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The breastfeeding shit - MegaZone's Safety Valve
The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
zonereyrie
zonereyrie
The breastfeeding shit
If you haven't had the stink over LJ/SixApart's image rules and breastfeeding icons infiltrate your friends list yet - well, now it has, and I'd just skip the rest of this post.

So for several days posts from various friends of mine have been mentioning this. I'll summarize briefly, and probably erroneously, but it isn't that important really. Apparently LJ's image policy bans nudity in default icons and this was applied to some breast feeding icons. Of course, this was certain to piss some people off, as folks can be pretty fucking militant about their child rearing choices. (All these things just further lower my desire to ever sire a hell spawn. I think I'd prefer the pods from The Matrix, just decant them when they leave for college.) So this has created an escalating letter campaign, calls, etc, with LJ Abuse and SixApart. At the center of this is the community boob_nazis so I just had to go look through it.

OK, first of all, I just don't see what the big deal is. LJ isn't saying "No breastfeeding icons", just not the one *default* icon. BFD. I feel sorry for SixApart. If they allow the photos them you know they'll get complaints from people who freak out at the hit of a breast. And, of course, it seems like most of the people ranting about this are in the US - seemingly forgetting that LJ is global and that just because there may be laws in the US that exempt breastfeeding from indecency statutes doesn't mean the world at large agrees.

I'm also really pissy this week because my allergies have been fucking killing me since Sunday and I get to choose between massive headaches or being drugged up - or both if I'm especially lucky. My eyes itch. My body aches. My nose is sore from blowing it all the time. I'm not very sympathetic.

At this point I really hope LJ does NOT give in. I want to see all of the people bitching about this put their money where their mouth is and leave LJ. Yeah, right. Like I really believe more than a handful will. I've been online since 1989, do you know how many ultimatums I've seen issued? "Do this or I'll stop using your service!" Sure kid, whatever. I've had customers say that in past jobs - and sometimes we'd call their bluff. *ONCE* we had someone go to a competitor (Ascend, dumping Livingston) and then we kept hearing from his staff how much he bitched about the switch because it was so much worse. But he'd made such an ass out of himself it was his pride or his company, and he valued his pride more. So if LJ stick to their guns I bet the handful of extremists leave, and that's the end of it.

Hell, at this point I'd like to see LJ say "You're right, it isn't fair that we're being selective. So NO NUDITY AT ALL in any default icons. No bare male chests either. No topless children. No shirt, no shoes, no fucking icon." That's what I'd do right now, just to be a bastard. And in the announcement I'd be sure to let everyone on LJ know it was the agitation of boob_nazis that brought it on. Because I'm a sharing person and believe in giving credit where it is due. ;-)

Or just "OK, fine, no more default icons, period. From now on you have to select an icon every time you use it, and no images will show by default anywhere." I could live with that just fine, but perhaps that's a bit much.

And, of course, I take issue with the community name. I find the misuse of the work 'Nazi' offensive. It belittles the tragic and horrific events perpetrated by the Nazi party in WWII. When I obtained my History degree I focused my studies on WWII, primarily in Europe. I read, watched, and listened to so much material depicting the despicable things that were done. I visited several sites in Europe, though I haven't visited a concentration camp site (yet, I wish to someday). And when I hear people applying it to bullshit like this it just sickens me. If I started a community for militant discount shoppers called "profit_rapists", how well would that go over? Anyone who willingly dubs them self a Nazi automatically calls into question their position and effectively colors themselves irrational, unreasoning, and blindly adherent to doctrine. In a similar way, after my experience being stalked I don't find jokes about stalking to be all that amusing.

This is about a motherfucking 100x100 image on a social networking site. This isn't about the right to breastfeed or not. This isn't about where you can breastfeed. This isn't even about if you can use such an image as an icon or not. It is just about using the stupid thing as a default icon on your account. And people are actually talking about god damned class action suits?! What the fuck is wrong with these people? These people are what is wrong with our society, IMHO. If you don't like it, use DeadJournal, or GreatestJournal, or setup your own damn blog. No one is forcing you to use LJ or any of SixApart's products. Anyone who runs to a lawyer over shit like this is a motherfucking asshole waste of flesh and needs to be removed from the gene pool. Just suggesting it should get a person shunned by anyone sane. I am so sick of our litigious culture. If you want to suggest to SixApart that they reconsider. Fine. That's your right as a consumer. But people are treating this like some major civil rights issue and talking about bringing in the press and trying to start a shit storm. Basically strong-arming SixApart into doing it their way or suffering the consequences... Hmm, you know, maybe 'Nazi' isn't so inappropriate. I suppose those people are the brown shirts, the SA. Time to clean house with a pogrom! Anyone who doesn't agree is unclean!

Sorry, got a little carried away there.

I really think some of the people are delusional. Breastfeeding is a major issue and the press will be all over this? Yeah, uh-huh, right. Maybe on a slow news day. A VERY slow news day. "A few hundred pissy people who call themselves Nazis are angry with social networking site LiveJournal, which you've probably never heard of." Hmm, not a snappy headline, it'll need some work. We really need Dennis Leary to handle this. "Shut the fuck up! Next!" Note that I don't think *everyone* involved is a bat shit insane loony, just some. It seems many, even most, of the people commenting are calmly letting SixApart know their opinions as customers. They're willing to rationally work with SA/LJ, and they're not issuing ultimatums are talking about dragging in the leeches, er, lawyers. You know, like sane, rational adults *should* act. There are just enough sharpening their pitchforks and dipping bundles of thatch into pitch to keep things interesting.

If you want to breed. Fine. If you want to have the kid suck tit. Go for it. (Hell, I enjoy that too, for different reasons. If you do it in public, don't get pissed if I look though. You can watch me eat a Big Mac if you want.) I don't care if you want to walk around naked, I think that should be legal. It isn't my thing, but if you want to let it all hang out - go for it. I don't think nudity is obscene. Shit, if you want to fuck in public I wouldn't care - just don't involve me unless you ask first and I say yes. ;-) I don't have a problem with mothers breastfeeding kids in public places. And I agree that being asked to do so in a public restroom is pretty vile. Hell, I don't eat in MY bathroom let alone the one at the mall. I don't agree that *anywhere* is acceptable. The middle of the hardware section in Sears is perhaps not the best choice, take the kid to the food court like anyone else. And if you expose your breasts in public because "it is natural" to feed your child, don't get upset if someone takes a look at your breasts. Looking at your secondary sex characteristics is natural too. And don't pretend that you don't look if a hot, shirtless guy walks by. Bullshit, you look.

But there are, of course, people who get upset at the very thought of nudity. Especially when a precious little loin dropping might happen upon it. And those people will cause just as much of a stink as the pro-tit faction. When it comes to getting more traction in the press 'harming a child' arguments get a LOT more play than 'they won't let me use my tit icon'. It has nothing to do with anyone's rights. You're using a commercial service and are bound by their TOS. Your option is to not use the service if you don't like the TOS and rational complaints don't change it. Trying to stir up bad press, calling in the lawyers, and similar shit just marks you as an idiot and not worth keeping as a customer anyway.

This isn't even a tempest in a teapot, it is a tempest in the cream dispenser. (Real cream only please, anyone who uses non-dairy creamer is EVIL!)

And yes, I meant this to be extremely vulgar and offensive, I'm in that kind of a mood. Don't like it? You shouldn't have read it. Now it is too late and my burning bile is eating into your brain, forever becoming part of what shapes you. You're welcome.

Tags:
Current Location: 42.33821N 71.59212W
I am: allergic
Current Media: something qedrakmar is playing in the office

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Comments
lady_icedragon From: lady_icedragon Date: May 24th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I agree. Completely and utterly. Very well said.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thanks. :-)
stophittinyrslf From: stophittinyrslf Date: May 24th, 2006 12:06 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
quite a solid post. "precious little loin dropping" is a phrase i will not soon forget.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thanks, I'm rather pleased with that phrase myself. :-)
blackcoat From: blackcoat Date: May 24th, 2006 12:15 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
If you want to breed. Fine. If you want to have the kid suck tit. Go for it. (Hell, I enjoy that too, for different reasons. If you do it in public, don't get pissed if I look though. You can watch me eat a Big Mac if you want.)

can I add this to the sigmonster?
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Go for it. ;-)
mackys From: mackys Date: May 24th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
at this point I'd like to see LJ say "You're right, it isn't fair that we're being selective. So NO NUDITY AT ALL in any default icons. No bare male chests either. No topless children. No shirt, no shoes, no fucking icon." That's what I'd do right now, just to be a bastard.

I really think this is the right thing to do. Well, okay, it's the wrong thing to do in the larger picture, but if they're trying to make this a matter of principle, then it's really their only choice.

Lots of people are really offended by nudity (thirty years on the planet and I'm STILL trying to figure that one out) so you'd better either throw the gates wide and say "anything goes"... or else ban nudity completely. This little line-walking, tip-toe dance that they're trying to pull off is just digging them in deeper - with both factions.


Imposing a policy of no default icons is not a bad response per se, but it really only pushes off the day of rekoning. And maybe not far, either. Really, saying "no breast feeding in _default_ icons" was a compromise move by LJ/SixApart and like many compromises, left nobody happy.


The only downside I see to imposing a "no nudity period in default icons" is A) you have to have a human being look at every single default icon and decide if it's "nudity"... and B) what happens when LJ's definition of "nude" disagrees with the local legal definitions where the person lives.

I guess they could just adopt a policy of "no skin visible between armpit and mid-thigh". But then all the Brittney Spears wannabes would whine about not being able to show off their belly-buttons. ;] But hell, if E3 can get away with nerfing the booth babes...
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, they'd need to define their terms. No bare genitals, no unclothed buttocks, no bare nipple or aureole - regardless of gender or age.

Something like that.

The thing is, I'm sure there is no solution that makes everyone happy.
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osmium_ocelot From: osmium_ocelot Date: May 24th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Well, I haven't seen anything about this until now. But I must say I agree entirely with your points. Perhaps you ought to edit it a bit for presentation and e-mail it off to SA/LJ? Might be a good idea to let them know there are still sane, intelligent people using their service.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I may, if I can calm down. ;-)
weaktwos From: weaktwos Date: May 24th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I concur.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Thanks.
palegreyminion From: palegreyminion Date: May 24th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Just for the record, the TOS did not say "no nudity" when this started. It said no graphical sexual content. *After* this flap started, *then* LJ changed the TOS to say "no nudity".

If it had said "no nudity" up front, then the BF people would have no recourse, IMO.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, I know, they updated it to clarify the issue. But they do have the right to update it. Now that they have it really should have ended things. "OK, we weren't clear. What we really meant was no nudity." But, reading the posts in the community, the attitude seems to be that ANY restiction on BF pics is unacceptable on the face. All BF pics must be allowed and anything else is just not to be taken.
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zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Heh... the Goatse.cx Mickey icon... ;-)
lizzielizzie From: lizzielizzie Date: May 24th, 2006 03:48 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
*applauds*

The entitlement attitude is what really got me going insane. That, and the threat to go to the media with 'thousands' of complaints (lie) about how Six Apart and LJ are against breastfeeding (another lie). The entire thing is complete and utter bullshit.

I like the idea of "no default icon". Or, make it something really dumb like "Default Icon" in black text on a white background. Or, hell! Make it the face of Frank the goat!
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 04:50 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, the attitude drives me nuts.

You're entitled to images of your little tit remora, fine, then I'm entitled to a default icon featuring hardcore sex. That's just as natural, and arguably beatiful and touching. Heavy on the touching. ;-)

I'm really bitchy when my sinuses are rebelling. ;-)
z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: May 24th, 2006 04:53 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Hang on. Let me check my internal diagnostics.

Hmm. I... don't think... I...

Wait... ho, whup, yep, nope, wait, ummm... nope!

I don't give even a fractional part of a damn about either side of this "issue".

You say "apathetic", I say "unencumbered".
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 24th, 2006 05:36 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yeah, that's the thing, I really don't give a shit about the original issue either way.

But now the people on one side of it have pissed me off enough with their attitudes that I want to see them get fucked over on general principle.
sweh From: sweh Date: May 24th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Hmm, when I saw the title of the group I thought it was people complaining that LJ were being Nazis about supressing boobs, not that the users of the group were Nazis.

But *shrug*. I had enough of people complaining at me when my free service didn't meet their needs, or I changed something and they didn't like it (apparently I had an onus to do things people wanted because they were using my stuff for free). So I have no sympathy for these cry-babies. People are st00pid.
From: the_id_kid Date: May 31st, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
If you do it in public, don't get pissed if I look though. You can watch me eat a Big Mac if you want
Its a deal!

*laughs* Sorry, I was googling different variations on the breastfeeding/icons thing and thought it was kind of interesting after our comment conversation I came upon this post.
I'm suprised with as bitchy as the OP was in the thread we were talking in, that this wasn't, in fact more virulant than it was. ;-) You encountered one of the namesakes, I think.
As for the titling of the comm- I've mentioned it more than once how offensive I find it, in other comms, having been reffered to as a 'boob-nazi' more than once. I only recently joined the comm because of the whole nipplegate fiasco.
Its getting worse- whatever little group thatpicked up where hardvice left off, and started reporting the icons, has apparently started nailing photobucket with complaints about breastfeeding pics.
Which I say to illustrate my point and yours in the thread. This'll happen, someone'll find the damned thread where it was "Called to arms" or whatever, and bickity bam, another counter-complaint campaign. Which, as we were saying is rediculous.
Tell you the truth, if it weren't the principal of the thing,I'd have unlocked my jaws a long time ago, due to many of the people involved being just utter retards about the whole thing.
I mean, sure, I'm protesting, as well, but you don't see me running around going, "WELL! If THAT's how they're gonna be, let's git 'em! Let's go complain against EVER so called offensive icon we find!"
For chrissakes.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: May 31st, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
There are a lot of good causes unfortunately overshadowed by the extremists. People slam feminism because of the radicals who call for an 'overthrow' of men and a female rule, etc. Which is just perpetrating the same kind of prejudice and bigotry that has been aimed at women, only against men. That's no better.

There are black leaders who call for campaigns against whites. That's racism just like whites against blacks. Revenge is not righting a wrong. Perpetuating retribution against another party just leads to blood feuds that continue long after the original cause is forgotten.

And this cause is no different. I'm all for the right to breastfeed. I'm all for equality in the sexes and believe women should be able to go topless where ever men can do so. I don't think it is OK to breastfeed *anywhere*, just like it isn't OK to *eat* *anywhere*.

The problem comes from the small group on the fringe. The sort you see saying that NOT breastfeeding is *abuse*. That it is the ONLY way to care for a baby. That they have the right to breastfeed anywhere, anytime, no matter what. That kind of militant attitude is more likely to drive moderates *away* from the cause than draw them in. While, at the same time, drawing in more militants. So it creates a spiral - and the whole cause ends up seeming extreme and militant as the only voices being heard are the extremists. And they tend to be so blind and illogical, because they have TRUE BELIEF (always dangerous), that they can't see any of the harm they're doing to their own cause.

They really need a major failure as a slap in the face, but even that will probably fail to wake most of them up. Because they know they're right, and nothing can ever change that. And because they're RIGHT, they will always prevail in the end. There is really no point in trying to covert a True Believer. It is like a brainwashed cult member. Their logic circuits are so reprogrammed that anything contradictory to the True Belief is automatically false and wrong. Anyone who doesn't Truly Believe is to be shunned, pitied, and/or converted. It is very insular.
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