Well, my definition at any rate.
Contrary to popular, mainstream opinion, feminist parenting does not mean ‘raising children to be feminists’. At its most basic level, feminist parenting means nothing more or less than allowing your children to be who they are. Allowing them to be as ‘girly’ or ‘boyish’ or ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ as their nature dictates and giving them a bedrock of understanding that these terms are meaningless in so far as they are applied to them.
This of course gives us what ‘feminist parenting’ is not. It is not about denigrating boys or their stereotyped traits, it is not about denigrating girls or their stereotyped traits.
It is about teaching your children both to be, and to relate to other people as, individuals. It is about teaching your children to respect themselves and their individuality and, in turn, respecting others and their individuality.
At its core, feminist parenting is about celebration. Celebrating our own uniqueness and that of others, celebrating both the things that we share as people and the ways in which we differ.
When I put it like that, I’m quite disappointed; it doesn’t sound very radical, does it?
And if, by some minor miracle, you manage to raise your children to understand all of the above, all else will follow. Trust me, it will.
I was prompted to write this post by this one over at Pigtail Pals about this very idea of celebrating our children for who they are. It’s the lovely long post I would write if I wasn’t so lazy and Melissa hadn’t already handily written it for me to link to.