Whether you’re a feminist from birth or your journey toward feminism was a winding path with many detours ("I just think we're living in an era that's beyond feminism, ya know? Like, it was important for our moms, but we have gender equality now so who really need to be burning bras?" – many of us at age 16, being complete idiots), there are things feminist moms do differently than the non-feminist moms out there. In the same way that your genetic make-up impacts your child’s appearance and behaviors, your ideologies will impact the way you parent. Sure, all the facets of your identity will influence how you raise your kids, but the fact is, being a feminist pretty much colors how you view every situation, how you respond to every new task or piece of information; it completely informs not only how you view the world, but how you teach your kids to view the world. Being a feminist changes everything about how you parent.
I wasn’t always a self-identified feminist, but I definitely was by the time I became a mom. I remember the exact moment when I admitted precisely how much my feminist beliefs impact my parenting. My daughter was maybe two or three years old and was introduced to someone new, an older gentleman who was an acquaintance of the family. He extended his hand and my darling girl huddled behind my leg. She nestled into me tight as could be and shook her head “no.” One of the other adults attempted to force my child to shake the man’s hand, scolded her for being rude. Every fiber in my body revolted against the idea of forcing a child to shake someone’s hand. Whether it was perceived as rude mattered precisely not at all in comparison to telling my child she wasn’t in charge of who could have physical contact with her. That was the moment I realized there are things feminist moms won’t force their kids to do. And these are just a few: