6 Things Every Feminist Does With Their Parents
Plenty of virtual ink has been spilled outlining the do's and don'ts of feminism, as if there's just one way to support gender equality and we're all in accord about how to do so. The reality is that different people emphasize different aspects, and the result is a movement that encompasses all kinds of perspectives. That being said, there are some things feminists do with their parents that seem to be fairly universal, especially now that feminism has returned to being a hot topic. (Not that it ever really went away... but you know what I mean.)
Of course, this does come with some major caveats; if you were raised by feminist parents, you probably approach discussions in a different way than you might if you were raised in a more conservative household. But even feminist parents may disagree with their children on some topics — generational differences are no joke. The ultimate goal of feminism might be the same (equality across the board, natch), but if you were to stick a feminist from each wave of the movement in the same room, you can bet there would be some shouting, or at least heated discourse.
So if you and your feminist parents disagree on some things, you're not alone. If you and your not-so-feminist parents disagree on some things, you're actually part of the majority; according to a 2013 Huffington Post/YouGov study, just 20 percent of Americans call themselves feminists. Either way, however, the parent-child relationship isn't all that different. Here are six things most feminists do with their parents.
1. Talk About Sex
Let's assume you don't get into the graphic details, but sexuality is a huge part of feminism. As awkward as the conversations may be — or not, if you have a super chill relationship with your parents — avoiding the subject entirely just perpetuates the taboo surrounding female sexuality. This isn't to say you sit around comparing notes with your mom, but as a feminist adult, you probably don't shy away from talking about sex and anatomy, even around your parents.
2. Complain About The Pink Aisle
The pink aisle, a term referring to the needlessly gendered way toys are sold, has been getting some flak recently, and for good reason. Why shouldn't boys be allowed to play with dolls and girls with building blocks? When you teach children that certain activities are "meant" for specific genders, it affects their interests later on. It's a popular topic among feminists, and one that you probably discuss with your parents frequently, because they're the ones with experience raising kids.
3. Compare Past Gender Norms
In a few short decades, feminism has gone through a huge amount of change, and we're finally at the point where gender norms are being questioned regularly. Your parents have lived through at least part of this evolution, and it's fascinating to ask them about how things have changed in their lifetime.
4. Argued About Housework
In all likelihood, this one applies to your youth. Women still bear the brunt of housework, and if your parents assigned chores based on gender norms — boys mow the lawn, girls cook and do laundry — you may have gotten into some altercations.
5. Explain Your Decision About Kids
It's no secret that women face enormous pressure to have children in a way that men don't; we're expected to have them, while it's far more acceptable for men to remain child-free. Whether or not your parents pressure you to have kids, they're going to ask about it eventually, and your answer may or may not line up with what they anticipate. Fortunately, as a feminist, you know you're in charge of your decisions, no matter what society expects.
Finally, you probably spend a fair amount of time debating with your parents, but that's a good thing — if everyone agreed on everything, feminism wouldn't change with the times.