I was a feminist before I had kids, sure. I fumed daily, as is the feminist’s lot, but I had other things to do, more fun things, than actually thinking through my anger. When I had a daughter, I became a radical feminist because it quickly became clear to me that, whilst I’d accepted that this imperfect world was good enough for me, it was not good enough for her. I committed to feminist parenting because the thought of not doing so was untenable. Now I face the challenge of raising both a feminist daughter and a feminist son and I feel the sheer magnitude of that task as an almost physical weight on my shoulders as, slowly but surely, I understand that I am their last and only line of defence against the gender bias of the rest of the world.
It is waaaay heavy.
Still, it has its hilarious moments. These are mainly provided when you actually enunciate even the smallest smidgeon of your world view to, well, to anybody else. State you don’t buy your daughter anything to do with Disney princesses? When queried, state its because you don’t agree with any of the ideological messages these princesses and their world views send? You are indoctrinating your child, my friend. You are being a killjoy. You are spoiling simple child-ish fun. You are raising your child to be a lonely, man-hating lesbian. Not sure what’s wrong with that last one – seems a rational reaction to the world she’s growing up in – but, believe me, it’s bad. Reply that you didn’t say you didn’t let your daughter have any of that crap, just that you would not be supplying it and that your daughter not only understands that, but understands (well, kinda) why? That, far from indoctrinating your child, you are the lone voice against the mass gender and capitalist indoctrination of the young? Well, jesus, you’re just insane. They don’t say this; it’s confirmed with a look.
You have to find your fun where you can.
Have any of this discussion with family members and ensure that your daughter is inundated with Disney princess crap. And maybe even a T-shirt of such pinkness that it sears your retinas bearing the message ‘Chicks rule!’ if you’re really lucky.