Before having kids, I never really thought about what it means to raise your kids like a feminist. My feminism was more about reproductive choice (mainly, how could I continue to avoid getting pregnant or having babies), about the ending violence against women (especially being a survivor of assault myself), and about women propping each other up rather than tearing each other down. My feminism is still very much about those things, but it has expanded to include all aspects of parenting, to the point that I frequently refer to myself as a “feminist mom.” And not to toot my own horn, but I feel that my son is quite lucky to be growing up with a feminist mom, as I certainly wish I’d have gotten to.
Growing up with parents who don’t quite believe in gender equality (or between people of different races, economic backgrounds, and sexual orientations), I felt like I lived a much more repressed life at home. I would often end up feeling as though I had to live multiple lives: the life I shared with my conservative family, and the life I lived among the friends who truly knew me. But feminist moms tend to do things a little different, and what they do results in kids who are more likely to grow up freer, more accepted, and even encouraged to carve out their own path in life. Seriously, having a feminist mom is a bit like winning the damn parent lottery. Here's how:
You Can Actually Ask Them Sex Questions Without It Turning Into An Abstinence-Only Freak Show
Your feminist mom doesn’t live with her head in the sand. She knows all about teen hormones, and quite possibly had sex at some point (shock!) and isn't afraid to talk about it (wait, actual shock). She’s not shy about discussing sex with you, whether it’s to find out more about birth control options or to find out whether masturbation is normal and OK (it is! It totally is!)
You Don’t Have To Worry What The Reaction Will Be If You Come Out As LGBTQ
Feminist moms love their kids no matter how they identify regarding sexuality or gender. If their child was assigned male at birth but realize later on that they in fact identify as a girl (or as another gender), a feminist mom will let you know it’s perfectly fine and love you just the way you are.
You’ll Never Have To Conform To Gender Roles
Were you the type of girl who preferred hitting home runs to playing house? If your mom was a feminist, she probably didn't bat an eye and just signed you up for little league. Feminist moms don’t even deal with the black-and-white mentality that girls must be very-and-only feminine, and that boys must be unfailingly masculine; you're pretty much allowed to be whatever you want.
You Won’t Have To Endure Body Shaming/Food Shaming Commentary (At Least At Home)
In Latinx culture, two of the most common nicknames are “gordo” and “flaca” (or “skinny” and “fatty”). Folks are constantly commenting on your looks, especially if you happen to gain or lose just a few pounds. I often got called both by various family members while growing up and still find it to be completely obnoxious. With a feminist mom, you won’t have to endure the constant scrutiny over your body and food choices.
You’ll Get Exposed To Awesome Feminist Music, Movies, And Literature
Kids with feminist moms get exposed to the coolest things. Not only are their moms more likely to expose them to entertainment from so many women and LGBTQ artists, but they are more likely to introduce them to feminist tunes like Dar Williams, Beyoncé, and Nirvana.
You Can Always Come To Your Mom If You Need Of An Abortion
I'm not saying that pregnancy is treated super casually, or that feminist moms consider abortions just a totally normal, NBD, family activity, but when a kid has a feminist mom, they're far less likely to be shamed or unsupported if an unplanned pregnancy does occur. One of the biggest issues that young people face during an unwanted pregnancy is finding support to obtain an abortion. Although abortion is a completely safe and simple procedure, many teens find it difficult to confide in their parents, which makes it difficult to come up with enough money for the procedure, not to mention the fact that many states force underage teens to get parental consent in order to obtain an abortion. A feminist mom will not only assist you financially if necessary, but she will likely be willing to drive you to your appointment, and support you emotionally afterward.
You’ll Probably Have A Much Better Understanding Of Consent
Your kids will learn from an early age how to say no, and how to respect when someone else says no, or even to know to back off when someone just seems to not want to do something. They’ll learn to double-check with folks before doing anything with or to their bodies. They’ll understand that it’s not OK to try to pressure someone to change their minds. Just another benefit of having a feminist mom.
You’ll Recognize Their Mothers As More Than “Just Moms”
It’s hard for many kids to understand that their moms are anything more than their mothers. But a feminist mom will often make it clear to their kids that they are really just people, and that they have dreams and aspirations, careers and life goals... Kids of feminist moms rarely see their mothers as one-dimensional Moms, but rather, as whole humans who just happen to also be their parent.
These kids will end up having a greater respect for all moms in the long-run, as they won’t feel inclined to classify moms as flat characters but rather as complex human beings. It may also help them to understand that motherhood isn’t something to be feared because life definitely isn’t over once someone has a kid.
You’ll Get Moral Support To Make Their Career Aspirations Come True Without Judgement
If you’re a girl who wants to grow up to to work in the predominantly male industry, your feminist mom will support you. If you’re a boy who dreams of becoming a stay-at-home dad? Your feminist mom will never judge you.
You Won’t Have To Worry About Not Being Allowed To Play With “Certain Kinds” Of Kids
Feminist moms don’t forbid their kids to play with other kids on the basis of their skin color or their last name or their nationality or their sexuality. Feminist moms ask their kids to bring their friends home, to get to know them, because they know that friends are important. Feminist moms value having diverse relationships.
You’ll Never Get Shamed For Their Fashion Choices
Kids with feminist moms don’t have to worry about being told their shorts are too short (or too long) or that their shirt is too see-through or that their hairstyle is too...whatever. They will also likely be willing to go to bat with school staff who try to shame their kids for their stylistic choices.
You’ll Have A Better Perspective On Class Disparity
A feminist mama will teach her children about their privilege (and/or lack thereof) and kids will benefit in the long-run being aware of this and learning to fight against a society that frequently does not allow for upward mobility.
You Might Get To Attend A Protest Or Clinic Defense Early In Life
Sure, not all feminist moms are also active protestors, but a lot are, and even the ones who aren't as a matter of habit will sporadically feel the need to stand up for a cause they believe in — and their kids will see that. Some feminist moms bring their kids to demonstrations. The age at which this occurs depends on the mom, but I feel it’s something of a right of passage in some families, and a pretty awesome memory to share with your kid.
Your Opinions Will Actually Be Valued
Your feminist mom will teach you to be outspoken and confident in your beliefs and opinions. She may not share all the same views, but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever try to make you feel like you are ignorant or foolish for believing them. This has tremendous value both in childhood and later in life.