Feminist Parenting A Radical Act Of Love

This post is entirely inspired by a comment left on this blog by Meadster.

Renee, you condemn parents for spanking but I am willing to bet that your treatment of your children amounts emotional abuse more damaging than the so-called physical abuse of the average spanking parent. After all your children are boys, males, future men and clearly males can do no right, never deserve praise or kind words for anything. Your partner may get off on that sort of treatment, but your boys did not choose to be born to a man-hating mother. Of course, maybe you make exceptions for your own children. One can hope.

This ignorant shit has been permanently banned from commenting here. No one speaks about my family….now on to the purpose of this post.

The basic premise of his idiocy is that because I am a womanist/feminist I hate all men and would therefore emotionally abuse my male children.  Teaching a male child to own his privileges from birth of course is abusive because I am denying my sons the opportunity to believe that the world should revolve around them.

I am sure that it is patently obvious that I live my politics and as such my mothering is very much informed by my feminism.  Unlike many 7 year olds Destruction (my pet name for him) is daily encouraged to think critically.  At our dinner table we discuss current events, politics, religion, racism, sexism, homophobia, class, gender and sexuality.  No conversation is ever considered taboo and he is openly encouraged to ask questions.

Using feminism as my guide I am daily teaching him that all bodies matter and that he does not exist with the right to exploit another simply because he was born with a penis.  Being a feminist parent takes a real commitment because many around you will endeavour to undo your hard work.  The education system continually presents essentialized gender lessons, privileging males over females. Other parents will use sexist language unthinkingly around your child. Many cartoons and children shows constantly show boys succeeding, and  achieving, while  little girls are presented either nursing dolls, or performing domestic labour. 

Teaching a little boy about privilege is an extremely loving act because it says as mother that I value him for who he is as a person, and not what his physical self embodies.  It further opens him to a world of possibilities that would otherwise have been closed to him.  Destruction is well rounded, he loves to watch hockey but can be found in the kitchen when it is time to cook a meal. From gardening to soccer there is no activity that he is limited from attempting because of his gender, thus allowing him to be a more well rounded person.  If life is about the experiences that we have and the people that we share with, Destruction is off to a good start because gender will never be a factor in his decision making process.  He will or will not attempt something based on the merits of the act and not whether it is for boys or girls.

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