I didn’t grow up feminist.
Or I did, but I didn’t know it.
Ugh. That’s another blog entry.
What I’m trying to say is that my children are growing up feminist.
Without any apology whatsoever, I am raising my children – both my son and my daughter – to be feminists.
I am raising them to understand that they are each of equal worth to me, to their family, to their friends, to their community, and to the world. And to expect that people should treat them as being of equal worth.
I am raising them to understand that that they are of equal worth, because I cannot bear the thought of him thinking his little sister is less valuable or of her thinking that her big brother is more valuable.
I am raising them to understand that there is no reason why they can’t pursue the same goals in life (should they choose to do that); no reason why they can’t each be as successful (how ever they decide to measure that) as the other.
And when men tell me that, because I am a feminist, I can’t possibly love my son (because, yes, men tell me that), I laugh at them and then go home and tell my son what someone suggested to which he responds by dropping his face into his hands, shaking his head, and saying, “don’t they understand that feminism means women are equal to men and that would mean you love us both the same?”
Because, really, when you think about it, all babies start off feminist, we teach it out of them. We teach them to value men over women; to think that men are capable of more than are women; to think that men are entitled to more than are women (including being entitled to women’s bodies).
And I want my son and daughter to know that they are equally valuable, equally capable, and neither of them is entitled to anything.
They are growing up feminist.