You may not exactly consider yourself a feminist, but you likely want to raise your children in a world where violence against women, pay inequality between the sexes, and birth control controversies no longer exist. Your kids may be coming to you with questions about things they hear that while innocent, can be difficult to answer. As a parent, it is tough to break through all of the media noise and leave a more positive representation of gender identity on your kids. But there are books that can help you become a better feminist parent — even if you don't think you are.
Whether you're enjoying a bedtime story with your kids or reading alone, there are plenty of books that encourage readers to smash the patriarchy. And it's especially important to share books with strong female characters and story lines with your children. As Everyday Feminist magazine noted, it's important to expose children to a wide variety of gender expressions, while respecting the child's individual choice.
If you're looking to add a little gender equality to your bookshelf, check out these nine books, that will help you have open and honest discussions with your children about ways to close the gap.
1. 'Swagger' by Lisa Bloom
Raising boys who respect women is an important job for a feminist parent. Lisa Bloom's book, Swagger gives parents advice on how to raise sensitive and successful young men in a society filled with so many obstacles.
2. 'Just Us Women' by Jeannette Caines
A girl and her aunt take a girls-only road trip in the aunt's new convertible in Just Us Women. The two enjoy their special time together by eating what they want, buying garage sale junk, and chatting all along the way.
3. 'The Way We Never Were' by Stephanie Coontz
If you've ever questioned whether the 'Good Old Days' were really all that good, The Way We Never Were is worth a read. She puts "traditional family values" in a historical context and examines whether or not the idea was realistic. It will make you glad we don't have to vacuum in heels anymore.
4. 'Moody Bitches' by Julie Holland
For centuries, women have been told that their emotions are an obstacle — leaving many to use drugs, alcohol and food to control the problem. In Moody Bitches, Dr. Julie Holland lets readers know that varying moods aren't unique to women. She touches on the pros and cons of medicating our emotions, and offers alternative solutions to cope.
5. 'Feminism Is For Everybody: Passionate Politics' by bell hooks
In Feminism Is For Everybody, bell hooks writes that feminism is not just for women. In this book, she notes that the issue of gender equality impacts us all, and calls for a more inclusive culture.
6. 'The Paper Bag Princess' by Robert Munsch
The Paper Bag Princess flips the classic fairytale formula on its head. A princess uses her brain to rescue a prince who has been kidnapped by a dragon. Gasp!
7. 'Kicking Off: How Women In Sport Are Changing The Game' by Sarah Shephard
The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team recently made news by bringing attention to the fact that female athletes are grossly underpaid when compared to their male counterparts. Kicking Off was written by the features editor at Sport magazine to bring attention how to the inequality between the sexes plays out in sports.
8. 'Not All Princesses Dress In Pink' by Heidi E. Y. Stemple & Jane Yolen
Written by a mother and daughter, Not All Princesses Dress In Pink lets little girls know that ball gowns and high heels are not a required part of a princess' attire. You can play baseball, jump in mud and even use power tools — while wearing your tiara, of course!
9. 'Don't Kiss The Frog: Princess Stories With Attitude' by Fiona Waters
Don't Kiss the Frog is an anthology of princess tales that are a little edgier than some fairytale favorites. Clumsy, silly and brave princesses can be a nice change of pace from the always pretty and perfect ones.