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.