Raising Feminists

As a mom- and a millennial, and a feminist- I have been thinking of how to raise my kid to be a feminist. Actually, not just my kid and not just since I have become a mother. I've been thinking about this since before I was ever even pregnant and it goes for any children in my home, regardless of gender.

Lately I've seen a lot of talk online about gendered clothing. To be honest, this hasn't bugged me as much as I thought it would so far.

When kids and feminism come up, my main concern is about action and skills.

There are certain things I/my husband am pretty adamant about teaching my children. Looking at the list, it doesn't feel super gendered...but I know people who were raised that some of these just weren't things they should "bother" learning because an opposite-sex spouse would take care of it one day.

Here's what I want to make sure my kid(s) learn:

  • Cook at least one home-cooked meal.
    • To be honest, I think if you can learn to cook one thing you can pretty much cook most things. But I get really annoyed listening to so many women my age talk about how terrible they are at cooking like it's a sign of how modern and empowered they are. This is a basic life skill- everyone should know this shit.
  • Do your own laundry.
    • Again, basic life skill. You should be able to dress yourself in clean clothes without breaking a washing machine because you put in too much laundry detergent or used dish soap instead.
  • Change your own tire.
    • Damsels in distress waste so much time. Just do it yourself. To be fair, I have not actually done this myself. I think I could, but I definitely will be learning along side my kids with this one. 
    • I'm okay with this, because I believe that you should never stop growing, and or beat yourself up for not knowing. Being willing to learn at any age is a sign of maturity.
  • Check your own oil.
    • Pretty simple car maintenance. Good to do before long trips. Not hard. 
  • Defend yourself.  
    • There are really, really basic self-defense skills that almost anyone can learn. These include mental and physical things, but either way, I want to empower my kids and let them know that they can take control of their own bodies and situations. 
  • Take care of a baby.
    • I'm so glad I did baby-sitting and childcare while I was a kid. Soooo glad. I waited until my late 20s to have a child myself, but I didn't feel completely lost when it happened. Knowing how to change a diaper, fix a bottle (formula or breast milk, & the difference), knowing lullabies...there are really good basic strategies you can learn that at least provide a building block as a parent.  
  • How to accept a compliment and a tip.
    • So many people seem to feel like they have to defend any compliment they receive. "That's a super cute outfit!" "Oh thanks, it was on sale/hand-me down from a sister." "You are so good at that!" "Oh it's really easy, anyone can do it." Fuck that. You rock, accept it and move on. Also, if someone tries to pay you for your assistance- that's okay. Sometimes letting someone express thankfulness is the most gracious thing to do. Don't turn a beautiful moment into a sour one out of some weird humble-pride. 

What do you think about kids & feminism? 
Or are there any skills you think everyone should have?


  1. How to hang curtains/rods, how to clean out a drain (which is the ickiest thing ever), how to grow something edible..
    In things to own: A tool kit, even if it's the pink one from Amazon, and a power drill. Those 2 things made me UNSTOPPABLE!!!

  2. I'm not a fan of labels or "bucketizing" people/actions; I just teach my daughter to be a good person who is self-sufficient in order to build self confidence. Learning life skills (cooking/cleaning/fixing stuff without the help of others) empowers people to take action on their own without needing approval.