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Were any of you brought up by Feminist parents?

(7 Posts)
grapeandlemon Sun 28-Nov-10 08:29:05

I suppose this is a thread about how you found feminism really. I was going through some old books and found 3 Germaine Greer texts, when I looked at them closely I would have been 18 when I read The female Eunuch, and a bit later for The Whole Woman. Quite young looking back.

I started to think about how DD will find these books in my house when she is older and hopefully want to read them and form opinions which we can discuss together. I realised that despite having three girls, my parents were not even really aware of feminist issues. I became aware thorough (University) education. (Not that GG is the queen of Feminism but these were quite pivotal books for me at the time)

I wondered that if they were, I would have rejected it. Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

monkeysmama Sun 28-Nov-10 19:22:32

I was raised by socialist feminists. I am incredibly proud of my parents and the role they played in various equality struggles. I consider myself to have very similar principles and have been an active feminist / socialist at most points in my life though now that is mainly as an armchair supporter. I have 6 sisters and we are all very similar in our views. One works for Marie Stopes, one is a socialist lawyer.

I often feel torn about how to raise my dd. My parents were very actively politically so it was very hard not to pick up on it. I am less so. We grew up in a world where everyone we knew had similar beliefs but I live in a different environment now. I actively reject all the pink princess crap my ils try and introduce every week they visit but I see so many other things creeping in. For example I haven't' worked since dd was born - I am at home with dd and my (male) partner works.

A few weeks ago I was sorting out the bathroom cupboards and throwing lots of stuff away. I like clothes and make up and there were some old make up brushes I'd put by the bin. Dd (2.5) picked two of them up and has been carrying them everywhere since saying she is doing her makeup to go to a concert. I don't like it but it is what she has seen me doing.

I had a bit dilemma yesterday. I remember always being different when we were kids and my mum being the subject of jokes at school because she had hairy armpits. I didn't want to make dd different so young but it seems there is no way out. We went to a Princesses and Pirates party yesterday. Dd has a pirates' hat and cutlass but insisted she go as a pumpkin (Halloween outfit). Mil was very angry and kept trying to convince dd to go as a princess like all the other "pretty girls". She went as a pumpkin and the hosts commented immediately that they'd suspected my dd would "have to be different"

What a long reply! My dd is surrounded by strong women - my mum, my sisters, my female friends and me but I do worry that a lot of the mums she knows don't work and that the girly stuff is so pervasive in our society it is hard to avoid.

MountainDew Sun 28-Nov-10 22:08:41

My dad was the only male member of the feminist group at his university. He was very active in all the protests and has raised his children (2 boys, 2 girls) to care about women's rights.
My mum is also feminist, (my parents divorced after 10 years together) but in a slightly different way. She was never involved in any activism, but taught us the power and beauty of being female. She is passionate about women's power as mothers, through breastfeeding etc. She ruined this all by being a b****, so I spent my early adult life trying my best to be anything other than like her! As such I shy away from saying "women are powerful" etc, but as a mother myself now I feel I understand her better. She is still a B**** though. wink

I am new to discovering feminism for myself though. I read 'Living Dolls' while wandering around Waterstones and couldn't put it down. I stayed there until I had finished it. But my upbringing had certainly made me inately aware of women's rights and feminism. My dad I think is especially inspirational to all four of us.

tabouleh Sun 28-Nov-10 22:17:40


But my DM went to University in 1970 which when not so many females did. She always encouraged me with education and said I could have any job I wanted etc.

Her stated ambition in life was to be SAHM and have DCs but she never suggested that this should be my ambition or anyone else's ambition.

She says now that she can see why keeping a career is of benefit and says that whilst she wouldn't change what she did in her era if she was in my era she'd consider working part time etc.

She has been interested in my conversion to feminism and she definitely sees the sexism around her.

DF also encouraged my education but appears to have some hmm views about women and I've not pinned down whether he is trying to wind me up - eg women like cleaning.

I also don't like the way he still lets my DM do everything around the house despite now being retired.

TheButterflyEffect Mon 29-Nov-10 15:23:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notquitenormal Mon 29-Nov-10 15:48:16

No...but I do come from a long line of women who didn't, or couldn't, fit into the roll society expected of them.

My Nan, for example, divorced in the late 60s and was ostrasized by her family & freinds for it, even though my grandad had knocked several of her teeth out.

She also staged a sit in protest at her doctors until he agreed to give her the pill (it was shortly after it came out.) Sat in the waiting area for 4 days, with 2 toddlers in tow, going up to the counter every 15 minutes to ask if they'd written her prescription yet.

If you were to ask her about feminism she'd just give you a blank look and you couldn't ask her to read about it, because she's barely literate.

yangymac Tue 30-Nov-10 16:01:08

Message withdrawn

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