Feminist parenting is in my DNA. Not only is my mother a feminist, who raised me to constantly push for gender equality, but her mom was also a passionate advocate of equal rights. Being surrounded by intelligent, politically switched-on women had such a strong effect on me, and when I had my own daughter I knew I wanted to raise my child as a feminist too. And in order to do that, I had to find ways to talk about feminism with my daughter.
Teaching girls about feminism has never been more important. Right now women across the world are being subjected to female genital mutation, slavery,rape, and denied education. It’s easy to believe we live in an equal society, especially when like me, you are married to a feminist man, but the reality is the gender pay gap shows women are still earning significantly less than men over their careers. True equality means the end of pink and blue pay checks and, sad as it is to admit, we are still a long way from that being a reality.
It’s not just workplace misogyny that needs to be challenged, though. Our daughters will be subjected to subtle sexism every time they turn on the TV or flick through a magazine. Sexism is alive and kicking, and counteracting these messages with a dialogue about feminism, can never start too young.
Where to start? Books on parenting will offer endless tips on socialization, how to teach children right from wrong, the importance of group play, but look for the chapter on how to teach your child to be feminist and it’s sadly lacking. This is why it’s important to devise easy ways to talks about feminism with your daughter. Here are some ways I have introduced it into the conversation.