When I was a kid, if anyone mentioned feminism, I immediately had a negative reaction. Back then, I assumed if you were a feminist, you were going to tell me that I didn't need to shave my legs and that if I viewed getting married as a life goal, I was setting women back 50 years. Obviously, I had a skewed perception, despite the fact that my parents totally raised me as a feminist. And, even if you don't think you are, there are probably some huge clues you're raising a feminist, too.
According to Merriam-Webster, feminism is a word that represents the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. And honestly, who wouldn't want their child to be a feminist? Raising your child in the name of feminism doesn't mean you turn them into man-haters. It doesn't mean you refuse to buy your daughters anything pink or that you fill your son's room with baby dolls and dresses. It means raising your little one to believe that both men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. When you break it down like that, isn't that the same as raising a decent human being?
Even if feminism isn't on your mind, I believe that any good parent can see these 13 clues that they're raising a feminist. And do you know what that means? That means you deserve a pat on the back because you're officially rocking parenthood if you recognize any or all of these 13 signs in your child.
1. They Don't Judge Others On Gender
Being accepting of another person's gender is a must no matter who old you are, but it's especially nice when your little ones don't judge each other. You never hear your son argue that his sister can't play with his trucks because she's a girl, and your daughter doesn't mock your son for playing with Barbies. Your kids are accepting of all genders and they don't put limits on themselves or others.
2. They Aren't Afraid To Speak Their Mind
Too often, you hear about women who are interrupted by men, women who aren't taken seriously, and women who are told to look pretty and be quiet. If you're raising a feminist, you'll know when you hear them speak their mind, when they stand up for others and their own self, and when they aren't scared of sharing their opinion.
3. They Aren't Ashamed Of What They Like
Your little dude loves baby dolls and you know what? He's not even the least bit ashamed of it. Your kids like what they like and they own it, even if it's something considered stereotypical, like your son loving all things superhero-related.
4. They Believe They Can Be Whatever They Want To Be
They don't put any limits on their dreams or ambitions. Your kids know that they can be whatever they want, even if it's a stay-at-home parent someday.
5. They Aren't Afraid To Show Emotions
Your kiddo never feels like they aren't allowed to express anger, disappointment, or sadness. They know that their emotions are real and that it's normal to feel that way. There is no "act like a man" or "be ladylike" when their emotions are involved.
6. They Know That They Can Be Independent
Your daughter doesn't look at marriage as something she has to have because she needs a partner to help take care of her. She knows she can be independent and that she has the tools to make it on her own. Likewise, your son knows that he doesn't have to grow up to have people depend on him in order to be a "man." He can be independent and on his own, too.
7. They Don't Label Things As Gender Specific
Your kid never calls toys, movies, books, TV shows, or any other source of entertainment as a "girl" thing or a "boy" thing. They just are what they are and they are open for anyone to use.
8. They Don't Use Genders As An Insult
There's no mention of, "you play ball like a girl" or "you act like a boy." They know that genders are not meant to be insults and they know not to try and demean another person with them.
9. They See Their Parents As Equal
Meaning, they recognize that you (and your partner if applicable) are equals in every sense of the word. They know that both of you work hard, that you both are equal in the eyes of each other, and that you divvy up home responsibilities and duties equally, not in a traditional gender split.
10. They Know That They Deserve Respect
And they aren't afraid to make sure they have it. No matter what gender your child identifies with, they know that people should never talk down to them or treat them with anything less than the utmost respect. They are worth it, not because of their gender, but because they are human.
11. They Are Body Positive
Everyone has their days where they wish they could change something, but a feminist kiddo will be body positive as much as possible. If you're overhearing your kid talk about how strong their body is, how fast they can run, how much their arms can hold, how they love their hair and their eyes and their ears, then you are totally doing it right.
12. They Are Accepting Of Everyone
Even if they don't particularly like someone. They may disagree with another person's beliefs or opinions, but they still think that they deserve to be treated with respect and have the same opportunities as those around them.
13. They Know That People Are Responsible For Their Own Actions
So they never victim blame. They don't think people can blame the things they do on their anger or emotions — or on being "provoked" by another person — everybody has to own their actions and their life.