Facebook is waiting for us all to go away.
Supporters of breastfeeding have been fighting against Facebook's hypocritical and discriminatory policies towards breastfeeding for over three years now, and yet Facebook has pretty much been eerily silent on the whole matter.
I find that infuriating. I find it patronizing. I find it unacceptable.
There is too much at stake to move on and accept the idea that the world's largest social networking site declares breastfeeding to be obscene. We cannot slowly dissipate and forget it ever happened. We CAN make a difference. We need to make a difference, because if we don't, it will be our sons and daughters and their sons and daughters and theirs and theirs and theirs who will fight this fight after we are long gone. I don't want that for my children. I don't want that for any children.
I'm not going to go away. I hope you won't either. Facebook can hide, Facebook can ignore this issue, but Facebook cannot out-will the strength or stubbornness of thousands of passionate mothers (And fathers! And babies!) who demand to be treated with respect.
I find it easy to get swept up in the excitement of activism when the energy is high and things are moving fast. It becomes more challenging as time goes by, people move on, and we start to lose focus. It is in these moments of losing focus and moving on that Facebook wins. It is in these moments that patriarchy - a system that is failing humanity - wins.
Forget breastfeeding for a minute. Let's talk simply and plainly and honestly about humanity. People. Human beings. Mothers, fathers, babies. Children. Let's talk about a world where we're not afraid to love and nurture, and where we prioritize the well-being of individuals and communities rather than corporations and greed.
Our passion and conviction over what is RIGHT is stronger than Facebook's passion and conviction over what is wrong.
It's time to continue taking action.
A few action steps to show Facebook that this - and we - are not going away:
1. Use social media to our benefit. Retweet, Digg, and Share on Facebook. (This post, earlier posts, posts from other blogs, news articles, your own words...send the message loud and clear!)
2. Continue to share breastfeeding pictures on Facebook.
3. Write to Facebook. Tell them they're wrong. If you can't find their contact information (good luck...and please share if you do!), make your letter to Facebook public and share it openly with the world.
4. Ask Ellen (and other public figures) to join in the effort to normalize breastfeeding in our culture.
This has gone on long enough! It is 2010! Don't let Facebook get away with telling mothers that breastfeeding is obscene. Do not give up.