The Unbearable Weight

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.


About MistressofBoogie

Feminist. Loud-mouth. Sometimes those two are linked. Sometimes not. View all posts by MistressofBoogie

2 responses to “The Unbearable Weight

  • Jeanie

    I’m completely with you on this!

    My husband (evil, progressive father!) never lets me forget the time when my then 2yr old daughter, playing with a tatty old Barbie doll handed down to her by her cousin, asked me for a Bratz doll. I replied with a crystal clear “NO!”.

    To which, being a free-thinking confident girl she quite rightly asked why not. I told her that I had ‘compromised my feminist principles enough by letting you have that Barbie, but a Bratz doll is a area of socialisation I will go to great lengths to protect you from’.

    At which point, she threw the aforementioned Barbie doll at me head as I navigated my way round a 9 exit roundabout in East London!!

    It seems you can take a daughter to equality but you can’t make them wear the T-shirt!!

  • womanontheedgeoftime

    I haven’t got kids, but I’ve seen threads on mumsnet and similar when someone protests about the pink cutsie stuff – and it’s all “leave ppl alone, let them do what they want, stop being a killjoy!” This type of individualism – it’s not hurting anyone, get a life, find some bigger fish to fry – really grinds my gears. Trying to create a better world IS important, and these things are NOT just harmless fun!

    i often feel like a killjoy for being a feminist – yes, I AM pooping your party! – but I guess we all carry on because we believe in it. And it’s an ultimately hopeful, inspiring place to be.

    Thanks for your blog.

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