If you had asked me several years ago if I considered myself a feminist, I would have responded with a resounding "No." The image of feminism that was emblazoned on my mind was the bra burning, sign toting activist that may have turned many women away from the label.
But then, I read a little. I took a few classes. And I saw the face of feminism in every single woman around me. The part time student, mom, and bra-wearer who decided to return to school after raising her kids. The lesbian women's studies major who led on-campus rallies. And my doctorate professor who came to our first class wearing a "This is what a feminist looks like."
I quickly realized that I had been scared away from the movement by a stereotype. I had indeed been suckered by propoganda, like many women in this country, to believe that being a feminist meant baring your tits to the world with an angry thrust.
Thankfully, we've come a long way baby, at least in that sense. Feminists can wear skirts, leave their jobs to stay home with their kids, and even run around barefoot and pregnant in their kitchen.
So, when I was interviewed for a story about the whole "Facebook Sucks" campaign that I organized with League of Maternal Justice, I shouldn't have been surprised when the author called me a "lactivist."
But I was, and I quickly corrected her.
"I don't necessarily think I'm a lactivist just because I want women to be able to nurse freely and without persecution and am organizing an online event where women will be nursing live online and posting pictures of themselves nursing."
She quickly corrected me because, as she stated, isn't that what a lactivist is?
And then I realized that maybe being a lactivist is like being a feminist. All along I had this boob flashing mother nursing her 4 year old outside a restaurant in my mind. When really, anyone, mom or dad, who supports a woman's choice to breastfeed anywhere she so chooses is a lactivist.
Sometimes it just takes our rights as women being questioned for us to activate the feminist within us. And similarly, it takes our rights as nursing mothers to be tested for us to ignite the lactivist as well. But that doesn't mean we have to set fires and squirt milk.
Sometimes it's just nodding along in unison with your fellow women and mothers.
It's only taken me thirty-one years as a woman, and three years as a nursing mother to figure that out.
And sights like this (at the Park Plaza Mall, Little Rock, Arkansas) that really make my day (sure, there's a bottle next to the word, but it doesn't say "bottle-feeding," right).
Even though I can post what I want on my blog since I'm not in an ad network (did you check out my sponsor and her cool giveaway yet?), I like to keep my thoughts on products and services that people so generously send me on my review blog. I don't expect you to stick it in your feed reader. But it's there just in case you were wondering.