No Boobs Please

A furor has erupted in recent weeks over a decision by Facebook to reject photos depicting women breastfeeding their children. The social networking site claims that these pictures have been rejected because they villate the site’s policy against photos depicting nudity, a claim that has been rejected by Stephanie Knapp Muir. Ms. Muir, and over a hundred thousand other pro-breastfeeding users who have formed a group call “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene!”, are protesting what they claim is clear and outright discrimination. The site maintains that it is simply enforcing its community standards policy, and refuses to back down.

It’s perfectly legal for women to breastfeed in public. In fact, refusing to allow a woman to breastfeed in a public place is a violation of the law, and in Canada it is legal for a woman to walk down the street shirtless, so long as she isn’t doing so for commercial reasons. Some would argue, however, that having a legal right to do something doesn’t mean that it is always that right thing to do, and that discretion is always the best policy. Given that we don’t see women en masse walking the streets topless, I would guess that most women agree. But, is breastfeeding in public indiscrete? Is posting a picture of a child attached to your boob improper? Where does legal right, natural behaviour and discretion find a happy compromise here?
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Single White Male, 2012 Edition

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while. Well, let’s be honest here, I’ve been thinking about this topic for the better part of this last decade, a fact which, in itself, I am less than proud to admit. However, as the years pass, I become more and more uncomfortably aware of my bachelorhood and my inability to break free of it. And, it seems, the longer I am a bachelor the more aware everyone else seems to be of that fact as well.

In an ever increasingly connected world, where people are meeting and communicating in ways that bring strangers together more readily than they could a decade ago, or two, it’s frustrating that I can’t seem to make that one vital connection. Looking back on the years, as we tend to this time of the year, I am surprised to find myself far from where I thought I would be when I looked to my future. And, while I’m not in the habit of taking much stock in defining the present from the past, or divining the future from what has come before it, it’s a puzzle to figure out how I got here, where I’m going, and what I need to do to be where I want to be. It’s a fitting preoccupation for a time of resolutions and review.
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