Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Call for Submissions: Feminist Parenting

On a recent post discussing research that links girls' exposure to unrealistic portrayals of female bodies with "lower self-esteem, decreased psychological well-being... dieting behaviours, obesity and depression," commenter Larry Geater writes:
I try to make my daughter believe that she should be less concerned by her looks and that she is attractive in any case but how does one fight the world?
Larry's question has stuck with me all day. Quite frankly, I don't know what to tell him. As a teacher, I struggle with this on a regular basis - how do I help my students fend-off the constant messages that they should be dissatisfied with their looks and figures? Oddly enough, having gone through periods of self-loathing similar to what I sometimes recognize in my students doesn't seem to make me particularly qualified to help them. How does one fight the world?

So, I've become convinced that we need a new regular segment dedicated to how to help kids avoid the damaging effects of sexism in our society. I'm thinking of beginning with a week-long series on feminist parenting, and I want as many voices involved as possible.

Since The Feminist Underground writers believe that fighting racism, classism, homophobia, ableism, and transphobia are part of modern feminism, we're looking for posts about how you deal with all sorts of dangerous -isms when interacting with the young people in your life. Write what you want, but some ideas include movie and book reviews, personal essays about what your parents did right, and essays about what you've done to help kids cope with the toxic ideas and images about gender, sexual orientation, and race that they're bound to encounter. Send submissions to pobrehabladora (at) gmail (dot) com by next Thursday evening (August 7th)- or just leave us a link to a post you've already written in comments.

We hope to hear from you soon!

(UPDATE: What started as a series has now become a regular feature, so please continue to send submissions if you'd like to be included.)


Kandee said...

I sooooo want to write something about letting 'boys be boys' but I'm returning to work next week and have to arrange for child care, which has consumed all my time. If I can get to it on time, I will. If not, I'll post it anyway and then you can use it later...

Habladora said...

Kandee - I'm looking forward to reading it whenever you get it posted. Good luck with the child care dilemma!

Rachel said...

I posted my essay on feminist parenting over on the CA NOW blog, here: http://www.canow.org/canoworg/2008/08/feminist-parent.html

petpluto said...

I normally just lurk, but I thought this was an awesome "assignment", and so wrote and posted my essay on being parented by feminists here:

Elena said...

I have a post up on the CA NOW blog in answer t this challenge too: http://www.canow.org/canoworg/2008/08/feminist-pare-1.html

professorwhatif said...

I have had a piece on feminist mothering gathering dust on my hard drive... Thanks for prompting me to post it. Here is the link: