THIS is what a feminist looks like! (Behold the spit bubble on his tongue... THAT'S a feminist guy thing.)
I had fun taking pictures of my little guy, Julian today. Its so great that at six, he's able to break feminism down to fit his child-size understanding: things should be FAIR. He takes his feminism to school with him on the playground when he takes turns pushing his best friend, Alexandra, on the swings. They play together every day at recess, because they share a mutual desire to be treated with kindness. When Alexandra first came into his life, he was enchanted. When I asked him to describe her to me, he went all dreamy, and said, “She has a very, very beautiful heart. And, oh! Mama, she’s so kind!”
Julian is starting to become aware that because his best friend is a girl, some of the boys talk over her or push past her to the front of the line, but they don’t do that to him. Its difficult for me as a feminist to avoid using phrases like, “male entitlement,” which, as a mama, leave a bad taste in my mouth; as if saying them in some way indicates an inherent evil in my sons. Instead, I let my son lead, giving him the opportunity to understand his feelings about how Alexandra is treated differently. I see him struggle with anger in defense of his female friend. He makes declarative statements about how he honors her as a woman-child; he stands straight as his resolve to protect her right to be equal… for things to be fair.
I try to support him through this process, asking the occasional question and reflecting back verbally when he tells me about his feelings, but I let him make his own conclusions. I want him to have OWNERSHIP of his feminism. I won’t want his feminism to be assumed and inherited like a child who grows up in the Church; the one who can quote scripture like crazy, but doesn't have a personal revelation of God’s love for him. I DO affirm his conclusions by comparing them to scripture.
I hope that he will always stand up for individuals who are dis-empowered by society. I love it that its personal to him. Right now, its so easy; its all about being kind, being fair.
I think that’s what we all want, to be treated in the same way we’d to be treated. The Word says that we are to train up our children in the way they should go, and when they are old, they’ll never depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) If I were to impart one teaching to my sons, it would the all-encompassing moral standard, "Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31) Its so easy, and every other good interaction stems from it.
It’s the FAIRNESS rule.
It’s the Golden Rule of feminism.