Friday, June 10, 2011

This is what a feminist looks like......

Ever since I found out I was pregnant in Nov 2004, I knew no matter what gender child I had, there would be feminism in their blood. The first time I felt the baby move was in the middle of Feminist Critical Reading.....I took it as a sign that I held a little girl who would some day be passionate about women's history and the movements that have gained our rights as well as the movement that push for more. Most of the people around me said that I would have a boy and he would reject my radical feminism. They were right on the first account.....I have a son.

Although it has never truly worried me, but I have wondered how my feminism will affect him. Will he reject it? Will he accept and embrace it? Or will he ever question it? I hope for the last. I hope that he always questions why others don't think the way he does or question why other parents didn't raise him with the same understanding that I am. I read once that to raise a boy in a feminist home, the mother can not cater to his needs in a way that displays the idea that women cater to men's needs. There has to be an understanding that he is a part of the Mother's life just as much as she is a part if his. We make our children our worlds but eventually our world leaves us and we are only a part of their lives.  What the author was getting at, expecially in son/mother relationships, is that as parents we have to make the distinction that our children are not our lives but part of our lives as much as we are a part of theirs.  If we can do this, in terms of the mother/son relationship, then there isn't a need for a serverence of the bond that was created in the womb.  The author also suggested that society calls for a need of mothers to push their sons aways in their childhood in order to raise a proper man.  If you think about it, that is true.  Young boys that have a strong relationship with their mothers are often coined as "Mama's boys" or something of that nature.  Like it is a negetive to have a close relationship with your mother if you are a boy.....I hate that.  I think that men who are raised and have close relationship with their mothers or other matriarchs in their family are very different from men who are not or have mother that abided by the "code" and severed the relationship with their son.  I plan on Parker always being a part of my life but he will know that I do not and am not here to serve him as well as other women he will meet in his life.  He will see me as a woman who provided for him and cared for him to make his life the best that I could.  He will see strength in women and have a different appriciation for women.
I refuse to let him catagorize things as being for girls or boys.  I ask him why he has segregated them and then explain why there is no such thing as something that is strictly for girls or boys.  He is not allowed to say that his peers throw, run, act, sound like a girl.  Ever time he tries to do this, he explains to me why that is not alright.  He understands.  He will make better arguements as too why that is not allowed than I can make, or rather, he makes arguements that he can understand by using people or scenerios from his life to make it make sense.
I think that as long as parents are open-minded and do not push their children into the societal box of where they should fit, most children would grow up as feminist or any person who is against any -ism.  When we fall to the social constructs of who and what we are all supposed to be and what we are supposed to have and supposed to know, we fall into a very narrow space.  There isn't much room to move, think and grow in those confines.  Many people will not agree with me or my thoughts but I think what this all really boils down to is how much we want our children to grow and think.  I want Parker to question everything in his world.  Now of course I want him to do this in a respectable fashion, but I never want him to stop questioning society.  I want him to make his own decisions now so that he may practice which ones are good and which are bad while he has me around to help guide him.  A friend of mine said that no children should make any of their own decisions until they are atleast 10....that makes no sense to me.  They are their own person with their own opinions and thoughts and feelings.  We are to guide them to make those all positive.....not wait until they can't learn that within our shelter.  Embracing them for who they are is the most important part.  If Parker never considers himself to be a feminist, I will never be disappointed.  I know that I will have introduced it to him and he will decided through questioning the world whether or not he can consider himself a feminist.  There is no doubt in my mind that he will reject it at some point.  But, like I said earlier, he still will view the world differently because of his experience.  Just like when I was a small girl, I grew up veiwing it differently because of the lack of the double standard in my life.

1 comment:

  1. A child shouldn't make their own decisions until they are 10? Who said that? Blondie Boy makes his own decisions every day!

    I didn't set out to do so, but I'm most definitely raising a free-range baby. We don't follow schedules and Blondie Boy (within reason) does what he wants to do. I'm letting him find his own way in life through learning.

    I'd like to think that most people are raising feminist children and just don't know it. I mean if we want our children to grow up to be whatever they want to be surely that's part of it?

    Thanks for taking part (I knew you'd love this week's theme) and be sure to comment on the other posts!