Monday BARB UP February 18, 2019

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How To Raise a Feminist (ongoing)

How do you parent through a feminist lens?

It’s an ongoing exploration. We have ideas on parenting, we have advice on parenting, we have insecurities, fears and doubts about parenting. So adding the layer of the feminist lens may sound hifalutin, but it’s actually intuitive. Because you are a feminist. You understand, innately, that your children, while so very special, have equal value. And, everything about the feminist lens emanates from that.

We’ve already sorted out that you need to look at raising your child through a feminist lens. That lens, the way you carry your feminist definition with you, informs how you make specific choices, beyond teaching your child the importance of saying “Please” and “Thank You” and “Good Morning.” It’s the teaching, and the laying down of the foundation of, experiencing your fellow human with equal value. Other things too. Of instilling in your child independence. The ability to do and think and be. To have your child understand that if she can do the monkey rings, so can a boy. If he wants a playdate, he can have it with any girl he wants to. If your children want to be in gender-associated plateaus (the kitchen, the sports arena, whatever), they are welcome to go anywhere you or a trusted adult takes them. It doesn’t mean having to prevent your child from gravitating towards the color pink if she is a girl; that’s not a feminist lens, that’s gender stereotypes, that’s something deeper, your child wanting to be accepted by her/his peers. I don’t have patience for the conversation around steering your child away from his or her natural inclinations; to me, that’s suppressing their inclination for expression. I want to see every child embracing whatever appeals to that person, and that’s the feminist lens in action: understanding that your child is of equal value, that she has a say in what she wants to read or toy that she wants to play with. Yes, guns irritate us. But they’re toys, that for a child of five, allows her or him to play with his or her friends, in a way that he or she is not standing on the sidelines, cast out for being a weirdo. Words, when you are a child, are weapons of destruction, used to take a fellow five year-old down. Your child can be different, but she has to have a say in that. And that? That’s the feminist lens at work, allowing your child to have agency, even at the very young age, which allows your child to be able to think, to be able to desire, to be able to make decisions as early as three and four, beyond shrieking at you “NO” when you offer broccoli. How do you parent through a feminist lens? You let your child run free. Not in the streets, and certainly not when it comes to nutrition, but in her imagination. That, that is where you plant the spirit of independence, of mindfulness, of feminism.

Jane Curtain: “Movies were not written with women in mind, nor were they written with women audiences in mind.”

On helping your teenager with all her feels.

Heartbreaking and important read.

My favorite band and their most known record, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.

And now have a laugh with Ali Macofsky.

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