Mothering and Life in General
Activist vs. Extremist
These are two categories I come across most often during my parenting career. I have often been confused by these two, in my opinion, loosely used terms. I looked into it tonight because for the last time I will be called an Extremist. I would like to finally set the record straight. Here is what I found in my own words:
Activist: To support and advocate a cause or issue using direct, usually confrontational action such as demonstration, strikes and providing information to bring forth social change.
Extremist: Holds views and uses opinions and actions far beyond the norm to the point of destruction of property or planned physical confrontation and bodily harm. Often these views, opinions and actions are more fixed than others with the same belief. You can see this term used mainly in Politics or more often used pejoratively by those who sees the cause or issue as hyperbolic and unwarranted.
Here is my problem on being called an Extremist. I have never, nor will I ever be involved with any political party or movement. I actually don’t get politics, you can try as you might, but you will be wasting your time talking politics with me. I am a deer in headlights. Finally, I have never destroyed property or caused another physical harm because they don’t agree with my way of thinking or support the causes I do. I do, however, simplify my life and continue to maintain friends and acquaintances with the same frame of mind as I do. In my opinion that is not an Extremist that is what everyone does, it’s called finding friends with common interests. Without common interest what is there to talk about?
As me being an Activist; I don’t really see myself in this light either. There are lots of stuff in the world I would like to change, but I would rather raise my daughter, selfish as that is. I think that our Activists are doing a great deed in what they are doing, and I will follow as much as I can in my home and life, maybe boycott a company or two (Nestle and Gap). Yet, would I protest, demonstrate or strike? Probably not for every single cause or issue I think is good. Although I do take part in awareness on October 15th, by lighting a candle for Infant and Pregnancy Loss. I also partake in Breastfeeding Week, I go to the latch-on challenges. If I can’t make it for some reason I change my status on Facebook during that week for “Facebook, Breastfeeding is not Obscene”. You might call that a demonstration, but this is for awareness, yet mainly for me to remember my angel babies and my angel brothers and sisters and to participate in Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Therefore, in my opinion it’s not Activism.
So after all that, what am I? I am neither! I am a Lactivist. “A Lactivist”, you might be saying, “Is that not an Activist?” In a gentler note yes, but in my opinion Activists support a cause or issue that is not encoded in our genetics, or basically not something that is ‘naturally’ normal. A person feeding and nurturing a child this way is what makes us mammals, that is plainly a fact. I am pretty sure there is no Activists on breathing.
A Lactivist is a person who engages in or is comfortable with the natural act of feeding a child through mother’s milk – Breastfeeding. A Lactivist could be male or female, who also supports, promotes and protects all areas of lactation and it’s importance. This does not matter if one has breastfeed for years, hours, or not at all. A Lactivist provides truthful and factual information to those who speak ill-truths about lactation whether the other person wants to hear it or not, for awareness purposes only. A Lactivist continues to protect the rights of all infant mammals to have their mother’s milk and who also, continues to encourage mothers to breastfeed their children for as long as mutually possible. This person can also hold up a conversation on lactation and add-on to their own knowledge without contempt on new or updated scientifically factual information. Being a Lactivist is pretty easy in my opinion because most of the information about its importance; science has tried, tested, and proved true.
So that being said, love me or hate me, but do call me a Lactivist.