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Feminism: chat

Question - how much of a feminist ally is/ was your dad ?

107 replies

Sundancerintherain · 30/06/2021 19:06

My dad, in his 80's now, big burly working Irishman always treated me ..........exactly the same as my brothers.
Sport, DIY, learning to drive , learning to cook, cleaning, life admin, car maintenance. All shown everything, all expected to muck in, all valued.
It's as I go through life that I realise that my group of friends had vastly different experiences with fathers and that their expectations of adult relationships are vastly different.

OP posts:

EmergencyHydrangea · 30/06/2021 19:09

Not remotely. I think both my parents hated women


KateTheEighth · 30/06/2021 19:10

Not at all

Neither was my mum


TheLovleyChebbyMcGee · 30/06/2021 19:10

Not very! My mum got no help around the house, still doesn't, and actually seems angry at me about it because my DH is a very hands on father, cooks and cleans too. Since I had DS she's even worse!


Bootskates · 30/06/2021 19:13

He's always been a bit sexist and has been known to do the whole NAMALT thing and "women beat their partners up too" Confused

However he was very shocked recently at the rape conviction numbers so that's an improvement of sorts.


Lonel · 30/06/2021 19:16

Not at all. He once called me a lesbian when I was a teenager and I was a bit confused as I'm not. Turned out he meant feminist! (Meant as an insult).


Lordamighty · 30/06/2021 19:19

Same OP, my dad taught me that I could do anything I wanted. He genuinely believed that intelligence was the only thing that separated humans, irrespective of their sex.
It has always given me confidence in myself.


Sundancerintherain · 30/06/2021 19:21

Wow, thanks for the replies. I'm sad that some posters have misogynist mothers .

OP posts:

NaturalBlondeYeahRight · 30/06/2021 19:22

Yes mine was relatively for the time. Encouraged us to read/education. We only had girls on that side of family and he thought that was cool. Never said ‘you can’t do that’ or ‘can’t wear that’
Parents had fairly traditional roles but they were good friends who shared responsibility in daily life. Had to train DH up a bit as his parents weren’t great at that kind of thing.


Sundancerintherain · 30/06/2021 19:24

Lordamighty, if you dont mind me asking , what was your dad's upbringing like? Mine is the middle child of 11 and all my uncles and Aunts had similar outlooks. My dad reckons it was because everyone had to muck in or in his words " If you were old enough to do your share , you did it. "

OP posts:

midgemagneto · 30/06/2021 19:25


As a child he observed the different treatment he and his sisters received from his father , and decided it was very wrong

He always supported me, let me be me, and made sure that teachers did the same. He explained how even women would get jealous or be sexist , he dug out obscure female role models


AnyFucker · 30/06/2021 19:25

Ha ha ha ha

< crump >


StealthPolarBear · 30/06/2021 19:26

I'm an only child so nothing to compare to but he expected me to do basic car maintenance and do well at school etc. My dd has said since she was tiny that she wanted to be an engineer, they had a project they were working on together, and he called me once and asked to speak to "the engineer" - dd, which gave her loads of confidence.
My parents are in traditional gender roles in day to day life though, mum cooks, he cuts the grass. As was his dad until my grandma died, he then got to grips with cooking and baking and discovered a new skill later in life. And even my grandads who would both be in their 90s fully expected lots of their granddaughters. One was highly amused he had two Dr x in the family (sadly not me, female cousins)


EditedbySKSS · 30/06/2021 19:30

My dad wouldn’t realise he’s a feminist ally but he is. He has 2 daughters and never defined us by our sex. Mum was mostly a stay at home parent or part time worker so mum did the lionshare of cooking and housework but after dad retired, he did all the housework and some of the cooking.

Mum is far more likely to be sexist then dad


Sundancerintherain · 30/06/2021 19:30

My Mum's father ( will never refer to him as my grandfather) was an abusive drunk, so my Mum obviously looked for a life partner who was the opposite. Tbh my mum could also turn her hand to most things. She learned to drive before my dad then taught him. Owned her own business. Not bad for a lass born in the 30's

OP posts:

Fifthtimelucky · 30/06/2021 19:31

Mine would be nearly 100 if still alive and definitely wasn't a feminist as he wasn't keen on my mother returning to work when we were young (she did anyway). He had old-fashioned views, as you'd expect from someone born in the 1920s. For example he didn't like it if I went out wearing a thin T shirt and no bra. But he loved babies, was a hands on father in terms of childcare, feeding, nappy changing etc. He also did a lot of cooking and once made a skirt and a couple of pairs of curtains, so wasn't bothered by stereotypes.

He didn't particularly encourage us into any particular career but thought we should do whatever we wanted.

I didn't have any brothers, so can't say whether he would have treated a son differently from daughters.


MedusasBadHairDay · 30/06/2021 19:31

Not at all growing up. He spent a lot of time trying to persuade me to apply for more traditionally female jobs (secretary, teacher, etc) despite me clearly not having the skills for any of them. There were also noticeably different standards/expectations for me and my brother.

Nowadays though he's got much better, and will join in with me raging at sexist behaviour and injustice


Imicola · 30/06/2021 19:33

Pretty good compared to others, but not perfect! My parents didn't really treat us as girls, just as children and i was encouraged to follow my interests. My dad thought i should study engineering. Growing up, my mum did the bulk of housework and childcare, although my dad cooked for dinner parties, but since my dad retired he does more cleaning and cooking... he's more particular about cleaning and is better at cooking.


Lordamighty · 30/06/2021 19:36

@Sundancerintherain my dad was working class, northern. His parents died young & he was brought up by his eldest brother in an all male household. I was 100% like him though & we both knew it.
I’ll never forget him taking me out for a driving lesson when I was early 20s. Male drivers were cutting us up left, right & centre, it was quite scary. My dad was absolutely furious, “Just remember Lordamighty, you will be a better driver than any of these fools could ever hope to be”.
It gives you an inner confidence when your parents believe in you so comprehensively.


DisgruntledPelican · 30/06/2021 19:36

Fantastic when I was little. Looked after me full time, taking unpaid leave, whilst my mum returned to work (unfortunately to work her notice as she wasn’t allowed to go part time). Equal share of childcare and housework throughout my childhood. Can look after his grandchildren of various toddler ages by himself with no issue, does everything.

He does however have some odd ideas of gendered clothing and toys. Very uneasy when the grandkids are playing dress-up and the boys choose sparkly pink things, fairy wings, dresses. It baffles me.


Antiqueanniesmagiclanternshow · 30/06/2021 19:37

Not at all. 3 children and never once changed a nappy. He and my mother thought i was butch and unladylike and were generally disappointed i think.


BeansMeansBeans · 30/06/2021 19:39

Ok mostly - but fell into the trap of "boys are useless, of course you can't expect your brothers to tidy their rooms" whilst I was expected to have it together. Guardian reading, but would say "fudge packer" Hmm instead of gay. Thinks trans women are men... But that feminism is over and women have equality. So... Bit of a mixed bag?


GrouchyKiwi · 30/06/2021 19:41

Somewhat of one, but because of my Mum more than from his own feelings, initially anyway.

He was the coddled eldest son, and my mother experienced similar with her only brother (she had two sisters as well) so she made sure her sons and daughters were treated equally.

Dad encouraged all of us to learn car maintenance, taught us how to use tools, mowing lawns, etc. He never expected us to do things for our brothers as his sisters had done for him (like tidying bedrooms, ffs).

But he's perfectly happy in other respects with traditional roles.


BeansMeansBeans · 30/06/2021 19:42

[quote Lordamighty]@Sundancerintherain my dad was working class, northern. His parents died young & he was brought up by his eldest brother in an all male household. I was 100% like him though & we both knew it.
I’ll never forget him taking me out for a driving lesson when I was early 20s. Male drivers were cutting us up left, right & centre, it was quite scary. My dad was absolutely furious, “Just remember Lordamighty, you will be a better driver than any of these fools could ever hope to be”.
It gives you an inner confidence when your parents believe in you so comprehensively.[/quote]
That's lovely


Talipesmum · 30/06/2021 19:45

My dad would get very tetchy if people started making assumptions about people or roles based on if they were male or female. I think he just didn’t see things that way.
I will always remember when my dad and I were visiting our elderly next door neighbour. She said, jokingly to him, something like “poor you, surrounded by all those women” (me, mum and my sister). She wasn’t being at all nasty, it was just a typical stereotypical small talk “sympathetic” comment. He pulled himself up and said, nicely but firmly, “no, those are my DAUGHTERS”. And he harrumphed about it afterwards. He never, never, engaged in any blokey assumptive chit chat or small talk. It just didn’t make sense to him. I remember I’d felt a bit awkward when she said it, and was about to giggle nervously and say “haha yes”, and he pulled me up short. Taught me to always think about assumptions and little side comments.
And he always did the shopping and most of the cooking. Just set a standard for me of support and equality.


Tibtab · 30/06/2021 19:45

My Dad is in his 60s, constantly told me I couldn’t do things that my brothers could, never helped around the house and expected me/my mother to tidy up after him, made rude comments about women on television particularly if they weren’t ‘good-looking’.
My parents are divorcing and my mother is already better off.

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