I just wanted to highlight an excellent UK blog on feminist motherhood and childcare, Mothers For Women’s Lib:
Feminism changes a mother, and motherhood changes a feminist – here is a place for us to talk about raising our children as feminist mothers, the challenges we face, or feminist issues which are especially important to us as mothers. As feminist mums, we have a unique take on this thing we call feminism, and we have a lot to say!
Recent posts question why children are usually given their father’s surname despite the mother having carried and given birth to them and often being the primary care giver, challenge discrimination against children in public places, highlight the prevalence of domestic violence during pregnancy and despair at the insistent gendering of children’s toys.
I think these bloggers are making an excellent job of covering an area that online feminism can ignore. As mostly younger women writing for and running blogs like The F Word or Feministing, we talk a lot about a woman’s right to choose an abortion or to resist the social pressure to have children, but less so about a woman’s right to choose to have a child on their terms and raise children along feminist lines. I must admit that I do get a bit of a kick out of telling people that I don’t want children, as the expectation still seems to be that women should have children, that there’s something wrong with us if we don’t want them, and I spend little time thinking about the challenges faced on a daily basis by women who do have children. Considering that most women do have or will have children in their lifetime, I have been ignoring one of the biggest and most relevant feminist issues and I hope that by reading blogs like Mothers For Women’s Lib I can address this ignorance on my part and begin supporting feminist and not-so-feminist mothers alike.
Raising a new generation who can tackle sexism and other forms of discrimination while attempting to challenge all the patriarchal, heteronormative, traditionally gendered bullshit that kids are still fed from day one in our society has got to be one of the most – if not the most – important responsibilities any feminist can take on, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who do. Whether or not I will in fact end up joining them remains to be seen!