Being in a relationship with a feminist is pretty great, especially when (and if) you both become parents. After all, you want your co-parent to be someone you can relate to and who understands you fully. You want them to be on board with the same parenting style you have and vice versa. They need to have a deep understanding of equality, whether relating to race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, or any other intersecting issue. While there are certain things that feminist dads will be proactive about, there are also certain things feminist dads won’t say to their partners.
While I'm not entirely sure my husband would be the first to call himself a feminist, he definitely portrays and champions numerous feminist qualities. He acknowledges his privilege as a white, cisgender, straight male, as well as the major challenges faced by minorities that he doesn't endure on a daily basis. On the parenting end of things, he’s an equal partner in helping to raise our son. He allows our son to pick and choose what he enjoys and likes, even if that doesn’t always fit within the gender stereotypes constantly perpetuated by our society. He gives our son baths, helps him on the potty, plays with him, and feeds him.
In short, my partner has never made it seem, or made me feel, like I'm the only one capable of being a parent, just because I happen to have a vagina. He also has not, and never would, say the following things:
"Guys Don’t Change Diapers"
Nice try, guys. Who said changing diapers is only “woman’s work”? Pick up some wipes and get to cleaning, because poop-filled diapers are equal opportunity employers.
"No Boys Better Come Around Here For Our Daughter"
Why should anyone threaten who their daughter wants to bring home? Why do some men think that they have ownership over their daughter’s bodies? GTFO with that misogyny. Also, GTFO with automatically your daughter is going to be straight. What happens if a girl comes around your hone, asking to take your daughter out? Huh?
"Our Son Needs To Toughen Up"
It’s OK to tell your child (regardless of gender) that they need to be brave when they’re getting, say, a shot. It’s not OK to berate your child because they scraped their knee and want to cry. It’s not OK to tease boys because they show emotions other than anger and joy.
"I Don’t Think You Should Be Working"
Pardon? No. Moms can and will work outside the house as much and as often as they like.
"This House Isn’t Going To Clean Itself"
Yeah, I agree. So, um, why don’t you pick up a damn mop? For real, though. Household chores need to be divided, period. This isn't the 1950s, people.
"Why Haven’t You Made Dinner Yet?"
Because I’m not Bobby Flay? I don’t know. If a dude demands you cook for him, it’s time to walk away and leave him hungry and bewildered. If he is all about making you dinner, he just might be a keeper.
"Why Should I Have To Get Up At Night? The Baby Wants You."
Just because the baby might quiet down faster with me, the mom, doesn’t mean the burden of late-night coddling and feeding should solely fall on my hands. Some guys, even ones who swear they’re feminists, will try to get out of any part of baby duty they can. Don’t let him bully you into giving in.
"I Know You’re Tired But Maybe You Could Take Better Care Of Yourself"
Sorry, but any dude, dad or not (and actually any person) who says this to you has another thing coming. Yes, sometimes us mamas don’t end up dressing up or wearing makeup or dying our hair or whatever else we used to do to our physical selves once we have kid. Why? Because we are wiped out. We're sleep deprived and exhausted and overwhelmed and worried about offering another human being so much more than our outward appearance. Our job, as women and as new mothers, is not to "look good."
So, no. No one has the right to criticize how you look, whether you're pregnant, postpartum, or child-free.
"You Can’t Leave Me Alone With The Baby"
Um, why not? Unless the feminist dad in question is physically or mentally incapable to watch the child, he should be able to do it just as much as any mother. Oh, and none of this, “Oh, but the baby prefers you,” or, “But you’re better at it!” crap, gentlemen. Gender stereotypes hurt everyone, yourself included, and there's absolutely no reason why you should limit yourself, or question your abilities, simply because our society says you're not capable.