A(n Open) Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

25 11 2011

My Facebook page was recently issued a warning for sharing this picture (right before Thanksgiving, no less):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote from Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page:

“I’m trying to make the world a more open place.”

 

 

 

 

I sent Mark the following message. (Won’t you join me?)

Hi Mark.

You want to make the world more open? So do I. The best start is in childhood. We need to be open, connected, and understanding. Raising these values from the ground up is key. Allowing this to take place beginning in infancy is the trick to building a better society. This is really hard to do, though, in a culture that sexualizes things which are truly more innocent, while condoning things which are clearly more overtly sexual in nature.

We are trying to support mothers and children in breastfeeding. I don’t know if you’re aware of this very BIG issue for women, and all of humanity, but education and support in this subject is needed since women worldwide are coming from an era of breastfeeding-as-gross and artificial formula as God. We are trying to show that this is a normal and healthy function that doesn’t need to be hidden, stigmatized, or silenced, and is actually better for human development. We want people to be open and free to believe in this and do it.

Yet, every time we show a photo of this, we get spanked. I just recently was fb spanked for showing the first photo here on my birth page on FB. Read that whole blog [post]– it’s really informative. In any case, you can see that her nipple is not even exposed, and a child is attached. This isn’t sexy, it’s mothering. It’s more National Geographic than Penthouse. If people consider this child exploitation or sexuality, that is a reflection of our repressed and perverse culture. It’s not in the spirit of connectedness or openness at all to censor these images. Yet, the photos which follow these ones on that blog are much more explicit. Women exploiting themselves sexually, which I am not even judging here, is allowed. These images are much more sexually provocative and yet they are sanctioned.

We feel in the mothering community that this is a gross double standard. Mothers, young mothers, natural parenting advocates and their pages, represent a large portion of your facebook users. I’m willing to bet somewhere between one half and one third of your users fall in these categories.

While probably not intentional, we feel this is a display of sexism, and it creates a lot of outrage in our communities every time one of these innocent photos results in any of us being warned or banned. It is NOT pornography. It is support, life, family, and beauty. Please understand the unfairness of the double standard.

I’m not trying to get anybody censored, not even the young women who choose to expose themselves to be provocative. I’m just trying to say that if FB is okay with them, why not us? We are trying to help make the world a better, safer, healthier, more open place. Breastfeeding moms are not accepted too often in our society, and we need to shed that stigma through education and honest representation. Please hear us.

Thanks, Elizabeth

 

Thanks for reading, and if you think this regulation is a failure and is keeping our society far from open, and perpetuating perversions, please consider letting Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg know.