The LiveJournal Abuse Team has apparently decided that pictures of breastfeeding are unacceptable as default LJ icons. To be quite clear: you can have them, but they can't be your default
You can track the swirling shitstorm here.
I've given this some thought personally, and I've concluded that:
1. Politically speaking, I'm utterly with the breastfeeders on this one. I can have a default usericon of myself, eating pie. Or myself, feeding my daughter pie. Mmm, pie.
2. Personally speaking, I think it's a little... odd as a default, "this picture says who I am" userpic. But I say that as a divorced father of a nigh-unto-seven-year-old, not as a parent of a newborn or toddler, whose life probably will be 99% "about the kid" for quite some time yet. They don't have to view LiveJournal partly as their grownup-oriented escape valve just because I do.
3. Any sense on my part that it's a little odd is my problem, and my mild weirded-out-ness is far
less important than their freedom to represent, yo.
When I say "freedom," I don't mean in the legal sense. Or do I? There are laws on the books in various states that protect public breastfeeding. Yes, in private places of business. Whether they apply to pictures of breastfeeding on the Internet... hey, I'm no lawyer. But I'm sure I'll hear from those who are.
The best reason for an individual, thinking about using such an icon, to reconsider might be that creepy people will look at that icon in creepy ways. But, well, people look at lots of things in creepy ways, and we don't solve that problem by burqa'ing everybody back to the Stone Age. And it's a problem probably caused in large measure by lack of exposure to the utter boring NORMALCY of breastfeeding.
At any rate, the trouble seems to be that the abuse team (based on emails cited in the thread I linked to above) fears the offended sensibilities of one group of users and is about to offend those of a much, much larger group.
Unfortunately, according to one commenter, the whole mess seems to have begun when a user asked to remove his own questionably "offensive" default icon - a painted portrait of a topless Bea Arthur, certainly more art than porn - cited breastfeeding icons as a counterexample. And the abuse team supposedly responded by going after those
icons. D'oh. Edit:
put spinning tassels on the portrait. Har. Warning: hardvice
's usericon collection is extensive and utterly unsafe for work. Goatse played for comedy on an epic scale, okay? There's shit there that offends me
One thing is certain: the LJ abuse team has no idea
what they are getting into with the public-breastfeeding advocates. When La Leche Justice League pull out their magic lassos, they leave no steer unturned.