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To ask if you've become more of a feminist

(117 Posts)
Whatafustercluck Fri 12-Apr-19 09:42:28

Either as you've got older or because you're raising a girl?

Just curious really. I never considered myself a feminist before, but I'm currently involved in a heated debate about a mother who has taken issue with the wording on girls' and boys' clothes labels in Asda. The level of ignorance of the real issues on there is astounding.

For full disclosure I have a boy (8) and a girl (2). Last night I was left slightly dumbfounded when showing parkour/ free running videos to my son and he said: "Oh! I didn't know girls could do parkour!" I challenged him of course, but I haven't raised him to think that way and it just made me realise how despite our best efforts, children are so susceptible to social conditioning. It made me quite cross (not with him, despite this comment he's usually pretty switched on and usually challenges assumptions about girls and boys).

JacquesHammer Fri 12-Apr-19 09:48:10

Yes for sure.

I always had feminist “leanings”. I chose a typically masculine degree and was the only one on my course. Never got my dream job because it was just too early.

That was 2001 - how depressing is that? I realised at 21 we had a LONG way to come.

Asta19 Fri 12-Apr-19 09:57:03

I remember back in the 80's us girls always had to wash up after Sunday dinner. I remember asking my step mum why my brother and dad couldn't wash up for once and she looked shocked and said "but they're men!". That's the first time I remember thinking "this isn't right".

So I don't think I've become "more" feminist as I've got older. Maybe aware of more issues, but I fundamentally still believe the same things.

frenchknitting Fri 12-Apr-19 09:59:48

Definitely. When I was younger, I always disliked the idea of special "Women in science and tech" events, as I didn't see the need for it. DH and I were on the same grad scheme, on the same money, and had the same opportunities, and I didn't see any way that his experience in working life was any different from mine. I would have considered myself a feminist, but thought it a bit irrelevant to my life.

15 years on, and DH and I are still fairly equal. However, I have seen so many women struggling when they have had children, it has completely changed my views. No male colleague or friend has ever asked me if I thought they should give up there jobs and get an evening shift at a supermarket/night shift at a nursing home, etc because their wage barely covered childcare. But I have lost count of the number of times I've had that conversation with female friends.

So I think my eyes are more open to it now.

Whatafustercluck Fri 12-Apr-19 10:02:16

Yes I suppose I mean more militant in expressing my feminism. I call inequality out much more openly and vocally but have always been that way inclined in terms of my views. Ironically, of both my parents, it was my dad who encouraged it in me and my sisters. He told me a story about my nan taking him to the GP when he was little because he played with dolls (yes it's true). Even back then the doctor's response was "there's no need to worry - it probably just means that one day he'll make a very good father". Insightful, bearing in mind that was the mid to late 1950s!

WarIsPeace Fri 12-Apr-19 10:03:58

Becoming a mother certainly did.
There's nothing like trying to maintain a career while being a parent to really emphasise how much more shit women are expected to tolerate.

Having it all is a myth. We just end up doing it all.

Doyoumind Fri 12-Apr-19 10:04:03

When I was younger I thought we pretty much had equality. Experiences in the workplace, becoming a mother and general life experience have taught me otherwise.

Babdoc Fri 12-Apr-19 10:07:48

Nope - I’ve been a radical feminist since the 1960’s!
If anything, I think society is going backwards on feminism, driven by the transgender campaigners insisting on gender stereotypes that we thought we’d scrapped decades ago. Telling boys that if they enjoy dolls or like pink, they must really be girls in the “wrong body”. Ditto girls who like football or engineering. Makes me sick.

RogueV Fri 12-Apr-19 10:08:39

Yes for both.
Also from perusing the feminism boards here.

All good.

nancy75 Fri 12-Apr-19 10:11:00

Definitely more vocal about it since having a daughter

Sunbeam18 Fri 12-Apr-19 10:11:27

I am def more feminist since becoming a parent (I have a son).

BadPennyNoBiscuit Fri 12-Apr-19 10:12:12

Yes I suppose I mean more militant in expressing my feminism.

Its not being militant. Can you imagine a man calling himself militant for enforcing a boundary?

3timeslucky Fri 12-Apr-19 10:14:25

Yes definitely as I've got older (and older and older)
Yes since I became a mother - that clearly showed up some of the societal BS I'd been fed
I don't know that having a daughter had a direct impact on my feminism - but it has on my anger

Snog Fri 12-Apr-19 10:21:52

I've always stood up for equality

Snog Fri 12-Apr-19 10:22:27

But feel alienated from the intellectual feminist discussions

Merename Fri 12-Apr-19 10:24:52

I’ve felt quite dismayed at how much effort I put into raising my daughter free from gender stereotypes, clothes, toys, we don’t have a tv so less exposure that way etc. And she is still a pink loving wannabe princess! So I now find it difficult negotiating how to allow herself to express herself in this way as it’s what she wants, as well as challenging stereotypes and giving her choices.

GreytExpectations Fri 12-Apr-19 10:25:58

I've always considered myself a feminist. I believe it could be a generation thing as i'm in my late 20's but then again it could also be my upbringing. My parents always supported and encouraged me to get a good education so I would be able to support myself and not ever have to rely on a man- my older sister was always into sports and from a young age she planned on putting her career first before anything else. I've also got a brother and he was never treated any differently to me or my sister.

Saying that, I like to think of myself as an actual feminist and by that I support the idea of equality, men and women both on the same level. Not one of those fake "man hating" feminists who think the world should be ruled by women as that just creates the same problem.

Phineyj Fri 12-Apr-19 10:27:32

Yes, since becoming a parent. I teach Economics at a girls' school and that has had an effect too. There's nothing like teaching about the gender pay gap and the motherhood pay penalty and actually seeing it enacted all around you to make you really, really cross! To be fair to my current students, they're a lot more switched on than I was at 18. Knowledge is power, I tell them.

RainbowWaffles Fri 12-Apr-19 10:27:38

Since becoming a mother. Before that my personal experience led me to labour under the misapprehension that equality had been achieved. I then realized what a shit sandwich being a woman is. I have children of each sex and it breaks my heart that they will have such different life experiences.

SmileEachDay Fri 12-Apr-19 10:28:02

I’ve become more deliberate in articulating how gender roles are made up bunkum since having a son - it should be on men to sort out their end of it so I feel I need to give him the information to do that.

Have always been an uppity woman though.

formerbabe Fri 12-Apr-19 10:30:24

Most intelligent women become more feminist once they are a mother, regardless of whether they have sons or daughters.

GreytExpectations Fri 12-Apr-19 10:31:28

I do question those who say they only became a feminist since becoming a mother. So before you were a mum did you not believe in equity? Why did not you not support equal rights before having children? I know this is a parenting board but honestly cant get my head around why you wouldn't be feminist for yourself but you would for your kids...

formerbabe Fri 12-Apr-19 10:34:00

@GreytExpectations

Most people who you describe probably always believed in theory with feminism and equality, but it's not until you become a mother, that you see in practice how the patriarchy affects us.

AryaStarkWolf Fri 12-Apr-19 10:34:46

I would have been pretty feminist since I can remember as a child, I think it was because I was an only girl with a few brothers and it would annoy me how differently people would treat us and what i was told I couldn't do because I was a girl, that kind of thing, in some ways I "out Boyed" my brothers because of this. Certainly when i became a mother of a boy and a girl that peaked the feminist in my for different reasons, trying to insure my daughter wasn't put in a "girl box" and trying to teach my son not to think like either. He is really good I think but definitely occasionally you can see a bit of stereotyping coming out, I guess that's unavoidable when he's in school and out in the world too

3timeslucky Fri 12-Apr-19 10:37:51

I do question those who say they only became a feminist since becoming a mother. So before you were a mum did you not believe in equity? Why did not you not support equal rights before having children? I know this is a parenting board but honestly cant get my head around why you wouldn't be feminist for yourself but you would for your kids..

I would have described myself as a feminist always. But becoming a mother made me see things differently and I would say I became more feminist. It wasn't about being one for my kids though. It was very much for me.

I grew up with the line that "women could have it all". Having a child and experiencing how the workplace is actually structured for men (men with a wife at home); experiencing the realities of juggling work and a baby (as a single mum to add to the experience) ... these made me broaden my (up til then very poor) understanding of what feminism was struggling against, and it gave me insight into aspects of the patriarchy that I just didn't cop onto before.

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