A list of feminist parenting resources for anyone
Reflections Emma Fulu
Words By Emma Fulu / 27.04.2021
The other day my 9-year-old son came home from school and told me that he and his friends had started an organisation. It was called the 'Gender Women’s Rights Kid’s Organisation'! And they started it, he explained to me, because they thought that some of the content in their Italian class was sexist. I must admit that was one of my proudest parenting moments and I did a little dance on the inside.
Words By Emma Fulu / 27.04.2021
I often get asked about how to raise feminist children. You might be surprised to know that I don’t spend a lot of time preaching to my kids about the patriarchy (although I’m tempted sometimes 😊).
Instead, I tend to talk with my kids about gender issues when they come up naturally in conversation, model feminist values myself, and make sure that they are surrounded by diversity in their everyday lives.
I have found that children learn most by what they see around them and what you model, not necessarily what you tell them. So, I ask myself, what are they watching, reading and listening to? Do the main characters, authors or creators reflect the diversity of our world? For example, I don’t want my sons only watching shows about boys and my daughter only watching shows about girls. I think it is a good sign that my son listens to the podcast Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, that my daughter loves Star Wars, and they all love The Inbestigators which has a diverse cast. I also recommend going through your bookshelves. You’d be surprised how many of the protagonists in kids’ books are male. If this is the case for you, it might be time for a trip to the library.
As we know, some children are interested in imaginary games, others might be into science and building things, and others still passionate about fashion, cars or planes. Preferences should be more about personality and less about gender norms. Allowing children to see and embrace their unique identities without pressuring them into fixed gender stereotypes can bring multiple benefits. It helps them see all people as equal and starts normalising respect in every aspect of their lives. It will also give them the confidence to start challenging inequality from a young age when they see it.
But I know that teaching children about equality, inclusivity and diversity isn’t easy. We are all influenced by the gender stereotypes and harmful norms we see in politics, the media, advertising and beyond. It can be hard to escape them.
I don’t have all the answers. And I see feminist parenting as a journey that I’m going on alongside my children. But to help you on your own journey with the kids in your lives, we at the Equality Institute, have pulled together a list of resources for anyone interested in nurturing feminist children. This list is by no means exhaustive but is the result of some research and asking our community what they have found useful.
We hope you find this list valuable, and if so, please share it around!
If you would like to add resources to any of the categories, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Books for Children
- Antiracist Baby Picture Book by Ibram X. Kendi
- Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz
- My First Book of Feminism (for Boys target:_blank) by Julie Merberg
- Think Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison
- Tough Chicks by Cece Meng
- Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
- C is for Consent by Eleanor Morrison
- Grump Groan Growl by Chris Raschka
- It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn
- Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
- The Wonderful Things You’ll Be by Emily Winfield Martin
- Franny’s Father is a Feminist by Rhonda Leet
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World by Elena Favilli and Pam Gruber
- Her Body Can by Katie Crenshaw and Ady Meschke
- Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
- Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman
- Being Muslim Being Me by The Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights
- Black Girl Magic: A Poem by Mahogany L. Brown
- Cunning Crow by Gregg Dreise
- Girls Can Fly by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Sally Morgan
- Skin Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry
- Young Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
For more books for children by Indigenous writers, head to our previous blog post.
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