For anyone who didn't realize how divisive a topic breastfeeding was, last week's Time magazine cover controversy made that fact crystal clear! Now, a mini firestorm has broken out on Twitter, similarly set off by the image of a woman breastfeeding her baby girl ... in the form of a Twitter avatar.
The woman, Arwyn -- who uses the Twitter handle @RaisingBoychick and runs a blog by the same name -- says she practices various aspects of attachment parenting like co-sleeping and extended breastfeeding, which is totally her prerogative. But for some Twitter users, Arwyn's avatar photo takes her parenting philosophy one step too far.
One user in particular, @juliewashere88, started an all-out tweet brawl when she went after Arwyn last week, tweeting, "Just because you've got an infant sucking it does not mean anyone wants to see your tits. Keep those pics to yourself. #childfree" Hoooo-boy!
Julie went on to rant:
I don't care who is sucking it, I did NOT ask to see photos of your saggy, leaky, veiny tits. KEEP THOSE TO YOURSELF! #childfree ... Just so you know, @RaisingBoychick your avatar violates twitter image policy. You've been reported.
Wow, way to make women who don't have children (or don't have children yet) look like a total nightmare, Julie! Then again, what did Arwyn expect when she made that her avatar? She had to know that posting a photo like that was guaranteed to attract this kind of negative attention. That's just how Twitter (and even Facebook to some extent, although you do have more control over strangers' nasty remarks) works.
Not saying she completely deserved it, but if you're going to do something even slightly exhibitionistic and obviously controversial online, you do have to be prepared to take the heat. And so far, it seems like Arwyn was up to the task and not at all deterred or unnerved by the haters coming out of the woodwork.
What is still up in the air is whether or not her avatar really violates Twitter's terms of service ... We know that if it was on Facebook, it would be taken down as if it were XXX porn. Ugh. But Twitter's policy on breastfeeding pics is a little less clear. The site prohibits "obscene or pornographic images in either your profile picture or user background."
Plenty of us would beg to differ with Julie that the photo Arwyn is using certainly does not fit that description. And for now, despite Julie's "warning," Arwyn's pic remains unchanged. Exhibitionist move or not, good for her!
How do you feel about this photo -- too obscene for Twitter or totally harmless? Do you think it was a calculated move on Arwyn's part to get tongues wagging?
Image via Twitter