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Baby Used as Breastfeeding Prop With Male In Disturbing 'Binary Shifting' Art

Anna Slatz
Anna Slatz

An "intersectional feminist" community on Instagram has raised safeguarding concerns after they featured a work of art which included a human baby being used as a prop with a seemingly naked male.

On November 15, Feminist, which describes itself as an "intersectional" community "amplifying a diverse network of change-makers," featured the work of Kenny Lemes, a Argentina-based photographer. While five pieces of Lemes' art were posted, one in particular left many Instagram users with questions and concerns.

The photo featured a seemingly naked male cradling a baby, which was suckling at a rubber nipple that had been affixed to the man's own.  

In the post description, Lemes stated to Feminist that he was "expanding the gaze on bodies" as a "very important political act one discovers the potency of existing, proudly, on the edges of hetero-patriarchal thinking."

While the response to Lemes' work varied, a number of users pointed out that specific image, the second in the set, was "disturbing," even if they liked other pieces of Lemes' art.

"Please don't use babies as props for your art." One user stated, her comment getting over 400 likes with a response chiming in response "Agreed! The second photo is not okay."

Another user said: "You lost me on the second photo. The disrespect and mockery is insane. Being a woman is not getting into some sort of character. Not to mention, breastfeeding is hard and a journey on its own." With more users noticing that Lemes' work was intended to be "feminist art" and yet primarily utilized and promoted male models.

One user asserted that 'Feminist's' entire catalogue wasn't very feminist at all, with dozens of users supporting her observation.

"This page is more like a transgender advertisement rather than anything else. I understand that you are trying to normalize the image and categorize the unbiased non judgmental mindset under feminism, but it has made your content to deviated from what actually feminism is..."

Feminist has since limited people's ability to comment on the post, likely due to the wave of backlash continuing to swell in recent days since it was went live.


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Anna Slatz

Anna is a writer and professional curmudgeon living in Canada.