Friday, July 18, 2008

Recently I learned a new word: Lactivist

From some online dictionary:
Lactivism (portmanteau of "lactation" and "activism") is a term used to describe the advocacy of breastfeeding.[1] Advocates, referred to as "lactivists", seek to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding over formula-feeding and to ensure that nursing mothers are not discriminated against.[1][2]
One form that lactivism can take is the staging of a "nurse-in" (a play on "sit-in"), which involves women gathering in public to breastfeed their children, usually to protest incidents in which a nursing mother was asked to cover up or leave a location because she was breastfeeding.[3][4][5]
Often during nurse-ins, breastfeeding mothers will sometimes wear clothing with the International Breastfeeding Symbol on it, to show their solidarity.[6]

I had never realized breastfeeding was such serious business. Learning about it got me thinking about all the meaningful breastmilk related experiences that have shaped my life, and I'm not just talking about the time my cat Spot tried to suck on my nipple either. (That was awkward.)

For example, when I was on my mission in Texas there was this single mom named Carmen Baltazar that used to invite the missionaries to dinner a lot. The thing was, she used to nurse her littlest bastard (named after me no less), right in front of us all the time. She'd be standing there in her doorway with her boob hanging out, kid lazily lapping up the flow, talking about who knows what, and I'd be trying to do anything but look her in the eye (or nipple). The worst part was that she lived right across the street from a gay bar called The Hidden Door. This was not the type of gay bar frequented by young, well-groomed Erasure fans. It was a seedy dive bar that catered to dirty-old-trucker Village People types.

I was faced with exposed motherly boobs on one side, and parking lot gay hookups on the other.

But I got off easy compared to a District Leader I had. He was once teaching a discussion and the lady of the house began nursing her baby. He riveted his eyes on the reading materials in the discussion, until he heard the womans children giggling. He looked up and saw that the baby had let loose the nipple, and the mother was playfully squirting the babys face with her milk. Then she began squirting her other kids. Then the unthinkable happened. The mother noticed the look of absolute horror on his face, and so she took aim and sent a stream of milk across the room and hit him in the arm.

Thinking about these experiences led me to conduct a scientific poll on public breastfeeding. I asked all the women in my household between the ages of 32 and 34 what they thought about it.

Here are the comments:
"I don't particularly like seeing some other womans breast. It's not my favorite thing."

"It's natural, but so is peeing."

Don't get me wrong, I love boobs. I think boobs are the best thing ever. And I'm all for breastfeeding too. I don't even mind if you whip it out right in front of me. I'll avert my eyes and play it cool. Just don't stand there and talk to me as if there isn't a huge lactating elephant in the room, so to speak. Also, please don't squirt me.


The Drizzled Apple said...

Dave, Dave, Dave, you have me laughing in my chair once again! I needed that too!
Oh, and what other woman do you have living in your household other than Kaerlig?... Did you take on a 2nd wife or something?
Here's to the boob, and the huge lactating elephant in the room!

~j. said...

HAHAHAHA! I don't know which I prefer: Lactivist or Nipple Nazi.

I remember that I nursed my babe when we were at dinner. I hope I covered myself.