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My niece/teens feminist education/grounding

(9 Posts)
tzella Thu 11-Oct-12 11:47:39

I'm not sure about the level of detail I need to provide for this so please bear with me...

My niece has just turned 13. I'm 38, childfree and she's my 'little brother's' (foot taller, 36yo) daughter. He has two other DC's (DS11 and DD8) and he and his ex partner have been separated for around 6 years.

My DB and his XP relationship is not fantastic. He has the DC every weekend and often during the week and from what I can gather this (wonderful for him and the DC) level of contact is because she can't be arsed. She won't speak to me or our DM and has previously had an OCD-related MH diagnosis.

Anyway. I visited the family this weekend, DM kindly picked me up from a late-ish boozy dinner with friends with DN in the car also. We passed pubs in town and DN said "Look Tzella! Slags!" while pointing out of the window at some young women on the street. I'm ashamed to say I shouted at her shock Along the lines of "You can't say that about people! They are young women on a night out! You are a young woman! You can't say that about other women!" I barely made any sense but was shocked and upset. I caused an atmosphere and my DM was lovely and changed the subject and we chatted about other things blush

I obvs feel like a shitbag sad but it's got me thinking about my DN's feminist education, for want of a better phrase. I am not sure she's going to get much grounding from her DM and, me being Cool Aunt (hardly) I feel I should... should do something. She's too young for Caitlin Moran (?). What else is there? I can't remember exactly what my DM said/did for me when I was her age but I do recall making a fuss about 'being allowed' to be on the cricket team at school. And that was in 1985 as I am ooooold and I know the world has changed a lot.

I hope someone understands what I mean? I'm not sure I do exactly! grin Help!

MmeLindor Thu 11-Oct-12 12:26:04

Don't feel like a shitbag. You did absolutely the right thing. To let that moment pass would have been wrong.

I'll pm you a link

laptopcomputer Thu 11-Oct-12 12:28:33

Can you share the link MmeLindor please?

tzella Thu 11-Oct-12 12:39:29

Hey, thanks for the link MmeLindor As you are non-profit making I shouldn't think MNHQ would have a problem with us posting the link smile

Any other advice? Books for her to read? A plan for me? grin

MmeLindor Thu 11-Oct-12 12:51:20


It is non-profit but I am cautious about sharing on MN. It is totally fine if you do though.

I think that SGM has a list of books to read - will give her a shout.

From my experience (with a 10yo DD) I would say that talking to her about feminism works best - so give her the info and then chat to her about what she has read.

Point out sexist advertising and discuss why it is bad

It is tricky, because you cannot completely turn around what she is learning elsewhere, but you can raise awareness of what she is saying.

MmeLindor Thu 11-Oct-12 13:04:27

here you are - great books for children

KRITIQ Thu 11-Oct-12 13:09:09

Can I also recommend this blog? The author, like you, was concerned about her niece's attitudes towards other girls, so she started writing her thoughts and conversations with her niece and other young women. There's some good stuff under the "Feminist Fridays" tab.

Best of luck!

Goldidi Thu 11-Oct-12 13:12:59

All of the books on that list are good. Dd1(13) has read almost all of them without us ever having seen the list before. We must be doing something right.

I seem to be raising a feminist without even thinking about it, I just talk about things the way they are and point out any sexist things we see or hear whenever I can. It's harder when it isn't your own child though as you can't undo the things they see and hear elsewhere.

MmeLindor Thu 11-Oct-12 13:13:30

Love that blog. <bookmarked>

A Mighty Girl is US based, but great.

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