On fatherhood making feminists

Dear Dad,

So good to see you blogging!

Certainly an interesting first post:

“My father was a feminist from the day I was born. There was nothing his little girl couldn’t do.” – Condoleezza Rice

If this was the entire description of what a feminist is then I would be a feminist.

Short, but not so much to the point. I resent the subtle implication that feminism has some secret, insidious core, without explanation or elaboration on your comment. Maybe you’re trying to leave me in suspense; maybe it’s foreshadowing. But it’s certainly not fair to the reader. Also, there’s a lot to feminism, some of it contradictory. That doesn’t mean it is a bad movement. Much the way Christianity has good, bad, and conflicting facets.

Second, while this is a sweet quote, it pains me to think that men would only be feminists out of care for the women that are directly related to them. Obviously, there are specific issues that are addressed by feminists that are very near and dear to my heart, such as street harassment. But I am a feminist not simply because I want my rights addressed. I also support the rights of women of color, disabled women, gay women, and every oppressed person to live a free and safe life. I go back to bell hooks again and again: “Feminism is for everybody.”

It is charming that having a daughter could prompt a man to care more about feminism, but this means he cares about women’s rights, not just his girl’s rights. You see the difference?

Looking forward to our blogging skirmishes to come,



2 thoughts on “On fatherhood making feminists

  1. I see the difference but living out your values are done primarily through those who are closest to you: family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, clients and others you encounter. If you don’t live your values out in those areas of your life then you are just spouting platitudes.

    A man or women encouraging their daughter or son to be all that they are created to be is not just “sweet” or “charming.” It is one of the most important thing any person could do. In fact, I consider it one of my primary vocations in life.

  2. Pingback: Am I a Feminist or not a Feminist | Father of a Feminist

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