[caption id="attachment_63551" align="aligncenter" width="420"] Photo courtesy of Latina Moms.[/caption]
Feminism is a word that seems to be thrown around a lot. People write it on their Instagram bios, read about it, and share posts to raise awareness about women's equality. But does everyone honestly know what feminism is? Is it a word that can be simply defined, or is it a broad spectrum of ideologies advocating for both men's and women's social and political equality? Feminism goes far beyond men and women having equal rights. It is understanding the strengths women have and that values should not be determined based on sex. Every person on this planet deserves to be treated fairly and with kindness. With that being said, the acknowledgment of this gender equality has broadened my mind and allowed me to shift my perspective. It has forced me to question many of the norms and values I was raised with. In this process, feminism has taught me how to be a better mother.
Stand Up For Yourself
We can’t raise strong children without being strong ourselves. Feminism gave me a voice and the drive to stand up for myself. It taught me not to allow myself to be silenced. This has helped me become a better mother in the long run because it has allowed me to instill the confidence into my daughter to speak up for herself. She knows to defend her rights, not allow anyone to cut in front of her in line, and that she can be stern and assertive while also being well-mannered.
In our cultura Latina, the norm is for women to tend to a man’s every need. You must wash their clothes, have dinner when they come home from work, pack their lunch for the next day, and make sure you look ‘beautiful’ at all times. They are the ones that should speak more in public settings and handle all financial arrangements. This machismo mentality is one that I will under no circumstances teach my children. By teaching my daughter that women are capable and intelligent enough to fend for themselves, I am teaching her independence. I do not want her to grow older and think she needs a partner in order to prosper. She can be ambitious on her own and accomplish everything she sets her mind to. In this way, my feminist mentality has allowed me to raise a strong woman that will never let her voice be silenced.
The Drive to Teach Equality
One thing about me is that I teach feminism to both my son and daughter. I believe one of the biggest mistakes people make is teaching and practicing feminism solely around females. In order to see real change, we must have these conversations around men as well. So, it is not only me teaching my daughter how to stand up for herself and be independent. It is instilling these values onto my son about the importance of respecting women and how they are not the “lesser sex.” My goal is to raise my son to be a raging feminist so that the toxic masculinity within previous generations of our family ends with him. In the end, as moms, it is up to us to teach our children right versus wrong and the importance of these social issues so we can create a better tomorrow.