After becoming pregnant, I have been obsessed with baby and parenting books. Reading and having the lasted information keeps me informed and helps me with the whole new mommy thing.
I remember coming across the book, “Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue”, by Christia Spears Brown. It was a great read and spoke a lot about gender roles. Gender roles start early, like when you re in the womb. “Is it a boy or girl”, one of the many common questions pregnant women get asked. If its a boy you will crave sweets, if its a girl you will crave salty food. If its a boy you ll have clear skin, if its a girl you will break out. Little girls and cute and sweet, little boys and handsome and strong, etc etc.
We grow up so aware of our gender, starting so young. There was designated toys for girls and designated toys for boys. Toy r Us annoys me, because when you walk in you will see a boys section and a girl section. Why???? Why not just a toy section. Girls will unconsciously go to grab dolls and kitchen items and boys will grab the trucks and wrestler toys. Of course not all kids are like this, there was girls that hate dolls.
Now I don’t have a problem with girls playing with dolls or boys playing with trucks, I just don’t like that fact that they are in separated sections. We are already introducing our kids to gender roles, without them even knowing. Early on we say things like boys are strong and girls are sweet.
When I go shopping for my baby girl, I get so annoyed about all those onesies that say cutie, sweet, princess, how about strong, brave, leader, explorer!! Or how about some more color options, too much pink and soft colors.
The book spoke a lot about how we can raise our kids free of gender stereotypes.
After reading the book, I decided I wanted to start a book club, a feminist book club. I thought this would be a great way for me and my friends to discuss these existing issues. Studying about feminism from different books and different points of views, from all different parts of the world.
I also think its important for us to talk about these issues and more importantly discuss ways we could effect change. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but change starts by first identifying the problem. Gender and society is a very important topic for me and so was starting this book club, something that I wanted to do for a very long time.
Also I have heard so many misconceptions about feminism from my peers, which was surprising and concerning. so many people believe that there is need for feminism any more.
Many of these people are women themselves. Women need to support each other and help each other up, and not the opposite. When we as women learns how to do that, we can truly make a difference. Together we are better, we are stronger.
Involving men in these issues we go through as women is also extremely important as they are an active part of our society. We meed to clear up misconceptions. Many believe feminist are angry women, that hate men, bras, shaving, marriage, make up, etc.There are many different faces of a feminist, but one thing we all have in common is that we wanted to be treated with equality, and be valued for our strengths. We aren’t trying to compete with men!!
This would also be a great way to meet with like minded women, and take a break from being a mom once every 5 weeks.
Our first book was “We Should all Be Feminists”, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This was a short read, was spoke a lot the misconception about feminism, along with how we need to focus on our boys as well. She also spoke about double standards, and how feminism is not just for women but more men, men and women, all of us. We should all be feminists.
I am also a mother of a daughter, and I hope for her to live in a society where she is treated equally, and not considered weak, over emotional, irrational because she is a girl. I want her to live in a world where phrases like “boys will boys”, don’t exist. A world where she is not expected to have it all. A world where society doesn’t question her about how she manages her career and family life(no ones ask men that). A world where her appearance doesn’t matter more than whats in her mind. A world where boys don’t feel threatened by masculinity, and lack expression of emotions. A world where girls know that they can be whatever they dream to be, but also have a society that supports them to achieve that dream. A world where parents understand that all that focus we put on our daughter we must do as much if not more with our sons. A world where we raise our young boys to respect girls and not objectify them. A world where our boys know how to cook and take care of babies, and we teach them how to be good husbands. Many of us have raised our daughters like we raise our sons, but how many of us have raised our sons like we would raise our daughters.I hope that my daughter lives in a world that is free of gender stereotypes. I hope. But if that world doesn’t give her that, I want her to know that mama will always be there to help her achieve that.
If you are in the NYC area and would like to be a part of this club, you are more than welcome!!!
I have included the facebook link to this event below.