on. Ask them to pick up the story. Provide links to The Leaky B@@b and the press release.

Join Jessica's new page, Join TLB in support of Women's Health and the new Bring Back the Leaky Boob...again page (run by my friend Atina, who is a rockstar.)

Tweet, share, blog about them, about the situation.

Contact Mark Zuckerberg on his page.

Write to internet media sources and encourage them to run with the story.

Petition pro-bfing celebrities like Jenna Elfman, Kourtney Kardashian, Helena Bonham Carter, and Christina Aguleria to make a statement.

Call Facebook and urge them to reinstate the page and also to rethink their policy of instantly removing reported pages. 650-543-4800

I also asked Jessica to send me any ideas she has, so if and when she does, I shall post them here.

1 comment:

Summer said...

I totally agree with everything you said here.

Honestly, the thing about all this that upset me the most was that people are so damn set against a breastfeeding page that as soon as it became active again they immediately set to reporting it AGAIN to get it deleted.

Unless I mistook what that meant that it was deleted again because of reports, it makes me incredibly sad that people would make it their mission to have a page like that deleted.