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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For some reason, the term "Lactivist" has been bothering me a lot lately. I think I have finally figured out why, and there seem to be a couple of reasons. One is that it makes Breastfeeding, Public Breastfeeding, and Breastfeeding support seem way too "fringe" and even extreme. I mean, aren't we supporting breastfeeding as a natural occurance and a continuation of the normal birthing process?? Picture a young, poorly educated woman, deciding to breastfeed her baby and then being called a "Lactavist" as if it's an insult in a derrogetory way, when actually what she is doing is nursing her baby because it's a good thing to do.
Also, it seems to give ammunition to looney reporters writing headlines. "LACTIVISTS need to back off" seems a lot more militant then "Breastfeeding moms need to back off".
I am NOT intending to start a debate here. I am interested and welcome other oinions about this.
 

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I think the difference that I see in using the term "lactivist" is action. Many, many people (though not enough!) breastfeed. A few get up and go to rallys and do it as a statement. A few write letters. Some send money. To me, the latter three types are lactation activists. It does seem a shame that because the word has such a catchy sound, it will probably be thrown about and misused and made fun of by the mainstream press before it's all done.

I'd like to see the terms "breastfeeding activist" or "lactation activist" get more use, but I don't really mind "lactivist" in principle or anything and I am proud of those who are calling themselves this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good points, Tracymom. I used to think it was a smart and catchy term, and really defined the leaders in the Breastfeeding Awareness Movement very succinctly (and with a touch of humour), which I appreciated. I do think it is being overused now, though. It seems the perfect little tool to use in a heated battle that shouldn't really be happening in the first place.
 

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I think it's cute. At first, I was just a bf mom, now I feel like a lactivist. I think they are different. I am more of a loud-mouth-know-it-all lactivist now
, I was just a bfer before.
 

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I think if 'lactate' didn't give off that 'eeeewwwww, bodily fluids' vibe to some, (Not me, but I'm guessing it does to some of the general masses out there) then 'Lactivist' would be completely and utterly great.

I'm also an Intactivist, and the neat thing about that term is that people view the word 'Intact' as a positive thing. (And rightly so!) I think the term Intactivist sends off a bit different of a vibe than Lactivist....and I'm proudly both!

I don't know if that made any sense at all - I haven't gotten my exercise yet today, so am feeling kinda foggy.

-Kira
 

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What worries me is the 'lac' part. Said out loud it sounds like lactivists, lactation, lactating, are missing something, aren't quite up to par, are 'lacking'.

Add that to La Leche League. I have always thought the name LLL is too fluffy, too la la la la la la. We are just milk making mamas skipping along....hippies in our long prarie skirts.....

Just unfortunate that these words sound like other words with connotations that aren't quite what we need. Where was a good PR firm when these names were picked out?

Just kidding. About the PR firm that is.
 

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It's twenty times better than "breastfeeding nazi."

And from what I understand, La Leche League is a name derived from a statue of Maria Lactans-- nursing Mary, mother of Jesus.

And finally, I'd say that anyone with a reasonable education about Latin-derived English words ought to immediately understand that the "lac" in "lactivist" has no association with the word "lack."
 

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I simply stated my opinion. I am reasonably educated, I understand word etymology. I thought we were discussing the connotations of the word "lactivist" and I extended the discussion to other breastfeeding terms. Words that have honorable origins but may not be interpreted in the same way in our culture, a culture that is increasingly moving away from the written word and focusing on the spoken word.

We are talking about public perceptions, and subtle changes in words can make a big difference. Formula versus artificial breastmilk is an excellent example.

I do think lactivist is better than breastfeeding nazi. I find the use of nazi offensive when it is used to describe a sincere commitment to a belief that supports life.
 

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I really think the effort to promote BF takes all kinds of voices. I get uncomfortable when we try to say there is only 1 right way to promote BF, when I think IRL it's more complex than that. Different situations require different approaches. Even in the same situation, different approaches can be effective. Plus, there's also the issue of finding an advocacy style that meshes with your personality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


Quote:

Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
And from what I understand, La Leche League is a name derived from a statue of Maria Lactans-- nursing Mary, mother of Jesus.
"la Leche" means "Milk" in Spanish.
 

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Oh, yeah, Kari mom, I'm not trying to jump down your throat or imply that your education was "lac"king


Sorry the post kind of came out harshly. I just reread it... you know text sometimes "sounds" farrrrr different than the poster meant it to.

Anyways, I guess I just don't like when nursing moms doubt themselves or worry what other, uninformed people might think. Seems like most people who "oppose" breastfeeding have either never nursed or nursed for a couple of weeks... I refuse personally to fuss about what these folks may think. If they have an actual thought in their heads, which I sometimes doubt.

And as far as La Leche League's name, I had an article a while back (and am kicking myself now for throwing it out) that was saying that the name was derived from a statue of nursing Mary near a Catholic church, with a Spanish title. Apparently the founding members of the League were Catholic mamas, although of course now the organization is thouroughly secular and some of the original Catholic cultural references have been scrubbed. Except, of course, for the name. So I think it's a cool name... it has Serious History behind it. I'd be totally crushed if they changed it to something dull and obvious like "Nursing Moms International"

I'll see if I can find it again and post the article here.
 

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I've heard it a lot on the media recently too...and the jerks out here make it sound negative.

I like the term...but I'll jump on anyone's head who uses it negatively.
Jenn
 

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Mamajama, I am put off a little by the term "lactivist" too, perhaps not all of which I can articulate. But there is a kind of clinical tone to it, and it grates against the natural aspect of bf'ing, as you were explaining. As a mom nursing a 2 yo (and will be as long as ds needs it), I do feel like I'm an activist every time I breastfeed in public. I was also at the NYC nurse-in. But you know what? That's only besides the point. I do it because it is completely natural and it is what my ds needs. "Lactivist" sounds to me like a label for someone else who needs to classify me. I'm a nursing mom, and that really should be good enough for people.
 

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I like lactavist because you don't have to be a breastfeeding mom to be one. My husband is a lactavist, I was a lactavist before I had children and my grandmother (90 years old) is a lactavist although she never really nursed.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sistermama
I like lactavist because you don't have to be a breastfeeding mom to be one. My husband is a lactavist, I was a lactavist before I had children and my grandmother (90 years old) is a lactavist although she never really nursed.
Excellent, excellent points!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by tracymom
Excellent, excellent points!!!

I agree, those are excellent points. That really helps with my somewhat ambivillent feelings about the term.
 
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