Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Facebook Prefers Prostitutes And Bans Breastfeeding. . . . . Again

I haven't had much time to work on legitimate blogging or even Facebooking lately, but this was just too much. I had to point this out, because I can't be the only person who sees the insanity of this.

Anyone in the wide world of motherhood probably knows that Facebook seems to have it in for nursing mothers or anyone who supports them, offers education and resources, helps them connect, or even advocates for them, whether it's private photos on personal profiles, milk sharing groups or the recently deleted Beanie Boobies page (which you can read about here). They claim that these things are inappropriate and that they violate the Terms of Use. All right, that's ridiculous and it's a prejudice against mothers and babies, well, all over the world. And that's bad enough. But hold on a second, because if that's not enough to make you feel like talking some sense into Mark Zuckerburg, just take a look at an example of what is cool with Facebook. . . .

Lo and behold, Hookers for Jesus. No, seriously. 

Just to get it out of the way, let me toss in a couple of disclaimers:

  • I am not a *hooker hater*

  • These are actually supposed to be 'ex', reformed prostitutes, but no one should get offended if I use the term 'hooker' instead of 'reformed prostitutes' because the whole 'hooker' thing is their tag line; I mean, it's the TITLE of the PAGE, so if they can do it, so can I, or anyone else, and in fact, it's free advertising for their, um, 'cause'

  • I am NOT-- repeat, NOT-- trying to draw a line linking breastfeeding to prostitution, in case anyone wants to try to go there

  • I feel that if hookers-- current OR 'reformed'-- feel compelled to find personal satisfaction by turning to Christianity, then I'm happy for them

  • I'm not trying to get into the debate about prostitution in general; I only have time to rant about one thing at a time at the moment because my three year old is taking increasingly brief (and rare) naps

All right, now that I got that out of the way, moving on. Where was I? Ahh, yes: "Hookers for Jesus", a real, legitimate Facebook page with almost 12,000 fans. When I first saw it, I was thinking it was some type of joke. I thought if it were a real page, they'd use some terminology in the page title at least that lets people know they aren't still actually, you know. . . . practicing the craft. But I guess the 'shock value' probably drives traffic to the page, so there it stays: not "Ex-hookers for Jesus" or "Reformed Prostitutes for Jesus", but simply "Hookers for Jesus" (I'm still not entirely convinced that the title didn't start off as a joke). In any event, once I realized it was a real page, I looked around on it a bit, and of course, one of the main topics of conversation that come up are about the exchange of sexual acts for money. So, that doesn't violate the "Terms of Use" but images/resources/support/connections/advocacy about the natural way to feed babies DOES?

Let me be clear: I'm not actually campaigning that Facebook remove their page. I'm also not insinuating that discussing prostitution is illegal (obviously it's not) or that discussing it ought to be illegal or even banned in the Realm of the Royal Zucker. I am merely pointing out that Facebook removes profiles and pages all the time that have ANYTHING to do with breastfeeding based on the grounds that they are 'offensive' and 'inappropriate', *especially for children*, even though breastfeeding is not only necessary to, among the other things, the freakin' survival of the human race, but also federally protected by law. Prostitution, on the other hand, which is illegal, is fine to glamorize on Facebook. And yeah, I'm sure there are tons of really nice, devout fans of the page, but come on, they aren't exactly the picture of propriety. "Holy Hotties"? Really? I thought that this was claiming to be a page about EX-hookers turning to Jesus, but it clearly-- CLEARLY-- is still using nothing but 'sex appeal' (which is initiated by the fact that they are talking about women who used to [some fans say that they still do] break the law by taking money for sexual acts) at best, and prostitution promotion at worst, to find fans. I realize that while prostitution is illegal here, it's perfectly legal for a woman to leave that trade and still want to be 'sexy' all the time, but if Facebook is going around banging the decency drum and Hookers for Jesus is still acceptable to them, then how can something as federally-protected, natural, non-sexual and peaceful as breastfeeding a baby be banned, deleted and censored time and time again?

I can only think of one answer: Facebook seems to have it in for nursing mothers. . . . . which brings us back to square one. So. What do you think? Am I the only person who wants Facebook to knock it off? My friend Heidi Shultes Maxwell made a great suggestion: "Would be cool if the Facebook report option had a 'breast feeding offends me' option in the report reason list. And the response was 'get a grip - she is feeding her baby'. I can dream." We all can, mama. I like your style. In the meantime, who wants to chip in with me to supply Facebook with a good copy of the dictionary to keep on hand so that they can remind themselves what actually constitutes offensive, inappropriate material? If the glamorization of prostitution is not offensive and inappropriate, then how can the loving, healthy, federally protected act of feeding a baby be?